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^ OF 



A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, 
its People, and its Principal Interests 

Compiled from the official records of the County, the newspapers and 
data of personal interviews, under the editorial supervision of 






u \\\\y 

THE N'E)^ ^■"^•'^ 

AS-r *. Li^ox ■^^^' 

1M<H '' 


\\'e present this history with pleasure, because it deals with a pleas- 
ant subject — (Jakland county. There is another reason for this atti- 
tude toward our subject: — the cooperation of contributors and of citi- 
zens has been so general and hearty that the historical work required 
has been transformed from a task into a labor of love. 

Oakland county is peculiarly fortunate in the variety of her charms 
and riches, to which truth these pages bear witness. With her land- 
scape beauties and sunny lakes, she is drawing thousands to her who 
seek restful homes and profitable investments. At the same titne, her 
soil is fertile and invites the practical farmer, dairyman and horticul- 
turist, while in the urban centers, the industrial and commercial inter- 
ests have obtained a firm foothold and assure livelihood and profit to 
the citizen. Xo county in the state has better schools, and, as will be 
made plain in the progress of this history, in no section has woman had 
a more extended or elevating influence. In a word, Oakland is unex- 
celled as a home county; no more need he said to the good American, 
whether of native or foreign blood. 

As to the collaborators on the history, too much cannot i)e said 
of the <|uantity and quality of the assistance rendered liy Hon. Aaron 
Perry. In those homely words which so truly express our feeling toward 
him — "what could we have done without him!" Also as to Aliss Martha 
Baldwin and Mrs. Lilian Drake Avery — "what could we have done with- 
out them,"' especially in setting forth the scope of woman's work, and 
the splendid part taken by the pioneers of the county in laying the 
foundation upon which the later generations ha\e builded their com- 
fort and prosperity. Thanks are rendered all our associate editors — 
Fred M. Warner, Thomas L. Patterson, Flarry S. Gardner and Samuel 
W. Smith, for their willing and effective cooperation. The county 
an<l village officials, business men, farmers and manufacturer.s — all. in 
face, who have worked to make Oakland county what it is today and are 
laboring for its greater future — have our sincere thanks, both for what 
they are doing toward the ])rogress of this favored section of the state, 
and for what they have done in enabling us to picture it in this liislory 
of Oakland countv. Th.^ddeus D. Seelev. 




Wonderful Country of Lakes — Cass and Orchard — Remarkable 
Natural Phenomenon — The Lake Orion Region — Summer Re- 
sort Features — Transportation Facilities — As a Farming and 
Live Stock Region — Features of the Transformation. 1 



Surface and Elevations — Immense Drift and Formations Beneath 
— Soil and Climate — The Surface Geology of Oakland 
County. 9 



Orch.'vrd Lake and the Great Chief Pontiac — The Legend of Me- 
nah-sa-gor-ing — Primitive Tillage and Industries — Contact 
with Known Tribes — Scars of Battle — C. Z. Horton's Contri- 
butions — Indian Camping Ground and Cemetery — Queer Cu.s- 
toms — The Passing of Wf,-se-gah. 19 



Great Set-Back to Settlement — Oakland County's First Settlers 
— The Mack Colony of Pontiac — "Uncle Ben" Woodworth — 
— First Surveys — Locatioins under the "Two Dollar" Act— 
The "Ten Shilling" Act — Great Event for the Pioneer Land 
Owner — Town of Pontiac Settled — Orion and Oxford — Royal 
Oak and Troy — Avon and White Lake^Springfield and Grove- 
land — Farmington and West Bloomfield — Waterford and In- 
dependence — Brandon, Soutiifield and Bloomfield. 27 




Hervky Pakkk Co.mks ro Oakland County — Bloom field and Ro^•AL 
Oak in 1821 — Intant Village oe I'ontiac — Governor Wisner and 
His AIullet Story — Becomes Horatio Ball's Assistant — Joseph 
Wampler's Assigned Territory — A Surveyor's Hardships — Re- 
turns WITH His Family — Birthplace of John IT. Parke — Home- 
stead AT Last — Surveys from Pontiac — Running Lines under 
Difficulties — Fresh Trails of tiie Black Hawk War — Between 
Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron — Surveys in Black Hawk Reser- 
vation, Iowa — Another Iowa Contract — Captain Parke's Re- 
capitulation — Recollections of Benjamin O. Williams- — Indian 
Near Death — Dear Old Oakland, the Best of All — A Picture 
of Memory (p.y John M. Norton) — Advent of the Pioneer — 
Railroad as a Fun-Maker — The Life Bequeathed by the Pi- 
oneers — Fifty Years Ago and Now (p.y S. B. McCracken) — 
Contrasts of Life — "Granny" McCracken — Father and Mother 
McCracken — The Schools of Fifty Years Ago — Mormon V'isi- 




County's First Settler, a Revolutionary Soldier — The Graham 
Family — Nathaniel Baldwin — George Horton— Stephen Mack 
— Colonel -Mack's Family — Joseph Todd and Party — Ithamar 
Smith — Willjam Nathan Terry — Joshua Chamberlin and 
Enoch Hotchkiss — Elijah Drake — Ezra Parker — Jeremiah 
Clarke — Benjamin Grace — Caleb Barker Merrell — Levi Green 
— Joel Phelps — Elias Cady — Samuel Niles — Silas Sprague — 
EsBON Gregory — Zadock Wellman — Caleb Carr — Hooper Bishop 
— Derrick Hulick — Caleb Pratt — Solomon Jones — Lydia 
Barnes Potter — James Harrington and Jacob Petty — John 
Blanchard — Altramont Donaldson — Joseph Van Netter — 
Benjamin Bulson — Nathan I,andon — General Richardson 
Chapter, D. A. R. — The Revolutionary Graves Marked — Meji- 
BERSHiP OF Tin-: Daughters 72 



County Pioneer Society Founded — The Supervisors' Picnics — Bet- 
ter Preservation of Records — Society Incorporated — Pioneer 
Women — Officers of the Society — Pioneer Relics in the Col- 
lection of the Society 99 




Territorial Supreme Court — Old District Court — County Courts 
— Change in Supreme Court — Circuit Courts and Judges — The 
"One-Horse" Court — Under the 1850 Constitution — A Sum- 
mary — Under the Present Constitution. 110 



County Courts and Judges — Probate Courts and Judges — Circuit 
Courts and Judges — the Court of Chancery — Circuit Court 
Commissioners. 117 



Daniel LeRoy — William F. Mosley' — Thomas J. Drake — Origen 
D. Richardson — Chdeon O. Whittemore — Robert P. Eldredge — 
Seth a. L. Warner — William Draper — Randolph Manning — ■ 
Charles Draper — Rufus Hosmer — George W. Wisner — Alfred 
H. Hanscom — Governor Moses Wisner — Augustus Carpenter 
Baldwin — John S. Goodrich — Levi B. Taft — Hester L. Stevens — • 
Michael E. Crofoot — Henry M. Look — Mark S. Brewer — Living 
Members of the Bar — Judge Thomas L. Patterson — Joseph Ed- 
ward Sawyer — George "W. Smith — Robert J. Lounsbury — Aaron 
Perry — Daniel L. Davis — Kleber P. Rockwell — Arthur R. 
Tripp — Elmer R. Webster — James H. Lynch — John H. Patterson 
— F. L. Covert — Henry M. Zimmerman — Andrew L. IMoore — H. 
H. CoLviN — Peter B. Bromley. ]2() 



Judge Crofoot's Recollections — Bench and Bar Prior to 1840 (by 
Judge Baldwin) — Chief Justice Moore's Pictures — Aaron 
Perry's Contributions. 158 



First Official Act — County Se.\t Fixed — Original Two Town- 
ships — Present Bound.\ries Established — Oakland County 
under the Territory — Territorial Legislative Council — Legis- 
lation Affecting Town and County — Township Government 
Established — First Supervisors' Meeting — Some E.\rly Assess- 
ments — Circle of Townships Completed — Roster of County 
Officials — Assessments and Taxes — Popul.\tion for Ntxetv 


Ye.\rs — Incorporated Cities and Villages — The County Court 
Houses — Cost of County Building— Present Court House — The 
Oakland County Home — County Superintendents of the 
I'ooR. -^ 188 



Question ok Land Titles — Governor Cass Brings Stability — 
Champions of Public Improvements — The State Constitutions — 
Oakland County's Part in Constitution Making — Doctor Ray- 
nale. Delegate to 1835 Convention — Seneca Newberry, Dele- 
gate to 1835 and 1850 Conventions — State Officials, Elected 
and Appointed — Territorial Council Representatives — Speak- 
ers AND Clerk of the House — ^Michigan Legislators from Oak- 
land County — State Senators — State Representatives — Dis- 
turbances OF War Issues. 214 



Basis of Public School System — Central University and Branches 
— First Academies' in Oakland County — Heads of the County 
System — Remains a Perpetual Fund — Duties of the Teacher 
OF Today — Standings Required — District Libraries — High 
School Scholars — District Schools of the County — Present 
Status of Schools. 22" 



First Oakland County Highway — Other Roads Established — Im- 
provement of the Clinton River — First Michigan Railway 
Chartered — Detroit & Pontiac Railro.\d Company — Finally 
Completed to Birmingham — Detroit & IVIilwaukee Railway 
Company — Establishment of Present Systems — Coming of Elec- 
tric Lines — The Grand Trunk System — The Michigan Cen- 
tral — Pere Marquette R.mlroad — Detroit United R.ailway — 
Summary. 234 



Oakland County's First Bank — The "Wild-Cat" Banks — One 
"Safety Fund" Bank — N.\tional Banks in the County — The 
State Banks — Pontiac Savings Bank — The Oakland County 
Savings Bank^ — First Commercial Bank of — The Ameri- 
can S.wings Bank — First State Savings Bank of Birmingham — 
Farmington Exchange Bank — Rochester Savings Bank — Holly 
Savings Banks — Farmers' State Bank of Oxford — Roy'al Oak 
Savings Bank — The Orion State Bank — State S.wings Bank 
of South Lyon. 242 




Pioneer Conditions — Primitive State of Medical Practice — Allo- 
pathic Practitioners Prior to 1837 — Dr. William Thompson, 
First Physician — Drs. Olmstead and John Chamberlain — Dr. 
Ezra S. P.arke — Dr. Cvrus Chipman — Drs. Lamb, Lamond and 
Alger — Dr. John C. Emery — The Old County Medical Society 
— Allopathic Practitioners from 1837 to 1866 — Three Early- 
Time Homeopaths — Present County JMedical Society — Pontiac 
Medical Society — Present Practitioners. 249 



What Women PLwe Dqne for Oakland County (by Martha Bald- 
win) — Women's Work in Pontiac — The Pontiac City Hospital 
— Pontiac Public Library — Women's Literary Club of Pontiac 
— The Round Table Club — West Side Reading Circle — Women's 
Christian Temperance Union — Birmingham Public Library — 
Birmingham Literary Club — Greenwood Cemetery Association 
— Ladies' Library Association of Holly. 259 



Oakland County Soldiers of the War of 1812 — Napoleonic Sol- 
diers — Early Military Organizations — The Mexican War— 
The War of the Rebellion — First Michigan Infantry — Second 
Infantry — General I. B. Richardson — The Second Regiment- 
Third Infantry — The Fifth Infantry — Seventh Regiment- 
Eighth AND Ninth Infantry Regiments — The Tenth Infantry 
— Death of Adjutant Cowles — The Fourteenth Infantry — 
The Fifteenth and Sixteenth — Twenty-second Infantry — 
Governor Moses Wisner — Twenty-ninth Infantry — Thirtieth 
Infantry and "Mechanics and Engineers" — Custer's Michigan 
Cavalry Brigade — The Eighth Cavalry — Ninth and Tenth 
Cavalry Regiments — Michigan Light Artillery — One Hun- 
dred AND Second United States Colored Troops — Military 
Matters of Late. 271 



Colonel Mack's Company — First Pontiac Settlers — Works of 
Mack, Conant and Sibley — Colonel's Mack, Father and Son — 
Settlers of 1822-1836 — ^County Seat and Courthouse — Town- 
ship Organization — The Village of Auburn (Amy) — Pontiac 
Village Incorporated — Early Trustee Meetings — Real Estate 


Item — The Mill Pond Nuisance — The Fire of 1840 — Early 
Bridges — Common Council, the Governing Body — The Village 
Fire Department — Gas Works Inaugurated — Heads of the 
\^iLLAGE Government. 286 



First Election — City Police Department Horn — First City Hall — 
Value of Property in 1876— "John P. Foster No. 2" — Smallpox 
Epidemics of 1881-82 — Newspaper Sensation — Resignation of 
Chief Engineer Foster — City Finances in 1876 — Board of Water 
Commissioners Created — The New Fifth Ward — Original Sys- 
tem of Water Works — Electric Lighting and Telephone Sys- 
tems — First Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph — AIunicipal 
Government in 1894 — First Three Years of Water Service — 
Lighting and Telephone Service Again — Sewerage System In- 
augurated — Extension of Water Works — Telephone Service 
Up to Date — Commission Government Adopted — Early .Meas- 
ures Passed — Increased Efficiency of Fire Department — The 
Present City Hall — ^Mayors of Pontiac — The City Press — 
Oak Hill Cemetery — Gas Lighting and Electric Power — 




Direct Successor of 1S20 Mill — The Howard Interests — The Old 
Paddack Mills — Charles Dawson and FIis \Vork — Pontiac City 
Mills — Pioneer Machine Shops and Furniture F.-\ctories — 
Early Breweries — Fathers of the Auto Industry — Pontiac and 
Other Mills of 1852 — Pontiac's Early Business Men — Automo- 
bile Industry of Pontiac- — Oakland Motor C.\r Company — Gen- 
eral Motors Truck Company — The Flanders Plants — The Car- 
TERCAR Company — Monroe Body Company — The Beaudell Body 
Works — Slater Construction Company — Pontiac Brewery — 
Pontiac Commercial Association. 320 


Sarah McCarroll's Sketch — The Oi.n Pontiac Academy — First 
Co.MMON Schools — Puislic Syste.m Organized — The "Old Union" 
— ITiGii School Building of 1S71 — School Superintendents and 
High School Principals — The New High School — Public Sys- 
tem and List of Schools — ]\Iichigan Military Academy. 333 




Earliest Methodist Preachers — First ]\Ii;tiiuuist Church in 
County — Pastors From 1826 to the Present — Mrs. Shattuck's 
Reminiscences — Central Methodist Episcopal Church — The 
First Baptist Church — First Presbyterian Church — How the 
Church Was Built — First Congregational Church — Third 
Congregational Church in the State — New Bltilding — St. 
Vincent De Paul's Church — All Saints Episcopal Church — 
St. Trinitatis Lutheran Church — The African M. E. Church 
— Young Men's Christian Associ.vtiox — Red Rtiumn Clup. of 
Pontiac. ■ 340 



Masonry in Poxtiac — Third Lodge in Territory — Pontiac Lodge No. 
21 — Past Masters — Pontiac Council No. 3, R. & S. M. — 0.\kland 
Chapter No. 5. R. A. M. — Commandery No. 2, K. T. — 
Pontiac Chapter No. 228. O. E. S. — Masonic Temple Associa- 
tion — Canton Pontiac No. 3, I. O. O. F. — Pythian Knights and 
Sisters — Dick Richardson Post, G. A. R. — Knights of Colum- — Royal Neighbors of America — B. P. O. E. — Other Lodges. 




Physical Fe-\tures — A Good Many Dead Indians — I'n«T L.\nd En- 
try — FoRMATi\E Township Period — Three Competing T.werxs — 
Mills and Stores Outside of Birmingham — Bloomfield Center 
— Birmingham \^illage Plats — Old Times at Piety Hill — Vil- 
lage of Birmingham — Reincorporated — Village Presidents and 
Clerks — Public Works — .Soldiers' ^Monument — Birmingham 
Churches — Secret and Fr.aternal Societies. 371 



Drainage and L.\ke.s — First Entry .\nd Settlement — Other Pi- 
oneers of the Township — Settlers in 1832-1837 — First Things 
— Quaint Alonzo R. Rood — Descendants of the Pioneers — • 
Founding of Holly Village — Village Schools — New Union 
School — Township and Vill.vge Libraries — The Waterworks — 
Holly Newspapers — Tndustrie.s — The Churches — Societies. 38S 




Jamks Graham, Oricixal Settler — The Hersey-Russell-Graham 
Combine — Memories of the Old Hersey Mill — -Mill Stones 
FROM Bowlders — Stony Creek Village — Rochester Platted — 
I'ioneers Outside of Rochester — First Corporation Officers — 
Rochester Industries — Western Knitting Mills — Creamery 
and Flouring Mill — -The Schools — Rochester Union School — 
Waterworks and Fire Protection — Electric Light and Power — 
Rochester Newspapers — The Churches — Rochester Societies — 
Biological Farm, Parkdale — Ferry Seed Farm. 401 



Civilly Organized — First Settlers of the Township — First Roads 
and Railroad — Thomas — Lakes — Oxford Village Incorporated 
— Schools — Oxford Churches — Newspapers and Societies — Ox- 
ford Industries — Michigan Pressed Brick Company — C. L. 
Randall & Company. 418 



Origin of the Name — Governor Cass "Sees for Himself" — Settlers 
of 1822-1826 — Township Organized — Royal Oak Village — Cor- 
poration Record — Royal Oak Schools — Churches — Societies — 
Urban Rest and Ferndale — Roseland Park Cemetery. 428 



Orion's First Settlers and Events — A Township of Lakes — Orion 
Village Churches — .Milford Township Formed — The Ruggles 
Brothers — Pioneer Mills — The Present Village — Milford 
Churches. 440 



First Settlers of Lyon Township — New Hudson and Kensington — 
Village of South Lyon — Schools and Churches — South Lyon 
Industries — The Power Colony Founds Quakertown (Farm- 
ington) — Other Pioneers of the Township — Doctor Webb Adds 
Distinction — First Mills — Recollections of P. Dean Warner 
— Village of Farmingtox — Schools — The Churches — The Ma- 
sonic Lodge — Clarenceville and North Farmington. 449 




Lakes of Addison Township — Lakeville"s Early Promise — Town- 
ship Organization and District Schools — A^illage of Leonard 
— Brandon Township — Its Pioneer Settlers — Village of Oak- 
wood — Township Organization — \'illage of Ortonville. 461 



Sashabaw Plains, Independence Township — Water Courses — 
Settlers at Clarkston and the "Plains" — The Primitive 
ScHooLHOusES — Clarkston Up To Date — Commerce Lakes and 
Streams — First Settlers at Commerce and Walled Lake — 
Commerce of Today — Township Organization and First Post- 
offices — Wixom ANb Switzerland. 466 



Springfield Township Organized — Springfield and Anderson Set- 
tlements — Davisburg — Highland's Physical Features — First 
Settlers — Highland Postoffice and Station — Village of Clyde 
— Methodism in the Township. 471 



Physical Features of Rose Township — Rose Center, or Rose — 
Bloomfield as a Lake Township — Earliest Pioneers — ^Sale of 
Indian Reservations — First Po.stoffice — Orchard Lake Post- 
office — The Polish Seminary 476 



The Name "Novi" — The Colony of 1825-26 — Novi Corners, or Novi 
— Waterford Township and Its Lakes — Coming of the Wil- 
liams' Families — Waterford Village Founded — Schools and 
Churches — Waterford of Today — Drayton Plains — Old Clin- 
tonville. 482 



The Trowbridge Family of Troy Township — Johnson Niles and 
Troy — Big Beaver and Clawson — United Presbyterian Church 
of Troy — Oakland Township in General — Goodison's. 487 




FiELD — Groveland Township — Groveland and Austin — Almost 
A Railroad — White Lake Township — Oxbow and White Lake. 



Abbott, James. 33. 

Abernathy, Thomas, 443. 

Academies, 228. 

Academic building, Polish Seminary, 
Orcliard lake, (view*), 480. 

Adams, Isaac, 406. 

Adams, William \V., 760. 

Addison township — Mention, 194, 195, 
198, 199, 200, 206; lakes, 461; Lake- 
ville's early promise, 461 ; township 
organization and district schools, 462 ; 
village of Leonard. 463. 

Aderholdt, Henry A., 727. 

African M. E. church, 358. 

Agriculture, 7. 23. 

Aitcheson, William, 255. 

Albertson. (Mrs.) William, 2(38. 

Albright. Egbert P., 109. 

Alexander. George W.. 660. 

Alger, Charles A.. 432, 

Alger, Ira C, 393. 

Alger, Josiah, 253. 

Alger, R. A., 282. 

Algonquin?. 23. 

Algor, William. 465. 

Allen, Case J., 399. 

Allen, Charles A., 432, 433. 

Allen, Horace E., 552. 

Allen. Ira. .392. 

Allen, Jeremiah, 2S7. 

Allen, Jonathan T., ,389, 392. 

Allen, Luther D., 664. 

Allen, Moses. 29. 31. 

Allen, Orison. 29. 212. 287. 

Allen. Robert G.. 699. 

Allen. Sterling W.. 251. 

Allison. Edwin V., 676. 

Allison, Henry E., 367. 

Allopathic physicians (1837-1866), 254. 

All Saints Episcopal church, 356. 

Allyn, A. F., 460. 

Alvord. Russell. 450. 

Alvord. Thaddeus, 210. 

American Savings Bank of Pontiac, 245. 

Amy, 290. 

Anderson, James W.. 258. 817. 

Anderson, John. 287. 

Anderson. William, 852. 

Andres. John. 437. 

Andrews. Amasa, 321. 

Andrews. Harry C, 120. 

Andrews, Thaddeus, 458. 

Annice. Isaac, 425. 

.■\pplegate. David. 423. 

Apple Island (see Me-nah-sa-gor-ning). 

Apple Island. Orchard Lake (view), 22, 

Armstrong. John L.. 445. 

Armstrong. Stephen. 445. 

Arnold. Ami, 748. 

Arnold, Jerome F., 707. 

Arnold, J. JM., 435. 

Arthur, Frank, 359. 

Assembly island, 4. 

Assessments, 193, 198. 

Auburn. 6g. 

Auburn Academy, 228. 

Auburn village (Amy), 290. 

.\ustin. Darius, 392. 

Austin. Handy, 393. 

Austin, Hiram. ,^93. 

Austin, John B., 310, 619. 

Austin, Nellie, 392. 

Austin Corners, 493. 

Automobile industry of Pontiac, 327 
Oakland Alotor Car Company, 328 
General Motors Truck Company, 329 
The Flanders Plants, 329; the Carter- 
car Company, 330; Monroe Body 
Company, 331 ; the Beaudett Body 
Works, 3,?i- 

Avery. Aaron B., 833. 

Averv. Lillian (Drake). 72. 97, loi, 
261, 266. 

Avon Riflemen, 273. 

Avon township — Mention. 33, 194, 195, 
198. 199. 200. 206: James Graham, 
original settler. 401 : the Hersey-Rus- 
seli-Grahani combine. 402; memories 
of the old Hersey mill, 403; mill 
stones from boulders, 404; Stony 
Creek village. 404: Rochester platted 
(1826), 405: pioneers outside of_ Ro- 
chester. 406; first corporation officers, 
406; Rochester industries, 408; the 
Western Knitting Mills, 408; cream- 
ery and flouring mill. 409; the schools, 
409; Rochester Ihiion school, 409; 
water works and fire protection, 411; 




electric liglit and power, 412; Ro- 
chester newspapers, 412; churches. 
412; Rochester societies, 414; biolog- 
ical farm. Farkdale, 416; Ferry seed 
farm, 417. * 

Avon township hall (view,), 402. 

Axford, -Morgan, 419. 

Axford, Sanniel, 418, 419. 

Axford. William M., 420. 

Babcock. Floyd B., 746. 

Babcock, Henry S., iej4, 218. 

Bachelder, Frank S., 256. 

Backer. Peter E., 582. 

Backus, Standish, 328. 

Bacon, Levi, Jr., 312, 315. 

Bagg, M. La Mont, 120, 245, 295, 312. 

Bagley, Ainasa, 117, 118, 121, 122, 162, 
291,' 295. 3(>2, 374. 

Bagley, (Bloonifield Center). 374. 

Bagley school. 338. 

Bagnell, Gilbert. 453. 

Bailey. Roy E., 884. 

Baker, Calvin, 484. 

Baker, Charles, 766. 

Baker, Francis, 212. 

Baker, George J., .247. 

Baker. Norman L., 257. 

Baker. Wilson W., 631. 

Bald mountain, 9, 443. 

Baldwin, Augustus C, 102, 123, 133, :6i, 
180, 181. 221, 312. 

Baldwin, Benedict. 30. 

Baldwin, Edwin. 372. 

Baldwin. (Mrs.) Edwin, 268. 

Baldwin. Ezra, 2^,. 

Baldwin. J.. 2i- 

Baldwin. Martha, 259, 269, 270, 592. 

Baldwin. Nathaniel, 33, 74, 96. 

Baldwin, Sherman. 429. 

Baldwin school, 38. 

Ball, Hiram. 465. 

Ball, Horatio, 40. 

Bancker. James, 96. 

Bank of Auburn, 243. 

Bank of Oakland, 243. 

Bank of Pontiac, 242. 

Banks and Banking — Oakland county's 
first bank. 242; the "wild-cat" banks, 
243; one "safety fund" bank, 243; na- 
tional banks in the county, 243 ; the 
state banks, 244 : Pontiac Savings 
Bank. 245 ; the Oakland County Sav- 
ings Bank, 245 ; the American Sav- 
ings Bank. 24s ; First Commercial 
Bank of Pontiac, 245; First State 
Savings Bank. Birniinghain, 246; 
Farmington Exchange Bank, 246; 
Rochester Savings Bank, 246; Holly 
Savings Bank. 246: Farmer's State 
Bank of Oxford. 247: Royal Oak Sav- 
ings Bank. 246: the Orion State Bank, 
247 ; State Savings Bank of South 
Lyon, 248. 

Bar of Oakland county — Daniel LeRoy, 
126; William F. Mosley. 127; Thomas 
J. Drake, 127; Origen D. Richardson, 

128; Gideon O. Whittemore, 128; 
Robert P. Eldredge, 128; Seth A. L. 
Warner. 129; William Draper, 129; 
Randolph Manning, 129; Charles 
Draper, 130; Rufus Hosmer, 130; 
George W. Wisner, 131 ; Alfred H. 
Hanscom, 131 ; Governor Moses Wis- 
ner, 132; Hon. Augustus Carpenter 
Baldwin. 133; John S. Goodrich, 137; 
Levi B. Taft. 137; Hester L. Stevens, 
138; Michael E. Crofoot, 138; Henry 
M. Look. 138; -Mark S. Brewer, 139; 
Thomas L. Patterson. 140; Joseph Ed- 
ward Sawyer, 142 ; George W. Smith. 
145; Robert J. Lounsbury, 145; Aaron 
Perry, 148; Daniel L. Davis, 150; 
Kleber P. Rockwell, 151; Arthur R. 
Tripp. 152; Elmer R. Webster, 152; 
John H. Patterson, 153; James H. 
Lynch, 154; Andrew L. Moore, 155; 
Peter B. Bromley, 156; F. L. Covert, 

Barber, 1 heron W., 292. 
Barkham (S. W.) & Son, 409. 
Barkworth, Thomas E., 204. 
Barnes. Clayton C, 740. 
Barnes, Hiram, 444. 
Barnes, Samuel, 415. 
I^arnet, F'rank, 348. 
Barrett, F. J., S98. 
Barrett, Edith L., 270, 599. 
Barntt, Hiram, 218. 
Bartles. Herman, 432. 
Bartlett, Orson, 321. 
Barus. Henry, 284. 
Barwise. Isaac, 599. 
Bateman, James W., 124. 
Bauer, M. A., 369. 
Baum, John, 432, 433. 
Beach, Elisha, 237. 
Beach, Lewis C, 790. 
Beach. S. E., 245, 273, 295, 328, 3ZZ- 
Beaman. Samuel, 362. 
Beardslee, Aaron, 468. 
Beardslee, E. C, 212. 
Beardslee, E., 125. 
Beardslee. Henry C, 614. 
Beardslee. John W., 466. 467. 
Beardslee. Townsend, 467. 
Beardslee, T. C, 274. 
Beardsley. Clark. loi. 
Beaudelt Body Works, 331. 
Beaudett. Oliver J., 331. 
Bcckwith. Mabel T., 506. 
Becbe. Hosea D., 821. 
Beech. Michael, 33. 
Beeckman. (Mrs.) ^Lirt. 109. 
Belding. Friend. 211, 212. 
Beldin.g. Ransom R., 173. 
Helford. Henry, 392. 
Belford. Hugh. 392. 
Bel ford, Joseph. 392. 
Hell. Tliomas A.. 571. 
Bellairc. Alexander R., 577. 
Bclmore beach (Lake Whittlesey), 16. 
Bench of Oakland county — County 

courts and judges, 117; probate courts 


and judges, Ii8; circuit courts and 
judges, 120; prosecuting attorneys, 
123; tlie court of chancery, 123; cir- 
cuit court commissioners, 124. 

Bench and bar (reminiscences), 158-187. 

Benjamin, Colonel E., 830. 

Benjamin, John, 439, 830. 

Benjamin, Terrel. 194, 

Bennie, J. W., 258. 

Benson, (Mrs.) Catherine, 102. 

Benson, John H., 102. 

Bent, Samuel, 352, 354. 

Benton, John, 216. 

B. P. O. E. Lodge No. 10. Pontiac, 

Berry, Bertha, 264. 

Bettcs, Ambro, 412. 

Betzing, Peter, 3&8. 

Big Beaver, 488. 

Bigler, Jacob, 440. 

Bigler, Philip. 440. > 

Bingham, Charles A., .soi. 

Bingham, George, S19. 

Biological Farm, Parkdale. 416. 

Bird, Eli. 247. 

Bird, J. T., 257. 

Birge. Henry. 324. 

Birmingham — Mention, 200, 202; first 
settlement on site of, 373; village plats, 
374; (see also Bloomfield township, 
.38i-.-;87, and Piety Hill). 

Birmingham Baptist church, 385. 

Birmingham Lodge No. 44, A. F. & 
A. M.. 386. 

Birmingham M. E. church, .385. 

Birmingham Presbyterian church, 385. 

Birmin.gham societies, .386. 

Birmingham LInited Preisbyterian 
church, 489. 

Birney, Daniel, 413. 

Bishop, Hooper, 90. 

Bishop. Julian, 474. 

Bissell, Edward J.. 124. 

Black, John C. 258, 

Black Hawk war. 48. 

Blackwood. Joseph, 4.=;i. 

Blair, Maurice R.. 4.'?8, 814. 

Blair, Nellie, 438, 815. 

Blakcslee, Elmer E,. 125, 140. 

Blanchard, Charles E.. 34Q. 

Blanchard. John, 03. 

Blodgctt. Herbert S., 548. 

Bloomfield township — Mention, .36. 38. 
190, 19S, 199, 200, 206; physical fea- 
tures, 3/1 ; a good many dead Indians, 
372 : first land entry, 372 ; formative 
township period. 372 ; three compet- 
ing taverns. ^7;ii; mills and stores out- 
side of Birmingham, ;^7.'i, ; Bloomfield 
Center. 374; Birmingham village 
plats. 374; old times at Piety Hill, 
375; village of Birmingham, ,381; re- 
incorporated, 381; public works, .383; 
soldiers' monument. .^84; Birmingham 
churches, 375 ; secret and fraternal 
societies, 386. 

Board of county commissioners, 193. 

Board of supervisors, 193. 

Bodine, John, 383. 

Bogie, George, 569. 

Bond, Fred M., 125. 

Book, James B., 330. 

Bostwick, Lafayette, 6,50. 

Boughner, Charles B., 668. 

Boughton, Lyman, 194, 462. 

Bowman, Joseph R., 124, 295. 

Boyle, Dennis, 597. 

Brace, Chauncey, 528. 

Brace. Harry R., 433 

Bradford, Andrew, 212. 

Bradlev, F., 212, 

Bradley. Morton L., 715. 

Braid, Edward. 512. 

Brakeman. Isaiah. 341. 

Brandon township — Mention, 36, 194, 
195, 198, 199. 200, 207; its pioneer 
settlers, 463 ; of Oakwood, 
464; township organization, 464; vil- 
lage of Ortonville, 464. 

Brannack, A. L., 256. 

Brew-er. John J., 246. 

Brewer, Louise P., 261, 543. 

Brewer, Mark S., 124, 139, 541. 

Brewster. William A., 212, 312. 

Brey, Helen, 269. 

Bridges, 293. 

Bristol, William A., 820. 

Brodhead, Thornton F., 273, 282. 

Bromlev, Peter B., 125, 140, 156, 304, 
310, 641. ^ ^ 

Bromley, (Mrs.) Peter B., 261. 

Brondige, George F., 687. 

Brondige. John E., 140. 

Brondidge. John F., 309. 

Bronson, Daniel, 33, 117, 1 18, 162. 

Bronson, Henry O., 272, 429. 

Brooks, Eugene, 244. 

Brooks, Joseph, 818. 

Broughton, Herbert J., 612. 

Brown, Arza, 343. 

Brown, Avery, 419. 

Brown, Benjamin, 483. 

Brown, George A., 315. 

Brown, Hugh, 337. 

Brown, John B., 5.38. 

Brown, Alills S., 788. 

Brown, Vincent, 444, 74.^- 

Brown, Willard M.. 687. 

Brown, William, .•^86. 

Bruder, Charles, 636. 

Buchanan, Alexander, ,322. 

Buchanan, James G., 315. 

Buck. F. P.. 337- 

Buckhorn, (Rose), 477- 

Buckland. Don Carlos, 315. 

Buckland. (Mrs.) D. C„ 265. 

Buckland Memorial Chapel (view), 314. 

Bucklev, Jennie, 680. 

Buckley, Pierre, 679. 

Buhaczkowski, Witold, 481. 

Bulson. Benjamin. 94. 

Burbank, William, 33. 40S. 409- 

Burgess. Joseph, 433- 

Burns, Edward, 626. 



Burr, C. B., .^17. 
BiuT. C. U., .>55. 
Burl, J.uucs K., 747. 
Buj.(,-li. -Marsden C., 510. 
Butler, Ariluu- M., 855. 
Butler, Samuel A., 256. 
Button, Francis M., 584. 
Button. John II., 212, 460. 
Butts, Phili]) E., 415. 
Buzzard, Jacob, 558. 

Cadlf. Richard F.. 356, 357. 

Cady, Elias, 87. 

Calkins, Klcazur E.. 440, 451. 

Calkins, S., 413. 

Callow, James E., 845. 

Campbell, A. C, 432. 

Campbell. Albert \\'.. b20. 

Campbell. J. F., 892. 

Camijbell, J. L., 257. 

Campbell, J. W., 8gi. 

Campl)ell. John L., 617. 

Campbell, Josephine. 387. 

Canandaigua City (Orion 1. ^43. 

Cannon, John, 425. 

Canton Pontiac No. 3, L O. O. I'"., .36S. 

Carpenter, Ezra, 324. 

Carpenter. Ira. 247. 

Carpenter. William A.. 665. 

Carpenter (Samuel) farm. 449. 

Carr, Caleb, 89. 

Carr, W. H., 257. 

Carroll, Frank II., 245. 312, 356, 367, 

Carter. Byron J.. 330. 
Carter. Henry, 630. 
Cartercar Company, 330. 
Carver, Jerome E., 786. 
Cass, Lewis, 215, 235, 428. 
Cass lake. 2. 3. 
Cassels, Robert, 838. 
Castell, D. G.. 256, 3ro. 
Caswell, George W.. 140. 
Castle, Lemuel, ^i, 193. 
Central M. E. church, Pontiac, ,^45. 
Central school, Pontiac, "^^8. 
Challis. John. 5S7; 
Chamberlain. .Addison. 461, 462. 
Chamberlain. John, 252. 
Chamberlain. Olmslcad. 251. 292, 315. 

Chamberlain. Joshua. 80, 96. 
Chamberlin, L. E., 734. 
Champion Manufacturing Company, 330. 
Chapel, Calvin, 273, 415. 
Chapel. Charles W,. 462. 
Chapman, C. S., 244, 408. 
Chapman, E. A., 2^7. 
Chapman, Harvey S., 245, 256, 312. 
Chapman, (.Mrs.) H. .S.. 263, 264. 
Cha])man. Joseph I'.. 256, 257. 
Chapman. William C, 246, 409. 
Charter, Elmer O., 530. 
Chase. Ikda. 449. 
Chase, David. 218. 
Chase, Jonathan. 218. 
Chase. Joseph. 43T. 

Chase, J. 1!., 3,54. 

Chase's Corners. 431, 434. 

Chattuck, (Mrs.) Maud, 261, 268. 

Cheal. William, 873. 

Chipman, Cyrus A., .33, 252. 

Chipman, Henry, 122, 159. 

Chipman, H. L., 284. 

Chippewas, 24. 

Christian, E. A., 256, 317. 

Christian, (Mrs.) E. A., 261, 263, 264. 

Christian church (see Church of Christ). 

Chid)b. I.. I)., 5()f). 

Church, Judah, 35, 362. 440. 443. 

Church. R. C, 334. 

Churchill, William, 275. 

Church of Christ, O.xford, 422. 

Circuit court commissioners, 124. 

(Circuit courts, 112, 113, 114, 120. 

Circuit judges, 112, 114, 122. 

Citizens' Saving P.aid< of Holly, 246. 

Civil aff.-iirs of the county — I-"irst official 
act. 189; county seat fixed. 190; orig- 
inal two townships, 190; present 
boundaries established. 190; (Oakland 
county under the territory. 191 ; ter- 
ritorial legislative council, igi ; leg- 
islation affecting township and county, 
192; township government established, 
192; first supervisors' meeting. 193; 
county commissioners and sujicrvis- 
ors, 193; some early assessments, 193; 
circle of townships completed, 195; 
roster of county officials, 195: assess- 
ments and taxes, 198; population for 
ninety years, 200; incorporated muni- 
cipalities. 202; the county courthouses, 
202; lueseut courthouse, 209; the Oak- 
land Countv Home, 210. 

Civil war (see War of the Rebellion). 

Clack, Jonathan J., 752. 

ClarenceviUe, 460. 

Clark, .Aggie. 451. 

Clark. Elijah B.. 36, 440. 

Clark. Kremiali. 84, 96, 123. 194, 468, 

C lark. Lawrence C. 672. 
Clark. Marv J. W., 97. 
Clark, Ogden, 119, 191. 
Clark. Rollin W.. VO. 
Clark. Wilson W.. 468. 
Clarkslon. 467. 468. 
Clarkston mills, 324. 
Clarkston roller mills, 468. 
Clarkston village. 201, 202. 
Clawson, 489. 
Clavberg. G. M.. ^^7. 
Cleary. (Mrs.-) Sybil B.. 204. 
Clements. Samuel. ,345. 
("lemons, lohn. 423. 
Clifford. William A.. 278. 
Climate, it. 

Clinton C.' Bank, 243. 
("linton river, 2. 467. 478, 484. 
Clinton river improvement, 216, 236. 
Clinton River Xavigation Company, 6, 

2t6, 236. 
Clintonv'ille. 486. 


Cloonan. S. J.. 323. 

Close. Solomon, 184. 326. 

Clough, A. B., 475. 

Clyde. 473. 

Clyde M. E. church, 475. 

Coatcs, Joseph, 218. 
, Cobb, James W., 593. 

Cobb, Thomas H., 246. 

Colby, Eastman, 34. 

Cole, Henry S.. 129. 

Cole, Phillip M.. 6^5. 

Cole, W. L., 257. 

Coleman, Harry, 313, 644. 

Coleman, Ann L., 261, 263, 264, 646. 

Coleman, James, 30. 

Coleman, J. Dowd, 312. 

Coleman, Spencer, 117. 

Coleman, Zena. 413- 

Collier, Theodore A., 868. 

Collins, George C, 522. 

Collins, George \\ '., 4.«3- 

Colvin, Homer IT, 140, 309. 312. 

Colvin, N, B., 257. 

Commerce township — Mention, 195, 198, 
199, 201, 207; lakes and streams, 469; 
first settlers at Conmierce and Walled 
Lake, 469; Commerce and Walled 
Lake of today, 470; township organ- 
ization and first postofiices, 470; 
Wixom. 470. 

Commerce village, 470. 

Connnission government, 309. 

Common council, 293. 

Companv E. Third Michigan lufantrv, 

Companv A, Fifteenth Regiment, U. S. 

I-, 273- 
Comstock, E.. 352. 
Comstock. E. B., 295. 
Comstock, Solon B., 184. 
Conant, Shubael. 44. 
Cone, William. 212. 
Congdon. E. H., 425. 
Connor, Henry, 461. 
Converse, F. E.. 337- 
Cook, Egbert W., i79- 
Cook, Elijah F., 216, 218. 
Cook, Fred L.. 549. 
Cook. John D.. ,W2. 
Copeland, John T., 282. 
Copeland, Joseph T., 123. 
Copeman. Charles W., .'563. 
Corbin, Johnson A., 229, 337. 
Coroners, 197. 
Corporations, 217. 
Corvvin, George B., 87=1. 
Council No. 600, Pontiac K. C, .369. 
County clerks. 195. 
Countv courts. 11 r. 117. 
County jail (view), 20S. 
County officials, 19,=;. 
County Pioneer Society (sec Oakland 

County Pioneer Society). 
County seat, 190. 289. 
Countv .school commissioner, 229. 
Countv school system — Basis of public 

school system, 227; Central University 

and branches, 228; first academics in 
Oakland county, 228; heads of the 
county system, 22S; remains a "per- 
petual fund," 229; duties of the 
teachers of today, 229 ; standings re- 
quired, 230; district libraries, 230; 
high school scholars, 231 ; district 
schools of the county, 231 ; present 
status of schools, 2^2. 

County superintendents of schools, 228. 

County surveyors, 197. 

County treasurers, ig6. 

Court of Chancery, 123. 

Court house of 1857-8 (view), 205. 

Court houses, 183, 202. 

Court Pride of the Oak No. 24. F. of 
A., 4.38. 

Covert, brank L.. 123, 125, 140, 157. 

Cowdin. George D., 532. 

Cowdin, Roy B., 575. 

Cowles. Sylvester D., 278, 279. 

Cox, Byron L., 637. 

Craft, A. L., 415. 

Craft, (Mrs.) A. L., 261. 

Craft, Abraham L., 229, 621. 

Crawford, Alfred, 120. 

Crawford, John E., 886. 

Crawford, Julia, 448. 

Crofoot, Michael C, 181. 

Crofoot. Michael E., 120, 123, 138, 158, 
176, 181, 274. 

Crofoot school, 33S. 

Crooks, J. C. K., 381. 

Crooks, William, 273. 

Crooks, William K., 218. 

Crosby, Arza C, 471. 

Cross, Aaron H., 67S. 

Cudworth, A. B., 181, 312. 

Cudwortb, Agnes, 266. 

Cudworth, Apollos, 483. 

Cummings, C. J., 246. 

Cummings, George, 872. 

Cunnien, Patrick. 393. 

Currey, Daniel R.. 140. 

Currin, John, Jr., 827. 

Curtis, F., 254. 

Curtis, Jeremiah, 473. 

Curtis, Naham, 473. 

Curtis, Thomas, 124, 218. 

Cuthbert, James, 504. 

Cutting, Frank D., 769. 

Dahlmann, I'^rank, 878. 
Dahlmanu, Theodore, 756. 
Daines, George E., 383, 594. 
Dandison, Frederick, 84!. 
Danes, (Mrs.) John, 393. 
Daniels, Francis, 27S. 
Daniels. John. 491. 
Danielson, Daniel. 47(1. 
Darraugh, Archibald, 190. 
Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion. 95, 97. 
Darrow, Francis, 212, 292. 
Davidson, J. F., 423. 
Davis & Company, 416. 
Davis, (Mrs.) Arthin-, 261, 264. 


Davis. Cornelius, 472. 

Davis, Daniel L., 140, 150, 202. 

Davis, George, 447. 

Davis, James H., 472. 
, Davis, James S., 659. 

Davis, John C, 472. 

Davis, John H., 362. 

Davis, Joji-ph P.. 691. 

Davis, Joshua, Jr., 362. 

Davis, Martin, 364. 

Davis, Phineas, 473. 

Davis, R, W„ 295. 

Davis, Richard P'., 842. 

Davis, Rohert M., 212. 

Davis, Robert \V.. 312. 

Davis, Sarah G., 97. 

Davis. William O., 557. 

Davison. Norman, 218. 

Dawson. Charles. 312, 322. 

Dawson's mills. 322. 

Day, John C. 244. 

Dean, Adam. 451. 

Dean. Julius. 294, 295. 

Dean, Ralph B., 337. 

Dean & Hovey, 327. 

Decker, Alanson, 419. 

Decker. Jesse. 36. 44. 415, 440. 

Decker's settlement. 440. 

De Cou. C. A.. 257. 

DeCue. Jolm, 393. 

DeCuc. Samuel, 393. 

Deer lake. 5. 

DeLano, Edwin E., 555. 

Deming, Elbridge G., 35, 419. 

Deming, H. S.. 258. 

"Democratic Balance." 312. 

Dennison. .A-very, 435. 

Denton. Solomon \V.. 315. 

Derrayon, Eugene. 609. 

Detroit & Bay City Railroad, 4, 238, 

408. 420, 490. 
Detroit & Milwaukee Railway Com- 
pany. 238. 447, 472. 
Detroit & Pacific Railroad, 431. 
Detroit & Pontiac electric road, 6. 
Detroit & Pontiac Railroad, 6, 60. 216, 


Detroit & Pontiac turnpike, 235. 

Detroit & Northwestern Railway Com- 
pany, 2,39. 

Detroit & Saginaw turnpike, .390. 

Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee 
Railway, 239. 

Detroit United Railway, 239. 

Detroit United Railway car barns, 457. 

Detroit Creamery Company, 452. 

Dewey, A. L., 263. 

Dewey, (Mrs.) A. J., 109. 

Dewey, Auburn W., ';6i. 

Dewey, Dick, 310. 661. 

Dewc)', J., ,30. 

Dewey, James S., 180. 

Dewcv, Joseph S., 123. 

Dewill. A. D.. 422. 

Dick Richardson Post. G. A. R., 369. 

Dickinson. Geo. W.. 221. 367. 

Dingman, Harry IT.. 877. 

District courts, lii. 

District libraries, 230. 

District schools, 231. 

Dobat, August F., 867. 

Dobat, Daniel, 866. 

Dodge, Harvey, 194. 

Dole. .Sidney, 162, 191, 221. 

IJonation Chapel (Amy), 340. 

Doiulcro, (ienrgc A., 140, 433, 701. 

Donaldson, .Mtramont, 93. 

Donaldson, .Arza B., 102, 343. 

Donaldson, Joseph M., 649. 

Donaldson, J. N., 254. 

Donclson, Ira, 212, 341, 343, 344, 398. 

Donovan, John, 472. 

Dort, David, 405. 

Dot}-, Frank L., 140. 

Doty, Harry L., 515. 

Dow. Geo., 212. 

Dow, James, 479. 

Drahner. William. 507. 

Drake, Elijah. 80, 96. 

Drake. George H.. 255, 256, 257. 

Drake, Morgan L., 124, 167, 181. 

Drake. Thomas J.. 29, 82, loi, 123, 127, 

164, 181, 188, 216, 221, 272. 
Draper. .-Mbert. 321. 
Draper. Charles. 123, 170. 181. 
Draper. William. 129, 167, 181, 237, 

Drayton Plains. 4S6. 
Dravton Plains tish hatchery, 484. 
Drift, II. 

Dunlap, Lew-is L., 486. 
Dunlap. L. R.. 328. 
Dunlap,, Monroe G., 554. 
Dunlap, Robert. 451. 452. 
Dunlap Vehicle Companv, 328. 
Durant, W. C, 328. 
Durfee. Austin. 486. 
Durfee, Harvey. 486. 
Durkee. Lillian D., 395. 
Durr. George E., 444. 
Dutcher, William. 194. 
Dwight. .\lfred A.. 450. 

Earle. Ch;iuncey, 254. 

Earle. Lee. 247. 

Early industries. 324. 373. 374. 403, 408, 

425, 445. 452, 453. 
Earlv taverns, 373. 
Eaton, W. iNL, 315. 
Ecclcston, J. B., 328. 
Eddy, Joseph, 483. 
Educational fund, 217, 229. 
Educational history — Early 

Pontiac schools, ,333 ; 

schools, 409; Royal Oak 

Oxford schools, 423; 

schools, 458 ; Early 

township schools, 468. 
Edwards, .Xbraham, 190. 
Eighth Michigan Cavalry, 
Kighth Michigan Infantrv, 
Eilett, Tacob, 4S4. 
Eldrcdge. Charles M., 118, 365. 
Eldredge, Robert P., 128, 165. 

schools, 67; 

; Rochester 

schools, 4.34 ; 





Elevations, i8. 
Elizabeth lake. 2, 484. 
Ellenvvood, John, 21S, 479, 767. 
Ellerly, Edward, 479. 
Elliott, Harry S., 229. 
Elliott, Henry J., 322. 
Elliott, Marcus D., 284. 
Elliott. N. K., 465. 
Elliott, W. G., 254. 
Ellis, Charles D., 399. 
Elmore, John, 4S3. 
Elwell, Peleg. 415. 
Elwood. B. F., 245. 
Ely, Charles H., 807. 
Emery, John C, 253. 482. 
Emery, Josiah. 680. 
Emmendorfcr. F. A.. 328. 
Emmendorfer. J. William, 872. 
Emmons. E. R., 4. 
Eureka mills, 408. 
Eveland. (^Nlrs.) Ida. 367. 
Everett, Orion H., 822. 
Everts. Caleb, 777. 
Everts, William T.. 778. 

Fagan, Edwin. 393. 

Pagan, John, 393. 

Fagan, (Mrs.) John, 392. 

Fagan, Peter, 293- 

Fagan, Terrence. 389. 392. 

Fagan, Thomas H., 393, 775. 

Fagan, William, 392, 393. 

Fairbank's Corners, 273- 

Fairbanks. Joseph. 31. 

Farmer. Edward R.. 591. 

Farmers' & Mechanics' Bank, 243. 

Farmers' Bank of Oakland, 243. 

Farmers' State Bank of O.xford, 247. 

Farmington, ,540, 

Farmington Baptist church, 459. 

"Farmington Enterprise," 457. 

Farmington Exchange Bank, 246. 

Farmington Lodge No. 15, A. F. & A. 
M.. 460. 

Farmington ]\Iethodist church, 459. 

Farmington township — Mention, 34, 198, 
199, 201, 207; the Power colony founds 
- Quakertown (Farmington), 452 ; other 
pioneers of the township, 453 ; Dr. 
Webb adds distinction, 4^3; first mills, 
453 ; recollections of P. Dean War- 
ner, 454; village of Farmington, 457; 
Farmington schools, 45S ; the churches, 
459; the Masonic lodge, 460; Clar- 
enceville and North Farmington, 460. 

Farmington village 201, 202, 457-460 
(see Farinington township). 

Farnham, L. A.. 257. 

Farnsworth. Elon. 124. 

Fawcett. George, 449. 

Fay, Ernest H., 309. 

Feir. John M., 125. 

Felshaw, C. P., 257. 

Ferguson, Erastus. 429. 

Ferguson, Robert Y., 233- 

Ferguson. R. Y.. 257. 

Ferndale, 439. 

P'erry seed farm, 417. 

Fifteenth Michigan Infantry, 280. 

Fifth ^Iichigan Infantry ("F'ighting 
i'lfth";, 277 

Finn, Silas, 436. 

Fire of 1840, 293. 

Fire department, 294. 

First Baptist church, Pontiac. 347. 

First car into Rochester (view), 241. 

First Commercial Bank of Pontiac, 245. 

First Congregational church, Pontiac, 
.352, 353- 

First court in Oakland county, 118. 

First court houses, 289. 

First land entries, 31. 

First legal case recorded, 118. 

First ^I. E. church, Pontiac, 341. 

First Michigan Infantry, 275. 

First ^lichigan railway chartered, 237. 

First National Bank of Birmingham, 

I'irst National Bank of Holly, 244. 

First National Bank of Pontiac, 243. 

First National Bank of Rochester, 244. 

First Oakland county highway, 234. 

First official act, 189. 

First Presbyterian church. Pontiac, 349. 

First settlers and land owners — Great 
set-back to settlement, 27 ; Oakland 
county's first settlers, 29; the Mack 
colony of Pontiac, 29 ; "Uncle Ben" 
Woodworth. 30; first surveys, 30; lo- 
cations under the "two dollar" act, 31 ; 
the "ten shilling" act. 32; great event 
for the pioneer land owner, 32 ; town 
of Pontiac settled, S-'t Avon and 
White lake, 33 ; Springfield and 
Groveland, 34: Farmington and West 
Bloomfield, 34; Waterford and Inde- 
pendence, 35 ; Orion and Oxford, 35 ; 
Royal Oak and Troy, 35; Brandon, 
Southfield and Blooiufield, 36. 

First State Savings Bank of Birming- 
ham, 246. 

First State Savings Bank of Holly, 
244, 246. 

First supervisors' meeting, 193. 

First surveys, 30. 

First things and events, 389. 

Fish. Elijah S.. 375. 37(>. 377. 385. 

Fish. Fannie E., 37^. 

Fisher. Arthur W., 847. 

Fisher, Charles A., 284. 

Fisher. Matilda, 416. 

Fisher, W. J., 310. 

Fitch, Ferris S., 315. 337. 

Fitzgerald. Josiah. 451. 

Flanders ^Manufacturing Company, 329. 

Flanders. Walter E.. 329. 330. 

Fletcher. William A.. 112, 121, 122, 159. 

Flinn. Thomas, 429. 

Flint & Pere Marquette Railway, 238, 

Flint River Baptist .Association, 424. 
Florence Avenue school. 338. 
Flower. Andrew. ,366. 



of Holly village. 393; village schools, 
394; new Union school, 394; town- 
ship and village lihraries, 39s; the 
waterworks, 395; Holly newspapers, 
397; industries, 397; the churches, 
398; societies, 399. 

Holly village, 201, 202, 393-400 (see 
Holly township). 

Holly Wagon Company, 397. 

Holmes, Alexander, 31. 

Holmes, Charles E., 732. 

Holt, J. M., 475- . . 

Homeopathic physicians, 255. 

Hoodlcss. Charles. 438. 

Hooker. William W., 757. 

Hopkins. Krastus, 494. 

Hopkins. Frederick. 494. 

Hopkins, Sherman. 461. 

Horner. George A.. 346. 

Horticulture. 7. 

Horton. Christian Z., 24, 403. 

Horton, George, 74, 96. 

Ilosmer, Rufus. 130, 168, 295. 

Hotchkiss, Calvin, 272, 273, 287. 

llotchkiss, Enoch. 80, ,361. 

Hotchkiss. H.. 416. 

Hough. Benjamin. 30. 

Hough, H. H., 435- 

Hovey, Augustus W., 221. 

Hovey, H. W., 212. 

Howard. Betsey. 421. 

Howard. David S., 312. 

Howard. H. A., 324. 

Howard. H. N.. 320, 321, 352. 

Howarth. E. B.. Jr., 125, 140. 

Howlett. Edward V.. 256, 257. 

Hul)h;ird. Diodate, 429. 

Hu!)l)ard. Frank W., 426. 

Huhhle. W. H.. 280. 

lluhlile. William H., 562. 

HufY. Alexander G., 464. 

Huff. John. 478. 

Hulick. Derrick, 91. 

Hull. WilHam. 214. 

Humphreys. F. W.. 315. 

Hungerford. Samuel, 194. 

Hunt, Henry I., 190. 

Hunt, James B., 123, 172, 218. 

Hunt, James W„ 386. 

Hunt, John, 120, 122, 174. 

Hunter. Daniel, ^^73, 431. 

Hunter, Elisha. 43. 373. 

Hunter. John W.. 31. 43, 372. 373. 

Hunter. I.edru R.. 58S. 

Hurlhurt. Cass, .300. 

Hurd. Charles. 228, 335, 337. 

Huron river, 445. 478, 469, 493. 

Hymers, Elmer E., 140, 309, 472. 

Idle. 1). D., 346. 

Incorporated villages, 202. 

Independence Camp No. 3127, Royal 
Neighhors of .-Xmerica, .369. 

Independence township — Mention, 35, 
195, 198, 199, 200, 201. 207: Sasha- 
baw plains, 466; water courses, 467; 

settlers at Clarkston and on the 
plains. 467; the primitive schoolhouscs, 
4O8; Clarkston up to date, 468. 

Indian and primitive record — Orchard 
lake and the great chief, Pontiac, 19; 
the legend of Me-nah-sa-gor-ning, 21 ; 
|)rimitivt' tillage and industries, 22; 
contact with known tribes, 23 ; scars 
of battle. 24; C. Z. Horton's con- 
tributions. 24; Indian camping ground 
and cemetery, 24 ; queer customs, 25 ; 
the passing of We-se-gah, 25. 

Indian reservations, 479. 

Indians, 25, 372. 

Industrial and business Pontiac — Direct 
successor of 1820 mill, 320; the 
Howard interests, 321 ; the old Pad- 
dack mill, 322 ; Charles Dawson and 
his work. 322; Pontiac City Mills, 
322; pioneer machine shops and fur- 
niture factories, 322 ; early breweries, 
323 ; fathers of the "auto" industry, 
323; Pontiac and other mills of 1852, 
323 ; Pontiac's early business men, 
325: automobile industry of Pontiac, 
327; Oakland Motor Car Company, 
328: General Motors Truck Company, 
329; the Flanders plants, 329; the 
Cartercar Coinpany, 330; Monroe 
Body Company. 331 ; the Beaudett 
Body Works, 331 ; Slater Construc- 
tion Company, .331 ; Pontiac Brewery, 
331; Pontiac Commercial Associa- 
tion, 332. 

Industries (see early industries). 

Ingals. Daniel F., 423. 425. 

Ingersoll. E. S., 483. 

Ingersoll. Erastus. 481. 483. 

Ingersoll. George P., 712. 

Ingraham. Roswell, 341. 

Irish. Benjamin, 479. 

Irish.Washington E., 876, 

Irwin, Alexander J., 315. 

Jackson. E. W., 315. 
Jackson, Henry M., 677. 
Jackson, Thomas J., 258. 
Jackson. Washington, 447. 
Jacokcs. D. C, 342, 344. 
Jacokcs, James A., 120, 124, 245. 
Jacokes, (Mrs.) J. A., 266. 
Jacox, Linus, 467. 
Jails. 183. 

Jalowski, John, 849. 
Tamieson, William. 385. 
Jarrctt Brothers. 797. 
Jarretl. Duke. 797. 
Jarrett, James, 797. 
Jarvis. Joseph W.. 359. 
Jarvis. Minnie T.. 244. 
Jarvis. Robert. 443. 
Jenkins, h'rank E., 140. 
Jenkins. John, 322. 
Jenner, G. L., 333, 337. 
Jennings. Perrv J., 656. 
Jennings. Stephen, 460. 


Jessiip, Jesse, 451. 

Jewell. Anne E., 99. 

Jewell, Ezra W., 99, 100, 102, 109. 

Jobes, Samuel, 399. 

John P. Foster No. 2 fire engine, 298. 

Johns, Horace, 451. 

Johnson. A. J.. 309, 312. 

Johnson, Fred L., 258, 900. 

Johnson, John H., 550. 

Johnson, Lyman, 474. 

Johnson, Schuyler D., 464. 

Johnson, W. J.. 414. 

Johnston, Daniel M., 383. 

Johnston. George C, 310, 546. 

Jones, Albert D., 544. 

Jones, George, 848. 

Jones, J. C, 337. 

Jones, Samuel, 435. 

Jones, Solomon, 91. 

Jones. Thomas. 449. j 

Joslin. A. M.. 393. 

Joslin. James. .393. 

Joslin. John, 393. 

Joslyn, George B., 423. 

Jossman. Esidor, 862. 

"Journal of the Oakland Medical So- 

■ ciety," 256. 

Judd, D. M., 212. 

Judd, J. K., 310. 

Judd, Samuel A., 277. 

Judges (see bench). 

Judiciary — Territorial supreme court, 
no; old district court, in; county 
courts, ni; change in supreme court, 
n2; circuit courts and judges, 112; 
the "one-horse" court. n2 ; under the 
1850 constitution. 113; a summary, 

Justices of the peace. n5. 

Kearsley creek, 463. 

Keeling, Rclph F.. 140. 

Kedzie, Robert. 409. 

Kedzie. W. Roscoe. 353. 

Keller. Frank S., 780. 

Keller, Otto, 437. 

Kelley, Elbert J., 312. 

Kelley, E. A., 369. 

Kelsey, M. W., 43. 

Kelsey, Sullivan R., 374. 

Kemp, Henry, 867. 

KeniD, Michael, 3?. 

Kemp, William H.. 883. 

Kenaga. Joseph. 528. 

Kensar. John. 423. 

Kensington. 450. 

Kent. Franklin. 578. 

Keokuk Canning Company. 452. 

Kerr. Charles W., 882. 

Kerr, William R.. 882. 

Kidder. A. D.. 433. 

Kimball. Charles F.. 31 v 

Kimball. David L.. 284. 285. 360. 

Kinnev. Robert C. 749. 

Kinney. William A.. 899. 

King. Charles. 38S. 

King, George W., 904. 

Kinsman. George O., 140. 

Kline, T. C. V., 247. 

Knight, .-Mvin M., 536. 

Knight, Belle D., 537. 

Knight, Benjamin, 425, 

Knight, Henry C, 172. 

Knight, Z. B., 120. 

Knights of Columbus, Pontiac, 369. 

Knowles, Frank L., 432, 433. 

Kraft, F. F., 385. 

Kyle, Henry G., 828. 

Ladies' Library Association. Birming- 
ham. 385. 

Ladies' Library Association of Holly, 

Laing, .\.. 444. 

Lake. E. H., 399. 

Lake Maumee, 14, 15. 

Lake Orion, 4, 443. 

Lake Orion Assembly Resort, S- 

Lake Orion Summer Homes Company, 

Lakeville, 461, 

Lakeville lake, 5, 461. 

Lakes, i, 2, 3, 8, 12, 14. 371. 3S8. 420, 
441, 461, 467. 469, 473, 476, 478, 484. 

Lake Warren, 17. 

Lake Whittlesey, 14, 15, 16, 17. 

Lakie, William D., 771. 

Laml). Caleb. 253, 255. 

Lamb, William H., 765. 

Lambertson, J. V., 415. 

Lamond, R. D., 253. 

Lamoreaux. Fred A., 541. 

Land entries, 31. V-. 388. 402. 429. 440, 

Land titles. 215. 

Landon. Nathan. 94. 

Earned. Charles. 405. 

Larzelier, George. 462. 

Lathrop. Horace, 30. 

Laubley, Joseph. 272. 

Laurent & Emmons, 323. 

Lawson. Finley O.. 633. 

Lawson. Jacob AL. 434, 815. 

Lawyers (see bar). 

Le. Baron, Alfred F., 787. 

Le Baron, Robert, 254, 257. 

Lederley, E. J.. 435. 

Lee, George, 473. 

Lee, Martin, 491. 

Lee, William, 491. 

LeFavour. Heber. 281. 

Legal Tender mills, 322. 

Leggett, M. A., 32;^. 

Leggett, Percy S., 275. 

Leggett, Samuel M., 21. 

Lebring. Frederick. 393. 

Lehring. Henry. 393. 

Leonard. 5. 200. 202. 463. 

Leonard. John W.. 212. 

Leonard. Mason N.. .383. 

LeRoy. Clare J., 140. 


LeRoy. Daniel. ,?.!, ,u. n^. 121, 122. 
123, 126, 16.5, iijo. _'i6, 221, 237, 243, 
286, 291. 362, 406, 471. 

LcRoy. Edward H., 710. 

LeRoy, John P.. 295. 

LeRoy. .M.iria. 409. 

Lcssiter. Floyd J., 567. 

Lcssiter. Frank II., 741. 

Lctclifield. H., 248. 

Lester, William, 2g. 2S7. 

Letts, Allx-rt E.. 632. 

Levamseler, L. J., 433. 

Lewis, George, 755. 

Lewless, Alexander, 433. 

Licenses, 299. 

Lillis, Michael F., 125. 

Linahury, Joseph, 324. 

Linn. Charles M., 27S. 

Little creek, 388. 

"Little Dick." 5. 

Livermore. John S.. 218. 

Lockwood. D. M., 474. 

Lockwood, Floyd \V., 258. 

Lodge. Edward A., 257. 

Look, Henry ^L, 12^. 138. 

Look, (Mrs.) H. M., 109. 

Loomis, Delos P.. 565. 

Looniis, L. C, 283. 

Loomis, Oscar D., 556. 

Loop, Jacoh, 363. 364. 

Losee, J. W., 257. 

Loughman, F.dniund. 437. 

Lounslniry, Robert J., 140, 145, 239, 262. 
310, 312. 

Lovejoy. Charles E., 595. 

Lovejoy, Flarl A.. 14a. 

Luce, George A. C.. I2r, 169. 

Liidwig, William, 560. 

Lull, .Alba A., 245, 301. 303, 321. 

Lull. Augustus A., 518. 

Lumby, L. R.. 257. 

Luther, L., 35, 429. 

Lynch, James H.. 125. 140. 154. 202. 
3.13, 369. 

Lyon, G. I^L, 472. 

Lyon First Presbyterian church. 451. 

Lyon township — Mention, 194. 195, 198, 
199, 200. 201, 207; first settlers, 449; 
New Hudson and Kensington, 430; of South Lyon, 450; schools 
and churches, 451 ; South Lyon indus- 
tries, 452. 

Lyons, D. B.. 24S. 

Lyons, W. W.. 247. 

Mabley, Thomas, 312. 
McAlvey, John, 440. 
McArthur, .Abigail H., 93. 
McBride, James, 377. 
McCabe, James, 123. 
McCarroll. Sarah, .^^3. 
McCarroll, William, 255. 256, 257. 
McCaulev, William, 564. 
McClaren. (J. D.), Company. 4^2. 
McConnell. B. B.. 255. 
McConnell, Joseph, 275. 

McConnell, Willard ^L, 212, 218, 274, 

292, 325. 341, 342. 
McConnell school, 338. 
.\lcCook, R. W., 451. 
.McCord. Don C, 330. 
McCracken, S. B.. 61. 
McCracken, William J., 808. 
McDace. George, 356. 
McDonald. T. E.. 257. 
McDowell. Ebenezer, 436. 
.McDowell. !•". H., 432. 
Mace Dav lake, 5. 
McGaflfey, Daniel A., 648. 
McGee. Clinton, 140. 
McGec. Thomas H., 543. 
McKinney, -A.. D., 257. 
McKinney, J. W., 247. 
McKinnon, George VV.. 258. 
.McKinstry, David C, 35, 190, 429. 
McLaren, Charles M., 733. 
McLaren. James W., 703. 
McLaughlin brothers, 474. 
McOmber. Philip. 493. 
.■^IcWhorter, John J., 864. 
.Mack. .Almon. 76. 77. 272. 288. 289, 405. 
Mack. C. W., 257. 
Mack. Connant & Sibley. 287. 
Mack, John M.. 77, 406. 
Mack, Lovina, 288. 
Mack, Stephen, 29, 31, 33. 39, 75, 76, 96, 

189, 192, 216, 272. 286. 287. 320. 
Mack. S., 221, 320. 
Mackinnon, G. W.. 247. 
Macomb. Alex., igo. 
Macomber. Phillip A., 168. 
Maetrott. I-'red S., 518. 
Main street, Hollv (view), 396. 
.\lairs, William, 887. 
Maitrott, Elmer E., 865. 
Makelv, Peter, 423 
Makely. Peter D., 418. 
Malcolm, Frank J., 624. 
Malcolm. Robert W.. 503. 
Malov. Peter, 312. 
Maltbv. Sara it.. 472. 
.\Ianlv. Ora. 257. 

Manning. Randolph, 129, 166. 181, 218 
-Mansfield. Samuel. 453, 454. 
M;u'ccro, J. L., 369. 
.Marjison. William, 285. 
Marlin, Ira. 212. 
Marsh, Elisha, 393. 
Marsh. Elmer, Wi- 
Marshall. John 'l).. 334. 
Martin. Joseph W., 3a8. 
Martin. William W., 211. 
Mary D. Hive No. 393, L. O. T. N. M.. 

Mason. Stevens T., 441. 
Masonic Temple Association, 367. 
Mather. Asher F., 274. 
.Mathews. E. R., 246. 
Mathews, George B., 321. 
Mathews, John B.. 140. 
Mathews, Lucy J., 367. 
.Mathews mill. 320. 
Mathews. Solomon S., 315. 


Mathews, (Mrs.) S. S.. 267. 

-Mathews. S. S., .3(19. 

Matthews, A. B., 295, 321, 3^4. 367- 

Matthews, Charles, 140. 

Matthews. Charles S., 125. 

Matthews, Edward. 374. 

Matthews. S. S.. 245. 

Matthews. Sahiion J.. 212, 

Matthews. Sabnon S.. 870. 

Maybee. John, 671. 

Mead, Amos, 193, 445. 

Mead, Henrv, 212. 

Mead, John H., 879. 

Mead, Polly A.. 458., 

"Mechanics and Engineers," 282. 

Medical profession — Pioneer condilions, 
249; primitive state and medical prac- 
tice, 250: physicians of Oakland 
county prior to' 1837, 251 ; Dr. Will- 
iam Thompson, 251 : Dr. Ezra S. 
Parke, 252 ; Dr. Cyrus Chipnian, 252 ; 
Dr. Ebenezer Raynale, 252 ; Drs. Lamb, 
Lamond and Alger. 253; Dr. John C. 
Emery, 253 ; the old county medical 
society, 253 ; the Northeast District 
medical societies, 253 ; allopathic prac- 
titioners from 1S37 to 1866, 254; three 
earlv-time homeopaths, 255 ; present 
County Medical Society, 255 ; Pontiac 
Medical Society, 256; present prac- 
titioners, 255. 

Meigs, Margaret, 264. 

Merrell, Caleb B., 86, 96. 

Mellen-Wright Lumber Company. 434. 

Merrell. John J., 471. 

Me-nah-sa-gor-ning ( ;\pple island), 21. 

Men's rest room, lOi. 

Merrill. R. T.. 374. 

Merrill. Roswell T., .381. 

Merritt. John A., 433. 

Merz, Julius, 315. 

Mexican war. 273. 

Michigan .Air Line, 239. 

Michigan Bass Hatchery, 4S6. 

Michigan Central Railroad, 240. 

Michigan Light .\rtillery, 283. 

Michigan Manufacturing & Lumber 
Company. 397. 

Michigan .Military .Academy, 338, 479. 

Michigan Pressed Brick Company. 426. 

Michigan State Medical Society, Branch 
No. 5, 256. 

Michigan State Telephone Company, 

Miles. Johnson. 237. 

.Mil ford, 474. 

.Milford sidling Conipan\. 447. 

Milford Presbyterian church, 448. 

Milford township — Mention, 195, 198, 
199, 200, 201, 207: formed, 445; rea- 
son for names, 445 : the Ruggle Broth- 
ers, 445; pioneer mills, 445; societies, 
448 ; the present village, 447 ; churches, 

Milford village. 201. 202. 44.1448 (see 
.Mill'ord township). 

Military matters — Oakland county sol- 
diers of the War of 1812. 271 : Na- 
poleonic soldiers, 272; early military 
organizations, 272 ; the Mexican war, 
273; the War of the Rebellion, 274; 
the First Michigan Infantry, 275; the 
Second Michigan Infantry, 275; the 
Third Infantry. 277; the Fifth Infan- 
try. 277; the Seventh Infantry, 278; 
the Eighth and Ninth Infantry reg- 
iments. 27S; the Tenth Infantry, 278; 
the F'ourteenth Infantry, 279 ; the Fif- 
teenth and the Sixteenth, 280; the 
Twenty-second Infantry, 280 ; Moses 
Wisner, 281 ; Twenty-ninth Infantry, 
281 ; Thirtieth Infantry and "Mechan- 
ics and Engineers," 282; Custer's 
Michigan Cavalry Brigade, 282; the 
Eighth Cavalry, 282; Ninth and Tenth 
Cavalry regiments, 283; Michigan 
Light Artillery, 283 : One Hundred 
and Second U. S. Colored Troops, 
284; military matters of late, 284. 

Millard. Nathaniel, 119, 191. 

Mill pond nuisance. 293. 

.Miller. David. 674. 

Miller. Darwin. 708. 

.Miller, Edward J., 806. 

Miller. Henrv, 409. 

Miller, J. A.". 258. 

.Miller, John, 33. 

Miller, L. P., 465. 

Millcrd. Nathaniel. 405. 

Milligan. J. R. J., 351. 

Millinian. George M., 258. 

Mills, 403, 445. 453. 

Mills, Ada P., 803. 

Mills, (Mrs.) Fred M., 264. 

Mills, Joseph E., 207, 263. 

.Miner, Clement E., 140. 

Minnock, Daniel, 393. 

.Minnock, Michael, 393. 

Mitchell, David, 392, 393, 774. 

.Mitchell. George, 392. 

-Mitchell, George H., 244. 

Mitchell. Tames G.. 394. 

-Mitchell. L. T., 413. 

Mivels, George, 437. 

Mock, F. £.,"475.' 

Monroe. H. G., .300. 

Monroe, Hector L., 309. 

Monroe, R. F., 312. 

Monroe Body Company, 331. 

Montieth, John, 31. 

.Montgomery, John, 5S1. 

Moore, .Andrew L., 140, 155, 202, 218. 

Moore, (Mrs.) A. L.. 261, 267. 

Moore, Joseph B., 12?, 178, 180, 202 

Morrell, K. N., 425. " 

Morell. George, 121, 123. 

Morris. Benjamin B., 218. 

-Morris. Benjamin. 326. 

Morris, C. D., 257. 

.Morris. William, 162, 362, 374. 

Morrish, J. J., 451. 

.Morrison. J. S,. 258. 



Morrison, (Mrs.) L. L., 270. 

Morrison, Thomas W., 535. 

Mormons (1832), 67. 

Morse, J., 255, 256. 

Mosey, Emma, 472. 

Mosher, Abraham, 730. 

Mosher, C. W., 3()y. 

iMoseley, William F., 119, 123, 127, 191, 

216, 221. 
Moss, R. H., 257. 
Mother Hur Court, No. 17, 399- 
Mothcrsill. (Mrs.) J. W., 392- 
Mow, John C, 433. 
Mount Judali, 443. 
Mowry, Zebina M., 218. 
Mover, Douglas B., 725. 
Mullet,John, 197. 
Munson. Samuel C, 320, 324, 351. 352, 

440, 486. 
Muiiger, Charles A., 791. 
Murphy, Anne, 261, 263. 
Murphy, I£dwin M., 263, 328, 706. 
Murphy, James J., 257. 
Murphy, Mary, 707. 
Mutual Fire Prevention Bureau, 427. 
Myers, J., 33- 

Nail, James, 436. 

Napoleonic soldiers, 272. 

Narrin, William, 537. 

Nash. William I., 563. 

National banks, 243. 

Neal, John A., 140. 

Neal & Wieland. 443- 

Needham, John F., 437. 

Nelson, Albert A., 602. 

Nelson. J. C, 745- 

Nesbett, William P., 312. 

Newberry, A. F., 246. 

Newl)erry. (Mrs.) A. F.. 97. 265. 

Newberry, James, 212. 

Newberry, Seneca, 218, 219, 237, 405 

New Canadiagua (Orion), 441. 

New Hudson, 450. 

Newell, E. M.. 247. 

Newkirk, Chaunccy F., 125. 

Newman. Ezra. 30. 

Newton. F. 11.. ,?66. 

Newton, (Gilbert M., 438. 

Newton, Isaac, 5.S8. 

Newton. J. G., 365. 

Niles, Johnson, 488. 

Niles, Joseph, Jr., 237. 

Niles, Samuel, 88. 96. 

Ninth Michigan Cavalry, 283. 

Ninth Michiiran Infantry, 278. 

Nixon, Volney, 244. 

Noble. Donald F.. 140, 888. 

Norris, Caroline, .394. 

North Farmington, 460. 

North, Oscar F., 120, .^326. 

North. William ¥., 140. 275. 

Northeast District Medical & Scientific 

Association. 253. 
Norton. Gad. M. 4a). 
Norton. John D.. 245, .Soi. .103. 
Norton. John M., .s8. 

Norton, Lewis, 470. 

Norton, Samuel H., 299, 312. 

Norton sawmill, 408. 

Xorvell. Freeman, 282. 

Nott, Stephen, 840. 

Novi, A. F., 258. 

Novi Corners (Novi), 483. 

Novi ( postofilicc), 483. 

Novi township — Mention, 194, 195, 198, 

199, 200, 201, 207; the name Novi, 482; 
the colony of 1825-26, 482; Novi (Cor- 
ners, or Novi, 483. 

Nushaumer, George, 369. 

"Oakl.-ind Advertiser," 397. 

O.ikland Avenue M. E. church, Pontiac, 

O.ikland Chapter No. .s. K. A. M., ,366. 
"O.ikl.'ind Chronicle," 312. 
"Oakland Gazette," 312. 
Oakland Lodge, No. 343, A. F. & A. ^L, 

O.'ikland Motor Car Company, 328. 

"Oakland Whig," 312. 

Oakland county in state politics — Ques- 
tion of land titles, 215; Governor Cass 
brings stability, 215; champions of 
public improvements, 216; the state 
constitutions. 216; Oakland county's 
part in constitution making. 218; Doc- 
tor Raynale. delegate to 1835 conven- 
tion, 219; Lysander Woodward, dele- 
gate to 1873 convention. 220; state of- 
ficials, elected and appointed. 221 ; ter- 
ritorial council representatives, 221 ; 
speakers and clerk of the house. 221 : 
Michigan legislators from Oakland 
countv. 222: state representatives, 
222: disturbances of war issues. 225. 

Oakland county court house (view), 


Oakland county's first legal writ (fac- 
simile). 116. 

Oakland Countv Home. 210. 

O.ikl.ind Countv Medical Society. 250, 
■i:-).^- 2-,$. 

Oakland County Pioneer Society — 
l'"ounded. 99; the supervisors' "pic- 
nics." 100; better preservation of rec- 
ords, 100; society incorporated, lOl ; 
pioneer women, loi ; officers of the so- 
ciety, loi: pioneer relics in the col- 
lection of the society, 102. 

Oakland County Savings Bank, 245. 

O.ikland County Telephone Company, 

Oakland township. 190, 195. 198. 199, 

200. 201. 207. 313. 489. 
"Oakvicw." 417. 
Oakwood. 464. 
O'Connor. T. J.. 369. 
Odell. Bert A.. 689. 
Oyden. Mary. 472. 

Old Hodges house (view), 326. 

OKI I'nion school. ,335. 

Old .M;ithews mill. 320. 
Olds. Ira M.. 451. 


Oliver. Dvvisht I.. 667. 

Oliver, John, 2~i. 

Olmstead. Harley, 2,^. 

"One-horse" court, 112. 

One Hundred and Second U. S. Col- 
ored troops, 284. 

On the Shiawassee river (view), 477. 

On the shores of Pine lake (view), 478. 

On the shores of Stony lake (view), 

Orchard lake, 2. 19, 21. 

Orchard Lake (postoffice), 479. 

Orchard Lake Military Academy, 2. 

Orchards, 7. 

Orion, i. 

Orion Congregational church, 444- 

Orion M. E. church, 444. 

Orion Park Association, s. 

"Orion Review," 443. 

Orion township — INlentioq, 35, 194, I95> 
198, 199, 200, 201, 207; first settlers 
and events, 440; a township of lakes, 
441 ; Orion village, 443 ; Orion 
churches, 444 ; other stations, 445. 

Orion State Bank, 247. 

Orion village, 201. 202, 443, 444 (see 
Orion township). 

O'Riley, James A., 716. 

Orr, Eleanor J., 835, 

Orr, James VV., 834. 

Orton, Amos, 464. 

Orton, Elsworth. 257, 312. 

Ortonville vjllage, 200, 201, 202, 443, 
444, 46(4, 465. 

Osman, Mortimer F., 211. 

Osmun, Charlotte M., 97. 

Osmun, Israel, 486. 

Osmun. John, 486. 

Osmun, William H.. 310. 526. 

Ostrander, Charles J., 125. 

Otis, Amos, 457, 573- 

Owen, Asa, 36. 

Owen, George W.. 432. 

Oxford Agricultural works, 426. 

Oxford Baptist church, 424. 

Oxford carriage factory, 426. 

Oxford creamery, 427. 

Oxford Institute, 421. 

Oxford machine works, 426. 

Oxford M. E. church, 422. 

Oxford township — Mention, 35, 194, 195, 
19S, 199, 200, 201, 207; civilly organ- 
ized, 418; first settlers, 418; first roads 
and railroad, 420 ; Thomas, 420 ; lakes, 
420; Oxford village incorporated, 421 ; 
schools, 421; Oxford churches. 422; 
the Methodists, 422; the Baptists, 424; 
newspapers and societies, 425 ; Ox- 
ford industries, 421; ; Michigan Pressed 
Brick Company, 426; C. L. Randall & 
Company, 427. 

Oxford steam planing mills, 426. 

Oxford LInion school (view), 422. 

Oxford vallev mills. 426. 

Oxford village. 201, 202, 421-427 (see 
Oxford township). 

Paddack. Daniel. 123. 

Paddack. David, 123, i22. 

Paddack's mills, Z12. 

Paint creek, 441, 489. 

Palmer, (Mrs.) B. A., 265. 

Palmer, Charles H., 221. 

Palmer, R. A., 540. 

Palmer. William C. 294. 

Parke, Ezra L., 250. 253. 

Parke, Ezra S., 43, 252, 372, 385. 

Parke, Hervey, 37-55. i-^o, 287, 290, 372. 

Parke, John H., 43. 

Parker, Ezra, 83, 96. 

Parker, Henry, 392. 

Parker, John D., 392. 

Parker, Philip M., 229. 

Parker, Ralzemond A., 634. 

Parker, William, 798. 

Parker, W. H., 465. 

Parks, Calvin C, 124. 

Parks, Roliert, 452. 

Parmalee, Edward W., 720. 

Partridge, Lemuel M., 372. 

Patrick. Pierce, 294, 295. 

Patrick. William, 218. 

Patten, George. 212. 

Patterson, E. & P., 397. 

Patterson. Fred. 397. 

Patterson. James. .393. 

Patterson, James K., 123, 124. 

Patterson, lames W., 397. 

Patterson. John H.. 140. 153, 202. 

Patterson, John H., (portrait), 153. 

Patterson. John W., 835. 

Patterson, Samuel J., 140. 

Patterson. Thomas L., 102. 120, 140, 392, 

393. 513- 
Patterson, Thomas L. (portrait), 126. 
Patterson, (Mrs.) T. L., 392. 
Patterson, William F., 393, 514. 
Patterson Manufacturing Company, 397. 
Pauli. Henry. 284. 623, 
Payne. Gennette H.. 367. 
Peabody. Lymati B., 383. 
Pearce. Samuel, 275. 
Pearsall, Sherman, 334. 
Pearson. E. F. H.. 315. 
Pearsons brothers. ;s2},- 
Peck, Edward W.. loi. 
Pelton, Carl H.. 123. 140, 523. 
Pelton. Homer J., 897. 
Pepper. William H.. 793. 
Pere Marauette Railroad 240. 
Perkins. Thomas V.. 397. 
Perrin. David. 362. 
Perrin. Jonathan. ,362. 
Perry. Aaron, 11, no, 123, 140, 148, 

182. 204. 263. 
Perry. Aaron (portrait). 147. 
Perrv (Mrs.) Aaron. 261. 266, 267. 
Perrv. Gleason F.. 247. 
Perry. John. 443. 
Perrv, John G., 463. 
Perrv, Jonathan, 486. 
Peters. William C, 607. 
Pettibone creek, 445, 473. 
Pettibone, Levi, 445. 



Pettibone mills, 447. 
Petty, Jacob, 93. 
Phelps, Ik-njamin, 237. 
Phelps. Rdwiii, 102. ^ 

Phelps, Guy, 488. 
Phelps, Joel, 87. 
PhclDs, William W.. 124. 
Phelps. Zciias, 473. 
Pheney, Sylvester. 140. 
Phillios. Archibaltl. .^o. 31. 
Phillips, Theodore S., 803. 
I'hysical features — Surface and eleva- 
tions, g; surface geology, 11. 
Physicians (see medical profession). 
Pickering, F.ffie G.. 826. 
Pickering, George 11., 825. 
Pierce, A: K., 451. 
Pierce. Benjamin H.. 36, ^72. 
Pierce, Delavan J.. 802. 
Piety Hill {Pirmingham ). 340. 373. 374, 

Pilcher, E. H., 343. 

Pilcher, Lcander VV.. 337. 

Pine Knob, 46C. 

Pine lake, 2. 

Pine lake (postofifice), 471). 

Pinkerton, Thomas. 483. 

Pioneer records, 100. 

Pioneer relies, 102. 

Pioneer times — Hervev Parke comes to 
Oakland county. 37 ; Bloomfield and 
Royal Oak in 1821. 38; infant village of 
Pontiac. 39; Governor W'isner and his 
"mullet" story, 39; becomes Horatio 
Ball's assistant, 40; Joseph Wamp- 
ler's assigned territory, 40: a sur- 
veyor's hardships, 41 ; returns with his 
family, 42; birthplace of John H. 
Parke. 43; homestead at last, 44; sur- 
veys from Pontiac, 45; running lines 
under difficulties, 45; fresh trails of 
the Black Hawk war, 48; between 
Saginaw bay and Lake Huron. 50; 
surveys in the Black Hawk reserva- 
tion, Iowa. 52 ; another Iowa con- 
tract, 53 ; Captain Parke's recapitula- 
tion, 53; recollections of Benjamin 
O. Williams, 5.S ; dear old Oakland, 
the best of all, 57; a picture of mem- 
ory, 58; advent of the ])ioncer. 59; 
railroad as a fun maker, (xr. the life 
bequeathed bv the pioneer. 61 ; fifty 
years ago and now, 61 ; contrasts of 
life. 61: "Granny" McCracken, 64; 
Father and Mother McCracken. 66; 
the schools of fifty years a.go, 67 ; 
Mormon visitation of 1832: 67; Au- 
burn the youn,g pioneers. 69; social 
and industrial revolution, 70. 

Pittman. C. C, .^01. 

Plunimer, .'\da, 394. 

Poe. O. M.. 276. 

Polish Catholic Seminary. Orchard 
lake, 479. 481. 

Pontiac .\cadeniy. 228. 334. 

Pontiac. & Paint Creek Turnpike Com- 
pany. J?,Ci. 

Pontiac & Orchard Lake Railroad Com- 
pany. 239, 

I'limiac & Sylvan Lake electric road, 6. 

Pontiac armory, 284. 

"Pontiac Bill Poster," 312. 

Pontiac Board of Water Commission- 
ers, 301. 

Pontiac l)ranch Stale L'niversity. 228, 

Pontiac breweries, 323, 331. 

Pontiac Buggy Company, 328. 

Pontiac Chapter No. 228, O. E. S., 367. 

Pontiac (chief), 19, 21. 24. 

Pontiac churches — Earliest Methodist 
preachers. 340; first Methodist church 
in county. 341 ; pastors from 1826 to 
the present, .^42; Mrs. Shattuck's re- 
miniscences. 342; Central Methodist 
Episcopal church. ^4$; the First Bap- 
tist church. ,347 ; First Presb.\ terian 
church, ,149; how the first church was 
built, 351 ; first Congregational church, 
352; third Congregational church in the 
state. 353 ; new Congregational church. 
354; St. Vincent de Paul's church, 
355 ; All Saints Episcopal church, 
356; St. Trinitatis Lutheran church. 
358; the African M. E. church. 358; 
■Voung Men's Christian .Association, 
359: Red Ribbon Club of Pontiac, 

Pontiac city — Mention. 198, 200, 201, 
202. 207; population by wards, 207; 
chartered, 296; first election, 297; 
city police department born, 297; first 
city ball. 297; value of properly in 
1876, 298; John P. Foster No. 2. 
298; smallpox epidemics of 1881-82, 
299 ; newspaper sensation, 299 ; in- 
vestigating light and water systems, 
300; rcsi.gnation of Chief Engineer 
Foster, .?oo; city finances in 1886, 
301 ; Board and Water Commission- 
ers created, .301 ; the new F^ifth ward. 
.301 ; original system of waterworks. 
.?02; electric lighting and telephone 
systems. 304 ; first Gamewell Fire 
.-Marm Telegraph, 304; municipal 
government in 1894. .304: first three 
years of water service. 306; lighting 
.and telephone service again, 306; sew- system inaugurated. 307; ex- 
tension of waterworks. 307; telephone 
service np-to-date, 308; commission 
government adopted, 309 ; increased 
efficiency of fire department. 311; the 
present city hall. 311 ; mayors of Pon- 
tiac. 312: the city press, 312; Oak 
Hill Cemetery, 313; gas lighting and 
electric power. 314; postoffice and 
postmasters. 3i.i; the Pontiac State 
Hospital. 316. 
Pontiac city hall. 311. 
Pontiac Citv Hospital. 261. 262 (view). 
Pontiac Citv mills, ^22. 
Poniiac Commandery No. 2. K. T.. .366. 
Ponli,-ic Connnercial .•\ssociation. 332. 


Poiitiac Company, 75. 70, 16.?, 189, 286. 
Pontiac Council No. 3, R. & S. M., 365. 
"Pontiac Courier," 312. 
Pontiac Drop Forge Company, 329. 
Pontiac Educational Society, 335. 
Pontiac electric lighting, 304, 306. 
Pontiac English and Classical school. 


Pontiac Fire Company No. i, 294. 

Pontiac fire departmenl, 298, 390, 311. 

Pontiac Foundry Company, 330. 

Pontiac's fraternal societies — Masonry 
in Pontiac, .162; third lodge in terri- 
tory, 362; Pontiac Lodge No. 21, 364; 
Pontiac Council No. 3, R. & S. M., 
36s; Oakland Chapter No. 5, R. A. 
M., ,366; Pontiac Commandery No. 2, 
K. T., 366; Pontiac Chapter No. 228, 
O. E. S., 367; Masonic Temple As- 
sociation, 367 : Cantoji Pontiac No. 
3, I. O. O. F.. .?68; Pytliian Knights 
and Sisters, 368; Dick Richardson 
Post, G. A. R.. ,369: Knights of Col- 
umbus, 369; Royal Neighbors of 
America, 369: Order of Elks, 369; 
other lodges, 370. 

Pontiac gas works. 31.S. 

"Pontiac Herald," 312. 

Pontiac High School. 335. 3,36 (view). 

Pontiac indebtedness, 310. 

Pontiac's industries, 320. 

"Pontiac Jacksonian," 312. 

Pontiac Knitting Works, 320. 

Pontiac Land Company, 29. 

Pontiac Light Company, 314. 

Pontiac Literary Society, 334. 

Pontiac Lodge No. 21, A. F. & A. M., 

Pontiac Lodge No. 19, K. of P., ,368. 

Pontiac Medical Society, 256. 

Pontiac mills. 321. 

Pontiac Motor Cvcic Company, 329. 

Pontiac municipal government, ,504. 

Pontiac O.xford & Norlhern radroad, 
238, 239. 

Pontiac police department. 297. 

Pontiac postoffice, 315, 316 (view). 

Pontiac Power Company, 314. 

"Pontiac Press-Gazette." 8, 261. 

Pontiac public library, 264. 

Pontiac Savings Bank, 244, 245. 

Pontiac schools — Sarah McCarroll's 
sketch, sss : the old Pontiac .'Acad- 
emy, 334; first common schools, 334; 
public system organized, ,^4; the "Old 
Union," 335; high school building of 
'S71. 336; school superintendents and 
high school principals, 337 ; the new 
high school, 337 ; public system and 
list of .schools, 337; Michigan Alili- 
tary Academy, 338. 

Pontiac sewerage system, 307. 

Pontiac State Hospital, 316. 

Pontiac State Hospital, main building 
(view), 317: chapel (view), 318. 

Pontiac tclcplinne systems. 304, 306. 308. 

Pontiac township, 32, 195, 198, 199, 200, 
201, 207. 

Pontiac (village) — In 1821, 39; Colonel 
Mack's Company, 286 first Pontiac 
settlers, 287; settlers of 1822, 288; 
county seat and court house, 289; 
township organization, 289 ; the vij- 
lage of Auburn (Amy), 290; Pontiac 
village incorporated, 291 ; early trus- 
tee meetings, 291 ; real estate item, 
292 ; the mill pond nuisance, 293 ; the 
fire of 1840, 293; early bridges, 293; 
"common council,' the governing 
body, 293 ; the villa,ge fire department, 
294; gas works inaugurated, 294; 
heads of the village government, 294. 

Pontiac water works, 300, 302, 306, 307. 

Pontiac's conspiracy, 20. 

Pontiac's early business men. 325. 

Pontiac's industries, 320. 

Poppleton, O., 22, 29, 30, 102, 374. 

Population, 200. 

Porter, Daniel L., 250, 253. 

Porter, Moses, 96. 

Portion of dormitory and power house 
and "Castle," Polish seminary. Or- 
chard lake (view), 480. 

Portraits — Thomas L. Patterson, 126; 
Aaron Perry, 147; John li, Patterson, 

Post, (.Miss) v.. 209. 

Postal, George, 3,^. 406, 488. 

Potter, Lemuel, 92. 

Potter, Lydia B., 92, 196. 

Potts, Henry A., 89.S. 

Powell, Joseph C, 120. 690. 

Powell, (Mrs.) J. S., 266. 

Powell, Sybil Maria, (390. 

Powell, William H., 423. 

Power, Artliur, 452, 453. 454. 455. 

Power, D. H., 245. 

Power, Jared, 452. 

Power, John. 452, 453. 

Power, Nathan, 458. 

Power, Samuel, 454. 

Powers. Plinv. 254. 

Power's settlement ( Farniington). 4S5. 

Prall, J. R., 263, 354. 

Pratt, Caleb, 91. 

Pratt, William -\.. 221. 

Preciriitation, 10. 

Predmore, J. C, 247. 

Predmore, John H., 783. 

Pres.s — Pontiac newspapers, 312; Holly 
newspapers, 397 ; Rochester news- 
papers, 412; O.Nl'ord newspapers, 

"Press Gazette," 312. 

Price, Rov F., 709. 

Price. William. 211, 212. 

Prince, F.ri. ,385. 

Probate courts. 114, 118, 119. « 

Probate judges, 119, 191. 

Prosecuting attorneys, 123. 

Public lands. 2T5. 

Pnrd\. Robert. 449. 

I'ytlii.-ni Sisfci-s. Ponli.n-. 36S. 



Quakertovvn (Farmington), 452. 

guick, C. F., 438. 

Quick, C. P., 393. 

Quick, Charles F., 393, 432. ^ 

Quick, John, 393. 

Quick, Wilhani, 393. 

Quill, James, 465. 

Raniscv, C. E., 4S7. 

Randall, C. L., 427. 

Randall, C. L., it Company, 427. 

Randall. Leon, 427. 

Ransi'ord, Byron L., 124. 

Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, 329. 

Raynale, C. M., 257. 

Raynale, Ebenezcr, 218, 219, 252, 491. 

Raynale, George P., 258. 

Raynor, John T., 123, 168. 

Red Ribbon Club, Pontiac, 360. 

Rcdway, Joel. 450. 

Reed, William, 427. 

Reese. Joseph, 670. 

Reeves, George, 360. 

Reeves, Stephen, 120, igi, 212, 856. 

Registers of deeds. ig6. 

Reid, Wilson, 489. 

Religions history — Pontiac church. 340; 
Holly churches, 398; Rochester 
churches, 412; Oxford churches, 422; 
Royal Oak churches, 435; Orion 
churches, 444; Milford churches, 447; 
Farmington churches, 459, 

Reservoir under construction, Roches- 
ter (view). 410. 

Revolutionary graves marked, 96. 

Revolutionary soldiers and "daughters" 
— County's first settler, a Revolution- 
ary soldier. 72 ; the Graham family, 
yi ; Nathaniel Baldwin. 74 ; George 
Horton, 74; Stephen Mack, 75; Col- 
onel Mack's family, 76 ; Joseph Todd 
and party, "jy \ Ithamar Smith, 78; 
William Nathan Terry, 79; Joshua 
Chambcrlin and Enoch Hotchkiss. 
80; Elijah Drake, 80; Ezra Parker. 
83; Jeremiah Clarke. 84; Benjamin 
Grace, 85; Caleb Barker Merrell, 86; 
Eevi Green, 86; Joel Phelps, 87; 
Elias Cady, 87; Samuel Nilcs, 88; 
Silas Sprague, 88; Esbon Gregory, 89; 
Zadock Wellman, 89; Caleb Carr, 89; 
Hooper Bishop, 90 ; Derrick Hulick, 
91 ; Caleb Pratt, 91 ; Solomon Jones, 
91; Lydia Barnes Potter, 92; James 
Harrington, 93; Jacob Petty, 93; John 
Blanchard. 93; .Mtramont Donaldson. 
93; Joseph Van Netter, 93; Benj. 
Bulson. 94; Nathan Landon, 94; Gen- 
eral Richardson Chapter, D. A. R., 
95 ; the Revolutionary graves marked, 
96; tribute to General Richardson, 97; 
Membership of the Daughters, 97. 

Revvold. Henry. 409. 

Reynolds. Asa. 786. 

Rhodes. John. 494. 

Rice. Judson E., 692. 

Rice, Paul. 443. 

Rice, Zeba, 373. 
Richards. Daniel, 450. 
Richards, George R., 312. 
Richardson, George B., 641. 
Ricliardson, Hosea S., 406. 
Richardson, Israel B., 97, 274, 275, 276. 
Richardson. John P., 169. 
Richardson, Origen D., 123. 128, 164, 

221. 291, 292. 
Richardson, Peter, 479. 
Riggs, Jeremiah, 218. 
Riker, John D.. 257, 312. 
Roads (see transportation). 
Robb, S. B.. 2:;8. 
Robert. Philip R., 533. 
Roberts. H. S.. 275. 
Roberts. Ira. 33. 
Roberts. William, 34. 
Robertson, G., 212. 
Robertson, William, ,326. 
Robinson. John C, 275. 
Rochester, 200, 405-416 (see Avon 

township ). 
Rochester Baptist church, 412. 
Rochester Chapter No. 317, R. \. M., 

"Rochester Clarion," 412. 
Rochester Congregational church, 412. 
Rochester Creamery Company, 409. 
"Rochester Era." 24, 412. 
Rochester industries, 408. 
Rochester Lodge No. 68, I. O. O. F., 

Rochester Rebekah Lodge No. 390, 416. 
Rochester Savings Bank, 246. 
Rochester societies. 414. 
Rochester water works. 411. 
Rochester Woolen Mills. 408. 
Rockwell. Charles L.. },},},. 
Rockwell. Edward J., 902. 
Rockwell. Tames H., 6l,S- 
Rockwell, Kleber P., 120, 123, 140, 903. 
Rodger. James S., 451. 
Rogers. I. Sumner. 338. 
Rood. Elonzo R.. 390. 
Rose Center. 47O. 
Kosc township — Mention, 194. 195, 198, 

199. 200. 201, 207; physical features, 

Roseland Park Cemetery, 4,^9. 
Ross, K. L.. 516. 
Rossman. Fite. 418, 419. 
Rossman, John. 418, 419. 
Round 'lable Club of Pontiac, 267. 
Rouge river. 371, 478. 487. 
Royal O.ik Baptist church. 435. 
Royal Oak Catholic church. 437. 
Royal Oak Congregational church, 436. 
"Royal Oak E.xperimcnt," 432. 
Royal Oak German Evangelical church, 

Roval Oak Lodge No. 424. I. O. O. F., 

Royal Oak Masonic Temple .-Xssocia- 

tion. 4,vS. 
Roval Oak M. E. church. 435. 
Royal Oak O. E. S., 438. 


Roval Oak Savings Bank, 247. 

Roval Oak township— Mention, 35, 38, 
194. I9S> 198, I99> 200, 201, 207; 
origin of the name, 428; Governor 
Cass "sees for himself," 428; settlers 
of 1822-1826, 429; organized, 430; 
Royal Oak village, 430; business 
houses, 431: corporation record, 432; 
Royal Oak schools, 434; Royal Oak 
churches, 435 ; Royal Oak societies, 
438; Urban Rest and Ferndale, 439; 
Roseland Park cemetery, 439. 

Royal Oak societies, 438. 

Royal Oak (tree), 38, 428. 

"Royal Oak Tribune," 432. 

Royal Oak village, 201, 202, 430-438 (see 
Royal Oak township). 

Royal Order of Moose, Pontiac, 370. 

Ruggles, Elizur, 445. 

Ruggles, Isaac W.. 412. 

Ruggles, J, W.. 444. 

Ruggles, Stanley. 445. 

Rundell, Julius F., 383. 

Rundell, Leroy J., 700. 

Runyon, John, 389. 

Rush. Daniel, 452. 

Russell. William. 30, 31, 403. 

Ryan, T. J., 355 

Safford, Jaines. 2i7- 

St. Fredericks Parochial school, 356. 

St. John. W. I., 437- 

St. Trinitatis Lutheran church, 358. 

St. Vincent de Paul's church, 355. 

Salems Evangelical church, Fariuington, 

Saloon licenses, 310. 
Salyer, C. A., ^8^. 
Sanford. Miles. 344. 
Sanford, Josephine B., 97. 
Sapp, Resin, 341, 344. 
Sashabaw creek, 467. 
Sashabaw plains, 466. 
Satterlee, Samuel, 123, 216. 
Sawyer, Edward, 144. 
Sawyer, Joseph, E.. 124, 140, 142, 367. 
Sayles, Lyman A.. 258, 586. 
Scene on the Rouge river (view), 492. 
Scenes along Paint creek (views), 442. 
Schermerhorn, Rufus. 8so. 
Schluchter, J. H., 426. 
Schofield. S.. 451. 
Schulz. A. P., 257. 
Scott, John. 432. 
Second Michigan Lifantry. 275. 
Second National Bank, Pontiac, 244. 
Seed. Charles S., 412. 
Seelev, Harvey. 211, 212. 
Seeley, Jesse, 494. 
Seeley, O. C Zi7- 
Seeley, Thaddeus D.. 309, 905. 
Sellman. Thomas, 449. 
Serrell, Harry J., 789. 
Serrell, Samuel J., 780. 
Sevener. Edward. 539. 
Seventh Michigan infantry. 278. 
Seymour, John B., 464. 

Shackleton, John H.. 454. 

Shain. Charles J., 616. 

Sharpe, A, X. M., 369. 

Shattuck, Charles L, 843. 

Shattuck, Mary D., 342. 

Shattuck, Maud G., 97. 

Shaw, George N., 406. 

Shaw. Tames. 344. 

Shaw. N. T., 257. 

Shear. Bruce C, 581. 

Sheldon, T. C, 33- 

Shcpard. A. H., 246. 

Sheriffs. 196. 

Sherman, G. D., 451. 

Sherman, Maria, 421. 

Sherwood. Samuel. 3:5. 

Shiawassee river, 388. 

Shier, W. H., 275, 344. 

Shippy, John, 405. 

Shore. James, 341. 

Short. Marion. 472. 

Shovverman. George, 473. 

Sibley. Harrv, 256, 257. 

Sibley. J. L.. 3(10, 

Siblev, Solomon, ^^, 122, 159, 190, 286, 

Simmons. Charles. S23. 
Simmons. William L, 897. 
Simonson. James B., 247, 431. 
Simonson, John B., 431. 
Simpson. Thomas, 312. 
Sixtecntii Michigan Infantry, 280. 
Skidniore, Austin, 551. 
Slade. Ira. ,^83. 

Slater Construction Company, 331. 
Slocum. Fred. 397. 
Sly. Addie, 894. 
Slv. George W.. S93. 
Sly. Jane C. 893. 
Sly. Joshua, 403. 
Smith. Aaron. 290. 
Smith, Ada L., 97. 
Smith. xAinsley, 257. 
Smith, Albert B., 625. 
Smith, Asaph C, 483. 
Smith. David. 452, 453. 
Smith, Ebenezer, 290, 363. 
Smith. Edward R., 383. 
Smith. Ella L., 97. 
Smith, Fred A., 3.38, 572. 
Smith, Fred, ,393. 
Smith, George W,. 114. 123, 124, 140, 

14.S, 180, 202, 204. 
Smith, Harrison, 393. 
Smith. Howard. 393. 
Smith. T. L.. 290. 
Smith. Ira. 488. 
Smith. Ithamar. 78. 96. 
Smith. Jacob H.. 627. 
Smith. Tohn. 274. 
Smith, Joseph, 77. 
Smith, Laban, 479- 
Smith, Lvdia, 380. 
Smith, Alortimer, ^2^. 
Smith, Moses, 393- 
Smith, Nelson P.. 580. 
Smith. Oliver B., 460. 


Smith, Samuel W., 123, 140, goi. 
Siiiuli. (Airs.) Samuel \V., 261. 
SniUh, (Mrs.) S. W., -'63. 
Smith, Sylvester, 290. 
Smith, 'I'haddcus A., 312. 
Smith. Waller U.. 424. 
Smith, (Mrs.) W. R., 393- 
Smith, W. ()., S26. 
Snook, John J., 737, 
.Snow, William T., 343. 
Snowdon, Harry H., 140, 229. 
Snyder, C. W., 258. 
Snyder, Oscar J., 638. 
.Soldier's monument. Birmingham, 384. 
.Soldiers' Relief law, 274. 
.Soil, 10. 

Sopcr, .Spencer. 859. 
South Lyon, 450-452 (see Lyon town- 
South L\on I'ree Methodist church, 


"South Lvon Herald," 451. 

South Lyon M. E. church, 451. 

South Lyon village, 201, 202. 

South Lvon Preshylerian church, 45. 

Southtield Centre, 492. 

Southfield township, 3(1. 194, 195, 198, 
199, 200. 201, 207, 491. 

Southworth. Constant, 34. 

Sparhawk, Arthur G., 312. 

Spear. Archihald. 294. 

Spencer, B. C. H., 258, 508. 

Sprague, Eliphalet, 449. 

Sprague, Frederick A., .^.'i. 

Sprague, Roger, 192 193. 216, 221, 406. 

Sprague, Silas, 88, 96. 

Spring, J. P., 360. 

Spring Mills. 473. 

Springfield township — Mention 34, 194, 
195, 198, 199, 200, 201, 207; organized, 
471 ; Springfield and .Anderson settle- 
ments, a7i : Davisburg, 472. 

Spooner, E. D., 68, 212. 

Stanley. Luther, 383. 

Stannard, David. ,^2. 119. igr, 237, 

303. 471. 
.Stanton, Henry L.. ,?,^o. 
.Stanton. Lottie M., 367. 
Starke, Lena B., 531. 
Starke. Philip H.. 531. 
.Starker. C. T., 257. 
.Starker, James B., 400. 
Starkev. Albert 858. 
State lianks, 244. 
.State constitutions. 216. 
State representatives (alphabetically ar-<l). 222. 
State Sanitary Commission, 274. 
State Savings Bank of South Lvon, 248. 
State senators (alphabetically arranged), 

State I'niversitv, 228. 
.Stead, Benjamin, 190. 
Steel, Edward. 454. 
.Steel. Harman. 454. 
Steel & .Mason, 455. 
Stephens. .Xugustus C, 237. 

Stephens, Henry, 429, 435, 436. 

Stephens, J. T. M., .398. 

.Stephens, Sherman, 436. 

.Stevens, Hester L.. 123, i,?8, 170. 

Stevens, Sherman, 237. 

Stevens, William S., 243. 

Stevenson. Henrv C, 584. 

Steward. (.Mrs.) I-". S.. 2()5. 

Stewart, Clara P., 109. 

Stewart. IJavid, 272 

Sticknev, William B., 123. 

Stickney, William \\., 179, 180. 

Stiles brothers, 472. 

.Stillson. James, 443. 

Stockton, John, 283, 

Stockton, T. B. VV., 280. 

.Stockwell. Joseph S.. 120, 212, 359, 717. 

Stockwell. (Mrs.) J. S., 261, 263. 

Stockwell, Ross, 140. 

Stone, John, 423. 

Stony creek, 461. 

Stony creek village, 404. 

Storz, Louis. 809. 

Stout, Byron G., 221, 245, 265, 337. 

Stout. (Sirs.) Byron. 2(11, 265. 26C. 

Stowell. llattie M., 97. 

Strain, Charles S., 258. 

Stratton. Jonathan F., 473. 

Stuart. Charles L., 853. 

Stumpf, C. .Martin, 8g6. 

Stumpf. J.-icoli, 770. 

Subordinate Lodge No. it, K. L. G., 

Suliordinate Lodge No. 972, I. O. O. F., 
^ 399- 

Summer resort features, 5. 
-Supervisors' picnics, 100. 
Supreme court, lit, 112, 113, 114, 124. 
Survevor general's report. 27. 
Surveys, .30. 
Sutherlantl. C. J.. 257. 
Sutherland, Nina, 422. 
Sutherland, William C, 759. 
Swan, Ziba, 123, .362, 372. 
Swan, Ziba, Jr., 212. 
Swartout. F. L.. 436. 
Swartz creek, 388. 
Sweet. M. E., 353. 
Sylvan lake. 2, 3. 
Symmes. John C. 110. 

Taft, A. S., 424. 

Taft, Levi B., 123, 137, 180. 

TafTt. Pitts, 483. 

Taggelt. A. C, 474. 

Taylor, C. V., .328. 

Taylor ( C. V.) Carriage Company, 328. 

Taylor, Daniel B.. 415. 

Taylor, De Witt H., 439. 

Taylor, Edson, 559. 

Taylor, Elisha, 405. 

Taylor, l-'irmin T., 8,39. 

Taylor, George IL, 626. 

Taylor, Hudson .'\., 845. 

Tavlor. H. J., 246. 

Taylor, John R., 882. 

Taylor, Joshua, 415. 



Tayloi, Joshua B, _'i8, 

Taylor, J. S, D., ^37- 

Taylor, Lemuel, 405. 

Taylor, Thomas M., 281. 

Taxable property (1825), 192. 

Taxes, 198, 192, I93- 

Tecumseh, 271. 

Tedmaii, Mariette. 462. 

Temperature, 11. 

Ten Eyck, Harrv, 109. 

Ten Eyck, H. S., 507. „ 

Ten Eyck, Junius. 120, 123, 124, 181. 

Tenny, Jesse, 505. 

Tenny, Rufus, 505- 

"Ten shillings act," ^J. 

Tenth Michigan Cavalry, 283. 

Tenth Michigan Infantry, 278. 

Terry, Caleb, 212. 

Terry, Charles H., 890. 

Terrv, Frank B., 854. 

Terry, Henrv D., 277. ' 

Terry, Joshua, 479. 

Terry, Josiah P., 857. 

Terry, Ira K., 212. 

Terry, William N., 79. 96- 

Thatcher, Erastus, 312. 

Thayer, John. 449- 

Third ^lichigan Infantry, 277. 

Thirtieth Michigan Infantry. 282. 

Thomas, 4. 20, 464. 465 

Thomas. Calvin. 179. 

Thomas. John. 420. 492. 

Thomas. Stephen. I79- 

Thomas. William. 394- 

Thompson, Otis C, 418- 

Thompson, Robert R., 452- 

Thompson, Thaddeus. 250, 253. 

Thompson, William, 29, 33. n". nS. 
119, 162, 190, 191. 250, 251. 253, 286. 
402, 406, 450. 452. 

Thompson, William M., 295. 

Thompson, W. M.. 312- 

Thompson's Corners (South Lyon), 

Thornhill, Eva I., 57°. 
Thorpe, Toseph H., 653. 
Thorpe, 'Mabel, 97- 
Thorpe, Matilda. (153 
Thurber. David D., 312. 
Thurher, Horace C. 212, 295. 
Thnrlier, H. C, 294. 
Thurher, William, 117. 
Thurston. Frank. 607. 
Thurston, George P., 194. 463. 404- 
Thurher. William. 31- 
Tibbets. George. 453- 
Tienken, John, 637. 
TiUson, C. C, 140. 
Tillson. T. Arthur. 140. .^og. 
Tillson. Philo. 253. 
Tindall, Joseph. 423- 
Tinsman. E, II.. 328. 
Todd. Charles A.. 6ro. 
Todd. loseph. 29, 77, 96. 287. 
Todd. Mary P.. 97- 
Toledo war, 272. 
Tower. Cornelius L.. 526. 

Town, Charles H., 282. 
Townsend. Harvey, 763. 
Townships. 31, 190, 192. I95. 289. 
Tovnton, Charlotte N., 801. 
Toynton, John R., 800. 
Traphagan, Abram. 393- 
Traphagan, W., .193- 
Transportation — Mention 6, 7; First 
Oakland county highway, 234; other 
roads established, 235; improvement 
of the Clinton river, 236; first Michi- 
gan railway chartered. 23,7: Detroit 
& Pontiac Railroad Company. 237; 
finally completed to Birmingham, 238; 
Detroit & Milwaukee Railway Com- 
pany, 238; establishment of present 
systems. 238; Grand Trunk system, 
239; the Michigan Central, 240; De- 
troit United Railway, 240. 
Traver, R. M., 349- 
Treadway, Alfred, . 169, 243, 295, 315. 
Treat. Loren L., 181. 
Tripp. Arthur R., 123, 124, 140. 132- 
Trowbridge, G. M., 102. 
Trowbridge, L. G., 283. 
Trowbridge, Rowland E., 4S7. 
Trowbridge, Stephen V. R., I93. 216, 

221, 487. 
Troy Corners, 488. 

Troy United Presbyterian church, 489. 
Troy township— Mention, 35, 195. ^QS. 
199, 200, 201, 207; the Trowbridge 
family. 487; Johnson Niles and Troy. 
487; Big Beaver and Clawson. 488; 
United Presbyterian church of Troy. 
Truesdell. Z., 337. 
Trvon, Geneva, 257. 
Tryon, Myron M., 58.1- 
Tuhbs, Peter, 423. 
Tucker, W. T., 257- 
Turner, (Mrs.) C. B.. 266. 
Turner. C. B., 342. 
Turner. Josiah. 180. 
"Two dollar" act. 31. 
Twenty-ninth Michigan Infantry. 281. 
Twenty-second Michigan Infantry, 280. 
Typica'l old grist mills (views), 446- 

Uloth, M. J., 258. 

Union schools — Pontiac. 333 ; Holly, 

394: Royal Oak (view), 434 
University fund, 22S. 
Urban Rest, 439- 
Utley, Sanford M,. 453- 

Van Atta, Roy S., 525. 
■Van Biskirk, Kate C, 97- 
Van de Venter, Eugene, 273, 
Van Every, Peter, 374. 
Van Every mill. 374- 
Van Gordon. John. 889. 
Van Leuven. Fanny. 448. 
Van Ness, E. C, 359- 
Van Netter, Joseph, 93. 
Van Sickle, Joseph, 466- 
Van Sickle. J. R.. 258. 


Van Valkenburg, Jacob, i8i, 2i8. 

Vegetation, ii. 

Views — At Lake Orion, 4; Neeley's Hats 
near Rochester, 16; Apple Island, Or- 
chard lake. 22; Oakland county co'urt 
house, 203 ; court house of 1857-8, 
205; county jail. 208; first car into 
Rochester, 241 ; Pontiac City Hos- 
pital, 262 ; Buckland -Memorial Chapel, 
J14; the new Pontiac postofiice, 316; 
main building Pontiac State hospital, 
317; Chapel, Pontiac State hospital, 
318; old Hodges house, 326; old high 
school (1S71), 336; Woodward ave- 
nue, Birmingham, 382 ; high school, 
Birmingham, 382; Main street. Holly, 
396; Avon township hall, 402; Main 
street, Rochester, 407; water works 
w'ells, Rochester, 410; reservoir un- 
der construction, Rochester, 410; on 
the shores of Stony lake, 421 ; Ox- 
ford Union school, 422; Union school. 
Royal Oak, 434; scenes along Paint 
creek, 442; typical old grist mills, 
446; on the Shiawassee river, 477; on 
the shores of Pine lake. 478; front of 
Academic building, portion of dormi- 
tory and power house and "Castle," 
Polish seminary. Orchard lake, 480; 
scene on the Rouge river, 492. 

Vincent, John, 445. 

Voorheis. Carl S., 684. 

Voorheis, Isaac L., 212. 

Voorheis. Jacob N.. 193. 

Voorheis. James K.. 713. 

Vowles. Frank J., 208, 583. 

Vowles, Joseph. 447. 

Vulcan Gear Works, 330. 

Wade. D. W. C. 256. 

Waite Brothers. 628. 

Waite. Elwin L., 628. 

Waite. L. Edwin. 62S. 

Wakefield. Daniel B.. 216. 

Wakelin. Thomas, 398. 

Wakeman. C. K.. & Company. 321. 

Walch. James A.. ■?4i. 

Waldo, A. P., 398. 

V\;aldo. C. K.. 245, 

W.ildron, Henry, lOi. 

W'.'ilker. .'Vmos. 255. 

Walker. bVed I.. 414. 

Walker. Solomon. 453. 

Wallace. M. H., 355." 

Walled lake, 2, 3. ' 

Walled lake village. 470. 

Walrod. Abrani. 4fig. 

Walter. .Mark. 312. 367. 

Walters. (Mrs.) F. 'j.. 261. 268. 

Waniiiler. Joseph. 30. 31, 40 

W.indle. J. A„ 195! 

Ward. David. 3. 824. 

Ward, F.lizabetii B., 501. 

W.ard. 1 lenrv C, 497. 

Ward, Willis C, 824. 

War of the Rebellion. 274. 

War of i8r2. 271. 

Warner, Fred M., 214, 221, 457, 812. 

Warner, P. Dean, 218, 221, 454, 457, 810. 

Warner. Seth A. L.. 129, 165, 454. 

Warner's E.\change Bank, 246. 

Warren. Henry M., 95, 

Waterford mills, 324. 

Waterford township — Mention, 35, 194, 
195. 198. 199, 200, 201, 207; its lakes, 
484: coming of the Williams' families, 
484; Waterford of today, 486; Dray- 
ton plains, 486; old ClintonviJIe, 486. 

Water works wells. Rochester (view), 

Waters, Sarah W., 109, 

Water-shed, 9. 

Watson. Joseph, 31. 

Watson. Samuel G., 172. 

Wattles. John M., 179. 

W'eatherson, Charles. 472. 

Webb. .'\ If red. 301, 303, 860. 

Webb. Ezekiel, 453, 454. 

Webb, Harriet, 860. 

Webster, Aaron. 290. 362. 

Webster. Burt M.. 86g. 

WVbster. Charles P.. 140. 

Webster. Elmer R.. 140, 152. 229, 3a, 

\\'ebstcr. James, 218. 

Weed. Leonard, 362, 363, 364. 

Weeks. James A., lOi, 212, 291, 295, 

Weeks. Smith. S3- nS, 119. 191. 

Weehnan. Joel. 32. 

Weir. W. I.. 416. 

Weisbrod. S. L., 258. 

Welcome Rebekah Lodge No. 246, I, O. 
O. F.. 368- 

Wellman. Zadock. 89. 

Wells Cultivator Company, 447. 

Wendell. John A., 473, 477. 

Wendell. Matthew, 669. 

Wendorpli. J. A., 439. 

We-se-gah. 25. 

Wesson. Suel. 292, 294. 

West Bloomfield township — Mention. 34, 
194. 195. 198. 199. 200, 201. 207; lakes, 
,478; e.-irliest pioneers. 478; sale of In- 
dian reservations, 479; first postof- 
fice, 479; Orchard Lake postoffice, 479; 
the Polish seminary. 4S1. 

West Highland. 473. 

West .Side Reading Club, 267. 

Western Knitting Mills. 408. 

A\"etmore. John. 35. 36, 440. 

Wlu'.iton. V. W,. 411. 

WHieeler. Harris A.. 338. 

W'hceler. Morris, 473. 

Whipple. Charles W., 121, 123. 

White, (ieorge. 392. 

White, Jonathan R., 179. 

White. Phincas, 179. 

White. .Samuel. 212. 218. 

Whitehead. .Mmeron, 212, 244, 383. 

Whitehead. Richard. 275. 

White Lake postoffice, 494. 

White Lake tow^nship, 33, 195, 198, 199, 
200, 201, 207, 493. 


Whitesell, R. J., 367. 

Whitheld, 1 honias, 486, 

Whiting, John L., 190. 

Whitney, A. G., 190. 

Whitney, G. H., 3S5. 

W liitney, Wilson, 413. 

\\ hitteniore, Gideon O., 119, i-'3, 164, 

191, 218, 221, 243, 272, 292, 293. 
Whittemore, J., 334. 
Wicart, L. J., 355. 
Wiclcens, Krcd A., 702. 
Wieland, Frederic, 123, 140, 743. 
"Wildcat" banks, 243. 
Wiggins, George, 405. 
Wilber, CHnton W., 519. 
Wilcox, Charlotte E., 603. 
Wilcox, Edwin T., 24. 
Wilcox, Mortimer, 603. 
Wilkins, Ross, 122. 
Willctts, Elijah, 43, ^73, 374. 
Willetts, Isaac, 33. v 

Williams. Alfred, 237. 
Williams, Alphcns, 30, 35, 466. 
Williams, Ephraini, 31. 
Williams, Ferdinand, 721. 
Williams. FVederic A., 124. 
Williams, Gardner D., 194. 
Williams, George H., 48b. 
Williams, George P., 228, 333. 
Williams, Harvey, 287. 
Williams. Oliver. 28, 30, 31, 33, 35, 55, 

362, 484. 
Willits, Elijah, 117. 
Willits, William, 506. 
Willodghby, George, 781. 
Wilson, A. C., 448. 
Wilson, Albert W., 433, 683. 
Wilson. Almon C, 736. 
Wilson. Charles A., 247. 
Wilson, (Mrs.) E. H., 261, 267. 
Wilson, Jesse E., 258. 274, 406. 
Wilson, Levi, 449, 451. 
Wilson, Oscar D., 890, 
Wilson, Samnel. 419. 
Wilson, Thomas W.. 328. 
Wilson, William, 255. 
Wilson school. 33S. 
Willson. Albert, 438, 683. 
Windiate, Daniel, 324, 486. 
Windiate park, 5. 

Wing. Austin E.. 31, 33, 190, 405, 429. 
Winn, Anna, 472. 
Winter, George, 398. 
Wisner, Mrs. Ada McConnell, 97. 
Wisner, George W., 123, 131, 171. 
Wisner, Moses, 39. 132, 173, 181, 221, 

274, 281. 
Wisner, Oscar F., 123. 
Wisner school, 338. 
VVitherell. James, 120, 122. 
Wixom, 470. 

Wixom, Alijah, 470. 

Wixom, Robert, 453, 457. 

Wixom, WiUard C, 470. 

Wixson, Isaac, 216. 

Women's Christian Temperance Union, 
Pontiac, 268. 

Woleott, Chauncey D., 460. 

Wolfe, William J., 799- 

Wolverine Sand & Gravel Company, 

Women's Literary Club of Birming- 
ham, 269. 

Women's Literary , Club of Pontiac, 

Women's influence in the county — What 
women have done for Oakland 
county, 259 ; women's work in Pon- 
tiac, 261 ; the Pontiac City Hospital, 
261; Pontiac Public Library, 264; the 
Women's Literarv Club, 266; the 
Round Table Club. 267; the West 
Side Reading Circle, 267; Women's 
Christian Temperance Union, 268; 
Birmingham Public Library, 268; 
Birmingham Literary Club, 269; 
Greenwood Cemetery Association, 
Birmingham. 269; Ladies' Library 
Association, 270. 

Woodbridge, William. 122, 159, 189, 

Woodward avenue. Birnringham 

(view), 382. 
Woodhull, C. H.. 212. 
Woodman, Elias S.. 218. 
Woodward, Augustus B., m. 
Woodward, Lysander, 220. 
Woodworth, Benjamin, 30, 31. 403. 
Wooster. Benjamin, 488. 
Wormer, G. S., 282. 
Wright, David A., 493. 
Wright. Reuben. 469. 
Wyckoff, Cornelius G.. 494. 
Wyckoff. Herman A.. 315. 
Wyckoff. Thomas. 665, 

Yankey, W. H., 409. 

Yellow mill, 324. 

Yerkes, Robert C., 322. 

Yerkes, William. 212. 483. 

Yerkes. William G., 322. 

York, Samuel. 243. 

Young. Joseph. 604. 

Voung. Marcus. 394. 

Young Men's Christian Association, 

Pontiac, 359. 
Young. Mrs. Welcome, .267. 
Young. William. 390. 

Zahn. Herman H., 894. 

Zimmerman. Henry M., 140, 221, 589. 

Zion church. Pontiac. 3^7. 

History of Oakland County 



Wonderful Country of Lakes — Cass and Orchard — Remarkable 
Natural PheTstomenon — The Lake Orion Region — Summer Re- 
sort Features — Transportation Facilities — As a Farming and 
Live Stock Region — Features of the Transformation. 

The natural features of Oakland county seemed to predestine its ma- 
terial development of the past twenty years or more. Its four hundred 
and tifty lakes, many of which are thus called only by a generous stretch 
of the imagination, are thickly sprinkled over its gently rolling surface, 
while pretty islands stud these little gems of water. As there is a lake 
to each two square miles of land it is evident that these charming bodies 
of water had to be reckoned with in the future of the country. 

In the early times those who settled in the county had to live, had to 
eat and be clothed, and they therefore did what pioneers have always done ; 
they turned to the soil, and raised crops and live stock. But as the 
country developed and Ijecame known to outsiders, its attractions as a 
resort for those seeking rest and recreation, its advantages for those who 
wished permanent homes with beautiful and comfortable surroundings, 
became so apparent that there was more and more an insistent demand 
for land, especially in the vicinity of the lakes — which obviously meant 
that such demand not only became insistent but widespread. Before de- 
scribing in detail this comparatively lake transformation of Oakland 
county from an agricultural community to a country of summer and 
permanent homes, we shall turn in our tracks and note the main features 
supplied 1)\- nature in the bringing about of this change. 

Wonderful Country of Lakes 

The average number of lakes in each township of Oakland county is 
eighteen, though Troy, Royal Oak, Southfield, Farmington and Lyon 
are very deficient in comparison with other sections of the county. The 
largest of the lakes and the most generously supplied of the townships 
lie west and southwest of Pontiac. Orion, toward the northeast, is also 


the center of one of the most important development of resorts and 
homes in the county, as it is the nucleus of some of its most charming 
lakes, the largest of which is thcbody of water which gives the place its 
name. In the Pontiac group are Cass, Orchard, Elizabeth, Sylvan, and 
Pine. Walled lake to the southwest, lying in both Commerce and Novi 
townships, is also one of the larger bodies, all of which are over three 
hundred and fifty acres in extent. The largest is Cass, covering about 
twelve hundred acres, or nearly two square miles. It was named after 
Governor Cass, and lies mostly in W' Dloomfield township, with two 
of its arms extending iqto Waterford. Its extreme length from south- 
west to northeast is about two and three quarter miles and its extreme 
breadth, not measuring its arm, is a trifle over a mile. 

Altogether the lakes of Oakland county cover twenty thousand square 
acres, and the comparative importance of the townships from the stand- 
point of natural reservoirs is told in the following figures : West Bloom- 
field has a lake surface of 4,000 square acres; Waterford, of 2,600; 
Orion, 1,700; Commerce, 1,700; White Lake, 1,300; Highland, 1,200; 
Bloomfield, 1,200; Addison, 1,000; Holly, 900; Rose, 900; Independence, 
800; Brandon, 600; Springfield, 600; Novi, 650; Oxford, 500; Groveland, 
250; Oakland, 250; Milford, 160; Lyon, 160; Avon, 30, 

Cass .xnd Orch.\rd 

Continuing the description of the individual lakes : After Cass comes 
Orchard lake, in size ; perhaps exceeding it in beauty and general interest. 
It is certainly one of the finest sheets of water in southern Michigan, is 
circular in form, lies wholly in West Bloomfield township, and, includ- 
ing the islands encompassed by its water, covers about eight hundred and 
fifty acres. Orchard lake derives its name from the beautiful island of 
some thirty acres embraced by it, which the Indians called "Me-nah-sa- 
gor-ning," or the "place of the orchard." When the United States sur- 
veyors and the earliest of the permanent settlers came to this locality, 
they found c|uite a number of apple trees still in bearing, supposed to 
have been planted by French settlers, or at least to have been grown from 
seeds obtained of them at Detroit. Apple island, as it is now called, is 
almost in the geographical center of the lake. Northwest of it is the 
smaller Cedar island. 

Both Cass and Orchard lakes are now surrounded by summer cot- 
tages and homes, pleasant walks and drives meandering around their 
shores. One of the most artistically and thoroughly improved of the 
beautiful shorelands of Cass lake is known as Keego Harbor, while a 
popular feature counted among the attractions of Orchard lake is the 
Polish Seminary, founded u]Jon the old-time Orchard Lake Military 
Academy. The entire chain of little sparkling lakes from Pontiac, south- 
west to Cass and Orchard — Crystal, Sylvan, Lord and Pine — presents a 
succession of- cottages, boat landings and summer devices, as well as a 
display of comfortable, if modest, homes for residents who are justly in 
love with the sunny and gentle picturesqueness of the country. 

The majority of the lakes are drained by Clinton river, although (|uite 
a large number in the western and southwestern parts of the county are 


bound together liy the Huron, while some in the nortliwestern portions 
find an outlet through the Shiawassee river and thence into Saginaw 
bay. A few lakes in Bloomfield and West Bloomfield townships are also 
drained through the Rouge river. 

Most of the lakes in Oakland county have picturesque, irregular 
shores, with gravelly beaches, and in the early days were almost wholly 
encompassed by forests of the American larch, or tamarack. Although 
these have necessarily been thinned out by both the farmer and the home 
seeker, they remain in the condensed form of hardy and shady groves 
and some of the smaller islands are still (|nite thickly clad in pine and 

Remarkable Natural Phenomenon 

A somewhat curious natural phenomenon is noticed in several of the 
Oakland county lake§, particularly in Cass and Walled Lake, the latter 
lying mostly in Novi township, southwest of West Bloomfield. Refer- 
ence is made to the action of the ice which seems to expand from the 
center and force the sand, gravel and trees back toward the precipitous 
banks a few rods from the water. By this action immense piles of these 
materials are forced for some distance from the margin, where they are 
left high and dry after the ice has disappeared in the spring. Walled 
lake is a beautiful body of clear water covering about one square mile, 
and this action has gone on in that locality so long that in places along 
its shores a regular wall appears to have been erected by the hand of 
man. At Walled lake, also, the deposition of bowlders is of quite remark- 
able extent and compactness. 

Some years ago, David Ward, who had a farm on the shores of Cass 
lake, and other competent investigators, carefully looked into this matter. 
The consensus of opinion was this : During the most intense of the freez- 
ing weather the ice sometimes accumulates on the surface of the water 
to the thickness of two feet or more. This, under atmospheric changes, 
expands from the center toward the margin of the lake with a force, in 
the case of Walled lake, to move bowlders several tons in weight. Along 
the southeast shore of Cass lake this action is distinctly marked, a per- 
manent embankment having been formed parallel with the water. Along 
the eastern shore of Orchard lake there is a broad ridge of lake sand, un- 
^doubtedly formed by the same action, and in places overgrown by scatter- 
ing forest trees. 

A very careful examination of the phenomenon at Walled lake seems 
to substantiate the following propositions : During the geological Drift 
period a large deposit of bowlders accumulated along the western margin 
of the lake, and extended a long distance into the water, and on this was 
formed the sand bar which extends into the lake for some sixty or eighty 
rods. Near the center of the wall-like ridge the ground is some ten feet 
above the surface of the lake, and here the ridge is wanting; but trend- 
ing north and south from this high land the slope is gentle until the ridge 
lies but a few feet above the surface. The soil of this vicinity is filled 
with bowlders of various sizes, some being perhaps from one to three 
tons in weight. The expansive action of the heavy ice has operated to 
simply crowd the surface bowlders together; the movement operates 


precisely like the pushing of sand or gravel before a scraper or board, 
driven sidewise against it — it ])i4es up and forms a ridge. The bowlders 
are driven together in this way by an action continued for centuries per- 
haps, and the result is the curious wall, about which so much has been 
written and conjectured. Anyone who has even a superficial knowledge 
of geology will understand when it is stated that it is a glacial moraine 
on a small scale. 

Sylvan lake, already briefly mentioned, was formerly called Timber 
lake, and along its shores are some of the most popular resorts for Pon- 
tiac people in the county. 

The L.\ke Orion Region 

Outside of the chains stretching for miles to the west of that city none 
has a wider popularity as a rendezvous for those who enjoy good boat- 

At L.\ke Orio.n 

ing, fishing and general out-door ])lcasures than Lake Orion. Detroit 
and Flint, as well as I'ontiac and neighboring towns in the northeastern 
]xu-t of the county, send thither their contributions of resorters. T'.ellevue. 
sometimes caller Assembly island, is nearly in the center of the lake, and 
forms a beautiful spot for summer homes, with which its shores are lined. 
As the region around and in Lake (^rion was one of the first to be de- 
veloped, a somewhat detailed history of the improvements in that vicinity 
is allowable. 

As soon as the Detroit \' r>ay City Railniad, which runs along its 
shore, was completed, the region, with Lake ()rion as its center, became 
frequented by pleasure parties from Detroit and other cities. About that 
time E. R. Emmons improved a natural park on the north shore of the 


lake, which was used largely for picnic purposes. In 1874 he placed a 
small steamer, the "Little Dick," on the lake, and excursions were run to 
this park and many other islands of the lake. The same year a party of 
speculators purchased one of the finest of these islands and formed them- 
selves into what is known as the Orion Park Association. A bridge con- 
necting the island with the mainland, a large reception hall with an observ- 
atory, a wharf and boathouse for "Little Dick," and other improvements 
and attractions were inaugurated and completed, which gave the Lake 
Orion region quite a wide reputation among the really popular summer 
resorts of southern Michigan. In 181)9 the Lake Orion Assembly Resort 
was organized, which practically purchased all the lake front. The com- 
pany erected fine Iniildings, hotels and boathouses, and for ten years 
operated a Chautauqua on quite an extensive scale. In 1910 the Lake 
Orion Summer Homes Company succeeded by purchase to the assets of 
the Assembly Resort. Twenty-one islands controlled by the manage- 
ment of the resort give ample assurance of seclusion and privacy to those 
who wish to go into retreat in vacation days, rather than mingle with 
the crowds of enthusiastic pleasure seekers, and cottages are for hire on 
all these little beauty spots for those who are not attracted by hotel life. 
Many of the homes are owned by regular summer visitors, and the Lake 
Orion Summer Homes Company lias done much for the upbuilding of 
the place through its plan of building homes to suit the owner. Lake 
Orion offers many natural advantages which alone would make it a most 
pleasant summering spot, and the extensive improvements wrought 
by the company which controls the amusement project have well com- 
pleted what nature had so fairly begun. 

Northeast of the Lake Orion region in Addison township is also 
Lakeville lake, with Leonard as the nearest village in this developing 
section of summer resorts. Deer lake in Indejiendence township and 
almost in Clarkson village has lately sjirung into considerable notice, while 
Mace Day lake and Windiate park, in Waterford township, have been for 
years the resting places of numerous resorters. 

SiTMMER Resort 1'"i-:.\tuki-:s 

Most of the jjeauliful lakes of Oaklaml county are readily accessilile 
by means of cither the Detroit United Electric Railway or the Grand 
Trunk lines. The country roads are, as a rule, well built and kept in 
good repair, and, in all seasonable weather, automoliiiists are much in 
evidence. The season of the summer resorters in Oakland county com- 
mences early and lasts well into October, which makes both summer 
homes and hotels profitable. This fact ensures reasonable rents and 
steady income. While there are no mammoth hotels, such as are found 
at short-season resorts, there is an al)undance of fair-sized jiostelries and 
comfortable boarding houses. 

Reference has been made to Oakland county as a favorite of the auto- 
mobilist, on account of its good roads. He himself should i)e given full 
credit for liringing about this improvement over the old order. .\nd he 
has been given his due. as witness the following from a metropolitan 
sheet: "The advent of tiie auldmobilc has tended greatly to spread the 


knowledge of Oakland county lakes. Picforc the automobile came into 
general use few people were aUe to get about the country to see what it 
contained. With the automobile, came the tendency toward good roads. 
Although at the present time many roads of the county are still in bad 
shape, they are all being gradually improved and a number are in excel- 
lent condition. In time there will be perfect automobile roads around 
the larger lakes of the country and between Detroit and Pontiac, which 
will undoubtedly mean that Oakland's lakes will l)e even more popular 
than they are at i)resent." 

Tr.\nsport.\tion Facilties 

As stated, the transportation facilities of the county are, on the whole, 
excellent, and how they have been gradually jjrovided is well told in a 
booklet issued, more than ten years ago, by Joseph E. Sawyer, who is 
one of the foremost citizens, as he has been for years past, in the special 
development of Oakland county property which is being traced in this 
chapter: "The importance of good roads and other facilities for trans- 
porting to market the products of the soil was early appreciated by the 
settlers of Oakland county, and Clinton river was improved and rendered 
navigable from Mount Clemens to Rochester by the Clinton River Nav- 
igation Company, organized in 1827. This company carried on business 
several years, but was unable to compete with the Detroit & Pontiac 
Railroad Company chartered in 1834. This railroad was first built from 
Detroit to Royal Oak and operated by horsepower. It was continued to 
Birmingham in 1839 and steam power introduced, which was a notable 
event in the history of the state. The road was extended to Pontiac in 


"Other and better roads succeeded these ]5rimitive afifairs. so that up 
to the time when the electric roads appeared Oakland county considered 
herself very well supplied. In the last few years, however, her advant- 
ages in this respect have been very much increased. The first electric 
road in the county was the Pontiac & Sylvan Lake, which ran its cars 
about Pontiac and'as far out as Sylvan lake. This was soon followed by 
the Detroit & Pontiac, named from its terminals and affording twenty- 
minute service between them. In addition to this, the Detroit & North- 
western has for some time been running cars out Grand River avenue to 
Sand Hill ^^ and will soon be extended to Pontiac by way of Farmington, 
and Orchard Lake. The Detroit, Rochester, Romeo & Lake Orion has 
been completed to Rochester, and right-of-way has lieen obtained for three 
more — the Pontiac & Flint, the Pontiac & Orion, and the Pontiac & Alil- 
ford. It is probable that not only these but others will in a short time 
extend through the entire county, connecting its towns and rich farming 
districts with the markets at Detroit and other cities. 

"P.ut it will not be the farmers alone who will be benefited by the 
imjiroved facilities for transportation. Many city people will have 
reason to be thankful for the ease with which they may reach the lakes 
and the delightful scenery of the famous country. 

"The Indians were always admirers of the beautiful in nature, and 

* It should be remembered that this was written in 1899. The prophecies herein 
made have been more than verified. 


the lake district of Oakland was their favorite resort. The great chief, 
Pontiac, honored it by choosing it as the place of his lodge and retired 
hither after his repulse at the siege of Detroit. The prosperous city 
which bears his name, numerous thriving villages and cultivated farms 
now occupy the hunting ground of the Indian, but art has not entirely 
usurped the bower of nature." 


Thirty years ago Oakland county was, in many respects, the leading 
agricultural and horticultural section of interior Michigan. That this 
statement is not made at liaphazard is evident from the following extracts 
taken from an authoritative history of Oakland county : "Oakland county 
stands deservedly high in its agricultural productions, though its apparent 
standing as comparecl with other counties in the state is largely owing to 
its greater area, it being the largest in the lower peninsula with the ex- 
ception of Sanilac, which is comparatively a new county with a much 
larger proportion of waste land. In the production of wheat for 1873 
it ranked third. Calhoun and Washtenaw exceeding it. In the raising 
of Indian corn it stood sixth, the counties exceeding it being Calhoun. 
Hillsdale. Jackson, Lenawee and Washtenaw. In all other grains it 
ranked first, and in the production of potatoes it also stood at the head. 
In the number of tons of hay cut it ranked third, Jackson and Lenawee 
only exceeding it. In wool it was second to Washtenaw ; in cheese and 
butter second to Lenawee, and in pork ninth on the list." 

In the acreage of orchards Oakland county was second, with twelve 
thousand, nine hundred and thirty-two acres, in 1873, Berrien having 
fourteen thousand. It led in the production of apples — five hundred and 
seventeen thousand, six hundred and forty-two Inishels for the year ; also 
in cherries, eight thousand, four hundred and fifteen bushels: and was 
second only to Wayne county in melons and garden vegetables, its yearly 
record being fifty-five thousand, two hundred and three bushels. The total 
value of all its fruits and garden vegetables, $184,884, made it fifth in 
the state, in this regard, being exceeded by Berrien, Hillsdale, Lenawee, 
and Wayne. 

As to live stock at this time, Oakland county stood first in the numlier 
of horses produced and second in milch cows and sheep. 

Fe.\tures of the Transport ation 

It requires no very astute business man to understand what this de- 
velopment of farm and even waste lands into sites for summer resorts 
and homes has meant for the material advancement of the Oakland 
county property owner. It has brought hundreds of thousands of dol- 
lars into the county, advanced numerous small farmers into prosperous 
land owners, furnished employment to an army of artisans, made of the 
entire country a region of beauty thickly studded with homesteatls. and 
assured the stranger who comes to invest in new enterprises that he and 
his family shall be surrounded by the fresh influences of nature as well 
as modern comforts and advantages. The means for much of this splen- 


did flevclo]iment has come from tlie outside ; wherein has arisen the 
danger that the home [seople may eventually lose much of the real and 
ultimate ailvantage of the transformation. 

This thought is brought out in the following from the Funtiac I'rcss- 
Gacette: "There was a time when the advantages of Oakland county 
lakes were not appreciated and people did not enjoy what nature had 
offered, but in recent years they have awakened to the possibilities and 
each year sees more cottages and more iseople spending the summer 
months on the shore of some lake. The lakes are so near Detroit, and 
the metro])olis of Michigan is so conveniently connected with the larger 
lakes by electric lines that Detroit people have not been slow to sec the 
advantages, and many Detroiters now own homes at the lakes and s])cnd 
their summers there. 

"Frequently the thought has come to I'ontiac people that this city is 
making a mistake in not reserving a substantial piece of ground at one 
of the near-by lakes where a natural park and playground might be 
located. Scarcely realizing that an opportunity is slipping away, the city 
is watching private parties step in and buy all the available lake shore, 
and in time the jjublic may be entirely excluded and will be deprived of 
the enjoyment the lakes afford. Not a few of the smaller lakes of the 
county are owned by private individuals who keep them stocked with fish 
and allow no one to fish therein without permission. A few wealthj' men 
have purchased enough land around some of the lakes to form fine estates 
and have built beautiful homes to grace the shores." 



Surface and Elevations — Immense Drift and Formations Beneath 
— Soil and Climate — The Surface Geology of Oakland County. 

Oakland is one of the extreme southeastern counties of southern 
Michigan, in the third tier of counties from the Ohio boundary, and lies 
northwest of Wayne county and Detroit. As it is nine hundred square 
miles in area, it is among the largest of the counties in this section of 
the state. Physically, it forms the water-shed between the headwaters 
of the Clinton, Huron, Rouge and Shiawassee rivers, which ilrain into 
Lake St. Clair, Detroit river, Lake Erie and .^aginaw ba) . 

Surface and Elevations 

The surface of Oakland county is comparatively level, although the 
land lies far enough above the numerous lakes to make the country re- 
markably healthful. In various sections the surface is broken by great 
deposits of sand, gravel and bowlders, especially near these bodies of 
water, but the highest hills and ridges are found, as a rule, in the town- 
ships which least abound in lakes. The most considerable of these eleva- 
tions are located along the northeastern border of Pontiac township, in 
the southwestern corner of Independence near Waterford. in the western 
portions of Waterford township and in Highland townshi]). 

Bald mountain, lying partly in the northeastern portion of Pontiac 
and the southeastern part of Orion is generally considered the highest 
point of land in the county — that is, five hundred and twenty-nine feet 
above Lake Michigan — although there is some dis])ute among surveyors 
as to whether the highest elevation may not really be a little to the north 
of that locality. The most pronounced ridge is, of course the water-shed 
of the Clinton, Huron, and Shiawassee rivers, which passes through the 
county diagonally, crossing the townships of .\ddison, Oxford, Brandon, 
Independence, Springfield, White Lake, Commerce, West Bloomfield, 
Novi and Lyon ; spurs are thrown out into Pontiac, Groveland, Rose, 
Highland and Milford. There are also collections of considerable eleva- 
tions, some of thcni (|uite abrupt, in Bloomfield townshiji. 


Immense Drift and Formations Beneath 

Geologically considered, Oakland county belongs to the Drift period. 
Its water courses nowhere cut through the immense alluvial deposits of 
sand, gravel and bowlders, to the rocks beneath. No minerals are known 
to exist, except possibly in isolated sections mingled with tlie drift. 

The rock formations underlying the drift all belong to the Carboni- 
ferous system. The coal measures are supposed to underlie a fraction 
of the county northwest of Holly. Jjelow them comes tlie Palma sand- 
stone, which reaches a little further into the county; next lower, the Car- 
boniferous limestone, with a still greater area; deeper still, the Michigan 
salt group, wdiich is supposed to underlie about two-fifths of the county ; 
then the Marshall sandstone grouji, believed to underlie the entire county ; 
and lastly, the Huron group, which extends beyond Oakland county into 
adjoining districts. 

Borings in the northwest corner of the county would penetrate all of 
these formations, while in the southeast corner only the Huron group 
will be found. The center of this geological basin would be near the line 
between Gratiot and ^Midland counties, where the dip of the underlying 
strata is probably the deepest ; thence gradually rising toward the margin 
of the basin. Fossils of various forms are found in the drift of Oakland 

The following information is condensed from the last report of the 
Weather Bureau for the section known officially as Eastern Lower Mich- 
igan, being especially applicable to Oakland county: In this section there 
are two high areas of land, the northern covering most of Otsego, Craw- 
ford and Roscommon counties. In the southern portion there is another 
elevated area covering much of Jackson, Washtenaw and Hillsdale 
counties ; this elevation includes the sources of the Grand, Kalamazoo, 
St. Joseph and Raisin rivers. A part of this elevated area extends north- 
eastward into Oakland county and contains the headwaters of the Huron, 
Rouge, and Clinton rivers. A comparatively low belt of land, extend- 
ing from Saginaw bay to the lower valley of the Grand river, separates 
these elevations. The greater part of the drainage is into Lake Huron, 
Lake St. Clair or Lake Erie, although a portion finds its way to Lake 
Michigan through the Manistee, ]\Iuskegon, and Grand rivers. 

Soil and Climate 

The soil is varied in character. In the southern portion it is fertile 
and well adapted to growing grains, grasses and fruits. In its original 
state the land was covered with forests — of hard wood in the southern 
portion and chiefly pine in the northern. 

The yearly precipitation averages between thirty and thirty-five inches, 
although there are limited areas where the yearly amount averages be- 
tween twenty-five and thirty inches. It is well distril)uted throughout 
the year, but is slightly greater during the s])ring and summer than dur- 
ing other seasons. In the northern portion the winter snowfall is hcavv 
and the ground remains covered during most of the winter, the accumu- 
lated depth of snow being often from two to three feet. In the south- 


ern portion the snowfall is less and is apt to be melted by warm or rainy 
weather, so that during most years the ground is bare during part of the 
winter season 

The southern tier of townships is mostly a plain, without even ridges, 
and has only one of the four hundred and fifty lakes of the county with- 
in its borders. In several localities are found extensive tracts of level 
land, such as those around Orion and Oxford villages, the Sash-a-baw 
plain in Independence, the Drayton plains in Waterford, and the White 
Lake plains lying in the townships of Springfield, White Lake, Highland 
and Rose. 

The general surface of Oakland county is elevated from three to four 
hundred feet above the water-level of the great lakes. 

The climate is substantially that which prevails over southern Mich- 
igan — a climate whose temperature is lowered by the pronounced eleva- 
tion of its surface, as well as by its proximity to the deep, cool waters of 
Lake Huron; but it is neither as warm in summer nor as cold in winter 
as in regions adjacent to Lake Michigan. The average summer temper- 
ature for Pontiac is seventy-two degrees, and is nearly the same as that 
of southern Ohio, the districts around the lower end of Lake Michigan 
and at Ottawa (Illinois), one hundred and fifty miles south of Saginaw. 

The winter temperature of Pontiac is about twenty degrees, which 
is somewhat colder than other places in the same latitude in Michigan, 
being the same as Mackinaw in the extreme north of the lower peninsula. 
All the climatic conditions, like those of elevation and drainage, are firm 
guarantees of health and physical vigor, and form another practical rea- 
son why Oakland county is so admirably adapted to the founding of 
homes and the prolonged life and happiness of the individual. 

As to vegetation, owing to the comparatively cool temperature it is 
somewhat backward, but as the soil of the county is generally of a sandy 
loam, the heat of the summer months is rapidly absorbed and the advance 
is rapid. The autumn is usually agreeable and frosts are uncommon be- 
fore October. Both the climate and the soil of the county are particularly 
favorable for the growth of wheat, and for all small grains ; it goes with- 
out saving that most of the fruits are readily raised. But the agricultural 
interests have been mostly crowded out by the developments which have 
brought the county into the front rank of Alichigan's residential districts. 
One exception must be made to this statement. Her dairy interests are 
still large and growing, particularly in the southern plain districts, with 
Farmington as their center. 

The Surf.vce Geology of Oakl.\nd County 

By Aaron Perry. 

The most interesting as well as the most obvious feature of the sur- 
face geology of Oakland county is the great body of glacial drift over- 
lying the bed rock of the whole county. This drift is mostly unstratified, 
or only locally and discordantly stratified. It is from one hundred to 
five hundred feet or more deep, depending on the locality. It consists 
of clay, sand and gravel, mixed with rounded and water-worn jiebbles, 
and boulders of all sizes, from sand grains to si.x feet or more in diameter. 


This sketch wduIcI nui Ik- complete witliout some mention of the origin 
of this drift. 

It is now the accepted theory of geologists that this great body of 
drift has been ground up, worn and deposited in its present situation and 
condition by glaciers and moving waters; and geologists are now able to 
satisfactorily account for its origin. I cannot take space to give the 
various theories that have been advanced to account for the changes of 
climate which were necessary to produce and melt away those monstrous 
glaciers. It is sufficient here to assume as a fact that former great 
changes in the climate of North America took place, and that within a 
comparatively recent period in its geological history this county was 
covered with glacial ice such as is now found on the high table lands of 
Greenland and on the Antarctic continent at the south jiole. The exist- 
ence of vast coal beds and tropical fossils ( jietrifications ). in the Arctic 
regions is one of the evidences of such great differences in the climate 
between former and recent times. Neither was the glacial age continu- 
ous and uninterrupted, but there were interglacial colder and warmer 
periods when the glaciers advanced or melted away and retreated only 
to advance again. A great part of Oakland county is now, except as 
modified by snows, rains, streams and ponds, in substantially the same 
condition in which it was left by the last glaciers. Wherever the reader 
has seen hills or banks of clay, sand, and boulders entirely unstratified 
he can assume that they are now just as they were left by the glaciers. 
Perhaps nowhere can be seen better exhibits of recent glacial drift than 
are found in Waterford and White Lake, west of Mace Day lake. Many 
of the bowls and hollows are today without outlets and substantially as 
left by the ice sheet. Similar illustrations can be seen in many other 
places in the northerly and westerly parts of the county. Heaven Hill, 
in White Lake, the Bald Mountain ridge, the Grampian Hills of Addison, 
and, in fact, most of the hills of this county are substantially as they were 
left by the glaciers. Oakland county's four hundred lakes are due to 
the hollows and depressions left by the last glaciers. They show that, 
geologically speaking, this is a new country. In time all these hills will 
be rounded down and all the lakes filled with earth or emptied of their 
water, by the wearing dow^n of their outlets. In the water-washed south- 
easterly part of the coimty there are no lakes left ; all have been filled and 
obliterated by the action of the waves. 

To account for these glaciers it is not necessary to imagine any very 
great elevation of the lands northerly of us. Centuries of snow piled u]) 
farther north and, unmelted and accumulated until they had become 
thousands of feet thick, was sufficient to furnish all the elevation neces- 
sary to force the glaciers southward across this county. The great 
weight of such a body of snow would sufilice not only to change it into 
ice but would from pressure alone, convert it into a semilicjuid state. In 
such a c\)ndition a glacier will flow, slowly of course, down a declivity 
little above a dead level and even force itself u])iii!l over a ridge. They 
may not have moved at a velocity as great as fifty feet in a year, but 
they did their grinding, crushing work just as eflfectually, and their under- 
lying and lateral streams of water heljjed to wear, assort and rnnnd the 
pebbles, gravel and boulders brought by the ice lobe. 


Later, I will speak of the melting hack of these glaciers, hut here I 
want to help the reader to account for the irregular and discordant strat- 
ification that all have noticed so often in sand and gravel Ijanks in this 
county. It can largely he accounted for by recalling that the glaciers in 
receding, and perhaps in advancing, with their burden of ground up rock 
and debris would leave depressions, pools, hollows and dammed up val- 
leys, and that the rains, winds and waves, and the streams of water flow- 
ing in and out of such depressions would assort and stratify the sands, 
clays and gravels the same as they do now in like situations. Often the 
rinis of these hollows were worn away slowly by the gradual deepening 
and wearing down of their outlets, or quickly by floods or other causes ; 
and then the stratification would begin anew under dift'erent circum- 
stances and in a dift'erent situation. Is there any wonder then that in 
a small gravel pit the stratification may be so discordant, tipped and 
varied that we are puzzled to account for it in detail ? 

The soil of Oakland county has been transported very largely from 
the northeast. This is established both by the detached fossils and 
minerals, as well as the fossiliferous boulders we find scattered over the 
county. Pieces of iron ore, copper and other minerals, as well as corals, 
brachiopods and other fossils, are often found. The corals are some- 
times called by the finders petrified "wasp nests" or "honeycomb," and 
are very common in our drift. All the above are still found northerly 
of us in Canada, in places in solid bed rock. 

These glaciers swept over all Michigan and to, and in some places 
beyond, the Ohio river. The last great ones that crossed this county 
ended in northern Ohio and Indiana, and left there and in southern Mich- 
igan a great terminal moraine of earth, rock and debris, whicli accounts 
for the hilly country of Hillsdale county in Michigan, and in some of 
the counties in northern Indiana and Ohio. 

(^llacier streams or lobes, like other streams, generally follow depres- 
sions and valleys, although ultimately they may leave a hill where a valley 
existed before. Geologists are now agreed that a number of great glacial 
sheets swept down from the north, covering the northern states east of 
Minnesota and north of the Ohio river. These glacial sheets succeeded 
each other at different periods far apart. To distinguish them geologists 
have differentiated and named those known, as the Kansas, Iowa, Illinois 
and Wisconsin Glacial Sheets, and have determined that they came in the 
order in which they are above mentioned. The Wisconsin, the last of 
those great glacial sheets, passed over Michigan, including this county. 
This great ice sheet included numerous subordinate glacial lobes, two of 
which concern this county and largely shaped its present surface condi- 
tions. Both came from the northeast and in all probability originated in 
the vicinity of Hudson's Bay, in Canada. They traveled over this county 
in a southwesterly direction. 

One of them, known as the Saginaw ice lobe, or glacier, came down 
Saginaw bay and swept south across our state. Its left bank or moraine, 
as the geologists call it, passed down the "Thumb" and across Huron, 
Sanilac, Tuscola, Lapeer, Genesee and Oakland counties, and farther 
south to and beyond Hillsdale and western Lenawee. The right or west- 
ern moraine of the other, the Maumee ice lobe or glacier, which termin- 


atcd ill the Maunicc valley in Jiuliaiia, passed across the southerly part 
of Oakland county and thence southwesterly into Ohio and Indiana and, 
in its course commingling in tliis county with the eastern moraine of the 
Saginaw glacier, greatly complicated the surface geology of this locality. 

The numerous lakes of Oakland county are only a fraction of the 
number that must have existed at the time of the final melting away and 
retreating of the last glaciers. Some of these extinct lakes must have 
been (|uite large, for otherwise it is hard to account for the existence of 
such broad, sandy, gravelly plains as Sashabaw Plains and those found 
in the township of Commerce, and in Orion and other parts of the county. 
Those level, sandy, gravelly stretches of land, so common here, clearly 
show that they have been leveled and the soil assorted and laid down in 
shallow wave-washed lakes and ponds. 

But a still greater force leveled and planed down the southeasterly 
part of this county, including the townships of Troy and Royal Oak and 
parts of Farmington, Southfield and Bloomfield. That force was the 
great glacial lakes known as Lake Maumee, Lake Whittlesey and Lake 
Warren. Those lakes all disappeared many thousands of years ago. 
Probably no human eye ever saw any of them, but to distinguish them, 
after generally conceding the evidence of their former existence to be 
conclusive, geologists have given them the above names. 

As the ^laumee glacier began to melt back from its southerly end in 
the Alaumee valley the lands southwest of the terminus, in Indiana, being 
higher than the land under the glacier, a lake was formed at the foot of 
the retreating glacier, which is known as Lake Maumee, the outlet of 
which was at first at Fort Wayne, Indiana, and the drainage from the 
lake passed thence into the Wabash and Ohio rivers. When the glacier 
had melted back as far north as Imlay City, in Lapeer county, another 
outlet was formed at that jilace through which the waters of Lake Alaumee 
passed across, near North branch, into the Cass river,, thence across Gen- 
esee, Shiawassee and Clinton counties into the Grand river, and thence 
by way of the present site of Chicago to the ^lississippi river. Lake 
Maumee is supposed to have kept both outlets for a time and until the 
Imlay outlet had lowered so as to carry off all its flood waters, when the 
outlet at Fort Wayne ceased. The glaciers continued to melt back far- 
ther until a still lower outlet w^as formed across the "Thumb" in Huron 
county at Ubly, to Cass river, known as the Ubly Outlet ; and as this out- 
let deepened the lake quickly lowered and shrank on its southerly and 
westerly sides and continued to extend northerly with the retreating 
glacier. Lake Maumee, after the close of the Fort Wayne and Imlay 
outlets and while its outlet was across the "Thumb" at Ubly, has been 
given the name of Lake Whittlesey. 

The glaciers continued to retreat farther north until finally a still 
lower outlet for Lake Whittlesey was formed around the end of the 
"Thumb" or across the north part of it and by way of the Saginaw valley 
and along ]\Iaple river, in Shiawassee and Clinton counties, to the Grand 
river at Pewamo, a short distance east of Ionia. That last stage of Lake 
Maumee, the one when its outlet was at the last mentioned place, has 
been given the name. Lake Warren. This lake continued to exist until 


the glaciers had melted back far enough to allow an outlet down the St. 
Lawrence valley, when the lake retreated from Michigan. 

Lake Maumee washed the easterly side of the high lands in Oakland 
county caused by the westerly moraine of the Maumee ice lobe, or 
glacier, and left its raised beaches as a record of its shore line through 
this county. The leveling and planing down of the parts of Oakland 
county easterly of that shore line and the assorting of the surface soil 
in those parts into sands, gravels and clays was all done by the great 
glacial Lake Maumee during the various stages of its height above ex- 

The surface of Detroit river at the foot of Woodward avenue is five 
hundred and seventy-five feet above the ocean. Lake ]\Iaumee when its 
outlet was at Fort \Vayne only, was two hundred and eighteen feet higher 
than Detroit river at the foot of Woodward avenue. And when it had 
two outlets at the same time, one at Fort Wayne and one at Imlay City, 
it had fallen ten feet. When its outlet was at Ubly, and it was known 
as Lake Whittlesey, it had fallen forty feet more. And when it had be- 
come Lake Warren and had its outlet across or across the northerly part 
of the "Thumb" it had fallen eighty-five feet more, and was then only 
eighty-three feet higher than Detroit river at the above mentioned place. 
The above figures as to the height of these shore lines are taken from 
the report of W. H. Sherzer on the geology of Monroe county, published 
in \'olume \'II of the Geological Survey of Michigan, page 143, and it 
will appear later in this sketch that the first shore line of Lake Maumee 
in some parts of C)akland county has materially risen since it was origin- 
ally formed. 

Leverett, in Monograph 41 of the L'nited States Geological Survey, 
page 721, described the shores of Lake Maumee where they pass across 
this county in the following language : "The beach enters Oakland 
county near the southwest corner of Farmington township and takes a 
somewhat direct course across that township, passing through the north- 
western part of Farmington village and leaving the township in the north- 
eastern part of Section 12. It usually forms a definite gravel ridge three 
to six feet high, and thirty to fifty yards or more in width. It lies along 
the inner border of a sharply morainic tract. To the east of it there is 
a rapid descent to the Belmore Beach but the surface is remarkably 
smooth." The Belmore Beach is the highest shore line of Lake Whitt- 

Leverett continues: "Immediately northeast of the point where the 
beach leaves Farmington township there was a bay-like extension up to 
and beyond the village of Franklin, and in this the beach is not clearly 
defined. East of Franklin the shore follows the inner border of the 
moraine, and is usually in the form of a cut bank, as far east as the 
meridian of Birmingham. The second beach ( the one when the lake had 
the two outlets), runs parallel with it, scarcely one-half mile distant and 
presents usually a gravel ridge. 

"Near Birmingham there is considerable complexity caused by a till 
ridge and moraine hills which appear along the borders of East Rouge 
river. The till ridge at Birmingham is barely high enough to catch the 
second beach on its crest. Northeastward along the till ridge, however. 



it soon rises to the level of the upper beach. The lowering of the lake 
to the level of liie second iieacii seems to have followed closely the with- 
drawal of the ice from this till ridge and the opening of the imlay out- 
let. Indeed, it is jirohahlc that the opening of tins (jutlet is the main 
cause for the lowering of the lake. 

"The second beach from IJirminghani northward to the Imlay out- 
let is usually a gravelly ridge. It is exceptionally strong at Romeo and 
in the vicinity of Almont. It lies along the inner face of the till ridge, 
just noted, from near liirmingham to Romeo." 

A peculiar feature of this upper .Maumee beach is the fact that as it 
extends north it rises. At Uirmingham. Leverett says, it is nineteen feet 
higher than at Ypsilanti, and that it is eleven feet higher at Rochester 
than at liirmingham. That may be due to the gradual tilting of the sur- 

\'ji:v\' n\ Xkij.s'.s 1'"i..\ts .Xi-.aiv Rociiicsteu 

face of this state. The \ery eminent United States Uieologist, ("lilbert. 
claims to have determined that the north part of the state is now very 
slowly rising and the southern part as slowly settling. 

Leverett says that at P)irniingham the second Maumee beach is 
twenty-nine feet lower than the up|)er one. lie also traces the shore of 
Lake Whittlesey (the Lelmore lieach), through this county as follows: 
"From two miles northeast of Romeo it swings southward and leads 
through Washington townslii]i to Clinton river, just below Rochester. 
The village of Rochester stands ui)on a delta wliich was formed in con- 
nection with this beach. The beach continues in a course west of south 
for about twelve miles from Rochester. ]5assing one and one-half miles 
.southeast of Birmingham, Tt there curves abruptly westward, forming 
an interesting series of hooks, in its curving jiortion, and crosses to the 
west side of East Rouge river, about two miles southwest of Binning- 


liam. From this point its course is soutlnvestward through Farmington 
to Pl3aTiouth where it crosses West Rouge river." 

While I have not personally traced this beach I think the chances are 
very great that the well marked low, gravelly ridge crossing the south 
end of the Beekman farm south of Birmingham is the Belmore Beach. 
At Rochester one can easily imagine the Paint creek and Clinton river 
emptying into Lake Whittlesey at substantially the same place and to- 
gether forming the delta plain on which that l)eautiful village stands. 

I have no accurate information as to the altitude of the highest shore 
of Lake Warren. Init it was about fifty feet lower than the shore of Lake 
Whittlesey and entered Oakland county from the northeast about straight 
east of Troy Corners and passed southwesterly through the vicinity of 
Big Beaver and Royal Oak village until it reached a point near the south 
line of Royal Oak township where it turned abruptly west and kept that 
main direction until it approached to or near the Belmore Beach, at which 
place it passed southwesterly with it into Wayne county. Wide, low, 
sandy ridges are stated by the geologists to be characteristic of this 
beach for much of its length, and probably for a ])art, at least, of the 
portion thereof in this county. 

Beneath the drift in this county is the bed-rock extending, as far as 
geologists know, to the melted interior of the earth. In all probability 
all of Oakland county had risen above the ocean before the close of the 
Carboniferous age, and no rocks more recent than the Carboniferous 
appear beneath the drift here. The first rock underlying the drift in 
the southeast corner of the county and under the township of Royal Oak 
and parts of Southfield and Troy is of the Devonian age, while under all 
the remainder of the county the first rock is of the next later age, the 
Carboniferous. The coal basin of the state, which covers the central 
part of the lower peninsula, only touches the extreme northwest corner 
of Oakland county if at all, and no coal is likely to be found in the 
county. It is quite possible that oil may exist in the Trenton rock, but 
to reach that stratum wells would have to be bored several thousand 
feet deep. Salt-bearing strata probably underlie all of the county at con- 
siderable depths below the first fied-rock, as well as strata impregnated 
with sulphur and other minerals. Where the sloping shores of Lake 
Maumee dip and trend away from the westerly Maumee glacial moraine 
crossing the southeast ]5art of the county- porous strata overlaid by im- 
pervious strata having been occasionally so deposited and formed by the 
waters of Lake Maumee as to make artesian wells possible. They are 
found in Avon, Troy, Bloomfield, Southfield and Farmington townships. 
Artesian wells are also found in the vicinity of Ortonville and in some 
other parts of the county, and natural springs are quite common. 

Most of the county lies on the easterly slope of the easterly moraine 
of the Saginaw glacier, but a small part of the county is- drained westerly. 
The relative elevation of ditiferent parts of the county is a matter of some 
interest. As stated above, Detroit river at the foot of Woodward avenue 
is 575 feet above the level of the ocean. Lake Huron is five feet higher 
and Lake Erie is two feet lower than the surface of Detroit river at that 
point. Passing from the river at the foot of Woodward avenue north- 
westerly along the Detroit and Pontiac electric railwav the elevations 
roi. 1—2 


increase as follows: The elevation has increased at Highland Park and 
at the south line of Oakland county about 65 feet, and at Royal Oak 
about 19 feet more, Royal Oak village being about 84 feet above Detroit 
river. The south part of Birmingham is 191 feet and the northern part 
about 209 feet above Detroit river. At the Cranbrook road, Bloomfield 
Hills, the height above Detroit river is 290 feet. At Kimble's Corners 
the height is 363 feet, and at the United State bench mark on the north- 
east corner of the courthouse, Pontiac, the height above Detroit river is 
369 feet. 

The following elevations in feet of various other villages in the county 
may be of interest, viz: Big Beaver, 90; Troy Corners, 175; Ainy, 2(j8; 
Rochester, 185 to 225; Goodison, 282; Orion, 419; Eames, 437; Oxford, 
486; Thomas Station, 518; Leonard, 435; Andersonville, 472; Drayton 
Plains, 385; Waterford, 418; Clarkston, 425; Davisburgh, 383; Holly, 
362; Southfield, 103; Franklin, 212; Orchard Lake, 372; Farmington, 
about 175; Novi, 337; Walled Lake, 368; Commerce, 367; A\'i.\om. 358; 
South Lyon, 365 ; New Hudson, 356 ; Milford, 371 ; Highland, 435 ; Clyde, 
455; Rose Centre, 405; and White Lake, 466. Thomas Station, 518 feet, 
is therefore the highest village in the county. 

The heights in feet of the following hills above Detroit river are : 
Bald Mountain, in Pontiac township, 618; hills in south part of Spring- 
field township, 585 ; Mt. Judah, Orion township, 575 ; Waterford hill, 
374; Heaven hill. White Lake township, 525; hills west of Alace Day 
Lake, 525. I have no data for the height of the hills in the northern tier 
of townships of the county but some of them must be nearly if not quite 
as high as Bald mountain. 

Cass lake is 356 feet above Detroit river, and very many lakes in the 
county are over four hundred feet above that river. All are filled with 
pure water. While, because of its glacial origin, a large part of Oakland 
cotmty is rolling and somewhat hilly, very few of the hills are too steep 
to be profitably farmed, and the whole county lies at such an elevation 
that there is very little of it that cannot be successfully drained. -\s 
would naturally be inferred from its geological history, the soil of the 
county is so constituted that it is eminently fitted for agriculture. 



Orchard Lake and the Great Chief Pontiac — The Legend of Me- 

nah-sa-gor-ing primitive tillage and industries contact 

WITH Known Trjees — Scars of Battle — C. Z. Horton's Contri- 
butions — Indian Camping Ground and Cemetery — Queer Cus- 
toms — The Passing of We-se-gah. 

The legitimate history of Oakland county, so far as it relates to the 
settlement and civilization of the whites, commences with the abandon- 
ment of the siege of Detroit by the great Indian chief, Pontiac, in 1764. 
With this portentous danger removed, the interior of southern Mich- 
igan became a field of investigation to adventurers and those seeking 
homes; so that in 1815 the surveyor general of the state commenced to 
run his lines south from Detroit toward the Ohio boundary. 

Orchard Lake and the Great Chief, Pontiac 

Orchard lake, southwest of Pontiac, was one of the homes of the chief 
after whom the city was named, and from that region he is said to have 
drawn not a small portion of his supplies, such as fish and water fowl, 
which enabled him to make such an alarming display of his strength and 
resourcefulness before the English stronghold. 

Pontiac had not been slow in transferring his allegiance from his old- 
time friends, the French, and the new British rulers of the country. In 
September, 1760, four days after the surrender of Montreal, Major 
Robert Rogers received orders from his superiors to take possession of 
Detroit, Michilimackinac and other western posts which fell to the Brit- 
ish as the result of the war. On his way to Detroit he reached the mouth 
of the Cuyahoga river, the present site of Cleveland, and there encamped 
with his command of two hundred rangers who had come hither from 
Montreal in fifteen whale-boats. 

Soon after the arrival of the rangers a party of Indian chiefs and 
warriors entered the camp. They proclaimed themselves an embassy 
from Pontiac, ruler of all that country, and directed, in his name, that 
the English should advance no further until they could have an interview 
with the great chief who was already close at hand. In truth, before the 
day closed, Pontiac himself appeared; and it is here for the first time 
that this remarkalile character becomes a part of American history. He 



is said to have greeted Majur Rogers with the Iiauglity demand "W hat 
is your business in this country; and how dare you enter it without my 

Rogers informed him that the French were defeated, that Canada had 
surrendered, and that he was on his way to take possession of Detroit 
and restore general peace to white men and Indians ahke. I'ontiac 
hstened with attention, but only replied that he "should stand in the path 
until morning." Having in(|uired if the strangers were in need of any- 
thing which his country afforded, he witlidrew with his chiefs at night- 
fall to his own encampment, while the Knglisli stood well on their guard 
imtil morning. 

Pontiac then returned to the cam]) with his attendant chiefs and made 
his reply to Rogers' speech of the previous day. He was willing, he 
said, to live at peace with the English, and suffer them to remain in his 
country as long as they treated him with deference. The Indian chief 
and provincial officers then smoked the calumet together. 

Up to this time, Pontiac had been the fast ally of the Prench. but. 
ignorant as he was of what was passing in the great world of the whites, 
his remarkable instinct told him that the English were in the decided as- 
cendant ; that it was the best policy to cultivate their friendship ; and he 
hoped to secure them as allies in furthering his ambitions against tribes 
of his own race. In the latter expectation he was so bitterly disappointed 
that he became a fierce and stern foe long to be remembered. 

When I'ontiac found that he could not tise the English, he set about 
yi \^ • to exterminate them. In 1863 culminated his plans and conspiracies of 
- /■'Teveral years' standing. Under his leadership, the Delawares. a portion 
7' / of the Six Nations, the Wyandots, the Shawnees, the Ottawas ( his own 
I people), and the other western Indian nations, had agreed to fall simul- 

taneously upon all the frontiers from Lake Superior to the Susquehanna. 
Pontiac's eastern coworker in the famous conspiracy was the celebrated 
Seneca chief. Kyastita or (iuyasuta, whose home was on the Allegheny 
river, but history has given the palm of greatness to the western leader. 

The details and outcome of the conspiracy are known of all ; how 
Pontiac and his Warriors attempted to enter the Detroit fort and mas- 
sacre all therein ; how this plan not only failed, but expected relief from 
the French as well, and how, in chagrin, he raised the siege, upon the 
approach of Braddock's army in .\ugust, 1764, and withdrew to the head- 
waters of the Alaumee, where he still endeavored to stir up the red race 
against the whites. In 1766, at the great Indian council near (Jtsego, 
New York, he signed a perpetual treaty of peace with the F.nglish, and 
remained at Maumee until 1769, when he removed to Illinois. Soon 
afterward he visited St. Louis to call upon his former friend, St. Ange, 
the commandant of that post. He was dressed in the full uniform of a 
French officer, which the Marquis Montcalm had presented to him as a 
special mark of respect toward the close of the French war. Every- 
where he was received and entertained as a great man. 

Pontiac remained at St. Louis for several days, when, hearing that 
a great number of Indians were assembled at Cahokia on the opposite 
side of the river, said he would cross over and see what was going on. 
St. Ange tried to ilissuade him, but he replied that he was a match for 


the English, and, with a few of his followers, crossed to the Illinois 
shore. Entering the village, he was soon known and invited to a grand 
feast where liquor was freely circulated. The chief, with all his dignity 
and natural strength of character, could not resist the native passion for 
strong drink. After the feast was over and he was well under the in- 
fluence of liquor, he strolled down the street into the adjacent woods, 
where he was heard to sing the weird medicine songs of his race, which 
proved for him to be his requiem. A Kaskaskia Indian followed close 
behind, and his dead body was soon after found in a thicket. It is be- 
lieved that the savage had been hired to tomahawk the great chief by an 
English trader named Williamson, the wage for the dastardly act having 
been the promise of a barrel of rum. 

A terrible vengeance followed this great crime. The Indians of the 
northwest united and almost exterminated the Illinois tribes, the rem- 
nants of whom never *ifterward cut any figure in history. 

Whether Pontiac ever made the Orchard lake region his actual place 
of abode is questionable, but he undoubtedly often passed through the 
charming region, and that his name is attached to the metropolis of the 
county is an added reason why his career and personality should be pre- 
sented at some length. 

The Legend of Me-xah-sa-gor-xing 

One of the most noted of the Indian legends attaching to this region 
has to do with Orchard lake, or more strictly speaking with the beautiful 
Me-nah-sa-gor-ning (Apple island), which lies in its center. Many years 
ago, Samuel M. Leggett, one of the county's old settlers, told the story 
of this legend in verse, but at such length that it cannot be here repro- 
duced. His introduction, however, ftirnishes matter which is both in- 
teresting and available. "In the state of Michigan." it says, "in one 
county alone — that of Oakland — is a chain of beautiful lakes, some hun- 
dreds in number, many of them miles in length and width. Around these 
wind the roadways, over beaches of white pebbles and shaded by the 
'forests primeval.' Two rivers, the Huron and the Clinton, run through 
these lakes, and, in their tortuous forms, wind, and turn, and twist, till 
after a course of hundreds of miles, they at last rest in Lakes Erie and 
St. Clair. These rivers are in the summer dotted with the water-lily, as 
they flow on through the 'openings.' and on their banks are huge old oaks 
under which, in the days that are gone, stood many a wigwam. 

"The legend which I have attempted to verify is founded upon an 
incident occurring at Orchard lake long before the coming of the white 
man and while the grand farms now lying around it were merely a vast 
oak opening, its sole occupant the Indian and the wild beast. Very near 
the center of this Orchard lake is a large island, wooded to its very shore. 
On it are a few apple trees, old and gnarled, remnants of an orchard 
planted so long ago that the Indians even have no data concerning it. 
Its name, Me-nah-sa-gor-ning. meaning "apple place." still lives in tradi- 

"On this island the Algon(|uin chief. Pontiac. had his lodge after 
his repulse at the siege of Detroit. On the high bank of this lake, oppo- 



site the island, is still to be seen the ancient burial ground of the Sacs, 
Hurons and Wyandots. 

"Tradition says that back beyond the memory of the tribe a young 
chief sickened and suddenly died. The maiden to whom he was be- 
trothed became insane, and whenever she could escape from her guard- 
ians they would take the body of the chief from its resting place in the 
old ground across the lake and carry it back to the i)Iace where his lodge 
formerly stood. 

"At last, weary of guarding her, with the advice of their medicine 
man the tribe killed her, upon her refusal to marry. This crime, so di- 
rectly opposed to all former Indian custom, so offended the Great Spirit 
that he avowed his intention of totally destroying the tribe, and to give 
the maiden, 'as lnn« as water flowed,' complete control over it. She alone 











Sni -^ 




^^ 'w& 








k-. .- . 





Apple Island Orchard Lake 

has power to assume her form at any time. She can compel the attend- 
ance of the tribe at any time by the beating of the Indian drum. At this 
sound they must gather and wait where an old canoe has been gradually 
covered by the drifting sands. Upon the signal of her coming with her 
dead the warriors must meet her on the shore, bear the chief on his bier 
and lay him down Ijy the ashes of his council lire and, waiting beside him 
until she can caress him, bear him back to his resting place. All, how- 
ever, must be done between sunset and sunrise — a foggy night being 
alwavs chosen to elude observation." 

Primitive Tillage and Ixdustries 

One of the most complete sketches of aboriginal history as it relates 
to Oakland county has been written by O. l'o]ipleton. formerly ])resident 
of the Oakland County Pioneer .Society. It is mainly contained in his 
address delivered before that body in June, 1884. The portions applic- 
able to the subject now being considered are as follows: 


"Oakland county is not barren of traditional or legendary events of 
deep interest to the historian, and to her people. When the Jesuit fathers 
and French fur traders first visited this region, of the country, and fol- 
lowing them the very early pioneers, they found many evidences of a 
prior occupation by a semi-civilization, in the tillage of the soil by un- 
known and extinct agriculturists of a very remote period. Many rude 
agricultural implements have been found in the clearing and tillage of 
the land and by excavations ; thus demonstrating theoretically that the 
country had been previously occupied by a people who were well versed 
in the knowledge of practical agriculture, and who subsisted by cultivat- 
ing the soil, by mining, in pursuit of game of the forests, and the fish of 
the lakes and rivers. 

"The very early surveyors in pursuit of their calling, and the pioneer 
in exploring this region for a favorable location for his homestead, found 
large areas which, evidently, had been tilled in hoed crops, judging from 
the regular and well dbfined rows of hills for corn and vegetables, upon 
which were then growing the largest oaks and other trees of the forests. 
By an actual computation of the yearly growth of these trees, the occupa- 
tion of this region by those people must have been centuries before the 
discovery of this continent. 

"The traditions were that corn, beans and other grains and vegetables 
were raised upon these aboriginal fields ; that they had sustained a 
numerous population, who were proficient in the arts of rude manufact- 
uring of cloths, pottery and copper utensils, silver and copper ornaments, 
stone axes, hammers, mortars and pestles, flint arrow heads, graining and 
skinning knives, many of which have been found during the early ex- 
plorations of the missionaries and traders and since by the first settle- 
ments of the pioneers of the county. 

"At what period those people occupied the county is difficult even 
to approximate a date. Yet from the modified barbarism which is indi- 
cated by works left by a pre-historic race, there can be no other conclu- 
sion than that this county has been occupied by a race long since extinct, 
who were undoubtedly connected with the early civilization of Europe. 

Contact with Known Tribes 

"In the early explorations of the Great Lakes by the French, com- 
mencing in 1534-5, they found the descendants of the Algonquin tribes of 
Indians occupying the country to the north and west of Detroit, with 
whom they held social and commercial intercourse, yet but little of the 
French and early Indian history has been preserved. It is known that the 
fur traders made their annual visits to this region, through the rivers 
Huron, Rouge, Raisin and Clinton, for the purpose of bartering witii 
the Indians for furs and skins. 

"But little has been preserved of the Indian history, or of the French 
nomadic occupation. One Micheau, a French and Indian trader, who 
died about the time of the first settlement of Wayne, Oakland and Mac- 
omb counties, at the advanced age of one hundred and fifteen or one hun- 
dred and sixteen years, relates that one of the traditions of the tribes was 
that a sanguinary conflict occurred between the Foxes and Chiii[)ewas, 

24 HISTORY' OF () A K I . A X 1 ) eOU X I A' 

upon the plains north and west, adjoining what is now the \illage of Bir- 
mingham, and known as the Willits, Doctor Swan and Captain Blake 
farms, on sections 24 and 25T 

Scars of Battle 

"The village of the Chippcwas was situated near the present site of 
the cemetery and formed a nucleus from which they sallied forth upon 
their hunting, fishing and warlike expeditions and forays, returning with 
varied success and bringing game, furs and the scalps of their hated foe, 
the Foxes. Between these powerful tribes there had existed a deadly feud 
for many years, until it culminated in an attack by the Foxes upon the 
Chippewas. at their village. How many braves were engaged in the con- 
flict, tradition has failed to hand down to us. That there were many on 
each side is evident from the number of dead redskins said to have been 
found in the trail of the retreating tribes and on the battlefield. The Chip- 
pewas were defeated after a desperate struggle in defending their chil- 
dren, scjuaws and camp fires, and their village burned. They retreated 
along the trails towards what is now Detroit, closely pursued by their foes, 
leaving about seven hundred dead bodies along the course of their retreat ; 
and on the field of battle the dead were too numerous to be counted. The 
pride and prowess of this once powerful tribe was crushed and humili- 
ated, and thereafter they declined in influence and numbers. 

"There is one other notable Indian tradition, of an event which 
occurred in the county — that of a hostile meeting between the great chief 
Pontiac and another tribe, in the vicinity of a large, while oak tree, in 
the township of Royal Oak, on section 16, from which the township 
derives its name; located near the junction of the Crook's, Niles and Paint 
Creek roads. At the time I first saw it, in 1825, it still bore the scars made 
by the tomahawks, arrows and bullets. But at what date this happened, 
or what tribe was opposed to Pontiac and his followers, I have never been 
able to learn, not even through traditional history." 


C. Z. Horton has also made valuable contributions to the Indian pic- 
tures of Oakland county, some of which are given. They were originally 
published in the Rochester Era. As to evidences of former tillage, either 
by Indians or a more primitive race, he says: "In this connection I would 
state that the appearance of the woodlands when I first came here ( to 
Rochester), especially south of the Clinton river, looked like an old corn 
field, or like hills where corn had grown, the rows running a little west 
of north and east of south, about four feet apart each way; besides all 
the stones had been piled up, as but few scattering ones could be seen and 
many of them were deeply imbedded in the earth." 

IxiiiAN Campixc. GRorxD AND Cemktery 

"Near the dwelling of Mr. Edwin T. Wilcox, on the Paint Creek road, 
some two miles south of Rochester," he continues, "there were deep in- 


dentations in the ground, and from ten to twelve feet across, some of 
them two or more feet deep. They followed the line of the ridge, were 
from four to six feet apart — perhaps lOO of them — and were parallel, 
showing the appearance of a winter camping-ground where the earth 
had been thrown up around their wigwams, as it was afterwards dis- 
covered, in digging in them, they contained the debris of ashes and char- 
coal. On the lot owned by Mr. Simeon P. Hartwell, the same broken 
surface appeared, also the corn hills. On the Chipman farm, now occupied 
by Mr. Weaver, some eighty or one hundred rods east and north, the 
same indications were observable, also an old burial ground. These signs 
I never observed north of the river. 

Queer Customs 

"It was a custom with the Indians that when their young arrived at a 
proper age they were enclosed in a wigwam and had to remain thus in se- 
clusion by themselves a number of days, or until they would dream of 
some animal, bird, or reptile, and be able to number and tell of it in the 
morning. Whatever the dream might be that would be an object of wor- 
ship through life — such as a bear, a deer, a fox, an eagle, hawk, or smaller 
animals and birds, and even snakes and lizards. I have often seen trees in 
the woods, in this vicinity, with rude representations of this kind worked 
on them, which was their habit of doing. I saw two boys in their wigwams 
undergoing this ordeal — singing during the day and silent at night. This 
happened in front of Mr. William Burbank's residence in the summer of 
1825, where Mr. Conrad Taylor now resides. I asked Mrs. Burbank 
what was the object of the Indians to be thus engaged on a sultry day? 
She said it was one of their religious ceremonies. I have since learned 
that such was the case. 

"Here is another circumstance, or rather a ceremony of the Indians I 
have heard narrated by the old settlers, which will be of interest to all 
those living in this vicinity, which took place in 1824. It is this: south 
of the Barnes Brothers' paper mill, near the hill, on the land occupied by 
Mr. Ezekiel Dewey, the Indians cleared ofi all the flat, built a large log- 
heap, and set it on fire ; in building the heap they left an opening in the 
centre. They then brought forth two white dogs which they had fantas- 
tically decorated with red flannel around their necks, tied in their ears 
and around their legs and tails; and when the pile had fairly become 
ignited all through, they threw their canine victims into the aperture left 
in the middle of the blazing pile. They then commenced their songs and 
dances, which they kept up all night — as the old saying is, 'they made the 
welken ring.' 

The Passing of We-se-gait 

\\'e-se-gah was probably one of the most turbulent of the Indians in 
this section. He was large and muscular, and when in liquor was ready 
for fight. Most of the settlers were afraid of him. Of his quarrelsome 
and pugilistic propensity none perhaps were better acquainted than Alex- 
ander and Benjamin Graham. They both had. several times, quarreled 


with liini. We-se-gah at one time drew a tomahawk on Benjamin while 
he was at work on his shoe-bench, for which Benjamin gave him a very 
sound thrashing, and at another lime he attacked Alexander. After a long 
tussle, of nearly an hour's duration, Alexander finally overpowered him. 
We-se-gah, drawing his blanket over his face, then sat down and waited 
for Graham to dispatch him according to Indian law — by burying a toma- 
hawk in his head. Graham raised the blanket and said to him : "Go ! 
Never come back. If you do, I will kill you!'' We-se-gah went, and was 
never seen in this section afterward." 



Great Set-Back to Settlement — Oakland County's First Settlers 
— The Mack Colony of Pontiac — "Uncle Ben" Woodworth — 
— First Surveys — Locations under the "Two Dollar" Act — 
The "Ten SniLLiNd" Act — Great Event for the Pioneer Land 
Owner — Town of Pontiac Settled — Orion and Oxford — Royal 
Oak and Troy — Avon and White Lake — Springfield and Grove- 
land — Farmington and West Bloomfield — Waterford and In- 
dependence — Brandon, Southfield and Bloomfield. 

Any general history will inform the reader as to the nature of the 
civil or judicial jurisdiction which was theoretically exercised over the 
territory now recognized as Oakland county, but humanly speaking we 
have no vital interest in the subject until men, women and children com- 
menced to appear and form households in the new country. This hap- 
pened about two years after the state surveys commenced in southern 
Michigan, the pioneers in the Oakland county movement being James 
Graham, his son Alexander, Christopher Hartsough and John Hersey. 
They located in the township now known as Avon on the 17th day of 
March, 1817, and brought their families with them. 

Great Set-Back to Settlement 

It took so many years to counteract the report made by the surveyor 
general in relation to the military, or southern Michigan lands, that a 
somewhat extended review of the attending circumstances seems germane 
to the subject. On the 6th of May, 1812, congress passed an act requir- 
ing that two million acres of land should be surveyed in the then territory 
of Louisiana ; a like quantity in the territory of Illinois, as well as in the 
territory of Michigan — in all, six million acres, to be set apart for the 
soldiers of America in the war of 1812. The lands were surveyed 
and appropriated, under this law, in Louisiana and Illinois, but the 
surveyors reported that there were no lands fit for cultivation. The prin- 
cipal meridian and the base line for the Michigan surveys were estab- 
lished in 1815. 

The surveyor general's report which so long retarded immigration to 
southern Michigan and Oakland county was as follows: "The country 
on the Indian boundary line from the mouth of the Great Auglaize river 



and ninning thence 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 timbered with beech, cotton- 
wood, oak, e'tc. ; thence continuing north and extending from the Indian 
boundary eastward, the number and extent of the swamps increase, witii 
the addition of numbers of lakes, from twenty chains U> two and three 
miles across. 

"Many of the lakes have extensive marshes adjoining their marshes, 
sometimes thickly covered with a species of pine called tamarack, and 
other places covered with a coarse, high grass, and uniformly covered 
from six inches to three feet (and more at times) with water. The mar- 
,gins of these lakes are not the only places where swamps are found, for 
they are intersi)ersed 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 the country — is, with very few exceptions, a 
poor, barren, sandy land, on which scarcely any vegetation grows, excejn 
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 
basins, the bottom of many of which are composed of marsh similar to 
the above described. The streams are generally narrow and very dee]i 
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 con- 
veyed 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 walk- 
ing on which evinces the existence of water, or a very thin mud immedi- 
ately under the covering which sinks from six to eighteen inches under 
the pressure of the foot at every step, and at the same time rises before 
and behind the person passing over it. The margins of many of the 
lakes and streams are in a similar situation, and in many places are liter- 
ally 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 continues the same. 

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

The effect of this report upon congress was that .so much of the act 
of 1812 as related to Michigan was repealed by an act of April 29, 1816, 
which also located 1,500,000 acres of additional land in Illinois and 500.- 
000 acres in Missouri, in lieu of the original 2,000.000 allotted to Michi- 
gan. It was not until 1817 and 1818 tliat a few venturesome pioneers 
braved the dangers of the terrible morasses deiiicted in the report of the 
surveyor general, and demonstrated how flimsy was the l)asis for its mis- 
leading statements. The visits of Major Oliver Williams and his com- 
])anions. in the fall of 1818, marked the great turning point of public 


opinion for the better ; it proved beyond (|uestion that there was a fertile 
and beautiful countr_v in the interior, when once the immigrant had pene- 
trated through the marshy lielt which girdled Detroit. 

Oakland County's First Settlers 

Something about these men who thus sowed the seeds of civilization 
in Oakland county is given l:>y Hon. T. J. Drake in one of his many 
historical addresses, to which all writers of the early times are so much 
indebted. His words are: "In early life old Mr. Graham (James), 
resided near Tioga Point, on the Chemung branch of the Susquehanna 
river, in Pennsylvania. About sixty years since, he moved to C^.xford, 
in Upper Canada, in 1816 to Mt. Clemens, and on the 17th day of March, 
1817, came into Oakland county to locate on a farm now occupied by 
Dr. William Thompson,^ lying on the north bank of the Clinton river. 
B. Graham, a voung son of Mr. James Graham, was employed as one 
of the hands under Colonel Wampler, in surveying that town in 1816. 

John Hersey was the first man that entered lands in the county of 
Oakland on the 29th of October, 1818. He entered a part of section 10, 
in this town, on the waters of Paint creek and erected a saw mill, the 
first in the county. He placed in it a run of stone which were manu- 
factured in the county by a mechanic by the name of Wood, and made 
the first flour manufactured in Oakland. By his exertions the incon- 
veniences and hardships attendant on a new settlement were greatly re- 
lieved and immigration largely induced. The name of John Hersey, 
whose long life was marked by signal industry and integrity, should be 
engraven on the memory of every citizen of Oakland. Pioneers of Oak- 
land ! Long may his memory be cherished." 

Mr. O. Poppleton's account in an address before the County Pioneer 
Society : "It has now been sixty-seven years since the first permanent 
settlers located in the county of Oakland. The first were John Hersey, 
James and Alexander Graham and Christopher Hartsough in the town- 
ship of Avon, with their families, on March 17, 1817, who spent their first 
night on the plat of ground between the junction of Paint creek and 
Clinton river. These families came by way of Mt. Clemens, following 
the course of the Clinton river, there being an impenetrable swamp be- 
tween Detroit and their new home — so reported by the commission sent 
out by the surveyor general. The report demonstrates how little was 
known of the interior of the territory and county at that time. Sixty 
years ago ]\Ioses Allen entered the first lands in the county at the United 
States land office at Detroit on October 24, 1818, being the southwest 
quarter of section 32 in Orion."' 

The i\lACK Colony of Pontiac 

In 1818, the year after the Grahams settled in .\von township, 
Colonel Stephen Mack, agent of the Pontiac Land Company, located a 
small colonv on the site of the future county seat. Accompanying him 
were (prison Allen, William Lester and Major J. J. Todd, with tlieir 
families, and they were not "planted" until in the fall of that year. 


The same autumn and winter, settlements were commenced at Bir- 
mingham, Ro_val Oak, and other jslaces above the Detroit and Saginaw 
trail, and in March, 1819, Major Oliver Williams and his brother-in-law 
Ali)heus Williams, settled in Waterford township. Captain Arcliibald 
Phillips also settled in Waterford very early. Among the first to enter 
land in Troy were Messrs Castle, Hunter, Hamilton and Fairbanks, in 
February, 1819. 

"Uncle Bex" \\'oodworth 

In town 4, north of range 11 east, now called Oakland, the first pur- 
chase was made by Benjamin Woodworth and William Russell, on the 
i6th of ]March, 1819. They entered a part of section 33. The history 
of father Russell, as he was familiarly called, is truth itself, candid and 
unassuming. He was an example of sociality and benevolence, upright 
and just in all his ways. Benjamin Woodworth, "Uncle Ben," as he was 
known by all who ever stopped at the "Steamboat Hotel" in Detroit, had 
a heart full of kindness and a hand ever ready to help the distressed. He 
was the constant friend of Oakland county, and he never forgot or for- 
sook her early inhabitants. In 1824, James Coleman and James Hazard 
purchased; in 1825, Benedict Baldwin, Horace Lathrop, James D. Gal- 
loway, J. B. Galloway, J. Dewey, Samuel Hilton, Ezra Newman, David 
Hammond and Needham Hemmingway, became purchasers and were 
among the early settlers. 

First Surveys 

Most of the earliest explorers of Oakland county came in by way of 
Blount Clemens and the Clinton river, the year 1819 being one of the 
busiest of the very early period. The pioneers followed close on the heels 
of the government surveyors. Among the latter who saw the country 
in the pioneer times of which we write were Colonel Joseph Wampler 
and Captain Henry Parke, and to the latter the author is indebted for an 
interesting picture which will be presented later. 

\'irtually, the dates of land entries fix the dates of settlement, as most 
of those who entered land did so for the purpose of founding homes and 
not to hold it for "speculation." Mr. O. Poppleton has made the most 
complete synopsis of those who located the first lands in the different 
townships, and his list is often published without giving him due credit. 
It was first given in his address before the Oakland County Pioneer Soci- 
ety February 20, 1889. 

From the date of Pontiac's abandoning the siege of Detroit, in 1764, 
to the time of ordering the survey of the county by the surveyor general, 
in 181 5, I find in my researches but little authoritative historical interest," 
he says. "But in my investigations of the early surveys in the state and 
county I find it replete with interest. From the old records I learn that 
the first surveys in the territory of which we find any public record were 
made by Aaron Greely of 'Private Land Claims' on St. Gair, Detroit and 
Rouge rivers in the winter of 1809 and from July to November. 1810. 

The first surveys upon the meridian line were made by Benjamin 
Hough in the fall of 1815, from the north line of town 3 west, in Jack- 


son county, south to the Ohio state Hne. The first surveys on the base 
line were east of town 5 east, in Livington county, to Lake St. Clair, by 
Alexander Holmes, in 1815. 

The earliest subdivisions of townships are given in the order as sur- 
veyed, viz.: In March, 1817, town i north, range 10 east, Southfield; in 
April, 1818, towns i and 2 north, range 11 east, Royal Oak and Troy, 
by Joseph Wampler; in May, 1817, town i north, range 9 east, Farming- 
ton, by Samuel Carpenter. 

Locations Under the "Two Dollar" Act 

Entries under the "credit" system or the "two dollar act" were made 
in the townships of the county as follows : Waterf ord. Independence, 
Southfield. Bloomfield, Pontiac, Orion, Troy, Avon. Oakland and Royal 
Oak, commencing October 24, 1818, by Moses Allen in Orion, of the 
southwest quarter, section 22, the first location of land in the county. 

The second location was made by John Hersey of the southeast quar- 
ter, section 10, in Avon, November 10, 1818. 

The third was made by Joseph Watson of the District of Columbia, 
of the east one-half and northwest quarter of section 35. in Pontiac. 
November 30, 1818. 

Stephen Mack, who has had credit for the first entry in the township. 
did not locate until September 19. 1818, nineteen days after that made by 
Joseph Watson. 

The fourth location was made by John Montieth of the southwest 
quarter of section 3, in Southfield. December 15, 1818. 

The fifth was made by Austin E. Wing, of the northeast one-quarter 
of section 29, in Bloomfield, December 23. 1818. Mr. Wing was after- 
wards elected a delegate in congress from the territory to the Nineteenth, 
Twentieth and Twenty-Second congresses. Mr. Wing accompanied 
General Cass on one of his explorations through Oakland, Genesee and 
Saginaw counties. Passing through Bloomfield they camped on the banks 
of Wing lake, which now bears his name and where he located the land 

The sixth location was by Archibald Phillips, of the east one-half and 
southwest one-quarter of section 29, in Independence. February 6, 1819. 

The seventh was by William Thurber. of the northwest c|uarter of 
section 6, Royal Oak, February 4. 1819. 

The eighth was by John Hamilton, J. W. Hunter, Lemuel Castle and 
Joseph Fairbanks, of the northwest quarter of section ig. in Troy, Febru- 
ary 12. 1819. 

The ninth was by Ephraim Williams, of the north one-half of section 
13 in Waterford. February 18, 1819. bordering on the banks of Silver 
lake, being the homestead of Major Oliver Williams, father of Ephraim 
S., Gardner D., Alfred, Alpheus, Benjamin O.. James. Mrs. Stephens. 
Mrs. Mary Hodges and Mrs.. Harriet Walker. 

The tenth was by Benjamin Woodworth and William Russell, on sec- 
tion 33. in Oakland. February 18. i8io. 

Numerous other locations were made in the ten townships under the 
"credit" or "two dollar act" until July, 1820, when the law passed Ijy 


congress rcduciiif; tlic price to $1.25 per acre, advance ])aynient. took 
effect. - " 

The "Tk.v" Act 

The first entry made under this act in the county was by Davis 
Stanard, July 3, 1820, of the northeast (|uarter of section 4, in Bloonificld. 

The second was by Joel Weelman, July 3, 1820, of the one-half 
southeast cjuarter of section 33. in Avon. 

Colonel Stanard was a popular hotel keeper in those early days of 
pioneer life and dispensed to the traveling' public with a liberal hand 
choice venison, fresh fish, Ohio hog and Kentucky Bourbon, and later in 
life imbibed too freely himself for weak eyes. When remonstrated with 
by his attending physician for so doing and told that he must stop drink- 
ing any stimulant or lose his eyes, he replied : "Then good-bye, eyes." 
There are a few pioneers here today who knew the Colonel well, and no 
doubt have partaken of his good cheer, not omitting old bourbon. 

At the opening of the land offices in Michigan, the public lands were 
offered at auction, and such as were not sold were subject to sale to 
individuals at two dollars an acre, one-fourth to be paid down, the re- 
mainder in one, two and three years with interest. And all the lands 
which were entered previous to the 3d day of July, 1820, were purchased 
under this act. 

Gre.vt Event tor the Pioxeer L.vnd Owner 

At the risk of repetition, here and there, we add facts along this line 
compiled by Judge Drake, as follows : 

On the 23d of April, 1820, congress passed an act authorizing the 
sale of public lands at $1.25 an acre, payments in full at the time of the 
purchase. This was the great event in the history of Michigan, and in- 
deed of the whole western country. It put an end to that system of 
vassalage under which the purchasers of public lands had labored. The 
purchaser became at once the absolute owner of the soil. Every act of 
improvement was made to benefit him or his children. 

There was a feeling of certainty in his labors, and in his possessions 
which was more than wealth. If death overtook the pioneer in his first 
efforts, the agony of parting from his wife and children was half removed. 
When lie turned upon them the last living gaze and beheld their little 
forms gathering around his dying bed, he was consoled with the thought 
that the land on which he had toiled was theirs. No exacting landlord 
could claim it as forfeited for payments deferred. From the passing of 
that act, the growth and prosperity of Michigan liecame a certainty, and 
the increase of pojndation was surprising. 

Town of PoNri.\( Se.ttled 

Ezra Baldwin, jcil) Smith. John W. Hunter, D.ivid Jt)hnson, Oliver 
Levi Willetts, joseiih Fairbanks, \A"illiani Morris, Lemuel Castle, Joseph 
Torrv, Daniel Ferguson, Ziba Swan, John Hamilton, .\maza Bagley, 
Almy and Asa Castle were among the first settlers in town 3 north, range 
10 east, called Pontiac. 


The first entry of lands was made by Col. Stephen Mack for the 
Pontiac Company' On the 6th day of November, i8iS, he entered sec- 
tion 29, and the northeast quarter of section 33, soon after the north 
half and the southwest quarter of 28, and finally the southeast quarter 
of 20, on which the company laid out the village in 1818. 

On the south side of the river and on the west side of the Saginaw 
road, was the great Indian camping ground, where all the Indians used 
to stop on their way to and from Detroit. 

In town 2 north, range 11 east, called Troy, the first lands were pur- 
chased by Castle, Hunter, Hamilton and Fairbanks. On the 12th of 
February, 1819, they bought a part of section 19. On the 22d of October, 
1819, Ezra Baldwin entered a part of section 18; Michael Kemp on the 
2Sth of November, 1819, a part of section 3, and on the "th of Decem- 
ber, 1819, Michael Beech a part of section 8. 

In the years 1820, 1821 and 1822, John Prindle, George Abbey, Joshua 
Davis, Ebenezer Belding, S. V. R. Trowbridge, Jesse Perrin, P. J. Perrin, 
Luther Fletcher. Aaron Webster, Stillman Bates, William Wellman, A. 
W. Wellman, Silas Glazier, Guy Phelps, Johnson Niles, John Waldron, 
Edward Downer, Ira Jennings, Humphrey Adams and S. Sprague, be- 
came purchasers, and were among the early settlers. The second lot, 
which was entered under the "ten shilling act" was by Joel Wellman, in 
Troy, a part of section 3. 

The gentle sloping surface of the country — the majestic growth of 
timber, the dark, rich soil, attracted many settlers to that town, and the 
whole was settled with unrivalled rapidity. And now the nicely painted 
houses, and well cultivated farms show how accurately the pioneer 
judged, and how well the earth has repaid him for his labor. 

Avon and White Lake 

In town 3. north range 1 1 east, now called Avon, the first lands were 
entered on the 29th of October, 1818. In 1819, A. E. Wing, T. C. Shel- 
don. Solomon Sibley, James Abbott, Daniel LeRoy, Alexander (iraham, 
William Williams, J. Baldwin, D. Bronson, J. Myers, Ira Roberts, 
Nathaniel Baldwin, George Postal, William Thompson, John Miller and 
Isaac Willetts entered land; in 1821, Cyrus A. Chipnian and Frederick 
A. Sprague; in 1822, Champlin Green, Gad Norton, William Burbank, 
and Smith Weeks. It was in this town that the seeds of civilization 
were first planted in the county of Oakland, as has previously been nar- 
rated at some length. 

In town 3, north of range 8 east, now called White Lake, the first 
entry was made by Harley Olmstead, of Monroe county, New York, on 
the 7th day of October, 1830; he entered a part of section 36. In 1832 
Joseph Voorheis and Jesse Seeley purchased. Thomas Garner, John 
Garner, C. C. WyckofT and John Rhodes also bought land and were 
among the early settlers in that town. "In 1829," says Judge Drake, 
"while searching for the headwaters of the Shiawassee river. I traveled 
over the most of the town, visited the shores of that beautiful sheet of 
water from which the town derives its name, and the charming plain on 
which now stands the village of White Lake, then clothed in tlie gorgeous 

Vol. 1—3 


(l\'e of auUiiiiiial flowers, presented one of the most magnificent views of 
uncultivated landscape." 

Springfield and Grovef-and 

In town 4, north of range 8 east, now^ called Springfield, on the 19th 
of July, 1830, Daniel LeRoy made the first entry. He purchased on 
section 19, including the Petit Lafountain or Little Springs. This place 
had a wide renown. It was the resting place of the trader and trapper, 
of the red man as well as the white man when on his journey to and 
from Saginaw and other places in the northern wilderness. Immediately 
after the LeRoy purchase the place was occupied by Asahel Fuller. In 
1833 Giles Bishop, O. Powell, John M. Calkins and Jonah Gross pur- 

In town 5, north of range 8 east, now called Groveland, on the 3d 
day of September, 1829, William Roberts, then of the county of Oak- 
land, made the first purchase. On the 29th of May, 1830, John Under- 
bill, E. W. Fairchild and M. W. Richards bought land. In 1830 Henry 
W. Horton purchased at a point then known as Pleasant \'alley, and in 
183 1, Franklin Herrick, Alexander Galloway and Constant Southworth 
became land owners. Mr. Southworth settled on a famous spot on the 
old Saginaw trail known in those days as the Big Springs. Those who 
have taken the trouble to descend from the roadside to the spring of 
water will bear testimony to its great beauty. It was ever held in great 
veneration by the Indians, and they seldom passed it without refreshing 
themselves. Those who have looked into that crystal fountain and be- 
held the sparkling water as it came bubbling up from the secret chambers 
of the earth, will not w'onder that the redman saw in the aqueous mirror 
the Chemanito, or Great Spirit. 

Farmington and West Bloom field 

In town I, north of range 9 east, now called Farmington, Eastman 
Colby, of Monroe county, New Y'ork, made the first entry; on the 12th 
of October, 1822, he entered a part of section 14. In January, 1823, 
Arthur Power purchased. In the same year G. W. Collins, William B. 
Cogshall, Peleg S. Utley, IJenjamin Wi.xom, Timothy Allen. Leland 
Green, Abraham Aldrich made purchases and among them were the first 
settlers in that town. 

In town 2, north of range 9 east, now- called West Bloomticld. James 
Harrington, of Cayuga county. New York, made the first purchase on 
the 15th of May, 1823, entering the entire section 36. The same year 
Rufus R. Robinson, Erastus Durkee, John Hufl:", Benjamin Irish, Edward 
Ellerby, Ijcnjamin Leonard and William Annett purchased, and John 
HulT bought a tract on the south side of I'ine lake and erected the first 
house in that part of the town. William .\nnett purchased a ])art of 
section 22, his wife died at an early day. the old gentleman lived on the 
farm and cultivated it until his death. It was long afterward owned by 
his only child, Mrs. Hartwell Green. 


Waterford and Ixdependence 

In town 3, north of range 9 east, now called Waterford, Major 
Oliver Williams, called by the Indians, Togee, settled on the west hank 
of Silver lake, in 1819, on section 13. His brother-in-law, Alpheus 
Williams and Captain Archibald Phillips, settled early at the crossing 
on the Clinton river, where the village of Waterford now stands and 
erected there a sawmill as early as 1824. David Mayo purchased on 
the 25th of September, 1821 ; Captain Chesley Blake, Harvey Durfee 
and Austin Durfee in 1822; Harvey Seeley, John S. Porter, Samuel 
Hungerford, W. M. Tappan, Thaddeus Alvord, Charles Johnston and 
Joseph Voorheis, in 1823. 

In town 4, north of range 9 east, now called Independence, Alpheus 
Williams made the first purchase on the loth of October, 1823. 

The point was well known to the Indians, and by them called Saepee. 
In 1819, Major Joseph Todd, William Lester and Orrison Allen, were 
residents in the village ; in the same year Calvin Hotchkiss and Jere- 
miah Allen entered lands, and Judah Church in 1820. 

In 1821 Abner Davis, Eastman Colby, Alexander Galloway, Rufus 
Clark, Enoch Hotchkiss and James Harrington purchased ; and these 
men, with G. W. Butson, John Edson, Joshua S. Terry, Joseph Harris, 
Stephen Reeves and Capt. Joseph Bancroft, were among the early settlers 
of the town of Pontiac. 

Orion and Oxford 

In town 4 north, range 10 east, now called Orion, Judah Church and 
John Wetmore made the first purchase; on the 18th of October, 1819, 
they purchased a lot on section 19, being the first choice, in what was 
known as the Big Pinery. In 1824, Moses Munson, Powell Carpenter, 
Jesse Decker, Phillip Bigler, Jonathan Pinckney and Simeon Simmons 
purchased. Alexander McVean, David Bagg, John McElvery and Daniel 
McVean, were among the early settlers. 

In town 5 north, range 10 east, called Oxford, the first purchase 
was made by Elbridge G. Deming, on the 28th of January 1823. But 
few inhabitants settled in this town until 1833, when Joseph Rossman, 
Fitz Rossman, John Shippy, John Wellman and S. Axford purchased. 
Daniel Applegate, Jeremiah Hunt, Jutish Bixley and Messrs. Van 
Wagoners were among the early settlers. 

The plains about the village of O.xford were passed over by those 
seeking for farms for many years; and places less valuable were settled 
in the far off forests, under the supposition that those were valueless 
for agricultural purposes. Thus one of the best portions of the county 
remained uncultivated till a late period. 


In town I north, range 11 east, called Royal Oak, L. Luther and 
D. ■\IcKinstry made the first entry; on the 6th of July, 1S20, they en- 
tered a part of section 33. In 1821, Henry Stephens, Alexander Camp- 


bell, Diodate Hubbard, Abraliani Noyes, J. Goddard, Hezekiah Gridly, 
James Lockwood and David 'Williams, and they, together with Henry 
O, Bronson, Daniel Burrows, Mr. Chase, Mr. Morse and that eccentric 
old lady, Mrs. Chappel, well known by the soul)ri(|uet of Mother Hand- 
some, were among the first settlers. 

In 1826, John W. Beardsley purchased on the Chesse-bau ])lains, 
where he resided for many years afterward. 

Henry T. Sanderson purchased in 1833. In 183 1 Melvin Dorr, and 
Butler Holcomb bought lands, about where stands the village of Clarks- 
ton, and erected there, on the east branch of the Clinton river, a sawmill. 

Br.\ndon, Southfield .\nd Bloomfield 

In town 5. north range 9 east, called Brandon, Elijah B. Clark, .Asa 
Owen and Jesse Decker made the first purchase on the 30th of June, 
1831, and entered a part of section 25. In 1833, John Perry, Alexander 
G. Huff and Mary Quick purchased, and in 1835, G. M. Giddings, Henry 
Forbes and Daniel Hunt entered lands. But few entries were made in 
this town before 1836. 

In town I north, range 10 east, first organized as Ossewa, but now 
called Southfield, the first entry of lands were made by John W'etmore 
in ]\lay, 1821. In the same year Peter Dennoyer and John Monteith 
purchased, and in 1822 Harry Brownson, Samuel Shattuck and Eli 
Curtis. Dillucena Stoughton, Elijah Bullock, Edward Cook, Philo Reed, 
John Davis, William Lee, were among the early settlers of the town. 

In town 2 north, range 10 east, called Bloomfield, the first entry of 
lands was made on the 28th of January, 1819, by Benjamin H. Pierce. 
March 16, 1829, Peter Dennoyer entered a lot, and on the 3d day of 
July, 1820, Col. David Stannard entered a ]iart of section 4. The Stan- 
nard entry was the first made in Michigan under what was called the 
"ten shilling'' act. 



Hervey Parke Comes to Oakland County — Bloomfield and Royal 
Oak in 1821 — Infant Village of Pontiac — Governor WisNer and 
His Mullet Story — Becomes Horatio Ball's Assistant — Joseph 
Wampler's Assigned Territory — A Surveyor's Hardships — Re- 
turns with His Family — Birthplace of John H. Parke — Home- 
stead at Last — Surveys from Pontiac — Running Lines under 
Difficulties — Fresh Trails of the Black Hawk War — Between 
Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron — Surveys in Black Hawk Reser- 
vation, Iowa — Another Iowa Contract — Captain Parke's Re- 
capitulation — Recollections of Benjamin O. Williams — Indian 
Near Death — Dear Old Oakland, the Best of All — A Picture 
of Memory (by John M. Norton) — Advent of the Pioneer — • 
Railroad as a Fun-Maker — The Life Bequeathed by the Pi- 
oneers — Fifty Years Ago and Now (by S. B. McCracken) — 
Contrasts of Life — "Granny" McCracken — Father and Mother 
McCracken — The Schools of Fifty Years Ago — Mormon Visi- 
tation OF 1832 — Auburn and the Young Pioneers. 

In the previous chapter mention has been made of the first settlers 
and land owners in the various sections and townships of Oakland 
county. In this chapter, the author is pleased to present, through the 
■papers of several well known pioneers, pictures which are principally 
drawn from experience and observation "on the spot." 

Hervey Parke Comes to Oakland County 

The first contribution is taken from papers read before the County 
Pioneer Society in 1874 and 1876, by Captain Hervey Parke, the old- 
time surveyor whose name has already appeared a number of times in 
the course of the historical narrative. His first paper is entitled "Recol- 
lections of Aly First Tour in Michigan in 1821," and such selections 
are taken from it as appear to be most pertinent. Captain Parke was 
teaching in Oneida county, New York, at the time, but like many enter- 
prising young men had studied surveying and wanted to see the west. 
Despite the cliscouraging reports regarding Michigan, which had reached 
the east through the surveyors' reports, he determined to investigate 
for himself, and on the 21st of March, 1821, in company with Treat 



Bryant and John Simons, started on his journey of five liundred miles, 
carrying a knapsack containing his surveying instruments and enough 
other contents to weigh forty-five pounds. After sixteen days of travel 
through mud and water, often knee deep, the three young men reached 
Detroit river and crossed over to tlie city in a rowboat. 

In Detroit Captain Parke had his first view of the Steamboat Hotel, 
kept by Benjamin Woodworth, who was to figure considerably in Oak- 
land county affairs, and also passed the store of Oliver Newberry, in 
whose employ he was to meet Elisha Beach, a future citizen of Pontiac. 
The travelers did not linger in the metropolis, at this time, but were 
soon in the highway which led into the interior toward the northwest 
and Oakland county. The last of the three small houses which they 
passed before fairly striking the wilderness of southern Michigan, was 
about nine miles from Detroit, and was occupied by Airs. Chappel, more 
familiarly known as Mother Handsome. Here they found shelter for 
the night. About half a mile beyond, when they resumed their journey 
in the morning, they reached the causeway built by the troops under 
Colonel Leavenworth in 1818. This was a little less than a mile in 
length and pronounced by Captain Parke as "the worst ever built, as 
no regard was paid to equalizing the size of the logs, the largest and the 
smallest lying side by side. 

Bloom FIELD .\nd Rov.\l 0.\k ix 1821 

"At the angle of the road, twelve miles from Detroit, we passed the 
Royal Oak tree, which had nothing remarkable in its appearance, but 
was known as the point from which Horatio Ball had started the line 
when surveying the road to Pontiac, known as the Ball line road. This 
angle also was the point of intersection of Paint Creek road; a Mr. 
Woodford lived about a mile beyond. A little south of the line between 
the towns of Bloomfield and Royal Oak two families by the name of 
Keyser and Thurber had settled. Reaching the beautiful table-land 
where is now situated the village of Birmingham, we found four fami- 
lies : Elisha Hunter, his son, John W. Hunter, John Hamilton and 
Elijah Willets — the latter, inn-keeper. Here I got my first glimpse of 
the lovely land of Oakland county. Three-fourths of a mile this side of 
Hunter's lived Dr. Swan and his son-in-law, Sidney Dole, who was 
justice of the peace, register of deeds and county clerk. The next 
house was that of Deacon Elijah Fish, and on the hill just south of 
where now is Bloomfield Center, resided Amasa Bagley and his son-in- 
law, William Morris, the latter being sheriil' of the county. 

"The next settler was a Mr. Ferguson, wdiose neighbors, if living, 
may rememher him from the remark he made after the nomination of 
Austin E. Wing, as delegate to congress in 1824 or 1825. Ferguson 
w-as a Whig, and, disputing with a Democrat who asserted Wing could 
never be elected, replied : 'He will surely be elected, for the very 
whippoorwills sing "vote for Wing, vote for W'ing." ' Well, ^^'ing was 
elected, took his seat in congress, and performed his duty nobly for 
the young territory. 

"Major Jose|)h Todd lived on the farm since known as the ICUiott 


farm, and near by Asa B. Hadsel. The next house, a half-mile further, 
was that of Colonel David Stanard, a small framed house, being the 
same Joseph J. Todd occupied about forty-five years, having added to 
its length and height. 


"About one and a half miles through the woods we approached the 
village of Pontiac, where we found a small framed house on the west 
side of Saginaw street, nearly opposite where the Methodist church now 
stands, occupied by Mr. Terry. Crossing the bridge, on the corner of 
Saginaw and Water streets, we found a small log house, the first erected 
in the village, and a little beyond and on the east side of Saginaw street 
(if my memory serves me), O. Bartlett lived in a small framed house. 
These were the only buildings at this time (June i, 1821) on Saginaw 
street. This street being well filled with hazel brush. Water street re- 
ceived the travel to Perry street. On the west side of the latter street, 
between Pike and Lawrence, were three houses, one occupied by Deacon 
Orisen Allen, and a little beyond on the east side of Perry street, nearly 
opposite the grist mill, stood a double log house called the 'Company 
house,' and occupied by Colonel Stephen Mack, agent of the Pontiac 
company. In addition to the grist mill there was a sawmill and work 
shop. On the first Monday in June, my first visit to the village, a 
militia training was in full blast ; John W. Hunter commanded the one 
and only company north of the base line in Michigan territory. On 
this day the company was divded and a new company formed by elect- 
ing the late Colonel Calvin Hotchkiss captain. Proceeding northwest 
on the road occasionally traveled to Saginaw, distant aliout a mile from 
the village, Captain Stanley lived on what has more recently been known 
as the Pier farm, on the present White Lake road. 


"The Indian trail from Detroit to Saginaw, which decided the loca- 
tion of Pontiac, crossed the Clinton at the same point as the present 
bridge on Saginaw street ; turned northerly toward the company house, 
then bore northwesterly, keeping east of the extensive marsh just be- 
yond the residence of the late Governor Wisner, then turned in a 
northwesterly direction, crossing the Pontiac creek a few rods north- 
west of the present crossing on the Saginaw road. Oliver Williams, on 
the southwest side of Silver lake was the next home, three and one-half 
miles from Pontiac. He had removed to this place from Detroit in 
1818; he built the first farm barn in the county, the lumljer for enclosing 
it being manufactured by a couple of Frenchmen from Detroit, with a 
whip saw. 

"Mr. Wisner kept open house, and in passing and re-passing to 
Flint river, in 1821, I invariably called. He was a real gentleman, social, 
good-natured, remarkably generous and hospitable, and fond of a good 
story. I well reiuember late one evening in December, 1821, in return- 
ing with our surveying party from Flint, after fording the Clinton at 


the little pinery, with the thermometer at zero, when nearly oft' our 
legs, we reached and were most kindly cared for in this most hospitable 
home. During one of my calls 1 inc|uired if there were many fish in 
Silver lake; he replied he could not say in regard to numbers, but he 
once hauled out a mullet that weighed one hundred and forty pounds. 
This rather surprised me, and while retlecting, not wishing to dispute 
his veracity, he observed my embarrassment as to the remark being 
somewhat fishy, and explained that a brother of John Mullett, the sur- 
veyor, was once fishing there, and falling into the lake was rescued by 
Mr. Williams. In those days of easy familiarity, he was known by the 
cognomen of Major Togee, and once at a social jiarty at Dr. Chipman's, 
Mrs. Chipman desiring to address him by his title, and in the excitement 
of the occasion being forgetful of the same, said 'Major Hot Toddy, 
Alajor Hot Toddy!' About four miles beyond O. Williams, and at 
the crossing of the Indian trail on the Clinton, resided Alpheus Wil- 
liams and Captain Archibald Phillips, where a sawmill had been erected, 
and at this time was in operation. 

Becomes Hor.xtio Ball's Assist.\nt 

"But I will now return to my temporary home at Captain John Hun- 
ter's, of whose kindness, together with that of his excellent wife, long 
since gone to her reward, I cannot too highly speak. Here I made the 
acquaintance of Horatio Ball, son of Daniel Ball, who lived three-fourths 
of a mile southwest of Hunter's. He had received a contract for sub- 
dividing ten townships of land between Flint and Cass rivers. I ar- 
ranged to accomiiany him as assistant, to carry the compass half of the 
time. He was waiting for the completion of the town lines, which had 
been assigned to a young man by the name of Hester. We were soon 
informed he had 3one nothing after having discovered an Indian wigwam 
near a small lake, and, as he was accompanied by his dogs and was 
otherwise prepared for a winter's hunt, had decided to pass the winter 
in this pleasant locality and avoid the swamps. In a week's time every 
man of his party had left him, while he was taking lessons of the Indians 
in hunting and of the squaws in moccasin making. Here he remained 
during the winter. The next June he was seen passing through Pontiac 
on horseback, accompanied by about a dozen natives of both sexes, to 
make his report to the surveyor general at Chillicothe, and also to his 
father for $600 cash advanced. 

JosEni Wampler's Assigned Terkitorv 

"Hester having thus failed in fullilling his contract, the work was 
assigned to Joseph Wampler, of Ohio (the surveyor who sub-divided 
ranges 10 and 11 in Oakland county). We set off for our work on the 
13th of June, arriving at Flint river before Wampler returned from 
.Saginaw bay. The heavy rains had swollen the river to nearly full 
banks, and as there was no way of crossing we started up the river to 
the Kearslev, where we felled a suitable pine, about sixteen feet of 
which we removed from the main body of the tree and shaped it canoe- 


like, digging out the same so far as could be done with axes and made 
it answer our purpose, and we floated it down the river and landed it 
on the north side, where the city of Flint is now located. Here we 
found Jake Smith, called 'Waljaseis' by the Indians, who had been 
an Indian trader for several years and who had recently received the 
appointment of Indian farmer. He had built a comfortable log house 
a few rods below the present railroad bridge. This was occupied by 
Smith, a white man, with his mother and sister ; also by a man by the 
name of Doane. The two men at this time (the middle of June) were 
hoeing corn, with veiled faces on account of the mosquitoes. 

"After waiting about a week we were furnished with the held notes, 
and commenced our work in town 7 north, of range 7 east. After a 
week's work we returned to the trading house, when soon after Wampler 
and his party came in, the men utterly refusing to continue longer on 
account of the suffering they had endured from the mosquitoes, both 
men and horses being weak from loss of blood and want of rest. Owing 
to the discontinuance of the township lines survey, we were compelled 
to discontinue our work and we decided to accompany Wampler's party 
to Pontiac. During the remainder of the season I made my home with 
Mr. Hunter, and occasionally accompanied a land-looker. 

"Early in autumn Wampler returned to Flint river to finish his 
work, and our party followed for the purpose of finishing our work, in 

A Surveyor's Hardships 

"This occupied about sixty days, and from the experience of Ball 
and the miserable outfits, we sufifered both from hunger and cold. We 
had no tents, only an old second-hand tarpaulin, which had been laid 
aside as useless for hatchway service. In the absence of a kneading 
trough, our cook made use of this piece of canvas to mix his bread. 
This was unfortunate, for on our first visit to the trading house some 
swine, attracted by the adhering dough, nearly devoured and entirely 
destroyed it, and we had now no cover besides our blankets. Our pro- 
visions were inadequate ; we were frequently reduced to a short allow- 
ance of only buggy peas, and at one time, when weak from want of 
food, we found a wigwam where a squaw was cooking succotash, which 
she kindly divided with us. This occurred on the last day of our survey, 
while meandering the river. Closing our work on the line of the reserve 
at sunset and following up the river, forcing our way through thick 
beds of rushes knee high, at about 9 o'clock we reached Smith's trading- 
house, so hungry from several days' short allowance that we took the 
potatoes from the kettle half boiled. I must not forget to mention the 
names of the men who formed this surveying party. Besides Ball and 
myself, there were Rufus Stevens, Michael Beach, Chester Webster, 
and a young man from the Emerald Isle, named Pool. 

"During the sub-division of town 9 north, of range 6 east, we en- 
countered the most terrible gale of wind I ever w^itnessed in the woods 
of Michigan. The trees crackled and fell in all directions close around 
us. It was on the same night the "Walk-in-the-Water' lav off Buffalo, 
deeply laden for Detroit. Captain Rodgers, after discovering the open- 


iiig seams of the steamer, and realizing the im])ending danger, very 
lirojierly gave the order to slip the cal)le. releasing iier, anri she went on 

"We finished our work on the last of December, and I clecitled to 
accompany Mr. Ball to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he made his returns 
to the surveying general's office. In addition to letters I already pos- 
sessed from Governor Clinton, of New York, and from Judge Wright, 
chief engineer of the Erie canal, I had procured one from (lovernor 
Cass, who recommended me from the fact I intended making Michigan 
my home. Starting on our journey, when a little way below Detroit, 
we w'ere fortunate in obtaining passage with an Ohio farmer, who had 
just made sale of his butter and cheese in Detroit. Landing at San- 
dusky, we footed it to Chillicothe. Presenting my letters, which proved 
satisfactory, he promised me future work. The purpose of my visit to 
Michigan being accomplished, and arrangements for future employ- 
ment as government surveyor perfected. I immediatelv returned to my 
home, where I arrived on the 14th of h'ebruary, having been absent 
eleven months." 

Returns with His Family 

As stated, during his first visit to Michigan. Captain Parke made 
arrangements with Edward Tiffin, surveyor general of Ohio, Indiana 
and ]\Iichigan, to return in 1822 to continue his work. In May of that 
year he started for the west with his wife and child from his home in 
Camden. New York, and journeyed by the Erie canal and lake steamer. 
After being delayed for about a week by a severe gale, the family took 
the steamer "Superior" from Buffalo to Sandusky. "Putting into San- 
dusky as usual to receive passengers," continues the narrative, "I met 
Judge Burt for the first time, direct from the surveyor general's office. 
Arriving at Detroit I met John Hamilton, with whom I formed an 
acquaintance the previous year. He was provided with an ox-team and 
being in pursuit of a load, I engaged him to take me to my journey's 

"It was late before we left the cit}- ; we did not reach the angle of 
the road (six miles) until nearly sunset. .\t this point begins the 
causeway, constructed by the United States troops when garrisoned at 
Detroit under the command of Colonel Leavenworth.* 

"Arriving at White's tavern, their beds were occupied, but Mrs. 
White spread a few^ blankets on the floor where we slept as soundly as 
the swarming mos(|uitoes would ]jcrniit. 

"In the morning Hamilton came up and we again mmmled the 
wagon, going smoothly along over the i)lains to the angle of the Paint 
creek road, where then stood the famous oak tree. The numerous pitch- 
holes made riding so uncomfortable we were glad to get out and walk 
the remaining five miles to Mr. J. W. Hunter's place of residence. 
Here we received such a welcome as onl\- himself an(l familv could give, 
and we were invited to remain several weeks with them. During this 
time Mr. and Mrs. Hunter visited their eastern home, leaving us in 
charge of their family of young daughters. 

* This piece 01 road has already Iieeii described. 


Birthplace of John H. Parke 

"On their return liome he offered me the use of the shop, as he called 
it, an unfinished log house, built but not used for blacksmithing pur- 
poses, which he said I would be quite welcome to occupy. Doors, win- 
dows and floors were soon put in, and we moved into our first home 
in the west. There, in 1823, my only son, John H. Parke, was born. 
Our furniture consisted of a table made by myself from a rough board, 
and chairs which my brother-in-law, Harry Brownson, who came soon 
after myself, built with his ax out of rough timber. 

"These articles, with our beds and bedding, several trunks and a 
small stock of clothing, comprised all my worldly possessions. I will 
not neglect to add that $8.50 in cash remained, and I was at this time in 
my thirty-third year. Of course the strictest economy was necessary, 
but my hopes were bright. I was in perfect health and all the prelim- 
inaries for the future work in surveying public lands entered into the 
previous year. 

"It being time I was on the move for family supplies, when, with the 
asistance of a friend, I raised a sum sufficient, added to the above, and 
set out on foot for Detroit, encountering mud, water, flies and mosquitoes. 

"Cattle drovers from Ohio were the chief dependence of the pioneers, 
but finding none at the time, 1 bought a fine looking new milch cow 
from a Frenchman, which proved to be so ungovernable as to require 
two men to hold and milk her, until I made a pen so constructed that 
she could neither turn, go ahead, or back out, and the milking could be 
performed by a single person. After this I made another purchase of 
a cow at the administrator's sale of the estate of Webster, in the fall of 

"Whether Mr. Webster died in 1822, or 1823, I am unable to say. 
He came as passenger in the steamer 'Superior' in May, 1822, with the 
mill-irons on board, when it was said that Burtt & Allen, millwrights, 
were set at work and the sawmill was put in running order at Auburn, 
called Smith's mill. After the death of Mr. Webster the real estate 
passed into the hands of the father of Captain Isaac Smith. 

"At the time of my arrival at Hunter's the settlement { now Birming- 
ham) contained four log dwellings, occupied by Elijah Willetts, John 
W. Hunter, Elisha Hunter, his father, and John Hamilton. 

"In the fall of 1822 my brother. Dr. Ezra S. Parke, having recently 
completed his medical studies, arrived with his wife and one child, an 
infant daughter, who afterward became the wife of M. W. Kelsey. He 
was an earnest, zealous Christian, niemlier of the Methodist Episcopal 
church, and soon after his arrival commenced holding occasional religious 
services in his own house on Sunday afternoon. On these occasions the 
singing was principally performed by his wife, who was remarkable for 
her rich, sweet voice, as well as many other lovely Christian graces. 
The early settlers and other friends can never forget this excellent woman ; 
her cheerfulness of temper in all circumstances. Her kindness and 
sympathy in sickness and affliction were unsurpassed. She literally 
went about doing good. These meetings were the first held in the 
neighborhood, with the exception of a sermon I heard in 1821, in Wil- 


lett's barroom, by a Methodist minister who came u]) the Rouge and 
whose name I do not remember. 

"I could get but little employment during the summer. Occasionally 
I assisted emigrants in land-looking and surveying, but endeavored to 
wait patiently for the fulfillment of the promise which had been given 
me. Early in the winter I received the place of teacher in the school 
on Swan"s Plains, where I continued until February, when a letter from 
Air. Mullett, of Detroit, proposed our visitmg Chillicothe together that 
we might soon procure the promised contract. 

"I resigned my place in the school to my brother, Dr. Parke, and 
soon arranged with Mr. M. for our journey. Our outfit consisted of 
a French pony, a jumper rudely constructed with a crockery crate for 
a box (this half filled with straw) and a couple of blankets, not forget- 
ting a saddle ; and we were soon gliding down on the ice of the Detroit 
river to Sandusky. Here we left the jumper, saddled the pony, and 
proceeded on our journey — one riding and the other walking. After 
going a certain distance, the horseman would dismount, hitch the pony 
to a sapling, and proceed, taking his turn in walking, while his com- 
panion after a time would pass him on horseback, and in the proper 
place, he, too, would dismount and hitch, and the journey was concluded 
on this ride-and-tie principle. 

"Our interview with the general was most satisfactory. The oath 
of office was administered and each received a contract. Mr. M. and 
myself were the first appointed from this territory, except Mr. Ball, 
who filled one contract of ten townships in 1821. In a year or two 
William Brockfield, of Detroit, received a contract. Others were fur- 
nished work soon after." 


From this time on. Captain Parke's duties as surveyor took him into 
various sections of Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, his professional 
labors covering some sixteen years. His home, however, was in the 
township of Pontiac. "In the autumn of 1823," he says in his second 
narrative, "I purchased of Shubael Conant. the southeast quarter of 
section 7,3 in the township of Pontiac, at a little less than three dollars 
per acre. The following year I added thirty-one acres on the north 
and adjoining the same at five dollars per acre. The year previous, 
however, I purchased of the same sixteen and a half acres to secure 
building ground, as the line of road from Detroit had cut off my former 
building ground and first purchase, the price being ten dollars, with the 
privilege of one, or as many acres as I chose. 

"In Mav, 1824, I was ready to take possession, when judge LeRoy, 
wIkj owned and occupied the house in which Joseph J. Todd has since 
resided about forty years, kindly oft'ered me a room for the use of 
my family while my own house was building. This rcfjuired the labor of 
three men besides myself for two weeks. The roof was covered with 
boards, battened with slabs, and as the house logs were cut in unequal 
lengths, when raised to their proper place they formed steps convenient 
for mounting the roof at the alarm of fire'. The interior was quite com- 


fortable and pleasant, the logs being hewn and partially covered with 
newspapers, the floor of white pine, and two doors, and windows oppo- 
site, of seven by nine glass; a wide, open fireplace, one side of which, 
in the corner, was a ladder for ascending the loft, where our friends 
found a comfortable bed. And soon after, for further convenience, 
especially for the aged, as it was difficult to ascend the ladder, and 
dangerous with all, I added to the rear of the house a room for their 
accommodation, and a sixteen by twenty room at the soutii end for a 

"I'^om the year 1824 up to December, 1829, I surveyed twenty-two 
townships, in addition to the foregoing, extending from the principal 
meridian to the west boundary of the large Indian reservation extending 
to Saginaw bay. In the fall and winter of 1826-7, I subdivided six 
townships on Lookingglass river (Clinton county). This survey ex- 
tended south and west to the north line of the township in which the 
state capital is located. 

"The Stevens family — father of [Messrs, Rufus and Sherman Stevens 
— resided at Grand Blanc, and from this place I packed my provisions ; 
finishing my district the 15th of January, I arrived home in the evening 
and my wife, on the lookout, having heard of my arrival at the village, 
met me at the door, welcoming me and presenting to my arms our infant 
daughter, aged six weeks. This, my youngest child, became the wife 
of Levi Bacon, Jr. It was a joyful meeting of the family, I having 
been absent sixty-two days. 

Surveys from Pontiac 

"The last week in December, 1829, three surveyors, Clark, Thomas, 
and Christmas, left Pontiac on a surveying tour west from Saginaw, 
myself following them a day or two after, my work being twelve town- 
ships, from towns 11 to 18, north from the meridian, east to the reserva- 
tion above mentioned on the Kankanin river, having engaged Phillip 
Bigler to transport my provisions to Saginaw, where I made head- 
C|uarters. Proceeding on the ice of the Saginaw and Tittabawassee 
rivers to the line of township 12 on the west side of the Tittabawassee 
river, the snow full knee deep at every step rendered our work slow and 
tedious, when, before we were aware of it, we found ourselves running 
a line in the Forks reservation, causing much delay in our work in 
hunting the lines when backing out for this purpose. Succeeding in 
this, our work went on at the rate of four or five miles a day only, as 
the lines were to be walked over the second time ; continuing at this 
rate only throughout the winter, not losing a day on account of the 
weather until the 8th of April, we started out as usual as soon as it 
was light. 

Running Lines Under Difficulties 

"The wind, rising as the sun rose, increased, and as the treetops 
were loaded with snow, filled the air, so that we were compelled to 
return to camp, where we remained two days. When hearing from 
Thomas, it was said he was about at the point of discouragement 


in not l)cing al)k' to lind liis starting ])oint. this being his first experience 
in the wooils, when he sang out '1 will give any man fifty dollars that 
will show me my starting point.' 

" 'W'ill you give me that?' said Chester Coodrich, who had been 
through one surveying tour with Mr. Alullett. 

"The next I heard was that Christmas had gone to the settlement 
and had engaged board for himself with Mr. O. Williams for the win- 
ter, leaving two men to keep camp at half [jay. Thomas had found his 
corner, had become stimulated with courage, declaring that he would 
leave his bones in the woods sooner than leave his work. 1 never heard 
whether Chester had received the fifty dollars. 

"The snow disappeared and warm weather succeeded, the men com- 
posing the three parties (for Christmas had now returned) suffered so 
extremely from inflamed and swollen feet that they were obliged to 
stop work and went to the forks of the river, where there was a trading 
house which was our base of supplies. A sub-chief soon brought me a 
letter from Clark, urging me also to discontinue work, in order to make 
it a general thing. I had already performed the full amount of my 
twelve townships, for Clark had been unable to reach me with his lines, 
and I had been necessitated to run several of his township lines. For 
eight weeks I had carried the compass with a badly crippled foot, the 
result of a frost bite, and, during the breaking up of the ice swamps, 
being compelled to wade a good share of the time in ice cold water. I 
suffered more than my pen can describe. Being in this position, and 
John Powel, my axeman, just taken lame, 1 acceded to the request and 
we were soon on our way to Pontiac. While traveling together Clark 
said, 'Parke, if we are ordered to complete our work, you must finish 
mine, for I would rather lose all I have done than return here.' Dur- 
ing this winter we had many hindrances to encounter. When encamped 
at the northwest corner of township 17 it was necessary to go to the 
northeast corner of the township to run the line west. 

"This corner had been previously established on the left bank of the 
Tittabawassee, when we mistook the Tobacco river for the Tittabawassee 
river, and sought nearly two days in a blinding snow storm, having 
passed the junction of the two rivers, when not able to see the corner 
on account of the brush covered with snow, having passed it several 
times during the second day. At night I told the boys we must have 
intersected some other stream, and in the morning we would continue 
east, when we would find the corner. 

"My expectations were realized, and we found the corner and a 
brush-built hut built by Steinbrook, in which he had been awaiting our 
arrival. Pecoiuing impatient, he had left, probably for Saginaw. On 
his return, owing to the difficulties of passing through the brush, he 
rigged a kind of jumper, drawing it on the ice and attaching it to him- 
self in such a manner as to disengage himself when breaking through 
the ice in deep water : but at one time he came near losing his life. 

"On another occasion, when returning from Saginaw with his jum])er, 
discovering a ])ack of wolves feasting on a deer they had just drawn 
from an ice hole, he decided on sharing a j)orlion of the deer with the 


wolves; and, when they growled and glared at him, hastily sprang upon 
them, yelling and waving his hat ; they slowly retired a few steps, while 
he took a portion that was left, and retired. 

"Early in autumn, 1830, we, the delinquent surveyors of the past 
year, were notified to go forward and complete our work without delay. 
When preparing outfits for another campaign in the Saginaw woods, 
Christmas made his appearance, being on his way to complete his un- 
finished work. 

"The two parties, his and my own, left Pontiac together, and when 
on our way he suggested assisting me in completing the three contracts 
on my hands. Arriving at Saginaw, the schooner from Detroit, on 
board of which were our supplies, had grounded on the river bar, caus- 
ing delay and serious consequences for a time. 

"Through the kindness of the Messrs. E. F. and Gardner ^^'illiams, 
at Saginaw City, we we^e supplied with sufficient provisions for a single 
trip, as they were short, their supplies being on board of the same vessel. 
Dividing with Christmas and leaving part of my own for the next trip 
of the packer, Samuel Steinbrook, the parties proceeded together and 
recommenced work. The other packer went for supplies first, and as 
the schooner had not arrived my provisions were taken for the other 
party, Steinbrook being provided with two bags of potatoes, being all 
our friends, Messrs. Williams, could do for us. 

"I regretted, when too late, that I did not send Steinbrook with a 
letter demanding a share of the provisions stolen after dividing with 
the party. Potato diet, working twelve hours a day, was hardly suffi- 
cient. The third day, as we were running a line east, we met the packer, 
and never did the pony obtain relief so sudden as then. Every man had 
his pocket knife in requisition, sharpening sticks for broiling pork. 

"Aittr this occurrence our work went on regularly, as there was no 
further delay for some time. Steinbrook, on his return, brought a 
letter from Christmas, desiring to know what I would give for the 
privilege of completing his work. I answered him briefly : as for 
'giving' for this privilege it was out of question, and, respecting the 
finishing of his work, no encouragement could I offer. 

"C)n the next return trip of the packer this surveyor had taken pas- 
sage, leaving two men at camp, Eli Sawtels being one of them. Christ- 
mas, renewing his application, got my assistance in the further fulfill- 
ment of his contract. He had become broken down, discouraged, home- 
sick and sick of the woods, to the shedding of tears, as he was pleading 
for assistance. 

"When out of pity to him I said, 'If you will finish the township in 
which you are engaged, I will complete the remainder (two townships) 
of your work.' It is not for me to say how I found his work had been 
performed, having but two men left to assist, the others having left for 
home. The following year I received a letter from him, stating his 
expenditures during the two trips exceeded the amount of his receipts 
ninety dollars. 

"I never heard from Thomas after his leaving the Saginaw woods. 
Clark dropped dead from apoplexy, with the compass under his arm, 

48 IllSi'om' ()[• OAKF.AXI) fOUXTV 

while extciuliiit; a raiii^L- line in llie western ])art of the slate in 1836 
or 1837. 

"1 will mention here that 1 linished the work of the two last named 
surve_vors in the Saginaw woods and marshes. 

"In the autnnni of 1S32 J left home for the ptirpose of subdividing 
fifteen townships in the lead mine district in Wisconsin. 

Fresh Trails 01^ the Bl.\ck Hawiv W'ak 

"This is remembered as the cholera year, and also the one which 
closed the Ijlack Hawk war. A little cluster of whitewashed houses 
at the mouth of the Chicago river marked the site of the present great 
city. A little distance from this point we discovered fresh wagon tracks 
diverging from the main road which had been made by General Scott's 
little ariny in purstiit of Black Hawk and his warriors, which with the 
aid of a pocket compass for general course, we mainly followed. Our 
troops must have made about eleven miles a day in their march, as was 
indicated by their camping grounds, where we foimd traces of their 
fires, cast-off clothing and frec|uent new-made graves. Half a mile east 
of Rock river we first discovered where Black Hawk and his warriors 
had encamped three weeks j^revious, and took possession for one night 
only. In addition to the tent-poles were si.x or eight brush heaps twelve 
or fifteen feet in diameter, three or four feet high, the use of which 
considering their mode of warfare, we could not comprehend. 

"At sunrise we were by the river which was filled by new made, sharp, 
cutting ice, and the depth of the water w'as midriff to the pony. The 
poor animal had a hard time taking us all over. Erwin Tyler, the cook, 
being the smallest man, was selected as ferryman, and crossed and re- 
crossed, carrying one man behind him each trip. From this point the 
character of the country changed from level to hilly, and reaching the 
height of ground we could distinctly see. looking ahead, three Indian 
trails, apparently six feet apart, indicating that the warriors marched 
in single file. The second day after crossing the river, we came across 
an Indian trader, rebuilding, the Indians having burned his house and 
from him obtained a fresh supply of provisions. Arriving at Mineral 
Point, met a son of General Dodge, from whom I engaged a good sup- 
ply of smoked side pork, not needed for the troops, as the war had 
closed. I engaged flour at fourteen dollars per barrel. During our 
journey the weather had been warm and smoky, but the night of our 
arrival a terrible snow storm occurred, continuing thirty-six hours, with 
drifts fifteen to twenty feet high. This was discouraging, for in a prai- 
rie country the corners are made by raising mounds of earth two and 
one-half feet high ; in the top a stake is driven and inscribed with mark- 
ing-inm. denoting town, range and section. The weather was bitter 
cold and our labor severe, but with a spade and two-edged axe, we over- 
came all difficulties. 

"The month of l*"ei)ruary was pleasant and the honey bees were out 
flying in the air. ( )ne morning I discovered honey-comb near the foot 
of a hollow tree, from which we took two camp kettles' of as beauti- 


ful honey as I ever saw. and from this time forward we were constantly 
suppHed with honey. 

"There was occasionally much excitement caused by the movement 
of the Indians, although after the battle of Bad Axe, on the Missis- 
sippi, where General Dodge gave them a terrible whipping, some of the 
principal warriors succeeded in crossing the Mississippi. Black Hawk 
was soon after captured, having left his warriors after crossing Rock 

"One day, sitting there in camp, copying field notes to transmit to 
the ofiicers, having sent the boys out to complete a couple of lines, I 
was a little startled in hearing the crack of a rifle close by, and rapidly 
approaching footsteps, followed by an Indian greatly excited, who pointed 
in the direction of the gun shot; then stooping to the ground he picked 
up a piece of bark which he threw in the same direction. Shaking my 
head he saw I was determined not to understand him, and he looked 
sullen, mad, and much disappointed. Of course I thought he had an 
accomplice, and had I left would have robbed the camp. In a few min- 
utes two more Indians appeared and when within si.x feet of the tent 
placed the butt of their riflles upon the ground. I felt quite relieved. 
We exchanged the usual salutation of 'boo shoo,' at their first appear- 
ance. I invited them to lunch with me as was always my custom in 
Michigan, after which we parted good friends. 

"I finished this work the last of April, and my men returned home, 
with the exception of my nephew, M. B. Smith, who accompanied me 
to Cincinnati, as the surveyor general's office had been removed to the 

"I had waited at Galena three weeks for the arrival of the first 
steamer going south. During my stay at Galena great excitement ex- 
isted in regard to Indians, as rumor said they were assembling by hun- 
dreds at Dixon's ferry, on Black river. One day a great scare occurred 
as a horseman appeared on the opposite side of the river, shouting 'to 
arms! to arms!' All the inhabitants were fleeing from Dixon's ferry 
to Galena in great terror. He plunged his poor, panting horse into the 
stream, rapidly urging him over. Tiie poor animal feel dead soon after 
reaching the opposite shore. Laying aside my papers I set off for the 
ferry, where drums and fifes were playing and fifty or more men and 
boys had assembled. About the time I was leaving, the assembled mul- 
titude, fifteen or twenty young men mounted on horseliack, were cross- 
ing the river to assist the women and children on their way. But as 
usual it proved a false alarm. 

"While making returns at this time, the surveyor general suggested 
my entering into contract for surveying the exterior lines of townships 
in Indiana, and proceeding to the work as soon as I could make the 
necessary arrangements. Owing to the ill health of my wife when last 
heard from, I chose to defer giving an answer till I arrived home, when 
it was suggested my leaving a blank contract, to which I assented. The 
work in Indiana was afterwards given to Sylvester Sibley and another 
Michigan surveyor. For this act of the government agent the Indiana 
surveyors were much displeased, so much so as I was told, it was car- 
ried into congress at the next session. 

Vol. 1—4 


Between Sacinaw J>av and Lake Htron 

"During the following autumn orders were received by the surveyor 
general to cause that part of the territory lying between Saginaw bay 
and township 9, on Lake Huron, to be surveyed. The chief clerk was 
instructed to fill the blanks in the above mentioned contract and for- 
ward the same to me. This work had been given to Joseph Wampler 
in the fall of 1822, embracing about eighty township exterior lines, ex- 
tending south to township 6, and from range 8 east to Lake Huron, he 
(Wampler) having surveyed about twenty-four townships, leaving the 
north line of townshij) 10 unsurveyed, such being his anxiety to leave 
the swamps. It was the most dreaded portion of the lower peninsula, 
and would have been objectionable at the most favorable season of the 
year, but as there was one deputy stu^veyor. William A. Burt, at work 
near the lake, and another on his way. it was necessary the survey of 
the township lines should be continued or the subdivision must cease. 

"I was on the ground with a full party or on about the first day of 
January, 1834, at the northwest corner of township 10 east, and there- 
fore nearly forty miles east of township line (9 or 10) left unsurveyed 
by Wampler. To commence surveying it was necessary to cross the 
townships by ranging with pocket compass to intersect just south of 
quarter section corner, it being necessary to measure from said corner 
a half mile, at which point the town corner was established in readi- 
ness to run the line west. This operation was necessary to perform 
in every range of townships. The snow being eighteen inches deep and 
the evergreen underbrush bent to the ground, it was extremely difficult 
ranging to keep our course, which occasioned our falling two miles 
short of camp when overtaken by night, and the going of this, our first, 
day without su])per. tent, or blankets. In rtinning long lines among 
swamps, where it is impossible for horses to pass, it was a common 
thing for each man to shoulder and carry throughout the day a pack 
containing a blanket and several days' jirovisions. Continuing my work 
for a few weeks under great disadvantage, I concluded to return home 
and wait until the frost should bridge the streams, which would enable 
us to extend our lines into the interior. 

"In six weeks I entered the second time, after having obtained the 
field notes of a survey in townshij) 9, where the timber, beech, denoted 
hard land, indicating that pack horses could be used. With this view 
I made a deposit of ])rovisions at Mill Creek in addition to that made 
at Lapeer, and Burch's mill on Black river, six miles north of Port 
Huron. In addition to the horses. I engaged an extra pack-man. and 
proceeded by way of Romeo to Mill creek. Crossed the creek early 
in the morning, but soon plunged into almost an unpenetrable swamp, 
where I had ex])ccted being able to proceed with the horses, but they 
repeatedly sank, were un])acked, dragged out through mud and water, 
rejiacked, but soon down again, until night overlook us, when we 
chanced to find a section corner by which we learned we had ]irogressed 
one and one-half miles. Finding it imjiossible to get the horses through, 
I sent them with two men, back to Romeo, with orders to proceed to 
Port Huron, then uj) to the lake shore about twenty miles, thence 


northwest to tlie point designated. The axeman, two chainmen and 
cook, headed by myself, each with a blanket and two weeks' provisions, 
pocket compass in hand, course northeast, set off through the marsh, 
readily finding the corner left in my first trip. We commenced work, 
continuing two weeks, our provisions much reduced, and not hearing 
from the pack-men, I decided we would go in pursuit. Taking an east 
course, we intersected Black river, followed down stream, boarded a 
shingle shanty, and were informed by the men that the men and horses 
had crossed the river and gone west. Turning back in our course we 
followed their tracks, and in due time met together. When running 
west I dispatched our new pack-man, directing him to go southwest 
by the pocket compass and, when eight miles, look sharply for an east 
and west line I had surveyed, follow it until he found what I iiad de- 
scribed on paper (handing it to him) and he would find provisions in a 
basswood trough covered with a like made trough, secured by heavy 
logs for safety. 

"Finding the provisions he made a full pack from the deposit and 
set off to meet the surveying party. L!ut his return was long delayed. 
Fortunately the other packer, Steinbrook, was returning from my other 
deposit — Burch"s mill — and met the lost and bewildered man, when 
the two returned to camp the following day. Of course he had a long 
story to tell of his adventures and sufferings during his two weeks' 
solitude in the wilderness. For six or eight weeks the land in the 
vicinity of the heads of Cass and Black rivers (the English of the 
Indian name is 'Big Marsh') was under water from knee to waist 
deep, and we were obliged to dispense with our horses while extend- 
ing range and township lines, while each man carried on his liack jiis 
own blanket and provisions. 

"Our progress, of course, was slow, making two and one-half to 
three miles per day. We were frequently obliged to lay down poles 
and pile on them hemlock boughs to keep out of the water while we 
slept. I remember we built one camp-fire on the earth-covered roots 
of an overthrown hemlock, after driving center-poles to scaft'old up 
to the fire. The difficulty of transporting provisions catised us to be 
on short allowance, and I well remember, at one time, when our hun- 
ger had not been satisfied for days, and while establishing a corner on 
the bank of Lake Huron, a couple of the boys killed a coon when start- 
ing for camp, and not being able to reach it before night, we roasted 
one quarter of the coon for supper, and lay down blanketless for our 
night's repose. The remainder of the little animal, with the last pint 
of flour at camp, was quickly disposed of on our arrival. 

"In April, finding I was accomplisliing so little after two months' 
hard work, I decided to return home and await a more favorable sea- 
son. When making returns of the work performed I was offered twelve 
townships subdividing, with privilege of selecting my own location. This 
I accepted, and early in the autumn started on my third trip. W'hen 
recommencing my work on Lake Huron another surveyor was landing 
his provisions, preparatory to commencing subdividing where I had 
already surveyed the township lines, and another party was said to be 
on his way for like purposes. It seemed as though the government 


was determined the survey of the part of the Lower Peninsula should 
be completed, twelve years havTng passed by since \\'ami)ler commenced 
the township lines. I found the condition of the country more favoralile, 
the water having passed otif. W'e found plciUy of game, elk, deer, and 
intlications of moose. 

"Trapjjers had marked their lines with numerous dead-falls for mar- 
tin and other animals, valuable for their furs, having coasted along the 
lake shore, as we found their boats well secured at the mouth of one 
of the streams. 

"My work of subdividing lay partly on Saginaw bay. I completed 
it and returned home in February. 

Surveys in Black Hawk Reserv.ation, Iowa 

"In the autumn of 1836 I received a contract for surveying the ex- 
terior lines of about sixty townships in Iowa, extending from the south 
boundary of the territory to a point five miles north of Rock island, 
being equal to about one-third of the Black Hawk reservation. 

"Arrived on the left bank of the Mississippi, opposite Burlington 
the 23d day of December, 1836. The river nearly filled with thick cakes 
of ice. it was with great difficulty that a ferryman, with my assistance 
in throwing a line to them from shore, by which they hauled the boat 
to land, having floated with the current far below the city. The packer, 
going down the river twelve miles, was able to cross over with the 
pack-horses, returning to the party in about two weeks. During this 
two weeks were extending lines, putting up at night with the settlers. 

"During the titne required for the performance of this work up to 
June following, the party suffered extremely with the severity of the 
weather, it being an open tract of country, principally prairie. The 
great wonder among the 's(|uatters' was, why we came to survey in 
winters. "Why,' they say, 'you cannot survey half the time, as you can- 
not endure the cold.' In addition to this, the snow was sixteen inches 
deep for eight weeks. 

"Much time was lost daily in travel to and from timber, for camp- 
ing. We continued many days working, while the 'squatters' were sit- 
ting by the firesides. I well remember one rainy morning during this 
month, entering the open, wide-spread prairie six miles west of Bur- 
lington, when running a range line (the pack-man with the horses turn- 
ing to tile right for wood shelter), my ne])hew, M. B. Smith, said, 
'Uncle, your face is frozen.' This was about the middle of the day. 
Such was the sudden change of weather in three or four hours' time, 
and increasing, that were it not that we had reached the town corner, 
and running east with our backs to the wind, we should have been com- 
pelled to flee to the timber to avoid freezing. 

"One terrible cold night the prairie winds blew out all our fires, 
and our full su])])1y of blankets seemed to aft'ord no ])rotection. Some 
of the boys started on a bee line for the nearest house, going in their 
stocking feet as the fire had been insufficient to thaw hard frozen boots. 
The remainder soon followed and I remained alone in camp until sun- 
rise, when I was glad to follow, the entire company's blankets being 


insufficient protection from such terrible cold and wind. During the 
month of March the reflection of the sun on the snow was extremely 
painful to our eyes, and notwithstanding we adopted the Indian custom 
of blacking our faces, it was unsuccessful, and I was compelled to send 
a long distance for green glasses, giving relief at once. 

"After the middle of April our work went on finely. -Approaching 
the western boundary of the reservation, we were anticipating some 
trouble with the Indians, as they had manifested some dissatisfaction 
regarding the line as surveyed their encampment. But the only an- 
noyance we received from them was stealing the only remaining pack 
pony, and, as I had sent his mate off with the packman, this compelled 
the party to carrv packs when extending lines. This was the fourth 
horse stolen by the Indians during my surveys. Completed this work 
the first of June, having been absent from home about six months. 

Another Iow.\ Contr.\ct 

"Receiving another contract for subdividing twelve townships, also 
in Iowa, extending from Dubu(|ue to Turkey river, and two ranges west 
to an extensive prairie, I left home on the 22d day of August, 1837, 
it being the second day of election under the territorial law. Arrived 
at Dubuque on the 6th of September, and before the first township was 
completed three of the party were taken down with the ague and fever, 
causing much delay with our work. Nevertheless we finished the sub- 
division in due time, and commenced the survey of the islands in the 
Mississippi, and when about two-thirds completed the January thaw 
breaking up the ice compelled us to discontinue our work, the only con- 
tract I ever failed to fulfill. After waiting a week in vain for a change 
of weather we crossed the river with much trouble, for home via Ga- 
lena, as there was no road open further north. Arriving at Chicago 
the principal topic was the Michigan wild-cat money, followed by the 
Canadian patriot war. We frequently met sleighs overloaded with fami- 
lies fleeing from their Canadian troubles. 

"Arrived home the latter part of February. I then intended dis- 
continuing the survey of public lands. However, in the autumn of 
1844, I received a letter accompanied by a contract for resurveying 
the township of Salem (township i south, range 7 east). The county 
surveyor declined making further surveys. It furthermore was en- 
joined on me to pay strict regard to the instructions transmitted, they 
having emanated from the hand of the commissioner of the land office. 
This work required three weeks. 

"Early in the year 1845 the office of the surveyor general was re- 
moved from Cincinnati to Detroit, when one of the early pioneer sur- 
veyors, the late Hon. Lucius Lyon, received the appointment of sur- 
veyor general. 

C.\PT.\7.\T P.\rke's Recapitul.\tion 

"The number of miles of established lines which I surveyed in 
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, from March, 1822, up to the middle of 


Jaiiuar}', 1838, including the survey of township i south, range 7 east, 
Washtenaw county, if perfoflned in subdivichng, would be equal to 
more than three times the size of Oakland county, amounting to 5,400 
miles, the ground twice walked over, amounting to IQ.800; to this add 
the daily walking from and return to camp, about e(|ual to thirty miles 
to the townshijj; to this add the travel to and from my districts, some- 
times several hundred miles from home, and the whole number would 
not fall short of 20,000 miles. 

"1 have not penned the foregoing as being anything extraordinary, 
as there are thousands of men in Michigan who could go through the 
same fatigue if they would form a resolution to do so. \Ye suffered 
much from frozen feet, the painful effects of which I am still hourly 
reminded, after a lapse of forty years.* 

"It was not uncommon to carry ])acks of blankets and provisions 
camjjing. when overtaken by night. 

"In the prairie country we occasionall}- carried poles from two to 
three inches in diameter, from which to cut ])osts to set in luounds 
every half mile, when raised in the spring. These posts we marked 
with the marking iron — township, range and section. I have occasion- 
ally entered a prairie with three poles, equal to nine posts, with com- 
pass and staff' in hand. 

"Our food was healthy, highly relished, and never gave us dyspepsia. 
Our breakfast was eaten before daylight, from October to June, that 
we might reach our work before sunrise, traveling three or four miles 
in prairie or open country. This meal consisted of a strong tea. fried 
or cold boiled pork, and shortcake, yellow with saleratus and rich with 
pork drippings. Our lunch, finished by 10 or 11 o'clock, and eaten 
while walking, for we never stopped in winter, consisted of a bite of 
cold pork and a piece of bread — the latter often frozen too hard for 
use, until the axe was used to cut it into small pieces. We worked un- 
til near dark. and. arriving late in camp, the hot bean soup with bread 
and tea was eaten with great relish. 

"Before leaving the subject I would like to record the names of 
some of the men who assisted me in this work. They were the follow- 
ing: Samuel F. Byran, Oliver Torry, Lucius Hunt, David Wilcox, 
Calvin and Chester Ball, Moses Peck and brother, John Powell, C. P. 
Webster, Wm. Phillips, I\L B. Smith. I'liny Skinner, Geo. Case, Jed 
Van Wagoner, Samuel Steinbrook. Marvin Tyler. L Welch. Davis, 
(leorge Galloway. C. Killicut, Hannibal, Sawtelles. Pike, (iould. Phipps. 
Hart, Meacham. Dixon. Walter Ostrander. .Alien, Michael \ an llurcn. 
E. J. \\'hite. and others I do not remember. 

"I will mention the name of Clark 1'. Kisden. L'nited .Slates sur- 
veyor, who [jublished the first map of the surveyed part of I\Iichigan 
territory and had several contracts. I hear he is still living, and must 
be near my own age. eighty-six in .\pril next. We are probably all 
that are left of the pioneers employetl by government iu surveying the 
lands of Michigan." 

This narrative of Captain I'arkc is r|uoted <|uitc generously not only 
because much of it relates to ( )akl;uid county and vicinity, as well as 

* Written in 1876. 


to a character well known in the days when the country was a wilder- 
ness and for many years after it had become developed into prosperous 
communities, but because it furnishes pen pictures of the trials and 
hardships endured by the men of the compass and tripod who run those 
lines through forest and swamp which must always precede the pur- 
chase of lands and the guarantee of permanent homesteads. 

Recollections oe Benjamin O. Williams 

Major Oliver Williams was one of the first half a dozen settlers to 
make Oakland county his home (he located on Silver lake) and, as 
noted by his son, Benjamin O., in an address at one of the pioneer re- 
unions he himself "thought himself the first settler in the county." The 
bulk of the address is given, as follows : 

"Having never considered it a fortunate circumstance to have been 
reared in a new country, deprived of most of the advantages enjoyed 
by those brought up in well educated communities and surrounded by 
highly cultivated people and works of art, I have never felt any especial 
pride in having been raised a pioneer in the backwoods of even old 
Oakland county. I would have greatly preferred that fortune should 
have permitted my parents to have remained where nearly all of their 
children were born, and, although not quite among those who, accord- 
ing to John G. Saxe's facetious remark of those born in Boston, 'need 
no other birth,' yet would gladly have been sufficiently near to have 
received a good education — the greatest blessing to mankind, except 
it be that 'second birth.' But fate would not have it so, and most of us, 
at least while young, had to submit to her sway. And fully believing 
that 'there is a divinity that shapes our ends.' I have ever felt that my 
honored parents, did all in their power, under the circumstances, to 
make their children happy, while aiding somewhat to develop the re- 
sources of Michigan while a territory. 

"With her eight children my dear mother arrived in Detroit six- 
teen days before the county of Wayne was, by the proclamation of 
Governor Cass, organized and named. She, with my father, had selected 
their farm while it was still in tlic county of Wayne, and moved their 
family into a large, well-built liouse in less than two months after 
the governor, by proclamation, organized and named Oakland county, 
as your county history shows. 

"Presuming that it is well known that I have contributed to the 
history of this county in the State Pioneer and Historical Society's Col- 
lections, and fully believing that my father was the first to break through 
the almost impassible woods and swamps back of Detroit, by clearing 
and opening a road from the end of the Leavenworth road to this place, 
and to his farm in the fall of i8iS, before the county was named, the 
Pontiac company formed, or their land selected ; and, no doubt, in en- 
tire ignorance of the fact that the Grahams. Mr. Hersey. Mr. Hart- 
sough, and possibly the Hoxies, had followed up the Huron river from 
Mt. Clemens and formed a settlement, as did my father from another 
direction, before tlie boundaries of the county were fixed or its name 
given, he verv naturally thought himself the first settler in the county. 


But, Mr. President, I have already occupied too much time on this un- 
important subject, anct should. not have alluded to it but for the fact that 
you sent me, last year, a list of the tlrst entries of land made in the county, 
taken by yourself from the books of the United States land office ; and 
why my father's or brother's entries of land did not appear under their 
proper dates, is to me, a mystery. For I do know that, quite early in 
the fall of 1818, the lands were selected, and that improvements were 
commenced and the house built, and do not believe it was left subject 
to entry by others at the land office, until the time, by your list, it ap- 
pears to have been purchased. 

"Instead of the above I might iiave dcscriljed to you the sickness, 
])rivation and hunger endured ; the killing by the tyrant chief, Kish- 
korko and his band, of one of Mr. Austin Durfey's valuable oxen in 
front of the house on Drayton plains, and of the fight or the breaking 
of Capt. Archibald Phipps' leg, near Allen Durfey's house, a little south 
of Drayton Plains station, and of the surgical skill of our family phy- 
sician, who, upon arriving at the house, decided that it was not neces- 
sary to set the limb before the inflammation subsided and the muscles 
rela.xed, for which about one week's time would be necessary; of the 
liopeless look of the captain when he heard it ; of our sending for 
Doctor Richardson and carrying Phipps home on a litter, and, the 
.same day or the next, myself extending the limb while the doctor ad- 
justed it to the great relief of all present. Of the great number of 
rattlesnakes ; while mowing a marsh one day, we killed twelve before 
noon and none of us wore boots ; Mr. Harvey Durfey was barefoot and 
wound a twisted rope of marsh hay around both feet and legs and worked 
in safety. One massasauga the same day stuck its fangs into brother 
E]3hraim's tow pants and was dragged several rods before discovered 
and shook off. Of the wolves we killed without thought of bounty, and 
of their dejaredations on our sheep and swine : of the pigeons by the 
million, and their digging acorns out of the deep snow ; of the ducks 
and geese that blackened the surface of the lakes ; of the bee-trees 
from which we took hundreds of pounds of honey from a single tree ; 
of the pine trees and logs we borrowed from 'Uncle Sam,' and how we 
rafted the hunber down the Huron river to Ann Arbor from the W'al- 
rod place ; of my father. Doctor Thompson, and Judge LeRoy. at a 
very early day, going in our large canoe with an Indian guide down the 
Clinton river to Orchard lake, and borrowing from the island a boat- 
load of ap])le trees in the spring of the year — most of these died from 
having their roots in the water too long — and of Captain Plotchkiss' 
first drill of militia by platoons, saying he wanted them to wheel to 
right or left just as his big barn door swung around; or of the lynch- 
ing of a tramp who robbed his benefactor, .Xcker Toule, of about $Soo, 
all the money he had, and that he had just returned from the east with. 
(^'c)U may be sure that the thief gave up the money.) .And of three 
Indians one day after concluding the sale of skins, furs and beeswax, 
exhiijiling seven skins, stretched nearly round, with the remark, as the 
oldest man drew from his medicine bag, that 'he didn't suppose my 
father would care to buy them' ; they were once worth five dollars a 


Indian Npiar Death 

"Mrs. Hodges first pronounced them scalps. My father's face was 
terrible to look upon as he first took in the situation and the insist, and 
I have ever thought that Indian was as near death that moment as he had 
ever been. My mother, who stood in the door laid her hand on father's 
shoulder and bade him come into the house at once. I will give you 
my reasons for that belief. Having often heard my father relate that 
on the second day after General Winchester's defeat and the massa- 
cre, while walking on Jefferson avenue in company with one French 
gentleman and an English ofiicer, meeting a band of painted Indians 
all carrying scalps on sticks or at the end of war clubs or tomahawks, 
one of the tallest and heaviest looking struck my father in the face with 
the fresh scalps, torn from those unfortunate Kentuckians, and he al- 
ways turned pale and h^d the same look of horror and rage as he related 
it that I then saw on his face. The Indian quickly replaced the scalps, 
but not before we had all seen to whom they must have belonged — 
two men, one woman, a girl, two boys and a fair-haired child or babe, 
as we judged by the length and cut of the hair. Those Indians belonged 
to the Grand river bands, and were probably Ottawas. I never saw 
them afterwards. 

Di:.\R Old Oakland, the Best of All 

"Since then it had been my lot to traverse the valleys, hills and 
mountain ranges of California; to see those valleys covered with beau- 
tiful flowers in all their pristine loveliness; to climb the basalt capped 
and snow covered mountains ; have ridden over the grass covered wide 
savannahs; clambered up and dowh and viewed the wild savagery of 
the Andes; crossed and recrossed the awe-inspiring Cordilleras of Cen- 
tral America, whose forests are filled with the progenitors of Darwin ; 
witnessed on its plains on the night of April 12, 1850, the birth of a 
volcano, standing at a safe distance ; watched through a long, tropical 
night the grand display of nature's fire-works, and upon the land felt 
the throbbing of its mother earth. And of all these grand and beautiful 
scenes none have left more lasting, vivid and pleasant remembrances 
than did the grand old forest, shining lakes, hills, valleys, flowered 
covered plains, musical with the hum of bees and the song of birds, of 
old Oakland as we found and lived among them. Nor will the others 
ever make as happy homes, or sustain as dense populations. And I 
now look back and endeavor to recall the often suiifering faces of 
the many respected pioneers by whose kindness, example, friendship, 
instruction and admonition I was enabled to profit I find of their num- 
ber nearly all have crossed the river that we, too, must soon be ferried 
over. That we shall meet again, retaining full consciousness of our 
lives and friendships here, it seems to me that no intelligent persons 
should doubt if they have studied well the past and present history of 
the world and the life and death of the King of mankind — He who 
spoke and is still speaking to us as never man did before or ever will 


at,'ain. wlieii IIl' hade us hjvi.' one anollier. Let us all try t(j keep that 

A PlCTl'UM Ol' M i;.\10RV 

The following address was delivered 1)\' John M. Xorlon at the so- 
called "supervisors' picnic" (a misleading term, as he says), held August 
24, 1892; also at the meeting of the Alichigaii Pioneer and Historical 
Society, June 7, 1893 : 

"Air. President, citizens of Oakland county : Once more under 
bright skies, in health, in prosperity and in peace, we exchange greetings 
at our annual county reunion. It is termed the 'Supervisors' ])icnic,' hut 
its meaning and its nature are broader than its name. This yearly 
assemblage imports something more than ;i mere summer's day outing 
for a set of township and ward officers. It signifies something nobler 
than the atmosphere of office; its dignity is higher and deeper. 

"This annual picnic is the yearly refreshment of a great people's 
heart. Its issues are the brightening of thought, the rekindling of health- 
ful emotion, the rejuvenation of life. Cords of union and afTection which 
else might ravel and lireak, are here strengthened and renewed. For the 
hour, each individual is transfigured — all utterance is true, every ]nir- 
pose is unselfish. 

"Two pictures are hung before the eyes of this multitude today. 
One is traced by the pencil of hope, and it hangs against the sunrise of 
the future ; the other is painted by the brush of the memory, and it 
leans against the purpling sunset of the past. Xot one of us sees them 
both. Upon the former look all the young, as upon an opening vision 
of prophecy ; u]:)on the latter look all the old, as upon the closing of the 
gate called Beautiful. Each picture is circled with a glowing frame — 
the one new and fair, unscathed by tlie flame and sword of life's battle ; 
the other is bruised and scarred, but is of gold tried in the fire. 

"I am one of the old. Providence has bounteously granted me the 
full three score and ten years, with two years grace. Come now. my 
companions in the 'silver gray,' and look with me for a moment ui)on 
our picture — the picture painted by memory, and which leans against 
the sunset in the frame of gt>l<!. To your eyes and mine the figures in 
this picture are clearly drawn, and of life' size. The coloring is faultless 
and the perspective is so perfect that it seems to sjjeak to us like a 
living voice. All this is partly owing to the skill and integrity of the 
artist, but chiefly to the fact that the picture was jiainted from life. 

"The background of this painting includes, in a general way, all of 
the southeastern ])ortion of the lower |)cninsula of Michigan north of 
Detroit : but all of its special detail and development are confined to 
Oakland county, as lines and limits were established by Covernor Lewis 
Cass, in his executive proclamation of the date of March 28, 1820. and 
as the same now are. In the misty distance this beautiful county appears 
as a land of forest and stream, of hill and vale, fresh and wild as it 
came from nature's hand, in the possession of savage beasts and more 
savage men. The Jesuit priest and the I'rencli voyager push through 
the great lakes and U]) the Clinton river, and o])en communication with 
the imperial Pontiac and the rude nations snbject to his vast survcv. 


One lifts the holy cross and the sound of the mission bell echoes across 
the quiet waters of the lakes along whose borders we encamp today. 
The other opens his store of trinkets and traffics with the Indians for 
his furs and peltry. 

Advent of the Pioneer 

"Rut nothing is accomplished towards the settlement and genuine 
improvement of the country until the advent of the man who came with 
the axe and the plow — the enlightened pioneer who came to suliduc the 
forest and to make a home — the man who came to stay. 

"The first man who built a house within what is now ( )akland county, 
and cut an opening tlirough which the sun might shine upon it, was 
Alexander Graham. That was within what are now the corporate limits 
of Rochester, in the township of Avon, and the house he built stood 
about twenty rods southeasterly from the present 'stone store,' and east 
of the present Main street. He brought with him his son, and with 
them came Christopher Hartsough. They all 'came to stay.' That waa 
in 1817. 

"Then in the next year, 1818, came Col. Stephen Mack, Maj. Joseph 
Todd, Deacon Orison Allen and William Lester, settling at and found- 
ing the town of Pontiac. The Grahams were also encouraged by the 
settling in Avon, in 1818, of Ira Roberts, George Postal, Daniel Bronson 
and William Bronson. 

"In 1819 the Pontiac colony was enlarged by the coming of Calvin 
Hotchkiss ; and Major Oliver Williams bought and settled upon land 
near Silver lake, Waterford, and built thereon the first barn properly 
such, in the county. Avon was also gladdened in 1S19 by the immigra- 
tion of Judge Daniel LeRoy, Dr. William Thompson (the widely famed 
and eccentric 'Dr. Bill'), John Miller, Nathaniel Baldwin, John Meyers 
and Amozi C. Trowbridge. 

"In 1820 and 182 1 the tide increased. Such well known settlers as 
Judah Church. Abner Davis, Alex. Galloway, Joshua Terry, Judge 
Steven Reeves, Capt. Hervey Parke, Enoch Hotchkiss, and Rufus Clark, 
came to Pontiac and its vicinity, while Linus Cone, Daniel Fowler, Cyrus 
A. Chipman, and Walter Sprague made Avon their home, and Troy was 
settled in 1821 by Johnson Niles. 1822 found Almon Mack, Joseph 
Morris, Asa .Murray, Capt. Joseph Bancroft, Schuyler Hodges, and 
Geo. W. Galloway residents of Pontiac, and S. V. R. Trowbridge, Ebene- 
zer Belding, George Abbey, Joshua Davis, P. J. and Jesse Perrin, Aaron 
Webster, William and A. W. Wellman, Ira Jennings, and Silas .Sprague 
had followed Joshua Niles to Troy. Champlin Green, Gad Norton, Wil- 
liam Burbank and Smith Weeks came into Avon, and more than half 
the townships in the county had by this time one or more families. 

"From this date population increased rapidly. In 1824 Nathan and 
John Power, David Smith, Geo. W. Collins and other representatives 
of the denomination of Friends, or 'Quakers,' most excellent and higlily 
intelligent people, made important and substantial beginnings in Farm- 

"Your present speaker (John M. Norton) came with his parents to 


Avon in tlic spring of 1824^ aged then only four years, and has ever 
since resided in the county. My mother died the next year, and my 
father in June, 1832, when I was but twelve years old. My own health 
and strength were my only resources. These 1 used as best I could, 
and with such degree of success as has enabled me comfortal)ly to pro- 
vide for and educate my family, with a sufficiency remaining for the 
declining years of myself and of her who has been through all so faith- 
ful an helpmate. The latch-string of our home is out today, as it was 
in the early days, and we shall alwa_\s take pleasure, not only in enter- 
taining those of our friends of both this and the former generation, but 
also in showing them the evidence that industry, integrity, and 'pluck' 
are sufficient for success in this free and fertile country. As 1 review 
the long list of my acquaintance, my observation teaches me that an 
inherited fortune is more often a curse than a blessing, and leads more 
frequently to ruin than to the substantial success and happiness — not to 
mention the usefulness — of its possessor. 

"More and more rapidly the incoming settlers followed each other 
into the country, until, by 1830, Oakland county was practically redeemed 
to civilization. Pontiac was by this time a center of trade for all the 
region lying north and northwest of it as far as the Saginaws, and dur- 
ing the close of navigation even to the mouth of the Saginaw river. 
Oakland county had five thousand inhabitants in 1830, and Pontiac was 
known commercially throughout the eastern states. 

"Until about this period the roads between Detroit and Pontiac. and 
especially between Detroit and Royal Oak ('Mother Handsome's'), were 
indescribably bad, often absolutely impassible for anything except ox 
sleds, mud carts, and similar conveyances. For this reason the settlers 
of Avon and Troy made their journeys to and from Detroit quite as 
often as otherwise via Alt. Clemens, that is, by team to Mt. Clemens, 
and thence by boat down Clinton river to Lake St. Clair, thence through 
that lake and Detroit river to Detroit. 

R.\iLR0.\D .\s .\ Fun M.\ker 

"As an evidence of the growing commercial importance of the cap- 
ital, the Detroit and Pontiac Railroad was chartered by the legislature of 
1830, and, although this immediate enter])rise failed, it was followed in 
1834 by the incorporation of the company which actually built and oper- 
ated the road. .As a fun-maker, the old Detroit and Pontiac Railroad 
Conii)any ])robab!y surj^assed any comic minstrels ever organized. Its 
directors were inveterate practical jokers and fun lovers, and if Mark 
Twain would write the true antics of these 'innocents at home,' stating 
only facts, the work would eclipse all the fiction of his 'Innocents .-\broad.' 

"Improvements, in all the meaning of the term, characterized the 
county henceforward ; splendid farms, fine residences, improved high- 
w-ays. enterprising towns, multiplied upon all hands, until it has now 
become 'Old Oakland" and ranks as one of the finest counties in the 


The Life Bequeathed by the Pioneers 

"As we look about us today, where are the men whose names I have 
mentioned as pioneers of Oakland? Here is their magnificent work, but 
where are they? The institutions they have founded are the admiration 
and pride of their successors, but they themselves are gone. 

"An association of the pioneers who settled in Oakland county in 
or prior to the year 1830, is proposed. Alas, how few would be the 
names upon the roll ! 

"Watch the pictures again. The forms and faces there, all but a 
few are stark and still. They breathe not, speak not, move not. Men 
call them dead. They are not dead ; they live in all that we behold 
about us — their glorious work. They live in the only true life — the 
only life that is deathless — and they will live thus until civilization shall 
cease from among men. ' As we read their names upon the tomb, we 
call that the shadow in the picture. In the true sense, there is no shadow 
there. This living work of theirs that is all about us is their truest 
life. It is the true light of the pictures, and no shadow of death is 
there. All is light immortal, and its framework is of pure gold, tried 
in the fire. 

"Even so may the other picture become when it shall hang at last 
in the sunset !" 

Fifty Years Ago and Now 

(Written by S. B. McCracken for the Oakland County Pioneer Society, 


Those of us who have passed middle age seem to stand on the 
divide between two worlds. On the one hand we can view, in memory, 
what has been; we can live anew in recollection the scenes of fifty years 
ago ; on the other hand, we can realize as a present certainty the things 
that are. We can appreciate something of the contrast between the life 
of fifty years ago and now. I select fifty years ago as the point of com- 
parison for manifest reasons. 

First, it is convenient as a round number. Second, it is a period 
within the clear recollection of those who still linger among us as pioneers. 
Third, while it does not comprehend the earliest period of pioneer life 
in Michigan, it is its representative epoch. Fourth, fifty years ago 
marks, comparatively, the beginning of that era of marvelous develop- 
ment and discovery in mechanism and in science that has planted this 
generation so greatly in advance of any in the world's history. 

To have pictured to the youth of fifty years ago the methods of 
life that attain today, would have seemed like a fairy tale. To relate 
to the youth of today the methods of life of fifty years ago would seem 
like exaggeration, and, but for the confidence that youth happily reposes 
in the lessons of age, would scarcely obtain credence. 

Cqntrasts of Life 

Let us glance briefly at some of the contrasts of life afforded by the 
two periods, because they will be not only to our edification but to the 


instruclion dI tin.- rising gcncralion and tliosc thai will come after. 
I'ifty years ago the children of the ])ioneers studied their few hooks 
either by the lirelight from the open fireplace, or by an open lamj) made 
by placing some grease and a cloth wick in a broken saucer, or at best, 
the light of a tallow candle. .\'ow, we have the kerosene lamp, the gas 
jet, and the electric light. Then, friction matches were unknown; fire 
was produced by the flint and steel, and when the fire went out on the 
hearth, those who were without this device had to send to the neighbors 
for a coal or a brand. The jiresent generation knowing nothing of the 
pleasure of watching the Inirning logs in the fire])lace and noting the 
shifting jianorama of warriors, winged chariots, camels, and ramjjant 
lions. Nickle plated stoves, or the furnace in the basement, supply the 
warmth without the pictures. The modern youth, who treads on carpets 
or on marble tiles, hardly realizes that his grandfather's floor was very 
likely made of basswood logs split through the center. ( )ur cooking 
utensils then consisted of a frying pan, bake kettle, dish kettle and din- 
ner pot, and the teakettle, that no longer sings the song that it useil to 
sing. Those who were the better al:>le, sometimes had a brick fire])!ace, 
and a crane on which their cooking utensils were hung over the fire. 
Generally, however, the "lug-pole," with some hooks attached, served the 
purpose. The bread was baked in a round iron kettle (shaped very 
much like a large cheese) with a cover, the kettle being placed on coals 
drawn out on the hearth, with live coals on top, and good bread they 
made, too. Our spare-ribs and turkeys were suspended br a tow string 
before the fire for roasting, and there are those who will say that no 
such roasts ever came from an oven. .\nd then, the act of making a 
tow string; every well regulated family kept a hutch of tow, which was 
indispensable not only to good housekeeping, but to good husbandry. 
I don't believe there is a yotmg man of twenty today, with all the learn- 
ing of our modern schools, who knows how to make a tow string. We 
had neither silver nor cut glass goblets in those days, and not always 
tin cups or dippers, the "noggen'' or gourd supplying their i)lace. Our 
carriages were ox sleds. Fifty years ago there was probably not a 
threshing machine in Oakland county, all grain being threshed with the 
flail, or trodden out ])y horses on the barn floor, w'here they had horses 
and barns. Of course there were no reapers, mowers, wheat drills, or 
cultivators. There were few fanning mills. Grain was separated from 
the chafi^ by holding up a shovel full in a stiff breeze and sifting it ofif 
by shaking the shovel. 

Wheat was wholly cut with the cradle, which was a great advance 
upon the sickle that jireceded it, and the liand scythe was the only means 
of reducing the grass. All grain was sown broadcast, and those who 
were boys fifty years ago, and retain a vivid recollection of the horrors 
of riding a horse to plow corn, will apjjreciate the advantages of the 
cultivator. .Most farmers raised more or less flax and hemp. The 
flax culture was sim])ly a relic of that domestic industry, which, in for- 
mer \ears, expressed itself througli the distaft' and tlie manufacture of 
linen for family use, but which, like man\- sniiilar arts, has become ol)so- 
lete through the o])erati(in of machinery. The music of the spinning 
wheel is now unknown, and the doubting maiden today is not permitted 


to know whether she will have a handsome husband or not as the well 
deserved reward of her efforts to build the yarn systematically upon 
the spindle ; nor is the boy now required to break his arms and his back 
by making a reel of himself for granny to wind her yarn from. 

In the lesser aft'airs of life we find striking contrasts. The boy of 
fifty years ago was happy to possess a pair of indifferent skates that he 
could strap to his stogy shoes and skim over the crystal surface of some 
of our lakes or over the mill pond, which looked a great deal larger 
then than it does now, and many of the older boys will remember the 
vexation of trying to make the heel corks stay in place. Now they have 
patent fastenings and they go on of themselves, and they skate in rinks, 
and go on wheels as well as runners, and where we used to slide down 
hill on a board, we now have the toboggan. In the matter of music, 
too, pianos are almost as plenty now as jewsharps used to be, while 
gingerbread as the classic feed on training days is wholly unknown, as 
are training days, too, for that matter. 

India rubber was first coming into use fifty years ago. It was then 
made into a coarse overshoe, wrought into webbing for suspenders, and 
also relieved from embarrassment the modest young lady who blushed 
to speak of her garters, which thereafter became "elastics." 

And then the average boy was happy if he could get a bit of rubber 
as a foundation to build his ball upon. Now it would require many 
folios to indicate the infinite variety of uses to which it is put. Next 
to rubber, perhaps, if not before it, in the variety of its modern uses, 
is paper. Fifty years ago it was used only for writing and printing, and 
in a very coarse form for wrapping. Now it is found in all grades of 
service, from the collar of the dude to the coffin of the sage. 

There are other contrasts between the long ago and now. Then, 
if we wished to communicate with a friend at a distance it could be 
done only by letter with a mail once a week and postage two shillings. 
The letter must be folded and sealed by its own fold, as no envelopes 
were in use. If the letter comprised more than one piece of paper, even 
if not overweight, the postage was two shillings on each piece. As 
quarters were distressingly scarce in those days, it may well be con- 
ceived that friendly letters were comparatively few. \'isits of a feu- 
miles were made on foot. Persons freijuently passed a period of sick- 
ness and were dead and buried before friends at a short distance even 
were apprised of their condition. Now wc are in instant communica- 
tion with friends far away, by telegraph or telephone, while the railway 
places us by their side in a few hours even though hundreds of miles 

I have sometimes queried whether aft'ection is as strong now as in 
the olden days, and whether the sentiments of love were not more deep 
and abiding when the distance was greater between us and the objects 
of our regard. Human emotions are drawn out by trials, and it seems 
as though the yearning for communion with friends that can be gratified 
only at rare intervals, if at all, serves to tone and intensifv the affec- 
tions and attachments. The lady who is the possessor of a pair of 
singing birds knows that the music can be got out of them onlv by 
their separation. We are mixed up with so many more people in moflerii 


life, thai the divine love within us seems spread out so thin that it is 
sometimes ditVicult to find it at all. The old song so remarkable for its 
doleful pathos, "When shall we three meet again?" could hardly have 
been written in an age of railways, as the three would scarcely care 
whether they met again or not, as they would meet some other three 
the next day or the next hour. Nor do I think that the highly drawn 
character of Jennie Deans, in her lonely pilgrimage on foot from Edin- 
burgh to London in behalf of her sister, who was in extremity, as por- 
trayed in Sir Walter Scott's charming romance "The Heart of Mid- 
Lothian," could have been given us in an age like this. Think of the 
devoted Jennie taking her seat in a railway car with her bundle in heir, 
lap, surrounded by the rush and clatter of moving humanity at the 
present day. and being whirled over the distance in three or four hours' 
time. All the poetry and adventure would be lost, and poor Jennie's 
heart could hardly have been attuned to the pitch necessary to the suc- 
cessful prosecution of her mission. 

We might pursue indetinitely the array of contrasts between the 
things of long ago and the now, with reflections upon the changed state 
of attairs, but in addressing a local society of pioneers there seems a 
propriety in discoursing of things more local in their character. 

There needs no apology on my part for a reference to my own fam- 
ily. Personal history forms the very essence of our pioneer annals, and 
this personal history can only be supplied (in most cases at least), by 
the relatives of the subjects themselves. 

"Granxv" McCr.\ckex 

There are many still living in the county who will remember my 
grandmother, who was familiarly known as Granny McCracken. Al- 
though she died when I was less than six years old, I remember her 
very well, and many incidents associated with her. I have always had 
her in mind as a little old Scotch woman, short, but of sturdy frame. 
Her lineage, however, so far as I am able to trace it, gives but a small 
percent of direct Scottish blood. Her family name was Hutchinson, 
one of the regicide judges who condemned King Charles to the block. 
The family were, at that time, of quality and some antiquity in England. 
Although Colonel Hutchinson was included in the act of amnesty' after 
the restoration, he afterwards fell under suspicion, was arrested and 
died in prison. Some of his descendaiUs, either from political or other 
causes, went to Ireland, and it is from thence that this branch of the 
family is immediately derived, through Thomas Hutchinson, my great 
grandfather, who came to this couiUry prior to 1740, and settled and 
married in Philadelphia, where my grandmother was born. 

The old residents who remember (Jranny McCracken will be im- 
pressed the more especially by her bright, quick mind, and her strong 
physical jiowers. To go back a little as illustrative of these traits, it 
may be remarked that during the \\'ar of the Revolution, being a resi- 
dent of Pennsylvania, she was an active ])atriot. being on confidential 
terms with (leneral Washington and other leading officers of the army, 
and not infre(|uently acting as a bearer of important intelligence. She 


came to ^lichigan with my father's family in 1824 or '25. She built a 
Httle log house for herself a few rods from my father's cabin, cutting 
the logs for it herself, and at the "raising" she carried up her corner, 
in pioneer phrase, equal to the next man, and she was equal to the 
average man for a day's work in the field. 

Though somewhat blunt in her ways the old lady was peculiarly 
tender in her disposition, and with her naturally strong mind, of marked 
intelligence considering the limited opportunities which the country then 
afforded for education and instruction. A few books that had been 
her companions found their way into our pioneer abode. Among them 
I remember Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," a work entitled "The Holy 
War," and a polemical work, "An Antidote to Deism." Passing over 
all questions of ethics or of tenets as represented by these works, their 
titles show the indift'erence in the class of reading that was deemed the 
most valuable at that da)- as compared with the present. I remember 
also a romance, "Charlotte Temple," and a copy of Scott's "Lay of the 
Last Minstrel," as forming a part of our limited library. The latter 
work I had at my tongue's end, and could repeat the most of it from 
memory before I had ever seen the inside of a schoolhouse. Elsewhere 
I may advert to the manner in which myself and brothers acquired what 
little of early education we enjoyed. 

You will pardon a further brief reference to the dear old lady whom 
I remember with tender aft'ection. It was a favorite way with her to 
reply to inquiries and salutations in rhyme, and to carry on a conversa- 
tion and relate incidents in the same way. My excellent friend, the 
Hon. B. O. Williams, of Owosso, relates this of her: "An occupation 
in which she was expert was making straw bee hives. Being thus em- 
ployed on one occasion, working in the barn at the residence of Mr. 
William's father, one of his brothers, m her absence, tried his hand at 
the business. Not succeeding very well, in deep disgust he threw his 
piece of botch work over the bay in the barn. When Granny returned 
to her work she discovered it, and gathering the boys about her as an 
audience, told the story in rhyme, ridiculing the lad's efforts to steal 
Granny's trade, and closing with the couplet, 

■■ 'And if you're inclined to have some fun. 
Just look in the bay and see what he's done.' " 

Grandmother died March 5, 1830. A notice of her death, probably 
written by Elder Ruggles, was published soon after in the Detroit Gazette. 
The notice is preserved in a valuable collection of clippings by Capt. 
J. W. Hall, of Detroit, to whom I am indebted for a copy. I reproduce 
it as bearing out the estimate which I have myself placed upon my be- 
loved ancestor. The reference to her descent confirms my early im- 
pressions, and varies somewhat from the pedigree before outlined, but 
it is hardly worth while to try to reconcile the variance at this time. 
The notice is as follows : "In Pontiac, March 5, Mrs. Mary Mc- 
Cracken, aged eighty-two. Mrs. McCracken was born in the United 
States, of Scotch parents. She was endowed by nature with a healthy 
constitution, and uncommon powers of intellect. She educated herself, 
and through life discovered a great fondness for reading. At the age 
of thirtv, she united herself with a church in Pennsylvania, and about 

Vol. 1—6 


four and a half years since connected herself with the church in Pontiac. 
Her life was a life of prayer, and evinced that she had much at heart 
the glory of God and the salvation of souls." 

Of my father's ancestry I know but little. The family were, I be- 
lieve, from the north of Ireland, and were i^robably emigrants from 
Scotland under the severe policy of the British government after the 
establishment of the Orange dynasty. The name is unmistakably Gaelic, 
and has the same root as Craig, Craik, Cregg, Cragen, etc., meaning 
literally, son of the crags, or son of the rocks. My father's parentage 
on both sides was of the rigid Scotch or Irish Presbyterian stock, that 
became a distinguishing element in the emigration to portions of Penn- 
sylvania, Virginia and the Carolinas during the first half of the eighteenth 
century. My father's father died from camp fever contracted in the 
patriotic army in the War of the Revolution. 

Father .■\nd Mother AIcCracken 

My father represented in a marked degree the mental and physical 
characteristics of his mother. Like her, he was self-educated. Prob- 
ably to his relation to this mother in her widowhood, is due to the fact 
that he married late in life, about the age of forty-three, I think. He 
came to Michigan in 1824 or '25, and located on a piece of land on 
section 23, in the now town of Waterford. During the first few years 
he chopped and cleared, as I now survey the area by the mind's eye, 
some twenty or thirty acres. He planted an orchard, and I remember 
very well that he had a small nursery of young apple trees. An increas- 
ing family and an invalid wife made the struggle to subdue the forests 
and at the same time make it yield a subsistence, a hard one. He found 
more immediate returns in working for others, and this gradually be- 
came his preference, to which possibly a naturally convivial tempera- 
ment contributed, especially when his work lay in the village. A sec- 
ond marriage, on the death of my mother, in 1835, proving anything 
but satisfactory, he sold his place and removed to Pontiac in the fall of 
1837, relying upon the income of a laborer for his support. But with 
a man past his sixtieth year, and with a constitution, however strong, 
impaired by hardship, the situation was one in which the best of men 
would find themselves in the descending rather than in the ascending 
scale. It is in this situation that a recollection of my father dwells more 
in the memory of those now living than as a pioneer seeking to hew a 
home out of the forest after having started upon the down grade of 
life's journey. It was from this situation in his life that the compilers 
of the Oakland county history derived the information that led them 
to speak of him as "a cpieer genius, whose time was spent more or less 
in writing rhymes," etc. His rhyming was come honestly by, was 
incidental, merely, and was a pastime and amusement. Two editions of 
the rliymes in small pami)hlet, were iniblished by him. His dedication, 
in one or both of these editions, should be a sufficient apolog}-, if apology 
were needed, for the matter of his poetical effort: 

"And as you read, don't judge too hard 
Of your unlearned and simple bard." 


covers the whole ground. Some person or persons, for purely mercenary 
purposes, some years ago made a republication which was wholly without 
the knowledge or consent of those who had at least a moral right to be 
consulted in the matter. 

I remember my mother as a meek, suffering woman, who withered 
and died at a comparatively early age under the labors and cares inci- 
dent to a large family, and to the hardships and privations of pioneer 
life. She was of more than average education for the time and the con- 
dition of the country, and of exceptional refinement and delicacy. Her 
family name was Bromley. She was, I believe, a native of Connecti- 
cut, but removed from there to western New York. She died in the 
fall of 1835. 

The Schools of Fifty Years Ago 

I promised to say sotnething about the educational methods of fifty 
years ago, and especially how my brothers and myself came to our first 
knowledge of the rudiments of book learning. There was a little school- 
house on the corner where the road leading south from the old Car- 
man place strikes the Elizabeth lake road. It was a modest little frame 
building, that I remember to have passed many times, though I was 
never inside of it. It was a mile (more or less) from our dwelling, 
and as the school was usually open only during the winter season, we 
could not attend. I have often thought, however, that the instruction 
received at the hands of iny father and mother was of greater value 
than that which we would have been likely to receive at the school. 
The four older boys formed a little class, and in some cases the older 
taught the younger. A boy belonging to a neighboring family also 
formed a part of our little school for a time. Our text-books were 
Webster's elementary spelling book, the old English reader, and the 
New Testament. A work called the American Selection, printed on 
dingy brown paper, was also among the household treasures. Con- 
fined at home, and largely to the house, during winter, with these few 
books only for companions, their contents became as household words, 
much of which I could repeat from memory. And here we may fairly 
raise a question as to whether the multiplicity of books and printed 
matter at the present day affords as good a mental discipline as the 
more thorough study of a few carefully selected books would do. It 
is fairly a question whether so much literature, and of such a varied 
character, does not affect the mind in a way analogous to that in which 
food in too great quantity and in great variety affects the stomach, and 
whether we do not suffer from a mental dyspepsia. It is also a ques- 
tion whether, under the modern development of our schools, education, 
as it is called, has not become too cheap a commodity to be adequately 

Mormon Visitation of 1832 

There is one episode in the local history of the county that I am 
not aware has been placed on record. I refer to the Mormon visitation 
about the year 1832, the successful proselyting, and the exodus from 
the county of people who cast their lot with the Mormon church. My 


father became possessed with a copy of the Book of Mormon, and was 
deeply interested in it. Twer Mormon missionaries came into the neigh- 
borliood to expound the doctrines. The spread of the new faith seemed 
to be a contagion ; neighborhood meetings were held every day, and 
new converts announced. Some of the converts claimed to have received 
a new inspiration and to speak in unknown tongues. My father be- 
came an early convert and was received into the church. My mother, 
cither from a feeling of sympathy with my father's action, or yielding 
to the importunit)- of the preachers who visited us, was also bajjtized. 
1 remember the occasion very well. As my mother sat in the chimney 
corner arranging a change of habit that she could use after her im- 
mersion, by the light that shone down the chimney, the Mormon elder 
was the chief spokesman, as if eager to add mother to the sacrifice, 
and impatient at the necessary delay, repeated the question several 
times, "Are you going to join this Gospel?" The preparations being 
at length completed, the procession, including my father and mother 
and the two Mormon elders, started for \Vatkins lake, about a mile 
distant. It was a cold day in winter. About a quarter of the distance 
on the route to the lake was a small pond or cathole. Upon reaching 
this, the shepherds of souls concluded that it was as good a place to 
make a new saint as the lake would be, and accordingly a hole was cut 
in the ice and the sacrifice made there. I was of course too yovmg to 
realize the shocking inhumanity of the act, or to feel the just sense of 
indignation that I have since felt in reflecting upon it. It may be asked 
why my father jiermitted or stood sponsor at such an outrage. The 
answer can only be found when we discover the mystery that underlies 
and inspires fanaticism, those phenomenal epochs in the moral world 
when the best of men do unwise things. Neither my father or mother 
maintained a connection with this movement for any considerable time, 
but quietly withdrew from it by leaving it out of their thoughts and 

It may be wondered why new ideas and new theories sometimes seem 
tu take root and flourish in isolated ncighl)orhoods, affording a moral 
analogy to the jihenomcna of wild shrubs that occupy given areas. 
Probably at the time of which I am speaking, people thought more deeply 
and intensely on religious subjects than now. The people of the county 
were directly descended from localities and times in which religious 
thought was paramount. Isolated in their cabins in the forests, their 
religious feeling was rather elemental and one of sentiment, than syste- 
matic. It was not crystalized in church connections, but was ready to be 
moulded into form, and to center around the light that first appeared, 
even though the light might be a false one. Living substantially in the 
woods, each family by itself, seldom seeing any other persons except 
their immediate neighbors, every new voice was to them a charm, and 
every new face a revelation. These ^Formon emissaries coming among 
and mingling with these people, pretending to bring a religion not op- 
posed" to, but in fulfillment of what they already believed ; coming in 
this guise and under these circumstances, it is not strange that the)- 
found ready credence and willing proselytes. .And it should be noted 
also that the ^klormon agitation was then l)ut just begun, and had given 


no intimation of embod3'ing the one feature which has within the past 
thirt}' years placed it under the bane of both social and legal outlawry. 

I believe, however, that one of the earliest developed fancies or pur- 
poses of the Mormons was the massing together of the faithful and the 
building of a new Zion ; that idea of unity and oneness of purpose that 
has been the touchstone of the wonderful growth and power of the Mor- 
mon church. As showing the firm hold that the new gospel, as it was 
called, acquired upon its devotees, a good many families, numbering 
more than tifty persons in all, in and around Pontiac, abandoned their 
homes and committed their fortunes to the guidance of the fatal star that 
hovered first over Nauvoo and subsequently over Salt Lake City. Thad- 
deus Alvord, an uncle of mine by marriage, his first wife having been a 
sister of my mother, with his family, were among the converts. 1 remem- 
ber hearing ■Mrs. Alvord (his second wife) repeat what seemed to be 
a prophecy among then\, namely, that they were to acquire their new 
Canaan either by purchase or by Ijlood, and if by purchase, they were to 
be persecuted from synagogue to synagogue and from city to city. This 
prophecy has not been wholly unfulfilled. The Mormons were certainly 
not left in peaceful occupancy of their first location at Nauvoo, and they 
will claim that the}- are now being persecuted in Utah and the western 
territories. Whether the other ]iortion of the prophecy, that an acc|uisi- 
tion bv blood shall ensure them immunity from persecution thereafter, 
implies a struggle of arms on their part in the future, we will have to 
refer to thcise who receive inspiration and direct the counsels of the 

Among those who cast their lot with the ^.Mormons at that time 
within my own knowledge, were Thaddeus Alvord and his family, includ- 
ing two or three sons-in-law and families. ^Irs. 'SI. A. Hodges, in a 
recent letter, kindly supplies me with the names of a number of others, 
as follows : Ezekiel Kellogg, .Seville Harris. Jeremiah Curtis, Nahum 
Curtis, Joseph Bent, all with their families, and the Stevenson family, 
one of the latter, Edward .Stevenson, being now an elder in the church 
of Latter Day Saints ; also the widow and one or two daughters of Col. 
Stephen ^lack, one of the members of the ririginal Pontiac company, the 
founders of Pontiac. The Bents. Airs. Hodges informs me, subse- 
quently left the Mormons and settled in St. Louis. Of those going 
away, she says, all were members of churches, some Baptists, some 
Presbyterians and others Methodists, and all except the Bents continuing 
in the faith. We dismiss this tO]jic, trusting that the attention given it 
will not be deemed an unprofitable exi)cnditure of time viewed in the 
light of local history. 

Auburn .\nd the "N'ouxn Pioxeers 

In glancing at the excellent history of Oakland county iniblished 
some vears ago, I was struck with the account there given of the village 
of Auburn in the earlier days of the county, of its commercial enter- 
prise and its business men, and I reflected somewhat wonderin,g!y upon 
the number and character of the young men who in the early days cast 
their lot in the little hamlets that sprung ui> in the woods. They were men 


of keen business faculties, quick, intelligent, and as it seemed to me more 
generous, of broader views aud liigher principles than the average of the 
\-oung men of the present day. 1 say it so seemed to me, although with- 
out disparaging the young men of the present, we can find a solution of 
the seemingly discrepancy in the thought that the young mind is more 
susceptible to favorable impressions, and is less critical than the more 
mature mind. But with what buoyant hopes and ambitions the young 
men of the former time have left their eastern homes for the untried 
west. The young men of the two periods certainly dift'er in so far as 
this, that the young men of the present, accustomed to the attraction of 
city life, and to follow the modern channels of commerce, would hardly 
delve into the forests with the same courage and pluck as did those of 
the former generation. Alas ! how many blasted hopes have left their 
trace upon the pages of our western local history, either written or un- 
written. How many wrecks strew the pathway of time in its march of 
fifty years. It is after all but the repetition of the processes of all human 
progress. Life is but an experiment. Its failures count as a thousand to 
one of its fruitions. The }0ung men who laid the foundations of our 
civilization did not in all cases judge adec|uately of the work that they 
were undertaking. The land of ]5romise did not in all things develop 
equal to their sanguine hopes and anticipations. The place where in 
imagination they had budded cities shriveled and withered under the 
necessary reaction upon an abnormal growth and the exacting laws of 
commerce. Many of the actors succumbed to the diseases incident to a 
new country. Others yielded to financial disaster. Others sought new 
fields. .Some rusted out, while others weathered the storm, and have left 
their visible impress upon the things with which they had to do. In 
the great aggregate of life, in the final balancing of accounts, let us not 
say that one shall have more honor than another. The comforts and the 
blessings that we enjoy today are the consensus of their lives and their 
sacrifices. So let us hold in pleasant and in grateful memory the young 
men of fifty years ago. The history of Auburn is that of many a western 
village. In the early days the rival of Pontiac, we need not rehearse the 
causes that have made it simply a (|uiet little hamlet, the abode of a num- 
ber of worthy citizens. 


.As connected with those causes, however, we may refer in closing to 
the social and industrial revolution that has es]>ecially marked the half 
centurv. The application of steam has rendered of much less value the 
water ]:)ower that is so abundant in the county. The adaptation of machin- 
ery brings the best economic results by its aggregation in large manu- 
factories. The construction of railroads, affording unlimited facility for 
distribution, makes large concentrations of capital and machinery, and 
the conseciuent immense production practicable. The local factory and 
the local mechanic no longer exist. The effect of this change upon the 
distribution of ]iopulation is shown by the census returns. In 1790 the 
per cent of the whole poj)ulation of the country residing in cities was 3.3. 
In 1830 it was 6.7, and in 1880 it was 22.5. 


These facts "suggest proljlems in political economy that appeal both 
to the present and the future. They connect themselves with the past 
only by comparison and contrast. These problems are the most vital, 
we had almost said, of any now engaging the public attention. They are 
vital, nevertheless, for on their wise solution may depend our very civili- 
zation itself. But it does not become me to prophecy of evil at this 
time. Let us hope only for the good now and always, and that the benign 
influences that have advanced us so immeasuralily within the past fifty 
years will continually beckon and invoke us to come up higher. 



County's First Settler, a Revolutionary Soldier — The Graham 
Family' — Nathaniel Baldwin — George Horton — Stephen Mack 
— Colonel .Mack's Family — Joseph Todd and Party — -Ithamar 
Smith — William Nathan Terry — Joshua Chamberlin and 
Enoch Hotchkiss — Elijah Drake — Ezra Parker — Jeremiah 
Clarke — Benjamin Grace — Caleb Barker Merrell — Levi Green 
— Joel Phelps — Elias Cady' — Samuel Niles — Silas Sprague — 
EsBON Gregory — Zadock Wellman — Caleb Carr — Hooper Bishop 
— Derrick Hulick — Caleb Pratt — Solomon Jones — Lydia 
Barnes Potter — James Harrington and Jacob Petty — John 
Blanchard — Altramont Donaldson — Joseph \'an Netter — 
Benjamin Bulson — Nathan Landon — General Richardson 
Chapter, D. A. R. — The Revolutionary Graves ^Iarked — Mem- 
bership OF the Daughters 

By Lillian f Drake) Avery 

There is. perhaps, no section of tlie stale of ^lichigan where so great 
a mimljer of tlie soldiers of the Revolution settled as in Oakland county ; 
certainly in no other county of Michigan has so many of them been 
found and their names and burial places noted. 

General Richardson Chapter. Daughters of the American Revolu- 
tion, has succeeded in reviving the memory of these men ; has ])Iaced 
markers on the graves of nineteen, and will continue the work until all 
whose last resting places can be found shall be honored with their 
official insignia. In some instances, where there were no headstones, 
they have applied for and placed, governnu-nt markers. 

County's Settler, a Riaolutionary Soldier 

James Graham, the lirsl permanent while settler to plant his home in 
old Oakland, was a Revolutionary soldier, whose father, a Scotch-Irish 
gentleman, came to Pennsylvania several years jjrevious to the Revolu- 
tion. His Dutch neighbors called him "r,rimes'' and his enlistment is 
recorded under that name. 

James Graham, born in 1749, was one of a large family, and there 
is a tradition that when he emigrated to America he sold himself, as 


was quite customar}-. into service to a physician of New York City, to 
pay the necessary passage money thither. After the term of hi*, service 
expired, the war was on and he enHsted April 15, 1777. for one year, in 
Pennsylvania, as a member of Captain Hewitt's Company, Colonel Dcn- 
nison's Regiment of Connecticut troops, and served in that company 
till Captain Hewitt's death at the battle of Wyoming. He was then 
attached to Captain Spalding's company in Colonel liutler's regiment 
and was discharged at the expiration of his enlistment. 

His home in Pennsylvania, at least after the Revolution, until icSio. 
was at Tioga Point, on the Chemung river. At that time he moved to 
Canada, on the site of the present city of IngersoU. Mr. Graham must 
have been in the enemy's country all during the War of 1812. but as 
soon as peace was declared in 1816 he crossed the border and took up 
his residence first at Mt. Clemens. 

The Grah.vm F-VMILy 

His two sons, Benjamin and Alexander, started out during the sum- 
mer to look up a suitable location for a home. Following up the Clinton 
river, they passed beyond the site of Rochester for a mile or two and 
concluded they had found what they were seeking. They cut hay in 
the open meadows along the stream, built a little hut and returned for 
their family. The following spring, their father, his sons and son-in- 
law, Christopher Hartsough and John Hersey, arrived on the 17th of 
Marcli. They paid their homage to good St. Patrick by rolling up the 
first log house in Rochester for Alexander Graham. 

James Graham stayed for a short time with his son. then took up a 
scjuatter's claim on section 21. He lived here only a year or so when 
he removed to the farm now occupied by \\ ilHam Graham, who inher- 
ited it from his father, Benjamin Graham. 

The wife of James Graham was Mary \'an de Mark, a native of 
Holland, and his family comprised nine children; James, David, John, 
Alexander, \\'illiam, Benjamin (b. March 23, 1808; d. Oct. 13. 1864; 
m. N-ov. 18, 1832; Mary Postal b. March 23. 1808; d. Jan. 20, 1845 '" 
Avon, dau. of George Washington and I.ydia ( Fulham ) Postal of Avon, 
Mich.), Chester, jVIartha and Mary. 

The Oakland County History (1877), tells us that Alexander (Ira- 
ham married a Miss Hawkins and lived on the east side of what was 
afterwards called Main street in the house mentioned, where his eldest 
son, James, named in honor of his grandfather was born earlv in the 
year 1818, and who was also the first white child born in the count\-. 
The proprietors of the village subse(|uently gave the lot on which the 
pioneer baby was born to the youngster, who owned it till his decease 
when it passed to its present owner, which at the date mentioned ( 1876), 
was John Barger. 

James Graham is remembered for his unbounded hospitalitv and 
proverbial kindness. He was not only held in high esteem by his white 
neighbors, but the Indians as well who would do anvthing Mrs. Graham 
asked of them. She died September 7. 1S35. He died Septemlicr 5. 


^^37< 3.ged eighty-nine, and tlK-\- lie Iniried in Ihe little cemetery the 
Grahams have consecrated for this purpose. 

Mr. Alexander (jraham'was well versed in the Indian tongue, and 
acted as interpreter, r.enjamin also understood the language and was 
a trader. He was called by the Indians "Mauchung,"' wliich meant 
chunk bottle, as all commodities sold to them (sugar, tlour, powder and 
whiskey, alike), he measured in a chunky glass bottle. Many interest- 
ing stories are currerit of the Graham boys and their representatives are 
still living in our midst. 

N.\TH.\MEL Baldwin 

Nathaniel Baldwin came only a year after the Grahams, and settled 
near by. He taught school in a log schoolhouse which stood where 
the stone blacksmith shop now stands. He was born in Goshen, Con- 
necticut, July 20, 1761. While still a lad he enlisted in the sixth regi- 
ment from Connecticut under Colonel Parsons. This regiment was 
organized at the first call for troops and recruited from New London, 
Hartford and Middlesex counties. He remained on duty at New Lon- 
don until July 17, 1775, when they were ordered to the Boston camps, 
where they remained until discharged, December 10, 1775. 

After the war Mr. Baldwin was married to Susanna Sherman, niece 
of Roger Sherman, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence. Their children were': (i.) John, b. July 16, 1784; — (II.) Martha 
Minot, b. April 20, 1795; d. June 28. 1839; m. Thomas J. Drake; — -(HI.) 
Nathaniel Augustus, b. June 27, 1801 ; d. Aug. 22. 1845; m. (1st) Mar- 
garet, m. (2) Jane Alaxwell, April 2, 1842, died ^larch 23. 1884; — 
(IV.) Susanna Eliza, b. ]u\v 12, i8os; d. fan. 18, 1838. unmarried;— 
(V.) Walter Baldwin, b. Feb. 5. 1809' 

The Baldwin Genealogy gives two other children, Sherman and 
Zimri, and the ancestry of Nathaniel as Nathaniel (4), Nathaniel (3), 
Samuel (2), Nathaniel (i), of Milford, Connecticut. 

Mr. Baldwin moved with his family from Connecticut to East Bloom- 
field, New York, where they lived many years before coming to Mich- 
igan. The track of land they occupied lies about two miles south of 
Rochester, where the Grout farm now is located. His daughter, Susan, 
taught school in the Postal district in a small log house built for the 
purpose in 1821, one of the earliest schools in the county. 

Mrs. Baldwin seems to have been a woman of excellent Christian 
character and patience, and died January 2, 1839, aged seventy-four. Na- 
thaniel Baldwin lived until August 30, 1840, when he was laid to rest 
in the cemetery at Rochester. Mrs. Milo Newberry, a granddaughter, 
is the only member of the family now living in Oakland county. 

Gf.ouck 1 loRTOX 

Another Revolutionary soldier to settle as neighbor to Nathaniel 
Baldwin and James Graham, was George Horton. He gave his military 
service in Pennsylvania, enlisting in May. 1780, when nineteen years of 


age, in Captain Shoemaker's compaii}-, Pennsylvania troops. He was in 
no pitched battles, but participated in several skirmishes with the In- 
dians. He served tmtil September, 1783. 

Mr. Horton emigrated from Northampton county, Pennsylvania, 
to Canada in 1809, where he settled first at Port Colborne. In 1820 he 
moved to Yarmouth. Elgin County, Ontario, and in March, 1825, arrived 
at Detroit, and came to Avon township, settling about two miles south 
of the village of Rochester. He seems to have lived with his son-in- 
law, Cornelius Decker, who located on section 21. His son, Benjamin 
Horton, took up land on section 22. There were about twenty people 
who came from Canada at this time, the heads of the families being all 
related to George Horton. Mrs. Elsie Horton, wife of George Horton, 
was buried in the Rochester cemetery, in February, 1827. He died in 
1835, the exact date being unknown, but his last pension was paid March 

4. 1835- 

Stephen Mack 

The blazing of the trail into Oakland county did much for the set- 
tlement of Alichigan, as it proved that the interior of the territory was 
not the morass that the interested fur traders had reported it to be, 
unfit for cultivation, but was as fine farming land as could be desired. 
A company of Detroit and Macomb county men, called the Pontiac 
Company, with Colonel Stephen Mack as their agent, purchased 1,280 
acres of land for the purpose of esta1)Iishing a town on the tract. The 
company was formed in November, 181 8, and the first building erected 
on the site of Pontiac was a log cabin put up by their workmen who 
came out to build the dam and sawmill. It stood on the corner of 
Saginaw and Water streets, near where the old Clinton House is now 

Colonel Mack was long the most prominent business man in 
Pontiac. He was born in Lyme, Connecticut, 1764, and emigrated with 
his father, Solomon Mack, before the revolution to Gilsum, New Hamp- 
shire. The war found both father and son rendering service with the 

Stephen Mack's name appears on a receipt dated Montague, March 
24, 1 781, for bounty paid said Mack by the town of Montague, to serve 
in Continental Army for the term of three years ; also, descriptive list 
of men raised in Hampshire to serve in the Continental Army, as re- 
turned by Noah Goodwin, superintendent; age, 16 years; stature, 5 feet 
4 inches; complexion, light; occupation, farmer; engaged for town of 
Montague, April 2, 1781, term of three years; also, private in Captain 
John Trotter's Company, Colonel Rufus Putnam's sixth regiment ; 
muster roll for April, 1781 ; dated. West Point. (Massachusetts Soldiers 
and Sailors of the Revolution, Vol. 10, page 109.) 

Colonel Mack married, 178S, Temperance Bond of Gilsum. and they 
settled in Tunl>ridge, Vermont, where he engaged in the mercantile 
business. He also built a tavern at the "branch" which became famous 
in after years as the "White House." It was the first painted building 
in the place. He took a great interest in military matters and eventually 


rose to the comiiiaiul of one of the militia regiments of the Green Moiin- 
tain state, whence came his title of Colonel. About the year 1810 he 
came to Detroit, where he again embarked as a merchant, and was here 
when (ieneral TIull surrendered to the Uritish. During their occupancy 
his affairs were in pretty had sha])c. After the war was over he engaged 
in trade under the firm name of Mack and Conant. He was a trustee 
of the village of Detroit and a member of the reception committee for 
President Monroe in 1817; supervisor in 1816-1818, and director of 
the Bank of Michigan in 1818. After the I'ontiac Company was formed 
he made Pontiac his home. He and his ])artners associated themselves 
with Judge Sibley as a silent ])artner and under the name of Mack, 
Conant and Sibley obtained from the Pontiac Companv the title U> the 
water power for which they were to pay a thousand dollars toward 
county buildings, if the county seat were located at Pontiac. Beside the 
dam and sawmill, they erected a grist mill and a small woolen mill, 
which was of great convenience to the pioneers. 


Colonel Mack's family, consisting of wife and twelve cliildren. had 
remained in \'erniont on a farm until 181O when they removed to Nor- 
wich, \'ermont, in order to have better school facilities. A military 
college was located there where Almon Mack obtained a knowledge of 
military tactics, which made him quite a prominent officer in the militia 
of Michigan in after years. In 1822 the family came to Detroit and one 
of the daughters, Lovina, and an ado])ted orphan girl, Elvira Jamieson, 
came to Pontiac and kept house for the colonel. His son, Almon, also 
came about this time and took charge of his father's books and made 
himself generally useful about the mills and in time came to be the 
manager of the business. 

Colonel Mack as early as 1820 had erected a large Iniilding which 
was used as a dwelling and an office, and was called the company's 
building. It stood nearly in front of the mill. This dwelling was oc- 
cupied by Colonel Mack's family in 1823 on their arrival from Detroit. 

Colonel .Stejihen Mack died November 11, 1826, and was buried on 
his own land on the east side of the river and south of Pike street. He 
was afterward buried in Oak Hill cemetery on the crest of the hill that 
overlooks the land he was the first white man to possess. 

Stephen Mack. Jr. (born 1798), located in Rockton, Illinois, where 
he opened a trading house for Indian goods. He afterward married 
(1828), the daughter of a Winnel)ago chief. He held various offices, 
among them that of county judge. His death took place in Rockton 
about 1849. John M., another son, settled in Ilamtramck. 1 .Married 
April 8, 1S27, Maria .\. King.) He also held various offices in the gift 
of the ])eople. 

Colonel Almon Mack (born April 28, 1805 I, married the orphan girl, 
Elvira Jamieson, in March, 1827. She was a woman of extraordinary 
mental and physical endowment and greatly beloved and respected by 
all who knew her. 


Of the daughters, Lovicy (born September 13, 1795), married David 
Cooper, a wealthy merchant of Detroit. Her twin sister, Lavina, was 
the first white woman to die in Pontiac, September 2, 1823. Harriet 
married Reulaen Hatch, who had been a lieutenant in the army. He 
died about 1827 while in charge of the lighthouse at Fort Gratiot. His 
widow afterward married Hon. Gideon O. Whittemore. Dr. George 
Drake is one of her descendants. Acseah died young. 

Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, was a cousin of the Macks, and 
visited Oakland county several times previous to his removal to Illinois. 
Almira Mack, twin to Almon, joined the Mormons at an early day and 
followed their fortunes to Utah, where she was living in 1876. Mrs. 
Mack joined her daughter in 1846 and remained with her until her death, 

which occurred some ten years later. Ruth ]\Iack married 

Buckland, and her twin Rhoda married Stanley. 

In 1824, during Colonel Stephen Mack's residence in Pontiac he 
built a grist mill at Rochester. After the Colonel's death his sons, 
.Almon and John j\l., were appointed administrators of his estate, which 
was involved in the collapse of the Bank of ^Michigan. Colonel INIack 
was one of the Ijondsmen of James McCloskey, the cashier of the in- 
stitution who defaulted to a large amount, and being the only one who 
had available means, his entire estate, except a small dower to the widow, 
was absorbed in the settlement, and his heirs were virtually left pen- 

Joseph Todd .and P.vrtv 

Although it was through the agency of Stephen Mack that Pontiac 
was located and settled, yet the first actual settlers were Joseph Todd, 
his son-in-law, Orisson Allen and William Lester, and their families. 
Joseph Todd was born February 11, 1765, at Warsaw, New York, and 
was a resident of that place when he enlisted for service in the Revolu- 
tion in April, 1781, serving ten months and twenty days as a private in 
Captain Peter Bertholft's company. Colonel Henry Wisner's regiment. 
His father also was Joseph Todd who was a second lieutenant in the 
same company. 

In 1818, at the time he applied for a pension, he was a resident of 
Palmyra, New York, and it was in November of the same year that he 
journeyed to Michigan, taking twenty-eight days to reach Detroit from 
Buffalo. They were driven back to Erie three times by bad winds. 
From Detroit they moved by wagons to Mt. Clemens and soon after Mr. 
Todd and his party set out on an exploring tour into what is now Oak- 
land county. It was now the middle of December and the snow lay 
ten or twelve inches deep. Each man carried a supply of provisions, a 
blanket and an axe. Two of them were armed with rifles. 

The first night's encampment was where the village of Romeo after- 
ward grew up. They cleared away the snow and built a fire and then 
felled a hollow basswood tree, which they cut in seven foot lengths and 
split open. Each man took half a log, placed it by the fire and with 
his blanket snugly wrap]:)ed around him lay down in the hollow inside 
and had a good night's sleep. The next day they camped where Pontiag 
now is. They returned to Mt. Clemens convinced that Pontiac woulci 


be their future home, and Iiegan |)reparations for moving thitlier. They 
were three clays making tiiQ journey with a team. At the time there 
were four houses on the road, at two of which they passed the night. 
They reached Pontiac the 19th of January, 1819, and occupied the one 
log house that the company had built, making a little community of 
fourteen persons. There were no chambers in the house, no chimney, 
and no floor, except some split logs where they laid their beds. Here 
they lived until April, when their own houses were ready for occupancy. 

Mr. Todd was not well after coming to Michigan, and by July the 
whole party were sick, not one able to help the other. Dr. William 
Thompson was the only physician in the county and he lived eight miles 
from Pontiac. Fever and ague was, of course, the complaint. Affairs, 
however, grew brighter after a little and Mr. Todd lived to see the vil- 
lage a thriving one, even boasting of the advent of a railroad. He mar- 
ried first, Julia Johnson, who died February 10, 1843, aged seventy-four. 
He married, second, Patty Lee, September 21, 1843. Joseph Todd 
died at Bloomfield, Michigan, August 4, 1848, and is buried in Oak Hill 

Children: (L) Elizabeth, b. Dec. 11, 1791; d. Nov. 5, 1846 in Bloom- 
field; m. 1st, Harding; m. 2d, Asa B. Hadsell. 

(H.) Catherine, b. Aug. 1796; d. March 18, 1845, in Pontiac. 
m. Orisson Allen. 

(HL) lulia, m. ist, Todd; m. 2d, Joseph \"oorheis. 

(IV.) John, m. Polly Smith. 

(V.) Joseph J., b. 1800; m. Chloe Matthews. 

(VL) Jonathan. 

(VTI.) Samuel, b. 1804; m. Dec. 31, 1839, Armena Irons. 

Ith.\m.\r Smith 

Ithamar Eleazer (5), John (4), John (3), Philip (2), Lieut. Samuel 
(i) Smith, was born at Longmeadow. Massachusetts, January 13, 1756. 
He married January 26, 1780, Lucy Nevers of Springfield, and had by 
her thirteen children, seven of whom he buried in New England. She 
died September 25, 1843. 

Mr. Smith in June, 1776, enlisted for six months as a private in Cap- 
tain Josiah Smith's company. Col. Whitney's regiment : also in April or 
May, 1777, as artificer for two years in Capt. Richard Faxon's company. 
Col. David Mason's regiment; again, in 1779, he was in charge of the 
quartermaster's shop at Springfield, Massachusetts, under Col. \\'illiam 
Smith. At the time of his enlistment he was a resident of Williraham, 
Ham])shire county, Massachusetts. About the year 1806 he removed to 
Marcellus, Onondaga county, New York. September 14, 1832 he ap- 
plied for and received a pension while resident of this place. From there 
his wife and children and grandchildren, except his youngest son, Dr. 
George Smith and family of Syracuse, numbering twenty persons, came 
to Pontiac in the fall of 1835. 

When they left Marcellus they came to a ])lace called Jordan on the 
Erie canal, where they chartered a boat for Bufl'alo. Some of the neigh- 
bors followed them to the canal to bid them farewell, for Michigan was 


then considered near the "jumping off place'' and the good old minister 
preached a sermon before they started, from the text "They seek a coun- 
try." Arriving at Buffalo they took a steamboat for Detroit, and thence 
over a rough road to Pontiac. They all moved into the house known as 
the Benjamin Phelps house (now the Presbyterian parsonage) and re- 
mained there until they could look around and select a permanent home. 

Mr. Smith bought the farm of Mr. Griffin, afterwards known as the 
George Wisner farm, which was managed by his son-in-law, Deacon 
Frost. He and his family were very regular in their attendance at 
church, going quite often with oxen for the first year or two. He was 
quite deaf and used to stand in the pulpit with the minister when he was 
over eighty years of age, no matter how long the sermon. In 1843 he 
sold his farm to George Wisner, taking in part payment a farm in West 
Bloomfield. About this time his wife was taken sick and died, aged 
eighty-four years. They had lived together sixty-three years. On the 
1st of September, 1844, \vhile getting ready to go to meeting Mr. Smith 
fell and died in a few minutes. 

Ithamar Smith was a blacksmith by trade and in 1874 there was still 
existing an account book he used from i8cx3 to 1812. While in the 
Revolutionary service he had the pleasure of seeing and shaking by the 
hand his great commander, George Washington. On the 4th of July, 
1838, at a celebration given by the citizens of Pontiac, Mr. Smith and 
Mr. Beach, another Revolutionary soldier living here, were given the 
posts of honor. He is buried in Oak Hill cemetery. 

Children: (I.) Roderick, b. March 10, 1781. 

(II.) Henry, b. April 19, 1782. 

(III.) Henry, b. Feb. 17, 1784. 

(IV.) Sally, b. March 5, 1786. 

The foregoing all died in infancy. 

(V.) Sarah, b. January 23, 1787, d. February 8, 1876 Pontiac, Mich. 

(VI.) Fanny, b. January 12, 1789, d. March 1858, Pontiac, Mich. 

(VII.) John Morgan, b. Dec. 31, 1790; d. Oct, 26, 1864, Grand Rap- 
ids; m. January 8, 181 1, Lydia Goodrich, b. January 3, 1794, d. March 
25, 1881, in Manistee, Mich., dau. Allen Goodrich. 

(VIII.) Eleazer b. October 21, 1792; d. Nov. 23, 1797. 

(IX.) Hannah Morgan, b. June 17, 1794; d. May i, 1851, Pontiac, 
Mich. ; m. Josiah Frost. 

(X.) Louis Nevins, b. March 21, 1796; d. May 1796. 

(XL) George (Dr.) b. August 19, 1797; d. August 25, 1844, Syra- 
cuse, N. Y. ; m. Electa Ellis. 

(XII.) Lucy, b. April 17, 1799; d. July 8, 1837, Pontiac, Mich.; m. 
Weston Frost. 

(XIII.) Eleazar, b. November 25, 1801 ; d. May 22, 1802. 

William N.athan Terry 

William Nathan Terry made his declaration November 10, 1828, at 
which time he was sixty-eight years old. He enlisted for the .war in 
March, 1774: was at the battle of Bunker Hill in June, 1775, as a mem- 
ber of Capt. Ransom's company of Pennsylvania troops, in Colonel But- 


ler's regiment. He served till October, 1782. While on a furlough he 
fought as a volunteer at the^ battle of Wyoming, and afterward returned 
to his corps and was engaged in the battle of I'rinceton. He came to 
Michigan in 1824, leaving property in Tioga county. New York, out of 
which he was partially swindled, and was too poor to prosecute his rights 
for its recovery. He settled on the Saginaw turnpike, two miles north- 
west of Pontiac, and lived to be about eighty years old. He died January 
20, 1840, and is buried on the Charles Terry lot in Oak Hill cemetery. 
His wife, Eleanor Lewis, died August 25, 1849, aged seventy-three years. 

Children: (L) Charles, d. Juh' 3. 1854, aged fifty-two years; ceme- 
tery record. 

(H.) Sarah Lee, b. October 2-/, 1806; d, June 13, 1899; m. July 5, 
1S27, Isaac \'oorheis. b. March 11, 1806; d. July 12, 1892. 

(HL) Ellen, ni. Sept. 14. 1833, .Matthew Stanley. 

(IV.) William, m. Hannah Lusk. 

(V.) Jacob. 

(VI.) loshua, ni. I.ucv Tining. 

(VII.) "John. 

(VIIJ.) ..Merritt, m. Emily Lewis. 

(IX.) Caleb, b. October 11. 1816, Palmyra, Wayne county, X. Y". ; 
d. April 26, 1890, Lansing, Mich.; m. 1840 Loraine Cole, b. February i, 
1821, d. September 13, 1908, Port Huron, dau. of John and Elizabeth 
(Skinner) Cole. 

(X.) Pollv, m. Elijah Kirkham. 

(XI.) Barney. 


The fifth Revolutionary soldier's grave to be located and marked in 
Oak Hill cemetery, Pontiac, was that of Joshua Chamberlin. He enlisted 
April 3, 1777, at Richmond, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, serving as 
a private until April 3, 1780, in Captain Jeremiah I^Iiller's company, 
Col. Vose's regiment of Massachusetts troops. He applied in 1818 for 
a pension, which was granted, he being a resident of Lewiston, Niagara 
county. New York. In 1820 he was a resident of Detroit and undoubt- 
edly came to Pontiac with his sons, Joshua, Jr., and Dr. Olmstead Cham- 
berlin, two years later. Dr. Chamberlin was one of the prominent busi- 
ness men of Pontiac a great many years. His father died February 20, 
1827, aged sixty-seven years. Sarah, his wife, died at Gorham, New 
Y'ork, August 14, 1814, aged forty-nine, 

Enoch Hotchkiss, who is buried in the orchard on the farm he orig- 
inally settled in 1819, is claimed to be a soldier of the Revolution. 

Elijah Drake 

The early life of Elijah Drake was sjient in the neighborhood of the 
Delaware Water Cap, that now famous summer resort where the com- 
bination of mountain and river forms scenery unexcelled in beauty. 
Here he was liorn July 4, 1759. In the sparsely settled country embraced 
bv Smithtield tnwnship. the settlers were protected from raids of hostile 


Indians Ijy the garrison at Fort Peon. It was located on a large tract of 
land owned by Col. Stroud and commanded also by him. Lying adja- 
cent to this great property of Col. Stroud was the land of Samuel Drake, 
father of Elijah. 

A company belonging to the Associates Battalion formed in Pennsyl- 
vania was organized in Smithfield May 22, 1775, of which Jacob Stroud 
was captain and Samuel Drake lieutenant. In 1776 Jacob Stroud was 
colonel and Samuel Drake captain (\'o!. 14, second series of Pennsylvania 
Archives, page 555, 576). 

In June, 1778, the records of the Bureau of Pensions state that Elijah 
Drake enlisted as a private and served six months under Capt. Benjamin 
Schoonhoven, Col. Stroud's Pennsylvania regiment : reenlisted June 5, 
1779. for three months imder the same captain in Col. Armstrong's regi- 
ment Pennsylvania troops. After that a service of fifteen days is re- 
corded under Capt. Satuuel Shoemaker and his place of residence is 
given as Lower Smithville. Northhampton county, Pennsylvania. The 
state records also show the service of his brother Thomas. This official 
record is meager enough, for in reality he gave four years of his life 
to the service of his country. The position of the family on the frontier 
of necessity demanded the protection of father and sons in the early days 
of the war and Elijah thus servefl three years before his official enlist- 
ment in 1778. 

Like others of the valiant volunteers who first viewed the fertile 
valley of the Susquehanna in time of strife, lie was resolved to make this 
locality his home some time in the future, and after serving as executor 
of his father's estate in 1789 he joined his sister Ruth, who had married 
Capt. Daniel McDowel and settled at Chemung, fourteen miles below 
Newtown Point, or Elmira, as the place is now called. 

Living in the beautiful valley of Wyoming at the time of the terrible 
massacre, was the family of Thomas and Abigail (Culver) Stoddard, 
settlers from Connecticut. They were warned of the approaching dan- 
ger l)y a friendl}' Indian, in time to escape with their children. Their 
daughter .\l)igail was at that time eight or nine years old and many times 
in the course of her long life of ninety years, she recited the thrilling 
experiences which were so indelibly stamped upon her lucmorv. The 
youngest child of two years of age died of exposure and h;ir(lsiii])s en- 
countered in their long march in the wilderness. 

Just where was their refuge we do not know, but presumably to the 
north. This much is fact — that Elijah D'rake married Abigail Stoddard 
in the \ear 1790 at Newtown Point. Their home was in Chemung, as 
we find Elijah Drake elected overseer of highways at the fourth town 
meeting held 1791. The next year he is still a resident, as is proved by a 
release given by him to his brother Joseph, for his interest in a piece of 
land adjoining their home farm. 

His second daughter, Welthy, is said to have been born in .Sci]jio. 
New Y^ork. If so, the change of residence must have taken place early 
in 1793. His father-in-law, Thomas Stod(iard, went with him, and they 
settled on a farm in the town of Scipio, one and three-fourths miles east 
of tlie village of Aurora, lying on Cayuga lake. Here his eight sons were 


born and here he lived until 1821 when he sold out and bought a farm 
two miles east of the villagg of Perry, Genesee county, New York, where 
he resided ten years. 

Thomas J., the second son, had made his way to Pontiac, Michigan, 
in 1824, and became one of the most prominent men of the early history 
of Oakland county. His success and liking for the new country influ- 
enced the rest of the family to leave New York for the land of promise. 

In 1835 Elijah Drake, with six of his sons, and their families em- 
barked from Bufifalo on the old time steamer, "Thomas Jefferson." One 
son, Cyrus, with his family, settled in Huron county, Ohio, but the other 
five became pioneers of Michigan. 

After tarrying a while in Oakland county, the old gentleman and his 
wife went to live with their sons who had settled near Ann Arbor. After 
a residence there of a few years, they removed w-ith their son, Dr. Flemon 
Drake, in 1844, to Royal Oak, where they made their home the remain- 
ing years of their lives. 

Elijah Drake died April 8, 1848. His wife lived to be over ninety 
years old and died February 20, i860. 

Children: (I.) Sally, b. January 11, 1791, at Chemung, N. Y. : d. 
February 18. 1875, at Humberstone, Ont. ; m. April 4, 1810 at Scipio, 
N. Y., Guy Jerome Atkins. 

(II.) Welthy, b. March 4, 1793. at Scipio, N. Y. ; d. April 30, 1856. at 
Buffalo, N. Y. ; m. March 4, 1820 at Perry, N. Y., Samuel Rudolph At- 

(III.) Samuel, b. August 27, 1795, at Scipio, N. Y. ; d. Sept.. 1827, at 
New Orleans, La. ; m. November 28, 1816 at Buffalo, Eliza Chapman, 
oldest daughter of Col. Asa Chapman. Her mother was Electa Doney, 
daughter of John and Mary (Keyes) Doney. Mrs. Eliza Drake died 
January 5, 1859, at Farmington, Mich. 

(IV.) Thomas Jefferson, b. April 18, 1797, at Scipio, N. Y. ; d. .-\pril 
20, 1875, at Pontiac. Alich.; m. December 17, 1826, Martha Minot Bald- 
win, daughter of Nathaniel Baldwin of Rochester; m. 2d April 19, 1843, 
Evelina H. Talbot. 

(V.) Cyrus, b. December 24, 1800, Scipio, N. Y. ; d. .\pril 15, 1855; 
m. November 14, 1824, Svlvia Huestis. 

(VI.) Elias, b. Sept. 25, 1803, Scipio, N. Y. ; d. Nov. 18. 1878, at 
Madison, Lenawee county, Michigan; m. Sept. 19, 1837 at Lima, Wash- 
tenaw county, Michigan., Jane Hudson. 

(VII.) Elijah, b. December 24. 1805, at Scipio, N. Y. ; d. April 14, 
1875, at Flint, Mich.; m. June i, 1839 at Rush, Livingstone countv, N. 
Y., Sally Webster. 

(Vlil.) Flemon, b. April 30, 1807, at Scipio, N. Y. ; d. November 2, 
1865, at Royal Oak, Mich.; m. .\pril 10, 1834, Electa Depue ; m. 2d, 
Mary E. Pierson. 

('IX.) Edward L., b. April 30, 1810. at .Scipio. N. Y. ; d. Feb. 4, 1896, 
at McBain, Mich.; m. ist, 1834, .Vnibrosia Lacy; m. 2d. Mrs. Cynthia 
B. Capen. 

(X.) Morgan L., b. Oct. 18, 1813, Scipio, N. Y. ; d. April 21, 1865. 
at Pontiac, Mich.; m. September 19, 1837, Sarah Sophronia Stannard 


Ezra Parker 

One of the two Revolutionary soldiers buried in the township ceme- 
tery of Royal Oak is Ezra Parker. He was born in Wallingford, Con- 
necticut, December 13, 1745, and died in Royal Oak, Michigan, July 7, 
1842 in the ninety-seventh year of his age. 

With the family of his father, Andrew Parker, they removed from 
Wallingford. Connecticut, to Adams, ^Massachusetts, about 1770; hav- 
ing previously married Sarah Tuttle. He married as his second wife, 
Elizabeth Perry of North Adams, Massachusetts, about 1772 and they 
had ten children, to-wit: Samuel, David, Ezra, William M., Joel, Cratus, 
Elizabeth, Ira, Abigail and another son, name unknown, who died young. 

After the Battle of Lexington, April, 1775, Mr. Parker joined the 
Berkshire company; was present at the battle of Bunker Hill in Boston, 
and in September of that year was a sergeant among the picked 1,200 
which constituted ArnoM's expedition through the wilds of Maine to 
Quebec and participated in the entire campaign, returning with the 
remnants of that expedition. Later a commission was tendered him in 
the Revolutionary army by the state of ^Massachusetts, but was declined. 
He, still as sergeant, was engaged among the troops from western ^lassa- 
chusetts at the battles of Bennington and Saratoga. 

In 1793 the family removed to Herkimer county. New York, and in 
1795 to Bridgewater, Oneida county. New York. Mr. Parker, how- 
ever, was the owner of extensive tracts of land in various points, in the 
state of New York, including St. Lawrence county near Watertown, and 
upon these tracts he settled his various children. Later, he and Mrs. 
Parker made their home with their son, William M., in Sangersfield 
county. New York, from about 1813 to 1835, and removed with his son 
William to Royal Oak, Oakland county, Michigan, in June, 1835, living 
there until his death in 1842. His descendants are quite numerous and 
are scattered all over the United States. The family is connected through 
various branches with many of the prominent families of the east of that 

The onlv ones of his immediate descendants living in this section 
was William 'SI. Parker, who married Lydia Gilbert Bull in Bridgewater, 
Oneida county. New York, in 1802, and the fruits thereof were eleven chil- 
dren, seven of whom were living and removed with the family to Mich- 
igan in 1835. William M. Parker also owned numerous tracts of land in 
the state of JMichigan in Oakland and Genesee counties, especially but 
settled upon the southeast quarter of the southeast qtiarter of section 6, 
township of Royal Oak, and on the old road previously described, having 
purchased the farm or land of Alexander Campbell. Of his children, 
Asher B. Parker first settled upon the west half of the northeast quarter 
of section 8 and the east half of the northeast quarter of section 7, town- 
ship of Royal Oak. For four years, 1840 to 1844, he lived in the town- 
ship of Genesee, county of Genesee. In 1839 Asher B. Parker married 
Harriet M. Castle, they having seven children, all of whom are living 
at the present date. One son, Ralzemond A. Parker lives upon the old 
homestead and is a practicing lawyer in' Detroit. 

William Parker was with Hooker's congregation settling Hartford, 


Connecticut, removing thereto from Cambridge. Massachusetts, in 1639. 
I le had three sons, the youngest. John, settled in Xew Haven. Connecti- 
cut, and also had among other children a son John (2d). 

John 2d was horn in 1648. married ITannaii I'.assett in 1670 and was 
.imong the early jjlanters at Wallingford. Connecticut. gi\ing the name 
of I'arker's farm to a locality there west of the village, which name it 
still bears. 

Among numerous children was one Joseph, the fifth child who mar- 
ried Sarah Curtis in 1703, and among eleven children was one Andrew 
who married Susannah Blakesless. 

The children of Andrew Parker were .Ambros. 1738: Grace. 1739, 
and Patience: Zeruiah, T741 ; Oliver. 1743: Ezra. December 13. 1745; 
Susannah. 1747; Rachael, 1749; Sybil, 1753; and Jason, 1764. He 
moved with the family to Adams. Berkshire county, Massachusetts. 
where he died. Jason I'arker founded stage lines early in the nineteenth 
century and these lines ran to all parts of the state east. west, north and 
south, and west as far as Niagara Falls. 


Jeremiah Clarke was born in I'reston. Connecticut, in 1760 or 1761. 
He lived with his father in .Shaftsbury. \'ermont, and in the Revolution- 
ary war served under Capt. Bigelow Lawrence, entering service March 
2, 1778; discharged May 2. 1778; in service sixty days. His father. Jere- 
miah Clarke. Sr., was a member of the first convention of delegates 
from towns in July, 1776; major in 1777: was member of first Council 
of Safety of A'crmont. 1778; Judge of the first court, and member of 
executive council for years ( A'ermont Hist. Soc. Vol. r pp. 11. 15. 21, 
27,. 25; \'ermont .State Papers. 257. 2C^6. 277. 553. 555V 

In his journeying to the westward, after the war, his first stop was 
in r)ath, New Jersey, where he built one of the first houses. Here he 
did not tarrv long, however, for we find him one of the early settlers of 
Xelson. Madison county. New York. Fie lived north of Erieville and 
built the first sawmill that was put up in the town, where now is the 
outlet of the Erieville reservoir. Before 1808 he moved to Onondaga 
county and finally spent the last years of his life in Clarkston. Oakland 
county. ^Michigan, where his sons had settled and died there Jmie i. 
1845, aged eighty-four years. He married Sarah Millington in 1780. 
She was born in i~(>7: died July 17. 1845. aged .seventy-eight years. 
They had fourteen children and a goodly proportion of the inhabitants 
of Clarkston claim descent from them. 

Children: (1.) ]ulia. m. Elnathan Cobb: lived in Onondaga count\. 
N. V. " 

ill.) Amasa. m. a Mr. (Ireen : went to Illinois over seventy years 

(III.) Tydia. b. 17S1: il. Sci)teml)er 14. 1845. Clarkston. Mich.; m. 
Nicholas Brown. 

(I\'.) Henry, left home when eighteen or twenty years of age and 
never heard of afterward. 

(V.) Amos. 


(VI.) Jeremiah, b. .Sept. 19, 1790, Shaftsbury, N. IT.; d. August 
29, 1847, Dewitt, N. Y. ; m. Phebe Holdridge 1814, b. August 6, 1791 ; 
d. August 9, 1838. 

(VII.) Lucy. ni. William lohnson ; lived in Nelson, N. Y'. 

(VIIL) Amy. b. 1794; d."july 29, 1953, Clarkston, Mich.; m. Oliver 

(IX.jSusan, b. October 25, 1797; m. 1821 Jeremiah P.lair. 

(X.) Hiram. 

(XL) Sarah, Ij. Feb. 15, 1806; d. March 5, 1872, Clarkston, Mich.; 
m. Jacob Walter. 

"(XII.) Nelson, b. lune 8, 1808; d. April 17, 1876, Northville, Mich. 

(XIII.) Sidney. 

(XIV.) Ebenezer, b. August 6, 1812; d. February 7, 1868, Michigan 
Center. Jackson county, Michigan. 


Benjamin Gr.\ce 

Benjamin Grace made application for a pension on April 30, 1818, 
at which time he was fifty-eight years of age and resided in Lyons, New 
York. His pension was allowed for three years of actual service as a 
private in the New Ilamijsliire troops, Revolutionary war. He enlisted 
at Amherst, New Hampshire, 1780, and served under Captain Livermore 
and Colonel Scammel until 1783. He came in 1828 to reside with his 
children at Farmington, Oakland county, Michigan, and died on the 
William Grace farm a mile north of Clarenceville, on Novemlier 13, 
1 851, aged ninety-one years and is buried in the Clarenceville cemetery. 
He was blind for nearly thirty years during the latter part of his life. 
Benjamin Grace is said to have entered service at the age of fifteen 
years, at the battle of Lexington, and continued in active duty all 
during the war, being at the surrender of Yorktown. 

Children all born in Canaan, Somerset county, Maine: (I.) Ben- 
jamin, died in his youth. 

(II.) Mary (Polly), m. Russell. 

(III.) James, b. Apr. 27, 1789, d. Mar. 20, 1866, I^ivonia, Wayne 
Co., Mich. ; "m. May 22, 1814, Hannah Patten, b. June 22, \7g2. d. Feb. 
20, 1879, dau. of James Patten. 

(IV.) Hannah, b. June 13, 1791, d. Feb. 20, 1S79, Livonia, Wayne 
Co., Mich.; m. .Solomon" Lambert, b. June 15, 1792; d. Apr. 8, 1882. 

(V.) William, left home and was never heard of afterward. 

(VI.) Abigail, m. Williard Lambert. 

(VII.) Amasa, b. Aug. 1797; d. July 14, 1873, Farmington, Mich.; 
m. in Maine, Jane Barton, a native of Ireland. 

(VIIL) Sally, b. 1802; d. Oct. 20, 1861, Farmington, Mich.; m. 
Stephen Jennings, d. Sept. 5, 1850, aged 49 years. 

(IX.)" Amelia, m. John Grace, 1). Feb. 13, 1805, Maine; d. Feb. 7, 
i860, Fulton, Gratiot Co., Mich.; son of Joseph and Susan (Close) Grace, 
Joseph, d. in town of Lyons. N. Y., when his son John was 12 years of 

(X.) Harriet, b, .March 17, 1807; ni. (icorge Barton, m. 2nd. 



(XI.) Darius, b. Oct. 8, 1809; d. Jan. 2, 1892, Conway, Livingston 
Co., Mich.; ni. Dec. 10, 1837, Livonia, Alich., Ann Eliza Grant; b. Feb. 
27, 1822 Great Harrington, Mass.; living (1912) dau. of Warren G. 
Grant and Sophia Wilcox of Livonia. 


Capt. Caleb Barker Merrell was a commissioned officer in the Amer- 
ican army during the struggle for independence, participating in the 
battles of Bennington, Bemis Heights, Saratoga, Stillwater and the sur- 
render of Burgoyne, October 17, 1777. He was at one time taken pris- 
oner, conveyed to Canada and was for some time confined by British 
authority. This memorial of him is given in Lakin's History, Military 
Lodge F. & A. M. No. 93, Manlius, N. Y. (p. 59), of which he was evi- 
dently a member. He was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and 
died in Springfield, Oakland county, Michigan, July 2, 1842, at the ad- 
vanced age of eighty-eight years. His wife was Sally Jackson, to whom 
he was married June 29, 1788. She was born October 3, 1766 and died 
Jtily 22, 186 — , daughter of Col. Giles and Anna Thomas Jackson. 

Capt. Merrell came to Michigan with his son, John J. Merrell in 1833, 
and settled in Springfield. He is buried in the cemetery at Clarkston. 

Children: (i.) John Jackson Merrell, b. March 22, 1797, at White- 
stone, N. Y. ; d. Apr. 6, 1866; m. July 31, 1822, Maria Paddock, b. Jan. 
4, 1804, Caznovia, N. Y. ; died May 7, 1883. 

(H.) Charlotte, b. Jan. 15, 1804; d. Apr. 4, 1873; m. John W. Pratt, 
b. Apr. 17, 1802; d. Apr. 24. 1847. Springfield. 

(HL) Charles. 

(IV.) Helen, m. Lovett. 

(V.) Anna, m. David Leonard. 

Levi Green 

Levi Green was born in Coventry, R. I., June 6, 1758, and died in 
West Bloomfield. Oakland county, Michigan, on the 21st of June, 1859. 
At the time of making application for a pension. September 28, 1832, he 
was a resident of Livonia, N. Y^. He enlisted July i, 1776. for eight and 
one half months under Captain Baldwin; 2nd enlistment July i, 1777, 
one month, under Captain New-ell; 3rd enlistment August, 1777, under 
Captain Brown, Colonel Simonds regiment, Massachusetts troops. He 
was engaged in the battle of Bennington. His grandson, Horace A. 
Green, has in his possession the original pension papers and a powder 
horn carved with his name which was carried through the war. 

Levi Green's wife was Ascnath Robinson. Their son, Zephaniah 
Ripley Green, with whom the father lived, arrived jn West Bloomfield in 
July, 1832. Fie is buried in the North Farmington cemetery. Many of 
his descendants are living in Oakland county. 

Children: (I.) Aurelia, b. Nov. 5, 1785, Cheshire, Mass.; d. 1866, 
buried in Palermo, N. Y. ; m. Joseph Chapel ; m. 2nd, Selini Dayton. 

(II.) Eunice, m. David Cripen. 

(III.) Waterman, killed by falling tree when 18 years old. 


(IV.) Sophia, d. about 1848; m. David Curtis. 

(V.) Fanny, b. Apr. 3, 1794; m. July 7, 1812, Orange Cliapin. 

(VI.) Horace, b. ; d. Jan. 20, 1833, Springfield, Mich.; 

m. Sept. 21, 1820, Livonia, N. Y., Diantha Powell. 

(VII.) Huldah, b. Sept. 24, 1799, Middleboro, N. Y. ; d. Mar. 21, 
1897; m. Godfrey Slocum. 

(VIII.) Zephaniah Ripley, b. Aug. 6, 1801 ; d. Feb. i, 1879; ™- Dec. 
3, 1826, Zerilla Gould. 

(IX.) Emma, b. Apr. 24, 1804; d. June 19, 1889; m. June 7, 1827, 
Abner Beardsley. 

(X.) Speedy, b. May 25, 1808; d. Alar. 21, 1890; m. Gerothman 
McDonald, June 4, 1827. 

(XI.) Laura, b. Aug. 11, 181 1 ; d. 1850 or '51 ; m. Sheldon .Wilcox, 

Joel Phelps 

Enlisted June, 1775, and served till January 3, 1776, with rank of 
sergeant in Capt. John McKinstry's company, Col. John Patterson's 
Massachusetts regiment; also reenlisted February 2, 1776, in same com- 
pany and was taken prisoner in Canada. In 1777 served first in Capt. 
Hall's company, Col. Henry Sherborne's regiment. Continental army, and 
reenlisted June 16, 1777, in Capt. Stephen Hardin's company, Col. 
Zebulon Butler's Connecticut regiment. He was wounded in this service 
for which he was pensioned. Appointed quartermaster to accompany 
Gen. Burgoyne's army to Virginia and served from April or May, 1779, 
to May, 1780, as issuing commissary at Saratoga. Engaged in battles of 
the Cedars, Trenton, Princeton, Bound Brook, Wyoming and many 
skirmishes. Applied April 20. 1818, for pension, which was allowed, re- 
siding at that time in Bloomfield, Ontario county. New York, and being 
sixty-two years old, being born July 16, 1755. In 1821 soldier's wife 
"Anner" was fifty-four years old. There were twelve children. In 1836 
he moved to Michigan and in September, 1837, was living in Oakland 
county. He is buried in the cemetery at Rose Corners. 

Children: (I.) Gilbert, b. Dec. 26, 1788. 

(II.) Minerva, b. Dec. i, 1790. 

(III.) Othanile, b. Feb. 10, 1793. 

(IV.) Martha, b. July 4, 1795. 

(V.) Sarah, b. May 5, 1798. 

(VI.) Joel, b. May 22, 1800. 

(VII.) Daniel, b. Aug. 16, 1802. 

(VIII.) Mariah, b. Aug. 16, 1804. 

(IX.) Aaron, b. Oct. 18, 1806. 

(X.) Lewis, b. March 11, 1809; d. Feb. 10, 1897. 

(XI.) Henrv, b. Jan. 18, 1813. 

(XII.) Stephen, b. 1815. 

Ell\s Cady 

Elias Cady, son of Benajar Cady, was horn in Providence, R. I., 
September 7, 1756. During the first year of the war the boy took his 


musket and went to Boston where lie was enlisted as a soldier in the 
Revolutionary war, and served till its close. He spent the winter at 
\'alley I'"orge with Washington, and one night he and the general went 
on a rcconnoitering ex]jedition, returning at the break of day with suffi- 
cient information to make the American army better prepared to meet 
the enemy when it came. At the end of the war he was married in a 
church at Providence. Rhode Island, to Olive Baker. Six children were 
born to them — Seth B., Rhoda, Mary, Sarah, Philinda and Elias. They 
moved to Utica, N. Y., where she died, and in 1838 he came with his 
son, Seth B., to Holly, ^^lichigan, on March 31, 1853, he died at the home 
of this same son at Genesee and was buried in (Jak Hill cemetery, two 
miles northwest of Holly, Michigan. He was a pensioner. 


Samuel Xiles was born in Rhode Island, and was a private under 
General Green in the War of the Revolution and was wounded in an ac- 
tion in his native state. He came to Michigan in 1835 and took up his 
residence with his son Johnson Niles, the first settler in the township of 
Troy, and remained here until his death in July, 1838. Buried in Crook's 
cemetery, Troy, Oakland county, Michigan. His wife. Smellage Sisson, 
died in 1835; m. 2nd, Lucy Roberts. 

Silas Sprague 

Silas Sprague was another early settler and soldier who is buried in 
the Crooks cemetery at Troy, this county. He was born February iS, 
1762, in Connecticut, coming to Michigan in 1S24, with his son Silas; 
died March 8, 1841, in Troy. Michigan. His wife, Polly Leonard, was 
born October 16, 1763; died October 5, 1813, in New York. Their chil- 
dren were: (I.) Silas, b. Oct. ifi. 1785. Middlebury. Conn.; d. July 2, 
1868, Troy, Mich.; m. Nov. 12, 1807," Sarah Crofoot; m. 2nd, 1824, 
Amanda Bostwick ; m. 3rd, i8sS. P-unice Iniller. 

(II.) Polly, b. J\Iar. 9. 1790. 

(HI.) Charles, b. Dec. 13, 1791. Chenango Co., N. Y. ; d. Nov. 30. 

(I\'.) Thomas, b. Apr. 6, 1794, Chenango Co., N. Y.; d. -Kpr. i86(). 

(V.) Orrin, b. Aug. 20, 1796; d. June 8. 1874, Troy. 

(VI.) Barnabas, b. Mar. 20, 1799; d. Sept. 30. 1865. 

(VII.) John, b. July 4, 1801 ; d. Sept. 29, 1866. Troy, Mich. 

(VIII.) "Leonard, h. Aug. 29. 1804; Broome Co., N. Y. ; d. July 24. 
1880, Pontiac, Micli. 

"Massachu-setts Soldiers and Sailors" gives his service as follows : 
Certificate dated May 31, 1780; signed by Truman Wheeler, muster 
master of Berkshire county, stating that in the fore part of July, 1779, 
he had mustered said S])rague and others to serve in the Continental 
army for the term of nine months, to the credit of the town of Great 
Barrington; also descriptive list of men raised in lierkshire county to 
serve in the Continental army for the term of nine months to Capt. Good- 
rich's company. Col. Ashley's regiment ; age seventeen years ; stature five 


feet, nine inches, complexion light; engaged for the town of Great Har- 
rington; also served twelve days at Stillwater, 1781. 

Esiiox Gregory 

The Bureau of IVnsions at Washington gives the following record; 
Esbon Gregory enlisted June 13, 1777, and served till August 17, 1777, as 
private in Capt. Amariah Babbitt's company, Col. Benjamin Simon's 
regiment of Massachusetts troops; also re-enlisted .\ugust 17, 1777, and 
served till October 17, 1777, under Capt. Herrick and Col. Seth Warner; 
also, after October 17, 1777, to May or June, 1778, as teamster under 
Capt. Luther Loomis and Col. Warner; also from ]\Iay or June, 1778, 
for eight months in Capt. Peter Porter's company, General Stark's Life 
Guard; also April, 1779, three months as cjuartermaster transporting 
military stores for General Stark; also July i, I77y. served as sergeant 
under Capt. Barnes in' Col. Israel Capen's regiment; also June i, 1780, 
one year as sergeant under Captains Hickok, Spoor and Gross, and 
Colonels Brown and Willett ; also June i, 1781, through November of 
that year. He engaged in the battle of Bennington in which he was 
wounded ; also battles of Stone Arabia and Johnstown. At the time of 
his enlistment he was a resident of New Ashford or Lanesborough, 
Berkshire county, N. Y. and at the time of his application for pension 
May 4, 1818, he resided in Manlius, New A'ork. In 1833 he lived in 
Hanover, that state. In 1837 he was living in Troy, Oakland county, 
with his son, Jesse Gregory, where he remained until his death in 184 — . 
He is buried in the Plains cemetery, one and one quarter miles east of 
Troy Corners, Oakland county. His wife was Salome Sherwood. 

Children: (I.) Solomon, m. Maria Llagerman. 

(II.) Abigail, m. Johnson. 

(III.) Salome, m. Absalom Kief. 

(IV.) Mary Ann, m. Jan. 15, 1829, Sylvester Francis. 

(V.) Jesse, b. Sept. 26, 1796, , N. Y. ; d. July 22. 1849, 

Troy, Mich.; m. Mar. 26, 1826, Laura Downer, b. Dec. 29, 1799; d. July 
7, 1874: dau. of Jackson and Tabitha ( Hackett) Downer. 

Zadock Wellmax 

Zadock Wellman and his sons, Joel and Aaron, settled in Troy as 
early as 1819. They came from Vermont and were active in the Ijap- 
tist church and town affairs until about 1847, when their names disajj- 
pear. Zadock Wellman's name is found in the list of Revolutionary 
soldiers who were pensioners in 1840 when his age is given as seventy- 
nine and he resided with Joel Wellman in Troy. The wife of Joel was 
Martha and Aaron Wellman's wife was Lucy. The Wellmans are buried 
in the cemetery east of Troy Corners, Oakland county. 

Caleb Carr 

Caleb Carr. born October 13, 1762, died July 18, 1839, and is buried 
in Novi cemetery. He is said to have been a Methodist e.xhorter, (p. 
130, Vol. Ill "Massachusetts .Soldiers and Sailors"). 


Caleb Carr, Jr.: Receipt dated Warwick, February, 1777, given to 
Capt. Squire Millard for wages for services for one day on an alarm 
November 2, 1776; also, private in Capt. Millard's company. Col. John 
Waterman's regiment, service between December 4, 1776. and January 9, 
1777, thirty-five days; also first division Capt. Squire Millard's company, 
Col. Wakeman's regiment, service from January 9. 1777 to I'ebruary 3, 
1777, thirty-one days; also, receipt dated Warwick, 1777, given to Capt. 
Millard for wages from January 9 to February 8, 1777; also corporal 
first division. Squire Millard's company. Col. Waterman's regiment, ser- 
vice from April 6, 1777, to April 22, 1777, fifteen days. 

The land records show that the Carr family bought land in Kensing- 
ton in the year 1836, at which time Caleb Carr, Jr., was a resident of 
that place. A few years later the father and sons lived at Novi, Michi- 
gan, where Isaac Carr kept a tavern, which was burned in 1847. He 
then moved to Redford, ^Michigan, and kept tavern there the rest of his 

Caleb Carr had children : Caleb, b. \'ermont ; d. in Williamston, 
Mich.; Isaac, b. September 6, 1790, \'ermont; d. December 1862, Red- 
ford, Mich. ; Calvin, b. Vermont ; d. Waterford, Mich. ; Sarah, b. June 
5, 1800; d. February 9, 1837. 

Hooper Bishop 

Hooper Bishop, another soldier of the Revolution, buried in Novi 
cemetery, Michigan, was born March 22, 1762; died April 3, 1861. He 

married February 12, 1794, Betsey ; born March 22, 1758; 

died January 12, 1825. He came to Michigan before 1840 to live with 
his son Levi who owned a farm east of Novi, which is now owned by Mr. 
West. Mrs. Lozie Paddack remembers him well, as she often visited 
his granddaughter and he would tell them stories of the war, of which 
he had kept many relics, including his uniform and musket. He had 
a wooden leg and was blind and the children looked up to him as a great 
hero. His service is given in "Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors," 
Vol. II, p. 78, as follows: Hooper Bishop, private Capt. John Carpenter 
company; enlisted June 25, 1779; discharged September 25. 1779; ser- 
vice with guards at Springfield enlistment three months. 

Hooper Bishop, private Capt. Caleb Keep's company. Col. Israel 
Chapen's regiment; enlisted October, 1779; discharged November 21, 
1779; service i month, 11 days; enlisted three months; company raised to 
reinforce Continental army. 

Hooper Bishop, South Brinefield descriptive list of men raised to 
reinforce Continental army for the term of six months, agreeable to re- 
solve of June 5, 17S0; Age, eighteen years; stature, five feet, five inches; 
complexion dark ; residence South Brinefield ; arrived in Springfield July 
II, 1780; marched to camp July 11, 1780, under command of Captain 
George Webb. Also list of men raised for the six months service and re- 
turned by Brig. Gen. Patterson as having passed muster, in a return dated 
Camp Toloway, October 25, 1780; also pay roll for six-month men raised 
bv the town of South Brinefield for service in the Continental armv dur- 


ing 1780. Marched July, 1870; discharged December, 1780; service five 
months ; discharged at West Point. 

Also Hooper Bishop, private Capt. Abel King's company, Col. Sear's 
regiment; enlisted August 20, 1781 ; discharged November 26, 1781; 
service three months at Saratoga. 

Children: (I.) Prudence, b. September 3, 1794. 

(H.) Sally, b. February 26, 1797; d. February 4, 1858. 

(HI.) Levi, b. June 8, 1799; d. October 18, 1870, Novi, Oakland 
county, Mich. 

(IV.) William, b. November 21, 1802. 

Derrick Hulick 

Derrick Hulick was born May 5, 1759, Montgomery township, Som- 
erset county, New Jersey. At the time of his enlistment he was still a 
resident of that county. He served as a private from June i, 1776, for 
seven months in Capt. William Baird's company, Col. Quick's and Henry 
V'anDike's regiment ; also under Capt. Rynear Staats and Col. Freling- 
huysen of New Jersey. Reenlisted, 1777, for eight months in John 
Baird's company, Col. Webster's regiment; again in April, 1778, for two 
months under Capts. Joakim Gulick and John Bair in Col. VanDike's 
regiment. Also January or February 1779, for six months and 1780 
for one month in the same company. September 3, 1832, he applied for 
and was allowed a pension and at the time lived in O.xford township, 
Warren county, New Jersey. In 1839 he resided with his son-in-law, 
Dennis Snyder, in the township of Addison, Oakland county. He died 
in 1843 and was the first person buried in the Lakeville cemetery. He 
is said also to have served in the War of 1812. 

Caleb Pratt 

Obituary from Pontiac Jacksonian, June 13, 1843 : "Departed 
this life on the 24th ult. Caleb Pratt, Esq., aged eighty-three years and 
seven months, at the residence of his son, Capt. John W. Pratt, Spring- 
field, Oakland county, Michigan. 

"Mr. Pratt was a soldier of the Revolution. He was a volunteer 
under the brave Stark at Bennington, and there fought shoulder to 
shoulder with his compatriots and contributed to the successful issue of 
that eventful day. 

,"The deceased in the course of his long and active life was frequently 
called by his fellow citizens to fill ofiices, both civil and military, and he 
discharged the duties thereof with honor to himself and satisfaction to 
the public." 

Solomon Jones 

Solomon Jones came to Michigan in the fall of 1843 and first stopped 
in Springfield where his wife died. He lived five years afterward with 
his son, Jesse, in Groveland, and then went back to New York where he 
stayed some time and finally returned to Michigan and lived with Jesse 
until June 1865, when he died at the extreme age of one hundred and 


live years. He had served in the Revokitionary war, although but lifteeii 
jears old when called upon to bear arms. (Page 176 Oakland County 

Children: (I.) Daniel, came from ( )r\veU, Rutland county. Xennimt. 
in if^37. to Michigan. 

(11.) Timothy, came to Alichigan 1836, settled in .Springfield and 
later went to Texas. 

(111.) Jesse, b. in Esse.x «ouuty, N. Y., between Lake George and 
Lake Champlain, came to Michigan in 1838, located in Croveland, Oak- 
land county, Michigan. 

Lydia B.\rni!s Potter 

General Richardson Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 
learning of the services this loyal woman gave to her country, honored 
her grave with the official marker of the society, placed with appropriate 
services on the 19th of August, 191 1. at the Baldwin cemetery, near 
Rochester, Michigan. Her granddaughter, Mrs. Abigail H. McArthur, 
makes the following affidavit: 

"To all whom it may concern : My grandfather, Lemuel Potter, was 
a Revolutionary soldier.' He enlisted at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1777, 
when the Continental army was organized.^ He had seen previous ser- 
vice in the militia companies. His officers' were Col. Wyllys and Capt. 
Robert Warner. He was appointed a corporal, and with a corporal's 
guard was sent home to gather provisions and clothing for Washington's 
starving soldiers at Valley Forge. \\'hile engaged in this work he met 
Lydia Barnes, a young woman who was devoting her whole time and 
strength to the service of her country by making clothing for the sol- 
diers at the front. She spun and wove the wool and cut and made the 
garments, learning the tailor's trade that she might the more expeditiously 
supply the soldier's needs. She worked so unremittingly at her task, 
standing continuously in a half bent position over her cutting tal)lc that 
she was never able to stand u]M-ight. 

"When the young soldier, Lemuel Potter, returned to the front he 
had won the promise of Lydia Barnes to be his wife when the war was 
over. But owing to a ruling of congress that a married man could draw a 
year's rations they were married earlier in February 2, 1779. 

"Lemuel Potter was in the engagement known as the Storming of 
Stony Point and by his bravery on that occasion won the praise of his 
commander. On another occasion he was presented with a cane Iiy his 
major for meritorious conduct. Said cane is now in my possession. He 
served till the end of the war and was honorably discharged. His mili- 
tary record was obtained from the Pension dep.'U-tment at Washington. 
D. C. 

"Leiuuel Potter died February 2(\ i8j6. ;ind is buried al Chili, .X. \. 
.\fter his death his widow moved to Paint Creek. Oakland county, and 
became an inmate of the family of my parents, Xccdhani and Marilla 
Hemingwa\- (her daughter I, till the time of her death, ten years later. 
.She died in .\ugust. 1836, anil is buried at Baldwin's cemetery. Paint 
Creek, Oakland count v. At the time she was a lucmber of my ninther's 


family I was a young girl and testif}' of my own knowledge that the 
above facts are true as I heard them related by my grandmother. Lydia 
Potter, in mv childhood. 

"Abigail H. McArthur." 

"State of Michigan. County of Lapeer — On this 19th day of August. 
1911, personally appeared before me. a notary public in and for Lapeer 
county, Michigan. Abigail H. McArthur who being duly sworn deposes 
and savs that the above is true to the best of her knowledge and belief. 

"W.M. E. JMcCoRMACK, Notary Public." 

L\Mi-:s IL\krin(;tox and Jacob Petty 

James Harrington's name appears as one of the earliest pioneers of 
this county, coming to Pontiac in 1820 or 21. He made the first pur- 
chase of land in the to\vnship of West Bloomfield on the 15th of May, 
1823. He entered the entire section 36. He served in the Rhode Island 
troops as corporal in the Revolution. He died in Oakland county 1823, 
aged sixty-two. His wife was Martha Gould and his daughter I\lary 
married Elias Gates. 

Jacob Petty, of Indej^endence, Oakland county, claimed to have 
lielonged to Washington's bodyguard. His remains were removed from 
the farm where he died, to the cemetery at Sashabaw Plains. Oakland 

John Blaxciiakd axu Altramoxt Doxai.dsox 

John P.lanchard's name is given in the pensioneer's list of 1840. his 
residence is mentioned as White Lake, and his age as seventy-seven. The 
county records show that a John Blanchard of Farmington in 1834 deeded 
land to his daughter. Sophia La(|ui. which in 1852 was sold by Sophia 
and .Aljraham Lakey to Ira F. Gage. In 1835 John Blanchard deeded 
eightv acres of land to his son David, whose wife was Sally. David 
owned the west one-half N. E. qtiarter section 17 and deeded same to Ben- 
jamin Sage in 1839. John Blanchard's former residence was Meredith. 
Delaware county. New York. 

Altramont Donaldson, another soldier given in the pension list, was 
aged seventy-seven and resided at Holly in 1840. Xo further informa- 
tion can be given concerning him. 

Joseph A'ax Netter 

Joseph \"an Netter was the first Revolutionary veteran to file an 
api^lication for pension in the Oakland county court. On the date of 
his sworn statement February 12, 1822. he was fifty-nine years old. He 
enlisted for one year, in April. 1775, in Captain Wendell's company of 
Colonel Wynkoop's regiment, in the line of the state (colony) of New 
York, Continental establishment, served till November, and then re- 
enlisted for the war, in the same company and regiment, the latter then 
commanded bv Colonel \'an Schaick. He completed his term of service, 
beinsj engaged with the enemv at the battles of Monmouth and ^'cJrk- 


town, and was honorably (iiscliarged. He filed an inventory of all of his 
worldly goods, which the court. Judge William Thompson presiding, 
valued at the munilicent sum of nine dollars. 

Benjamin Bulson 

Benjamin Bulson filed his declaration for a pension July 21, 1823, 
at which date he was aged sixty-nine years. He enlisted in starch, 1776, 
in a company of infantry on Long Island, commanded by Captain Thomas 
Mitchell and Lieutenant Cornell, in Colonel \'an Courtlandt's regiment 
of General Putnam's brigade of New York troops. He served till Au- 
gust. 1776, when he was cajjtured by our British cousins at Brooklyn, and 
sent to Halifa.K, having been wounded in the leg, from which wound he 
was, at the date of his declaration, still suiTering, though nearly fifty 
years had elapsed since it was inflicted. He escaped from confinement 
at Halifax by digging out of the prison, and after lying in the woods for 
a long titne, and almost starving to death, he arrived at Salem, Massa- 
chusetts, in September, 1779, and at once reenlisted as a hand on the 
ship "Julius Brutus," Captain John Brooks, carrying eighteen guns, which 
on its first cruise captured a British brig and to which Bulson was trans- 
ferred as one of the prize crew. Soon after, the prize was retaken by 
the British sloop-of-war "Hornet." The prize was taken to New York, 
and Bulson confined in the old prison-ship "Jersey," in Waalabout 
(Brooklyn). At the end of two months he escaped from the prison- 
ship by cutting off the rivets by which the iron bars which closed the 
port-holes were fastened, and swimming ashore. He was, however, the 
next day taken prisoner by Major Murray's Tories, called "The King's 
American Dragoons," and was sentenced to receive nine hundred lashes 
for escaping. He did receive four hundred and fifty on his bare back, 
the last half-hundred being giveti after he had fainted from pain and 
exhaustion. He was then taken to the hospital, where he remained just 
long enough for the recovery of his strength, when he again escaped, 
and arrived in Salem in 1781, early in that year. All of the time from his 
enlistment to his final escape he had been without pay, with the excep- 
tion of two months' wages he had received. While on the prison-ship he 
changed his name on account of his Tory relatives on Long Island, who 
had tlireatened to kill him if they should get a chance. He therefore lost 
his individuality in the cognomen of Benjamin Smith, and had been 
known by that name ever since. His wife and himself were all the fam- 
ily he had, the former being sixty-five years old, and his invoiced prop- 
erty was valued at seventy-two dollars and sixty-two and a half cents, 
and included one wagon and the old soldier's walking-staff. 

Nath,\n Landon 

Nathan Landon was the last of these Revolutionary soldiers to file 
a declaration in the Oakland courts for a pension, and he did so on the 
13th of November. 1828, at which time he was seventy-one years old. 
He enlisted February i, 1776, in Captain Archibald Shaw's company, 
Colonel William C. Maxwell's regiment of New Jersey troops, and served 


in the same until November 14, 1776, when the regiment was dismissed 
by General Gates, at Ticonderoga. Himself and his wife (seventy 
years old) lived with a son, Stephen, and his family, and the old peo- 
ple had no property save their wearing apparel and bedding. 

General Richardson Chapter, D. A. R. 

General Richardson Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 
was organized in October, 1899, and received its charter from the Na- 
tional Society on February 17, 1900, engrossed with the following names: 
Mrs. Ada Louise Leggett Smith, regent ; Mrs. Lillian Drake Avery, vice- 
regent ; Miss Mabel Thorpe, secretary ; Mrs. Harriet Beach Lounsbury, 
corresponding secretary ; Airs. Josephine Brown Sanford, treasurer ; Mrs. 
Marion Eliza Seymour Ten Eyck, registrar ; and Miss Marcia Richard- 
son, historian; Nliss Mary Fitch Crofoot. Mrs. Grace G. Blakesley 
Thather, Mrs. Eliza Van Campen Birge, Airs. Ann Loomis Richards 
Coleman, Miss Lucy Carpenter, Mrs. Kate Beach Gray, Mrs. Julia Tal- 
bot Smith, Mrs. Anne Robinson \'ernon, and Mrs. Anne Ingoldsby 

The first work undertaken by this active, patriotic society was to col- 
lect and send boxes of books and magazines to the soldiers in the Philip- 
pines. It next endeavored to arouse an interest in American history by 
offering prizes to the Pontiac grammar and high schools for the best 
written essays on subjects selected from the Revolutionary period. 
These competitions proved very successful and were continued several 

The society has responded liberally to the call for funds to build 
Memorial Continental Hall. It felt that in no better way could our fore- 
fathers be honored than by assisting in erecting this splendid edifice to 
their memory. 

The Daughters meet once a month and aside from the regular 1>usi- 
ness, have a program devoted to the study of historical or educational 
topics. The preservation of the early records of Oakland county is a 
work which the historical committee has recently taken up and much 
valuable genealogical material has already been collected. This is espe- 
cially true of the families of the Revolutionary soldiers of the county, 
as it is their desire to have a record of all the descendants of these vet- 

They have a fine old mahogany bookcase which was formerly owned 
by Dr. Elliott, an early practitioner of Pontiac. It contains a set of Lin- 
eage Books published by the National Society and bound volumes of 
the American Monthly, the official D. A. R. magazine, beside a number 
of very old books and papers which have been donated to them. They 
also have been presented with a rare old map of the Provinces as they 
were in 1776, a spinning wheel and reel, and a silver buckle which was 
worn by a Revolutionary soldier. 

To the generosity of Mr. Henry M. Warren of the P. S. II. they 
owe their famous collection of autographs of celebrities. For twenty- 
five years Mr. Warren collected these letters, cards and jiictures of 
famous people, and when he presented them to the Daughters, they 

96 lllsroRV Ol'" OAKLAND COUX'IA' 

showed llitir a|)])r(.'ciation of llic gift l)y ordering a l)ook made especially 
for their niounling which is now considered one of their most valued 
possessions. The registrar';? hook containing the lineage, biography and 
portrait of each member, will be when completed, greatly appreciated ; 
the scrap book and historian's record are also prized by them more 
highly as the passing years ])rove their imijortancc. 

In 1905 General Richardson Chapter entertained the state confer- 
ence and it was one of the most successful meetings of the kind ever 
held. In this and in other social affairs, the chapter has won consider- 
able prestige, but the work which they have most at heart and which has 
won them the reputation of being the "lianner Chapter'' of the state, is 
their indefatigable labors in searching for and marking the graves of the 
Revolutionary soldiers who have beeu buried in the county. Each man's 
record of military service is found, date and place of birth, death and 
marriage are noted, the name of his wife and a list of his children is 
sought for, and often it takes years to complete a record. United States 
government, county, cemetery, church and private records have to be 
consulted, and even then the result is sometimes very meager. 

The Revolutiux.\rv (.jR.wes .M.vkkud 

When the burial place of a soldier has been located and his record 
proven, the Daughters hold a memorial service at the grave, placing on 
it the official marker of the society and offerings of flowers. Nineteen 
graves have thus far been located as follows : 

1. Elijah Drake, marked June 10, igoo. Royal Oak. 

2. Ezra Parker, stone marked. Revolutionary soldier. Royal Oak. 

3. Levi Green, marked June 14, 1906. North Farmington. 

4. .Stephen ^lack, marked July i, lyo", Pontiac. 

5. Joseph Todd, marked July i, np/, I'ontiac. 

6. Ithamar Smith, marked Jul\- 1, itjO", Pontiac, with government 

7. Joshua Chamberlin, marked July 29, 1909, Pontiac. 

8. William Nathan Terry, marked October I, 1909, Pontiac. 

9. James r)ancker, marked Octol)cr 2^. 1907, Aletamora. 

10. Moses Porter, marked October 28, 1907, Farmer's Creek. 

11. Caleb Merrill, marked September 17, 1908, Clarkston. 

12. Jeremiah Clark, marked September 17, 1908, Clarkston. 

13. George Ilorton, marked July 29, 1909, Rochester. 

14. Nathaniel Baldwin, marked July 29, 1909, Rochester. 

15. James Graham, marked June 2, 1911, Graham's cemetery. .\von. 

16. Benjamin (irace, marked .\ugust 3, 1910, Clarenceville. 
*I7. Lydia Potter, marked .\ug. 19, 191 1, Baldwin cemetery. 

18. Silas Sprague. marked July 19, 1912, Crooks cemetery, Troy. 

19. Samuel Niles. marked July H), M)12, Crooks cemetery. Troy. 

* Lydia Potter (li<l not hear a musket, Init slie served her country by working 
night and day to clothe tlic destitute soldiers at V'allcy Forge, and tlic Daughters 
thus hiintir her tncniory. 


Tribute to General Richardson 

In June it is the custom of the Daughters to observe "Memorial Day." 
when their beautiful ritual service is read and the graves of their de- 
ceased members and the five Revolutionary soldiers buried in Oak Hill 
cemetery receive their floral offerings. At the services held 1907 Mrs. 
Ada L. Smith gave the following beautiful tribute: "As we decorate to- 
day the graves of our Revolutionary heroes, as we cast a flower and a 
tear upon the graves of the daughters of those heroes, we pause here at 
the grave of General Richardson. He fought in the Seminole war; he 
won honors in the Mexican war; he gave his life for his country in the 
Civil war. He attained by his bravery and ability the highest rank among 
Michigan's ninety thousand soldiers, that of major general. It is in 
memory of this that we place this wreath upon his grave and thus we 
pledge ourselves to teach our children and our grandchildren to love, to 
revere and to keep green the memory of Michigan's 'Fighting Dick,' 
Major General Israel B. Richardson." 

Membership of the Daughters 

The officers of the society are elected yearly, the office of regent being 
limited to two terms. The following ladies have held this highest office 
in the gift of the society for two years each : Mesdames Ada Leggett 
Smith, Lillian Drake Avery, Josephine Brown Sanford, Ada McConnell 
Wisner, Carrie Mack Newberry, and Maud Green Shattuck. The secre- 
taries have been: Miss Mabel Thorpe, Mrs. Ada L. Smith, Misses Sarah 
G. Davis and Ella L. Smith, and Mrs. Mary Pierson Todd. The office 
of treasurer has been filled by Mrs. Josephine Brown Sanford, Kate 
Crawford Van Buskirk, Hattie Means Stowell. Charlotte Monroe Osniun 
and Mary Josephine Wiest Clark. 

Registrars: Mesdames Marion Seymour Ten Eyck, Anne Ingoldsby 
Crawford and Lillian Drake Avery, who has held the office since 1905. 
Miss Marcia Richardson is the only historian the chapter has had. 

The present membership of General Richardson Chapter is : Regent, 
Mrs. Kate Beach Gray ; vice regent, Mrs. Anne Ingoldsby Crawford ; 
secretary, Mrs. Lottie Stanton Blackstone ; treasurer, Mrs. Jennie Chaft'ee 
Church ; registrar, Mrs. Lillian Drake Avery, and historian. Miss Marcia 
Richardson; Mrs. Sophronia Means, Vinton, Iowa, real Daughter; 
Avery, Blanche (Miss), Avery, Lucile (Miss), Beach, Julia Taft (Mrs. 
Samuel E.), Bailey, Clara Voorheis (Mrs. Roy E.), Bradfield, Elizabeth 
Palmer (Mrs. Thomas Parks), Baker, Myra A. (Miss), Barnes, Edith 
(Miss), Barnes, Mae (Miss), Birge, Eliza Van Campen (Mrs. John 
W.), Canfield, Sarah Bishop (Mrs.), Carroll, Mary Thatcher (Mrs. 
Frank H.), Castell, Donna Sherman (Mrs. Daniel G.), Clark, Mary 
Josephine (Mrs.), Coleman, Ann Loomis Richards (Mrs. Harry), 
Crohn, Bertha Elizabeth Miller (Mrs. Solomon S.), Davis, Sarah Gris- 
wold (Mrs.), Eaton, Irma G. (Mrs.). Freeland, Anna Hadsell (Mrs. 
Orrin B.). Galbraith, Mary R. Wisner (Mrs. Stuart E.), Goss, Myra 
V^oorheis (Mrs. Oscar B.). Goodison. .\nne E. Barnes (Mrs. Samuel), 


Gross, Evangeline Grow (Mrs. George F.). Har])er, Belle Robinson 
(Mrs. F. B.), Hinckley, Ada. Green (Mrs. Milton L.), llollister, Metta 
Hosner (Mrs. J. F. C'.), Ho'wlett, :\Iary Rockwell (Mrs. Edward V.), 
Jackson, Emma Warn (Mrs. Henry C). Kuttler, Emma Belle (Mrs. 
George E.), Lounsbury, Elizabeth S. (Miss), Mackin, Edith C. Cook 
(Mrs. Jas. N.), Marsh, Alice (Miss), Merritt, Edith Kelley (Mrs. Herbert 
B.), Morgans, Mary Cole (Mrs. William H.), Newberry, Carrie Mack 
(Mrs. Arthur F.), Northrup, Grace (Miss), Osmun, Charlotte Monroe 
(Mrs. Homer J.), Parker, Sarah Electa Drake (Airs. Ralzamond A.), 
Palmer, Louise Thayer (Airs. C. A.), F'almer, \'irena Marjorie (Miss), 
Patterson, Ella Stanton (Mrs. John H.), Randall, Anna Leggett (Airs. 
Chas. C), Rockwell, Alma (Aliss), Rockwell, Alaude King (Airs. 
Kleber P.), Sanford, Josephine Brown (Airs. William C), Shattuck, 
Alaude Green (Mrs. Charles), Shattuck, Alice (Miss), Smith, Clara 
Phelps (Airs. Walter), Smith, Alice Hadsell (Airs. Tracy S.), Smith, 
Ella Louise (Aliss), Stoddard, Emma Waite (Airs. Addison), Stowell, 
Flattie E. Aleans (Airs. Elmer H.), Stanton, Harriet Stanton (Airs. 
Lovett), TenEvck, Carrie Willits (Airs. Harrv), Thompson, Alargaret 
S. (Miss), Tobias, Ella Bartlett (Airs. Louis C.), Todd, Alary A. Pier- 
son (Airs. William F.), Urch, Alice Hart (Airs. Edward A.), Van 
Campen, Addie Bartlett (Airs. George), Van Buskirk, Kate Louise Craw- 
ford (Airs. Charles), Walters, Frances Fleming (Airs. Albert E.), Wat- 
son, Inez Waite (Airs. Charles), Welch, Alary Gilbert (Airs. A. R.), 
Whetmath, Alaude W. (Aliss), Willcox, Al. Eleanor (Mrs. Elliott R.), 
Wilder, Gertrude L. Barnes (Mrs. Gardner), Wiest, E. E. (Airs. Jacob), 
Willits, Sarah Adell Alonroe (Mrs. Frank), Wilsoji, Alille (Dr.), Wis- 
ner, Ada AlcConnell (Airs. Henry C), Wisner, Alarguerite Park (Aliss), 
Woodruff, Helen Aladeline Peck' (Mrs. C. D.). 



County Pioneer Society Founded — The Supervisors' Picnics — Bet- 
ter Preservation of Records — Society Incorporated — Pioneer 
Women — Officers of the Society — Pioneer Relics in the Col- 
lection OF THE Society 

*As each year carries away the settlers of our county, it is important 
and interesting to our students, statesmen and politicians that recollec- 
tions of the early events that characterized the pioneers of Old Oakland 
county be gathered and transmitted to our successors. After much anxi- 
ety and deep thought of how to arrest and retain the interest of the 
younger people and of those who were coming from other states, it be- 
came impressed on the minds of a few public spirited citizens that a 
society should be formed for the purpose of preserving the records that 
related to the early settlements of the county. Therefore, on January 6, 
1874, a call was issued for organizing an Oakland County Pioneer Society. 

County Pioneer Society Founded 

On January 21st, at a meeting held at the court house, a committee 
was appointed to draft a constitution and by-laws and report at a subse- 
quent meeting to be held February 22d. At this meeting, the requirements 
were approved and adopted, clearly explaining the aim and object of the 
society. None of the officers were to receive any compensation ; lal)ors 
performed during session and out of it were to be gratuitous. It was 
decided to hold an annual meeting on February 22d and a semi-annual 
meeting September loth, each year, at Pontiac. 

A meeting of the pioneers was held on Friday, February 27th, with 
President Henry H. Waldron in the chair. Rev. T. J. Joslin offered a 
short prayer, the volunteer choir sung "America," and the Hon. T. J. 
Dtake then offered the following resolution which was unanimously 
adopted: "The pioneers and early settlers of the county of Oakland 
in convention assembled at the courthouse in Pontiac, on the 
2ist of January, 1874, unanimously resolved to form themselves into a 
society to be called the Pioneer Society of Oakland County. 

"It is declared to be the intent and object of the society to gather up 

* In the preparation of this chapter many obligations are acknowledged to Miss 
Anne E. Jewell, niece of Ezra W. Jewell, president of the society. 



and preserve the facts and incidents of the early settlement and history 
of the county; to collect and preserve the names of the early settlers, with 
a brief biographical sketch, and such anecdotes, as will illustrate their 
history and character ; to obtain and preserve a correct geograjjliical de- 
scription of the lakes, rivers and water courses; agricultural and manu- 
facturing facilities and advantages; the chorography of each township 
and the peculiar advantages thereof connected with any profession, occu- 
pation, trade or employment — in fine, to collect and preserve things of 
the past, present and future, appertaining to the county which will de- 
light and instruct the present and future inhabitants, and enable some 
gifted one hereafter to write of a perfect history of Oakland county, its 
pioneers and early settlers." 

The constitution drafted by the committee appointed by the con- 
vention mentioned was adopted. After providing for the usual officers, 
provision was also made for a president of each township who should 
be one of the vice presidents of the society. 

In order to become a member of this society a person should be a 
resident of the county previous to 1840, but from time to time this has 
been changed, until at present a man may become a member by paying 
fifty cents and a woman twenty-five cents. 

The Supervisors' "Picnics" 

For a time the meetings furnished the great day of the year, l)ut with 
the passing away of many of the pioneers the interest abated, and it was 
decided to hold annual picnics under the supervision of a Pioneer and 
Supervisors' Association. 

These social gatherings were held in difl^erent places, where men met 
to talk over their different modes of farming and to form new acquain- 
tances, and the women to relate their early experiences of pioneer life; 
for while the husband was busy with his axe and plow, the wife was 
early and late at her spinning wheel and loom. 

Better Preservation of Records 

As no place had been provided for keeping the records, it was found 
after the death of the secretary in 1896 impossible to locate them. From 
1874 to 1889 ajjparently all records were preserved, but from 1889 to 
1896 there is a total loss of records. In 1896 Ezra W. Jewell was ap- 
pointed secretary. At the animal meeting in 1897, he offered the follow- 
ing recommendation : 'T consider it my duty to suggest a remedy and 
leave it with the society to take such action as you deem proper. 

"First: As to the missing records — by going to the files of our county 
papers, we can obtain all that has been published appertaining to our 

"Second: As fast as such records are completed, the same should be 
deposited in some place of safety. I should suggest the vaults in one of 
our county offices. 

"Third: Some one responsible, a committee or the ]ircsidcnt of your 
societv, who shall each vear overlook the work of vour secretarv and 


report at each annual meeting; we would then be sure of preserving all 
that is of interest and benefit to the society."' 

The society approved of this recommendation, and by vote elected a 
treasurer and appointed a finance committee. 

*A set of scrap-books, carefully indexed, containing everything of 
historical interest such as biographies, obituaries, official election returns, 
etc., has been arranged by Mr. Jewell. 

In 1909, Mr. Jewell was elected president of the society. He has a 
new record book which he is anxious to complete that contains brief 
sketches of many of the pioneers who settled in Oakland county. 

Society Incorpor.\ted 

On October 23, 1909, this society applied for articles of incorpora- 
tion, which was granted and put on record at Lansing, November 8, 
1909, and recorded in^ record of incorporation No. 93, page 408. 

In January, 1910, at a meeting of the supervisors they voted the soci- 
ety one hundred dollars and gave them the exclusive privilege of occupy- 
ing the east side of the ]\Ien's Rest Room in the Court House for the 
preservation of relics, etc., that would be of interest to the public. For 
the collection of such articles much credit must be accorded to **Mrs. 
Lillian Avery, who has been untiring in her efforts to collect and classify 

Pioneer Women 

In closing these remarks, it would be vmjust not to make mention of 
the pioneer women who have done so much to place the society in its 
present promising condition. On the 22d of each February, the following 
ladies — .Mrs. Henry M. Jackson, Mrs. Homer Colvin, Mrs. B. EUwood, 
Mrs. William H. Dawson, Mrs. J. L. Sibley, Mrs. J. R. Taylor, Mrs. 
Mary Clark, Mrs. George Hicks, Mrs. E. Kelly, Mrs. George Williams, 
Mrs. Edwin Phelps, .Miss Kate Leggett, Miss A. M. Jewell and many 
others — have supervised a sumptuous banquet where all meet, eat, drink 
and make merry. 

But let us not forget that these land-marks and links that connect 
the past with the pr.esent are dropping off, one liy one. Let us not for- 
get the strength and heroism that they showed in laying deep the founda- 
tions of the institution and privileges that we now enjoy. 

Officers of the Society 

The following are the officers of the Pioneer and Historical Society 
who have served since its organization : 

1S74 — Thomas J. Drake, Pres. ; James A. Weeks, Sec. 
1875 — Clark Beardsley, Pres.; James A. Weeks, Sec. 
1876 — Henry Waldron, Pres.; James A. Weeks, Sec. 
1877 — Henry Waldron, Pres.; James A. Weeks, Sec. 
1878 — Henry Waldron, Pres. ; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 

* The editors of this work are greatly indebted to this valuable collection for 
much of the pioneer materia! contained therein. 

** A full description of these relics follows this sketch. 


1879— Aii,s;iislus C- Baldwin, Pres. ; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 
1880— Augustus C. ISaldwin, Pres. ; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 
1881— Orrin Pop])leton, Pres.; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 
1S82— Orrin Poppletou, Pres.; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 
1883— Orrin Poppleton, Pres.; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 
1884— Orrin Poppleton, Pres.; Edward \V. Peck, Sec. 
1885— Orrin Poppleton, Pres.; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 
1886— Orrin Poppleton, Pres.; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 
1887— Orrin Poppleton. Pres. ; Edward \V. Peck, Sec. 
1888— Orrin Poppleton, Pres. ; Edward W. Peck, Sec. 
1889— Orrin Poppleton, Pres.; Edward \\ . Peck. Sec. 
Records lost from 1889 to 1893; Mark Walters, Sec. 
1894— G. M. Trowbridge, Pres.; Mark Walters, Sec. 
1895— G. M. Trowbridge, Pres. ; Mark Walters, Sec. 
1896 — G. M. Trowbridge, Pres. ; Ezra W. Jewell, Sec. 
1897— G. M. Trowbridge, Pres.; Ezra W. "Jewell, Sec. 
1898— G. M. Trowbridge, Pres. ; Ezra W. Jewell, Sec. 
1899 — Arza B. Donaldson, Pres.; Ezra W. Jewell, Sec. 
1900— Arza B. Donaldson, Pres. ; Ezra W. Jewell, Sec. 
1901 — Edwin Phelps, Pres. ; Ezra W. Jewell, Sec. 
1902 — Thomas L. Patterson, Pres. ; Homer H. Colvin, Sec 
1903 — Thomas L. Patterson, Pres. ; Homer H. Colvin. Sec. 
1904 — Thomas L. Patterson, Pres.; Homer H. Colvin, Sec. 
1905 — Thomas L. Patterson, Pres. ; Homer H. Colvin, Sec. 
1906 — Thomas L. Patterson, Pres.; Hamer H. Colvin, Sec. 
1907 — Thomas L. Patterson, Pres.; Homer H. Colvin, Sec. 
1908 — Thomas L. Patterson, Pres. ; Homer H. Colvin, Sec. 
1909 — Ezra W. Jewell, Pres. ; Homer H. Colvin, Sec. 
1910 — Ezra W. Jewell, Pres; Joshua W. Bird, Sec. 
191 1 — Ezra W. Jewell, Pres.; Joshua W. Bird, Sec. 
1912— Ezra W. Jewell, Pres.; Joshua W. Bird, Sec. 

Pioneer Relics in the Collection of the Societv 

1. Ambrotype of Mrs. Catherine Benson, taken by her husband, lohn 
H. Benson, one of the first photographers in Pontiac, coming here in 
1856. Mrs. Benson was the first white girl born in Pontiac, Ai)r. 14, 
1823. Loaned by Mrs. Lena Starke. 

2. Hair jewelry worn by Mrs. Ira Clark Seeley in 1850. Mrs. See- 
ley was Matilda Dewey and came to this county about 1833. Presented 
by her daughter. Mrs. H. F. Messenger, Feix i, 1911. 

3. Daguerreotype and note of a friend of Porter A. Hitchcock, dated 
1853. Air. Hitchcock's parents came to Oakland county previous to his 
birth in 1833. Presented by Mrs. P. .A. Hitchcock. 

4. Ode to Washington, composed by Augustus W. Leggett and sung 
at the concert of the Pontiac Musical Association, Feb. 22. 1858. Mr. 
Leggett and his wife Eliza Seaman Leggctt came to Michigan in 1852. 
Presented by Miss Kate T-eggett. 

5. Green glass spectacles over too year sold (.1909), worn liv Seth 


A. L. Warner, one of the pioneers of Farmington. Presented by Hon. 
P. Dean Warner. 

6. 'Night cap embroidered and worn in 1842 by Mrs. P. Dean 
Warner, and given to the society by her. 

7. Pocket Dictionary bought in 1837 by Hon. P. Dean Warner. Mr. 
Warner came to Farmington with his parents in 1825, when three years 

8. Paper knife carried by same when a boy. 

9. Infant's day cap embroidered in England and brought to Oak- 
land county by Mrs. William Hanson in 1854. It was last worn by her 
son, Thomas Edward in 1857, by whom it was presented. 

10. Night cap worn by Mrs. Benj. Going, an early resident of 

11. Cap basket carried by Mrs. Silas Johnson, whenever she went 
visiting. Mrs. Johnson was formerly the wife of Darius Cowles, who 
came to North Farmington in 1833. Presented by Mrs. L. M. Cowles. 

12. Sovereign balance brought from England by Joseph Coates, who 
settled at Pine Lake, 1832. Presented by Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

13. Butter knife brought from England by Mrs. Horace Swan and 
was a wedding present to her grandmother in 1730. Mr. Swan kept 
tavern in Farmington before 1851, at which date he built the hotel now 
there. Presented by Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

14. Silhouette of Deacon Erastus Ingersoll, the first white settler in 
the town of Novi, 1825. Alade by his brother-in-law, Samuel Chadwick. 
who came to Farmington, 1839. Presented l)y Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

15. Bowl from Mrs. Harrison Philbrick"s "mulberry set," which 
graced a bountiful table for a lifetime. The father of Mr. Philbrick came 
to Farmington in 1826 and Mr. Teas, Mrs. Philbrick's father, a few 
years later. Presented by Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

16. Plate belonging to the wedding outfit of Mrs. Fidelia Phelps, 
who died Feb. 25, 1902, aged 95 years. Was a resident of Highland in 
the 40's and 50's, afterward of Farmington. Presented by Mrs. Lillian 
D. Avery. 

17. Ox shoe. F'resented by Josiah Emery of Waterford. 

18. Pair of scissors, property of Mrs. Arthur Davis, Sr., when she 
went to keeping house in 1836 at Sashabaw Plains. Presented by her 
daughter-in-law, Mrs. James Davis. 

19. Specimen of cross stitch embroidery designed for gentleman's 
suspender, made by Mrs. Sarah Bishop Canfield in 1856. 

20. Slate used by the grandfather of Benj. F. Elwood, for keejiing 
accounts as contractor on the Delaware and Lackawanna canal. Mr. 
Benj. F. Ehvood also carried it to school in the 40's. He was i)orn in 
Royal Oak in 1837. Loaned by Mrs. Benj. F. Elwood. 

21. Toothbrush holder that was part of a toilet set brought to 
Troy, Mich., in 183^ by the Toms family. Presented by Mrs. Maria 

22. Bead bag, sixty or seventy years ago the property of Mrs. Har- 
riet Plum (1910). Loaned by Mrs. Benj. F. Elwood. 

23. Drawing tools used by the Hon. E. R. Willcox, when a school- 
boy in Rochester in the 40's. Presented by Airs. E. R. Willcox. 


26. Albany Almanac of 1803. Was the i)roperty of Benjamin 
Alexander Ellis of \'ictor, Ontario county, N. Y., and now belongs to 
Mr. Norman Ellis of Clarkstan. Loaned by Mrs. Norman James Ellis. 

27. Blue dish said to be 200 years old. Loaned by Mrs. Norman 
James Ellis. 

28. Turnkeys used for pulling teeth in pioneer times. Originally 
owned by Dr. William H. Jewell, who was a practicing physician in 
Pontiac from 1843 to 1853. Presented by Ezra Jewell. 

29. Tailor's shears, owned by Dr. John Riker's great-great-grand- 
father, Samuel Riker, who brought them from Germany. Presented by 
Ezra Jewell. 

30. Snuffers, property of Mrs. Marcus Riker. Presented by Ezra 

31. Fragments of ribbons brought from England by Mrs. William 
Hanson. Presented by Mrs. Thomas E. Hanson. 

32. Pieces of the dresses brought from England, 1854. by Mrs. 
Hanson. Presented by Mrs. Thomas E. Hanson. 

33. Reticule of Miss Mary Eleanor Duncan, afterward !Mrs. James 
Price. Used in the 40's at Rochester, I\Iich. Presented by Mrs. Lillian 
D. Avery. 

35. Bullet mould found by M. A. Leggett in the township of Water- 
ford while digging a post hole. It had been buried since the land had 
been first broken in the early thirties by Henry Birge. 

36. Sand box, presented by Miss Kate Leggett. 

2,J. Cup plate brought to Oakland county by Mrs. Peter Voorheis 
when the family settled at Sashabaw Plains. She was great-great-grand- 
mother of Mrs. Edwin Walter of Clintonville. Presented by IMiss Kate 

38. Miniature jug made in Rochester forty years ago and kept bv 
S. Bortle. 

39. Candle moulds of John Davis, who settled in Springfield, 1836. 
This set bought about 1850. Presented by Daniel L. Davis. 

40. Cheese basket used by ^Irs. John Davis in the home manufact- 
ure of cheese. Presented by Harvey J. Davis. 

41. Candlestick brought to Michigan by the mother of Palmer Sher- 
man of Farmington. 

42. Coal pan used by the early settlers to carry fire. Presented by 
Miss Kate Leggett. 

43. Sleighbell. One of a string of liells lirought from Germany by 
the grandfather of Charles Tuttle an early resident. 

45. Black lace veil worn by Mrs. Catherine Stringer during the 
forties. Presented by her granddaughter, Mrs. Homer Terbush. 

46. Bead collar worn by Mrs. D. B. Horton about i860. Mr. Horton 
came to Oakland county in 1835. Presented by Mrs. Homer Terbush. 

47. Party bag enil:)roidered and carried by ^Irs. Levi B. Taft about 
1853. She came to Pontiac in 1839. 

48. Waterfall net worn in 18(10 by Mrs. D. B. Horton of Davis- 
burg. Presented by Mrs. Homer Terbush. 

49. Constitution of Pontiac Young Hickory Club, No. i. \\'ritten 
by A. W. Ilovey and presented by Mrs. S. Baldwin. 


50. Brick from old sclioolhouse, which stood on tlie corner of Au- 
burn and Parke St. Presented by Ezra Jewell. 

51. Picture of same, presented by Mrs. S. F. Beach. 

52. Iron kettle, which was very old when brought to Farmington in 
1824 by the family of George Collins. It played an important part in 
pioneer times. The cooking of his wife, Mrs. Cynthia ( Newton ) Collins, 
the first white woman to enter the settlement, was greatly appreciated 
by the Powers party, which had preceded them a few weeks. Presented 
by Constantine Collins. 

53. Picture of Collins homestead, Farmington, one of the oldest 
houses in the village. 

54. Piece of linen, which was originally part of a straw bed tick. 
The fla.x was raised, spun and woven by Mrs. Cynthia Collins. 

55. Remnant of a pair of woolen blankets, spun and woven by Mrs. 
Cynthia Collins, on which she received the first premium at the first 
agricultural fair held in 'Oakland county. Presented by Mrs. Maria L. 

56. White woolen stockings. The yarn was spun and knitted by Mrs. 
Isaiah Ward of Farmington in 1850, for her sixteen year old daughter, 
Maria L., afterward Mrs. Hiram Benson, by whom they were donated. 
The Ward family came to Farmington in 1831. 

57. Medicine case made and used by Orrison Allen, one of the first 
settlers of Pontiac, coming here with his family Jan. 19, 1819, buried 
Jan. 19, 1871, aged 87. Presented by Mrs. Lena Starke. 

58. Compass brought from Connecticut to the territory of Michigan 
1818, by Captain Hervey Parke and used by him in all his work survey- 
ing that part of Illinois where Chicago now stands, the northern part of 
Ohio and eastern part of Michigan in the counties of Huron, Tuscola, 
Sanilac and Lapeer. Presented by Hervey J. Parke, grandson. 

59. Fire tongs, hand made by M. Augustus White, an early black- 
smith of Farmington. Presented by M. B. Pierce. 

60. Cannon ball. 

61. Great Horse shoe. 

62. Sampler worked by the mother and grandmother of ^Frs. Mary 
Solis. It was brought to ^lichigan when her father Cornelius Van Riper 
settled in Farmington, 1839. Presented Iiy Mrs. Mary Solis. 

63. Gold specimens found si.xty feet under ground by John \'. See- 
ley, when mining in Calaveras county, California, 1850. Presented by 
Mrs. J. V. Seeley. 

64. Linen spun and woven by Lois Palmer Grow, a pioneer ; hem- 
stitched by her daughter, Ann Grow Bishop at the age of eighty-five 
years, (1893). Presented by her granddaughter, I\Irs. Levi B. Taft, 
who is now the same age (1912). 

65. Wedding jiarasol of blue and white brocaded silk, belonging 
to Mrs. James G. Cannon of Southfield, carried in 1855. Presented by 
her daughters, Mrs. Woodrutf and Miss Cannon, 191 1. 

66. Three infant caps worn by Ann Woodburn in 1838. She mar- 
ried James G. Cannon and was a resident of Southfield from childhood. 
She died 191 1. Presented by her daughters. 


67. Pair of pewter plates two humlred years old which have been 
kept in the Purdy family. Presented by Mrs. Herman Wyckoff. 

68. Basket given MrS. H. A. Wcykofif. when she was three years 
of age (1840). She was the daughter of Thomas Pinkerton, one of the* 
first settlers of the town of Novi, in 1825. 

69. Fancy box brought to Novi about 1830 b_\' luiima Sniilli who 
became the second wife of Thomas Pinkerton. Presented by Mrs. Her- 
man Wyckoff. 

70. China cup and saucer used about 1800 liy the mother of Thomas 
Pinkerton. Presented by .Mrs. H. A. Wyckoff. 

71. Dark blue cup and saucer belonging to the first set of dishes 
owned by Mrs. Job Francis (Maria Brown) about 1830. Early resi- 
dent of Novi. Loaned by Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

72. Cross made from wood that was taken from the first house 
built in \\'hite Lake township by Harley Olmstead in 1832. Presented 
by Miss Kate Leggett. 

73. Lantern — Last of the old kind used by the D. G. H. & M.. car- 
ried by James Henderson. Presented by Mrs. James Bliss. 

74. Shoemaker tools used in pioneer times by Orrison Aller, a "tirst 

75. Teapot used by the grandmother of Mrs. John \\'hitesell by 
whom it was presented. 

•jfi. Pitcher which came from the family of A. B. Cudworth who 
resided in Rochester 1842. twelve years later in Pontiac. Presented by 
Miss Agnes Cudworth. 

T/. Bonnet worn by Mary Eleanor Duncan of Rochester when a 
child in 1847 and 1848. Another worn about 1854 or "55. Loaned by 
iMrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

78. Shirred bonnet worn by Miss Marcia Richardson in the late 
forties. Presented by Mrs. Joshua Bird. 

79. Small leather trunk made in Scotland by Mr. Kelly who brought 
it to this country in 1765. He was the grandfather of Mrs. Eunice \'an 
Buskirk (deceased). Presented by Mrs. Charles \'an Buskirk. 

80. Pin cushion of pioneer days. Presented by Mrs. Charles Van 

81. Silver cake basket presented to Professor and Mrs. J. .\. Cor- 
bin by the members of the Oakland County Institute of 1874. Presented 
by Mrs. Richard Elliott. 

82. Silver teaspoon was the property of Dr. M. LaMont Bagg's 
mother. It was taken to Pennsylvania at the time of the oil strike and 
passed through a disastrous fire. Dr. Bagg came to Pontiac before 1840. 
The spoon is now over one hundred years old (1910). Presented by 
Miss Clift Howard. 

83. Silver table spoon, ])iece of the wedding silver of Charles and 
Marcia Elliott who were married 1814 and were early settlers of Oak- 
land county. Presented by Mrs. Richard Elliott. 

84. Bellows. 

85. Foot warmer brought from Wales late in the seventeenth cen- 
tury. Presented by Justus W. Toms. 

86. Powder horn. 


87. Indian idol. Presented by Ezra Jewell, who came to Pontiac 
in 1845. 

88. Wedding veil worn by an aunt of ]Mrs. Mary Shattuck in 1837. 
Loaned by Airs. jMary Shattuck. 

89. Pickle dish of a "flown blue" ware from the first dishes of Mrs. 
Thomas Gerls. She was married December 31, 1846 in Troy. Presented 
by Mrs. Thomas Gerls. 

go. Liquor glass, a relic of stage coach days, from the Si.xteen-Mile 
House kept by Milton Botsford at Clarenceville. Presented by Frank 

91. Bible — 1793. This book has been more than a hundred years in 
the family of Philip Phelps by whom it was presented. 

92. Indian relic found on the farm of Palmer Sherman, Farming- 

93. Collection of relics of the Tuscarora Indians. Loaned by Victor 

94. Wild cat money, presented by D. B. Horton. 

95. Cap ribbon brought from England 1857 by Mrs. Charlotte 
Pound. Presented by her daughter-io-law, Mrs. Maria Pound. 

96. Dish and platter used many years in the Horton family of Davis- 
burg. Presented by Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

97. Blue glass candlestick, a wedding gift to a pioneer bride. Pre- 
sented by Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

98. Old English beer mug. Presented by Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

99. Willow ware bowl brought from England by John and Grace 
German in 1837 when they settled in this country. Presented by their 
youngest daughter, Grace, now Mrs. Williamson. 

100. Indian arrow heads presented by Mrs. Lillian D. Avery. 

loi. Pair of buckskin gloves brought from Utah in 1864 by Thomas 
J. Drake, when Associate Judge of that territory. They were embroid- 
ered by one of Brigham Young's wives and were presented to Mrs. Clara 
P. Stewart who gave them to the society. 

102. Knife and fork basket which has been used in the Grace family 
since 1783. It was brought from the state of Maine to New York and 
from there to Farmington, Mich., in 1828 by Benjamin Grace who was a 
Revolutionary soldier. Presented by his granddaughter, Mrs. Emily 

103. Potato masher wliich has the same history as the above. 

104. Daguerreotype of Silas Sprague who came to Troy, Michigan, 
in 1822. Presented by Miss Rhobie Niles. 

105. Daguerreotype of Mrs. Emily Sprague Donaldson and her 
daughter Lucy Maria, on other side of case water color miniature of Mrs. 
Delia Sprague DePuy. Both ladies were daughters of Silas Sprague. 
Presented by Miss Rhobie Niles. 

106. Ambrotype of .Mrs. Lucy Sprague Rhodes, daughter of Elias 
Sprague. Presented by Miss Rhobie Niles. 

107. Daguerreotype of Charles Hastings, an early resident of Troy, 

108. Daguerreotype of Ira S. Parke; also a resident of Troy and 


both young men, friends of tlie Spragucs. The above pictures were taken 
in Pontiac in 1849. Presented by Miss Rliobie Niles. 

109. Spoon dug up on the site of tlie liome of Clark M. Harris, the 
first shoemaker of Troy. 

no. Spoon used in the family of Henry Russell, a native of Troy. 
Presented by Miss Rhobie Niles. 

111. Certificate of membershij) in I. O. O. F. of Fgbert F. Albright, 
bearing date of 1847, and presented by him in July, 1910. 

112. Pioneer broom of hickory splints, presented by Palmer Sher- 

113. Iron toast rack owned by P>enjaniin Fuller, Sr., in Vermont, 
later of Southfield, Oakland county. Given by Mrs. Sarah Walters Ful- 
ler, Birmingham. 

114. Gridiron bought second hand by I'.enjamin Fuller, Sr., in Oneida 
county, N. Y., 1810. Given by ]\Irs. Sarah Walters Fuller, Birmingham. 

115. Portraits of Hon. Augustus and Mrs. Baldwin. Presented by 
Mrs. E. A. Christian. 

116. Portraits of Mr. and ]\[rs. J. R. Bowman. Mrs. Bowman was 
the daughter of Orrison Allen. 

117. Portrait of A. W. Hovey. Presented by Mrs. S. Baldwin. 

118. Portrait of Mr. Dean, partner of Mr. Flovey in the drug and 
grocery business. 

119. Photograph of the original ])ioneers taken by W. H. Brummitt, 
September 10, 1874. 

120. Spencer carbine, property of C. E. Sherman. Company C, 
Tenth ^Michigan Cavalry, Civil war. 

121. Knights Templar sword found on Lookout Mountain. 

122. Sword used by Capt. J- O. Foote, Mexican war. New York regi- 

123. Cane made in Kansas from cactus. 

124. Case of sixty birds of Oakland county, captured and set up by 
George W. Bowlby. Many of the species are now extinct. 

125. Collection of rare old books and papers, caps, collars, shellcomb 
and ancient housewives, loaned by Mrs. Mary J. Clark. 

126. Confederate bond for one thousand dollars. 

127. Confederate money, presented by A. W. Johns. 

128. Confederate money, presented by Joseph Nusbaumcr. 

129. Wartime relics of envelopes, buttons and tickets. 

130. Tin cup bought of United States government August 22, 1861, 
by George Alexander, on the day of his enlistment in Company G, First 
Michigan Cavalry, carried and used by him all through the war and in 
1865 in an expedition across the plains. Tt went through sixty-four en- 
gagements. Presented by George Alexander. 

131. Book brandy bottle was given Theodoras W. Lookwood of 
Company K of the Ninth .Michigan Cavalry, when sick in camp by a lady, 
near Atlanta. It was full of fine jieach I)randy. The bottle was brought 
home in the fall of 1865 at the end of the rebellion. Presented by Mrs. 
T. W. Lockwood, \'ermillion. North Dakota, September, 1909. 

132. Millie ball, presented by George N. Smith. 


133. Pitcher over one hundred years old belonging to the grandmother 
of Mrs. Mary Giddings, by whom it is loaned. 

134. Razor used by Benjamin Graham, son of James Graham, a 
Revolutionary soldier, and the first white man to make a permanent set- 
tlement in Oakland county, March 17, 1817. Loaned by Benjamin Graham 
of Avon. 

The society has had gifts of valuable old books and papers from Ezra 
Tewell, Mrs. H. M. Look, Mrs. Clara P. Stewart, Harry Ten Eyck, Mrs. 
"Mart Beeckman, Mrs. Sarah Waters Fuller. Mrs. A. J- Dewey, Egbert F. 
Albright and others. It also owns a full set of "the Michigan State 
Pioneer and Historical Collections. 



Territorial Supreme Court — Old District Court — County Courts 
— Change in Supreme Court — Circuit Courts and Judges — The 
"One-Horse" Court — Under the 1850 Constitution — A Sum- 
mary — Under the Present Constitution. 

By Aaron Perry 

As a matter of liistoric investigation it is of interest to trace the origin 
of the various courts of justice which have extended their jurisdiction 
over the southern peninsula of Michigan. Reference has already been 
made to the Quebec act of 1774 which ])rovided that the civil law of 
Paris and the criminal law of England should prevail in that region as 
well as the country farther to the north and northwest. So although it 
may satisfy historic curiosity to know that William Dummer Powell, 
afterward chief justice of Upper Canada, was the first to preside over 
the courts which sat at Detroit until 179^'. when Jay's treaty went into 
operation, it is well understood that Northern Michigan was virtuallv an 
unpeopled region and was little ailected by the supreme court and courts 
of common pleas and quarter sessions which convened in that city, the 
seat of justice from 1778 of the Canadian "district of Hesse." 

Territorial Supreme Court 

By the ordinance of 1787 the Northwest territory was provided with 
a governor, secretary and three judges, who composed the supreme court 
which held sway over Michigan. The judges, with the governor, con- 
stituted a legislature empowered to compile laws selected from the stat- 
utes of the original states, but not to enact original laws. The new terri- 
tory acquired by the Jay treaty, which included all of Michigan and 
Wisconsin containing any settlements, was attached to the Northwest 
territory as the county of Wayne, and it was during the year when that 
treaty became operative (1796) that the authorities made the lirst ap- 
propriation ($85) for a court in Detroit after Michigan came under 
control of the United States. One session of the supreme court was 
held in that city annually and John C. Symmes, the presiding judge 
who lived in Cincinnati, never missed a session until the Northwest 
territory was dismembered by the setting off of Ohio in 1800. 



The territory of Michigan was set oil from Indiana in 1805, a separate 
government modeled after that of the Northwest territory being created 
on June 30th of that year. Under the provisions of its constitutions 
the supreme court consisted of a chief and two associate justices ap- 
pointed by the president of tlie United States. The judge holding the 
earliest commission was placed at the head of the court. The term of 
office depended solely upon "good behavior." No radical change was 
made in the provisions governing the organization and jurisdiction of 
the supreme court until 1824, Augustus B. Woodward having served 
as chief justice during the entire period and James Wetherell as one 
of his associates. 

At first the supreme court had original jurisdiction in all cases involving 
the title to land, capital criminal cases, and divorce and alimony suits, 
and afterwards in all cases to which the United States was a party, as 
well as in all cases of ejectment. During the existence of the district 
courts, from 1805 to 1810, jurisdiction in civil matters involving sums 
to exceed $500 was divided and after the organization of county courts 
in 1815 the supreme court had jurisdiction over ejectment and civil 
actions when more than $1,000 was in controversy. It also determined 
all legal questions arising in circuit courts on motion for new trial, in 
arrest of judgments or cases reversed, and issued writs of error to 
circuit and county courts. 

Old District Court 

Soon after the organization of the territorial government, on July 
25, 1805, an act was adopted establishing three district courts to be 
held by the judges of the supreme court, Oakland county being ni- 
cluded in the Detroit and Huron judicial district. Demands exceeding 
$20 were to be adjudicated by that court. In 1807 two associate judges, 
residents of the district, were added to the members of the court, but 
proved really of small assistance in the settlement of controversies. 
These courts were abolished in 18 10 and for the succeeding five years 
there was no intermediate judicial body between the supreme and justice 

County Courts 

In 1815 county courts were established, the members consisting of 
one chief and two associates appointed by the governor. As stated by 
the "Michigan Manual:" "They had exclusive jurisdiction over all 
claims exceeding a justice's jurisdiction and not exceeding $1,000, but 
no jurisdiction in ejectment. Until 1818 final appeal lay to the county 
court from justices' courts. Chancery jurisdiction was then given them 
and provision made for the appointments of masters in chancery. When 
the act to establish comity courts was passed, Wayne county was the 
only one organized and the district of Michilimackinac was excepted 
from the provisions of the act. .-Xfter the establishment of circuit courts 
(1824) the county courts began to decline.'" 

By act of the governor and judges, July 27, 1818, a court of probate 
was established in each county. A "Court of General Quarter Sessions 


of the Peace" had ahxady lieen provided for by acts of Xoveniher 25. 
1817. composed of the jitsjices of the county courts and the justices of 
the peace of each county. They were required to hold four stated 
sessions per year, their duties being similar to those of the Ijoard of 
supervisors as now constituted. Ju<hcial officers ( other than the federal 
judges) including justices of the peace, were appointed by the governor. 

Ch.^nge in Supreme Court 

In 1824 a radical change was made in the organization and functions 
of the supreme court, its three members being required to hold an 
annual term in each of the counties of Wayne. Monroe, Oakland, Macomb 
and St. Clair and special sessions in Michilimackinac, Brown and Craw- 
ford, whenever deemed advisable "in their sound discretion." Circuit 
courts were established in name during the following year, but were 
still held by the judges of the supreme court. 

Circuit Courts .\xd Judges 

In 1833 the county courts in the territory east of Lake Michigan, 
except in Wayne, were abolished and their places supplied by the "cir- 
cuit court of the Territory of Michigan," comprising one judge for the 
circuit and two associates for each county, whose respective terms were 
four and three years. The courts already existing were called "superior 
circuit courts" and were empowered to issue writs of error to the lower 
circuit courts. William A. Fletcher was judge of the circuit court of 
the territory from its organization until the coming of statehood. 

The first state constitution framed by the convention in 1835, ^^' 
came operative when the enabling act for the admission of the state 
was approved by popular vote June 15, 1836. By act approved March 
26th of that year, the state had been divided into three circuits, each 
of which was presided over by a judge of the supreme court, each to 
hold court in the several counties of his circuit, and all to sit together 
for the decision of appeals. These courts were given the same powers 
as the territorial circuit courts, except in chancer}- matters. Under the 
state constitution equity matters were vested in a court of chancery 
until that body was abolished in 1846. 

The circuit judges, under the first constitution, were appointed by 
the governor and confirmed by the senate for a term of seven years. 
The circuit assigned to Chief Justice Fletcher comprised the counties 
of Monroe, Lenawee, Hillside. Jackson. Washtenaw, Oakland and Sagi- 
naw. As under the territorial system, two associates were chosen for 
each county. They were known as "side judges." were not necessarih' 
lawyers, and, as they were generally considered more ornamental than 
useful — perhaps a part of the political "graft" of those days — were dis- 
pensed with in 1846. 

The "Oxe-Horse" Court 

Tn that year a county court was established by statute, comjirising 
a judge and associate, elected for a term of four years. The second 


judge was to act only in cases where the first was a "party in interest 
or in cases of absence or disabihty." The court was to sit in term on 
the first Monday of each month, and during such part of the month as 
might be requisite for transacting the business before it. This court 
was the fruit of a reform agitation largely centering in Washtenaw 
county, which demanded cheaper and more speedy means of securing 
(or trying to secure) justice for the average citizen or poor litigant 
than was afl:'orded by the circuit courts. It was not a popular institu- 
tion with the lawyers, who dubbed it the "one-horse court." It went 
out of existence with the adoption of the constitution in 1850. The 
circuit judges, sitting together, constituted the supreme court of the 
state until the system was changed as hereafter noted. 

Under the 1850 Constitution 

"Section i of article 6 of that constitution provides: 'The judicial 
power is vested in one supreme court, in circuit courts, in probate courts, 
and in justics of the peace' with authority on the part of the legisla- 
ture to establish municipal courts in cities. It was provided that after six 
years the legislature might provide for what was popularly termed an 
independent supreme court, 'to consist of one chief justice and three 
associate judges' to be elected by the people. This power was acted 
upon by the legislature of 1857, and judges were elected at the spring 
election in that year, the court being organized January i, 1858. The 
term of the judges was eight years, and they were so classified that their 
terms expired successively every second year. It is provided in the 
constitution that the court, when established, should not be changed for 
eight years. To what extent changes might be made after eight years 
may be a matter of construction. In 1867 the legislature so far departed 
from the letter of the constitution as to provide that the judges should 
be elected as justices or judges of the supreme court, without designating 
any person as chief justice, and that the senior judge in service should 
be chief justice. An even number of judges were found to work great 
inconvenience, because on some questions of importance there was an 
equal division, and hence no decision of the higher court, and thereby 
the decision of the lower court was rendered final. In 1885 a bill was 
introduced in the state senate by Senator Ilubhell, of Houghton county, 
providing for an additional judge. An examination of the convention 
debates of 1850, made at his request, showed quite clearly that the 
intention was to have a bench of four judges only. Whether this was 
his reason for not pressing his bill is not known, but no action was had 
upon it at that session. At the next session a bill was passed for a 
fifth judge with a ten-year term." 

I!y an act approved April 8, 1851, the circuit courts were rearranged 
and the Sixth judicial circuit created, composed of the counties of St. 
Clair, i\Iacomb, Oakland and Sanilac. By an act approved March 18, 
1869, the Sixth circuit was again rearranged and made to consist of 
the counties of Oakland and Lapeer, and the Sixteenth judicial circuit 
was created, composed of Macomb, St. Clair, Sanilac and Huron counties. 



To recapitulate : Uncle'r the tirst state constitution, the supreme 
court consisted of a chief justice and two associates, ai)i)ointed by the 
governor, who also had jurisdiction over three circuits, and their term 
of service was seven years; the constitution of 1850 provided tliat for 
the term of six years the five circuit judges of the state should con- 
stitute the supreme court, their office being made elective; in 1857 the 
members of the supreme court were made by legislative enactment to 
consist of one chief and three associates, elected by the people for a 
term of eight years; the legislature of 1887 increased the number of 
justices to five and lengtlicned the term to ten years, and in 1903 the 
court was made to consist of ei,s,'ht justices with term reduced to eight 

Under the first state constitution Michigan was divided into three 
circuits, over which the supreme court judge presided; the constitution 
of 1850 made the circuit judge elective and the term of office six years. 
In 1879 the state was divided into thirty-five circuits; in 1899 the 
thirty-sixth was created; in 1901 the thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth 
and in 1907 the tliirty-ninth and last. The sixth circuit still comprises 
Oakland and Lapeer counties and is presided over by George W. Smith 
of Pontiac. 

Under the Present Constitution 

The constitution now in force, which was accepted by the people 
November 3, 1908. vests the judicial ]3ower of the state in "one supreme 
court, circuit courts, probate courts, justices of the peace and such 
other courts of criminal and civil jurisdiction inferior to the supreme 
court, as the legislature may establish by general law. by a two-thirds 
vote of the members elected to each house." The supreme court con- 
sists of a chief justice and seven associates, two members of that body 
being elected biennially. Four terms of court are held annually, its 
jurisdiction being generally understood. 

By the constitution of 1909 the courts of the thirty-nine circuits into 
which the state is divided are also required to be held four times each 
year in every county organized for judicial purposes. Circuit courts 
have "original jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal not excepted 
in this constitution (1909) and not prohibited by law. and appellate juris- 
diction from all inferior courts and tribunals and a supervisory control 
of same. They shall have power to issue writs of habeas cori)us. man- 
damus, injunction, quo warranto, and certiorari and to hear and deter- 
mine the same ; and to issue such other writs as mav be necessary to 
carry into effect their orders, judgments and decrees and give them 
general control over inferior courts and tribunals within their respective 
jurisdictions and all such other cases and matters as the sui)reme court 
shall by rule prescribe." 

Under the constitution of 1909 the probate courts of the state "have 
original jurisdiction in all cases of juvenile delin(|uents and dependents," 
besides the jjowers usually prescribed for and exercised by tliem. The 
judges are elected for a four-year term, provision being made for "more 


than one judge of probate in counties with more than one hundred thou- 
sand inliabitants." Such additional judges are to be chosen at alternate 
biennial elections. 

Justices of the peace were appointed by the governor during the 
territorial times, but all the state constitutions have made them elective 
officials, with terms of four years. Not to exxeed four justices of the 
peace are elected in each organized township, the legislature providing 
for city justices. 







Oakland Ccunty's First Lecial Writ ( FAc-SmiLEr) 



County Courts and Judges — Probate Courts and Judges — Circuit 
Courts and Judges — the Court of Chancery — Circuit Court 


The foregoing information regarding the establishment and develop- 
ment of the several judicial systems and the various courts applicable 
to southern Michigan has been introductory to the historical narrative 
which is to picture progress along the same lines in Oakland covmty. 

County Courts and Judges 

On March 28, 1820, Governor Cass proclaimed the county of Oak- 
land entitled to the rights of civil and judicial organization and estab- 
lished its seat of justice at the town of Pontiac, and two days later the 
terms of the county court were ordered to commence on the second 
Monday of February and the third Monday of July of each year. The 
first court was accordingly held at the county seat named July 17, 1820, 
with the following present: Hon. William Thompson, chief justice; 
their honors. Daniel Bronson and Amasa Bagley, associates ; William 
Morris, esquire, sheriff, who returned the venire for the grand jury, 
which being called, appeared as follows : Elijah Willits, Ziba Swan, 
John Hamilton, Elisha Hunter, William Thurlier, Ezra Baldwin, Asa 
Castle, Elijah S. Fish. Alpheus Williams, Oliver Williams, Alex. Gallo- 
way, Henry O. Bronson, Nathan I. Fowler, Josiah Goddard, James 
Graham, Enoch Hotchkiss and Calvin Hotchkiss, who were sworn to 
discharge their duties according to law. Spencer Coleman, Esq., of 
Detroit, was, on his own application, admitted to the bar of the court 
to practice his profession as an attorney, and on his application, Daniel 
LeRoy, formerly an attorney of New York, was also admitted. (I\Ir. 
LeRoy located in Pontiac, being the first resident attorney in the county 
of Oakland.) 

William Thurber applied for a license to keep a tavern in Bloom- 
field for one year and Elijah Willits also asked for the same franchise 
in the same township. Both petitions were granted on the principals 
entering into recognizance in the sum of $50 each — the former with 
John Hamilton and Willits as his security and the latter with William 
Morris and William Thurber as security — to keep a respectable house. 



The grand jury came into court after dinner, and were discharged for 
lack of something to do in the Hne of their pecuHar duty. 

The first case on the record appears to be one of Daniel P. Clark 
vs. Stephen Phelps, Ira Shelby, Alexander Galloway and Ezra Shepard- 
son, in an action of assumpsit, bail being given by the plaintiff, as 
required. The defendants a])pcaring, the bail was discharged on motion 
of LeRoy. attorney for defendants, who also moved to dispense with 
that aid entirely, the writ having been ini[}roperly issued, he alleged, 
the attorneys for the plaintifT not having been admitted to the bar. But 
Mr. LeRoy withdrew his motion and George Throop and Joshua S. 
Terry were entered as special bail for Galloway, conditioned that Gallo- 
way should satisfy the condemnation of the court if he was condemned, 
or surrender his body to the sheriff in lieu thereof, and in default of 
Galloway to [lerform his undertakings, his securities w-ould i)ay the 
condenmation for him. Subsequently the special bail surrendered their 
principal and he was taken in charge by the sheriff. LeRoy entered his 
appearance as attorney for Gallow^ay and moved the court that plaintiff 
file his declaration on or before the next rule day of court, or that 
judgment by default should be taken by the defendant, and the court 
granted the reasonable rule. Solomon Sibley, afterwards judge of the 
circuit court, was admitted to the bar, and the court adjournefl for the 

On the second day the court announced the rule days of the court 
to be the first Mondays of May and October. The petit jury was called, 
and there being no prospect of any of their peers being desirous of a 
hearing and adjudication of disputes at their hands, thev were dis- 
charged. The court ordered the private seal of the clerk' to be used 
for the public seal of the court until a suitable one was procured. The 
defendant, Galloway, came into court on this day and was admitted to 
bail, Samuel Beaman and Joshua S. Terry beiiig his security for his 
appearance at the next term of the court, and to secure the payment of 
the condemnation of the court, if one was given against him, and a 
dcdimus potcstatem provided for to take testimony in the state of New- 
York, if wanted, and the court adjourned for the term. 

Thus was inaugurated the first court which had jurisdiction in Oak- 
land county. During the territorial period the following chief justices 
presided over the county court: Dr. William Thompson, 1820-27: 
Smith Weeks, 1828; Daniel LeRoy, 1829-32; Daniel lironson and .Amasa 
Bagley were their associates from 1S20 to 1832. Under the reorganiza- 
tion of the county court in 1846, the jjresiding judge from that year 
until it went out of existence, January i. 1852, was Charles M. iildredge. 

Pi«)r;\Tic Courts ami JmcKs 

On the 27th of July. 1S18, the governor and judges passed an act 
creating a probate court in each organized county, which was held by 
a judge appointed by the governor. A register of wills was also ap- 
pointed by the same authority, who acted as register of deeds until 
1835. The probate courts had full cognizance of mortuary matters and 
the supreme court had appellate jurisdiction over them. The powers 


and jurisdictions of the probate court are now substantially the same 
as when first established, and as its first session in Oakland county was 
held more than ninety years ago, it has the largest continuous history 
of any judicial tribunal in this section of the state. 

The first session of the probate court in and for Oakland county 
was held at the house of Col. David Stanard, in the township of ISloom- 
field, in said county on the 15th day of June, 1822, Judge William 
Thompson presiding. On the application of Maj. Joseph Todd, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Harding was cited to appear on the 27th instant next ensuing, 
and file her petition before the court for administration on the estate 
of Eliphalet Harding, deceased,, and the court adjourned to that time 
and the same place. On the 29th of June Mrs. Harding appeared, and, 
together with John Todd, was appointed administratri.x of the estate 
of her late husband. Messrs. David Stanard, Calvin Gibbs, and Charles 
Howard were appointed appraisers. Before the inventory and appraise- 
ment were returned t\te widow married, and Judge Thompson evidently 
considered her wedding equivalent to her funeral, for he designated 
ever afterwards Mr. Todd as the surviving administrator. The Hard- 
ing estate proving insolvent, the late widow received $162.84 only, of 
the goods and chattels of the estate. 

The first inventory filed in the court was that of the estate of J. S. 
Davis, deceased, September 7. 1822, the same footing up $498.50 on 
personal property and $390 on real estate. The widow received $300 
of the personal property and the balance was sold by the appraisers. 
Sidney Dole and David Perrin were commissioners to audit the claims 
against the estate. The third session of the court was held at the house 
of Olmstead Chamberlain, in the village of Pontiac, the next session 
f.t Colonel Stanard's and the fifth at IMaj. Joseph Todd's, in Bloomfield. 
All of these sessions had been special ones, held for emergency called 
for the exercise of the authority of the court. But at the fifth session 
regular sessions were ordered to be held on the first Saturday of each 
month, in Pontiac, at the office of Daniel LeRoy, Esq. 

The first order of distribution of an estate was entered April 5, 
1823, in the estate of John Prindle, deceased, upon which administra- 
tion was granted December 16, 1822. The first letters of guardianslii]) 
were granted August 22, 1823, to Nathaniel Millard, guardian of 
Maria, Aaron W. and George B. Webster, children of .Aaron Webster, 

On December 15, 1823, regular sessions were ordered tu be held at 
Bloomfield, at the office of the register, on the first Saturday of each 

The first lunatic examined and restrained was Iinri Fish. Elijah 
H. Fish was ap])ointed guardian of his estate May 7, 1825. The first 
will probated in the court was that of Alpheus Williams, deceased, 
which was proven September G, 1826, and executed on the 19th of 
April preceeding. 

l^he judges of probate from the organization of the county to 1836, 
all of whom were appointed by the governor, were as follows : Dr. 
William Thompson, 1821-24; Nathaniel Millard, 182S-6; Smith Weeks, 
1827; G. O. Wliitteniore, 1827-2S; W. F. Mosely, 1828; Ogden Clarke. 


August, 1828 to August, 1832; Stephen Reeves, August, 1832 to 1837; 
and lie was then elected for a term of four years and reelected for an- 
other term of the same duration, ending December 31, 1844. lie was 
succeeded as follows: M. La .Mont ISagg, 1845-48; M. E. Crofoot, 
1849-56; Oscar F. North. 1857-61; Harry C. Andrews, April, 1861-63; 
Z. B. Knight, 1863-68; Alfred Crawford, 1869-72; Junius Ten Eyck, 
1872; Joseph C. Powell, 1873-76; James A. Jacokes. 1877-80; Josejih 
C. Powell, 1881-84; Thomas L. Patterson, 1885-1900; Joseph S. Stock- 
well, 1901 to January i, 1909; Kleher P. Rockwell, 1909 (present in- 

Circuit Courts and Judges 

The circuit courts of the territory were created b}' the legislative coun- 
cil in August, 1824, and which reenacted the same in April. 1825, the act 
taking effect in the following September. As stated, these courts were 
held in each of the organized counties of the territory by the justices of 
the supreme court. 

The first term of the court for Oakland county began June 19, 1826, 
with the following present: Hon. John Hunt, judge; William Morris, 
sheriff; William F. Alosley, prosecuting attorney: Sidney Dole, clerk; 
Calvin C. Parks, Walter Sprague and Joshua S. Terry attended the court 
as constables, and Ziha Swan, Jr.. and Schuyler Hodges as deputy sher- 
iffs. William Burliank was foreman of the grand jury. The grand jury 
found four indictments for murder — two against Imri Fish and two 
against a Chippewa Indian called Sa-Kosse-Ka. The indictments against 
Fish were for the murder of two women, Polly and Cynthia Ann L'tter. 
The jury brought him in not guilty on one charge, and the other indict- 
ment was nolle prosscd by the prosecuting attorney. The prisoner was 
discharged from the indictments, but held under charge of insanity, which 
was proven on trial. He was kept in the county jail for a time and 
finally died. In the trial of the Indian, Sa-Kosse-Ka, for the murder 
of Sha-bo-ga-shek, Whitemore Knaggs was sworn as interpreter, and 
A. M. Robertson and O. D. Richardson were assigned as the Indian's 
counsel. The jury returned the prisoner not guilty; and the second indict- 
ment against him for the murder of Ka-ka-on-quet was also thrown out 
of court. Mosley was allowed fifty dollars for his work on the term. 

At the June term, 1827, Hon. James \\'etherell jiresided, and one 
William Dunlap declared his intention to become a citizen of the United 
States, which constituted the entire business of the term. Judge Henry 
Chipman presided in March, 1828, one day only being held. In Octo- 
ber, 1828, Judges Woodbridge and Sibley presided. The first conviction 
for horse-thieving was had at the .March term in 1829, Piatt Winchell 
being indicted and tried at that time, and sentenced to six months' con- 
finement in the county jail and a fine of two hundred dollars and costs, 
and to stand committed until fine and costs were paid. The March 
term was opened by Hervey Parke, sheriff. The October term, 1832, 
held by Jnd,ges Sibley and Ross Wilkins, was the last term of that court. 
On the 15th day of April, 1833, '"the circuit court of the territory 


of Michigan" was created, the organized counties of the territory con- 
stituting one circuit, and the presiding judge to be styled the circuit 
judge, to be appointed by the governor, and who must be a person 
learned in the law, and should hold his position for four years. Two 
associate judges were also to be appointed in each county, to hold their 
offices three years. Any two of the judges could form a quorum for 
the transaction of the ordinary business of the court, but no flagrant 
crime could be tried in the absence of the circuit judge, unless the per- 
son charged therewith consented to a trial. These courts possessed chan- 
cery and common law jurisdiction, original in all civil cases where jus- 
tices had not jurisdiction, and had cognizance of all offenses not simi- 
larly cognizable by justices, and appellate powers over justices. The 
circuit courts existing at the time of the passage of the act were in the 
act denominated "the superior circuit courts of the territory of Michi- 
gan," but the business on their dockets was transferred to the new 
tribunal. ' 

The first term of this court was begun June 2;^. 1833, in Pontiac, 
Hon. William A. Fletcher, circuit judge, presiding, with Amasa Bag- 
ley as associate judge. Judge Fletcher's commission, issued by Governor 
Porter, was read, and spread on the record. At the July term, 1834, 
Daniel LeRoy and Bagley appeared as associate judges. The June term, 
1836, was the last term of the circuit court of the territory of Michigan, 
held in Oakland county, though in November the last representatives of 
the old regime — John Goodrich, deputy clerk; Orison Allen, sheriff; 
and Oliver Torrey, the crier — met, and the sheriff returned the venire 
for the grand and petit juries, the most of whom appeared; but no 
judge came, and the court was adjourned by the clerk until the next 
morning, November 2d, when the same august person came into the 
court room at nine o'clock A. M., with the balance of the jury; but the 
day wore on, no judge appeared and at five o'clock of the second day the 
court stood adjourned sine die. 

The first term of the circuit court of the county of Oakland in the 
state of Michigan, was held in May, 1837, beginning on the first Tues- 
day of the month; Hon. George ;\Iorell, one of the associate judges of 
the supreme court, presiding, with Samuel Satterlee and David Pad- 
dock, associates. G. A. C. Luce was the first attorney admitted to the 
bar in the state court. May 2, 1837. This style of the court continued 
until October, 1839, when a court was held, styled the circuit court of 
the fourth circuit within and for the county of Oakland, at which Hon. 
Charles W. Whipple, one of the associate judges of the supreme court, 
and presiding judge of the fourth circuit, presided, with Associate 
Judges Satterlee and Paddock. Jn the .March term, 1840, the placita, 
designedly or otherwise, changed to the circuit court of the county of 
Oakland. In 1847, at the Septemlier term. Judge Whipple held the 
term alone, the associate judges falling out by law, on the reestablish- 
ment of the county court. In April, 1848, another change was made in 
the courts, the supreme court being recognized and made to consist of 
one chief and four associate justices, and the state was divided into five 


judicial circuits, each one of the supreme court and justices to hold at 
least two terms in each county in the circuit assigned to him, and in 
the execution of that dutj' to be styled circuit judge. 

The first chancery case brought in the county was commenced in the 
circuit court. October 2, 1830, John liiddle of Detroit, complainant, 
and Henry Reynolds of New York, defendant, the action being a bill 
for the foreclosure of a mortgage. The bill was drawn by (]. ( ). Whitte- 
more, solicitor for complainant, and descriljes the mortgaged i)remises 
as "being situate, lying and being in the county of Oakland, in the territory 
of Michigan and known and described as the west part of fractional 
section 11, township 2 north, range 9 east, of lands directed to be sold 
at Detroit, by the act of congress entitled "an act providing for the sale 
of the lands in the United States in the territory northwest of the Ohio 
and above the mouth of the Kentucky river." " After laying before 
their honors, the court, the complaint of his client, expressed in ]Mteous 
terms, the solicitor concludes the same by a most humble prayer that 
their honors would grant their orator "the most gracious writ of sub- 
poena, in the name of the United States of America, etc.'" 

The first divorce suit was brought in this court July 12, 1834, being 
the bill of complaint of John Runyan, against his wife, Eunice Run- 
yan, who he alleged had deserted him and also had been guilty of adul- 
tery. John obtained a decree of divorce from Eunice in February, 
1835, which released him and his property from an}' claim she might 
make by virtue of her former wifehood rights; but the decree did not 
specifically state that either ]jarty mighi. marry again. The complain- 
ant was fifty-eight years old and the defendant fifty-five. 

At the October term, iS;^/. of the circuit court, fifteen libel suits 
were brought on charge of corruption growing out of the election for 
member of congress, in September of that year. There were two days 
used in polling the votes at that time and General Crary, the Democratic 
candidate, came out some thirty odd votes behind his competitor in the 
race in Pontiac township, much to the chagrin of his friends. Some 
of them charged certain of the Whigs with tampering with the ballot 
box, and issued a hand bill to that effect, which (Tailed forth the suits 
above named. Four of the suits were compromised by taking a judg- 
ment of fifty dollars, which were affirmed by the supreme court ; seven 
were dismissed ; one was tried and a verdict of three hundred and thirty- 
three dollars was found for the plaintiff and affirmed In' the supreme 
court ; the others were transferred to Genesee county for trial. 

The regular circuit jtidges commenced to held court in 1848. pre- 
vious to that year various associate judges presiding over it. as follows: 
Hon. James Hunt, 1826; Hon. James ^\'itherell, 1827; Hon. Henry 
Chipman, 1828; William Woodbridge, .Solomon Sibley, Henry Chip- 
man and Ross Wilkins from 1828 to 1833, when the circuit court of 
the territory was created. From June, 1833, to 1837. Judge William .\. 
Fletcher, an associate judge of the supreme court, as chief justice, and 
Daniel LeRoy and Amasa Bagley as associates, held the court. The 
judges of the first circuit court from June. 1826. to June. 1833. were all 


members of the supreme hencli of the territory. In 1837 and thence to 
1839 the courts were held by Hon. George ]\Iorell, one of the associates 
of the supreme court, and Samuel Satterlee and David Paddack, asso- 
ciate judges of Oakland county. From 1839 to 1848, Charles W. Whip- 
ple, an associate of the supreme bench, was the presiding judge of the 
circuit court of Oakland, Daniel Paddack, G. O. VMiittemore, Jeremiah 
Clark and Ziba Swan being the associates. In 1848 Judge Whipple was 
made chief justice of the supreme court. 

Since 1848 the following judges have presided: Sanford M. Green, 
1848 to January i, 1852; Joseph T. Copeland, 1852 to January i, 1858; 
Sanford i\I. Green, 1858 to January i, 1870; Joseph S. Dewey, 1870 to 
September i, 1873; Levi B. Taft, September, 1873. to January i, 1876; 
Augustus C. Baldwin, 1876 to April 14, 1880; Silas B. Gaskill, April, 
1880, to January i, 1882; William B. Stickney. 1882 to January i, 1888; 
Joseph B. Moore, 1888 to January i, 1896; George W. Smith, 1896 to 
date. ' 

Prosecuting Attorneys 

The following were appointed prosecuting attorneys by the gov- 
ernor between 1820 and 1853, to-wit : 

Daniel LeRoy, Gideon O. Whittemore, W. F. Mosely, Thomas J. 
Drake, Origen D. Richardson, John T. Raynor, George Wisner, James 
B. Hunt, James McCabe, A. H. Hanscom and Hester L. Stevens. 

Elected by the people as follows: Augustus C. Baldwin, January i, 
1851 to January i, 1855; Charles Draper, 1855 'o 1861 ; Junius Ten 
Eyck, 1861 to January i, 1863; Michael E. Crofoot. 1863 to January i, 
1867; Oscar F. Wisner, 1867 to January i, 1869; Michael F. Crofoot, 
1869 to January i, 1871 ; Henry M. Look, 1871 to January i. 1873; 
Charles Draper, 1873 to January i, 1875: James K. Patterson, 1875 
to January i, 1879; Aaron Perry, 1879 to January i, 1881 ; Samuel W. 
Smith, 1881 to January i, 1885; Arthur R. Tripp, 1885 to January i, 
1889; George W. Smith, 1889 to January i, 1895: Frederick Wieland, 
1895 to January i, 1899; Kleber P. Rockwell, 1899 to January i, 1905; 
Frank L. Covert, 1905 to 191 1; Carl H. Pelton, 1911 (present incum- 

The Court of Chancery 

The court of chancery provided for by the constitution of 1836 was 
created in 1837, and the sessions of the court held up to 1840 in De- 
troit. The powers of this court were coextensive with those of the 
chancery courts of England, unless otherwise specially prohibited in the 
consitution or by legislation. The presiding judge was called a chan- 
cellor, and was appointed by the governor for the whole state, and 
registers were appointed for each circuit. The first circuit included 
Oakland county, but in 1840 two new circuits were formed, the fourth 
circuit comprising the counties of Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Saginaw, 
Shiawassee and Clinton, the headquarters of the circuit being Pontiac. In 
1839 the chancellor's court was given cognizance of the banks, and in 


1S41 the power was extended to partition and sale of lands concurrent 
with the circuit court. The supreme court possessed appellate powers 
over this court. The first term of the court of chancery was held in 
Pontiac in September, 1840, Hon. Elon Farnsworth, chancellor, being 
present, and Frederic A. Williams, register. The first case on the 
docket of this court was that of W. FI. H. Sheldon, complainant, vs. 
Henry Bishop, Jane Bishop, Charles Postal and James Minot. The 
first two defendants were residents of Michigan, and the others were 
non-residents, and the complainant was ordered to publish notice of the 
pendency of the suit in the state paper at Detroit. On the 20th of May, 
1S40, the chancellor ordered a private seal to be used until a public one 
was made for the circuit. J. R. Bowman was appointed assistant regis- 
ter and Alfred Treadway was appointed taxing-master. The first decree 
of foreclosure to be entered in the court was on the 5th of May, 1841, 
in the case of Joseph B. \'arnum, Dudley B. Fuller and John A. Gra- 
ham, complainants, vs. Omstead Chamberlain, Mary C. Chamberlain 
and Moses Wanzer, defendants. The amount of the decree was $2,411.77, 
the ]:)reniises ordered to be sold being lot 66 of Pontiac. 

In the spring of 1842 the official head of the court was changed, 
when Randolph Manning came into office. He held that position until 
1846 when Hon. Elon Farnsworth again came into power, and so continued 
until the court was abolished in 1847. Alfred Treadway was appointed 
register of the circuit in 1842 and he held that position throughout the 
existence of the court. The business of the court was transacted and 
closed up by the associate justices of the supreme court, who held chan- 
cery terms of the circuit court. The injunction masters succeeded the 
associate judges of the circuit court in 1847. and they in turn were suc- 
ceeded by circuit court commissioners in 1852. 

CiRCfiT Court Commissioners 

Circuit court commissioners were provided for in the constitution 
of 1850 to take the place and possess the pow'ers of the masters of chan- 
cerv prohiliited by that instrument, and the first one was elected in 
185 1. Previous to this date, masters in chancery had been named by 
the governor, and among those who filled the office at different times 
previous to 1851 were Morgan L. Drake, 1847, and Calvin C. Parks, 
1848. The first circuit court commissioner to be elected was William 
W. Phelps, who held the office two years (a single term). 1852-53. He 
was succeeded by Junius Ten Eyck, 1854-57; Edward P. Harris, 185S-61 ; 
James A. Jacokes and Joseph R. Bowman. 1862-65: Mark S. Brewer 
and Byron L. Ransford, 1866-69; James K. Patterson and James A. 
Jacokes, 1870-71 ; Joseph E. Sawyer and Thomas Curtis, 1872-73; James 
A. Jacokes and Edward J. Bissell, 1874-75; Edward T. Bissell and George 
W. Smith, 1876-77; Edward J. Bissell and Arthur R. Tripp. 1S78-79; 
Arthur R. Trijip and James W. Bateman. 1S80-81 ; James W. Batcman 


and Cass E. Harrington. 1882-83; Cass E. Harrington and Chauncey 
F. Newkirk, 1884-85; James H. Lynch and Peter B. Bromley, 1886-91; 
George E. Beardslee and Michael F. Lillis, 1892-93; Frank L. Covert 
and George Hogle, 1894-99; Charles J. Ostrander and Judson A. Fred- 
enbnrgh. 1900-03: Charles S. Matthews and Fred M. Bond, 1904-05; 
Charles S. Matthews and John M. Feir, 1906-07; Charles S. Matthews 
and Elmer E. Blakeslee, 1908-10; Elmer E. Blakeslee and E. B. How- 
arth, Jr., 1911-12. 



Daniel LeRoy — William F. Mosley — Thomas J. Drake — Origen 
D. Richardson — Gideon O. Whittemore — Robert P. Eldredge — 
Seth A. L. Warner — William Draper — Randolph ^Manning — 
' Charles Draper — Rufus Hosmer — George W. Wisner — Alfred 
H. Hanscom — Governor Moses Wisner — Augustus Carpenter 
Baldwin — John S. Goodrich— Levi B. Taft — Hester L. Stevens — • 
Michael E. Crofoot — Henry M. Look — Mark S. Brewer — Living 
Members of the Bar — Judge Thomas L. Patterson — Joseph Ed- 
ward Sawyer — George W. Smith — Robert J. Lounsbury — Aaron 
Perry — Daniel L. Davis — Kleber P. Rockwell — Arthur R. 
Tripp — Elmer R. Webster — James H. Lynch — John H. Patterson 
— F. L. Covert — Henry M. Zimmerman — Andrew L. Moore — H. 
H. Colvin — Peter B. Bromley. 

The early-time lawyers of Oakland county gave a standing to its 
bar which ran Detroit a close second. Many attorneys of the old capital 
city practiced in its courts — Sibley, Woodbridge, Fletcher, Earned, Good- 
win, O'Keefe, Coleman — but even after members of the profession com- 
menced to settle at Pontiac, as a place with a substantial future, the 
high standing of the bar was maintained. This is true up to the pres- 
ent day — true both as to professional ability, mora! character and manly 

The following from the "History of Oakland County," published in 
1877; with minor changes in the text to conform to changed conditions, 
gives a good general idea of the pioneer members of the bar who made 
reputations both for professional strength and high standing as citizens. 

Daniel LeRoy 

The first resident lawyer in the county was Daniel LeRoy. who was 
admitted to practice in the county court, the first court held in the county, 
and on the first day of the first term thereof to-wit, July 17. 1820. Mr. 
LeRoy was from Binghampton. New 'S'ork, and was a regularly ad- 
mitted and practicing attorney in that state previous to his coming to 
Michigan. He was the prosecuting attorney of the county for some 
years, and chief justice of the county court from .April, 1829, to the 
abolishment of the same in i8_:;3. Tic was also the first attorney-gen- 






B - L 


eral of the state, being appointed to that offiLe by Governor Mason, in 
1836. judge LeRoy was a lawyer of ability, and ranked high in the 
bar of the state. He retired from practice late in life and died at Fenton, 
Genesee county. 


The next resident lawyer in the county appears i)y the record to have 
been William F. Mosley, who was admitted t.o practice before the 
county court at the February term, 1825; and was appointed by the 
court prosecuting attorney for the term. At the June term, 1826, the 
first term of that court held in the county, Mr. Mosley was admitted 
to practice before that court, and in 1828 was judge of probate. He 
removed from the county into Shiawassee county, where he died in 
i860, while prosecuting attorney. He was from Connecticut. 

Thomas J. Drake 

At the same February term of the county court, 1825, Thomas J. 
Drake was allowed to act as attorney for such parties as had given him 
powers of attorney for that purpose. Mr. Drake first came to Pontiac 
in 1822, when there were scarcely half a dozen houses in the township. 
He was a leading and prominent advocate for nearly two generations. 
Hon. A. C. Baldwin, judge of the sixth circuit, says of him: "He was 
connected as counsel with most of the leading cases in northern Michi- 
gan during a long term of years, and was always in his element when 
advocating the cause of the people." He was a member of the third 
legislative council in 1828. and. with S. \'. R. Trowbridge, represented 
the whole northern portion of the territory. Mr. Drake was the ac- 
credited author of the liberal exemption laws of .Michigan, introducing 
them into the legislative council at a time when they were so unpopular 
not a single member, save himself, dared to vote for them. From 1828 
1845 he was prominent in political matters, being a Whig in party af- 
filiation and policy. He was elected in 1834 to the state senate to repre- 
sent a district which extended from the l)ase-line of the state to the 
head of Lake Superior, embracing two-thirds of the area of the state. 
He was president of that body. In 1840 he was one of the \\ hig 
presidential electors for Michigan at her first participation in the choice 
of a president and vice president of the republic. In 1828 he was regis- 
ter of probate for the county, and in 1827 prosecuting attorney, being 
also the first prosecuting attorney elected in the county, and held the 
position from 1850 to 1852. In 1864 President Lincoln appointed Mr. 
Drake chief justice of the United States courts in Utah, which position 
he held for several years, discharging the duties thereof with signal 
ability and fidelity, and thereby provoking the bitter hostility of Brigham 
Young and his cohorts. "The Alormons hated him as cordially as he hated 
their customs and practice." Judge Drake's associate justice in Utah said : 
"When once the judge made up his mind that he was right, no power under 
heaven could swerve him from tlie path of duty." He died in Pontiac, 
April 20, 1875. Judge Drake, in 1842 or thereabouts, conducted the 
publication of a \Miig newspa]5er in Flint, which in the winter of 1843-44 


was removed to Pontiac and there established as the Gazette. lie also 
built the Genesee House in Flint, and resided there for some years, do- 
ing much for the prosperity of the village. 


The next attorney admitted to the bar in the Oakland courts who 
attained a "local habitation and a name" in the county was Origen D. 
Richardson, who, for nearly thirty years, was a leading and prominent 
member of the bar, and noted as well throughout the state. lie was ad- 
mitted at the July term. 1826, of the circuit court, having been a regular 
practicing attorney in Vermont, from whence he came to Michigan in 
1826. He began and completed his study of the law, preparatory to his 
admission to practice, with his brother-in-law, Israel P. Richardson, in 
\'ermont. He was prosecuting attorney of the county in 1832. and was 
elected lieutenant-governor of Michigan in the fall of 1841. and again in 
184^, serving the state in that position during the years of 1841-45. In 
the "fall of 1854, Governor Richardson removed to Omaha, Nebraska — 
a territory then — and, as a member of the first and second sessions of 
the legislature of the new state, "acted a prominent and useful part in 
framing some of the laws now on its statute books." He was one of the 
commissioners to codify the laws of the state. He died at Omaha, No- 
vember 29, 1876, at the advanced age of eighty-one years, of apoplexy; 
and was followed by his almost equally aged wife and companion but a 
brief period afterward, and with her was laid to rest in the same grave 
in Prospect Hill cemetery and on the same day. 

Gideon O. Wiiittemore 

Another prominent attorney and citizen of Oakland county, who was 
admitted to the practice of tlie law before the courts of the county at 
the same time as Governor Richardson, viz., February term, 1826, was 
Gideon O. Whittemore, Esquire, who located at Pontiac and was after- 
wards judge of probate, master in chancery and prosecuting attorney. 
He was also a prominent justice of the peace. He removed to Tawas, 
in this state, where he died some years ago. Mr. Whittemore was one 
of the first regents of the University in 1837. 

Robert P. Eldredge 

The next attorney who located in the county was Robert P. Eldredge, 
who was admitted in the county court November, 1828. He read law 
with Governor Richardson, and removed early to IMount Clemens, where 
he was long in practice. He came from the state of New York to Michi- 
gan, and he prided himself on his Indian blood, claiming to he a lineal 
descendant of Pocohontas. His son, who became his legal partner, was 
at one time judge of probate of Macomb county. Mr. Eldredge was 
prosecuting attorney of the court at the term of which he was admitted 
to the bar, and was secretary of state under Governor I'.arry from 1841 
to 1846. 


Seth a. L. Warner 

Seth A. L. Warner was the next attorney to receive a license to 
practice his profession, being admitted to the bar of the county in March, 
1830, and in the circuit court in April following. He located at Farm- 
ington. and came from Seneca county, New York, where he previously 
followed the practice of law. P. Dean Warner, his son, became one of 
the most prominent public men in the state, and his career is fully ex- 
panded in the biography of ex-Governor Warner. 

William Draper 

Henry S. Cole was admitted in October, 1833. At the same time, 
William Draper, the father of Hon. Charles Draper, who succeeded to 
his practice, was admitted to the Oakland bar, he having been a regu- 
larly-admitted and practicing attorney previously in Massachusetts. Mr. 
Draper was a good laywer, well read, and had an extensive practice. 
In 1838 he had more than one hundred suits on the dockets of the 
courts. He was the president of the first Ann Arbor convention to act 
upon the congressional terms imposed upon Michigan's admission into 
the union. He was located at Pontiac, where he was buried, his death 
occurring while on a pleasure trip to Mackinac, in July, 1858. Mr. 
Draper was a very sedate and dignified gentleman, and some of his ways 
were a little inclined to eccentricity. Several anecdotes are told by his 
old confreres, which are too good to be lost, and we reproduce two or 
three of the best. He was a born sportsman, and when the duties of his 
profession would allow enjoyed most thoroughly the piscatorial pleas- 
ures afforded by the well-stocked lakes of Oakland. In order to facili- 
tate such enjoyment he constructed a boat, and fitted it on the running 
gear of a light wagon, with which he would, on days too dark and dull 
for office work and "just dark enougii for good fishing,'' drive to some 
of the many beautiful sheets of water that spread their fair expanse 
in the openings of Oakland, and, unshipping his wagon body, would 
launch the same upon the waves, and proceed to his piscatorial delights 
with the same zest that he pursued larger fish in the meshes oi the law. 
He kept his boat under the shed of the Congregational church, and in an 
adjoining stall the village hearse was also kept. 

One day Mr. Draper concluded to try his usual sport and sent his 
Milesian man of all work down to the shed for his turn-out. But Patrick, 
by some mistake, hitched the old gray to the funeral car instead of the 
Waltonian vehicle and backed it up in front of the lawyer's residence. 
The sportsman soon made his appearance equipped with rod and lines, 
and stepping precisely down the walk, his eyes rested on the black- 
plumed carriage at the gate, whereupon he stopped suddenly, and with 
his peculiar gesture of his forefinger and a sort of snort, said, with grim 
humor, "Patrick, take it back! I'm not readv to ride in that carriage 
yet !" 

Randolph Manning 

Among the prominent names of the Oaklanfl bar Randolph Man- 
ning's also shines conspicuously. He was admitted about 1828-30, and 


was previously a practicing attorney in New Jersey. lie was an able, 
though not a brilliant lawyer, conscientious and sound, and a most ex- 
cellent solicitor in chancery. - He held tlie position of chancellor of the 
state by appointment of Governor Barry, from 1842 to 1846, and w'as 
one of the judges of the supreme court of the state when his death, 
which was very sudden,' occurred. He was secretary of state from 
1838 to 1840, by appointment of Governor Woodbridge. 

Charles Draper 

Charles Draper, long the Nestor of the bar of Oakland county, was 
admitted to the practice of his profession November 27, 1838. He and 
Rufus Hosmer, both of whom read law with William Draper, were ad- 
mitted at the same time. Mr. Draper was the first clerk of the courts 
under the state constitution and held the position for two years, to 1838. 
He was also prosecuting attorney and served the county in the state 
senate. He was in partnership many years with his father, William 
Draper, had an extensive and valuable library, and ranked high in his 
profession in the state. 

Rufus Hosmer 

Mr. Hosmer was a native of Massachusetts, where he was thoroughly 
educated. He was a cousin of Mr. Charles Draper, and formed a part- 
nership with the Wisners soon after his admission to the bar. and sub- 
sequently went to Detroit to assume charge of the Detroit Adfertiscr. 
He was also state printer at Lansing for a time and was appointed 
consul to the Netherlands, but died before going to his post of duty. He 
was a brilliant genius, most companionable, and always ready for a 
joke. The following good story is told at his expense: He was a very 
indifferent scribe, and when the trial of his first case came on in the 
circuit court, at the very term of his admission to the bar, Thomas J. 
Drake, the opposing counsel, moved the court to qtiash the declaration 
in the case, because it was drawn in a foreign language. The court, 
being struck with the point, asked to see the paper, and on examination 
granted the motion, giving the young lawyer twenty-four hours to file 
a new declaration. 

Mr. Hosmer was always full of fun, and, though a nephew of Mr. 
William Draper, called him, as did many others, "Father Draper" ; and 
he used to relate with great gusto the following anecdote: One day 
Hosmer and Mr. Draper were called to Farmington to attend a lawsuit, 
and, in going to the same. Rvifus drove. On coming to the top of a hill 
of some considerable height, the old gray mare Mr. Draper drove for 
many years struck a brisk trot, and the somewhat careless driver did 
not strive to check her speed down the declivity; but on arriving at the 
bottom a bridge which traversed a small creek was found to be un- 
planked. However, it was too late to stop, and the old mare cleared it 
somehow, the wheels by the strangest fortuity squarely striking the 
sleepers and passing in safety. Not a word was spoken until they ar- 
rived at the village when the condition of the bridge was commented 


upon calmly. After the trial was over the lawyers set out on their re- 
turn, Mr. Draper taking the reins into his own hands. They stopped a 
few minutes at Birmingham, and just as they were seated in the buggy, 
Mr. Draper's hands, with a rein in each, planted on either knee and 
ready for a start, a Spanish jack, confined in the yard alongside the 
hotel, by which they were standing, put his head over the high board 
fence that separated him from the rest of the world, and lifted up his 
voice as only that animal can. Old "Gray" shot from her standing like 
an arrow and tore down the pike on a swinging gallop, Mr. Draper sit- 
ting bold upright, his fists firmly pressed on his knees and Rufus clinging 
for dear life to the buggy-seat. Down the long smooth pike sped the 
gallant gray, not a word being spoken by the lawyers whom she car- 
ried. Past farmhouses the clattering vehicle dashed ; dogs barked, chil- 
dren hurrahed, men stared and wondered what had got into Father 
Draper. Dashing into Saginaw street with unchecked lope, the old 
mare made straight forvher wonted stable, nor stopped nor stumbled un- 
til she bumped her nose against the gate she had left a few hours before. 
She gave a long breath and looked back, not at her drivers, but at her 
followers; and Mr. Draper m solemn tones broke the silence that had 
been maintained throughout the entire seven miles' drive. Said he: 
"Rufus, what an awful noise that was!" 

George W. Wisner 

George W. Wisner came from New York City to Pontiac in July, 
1835. He was formerly editor and had a half proprietary interest in 
the Nezv York Sun, which he disposed of in September of that year and 
removed his family to Pontiac, where he at once commenced the study 
of the law under William Draper, who was admitted in January, 1839, 
to the practice of his profession. He and Alfred Treadway were in 
partnership for a time and succeeding that partnership was one with his 
brother Moses and Rufus Hosnier, which was a strong and successful 
one. In 1837 he was a member of the first legislature of the state and 
was prosecuting attorney for some years. Politically he was a Whig, 
with anti-slavery leanings. In the fall of 1847, he purchased with Nor- 
man Rawson and H. H. Duncklee, the Detroit Advertiser, and man- 
aged the editorial columns so effectively that he was given the credit 
of largely influencing the Whig triumph in that city in the spring of 
18.^8. He died in September, 1849, .young in years but ripe in experi- 

Alfred H. Hanscom 

Alfred H. Hanscom, said to be the most eloquent advocate who 
ever lifted up his voice in defense of innocence and the maintenance 
of right at the Oakland bar, was admitted to the same in 1838. He was 
a native of Rochester, New York, whence he came early to Macomb 
county, and thence removed to Troy, in Oakland county. He was edu- 
cated in the eastern schools, and in 1842 was speaker of the house of 
representatives of the legislature of Michigan. He was the district 
attorney of the county of Oakland for some years, and removed to On- 


tonagon in 1850 or therealiouts. He died on his return from a visit to 
Pontiac about half a century ago, on shipboard, en route from Mar- 
quette to his home. 


Hon. Moses Wisner was one of the lawyers whose powers and abili- 
ties reflected great credit on the Oakland bar. His father was a farmer 
residing near Auburn, New York, and ]\Ioses and his brother, George 
W., even in childhood, while toiling and drudging on the farm, evidently 
were bent on some other development in life's work, for they shirked 
the labor whenever they might and turned their attention to the cultiva- 
tion of their minds. George, as he has previously been shown, went to 
New York and entered journalism for a time previous to his removal to 
Michigan, and Moses, after an interval, came to the forests of Lapeer 
count}', and began life in what was to him an unpromising line, that of 
agriculture. After some months of incessant toil he one day stuck his 
axe into a tree and said to himself: "There! If I can't make a living 
at a more congenial employment I will starve." And immediately he 
turned his steps toward Pontiac. where his brother George had already 
gained something of a standing in the practice of law, and entered his 
office as a student, being admitted to the bar in 1841. He returned to 
Lapeer county, where he acted as prosecuting attorney for two or more 
years and then returned to Pontiac and entered into copartnership with 
his brother and Rufus Hosmer. On the departure of George to Detroit, 
Moses continued the practice alone. In the noted case of the Tully boys, 
tried for the murder of their father, Mr. Wisner was associated with 
Judge Crofoot and Hon. Thomas J. Drake in the defense, and made a 
most searching analysis of the testimony. 

In the celebrated burglary case, wherein Guy ]\I. Trowbridge's house 
■was burglarized. Governor Wisner aided the prosecution, and made a 
very fine argument in closing the case, also making an effective illus- 
tration in the course of it by discharging a pistol which was claimed to 
be unloaded. He was careful to point it where no damage could accrue 
to persons, but it damaged with telling effect the defense and its theo- 
ries. In 1858 Mr. Wisner was elected governor of Michigan, and served 
the state two years, 1859 and i860, although he did not turn his atten- 
tion to politics until after the presidential election of 1852. He was an 
effective stump speaker, as well as a powerful advocate before a jury. 
In the campaign of 1856 he addressed a Fremont gathering, and the 
opening sentence of his speech will give the key-note to what followed. 
It was delivered in the deep chest-tones of the si^eaker. and thrilled the 
audience with its earnestness and ])ower. He said: "Two hundred and 
forty years ago was heard the first clank of chains on a slave on Ameri- 
can soil!" At tlie close of his gubernatorial term Governor A\'isner re- 
turned to Pontiac and resumed his profession, remaining so engaged 
until the summer of 1862, when he entered the field of war at the head 
of the Twenty-second Michigan Infantry as its colonel, that regiment 
being raised largely by his own efforts. He was taken ill with fever and 


dieil at Lexington, Kentucky, January 5, 1863. He lies in the Pontiac 
cemetery, and a massive monument attests his valor and patriotism. 

TIoN. Augustus C.vRrEXTER Ualdwix 

Hon. Augustus Carpenter Baldwin. Xestor of the Oakland county 
bar, who was one of the most distinguished figures in the public life of 
Pontiac for a period of threescore years, died at his residence in that 
city on January 21, 1903. He had freqtiently been called to fill positions 
high in the puljlic trust, serving on the bench, in the Michigan state 
legislature and in the halls of congress, and in his professional work 
reached a rare height. In public and private life alike, the same rugged 
honesty and sincerity of purpose characterized his every act, giving him 
a place in public esteem which time cannot alter. 

Judge Baldwin wasj^orn in Salina, now Syracuse. Onondaga county, 
New York, December 24, 1817. and was the sixth lineal descendant 
from Henry Baldwin, who migrated to \\Viburn. Massachusetts, from 
Hertfordshire, or more probably, Devonshire, England, about 1630. The 
latter subsec|uently located in Charlestown, Massachusetts, w'hich town 
he represented in the general court. He was a subscriber to the "Town 
Order," drawn at Charlestown for the regulation of the projected settle- 
ment. I le married Phoebe Richardson, whose ])arents were ancestors 
of (iovernor O. D. Richardson of .Michigan. 

Jonathan Baldwin, father of Judge Baldwin, was a native of Can- 
terbury, Connecticut, and was engaged in the mercantile business until 
his death in 1822. He married Mary Carpenter, a daughter of, Joseph 
Carpenter of Lancaster, New York. Upon his death the family were 
left in straitened circumstances, and at an early age Augustus C. Bald- 
win was thrown upon his own resources. He was but five years old at 
the death of his father, and during the six years that followed he lived 
at the home of an uncle. He then located at Lancaster, New York, in 
which vicinity he remained luitil 1834, when he went to Bufl^alo, New 
York, and there entered the office of the Buffalo Bulletin as an appren- 
tice. He continued with this paper until it passed under the manage- 
ment of James b'axon & Company, and was changed to the Buffalo 
Daily Star, the first daily paper to be published in western New York. 
He was variously employed dtiring the following fotir years, teacliing 
school a part of the time, but always continuing his preparation for his 
betterment by careful study. During the fall and summer of 1837 he 
attended the academy of Plainfield, and in November of the same year 
he came to Oakland county. He alternately engaged in teaching and 
study and in 1839 began his jireparation for the legal profession under 
the direction of John P. Richardson of Pontiac. A branch of the state 
university of ^Michigan was then located in this city, and he took ad- 
vantage of the opportunity of advancing and perfecting his knowledge 
of the branches of education embraced in its course. He subsequently 
entered the office of Hon. O. D. Richardson, with whom he continued 
until he was admitted to the bar on May 14. 1842. and then entered upon 
the practice of law at Milford, Oakland county. He continued there 
until March, 1849. then removed to Pontiac where he would iiave greater 


opportunities and a larger tield for the exercise of the superior talents 
with which he was endowed. ' He early attained a position of promi- 
nence in his profession, ancl in much of the important litigation during 
the following half century he was retained either by the prosecution or 
the defense. As a criminal lawyer he was without peer and was identi- 
fied with many of the leading criminal trials in Oakland and adj(jining 

Judge Ualdwin was always an enthusiastic Democrat and one of the 
hardest workers for that party's success in Michigan. His first public 
office was that of school inspector of Bloomfield township in 1840, and 
three years later he was elected to the state legislature. He was re- 
elected to the legislature in 1845 and took a prominent part in the ses- 
sions of 1844 and 1846. He served as a brigadier general of the fifth 
brigade of Michigan militia from 1846 to 1862, in which year the ex- 
isting militia system was abolished. He was prosecuting attorney of 
Oakland county during 1853 and 1854. In 1862 he was elected a mem- 
ber of the thirty-eighth congress from what was then the fifth con- 
gressional district of Michigan, defeating the Republican candidate, R. 
E. Trowbridge, and served on the committees on agriculture and ex- 
penditures in the interior departinent. In the issue concerning the 
thirteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States, he voted 
in support of the amendment, that is, for its submission to the states for 
their approval. He was renominated for congress in 1864 and was 
again opposed by~.Mr. Trowbridge. The state had in the meantime en- 
acted a statute authorizing Michigan soldiers in the army to vote in the 
field. Judge Baldwin received a clear majority of the home votes, and 
notwithstanding the fact that the supreme court of Michigan declared 
the statute above mentioned to be void, the house of representatives, 
upon contest being made, gave the seat to Mr. Trowbridge. 

Mr. Baldwin was elected mayor of Pontiac in 1S74 and for eighteen 
consecutive years was a member of the school board of the citv. (luring 
which time many important changes were made in the school svstem and 
the high scliool erected largely through his influence. He was also active 
in having Pontiac chosen as the location of the eastern Michigan asylum, 
and for eighteen years he was a member of the board of trustees of that 
institution. In 1875 h^ was elected judge of the sixth judicial district 
of Michigan for a term of six years, and served four years of that time 
with characteristic impartiality and a high sense of justice, retaining the 
resi)ect and gaining the commendation of the entire bar. The salary at 
the time was so utterly inade(|uate, and the state refusing to make the 
necessary consitutional amendment, he resigned the office with two years 
of the term unexpired, to resume a renumerative practice. Every phase 
of jurisprudence and legal procedure came up in his extensive practice, 
and not infrequently he had his share in the establishment of precedents 
in the law's of Michigan. There are few reports of the supreme court of 
ATichigan between 1850 and 1900 which do not record imi>ortant cases 
with which he was identified. 

The Michigan Military Academy at Orchard Lake also owes much 
to him for its remarkable success, as he was one of its trustees and for 
)^ears its president. Tie was for several years president of the Oakland 


County Agricultural Society and of the Oakland County Pioneer So- 
ciety. For fifty years he was a frequent member and officer of state and 
local political conventions. He was a delegate to the National Demo- 
cratic Conventions at Charleston and Baltimore in i860, delegate-at- 
large to the National Peace Convention at Philadelphia in 1866, and at 
different times a member of the national and state central committees. 

In October, 1842, Judge A. C. Baldwin married Isabella Churchill, 
who died in 1894. He later married Flora E. Belding, a daughter of 
the late Hon. Friend Belding of Bloomfield. Fraternally he was a Mas- 
ter Alason, being a member of Pontiac lodge No. 21, A. F. & A. M., 
^nd Pontiac Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar, of which he was 
past eminent commander. Judge Baldwin had a comfortable home on 
Clark street in Pontiac, where he was surrounded by the comforts and 
luxuries of a refined taste. His magnificent library represented years of 
accumulation, comprising a large number of volumes, treating upon 
almost every subject which human versatility might suggest. Flowever, 
a large portion of his library was placed a few years ago at the dis- 
posal of the Orchard Lake Military Academy. His home also con- 
tained a gallery of fine paintings, rare and in good taste. 

The following extracts are taken from the biography of Judge Bald- 
win prepared for the County Pioneer Society by Elmer E. Hymers, the 
Pontiac attorney in 1901, about two years before the death of the vener- 
able and beloved jurist and member of the bar : 

"A resume of the lives of those early lawyers who composed the 
bar of Oakland county in the pioneer days would indeed be incomplete 
if it did not contain some recital of the career of one of the most active 
members of that early association, and the only living representative 
of the legal profession in the county of Oakland, whose history dates 
prior to 1840. The respect which Judge Baldwin commands from all 
individuals, the reputation which he enjoys in the judicial, legislative 
and social circles of this state, his legal acumen, the physical and intel- 
lectual vigor which have for years made him prominent in politics, and 
a commanding and potent factor in the development of the educational 
and social life of the state, make it eminently fitting that some attempt 
be made to preserve a record of his achievements in these particulars 
for the benefit of posterity and this society. . . . His legal practice 
during the years of his active engagement in his profession embraced 
every phase of procedure known to the profession in this state. The 
various dockets and calendars of Oakland, Lapeer and neighboring 
county circuits attest the numerous and important cases in which he 
has been employed. From the fifth report of the Michigan supreme 
court, to the last compiled volume of the reports of the decisions of that 
body, the practitioner searching for judicial precedent will find in al- 
most every volume some case with which Mr. Baldwin has been identi- 
fied. For a period of over sixteen years, extending from February, 1884, 
Judge Baldwin acted as counsel for the Pontiac. O.xford & Northern 
Railway Company, his connection with which terminated September 
30th of the present year (1901). Lack of space forbids an extended 
notice of the numerous important cases in whicli he has been employed 
during more than half a century of active practice; suffice it to say that 

136 llISTOR^■ (Jl' ()AKLAXD ICJU.X'IV 

(luriiii; thai lime he has been employed eilher on behalf of the people in 
prosecnting, or in behalf of the defense in a multitude of famous crimi- 
nal cases, while many of tiis most famous civil victories are leading 
cases and recorded landmarks for the guidance of the j)rofession in 
this state. 

"As in the legal field, so in the political arena judge IJaldwin has 
since his lirst appearance in politics been a recognized leader of the ad- 
herents of his party. He has always been a persistent and powerful 
advocate of the principles of that party which demands the recognition 
and development of the individual, which is founded in oijposition to 
the idea of centralization; it was impossible for him to be other than a 
Democrat. Democratic instinct was all powerful in him; he jjersonities 
the doctrine of 'individuality,' being a living exponent of what is meant 
and ma\' be acconii)lished by the fullest development of the individual 
life. Although a Democrat, he supported the thirteenth amendment to 
the constitution of the United States. For the past sixty years and 
over no political contest, national or pertaining to this state, has failed to 
see him actively engaged in earnest advocacy of the principles of his 
political faith. S'ears of fierce contest over political questions on the hust- 
ings and within the walls of the state legislature and of congress, gave him 
a familiarity with such issues and such a knowledge of the political growth 
and history of the leading public men and jjolitical parties, that lie has 
long been recognized as an authority on all questions relating to the 
political history of this country, and now, almost a decade and a half 
after he has reached the limit of the threescore and ten years assigned 
to the lot of men, it is a marvelous tribute to the mental vigor and reten- 
tive memory of this leader of men and molder of forces that he is still 
able to discuss in remarkable detail all the circumstances attendant on his 
stormy political career. ISlen and measures, parties and politics of the 
past are reviewed by him today as though the circumstances which called 
them forth were but of yesterday. It is only recentlv that be has laid off 
the iKjlitical harness, his last pnlilic ajjijearance on' a political platform 
bemg during the national campaign of 1900 when, on the evening of 
October 28, 1900. he addressed a crowded meeting of the electors of this 
county at the village of Birmingham on the issues of that campaign. 
His last public appearance, however, was on February 22, igoi. when be 
addressed the Oakland County Pioneer Societv at the courthouse in the 
city of Pontiac. ... 

"It is less than a year (written in 1901 ) since ludge llaldwin gave 
up the active practice of his profession. Fie still," however, visit.s his 
ofiice frequently but does not pretend to attend to more than the details 
of his own private business. In this age of .strife and wealth-seeking 
It IS refreshing to record the career of one whose ambition was not 
solely engrossed with amassing a fortune. Judge Baldwin is. however, 
able to spend his declining years in comfort at his home on Clark street! 
Pontiac. where the visitor will find ample evidence of those comforts 
and refining influences which i)ermit him to apjilv his leisure in reading 
and research. 

"In his home surrounde<l by a magnificent library, which it li.-is l>cen 
his life work to accumulate be may nearly alwavs'be fomul buried in 


his retreat among his books and other treasures. His hbrary is an ex- 
cellent one, comprising many volumes, treating on almost every subject 
which human versatility may suggest. A large portion of his library, 
however, was a few years ago placed at the disposal of the Orchard 
Lake Military Academy, of which institution he is still president and 
has ever been a liberal patron. His home also contains a gallery of fine 
paintings collected through years of carefully cultivated artistic taste. 

■"Of Judge Baldwin's personal characteristics it may be said that 
though he has long since passed the meridian of life, yet he still stands 
before us a central figure ; with a mind still active he keeps in touch 
with the events of the day, and his intelligent discussion of current 
topics shows that he still keenly sympathizes with the pulsing life of 
the community. If asked what is the most prominent element of his 
nature we would say unhesitatingly, rugged strength, vigor of intellect, 
unyielding determination. A strong mind in a strong body has demon- 
strated once more that these are necessary elements to achievement. In 
judicial conventions, in political and educational gatherings, in legis- 
lative halls of the state and nation, the voice of Judge Baldwiin has 
many times been listened to throughout his long and arduous public 
services, and it is in the recorded actions of such educational, political, 
legislative, or judicial assembles that we must look for the most lasting 
record of his efforts expended in behalf of the common weal. His 
life has embraced practically the whole of the nineteenth century, and 
now in his declining years he witnesses the twentieth century well 
launched and wishes God speed to his fellows in the path of achievement 
in all things that go to the betterment of mankind." 

John S. Goodrich 

John S. Goodrich was from the state of New York and was ad- 
mitted to the bar of Oakland county in November, 1840^ He was elected 
a judge of the supreme court after he removed from Oakland to Gene- 
see county in April, 1851. and died before qualifying as such judge. He 
was unmarried, rather ungainly in personal appearance, painfully awk- 
ward in manner, but possessed of the most wonderful powers of memory, 
and a library in himself. It is said that he read Hume's history of Eng- 
land through in forty-eight hours, and from that single and raiiid pe- 
rusal could give every important event and its date, recorded therein. 
He died in 1851 at Goodrichville, in Genesee county, a village to which 
his family gave its name and where representatives of the family made 
their home for many years. 

Levi B. T.\ft 

Judge Levi B. Taft was a native of Bellingham, Norfolk county, 
Massachusetts, where he was born on .August 6, 182 1. He came to 
Michigan in 1834 and read law with Hon. Jacob M. Howard and Messrs. 
Barstow & Lockwood. He was graduated from Dartmouth college in 
1843, 3"d was admitted to the bar in 1845 in the supreme court and also 
in the L^nited States courts. He practiced his profession si.xteen years 


in Chicago, and from that city came to Pontiac, where he continued his 
practice until 1873, whcii he was elected judge of the sixth judicial 
circuit, and presided over the courts of that district until December 31, 
1875, when he retired from the bench and resumed his practice in Pon- 
tiac. wliich he continued until his death. April 29. 1895. 

Hester L. Stevens 

In 1845 General Hester L. Stevens, an eminent attorney of Roches- 
ter, New York, located in Pontiac, and began the ])ractice of his pro- 
fession. He was prosecuting attorney in 1847-48. and with Judge 
Baldwin formed a partnership in 1849 and 1850. In 185 1 he was elected 
to congress from the district in wdiich he resided and took up his resi- 
dence in Washington after his congressional term expired, where he 
practiced extensively before the court of claims. He was an able law- 
yer and a man of high social position. 

• Jl'dge Mich.\el E. Crofoot 

Tudge ]\Iichael E. Crofoot. one of the leading members of the Oak- 
land bar, and whose powers as an attorney reflected great honor upon 
the profession of the law, was admitted to practice in Rochester. New- 
York, previous to 1846, and in the Oakland county courts in February, 
1848. His first great case was the trial of the Bismuth murder case, 
so called, wherein he gained great celebrity in the defense of the ac- 
cused, and procured the acquittal of his client. He pursued his legal 
studies with General H. L. Stevens. Judge Crofoot was judge of \no- 
bate for eight years, and for several years before he relinquished active 
practice and maintained an office in Detroit, whither he went daily when 
not engaged in the courts elsewhere, conducting an extensive practice 
both in Oakland and in that city. Judge Crofoot's power was greatest 
in getting and marshaling his proofs and in the examination of witnesses, 
but he was also eloquent and efl'ective with a jury. He was always 
ready for his arguments and uniformly effective in his manner of pre- 
senting them, his success, as a probate judge and at the bar having been 
marked and his high standing as a citizen universally conceded. Judge 
Crofoot died May 11, 1884. "He was always a public spirited and useful 
citizen. He was a member of the Pontiac school board for many years 
and one of the principal school buildings of that city now bears his 
name. Judge Crofoot left two sons who have followed his profession 
and arc" prominent and successful lawyers. One. Louis, is located at 
Aberdeen. South Dakota, and the other. Lodovic. is at Omaha. Nebraska. 

Henry ^1. Look 

Henry M. Look, a prominent attorney of the county and noted 
throughout the state for his eloquence, was a native of Michigan and 
of what was once Oakland county, but is now Lapeer county, his birth 
occurring on October 27. 1837, in Hadlcy. He began the study of the 
law in the office of his brother in Kentucky, and completed his studies 


with Messrs. Baldwin & Draper, and also attended a course of lectures 
in the law department of the University of Michigan, in 1859. He was 
admitted to practice in the United States courts in July, 1867. Previous 
to that event, however, he followed the practice of his profession and 
that of teaching in the south for a time. He was a member of the 
legislature of ^Michigan in 1865-66, prosecuting attorney for Oakland 
county in 1871-72, city attorney for Pontiac for several years and a 
member of the board of education of the city from 1864-67, inclusive. 
Mr. Look had a wide reputation also as a writer. He was a partner 
of Judge Baldwin for a time. 

M.\RK S. Brewer 

Hon. Mark S. Brewer of Pontiac, was admitted to the bar of Oak- 
land county on March 10, 1864. He was born in the township of Addi- 
son, that county, on the 22d day of October, 1837, and until he was 
twenty years of age remained at home, assisting in the labors of the 
farm, and attending the district school during the winter season at a 
log schoolhouse. situated on his father's farm. The country was new, 
his parents were not liberally endowed with this world's goods, and it 
was with difficulty that the lad got suitable clothing in which to attend 
school. His mother often took her own shoes from her feet and gave 
them to her boy to wear to school, when the weather became too severe 
for him to go without shoes. In 1857 his health became somewhat im- 
paired from overwork and he was compelled to leave the farm and seek 
other employment. In the winter of 1858 he commenced teaching in 
a district school and followed that vocation for the three succeeding 
winters, during the remainder of the seasons of 1S59 and i860 attend- 
ing the sciiool at Romeo and Oxford Academy. In the spring of 1861 
he entered the law office of Hon. W. L. Weber, of East Saginaw, where 
he pursued the study of the law until the fall of that year. By that 
time the slender means he had saved from the preceding winter became 
exhausted and he again taught school the succeeding w^inter. In the 
spring of 1862 he resumed his studies in the office of Governor Wisner 
in Pontiac, to which place he came on foot with a scanty wardrobe, and 
but $60 in money, the latter representing his savings from his winter's 
salary. His stock in trade was "pluck." He pursued his legal studies 
during the spring, summer and fall of 1S62, taught school again in the 
following winter, and in the spring of 1863 recommenced his legal 
studies, this time with Hon. M. E. Crofoot, Governor Wisner having in 
the meantime given his life to his country. LTpon his admission to the 
bar he formed a partnership with Judge Crofoot which was continued 
until January i. 1876, when it was mutually dissolved and Mr. Brewer 
continued in practice alone. He was circuit court commissioner for 
Oakland county from 1867 to 1871, two full terms; city attorney for 
Pontiac from 1866-67, inclusive. In 1872 he was elected state senator 
from Oakland county and served' as such during the years of 1873 and 
1874. In 1876 he was nominated by the Republican party of the sixth 
congressional district of Michigan as their candidate for representative 
in congress, and was elected to that and the succeeding congress (45th 


and 4O1I1, from 1877 to 1880. inclusive), representing the same district 
also in the 50lh and 51st- congress from 1887 to 1890. lie has also 
filled the office of United States consul at Berlin, Germany. Mr. 
Brewer had always been an ardent politician, acting with the Republi- 
can party from the time he attained his majority, and after the campaign 
of 1864 had been prominent in the canvass of each succeeding election. 
He was a member of the Republican state central committee and chair- 
man of the committee for Oakland county from 1870 until . ^Ir. 

Brewer was a popular and effective stump speaker, as well as when 
before a jury, and was highly esteemed, not only by his particular 
political friends, but by his acquaintances of opposite faith generally, 
all of whom bore willing testimony to his worth as a citizen and a man. 
His death occurred March 18, igoi. 

LnixG Members of the Bar 

At the present writing (August, 191^), there arc fifty living members 
of the Oakland county bar in good standing, the oldest of whom (in 
point of admission to i:)ractice ) being ex- Judge Thomas I.. Patterson, 
of Holly. 

The list follows: Thomas L. Patterson, Holly, 1863; Joseph E. 
Sawyer, Pontiac, 1869; George W. Smith, Pontiac, 1874; Robert J. 
Lounsbury, Pontiac, 1875; Aaron Perry, Pontiac. 1876; Arthur R. Tripp, 
Pontiac, 1876; Samuel W. Smith, Pontiac, 1878; Daniel L. Davis, Pon- 
tiac, 1879; Homer H. Colvin, Pontiac, 1879; Elmer R. Webster. Pon- 
tiac, 1880; George O. Kinsman. Oxford, 1882; Elmer E. Blakeslee, 
Pontiac, 1883; Peter B. Bromley, Pontiac, 1884; James H. Lynch, Pon- 
tiac, 1886; John H. Patterson, Pontiac, 1887; Frank L. Covert, Pontiac, 
1890; Fred Wieland, Orion. 1890: John B. Mathews, Pontiac. 1890; 
Daniel R. Currey, Rochester. 1890; George Hogle, Pontiac, 1892; Frank 
E. Jenkins, Oxford, 1894; Kleber P. Rockwell, Pontiac. 1893; Andrew 
L. Moore, Pontiac, 1895; Henry M. Zimmerman, Pontiac, 1895; John 
A. Neal, Orion, 1895; Samuel J. Patterson, Pontiac, 1898; George W. 
Caswell, Birmingham, 1898; Elmer E. Hymers, Pontiac, 1899; Judson 
A. Fredenburgh, Pontiac, 1899; J. Arthur Tillson. Pontiac, 1899; John 
E." Brondige, Pontiac, 1900; William F. North. Pontiac, 1900; Ross 
Stockwell. Pontiac, 1901 ; Carl H. Pelton, Pontiac. 1902 ; Clinton Mc- 

Gee, Pontiac, 1903; D. F. Noble. Milford, ; Sylvester Pheney, 

Holly, 1903; Charles Matthews, Pontiac, 1903; Earl A. Lovejoy, Mil- 
ford, 1905; Clement E. Miner, Holly. 1905; Frank L. Doty, Pontiac, 
1907; Charles P. Webster, Pontiac, 1908; Clare J. LeRoy, Royal Oak, 

; Harry H. Snowdon, Pontiac, 1909; George A. Dondero, Royal 

Oak, 1910; E. B. Howarth, Jr., Rochester, iqio; Glenn C. Gillespie, 
Pontiac, 1910; C. C. Tillson. Pontiac. 1910: Kcli>h 1\ Keeling, Pontiac, 
1910. !.. Patterson 

Thomas L. Patterson, a prominent citizen of Oakland county, an 
esteemed resident of Holly since he was ten years of age. and a worthy 
representative of an old pioneer familv. was born .nt Clarkston, Mi^nroe 


county, New York, in 1836. He is a son of James and Eliza (Patten) 
Patterson, both of whom were born in the Peach Piottoni valley of the 
Susquehanna river. York county, of Revolutionary parentage, and the 
father of this sketch was a veteran of the War of 1812. He moved 
from York county, Pennsylvania, to Canandaigua, New York, early in 
life, later locating in Monroe county, New York. In 1839 he became 
one of the great number of New Yorkers who moved to Michigan, and 
he made a home in Holly township, Oakland county, to which he brought 
his family in 1845. Nine children were born to them, live sons and 
four daughters, all of whom are now deceased except the subject of 
this sketch. 

Judge Patterson was about ten x'ears old when he came with his 
father and other members of the family to Holly, and he immediately 
began attendance at the district school of the town. He recalls today' 
his first teacher there, — one David A. Eliot, the school being known as 
the Patterson district scliool. He attended Clarkson Academv and the 
Collegiate Institute at Bridgeport, New York, a full term, the school 
being now in the state normal class. .Soon after his graduation he 
returned from New York to Michigan, and then continued the study of 
law. In 1863 he was admitted to the bar at Pontiac, and has the dis- 
tinction of being the oldest member of the Oakland county bar. In 
addition to his law practice, Judge Patterson served for seventeen years 
as supervisor from Holly townshi]), and for nine years was chairman 
of the board of supervisors. In 18S4 he was elected judge of the pro- 
bate court, which position he filled with honor and credit for a period 
of sixteen years. In 1866 the law firm of Patterson & Patterson came 
into life, and was composed of Judge Patterson and his nephew, James 
K. Patterson, the latter serving as prosecuting attorney of Oakland 
county from 1874 to 1879. The name of the firm is still retained, how- 
ever, and the offices of the firm are maintained at Pontiac, John H. 
Patterson, his son, and Samuel J. Patterson, his grand-nephew, are now 
the active members of the firm. It was during Judge Patterson's term 
as supervisor of Holly township that so large a contingent was sent to 
swell the Union ranks, that township as such having the record for 
furnishing the largest number of any township in the county. 

In 1856 Judge Patterson married Eunice A. Hadley, a member of 
one of the oldest families in the county. She was born in Rose town- 
ship, Oakland county, in 1840, and died at Holly on August 5, 1902. 
She was the daughter of Johrf and Eunice Hadley. Four children were 
born of this union, three sons and a daughter: John H., Stuard D., and 
William F.. who resides on the home farm adjacent to Hollv village. 
Marion E. died in (October. 1896, in her twentieth year. 

In 1904, on June 30th, Mr. Patterson again united in marriage to 
Miss Alice I. Allen, daughter of Ira and Emily Eliot .\llen of Holly, 
both her father and mother being among the very first actual settlers 
in Flolly township. Mrs. Patterson's father was a son of Jonathan T. 
Allen, long a resident of Holly, having located several sub-divisions of 
land on section 35 in Holly in 1835. On one sub-division of eighty 
acres, the father of Mrs. Patterson lived continuously since 1835, until 


the decease of Air. Allen, and in which home Mrs. Patterson was born 
and reared. 

In his fraternal relations, Judge Patterson is a Mason of high de- 
gree, being a member of the Comniandery, Knights Templar. PI is 
church relations are represented by his attendance at the Methodist 
Episcopal church. He is one of the most loyal and public-spirited citi- 
•zens of Holly, and has ever been identified with affairs of local improve- 
ment, and throughout his career his activities have been of an order that 
have wielded a strong influence for good in the community. 

Hon. Joseph Ed\v.\rd S.wvver 

Hon. Joseph Edward Sawyer, a member of the legal profession, is 
the most prominent real-estate dealer of Oakland county and is keenly 
alive to the value of enterprises calculated to further the- development 
of the city of Pontiac. He was born in Piermont, Grafton county. New 
Hampshire, January i, 1847, and is the seventh child and only son of 
Hon. Joseph" and Mary (Dole) Sawyer. He is a lineal descendant of 
Thomas Sawyer, a native Englishman, born there in about 1816, who 
died at Lancaster, Massachusetts. 'His ancestors for generations past 
have lived to attain advanced ages, notable among them being Rev. 
John Sawyer, of Bangor, ]\Iaine, who reached the age of one hundred 
"and three years and five days; at the time of his death, on October 14. 
1858, he w'as reputed to be the oldest minister in the United States. 

The. father of the subject, who was Hon. Joseph Sawyer, was born 
in Grafton county, New Hampshire, and for years was identified with 
the agricultural operations of that district. He was a man of consider- 
able prominence, and served a number of terms as the representative of 
his district in the state legislature, as well as filling other public offices 
with honor and ability. He was in the seventy-third year of his life 
when he passed away on July 4, 1858. Plis wife was Mary (Dole) 
Plastridge, a daughter of Captain Moses Dole, who soon after his mar- 
riage toLucy Poor, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, moved to Canaan, 
New Hampshire, locating there in 1802. There he bought the tavern 
and farm of one Dudley Gilman. and hung out a sign bearing the painted 
inscription "Mr. Dole's Inn, 1802," which sign swung there for more 
than a cjuarter century. He was a member of the "New Hampshire 
Rangers" during the Revolutionary war, and during his lifetime was 
elected to various offices of trust, the duties of all of wdiich he dis- 
charged with characteristic fidelity. He w'as a courteous gentleman and 
Mrs. Dole was distinguished by her innate refinement and intelligence. 
She died in October, 1826, and Captain Dole lived for two years there- 
after, his death occurring in 1828. He was buried with Masonic honors 
by Mount Moriah lodge. They had two children, — Joseph, who died in 
181 7, at the age of sixteen years, and Mary, born October 28, 1803. 
Mary Dole was married to Dr. Charles Plastridge, wdio died October 
16, 1824, at the age of twenty-nine years. In 1829 she married Hon. 
Joseph Sawyer. She was a member of the Congre.gational church from 
1816 until iier death, and was a popular and much beloved woman, 
ever possessing a host of friends and warm admirers. She died on 


February i, 1885. in her eighty-second year, at the home of her daughter. 
Airs. C. F. Kimball, at Pontiac. Michigan. All her children were present 
at her bedside when she passed away, namely: Mrs. C. F. Kimball, 
Mrs. John Calloway, Mrs. Evan Hughes, Miss Lizzie Sawyer, Mrs. 
James Newby and Joseph E. Sawyer. 

In the public schools of Piermont and the academy at Bradford, 
Vermont, Joseph E. Sawyer received his early education. When he 
was sixteen years of age he went to Michigan City, Indiana, and then 
to Cambridge City. He studied in private schools and in the academy 
at Dublin, Indiana, then entering the literary department of the Uni- 
versity of Michigan. He was a member of the class of 1869, but left 
the university before graduation. He went from his studies to Bosco- 
bel, Wisconsin, where he entered the law offices of Hon. George Hazel- 
ton. In 1867 he formed a co-partnership with Benjamin Shearer under 
the firm name of Shearer and Sawyer, for the practice of law, being 
then twenty years of age." They continued in practice for a year, when 
Mr. Sawyer removed to Pontiac and entered the law office of Hon. M. 
E. Crofoot. He was admitted to the Oakland county bar on September 
29, 1869, and thereafter continued in active practice. He was elected 
circuit court commissioner for Oakland county in 1872 and in 1873 
was appointed United States commissioner for the eastern district of 
Michigan. In 1878 he became associated with J. D. and F. D. Standish 
of Detroit, under the name of Sawyer, Standish & Company, with office 
in Detroit, proprietors of the Tappan, McKilop &: Company Commercial 
Agency, Mr. Sawyer Iieing manager of the legal department. In 1891 
he with others united in organizing the Pontiac Land & Improvement 
Company of which he was secretary and general manager, Hon. J. D. 
Norton being president. This corporation is entitled to much credit 
for the prosperity which the city of Pontiac has enjoyed since its or- 
ganization. Mr. Sawyer lent himself to the work with such energy 
that he was compelled to practically abandon his other interests, and 
since the organization of the Pontiac Land & Improvement Company, 
he has platted and sold ten additions to the city, the latest being the 
Ferry addition, to handle which he organized the Pontiac Investment & 
Promotive Company, of which he was secretary and manager. Mr. 
Sawyer was appointed a member of the board of trustees of the Eastern 
Michigan Asylum by Governor Alger in 1885, to fill a vacancy caused 
by the death of Hon. W. M. McConnell, was reappointed by Governor 
Luce and again by Governor Rich, serving fourteen years consecutively, 
during which time he was present at every meeting of the joint board 
of trustees of Michigan, every monthly and special meeting of his own 
board save one, every meeting of the executive committee and all meet- 
ings of otlier committees of which he was a member. He is a Republi- 
can in politics and was a delegate to the national Republican conven- 
tion in 1884. which nominated James G. Blaine, and has been chairman 
of the Republican county committee. He is a man of great energy and 
ambition, making a success of every venture with which he is connected. 

On C^ctober 17, 1877, Mr. Sawyer was united in marriage with Miss 
Lizzie V. Satterlee, born in Bloomfield township, Oakland county, on 
July 31, 1S56. a daughter of George H. and Jane (Flower) Satterlee. 


Slic was three years of age wlien she came witli her parents to Central 
-Mine. Keweenaw county, Michigan, in which i)lace she remained until 
the death of her father iiriSjs. when, with her mother and sisters she 
came to Pontiac. .Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer have five children, as follows: 
Lizzie Belle. l)orn .\ugust X. 1S78. the wife of A. R. Stockwell of Pon- 
tiac; ^Lary Lucile. born \])ril i_'. 1S80; Kate Eleanor, born November 
18, 1884; Joseph Satterlee. July 25. 1890 and Thomas Dole. January 
27. igoi. 

The Sawyer family is one which has long been prominent in Masonry. 
Col. Edward' Sawyer, uncle of the subject, joined the fraternity at the 
age of twenty-one years and was the second oldest Mason in the United 
States when he died on February 2, 1885, aged ninety-seven years. 
Joseph E. Sawyer was initiated May 27, 1870, in Pontiac lodge No. 21, 
A. F. & A. M., of which he afterwards was master. He was exalted 
in Oakland Chapter, R. A. 'SI., January 29, 1875, of which he became 
high priest. On June 28. 1S75. he became a member of Pontiac council 
No. 3, R. iJt S. M., of which he was elected thrice illustrious master; on 
March 7, 1876. was knighted in Pontiac Commandery No. 2. Knights 
Templar; on ]\Iarch 6, 1877, he was elected prelate; in 1880 he was 
elected captain-general and eminent commander in 1885. He is also 
past chancellor of Pontiac lodge No. 19, Knights of Pythias, and has 
served as district deputy grand chancellor and chairman of the committee 
on foreign correspondence. The foreign correspondence reports of 
^Michigan for 1890 and 1891, written by Mr. Sawyer, received much 
favorable notice from the reviewers of other grand domains, of which 
the following from the able pen of Hon. M. L. Stevens, who had writ- 
ten the report for Maine for many years and was universally acknowl- 
edged to be the ablest writer of such reviews in the United States, is a 
fair sample. In reviewing the Journal of Michigan for 1891, he says: 
"The Correspondence Report ( icx) pp.) is without exception the very 
best, from any jurisdiction, which we have ever read. Brother Sawyer 
has reached, almost at a bound, a degree of excellence as a reporter 
which we have striven vainly for almost a score of years to attain. As 
furnishing an accurate and thoroughly interesting bird's-eye-view of 
what is going on throughout the order, he has no peer. The nearest 
ajjproach to his excellence was made by the lamented Dayton of Con- 
necticut, in 1884.'' 

In the military I)ranch of the Knights of Pythias. Mr. .Sawyer has 
held the rank of colonel since 1892 and served upon the staff of the 
major general in the biennial encampments at Kansas City. Cleveland. 
Washington. Indianapolis and Detroit. He is a venerable sheik of 
Mecca Temple No. 56, D. O. K. K. and has filled that position since 
the institution of the temple on I\Iay 5. 1896, with the exception of one 
year, when that office was held by Rev. Edward Collins of Detroit. 

Mr. Sawver is a member of the Protestant Episco])al church and 
was for many years a vestryman of Zion church of Pontiac. He was a 
lay reader under liishop Harris and held services at various places in 
Oakland countw and at Clintonvillc established a flourishing mission 
in 1887. 


IToN. Georgf, W. Smith 

Hon. George \V. Smith, judge of the sixth jiuHcial district since 
1896, and one of the more prominent citizens of Pontiac, was born at 
Warsaw. New Y'^ork, on March 2-, 1850. and is now in the prime of hfe. 

When he was five years of age Judge Smith accompanied his par- 
ents from their eastern home in Michigan, and he was reared in Com- 
merce, Oakland county. He is the son of Orson H. and Jeannette 
(Armstrong) Smith. iMnishing the pubHc schools, Judge Smith carried 
on his law studies in the University of Michigan, and was admitted to 
the bar in 1874, beginning the practice of law in Pontiac on May i, 
1876. In 1877 and 1878 he served as circuit court commissioner of Oak- 
land county, and in 1879 and 1880 he was city attorney of Pontiac. In 
Novemljer,' 1888, he was elected to the office of prosecuting attorney 
of Oakland county and served six years in that position, discharging 
the duties of the office with all fidelity and fixity of purpose, displaying 
a splendid ability meanwhile. r)n January i, 1896. Judge Smith entered 
upon his first term as judge of the Sixth judicial circuit, and in the 
years that have passed with him as the incumbent of the office, he has 
made a splendid record upon the bench. He is recognized as a learned, 
fearless and impartial jurist, and no hint of suspicion has ever i)ecn cast 
upon his integrity. 

Ror.icuT J. Lorxsr.ruv 

Robert J. Lounsbury, mayor and a well known attonie\- i>f I'ontiac 
and the representative of large real estate interests here and in the east, 
was born in Putnam county, .New York, where his father, a prominent 
farmer of that district, died in 1881. 

Mr. l.ounsburv was |irepared for college at .\ndover, Massachusetts, 
and was a student at Dartmouth, afterwards graduating from the 
Columbia Law School of New York City in 1875. Immediately there- 
after he came to Pontiac in the interests of certain eastern capitalists 
who were operating in Michigan, Illinois and adjoining states, and he 
has had their interests in charge since that time. During the first few- 
years he was able to devote a considerable time to general ]:)ractice on 
his own responsibility, but for the most part the demands on his time 
bv his eastern clients has precluded the possibility of making progress 
as a private practitioner. In recent years he acted as receiver for the 
P. O. & N. Railway, and he made a record for efficiency that was com- 
mended liy both factions of the defunct road. 

In 1911 Mr. Lounsbury was elected mayor of Pontiac under the 
commission form of government, which provides for three commissioners 
onlv, of which the mayor is one, and he has made a distinct success of 
his administration as chief executive of the city, his term being marked 
by a straightforward business administration of the affairs of the city. 
Pie is a thoroughgoing Pontiacker, has the best interests of the city at 
heart at all times, and is held in high esteem throughout the city and 

Vi.l. 1—1(1 


In i8So Mr. Lounsbur_v married a daus^hter of Col. S. E. Beach, well 
known in Oakland county. Two children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Lounshury, — a son and a daughter, the latter still surviving. 

A.^RO.N Perry 

Aaron Perry, B.S., LL.B., whose portrait is shown on the opposite 
page, is one of the best known and most successful lawyers of Oakland 
county, Michigan, where he has spent nearly his entire life. He was 
frequently called upon to fill positions of public trust at an earlier day, 
but has devoted his later years to the practice of his profession and 
study. He is the senior member of the firm of Perry & Lynch, with 
ofifices in Pontiac, where he has resided many years. 

Mr. Perry was born on a farm in Oakland county, Michigan, 
November ii, 1848, and is the youngest of a family of eight children 
born to Abram and Sophia (Andrews) Perry. His father was born 
in Warren county. New Jersey, and died when our subject was fifteen 
years of age. He had come to Oakland county in 1836 and lived here 
until his death at the age of fifty-four years. The mother, Sophia 
(.\ndrews) Perry, was born in Genesee county. New York, and she 
died when Aaron Perry was but two years old. 

From his father's estate Aaron Perry received $700, which, with 
a sum borrowed, paid his way through school. He received a prepara- 
tory education in the Clarkston Union School of Oakland county, then 
entered the University of Michigan and was graduated therefrom with 
the class of 1870. He was a member of the Literary Adelphi and was 
one of the speakers at the second sophomore exhibition. In the fall of 
1870 he entered into politics and lacked one vote of securing the Demo- 
cratic nomination for the office of state representative. He taught dur- 
ing the following school year at the Ortonville Academy, and during 
the school year of 1871-2 was superintendent of the Ovid Union School 
in Clinton county. In the famous Greeley campaign of 1872 he was 
elected a member of the state legislature, and with five others formed 
the minority in that body. At the close of the session in the spring of 
1873 li^ ^^'S"* to Muskegon. ^Michigan, and took charge of the United 
States Harbor improvements under his former classmate, C. M. Wells. 
In the fall of the year he entered the law department of the University 
of Michigan, and in March, 1874, attended a special session of the legis- 
lature called for the purpose of considering and submitting a new state 
constitution to the people for their approval at the next election. The 
session continued about forty days, during which time he roomed with 
Col. C. B. Grant, the speaker of the lower house and afterward one 
of the supreme court justices of the state. It is a matter of some jiride 
to Mr. Perry that because of his recognized ability for rushing Inisi- 
ness through, he was called upon to preside during that session more 
than was any other member, excepting two, and that during his term 
of office he was able to do some good work in the interests of the uni- 
versity. During the next summer he was for a time in the service of 
the United States government as a harbor inspector on the west coast 
of Michigan, and traveled some in Illinois, Wisconsin and the Northern 




B ■ L 


Peninsula. In the fall of 1874 he was a candidate for county clerk 
and with a total of ten thousand votes cast he was defeated by eleven 
votes. That defeat he now counts as one of the fortunate events of his 
career, as he subsequently reentered the law department of the uni- 
versity, from wliich he was graduated the following spring. He next 
spent two summers at Sand Beach, assisting Mr. Gilbert, of the class 
of 1870, University of Michigan, in charge of the work of constructing 
the United States harbor refuge at that place, spending the intervening 
winter in careful study of the law in the office of Judge A. C. Baldwin 
of Pontiac. In the fall of 1876 he entered actively into the Tilden 
campaign and stumped the county in the interests of Democracy. After 
the election he became a partner of Judge Taft of Pontiac, with whom 
he continued for two years. In the spring of 1878 he was appointed 
city attorney and has filled that office at various times with the utmost 
efficiency during a period in the aggregate of eight years. In the year 
1878 he was elected to the office of prosecuting attorney, in which office 
he served for two years. Since that time he has been but twice a can- 
didate for public office. He was a candidate for circuit judge and for 
membership in the state constitutional convention, and, although he ran 
ahead of his ticket in his own county for both these offices, he met with 
defeat. In 1912 Mr. Perry was a delegate to the Democratic national 
convention at Baltimore, Maryland. Since 1876 he has practiced law 
continuously in Pontiac and ranks among the foremost in the county, 
having participated in much important litigation, and is president of 
the Bar Association of Oakland county. Both his taste and aptitude 
fit him better for the trials 'of issues of law than of fact, and for that 
reason he has successfully argued a large number of cases before the 
Michigan supreme court. He has accumulated a large law library and 
an extensive collection of miscellaneous books. He has traveled very 
extensively through the United States and in the summer of igo8 spent 
three months in Europe with his wife. 

Although a member of a fishing clul), he has not caught a fish nor 
fired a gun, with the exception of one season, in thirty years, and has 
no taste for sports of any kind, preferring to travel or hunt fossils 
from a rock ledge. He has made a specialty of geology and microscopy 
and has spent many hours of recreation in gathering fossils and examin- 
ing microscopical specimens. He has a large cabinet of fossils and 
geological specimens of different kinds and has a fine collection of 
books on the subject of geology. He is a member of the National 
Geographic Society. 

On Christmas day, 1873, Mr. Perry was united in marriage with 
Sallie Hoffman, who had laeen one of his assistants in the Ovid Union 
School. They have one son, — Stuart H. Perry, who was graduated 
from the literary department of the University of Michigan in 1894 
with the degree of A.B., and from the law department two years later. 
He then entered into partnership with his father under the firm name 
of A. & S. H. Perry. For a year prior to August i, 1901, the firm 
maintained a branch office in the city of Detroit, under the personal 
charge of the junior partner. At that time, .August i, 1901, Stuart H. 
Perry retired from the firm to become the editor of the Oakland County 

150 IIISTom' ()|- OAKI.AXI) ("OfXTV 

Post and llie rontiac Ihiily /'rr.v.v. ilis first ex])ericiice in an clilorial 
way was gained while maiuiging editor of the Inlander while at the 
university. He is now the editor and jjroprielor or the Adrian (.Midi.) 
/'(m7\' Tclcijram and lives at that city. He has traveled extensively in 
the United States. Mexico and Europe, is a member of the American 
Microscopical Society, and has contributed various articles to the ])ub- 
lications of that society. .Although his tastes are literary, he also shares 
his father's inclination for geology. .Stuart II. I'erry was imited in 
marriage with IMaude Caldwell, a daughter of Dr. William C. Caldwell, 
of I'remont, ( )hio. whom lie first met as a student at the university. 
Tliev have two children. While coiuiected with the Detroit bar he 
wrote a law book entitled "The Legal .Adviser and fSusiness (luide." 
which was published in [aiuiary, i<p2. 

There were many prominent and distinguished men in the class of 
1870 in the University of Michigan, of which Mr. Perry was a mem- 
ber, among them ))eing Rufus Day, justice of the United States sujireme 
court: William L. I'enfield, .solicitor of the state department of the 
United States; Walter 11. Stevens, secretary of the St. Louis Exposi- 
tion; .Alfred Xobie, one of the most able engineers the world has known, 
who served on the recent canal commission; Bernard Moses, who was 
appointed to the Philippine commission by President McKinley in 1901 ; 
Lucius P). Swift, the noted civil service reformer of Indiana; and Count 
Michael Meyerdorf. a well known civil engineer, who at one time occu- 
pied a government ])osition in Washington, and is now deceased. 

Fraternally Mr. Perry is a member of the Pontiac lodge A. F". & 
A. M., and the Knights of Pvthias. tlis wife is a memlier of the 
Protestant Episcopal church, which he also attends. 

D.\XTEi. L. D.w IS 

Daniel L. Da\is, a ]jrominent member of the ( )akland county bar and 
a resident of Pontiac since 1877, was iiorn in Davisburgh, Michigan, 
on April 27. i84ri. He is a son of John C. and Sarah ( Griswold ) Davis. 
Mis paternal grandfather, Cornelius Davis, was born in Shokan, Ulster 
county. New York, in 1792, and died in Davisburgh, .Michigan, in 1852. 
He was a farmer by occupation and passed his life in that pursuit. He 
was a Democrat and a member of the Presbyterian church, and was 
regarded as one of the representative and worthy citizens of liis time. 
He married .\gnes Winfield, also a native of .Yew York, and they 
became the ])arents of ten children, of which goodly number, John C. 
the father of Daniel L. of this review, was one. John C. Davis was 
born at Shokan, New ^'ork, on May i, 182 1, and lived there until he 
was eight years of age, coming to Michigan with his parents in 1835. 
They located in Davisburgh, as mentioned ])reviously. and there John 
C. Davis gave his life to farming, milling and merchandising. He was 
a man of splendid character and was accorded the respect and esteem 
of all who knew him. He was fairly successful in his business ventures, 
and after a lifetime of activity in Davisburgh retired and went to i'on- 
tiac, where he ])assed the remainder of his life, his death occurring 
there some five \ears ago. He was a Democrat of conviction, and gave 


military service as a captain of volunteers under (.iovernor Mason. Ilei 
was postmaster of his home town for a few years, and in other ways 
gave useful service to his community. He married Sarah Griswold, 
who was born in Covington, New "^'ork on Alarch 8, 1H22, and came to 
^Michigan in 1837, the marriage occurring in October. 1840. She died 
in Pontiac six years ago. She was a daughter of Hiram Griswold, a 
farmer, well known in Davisburgh during his lifetime. Nine children 
were born to Mr. and Mrs. John C. Davis, as follows: Mrs. Mary 
Monroe; George W. ; Harry J.; John; J. C. ; Hiram G. ; Joseph; Martha 
and Daniel L. 

Daniel L. Davis was educated in the district schools up to his eight- 
eenth year, followed by four terms at Trenton high school. He devoted 
himself to farming until he was twenty years old, then taught school 
for three consecutive terms, afterwards being variously engaged as 
produce dealer, dealer, in agricultural implements, grain and general 
merchandise, until he was thirty years of age. That period of his life 
marked his determination to engage in a profession, and he was en- 
abled to carry out his wishes in that respect by being elected to the 
office of clerk of Oakland county in 1876, which office he held for two 
terms, and in the meantime he improved his time by studymg law in 
such time as he was not engaged with the duties of his office. At the 
close of his second term as county clerk Mr. Davis was admitted to the 
bar upon examination, since which time he has been engaged in active 
practice in Oakland county. It is a matter of record that in the years 
of his business experience, he has received some of the largest verdicts 
ever returned in the county. He has also enjoyed commensurate fees. 

]\Ir. Davis is an independent Democrat and has been a member of 
the Democratic state central committee. For a number of years he 
was president and a director of the Oakland County Agricultural Society, 
and during that time had in charge the details connected with the 
Supervisors' picnic, an annual event of some importance in the history 
of the county. Since 1880 Mr. Davis has been associated in a partner- 
ship with Peter B. Bromley, under the firm name of Davis & Bromley. 

(Jn April 18, 1873, Mr. Davis was united in marriage with Isabel I. 
Wilson, who was born at Springfield, ^lichigan, in July, 1843. They 
have two children, — Sarah G. Davis, born October 7. 1877, and Manley 
D. Davis, liorn March 29. 1879. who makes his home in Detroit, where 
he is engaged in the practice of law. 

Klei'.er p. Rockwell 

Kleber P. Rockwell, prominent among the legal fraternity of Oak- 
land county, was born on November 8, 1868, in the township of Bloom- 
field, Oakland county, and is a son of the late Fdward J. Rockwell of 
West Bloomheld. his ancestors being among the earliest settlers of Oak- 
land county and descendants of \\'illiam Rockwell, who settled at Dor- 
chester, Massachusetts, in 1630. 

Mr. Rockwell was reared to young manhood on a farm. He received 
his education in the public schools and began teaching school at the age 
of twenty, later supplementing his education with a three years' course 


at the Feiiton Normal School. He ijej^an the study of law with George 
W. Smith in 1893, subsequently entering the office of Taft & Smith, 
in 1894, and has been an office associate with Congressman S. W. Smith 
from then until the present time. 

After passing a very creditable examination, he was admitted to the 
bar on January 8, 1895, since which time he has enjoyed an extensive 
practice. He was admitted to practice in the United States courts on 
March 22, 1899. 

Politically, Mr. Rockwell is a Republican and in 1898 was nominated 
by that party for the office of prosecuting attorney and elected by a 
majority of over 1,100; he was' unanimously renominated to succeed 
himself in 1900 and 1902 and was elected each time by a majority of 
nearly 1,600, running several hundred votes ahead of his ticket each 

In the discharge of the duties of his office and in the prosecution of 
criminals he was especially successful. During his incumbency he was 
identified with many important criminal trials and has secured convic- 
tions of some of the most noted criminals of ^lichigan. prominent among 
whom was Henry Wiseman, convicted of murder in the first degree for 
the murder of Mrs. Ellen Huss. 

Mr. Rockwell was married September 10, 1896, to Maude .A. King, 
daughter of the late George W. King, of Clarkston, and to them were 
born three children : Alice, Helen and Edward J. 

In 1902 he formed a partnership with Henry M. Zimmerman, under 
the firm name of Rockwell & Zimmerman, which firm has since enjoved 
an extensive law practice. In the fall of i(jo8 he was elected judge of 
probate of Oakland county for the term of four years and is a candi- 
date for reelection at the fall election of 1912. 

Arthur R. Tripp 

Hon. Arthur R. Tripj) is one of the leading lawyers of Pontiac, with 
whose interests he has been closely identified practically since the be- 
ginning of his legal career. He is the son of Harris N. Tripp, who was 
the first postmaster of Hunter's Creek, Lapeer county, Michigan, and 
a brother of Andrew J. Tripp, who has also been prominent in public 
affairs in Oakland county for some years and is now its sheriflf. 

Mr. Tripp was educated in the University of Michigan. His public 
career was commenced early in his professional life and he has sensed 
in many important capacities with the passing years. He has twice been 
prosecuting attorney for his county ; has been circuit court commissioner, 
probate clerk, member of the Pontiac school board and of the state 
legislature, and in every office his service has characterized him as an 
able man and a useful and valuable citizen. 

Elmer R. Wep.stkr 

Elmer R. Webster is known in Pontiac as one of the founders of 
the present public school .system, and as a man who has probablv done 
more than any other one person to establish that system, which is one 

THK NEW V ■■■ 
PUBLIC LlDa,.,,, 

A,- I 

Tll.llfc.V FOt;sl)ATiONS 

^- (^^ 


of the most admirable and efficient in the state today. Mr. Webster is 
a graduate of the Literary and Law departments of the University of 
Michigan. He was' county superintendent of schools for a number of 
years, has been a member of the board of supervisors and a member 
of the board of public works of Pontiac, while for many years he was one 
of the trustees of the schools of the city. At the present time, he is 
secretary of the school board. Outside of his professional practice, 
his interests have been mainly along educational lines, although his 
services in other respects have been invaluable to the city. 

John H. P.-\tterson 

John H. Patterson, of the firm of Patterson & Patterson, one of the 
most prominent law firms in Oakland county, Michigan, has been a 
resident of Pontiac since first entering upon his professional career, and 
of Oakland county all his life. Born at Holly, Oakland county, Mich- 
igan, in 1865, he is the son of Hon. Thomas L. Patterson, a prominent 
attorney and for many years judge of the probate court of Oakland 
county. The firm name, Patterson & Patterson, has long been a familiar 
one in Oakland county, and is almost a name with which to conjure in 
the districts where best known, so capable and efficient have its mem- 
bers proved themselves as exponents of the law. When first organized, 
the firm was composed of Judge Thomas L. Patterson, the father of 
the subject, and James K. Patterson. Upon the decease of the latter, 
his son, Samuel J., became the partner of John H. Patterson, thus con- 
tinuing the firm name under a new personnel. Of the parentage of 
Mr. Patterson, the brief mention made above is sufficient, as the life of 
Judge Patterson is one of such importance and interest in the history 
of Oakland county that specific place is given to a detailed setting forth, 
of at least a portion of that life in this work. 

John H. Patterson, after finishing the schools of Holly, took a high 
school course in the public schools of Ann Arbor, preparatory to his 
entering the LTniversity of Michigan at that place. He entered the 
literary department of the University in 1883, continuing therein for 
two years, at the same time attending the lectures in the law depart- 
ment. In 1885 he came to Pontiac and served as clerk of the probate 
court, of which his father was then judge. He continued the study of 
law under the able preceptorship of his father and of Thomas J. Davis, 
the latter then an attorney of Pontiac, but in later years of Duluth, 
Minnesota. In 1887, upon examination before the circuit court at 
Pontiac, he was admitted to the bar, and was subsequently admitted to 
practice before the United States courts. In 190 1 he formed a partner- 
ship with his cousin, Samuel J. Patterson with whom he has since lieen 

By reason of his early connection with the probate court, Mr. Pat- 
terson had gained a valuable experience in its practice, and since that 
time has had much to do in the handling and ultimate settlement of 
estates and in general probate practice. His clientele numbers among 
it some of the most substantial business firms and individuals in the 
county, and he has won an enviable reputation among the profession 

154 IIIS■^()R^■ Ol- OAKI.AXI) toLXTN' 

in Oakland counly, .Mr. Patterson is general counsel for the J'ontiac 
Oxford and Northern Railroad Company, to which position he suc- 
ceeded Judye A. C. lialdwin," deceased, in 1901, and he is a director and 
also attorney for the First Commercial I'ank, one of the strongest finan- 
cial institutions in the county, as well as jjeing identified in similar 
capacities with many another leading Inisiness house in I'ontiac and 
Oakland county. 

In 1889 Mr. Patterson was united in marriage with Miss Ella Stan- 
ton, the daughter of L. W. Stanton, at one time sheritT of the county 
and for a quarter of a century a prominent citizen of Pontiac. He died 
in 1899. Mrs. Patterson was born in O.xford, Oakland county. Three 
children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Patterson: Donald S., Clarence 
K. and Marion, all living in Pontiac at this time. Mr. Patterson is a 
Democrat of strength and conviction and has always given his efforts 
in the interests of that party. He is identified fraternallv with the 
Knights of Pythias and the lienevolent Protective Order of Elks and 
the Masonic lodge. 


James H. Lynch, member of the firm of Perry t\: Lynch, one of the 
leading law firms of Oakland county, was born Alarch 12, 1859, in Goshen, 
Orange county, New York, where his parents, Thomas and Mary 
(Markey) Lynch, natives of Ireland, had settled when they arrived in 
the United States in about 1855. When he was eight years of age his 
parents moved to Commerce, Oakland county, where the father engaged 
in farming and where the parents passed the remainder of their lives, 
and there Tames 11. Lynch attended the district schools of Commerce 
township. He worked on the farm between school seasons, and for a 
time taught in the country schools of his district. Later he attended the 
high school at Pontiac. from which he was graduated in 1884, after 
which he began the study of law in the offices of Aaron Perry and 
Arthur R. Tripp. So well did he utilize the time devoted to his studies 
and so apt were his precejitors in the law. that in September, 1886, the 
young man was admitted to the bar, and on January i, 1S87, he entered 
upon the active practice of his profession, in which he has ever been 
prosperous and prominent. In November of the same year in which he 
was admitted to the bar Mr. Lynch was elected circuit court commis- 
sioner on the Democratic ticket and reelected in 1888 and 1890, and was 
appointed to the office of city attorney for the years 1898 and 1899. 

Mr. Lvnch is an orator of high reputation and ability, and officiated 
as presiding officer of the ceremonies attending the laying of the corner- 
stone of the new Oakland county courthouse, on .August 30, 1894. His 
address as president of the day was a masterly eft'ort. and a brief por- 
tion is culled from his speech and here offered as a fair sample of his 
style and sentiment, lack of space forbidding the using of the entire 
speech: "Some people who reason lightly and without a full considera- 
tion of the subject, e.xi)ress surprise at :nid sjjeculale as to why it is 
that the lawyer will defend men whom the world at large and tiie com- 
mnnitv in general have l)randed as guilt\. lUit the principle of the law 


still remains, and 1 trust will ever remain, that, in the eyes of the law, 
no man is presumed guilty until he has been convicted by a jury vi his 
peers; and so long as that principle stands, just so long will the honest, 
conscientious attorney be serving the higher, truer and noliler adminis- 
trations of the law by insisting that however culpaljle a man ma}- be 
imagined to be. it is better that he should go unpunished than that the 
sacred principle of the law, the jjresumption of innocence be broken in 
upon, violated and trampled under foot in order to appease popular 
prejudice, fanatical frenzy, or mob violence. 

"It is of as great importance that existing laws be im])artiall\ and 
fully administered as it is that we h.ave good laws. If because of preju- 
dice, passion or still baser motive, the settled rule of the law is dis- 
regarded on some particular occasion, it is cause for regret on the jiart 
of all good citizens. 

"The difference bet\veen a government with constitutional limita- 
tions and an autocracy is not so much in the character of their laws as 
in their administration — not so much in the severity of the law as in 
the certainty of its enforcement. 

"If a settled principle of the law can be set aside in my favor be- 
cause of some peculiar circumstance which appeals to sympathy or 
passion, then all our boasted security is as naught; life is not secure; 
reputation is not safe and property rights are but the toys of a day." 

Mr. Lynch is the eldest of the five children of his ])arents. Thomas, 
the second born, is now a resident of New Mexico ; William died wdien 
about twenty-one years old ; John J. is a resident of Pontiac, and Edward 
is a farmer in Oakland county. The mother died when she was in the 
seventy-fourth year of her life, while the father still makes his home in 
Pontiac, and is now in his seventy-eighth year. They have Iieen life- 
long members of the Roman Catholic church. 

On June 12, 188S. "Sir. Lynch married Miss llridget Crotty, of White 
Lake. Oakland county. She is a daughter of James and Catherine 
(Gorman) Crotty, both natives of Liponay, Ireland, who came to Amer- 
ica in 1834. locating in White Lake, Oakland county. 

Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Lynch, one of the num- 
ber dying in infancy. The others are : Catherine F.. a stenogra])lier 
in the office of her father; Mary Ursula, at home; Agnes ;\.. Marcia R. 
and Margaret M. B.. also in the jiarental home; Patrick .Sarsfield ;ind 
Emmet D. are twins. 

Mr. Lynch is a Democrat, and since arriving at his legal majority 
has been actively and prominently identified with the labors of the part\' 
in Oakland county. He is a stanch Roman Catholic, deeply and prac- 
tically concerned in the progress of .St. Vincent de Paul's church, and 
one of the most prominent members of the Knights of Columbus to be 
found in C)akland county, of which he is district de]iutv for the order. 
Mr. Lynch is now serving as a member of the school Ijoard. 

.\ndrew L. iMooRE 

.\ndrew L. Moore ranks prominently among the pros])erous mem- 
bers of the legal profession in Oakland county. He has passed his 


entire life in tliis county and since the beginning of his law practice has 
made his home in i'ontiac, ivhere he has with the passing years built up 
a lucrative and extensive clientele. He is a particularly ai)le tj'ial law- 
yer and his oratorical ability has won him many laurels. 

Born in West Bloomfiekl, on October 28, 1870, Mr. Moore is the 
son of Hiram E. Moore, a prominent farmer and stockman of that 
township. In 1895 Mr. Moore was admitted to the bar and early formed 
a partnership with Judge Augustus C. Baldwin and James A. Jacokes, 
which association endured until the death of Judge Baldwin. 

Air. Moore was chosen to represent Oakland and Macomb counties 
in the convention which revised the state constitution and which, among 
other things, provided for home rule. Because of the active part he 
bore in that convention, he was chosen a member of the convention 
which wrote Pontiac's commission charter and was unanimously elected 
chairman of that body. It was largely through his influence that the 
initiative, referendum and recall provisions and the "corrupt practice" 
sections were given places in that document. 

Mr. Moore is an influential member of the First Methodist church 
of Pontiac and is a teacher of the Young Men"s Bible Class of that 

Peter B. Bromley 

Peter B. Bromley is a member of the firm of Davis & Bromley of 
Pontiac. organized in 1893. He was born in Oakland township, Oak- 
land county, in 1863, and is the son of Andrew J. and Sarah P. (Brew- 
ster) Bromley. 

Andrew J. Bromley was also a native of Oakland township, born 
there in 1840 and passing away at the early age of twenty-five years. 
He was a son of Rosewell Bromley, a Vermonter, born in Rutland county, 
in 1803, who died in Oakland county in 1890, after having passed his 
life here from the age of twenty-two years. He married Sybil Pinck- 
ney, and they were the parents of a goodly family. He was one of the 
prominent men of this section, serving the county in many public of- 
fices during his lifetime. 

Peter B. Bromley is one of the two children born to his parents, 
.\ndrew J. and Sarah Bromley ; his one brother is a farmer in St. Clair 
county, Michigan. After the death of his father his mother married 
Tunis Rolison and the family moved from the old home to Pontiac 
when Mr. Bromley was a lad of ten years. He attended the Pontiac high 
school and after graduating in the teacher's course began teaching, and 
with his work carried on a course of law reading in 1881. In .\ugust, 
1884. he was admitted to the bar, and in the years that have elapsed he 
has won a high degree of ])rominence in his profession. He served six 
years as court commissioner of Oakland county — two terms as city clerk 
of Pontiac and was elected to the office of city attorney by the city 
council for a term of three years and is now filling that office. Until 
1893 he continued in independent practice, but since that time he has 
been associated with D. L. Davis, the well known attorney of Oakland 

Mr. Bromlcv married Aliss Sarah Ditmns, of Brooklvn, New York, 


and they have two sons, Bruce D. and Ditmas A., both in school in 

Mr. Bromley is a Democrat, but not a politician in any sense. He is 
a Alason with affiliations with the Commandery and the Knights Tem- 
plar. He is also a member of the Maccabees. 

F. L. Covert 

Frank L. Covert, one of the successftil lawyers of Pontiac, has been 
prosecuting attorney for three terms and is now a candidate for elec- 
tion to the state senate. He has been a resident of Oakland county all 
his life, being a native of Waterford township. He was graduated from 
Pontiac high school in his youth and studied law in the offices of Taft 
& Smith in this city, being admitted to the bar in 1890. He has seen a 
deal of public service since he began the practice of his profession in 
Pontiac. He served as committee clerk in the state house of representa- 
tives for two years ; was elected circuit court commissioner of the county 
and held the office for six years, and has been county poor commissioner 
four terms, in addition to his three terms of service as prosecuting at- 
torney, already mentioned. He has always conducted a private practice, 
which has occupied such of his time as he has been able to spare from 
his public duties, and is known for one of the representative members 
of his profession in the city of Pontiac. 



JuDGi-: Ckofoot's Ri-:coi.i.ections — Bench and 15.\r Prior to 1840 (uv 
Judge Baldwin) — Chief Justice Moore's Pictures — Aaron 
Perry's Contributions. 

At the risk even of repetition, the editor presents for this chapter a 
number of papers sketching various personages and phases of both the 
l^ench and l:)ar of Oakland county. By blending such mental pictures 
one ma\- obtain a rich and lifelike view of the field, while the harvest 
of develo])ed judicial systems and finished lawyers was yet in the ear. 

Judge Crofoot's Recollections 

Following are extracts from the sketch of Judge Al. T".. Crofoot. 
delivered at the dedication of the "old second courthouse" in 1858: 

"That old and dilapidated temple now tottering on its foundation, 
with its crumbling walls tumbling about it, its covering fluttering like 
the tattered garments of the old man represented as the personification 
of poverty, was reared (we are told), ujwn its present locality in 182.^. 
where it has stood 'wasting its sweetness on the de.sert air' for the last 
thirty-five years. 

"But ancient as it api)cars, it was not the first building to welcome 
the expounder and legal adjudicator of the law for Oakland county. 
The ground where a portion of the C)gle House now stands, became 
(firstly) the seat of justice. 

"There, in July, 1820, tliose clothed with judicial honors — Chief Jus- 
tice Thom])son, Bagley and Bronson, associate justices — assembled in 
an old log building, where the free Ijreath of heaven wafted without 
interruption of those useless modern apjiendages — a door, floor or chim- 
ney, and where too, assembled the grand jurors of the county, al this, 
the first session of a court of record in our count)-. 

"One man was licensed as an attorney and two were licensed to keep 
tavern, thus keeping up the proper equilibrium of power which is so 
essential for all new countries. The officers of ihc court were: Daniel 
LeRov. prosecnling ;ttt(irnc\'; \\'illi;ini Morris, slicriff; Sidncv Dole, 

"Whereni)on. the grand jury were <lischarged. and all business be- 
fore the court (that ai)ove stated) having been transacted, and the law 
|)r()perl\' expounded ;ind inter]ireted. the courl .'idjourned. 



"If an\- one desires to preserve a lasting memento of this tirst court 
of Oakland county, we are told that they can secure a chip from the logs 
of that same old building, where they presently lie in the rear of that old 
red house so long occupied by our townsman, Mr. Hendrickson. 

"In July, _iS2i, the first indictment was found against our old towns- 
man, O. A., for keeping a tavern without license, and a tine of one dol- 
lar and costs was imposed upon the defendant, which the truthful 
historian informs us was all spent at the l)ar, save the costs of one of 
the judges, who hail some conscientious scruples against ever letting a 
good thing go. 

"In 1825 Elder Elkanah Comstock, was by the court authorized to 
celebrate the rites of matrimony, and in 1826, the Rev. W. Ruggles 
was licensed to do likewise ; whereupon we have no doubt that innum- 
erable blessings resulted from the rights so conferred. 

"In 1824 the tirst court was held in the old courthouse and by 1830 
the importance of the judiciary, or the convenience of suitors, had the 
effect to induce the board of supervisors to order the court room to be 
lathed and plastered. Judges Thompson, Ijronson, IJagley. Weeks, Le- 
Roy, Hunt, Moseley, Witherell, Chipman, Woodbridge, Sibley. Morrell, 
Fletcher, Whipple, Eldredge, Green and Copeland, have there adorned 
the bench, and all taken their appropriate part in dispensing justice to 
the citizens of the county from that old building, which we leave with 
no feelings of regret, except the severance of the ties that a cjuarter of a 
century's ])ractice therein has necessarily formed. 

"Some of the most eminent men of the state who were never resi- 
dents of the county, have, in the earlier days of our courts, there been 
formally admitted to the bar, among whose names we find those of 
William Woodbridge, William .\. Fletcher. Solomon Sibley and Henry 
Chi]5man — while the names of many no less prominent who have re- 
sided among us have there received their licenses and while eminent 
names have adorned the legal profession all over the state, we claim 
that the bar of Oakland county, according to its numbers, is second to 
none in the state in legal attainments. 

"From our own bar have gone forth editors, judges and members of 
congress, and most of the offices of honor and trust in our state have 
been at one time or other filled with some of our number. 

"But though the labor, toil and close attention which the profession 
of law requires, has taxed us many times severely, and has furnished its 
vexations and annoyances, it has not failed to bring with it those pleas- 
ant incidents of which the profession is so fruitful. Some of these 
being entirely original, we claim them all our own, and a few may not 
be inappro]:iriate in a review of these past events. 

"Some twenty years ago when justice was making its way into the 
county, a well known member of our bar had occasion to be called be- 
fore a justice of the peace to attend to the cause and the interests of his 
client in one of the towns of the county ; and not precisely understand- 
ing the nature of his client's defense until the jury was empaneled and 
the trial commenced, he was unfortunately placed in a quandary by 
learning for the first time that the testimony of the defense must come 
from the justice, and hmv to get at it was the all-important (|uestion. 


He suggested the difficulty to a personage, commonly called a petti- 
fogger, who had been engaged with him in the cause. 'Why,' re])lied 
his associate, "there is no difficulty at all about that. It is always a 
common thing in such cases to let the foreman of the jury swear the 
justice (or the judge). I've seen it done lots of times in the high 
courts.' Of course our friend thought that as this seemed the only 
remedy left him, he would let his associate try on the project, while he 
would say, 'Oh yes, of course that's the law.' 

'"The pettifogger arose, and, with all the assurance of the conviction 
of assuming a right position, made his proposition to the court to have 
the justice sworn by the foreman of the jury and proceed to take his 
testimony in the cause. An eminent lawyer from Detroit wdio had been 
engaged for the opi:)osite party seemed surprised at so novel a proposi- 
tion and objected, of course, but as our friend asserted, 'Oh yes, of 
course that's the law,' the foreman of the jury took it for granted he 
knew, and immediately said, "Mr. Justice, stand up, raise your right 
hand and be sworn.' The justice almost unconsciously did as directed, 
was sworn, testified and the jury rendered their verdict for the de- 
fendant, and the client of our friend and the cause of justice triumphed 
on a new ])rinciple of law. 

"Upon another occasion where some questions arose upon a new 
statute that had not yet received a judicial construction, it happened (not 
an unusual thing I believe) that the lawyers upon the opposite side 
of the case did not agree. After elaborately discussing the subject, 
the same was submitted to the court, each supposing that his own con- 
struction had been made as clear as the noon-day sun. The judge set- 
tled back in his chair, straightened himself up and assuming all the dig- 
nity of his position, was about to announce the judgment of the court 
upon the question. 

"Each lawyer stood all agog to hear his own position vindicated. 
Judge then of their surprise, when it was gravely announced by the 
court that "the question seemed new and was involved in a good deal of 
uncertainty as to a proper construction,' and that as the court was de- 
sirous of rendering a correct opinion, 'the opinion of the court is that 
the court don't know what that is.' 

"Whether this grave decision was ever reversed or not, we are not 
informed, but we are assured that both lawyers felt quite gratified to 
know' that he had gained a triumidi over his opponent. 

"Again, and not many years since, one of the oldest members of our 
bar had occasion to look after his client's interests before a justice of 
the peace in one of the northern townships. He there met as an op- 
ponent our old acciuaintance T — , who at that time was (|uite an ef- 
ficient practitioner before those courts for the trial of small causes, and 
withal had provided himself with some law for such occasions, and gen- 
erally went armed with Cowen's treatise, a ])anacea for all such cases. 

"Some f|uestions of law arose and the lawyers diii'ered, but to con- 
vince the justice of the correctness of his position our friend T — said 
he would read some law ; he did not want the court to take his word for 
it. Thereujion he read from Cowen's treatise some text based upon a 
case decided in New York under a ])articular statute. 


"Our friend of the bar got up and said it was true that such was 
the adjudication in New York, but that the case was decided under a 
statute of that state which of course could have no application here. 
Thereupon T — said he was prepared for all such arguments. These 
Pontiac lawyers are always coming out into the country and palming ofif 
their opinion upon justices as law but he was prepared for all such prac- 
tices this time, for he had brought the law with him. He thereupon 
turned to his favorite law book and read 'that the general acts of con- 
gress are binding upon all the states of the Union ;' and then, with an 
air of triumph, he turned to the fly leaf of the book and read 'entered 
according to act of congress,' saying 'Now, Mr. Justice, I'd like to know 
if that ain't law in Michigan !' Of course our friend of the bar was 
finished and had to beat a hastv retreat leaving friend T — victor of 
the field. 

"Incidents of this kind, all our own. could be collected to fill a 
volume, l)Ut time will net permit their further capitulation here." 

Bench .\nd B.\r Prior to 1840 

The following paper was contributed by the late Judge Augustus C. 
Baldwin to volume XXXI of the .Michigan Pioneer and Historical Col- 
lections, and it was one of the most complete as well as one of the last 
contributions which he made to local history prior to his death in 1903. 

"The time has arrived," he said, "when it is all important that the 
history of the various individuals belonging to the dififerent professions, 
residents of this state at an early day, have a brief recital of their acts 
prepared and filed with this society as matter for future reference. A 
sketch of the early clergymen and the members of the medical, profession, 
however brief it might be, would be invaluable, as well as afford very 
interesting reading matter ; and I trust that some persons connected with 
those professions will assume the task and thus preserve the names of 
their brethren in the archives of this society. With this view of a per- 
son's duty, for the purpose of preserving the names of the pioneer 
lawyers of Oakland county, I have assumed the task of presenting those 
practicing therein prior to 1840. Time will not permit entering very 
fully into detail of their various histories, but the brief sketch that I 
present, will, at least, preserve their names in their professional capacity. 

"Oakland county's history is not of very ancient origin. Though 
Detroit was settled in 1701, and the southeastern bounds of Oakland 
county were only ten miles distant from the city hall of Detroit, yet we 
have no record of a white man's entrance into Oakland county for the 
purpose of settlement in the township of what is now Avon. A settle- 
ment was made at Pontiac by the Pontiac Company in 1818, and in the 
autumn of the same year settlements were made at Royal Oak, Birming- 
ham. Troy and Waterford. 

"On the I2th of January, 1818, Governor Cass issued a proclamation 
organizing certain territory into the county of Oakland, and fixing the 
seat of justice of the county at Pontiac. 

"It is impossible to state at this time what the population was: no 
accessible records of the census of 1820 can now be found in the conntv ; 


ihal ilici'e were numerous families scattered aljout Oakland county in 
1819 is clearl\ inferable from what is known of the settlers' families 
existing at that time. I'rom the lirst settlements in 1817 there was a 
constant influx of immigrants into the county, anfl the inference is irre- 
sistible that at the perfection of tlie county's organization the iiopulation 
must have been several hundred. 

"October 24, 1S15, the governor and judges passed an act creating 
county courts in the various counties of the territory, consisting of one 
chief justice and two associate justices; all to be appointed liv the gov- 

"June 13, iiSiS. chancery jurisdiction was extended to count)' courts, 
March 30, 1S20, the terms of the court were fi.xed for Oakland county 
for the second Monday of 1^'ebruary and the third Monday of July, and 
on the 17th day of July, 1820, the first court of record — the Oakland 
county court — was duly opened and legal proceedings were thereafter 
supposed to be properly conducted. Hon. Wm. Thompson was chief 
justice and Amasa Bagley and Daniel Bronson, associate justices. Wil- 
liam Morris was sheriff, and Sidney Dole was the clerk. 

"At the time when General Cass, the territorial governor, was mak- 
ing selections to fill the various judicial offices, he was confronted with 
the fact that there was not an attorney resident in the county. Necessity 
compelled him to go outside of the legal profession, and subsequent 
events showed that his selections were judiciously made. 

"The appointee for chief justice was a practicing physician resid- 
ing near Pontiac, Dr. Wm. Thompson; he was born January 15. 1786. in 
I.enox, Massachusetts. He attended the district school and the acad- 
emy; at fourteen he was fitted for college. In 1810 he took his degree 
from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the city of New York ; 
and about 1815 he emigrated to the territory of Michigan and first be- 
gan the [iractice of his profession at Mount Clemens, and subsequently 
removed to Pontiac. After his a])pointment as chief justice he prac- 
ticed his profession while performing his official duties. Of course his 
legal duties did not encroach very greatly upon his time, and he held the 
office of chief justice for some eight years, giving excellent satisfaction. 
After his retirement from the judgeship he continued his medical prac- 
tices for some time, and then retired to a farm near Pontiac. where he 
flied iionored and respected Jul\' to, 1867. 

"Amasa P>agley, one of the associate justices, was born near Ilos 
ton, in Massachusetts, and left his home for Michigan in the winter of 
1818. I le afterwards settled at P)loomfield Center, and he resided there 
about ten years, when he removed to Pontiac, where he continued to re- 
side until his death. He was appointed associate judge upon the organi 
zation nf the county court, assuming his duties in July, !820. and remain- 
ing in that nftice until the admission of Michigan as a state. Judge 
Itagley was a farmer and practical business man, and in no sense a law- 
yer, yet he satisfactorily ])erfornied his judicial duties. 

"On iMonday, July 17, 1820, the county court of ( )akland county 
was duly opened b}- ])roclamation of the sheriff", .\fter im|)aneling of 
the grand jury Spencer Coleman, an attorne\- of Detroit, on his own mo- 
lion was admitted to iiractice. 


"On his application Daniel Le Roy satisfied the court that he was li- 
censed to practice in the supreme court of New York and was admitted 
as an attorney of this court. Mr. Le Roy for many succeeding years 
occupied a prominent position in the history of Oakland county, as well 
as in the state of Michigan. He was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, 
on the 17th day of May, 1775. After due preparation and study he was 
admitted to practice in the supreme court in April, 1800. He was after- 
ward admitted to the court of common pleas of Tioga county, and in 
1801 established himself in Einghampton and commenced practice. He 
also took an active part in political, educational and military matters. 
In 1817, when the influx of travel from the east was tending west- 
ward, he followed with his family to Detroit, and there commenced 
laboring in his profession. His record shows that he had business rela- 
tions with Macomb county, filling there the office of judge of probate. 

"Prior to 1820 the Pontiac Company had erected a mill at Pontiac, 
and the county seat having been established at that place and Mr. LeRoy 
having made Pontiac his home, he was the first resident lawyer admitted 
to the court. 

"It cannot be supposed that business could be very extensive or lucra- 
tive ; but the county was rapidly filling up ; new settlers were continually 
arriving, and to a discriminating mind it must have been evident that 
Oakland county would soon furnish adequate support for an industrious 

"Mr. Le Roy was appointed the first prosecuting attorney for the 
county. He was also justice of the peace, and in 1822 postmaster. In 
1831 he was appointed United States attorney for the territory of Mich- 

"Mr LeRoy was chief justice of the county court of Oakland county, 
and held the office for two years, and in 1833 one of the judges of the 
county for the term of three years. 

"In November, 1835, Covernor Mason, acting governor, appointed 
him one of the commissioners to settle the boundary dispute between 
Michigan and Ohio. He was a member as early as 1830 and 1831 of 
the territorial council. Upon the organization of the territory as a state, 
Mr. LeRoy was appointed in Jtily. 1836, the first attorney general of the 
new state. 

"The foregoing brief synopsis shows that Judge LeRoy took a very 
active and jirominent part in our history. The important offices that he 
held is most convincing evidence of his popularity and abilitv. About 1850 
he left Pontiac and removed to Fenton, where some of his children re- 
sided, and where he died at a ripe old age February 11, 1858. 

"For several years after the organization of the county Mr. Le Roy 
was the sole resident lawyer. The court was attended, however, by many 
Detroit lawyers ; among them George A. O'Keefe, John Hunt, Pienjamin 
F. H. Witherell, Charles Larned, William A. Fletcher, Henry Chipman, 
William Woodbridge and others ; all men who subsequentlv Ijecame prom- 
inent not only in their profession but in the state's early history. 

"William F. Moseley was admitted as a iiractitioner on the 14th of 
February, 1825. He was the next person admitted after Mr. Le Roy, 
as the records of the court show, who resided in the county of Oakland. 


Where he previously resided, or where he was educated, I have been 
unable to learn. The recorcls show that he was a prominent practitioner 
while a resident of the county. An anecdote that I heard related of him 
about sixty years ago 1 think will bear repetition. lie was defending 
some boys for some trivial offense before a justice in a neighboring town. 
In the course of his argument before the justice he said: 'May it please 
your honor, these boys being arrested for a criminal offense, it is neces- 
sary for the prosecution to prove the offense charged beyond a reason- 
able doubt ; for it is a principle of law that every man is presumed inno- 
cent until he is proven guilty.' 'Stop, sir,' said the justice, who was an 
Old School Presbyterian, 'you are mistaken, Mr. Moseley, the rule is, 
mankind is naturally depraved.' Mr. Moseley resided in Oakland county 
about twelve years, when he removed to Genesee or Shiawassee county, 
Mr. Moseley was a representative of Oakland county in the legislative 
council in 1826. 

"The succeeding attorneys who settled in Oakland county were 
Thomas J. Drake and Origen D. Richardson. They came into the county 
as early as 1825 or 1826, the precise date at this time being very difficult 
to determine. 

"Mr. Drake was born April 18, 1797, in Scipio, Cayuga county, New 
Y'ork, and was educated in the schools of that vicinity. From the rec- 
ords I should judge he came to Oakland county in 1824, and at that time 
was not admitted to practice law here, but in March following he entered 
a plea in a case for the defendant by previously filing letters of attorney, 
authorizing him to appear. From this time on Mr. Drake took a very 
active part in legal and civic affairs in Oakland county until near the time 
of his death. 

"Prior to the admission of Michigan to statehood he was a member of 
the territorial council; was register of probate; captain and lieutenant 
colonel of the militia, and one of the commissioners to locate the county 
seat of Saginaw county. After the admission of the state, Mr. Drake 
was elected to the senate, and was made president pro tem of that body. 
He was elected prosecuting attorney for Oakland county, holding that 
office two years. About 1837 Mr, Drake removed from Pontiac to Flint, 
where he resided a few years, when he returned to his prior home, and 
there continued to live until his death. He was appointed by President 
Lincoln as one of the associate justices of Utah, which office he continued 
to hold for many years. Fle had an intense prejudice against Mormon- 
ism, and his nature would not permit him to conceal his views; conse- 
quently his judicial life was not as pleasant as it would have been if he 
had possessed a more yielding nature. His health became somewhat im- 
paired and he resigned his judgeship two months prior to the expiration 
of the term. He was an unyielding lawyer, indefatigably zealous in the 
interest of his clients. He possessed strong personal traits, and during 
his earlier days had many devoted friends and followers. Mr. Drake 
died in Pontiac on the 20tli of AiJril, 1875. 

"Gideon O. Whittemore was in active practice in Oakland county in 
1836, and continued in practice for about fifteen years. The record 
shows that on the 13th of February, 1826, he was appointed prosecuting 
attorney for the term. lie served one term as secretary of state, and was 


a member of tlie Board of Regents and the Board of Education of the 
state. Soon after this he removed from Pontiac to Tawas, Iosco county, 
where he died. 

"There has been some discrepancy as to the time when Origen D. 
Richardson took up his residence in the county of Oakland. The court 
records first show his active participation in legal proceedings on the 20th 
day of July, 1826. ]\Ir. Richardson was born in Woodstock, \^ermont, 
July 20, 1795. He studied his profession there; and while a student in 
the office of his cousin, Israel B. Richardson, his patriotism induced him 
to join the army. He was present and participated in the battle of Platts- 
burg. He continued in practice in Vermont until 1826, then he removed 
to Pontiac. He was a patient, painstaking practitioner, and took a deep 
interest in the aiTairs of his adopted state. For twenty years after Mr. 
Richardson settled in Pontiac, his counsel was widely sought, and his 
legal opinion had almosj the effect of statutory law. He was cautious in 
giving his advice. In his intercourse with his fellow citizens he was not 
eft'usive, but was conservative, careful and courteous. He seldom had an 
altercation with his associate attorneys, and was ever ready to lend a 
helping hand in case of emergency. The result was that there was a 
kindly feeling toward him, which added greatly to his popularity. Mr. 
Richardson was a member of the first convention of assent relating to 
the admission of Michigan into the Union, held at Ann Arbor in Septem- 
ber, 1836. He was also a member of the first legislature, which con- 
vened at Detroit, November, 1835, and was also a member of the Sixth 
legislatm-e, which convented at Detroit, January 4. 1841. 

"In the fall of 1841, the time that John S. Barry was first elected 
governor, Mr. Richardson was on the ticket with him for lieutenant 
governor, and was elected to the office. He was reelected in 1843. -^t 
the termination of his office he returned to Pontiac and resumed the 
duties of his profession until the fall of the year 1854, when he went to 
Omaha, Nebraska. Soon after his arrival there he was elected to the 
upper house of the first legislature, and was subsequently reelected for 
the ensuing term. He was appointed one of the commissioners to revise 
and codify the laws. Though nominally residing in Nebraska and hold- 
ing official positions there, his family remained in Pontiac, and con- 
tinued there until 1874, when they removed with Mr. Richardson to 
Omaha. Mr. Richardson, after his final removal to Omaha, survived 
only two years, dying November 30, 1876. Mr. and Mrs. Richardson 
had lived together nearly fifty years in the most happy relations, and 
at his demise she was so stricken with grief that she survived him but 
three days, and they were buried at the same time. 

"Robert P. Eldredge was admitted to the bar in Oakland county, 
November, 1828. He read law with Governor Richardson, and soon 
after his admission to the bar he removed to 'Sit. Clemens, where he 
located and resided until the time of his death. 

"Seth A. L. Warner, one of the old and prominent attorneys at Oak- 
land county, was born in Saybrook, Connecticut. , After pursuing the 
preliminary studies in the common schools of the country, he perfected 
his education at Cambridge, Massachusetts. He afterwards located in 
Tompkins county fnow Schuyler), New York. He came to Michigan 


in 1825 and settled in what was over two years later organized into 
the township of l''arniingtun, and in March, 1830, he was admitted to 
practice his profession of law in the courts of Oakland county. His 
location in Farmington at that time was not remarkably favorable for 
a very extensive practice, yet, being a well educated and well read law- 
yer, he secured his share of business. Mr. Warner, after more than 
twenty years" residence in the county, and being over sixty years of 
age, died in Farmington on the 5th of March, 1846, honored and re- 

"Isaac Stetson, a lawyer wdio had practiced in Indiana and other 
states, was admitted in 1830. Nothing more is known of him here. 

"In October, 1832, John Goodrich was admitted, and he died in Sep- 
tember, 1838. 

"In October, 1833, Henry S. Cole was admitted, but nothing further 
appears relative to him. 

"Randolph Manning was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, May 19, 
1804. He studied the profession of law in the city of New York, and 
in 1832 he came to ^lichigan and commenced the practice of his chosen 
profession in Pontiac. He was careful and studious, persistent and 
energetic, and his ability at once gave him a standing of the first rank 
among the attorneys of Michigan. He was prominent in all the under- 
takings for the improvement and advancement of his selected residence, 
and for over thirty years after coming to Michigan he filled some of 
the most important judicial positions. We first ascertain that in 1835, 
when the question of the admission of Michigan into the Union was 
being agitated, he was elected one of the delegates to the convention 
at Ann Arbor to form the constitution and was placed upon the judiciary 
committee. Among his associates were such men as Ross Wilkins, 
William Woodbridge, Isaac E. Crary and Robert McClelland, historic 
characters. Mr. Manning was elected a senator from the county of 
Oakland and the territory attached, embracing the upper ]3eninsula. 
holding the office for only one session. February, 1838. he was appointed 
secretary of state, an office he held for two years. The judiciary sys- 
tem under the constitution of 1835 embraced a court of chancery. Mr. 
Manning was appointed chancellor in 1842. an oflice which he resigned 
in 1846. 

"Walker's Chancery Reports contain Chancellor Manning's opinions 
while holding his office, and they are a fitting memorial of his capacity, 
industry and conscientiousness; and although nearly sixty years have 
elai)sed since these ojiinions were given, they are still cited with great 
approbation. As chancellor he was ex-officio a member of tlie Hoard 
of Regents. ^Ir. Planning was a reporter of the decisions of the supreme 
court, commencing with the January term of 1847, and ending with 
October. 1850. He was also a member of the State Board of Education 
in 1849. When the i^resent su])reme court w'as organized in 1857, Mr. 
Manning was elected one of the judges, taking his seat January i. 1858, 
and when the respective judges drew for their term, Mr. Manning's 
was for four years. He was reelected in 1861 for a second term of 
eight years. For several years before his death he w'as a sufiferer from 
heart disease, but his condition was not considered precarious. On the 


31st of August, 1864, he spent most of the afternoon with one of his 
associates, the venerable Judge Christiancy. Judge Manning was in 
his usual health, and after returning home spent the evening with his 
family. About nine oViock in the evening his elder daughter left the 
room knowing nothing of any danger, and returning immediately, found 
her father unconscious; he survived but a few moments, passing away 
without previous warning and without pain. Thus passed away an 
able and upright judge. On April 3. 1889, an oil portrait of Judge 
Manning was presented to the supreme court by his children. Judge 
Campbell in accepting the portrait in belialf of the court said: "Such 
men when they die do not lose their influence, and I believe the time 
never can come when the name of Chancellor Manning or Judge Plan- 
ning, will be separated from the legal reforms of the state or from the 
rules of justice that he did so much to establish. He was worthy of 
veneration and his name and memory will always be cherished. We 
accept the portrait with great pleasure, and it will be preserved on the 
walls of the court room." 

"At the October term, 1833, at Pontiac, William Draper was admitted 
to practice. He was born in Marlborough, ^Massachusetts, Feliruary 12, 
1780, and was educated at Harvard University. He studied law and 
practiced his profession near Boston. Some of his early acquaintances 
had removed to Pontiac, Michigan. Meeting them afterwards he de- 
cided to make a visit and came to Pontiac in the spring of 1833. Pleased 
with the country and v\'ith the location of Pontiac, he decided to remain 
and practice his profession here. Mr. Draper was a thoroughly equipped 
lawyer, and at once entered into an extensive practice. At the time 
he came to Alichigan the question of the admission of Michigan as a 
state was being agitated, which continued for several years. A convention 
was held to adopt a constitution, and one was formed. 

"Congress was in favor of releasing a portion of the southern bound- 
ary of Michigan to Ohio, and giving to Michigan the upper peninsula 
in lieu of such territory. Among others Mr. Draper took an active 
part against surrendering any territory to Ohio. When the convention 
was called to meet at Ann Arbor to oppose the Scheme, Mr. Draper was 
elected one of the delegates from Oakland county, and he was selected 
as the presiding officer of the convention. After ]Mr. Draper came to 
Michigan he had a large practice for about twenty years. Part of this 
time he was in partnership with his son Charles and his nephew, Rufus 
Hosmer. About 1850 his health began to fail and continued to fail 
until 1858, when, hoping for improvement, in July of that year he took 
a trip to Mackinac, where he soon after died. He was a quaint, peculiar 
man. He had his own notion of legal ethics, was a strict disciplinarian, 
and cotild hardly tolerate some of the simple pleasantries of a country 
bar, but his brother attorneys all respected him, and 'Father Draper,' as 
he was called by almost all of his brethren, did not have an enemy among 
them. During his later years he surrendered his practice and spent his 
time with his fishing rod among the numerous lakes surrounding Pontiac. 

"Morgan L. Drake was born in Scipio, Cayuga county, New York, 
October 18, 1813. He was edticated in the common schools of that vi- 
cinity; lived in Perry, New York, studied law, and came to Michigan. 


He was admitted to ilic liar in Oakland county in July, 1835. He devoted 
himself to his professional duties until 1836, when he was elected register 
of deeds for the county of Tj)akland, which office he held for two years. 
In his profession he made equity and equity practice a specialty, and in 
equity cases he was more at home than in any other branch of his jjro- 
fession. As a speaker he was extremely prolix. While Mr. Drake de- 
voted much of his time to his professional duties he was also engaged in 
many other matters tending to develop and improve the country. He was 
one of the active promoters of the Flint & Pere Marquette railroad. While 
he was giving his chief attention in his practice to equity, he was fairly 
well read in the various branches of the law. On one occasion while en- 
gaged in a suit pertaining to a mill dam ownership, about two o'clock in 
the afternoon an important witness for Mr. Drake's client was called. 
The fact was first made known that the witness had gone to Detroit. 
Then there were no telephones, telegraphs or railroads, nothing but the 
dirt road to travel. The witness had not been subpoenaed, but had prom- 
ised to attend; forgetting his promise he had left without notifying the 
party engaging him. Mr. Drake appealed to the court to have the case 
continued until the following morning, stating his position. The court. ■ 
Judge Whipple presiding, informed him that it was his duty to have 
properly subpoenaed the witness, and denied the application. Mr. Drake, 
not disheartened, then made a motion for continuance. On rising he 
said : 'Your honor, this being an important matter, contrary to my ustial 
custom, I shall have to discuss it at considerable length.' The court, 
knowing Mr. Drake's prolixity, was bewildered. He saw in his mind's 
eye an afternoon's task before him, and he turned to the crier and said : 
'Mr. Crier, adjourn the court until tomorrow morning at nine o'clock.' 
Drake's object was accomplished. He died in Pontiac in 1865. 

"Rufus Flosmer was of Massachusetts origin, and was educated at 
Harvard University. He came to Michigan soon after his imcle, W'illiam 
Draper, and was admitted to practice in Oakland county. He was more 
addicted to fun than to the dry technicalities of the law. Soon 
after his admission he practiced with his uncle, W'illiam Draper, and 
after Charles Draper was admitted the three practiced together. Subse- 
quently he entered into partnership with George W. and piloses Wisner. 
He continued with them until George W. Wisner went to Detroit to take 
charge of the Detroit Advertiser, and after his death ]\Ir. Hosmer suc- 
ceeded him in the charge of that ])aper. He afterwards removed to 
Lansing ; was state printer for a time, and was connected with the Laiis- 
mg Republican. He was a ready wit, a fine genius, a companionable and 
po|)u!ar man. He was appointed consul to the Netherlands, but death 
took him before he departed for that post of duty. 

"Phillip A. Mcomber was admitted to practice as an attorney in the 
state of New York, and coming to -Michigan was admitted to practice 
here in 1825. He afterwards removed to one of the counties west of 

"John T. Raynor canie to the state and was admitted to the jiractice 
of law in 1835. He located near I'ranklin. He was a prosecuting at- 
torney in 1835; was elected county clerk for the county in 18 — . and held 
that office for four years. After this Mr. Ra>-nor had an oflicial position 


in Washington for a short time ; on his return from Washington, he re- 
moved to Lansing, where he died. He was a pleasant, agreeable man; 
one who was most careful about saying anything to wound the feelings 
of another. He was a good lawyer, but his e.xtreme amiability and tim- 
idity were not conducive to his general success in his profession. 

"Edward Pratt Harris was born in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, 
November 17, 1802. After passing from the common schools, he was 
prepared for college at Phillips Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, 
and at Atkinson (N. H.) Academy, and finally graduated at Dartmouth 
College in 1826. For a time he was principal of an academy at Brad- 
ford, Vermont, and after his admission to the bar he practiced for a short 
time at White River Junction, that state. The business of the legal pro- 
fession in staid New England did not satisfy the ambitious young man. 
He gathered his worldly possessions and wended his way westward, com- 
ing to Michigan in 1836 and settling in Rochester, Oakland county, 
commencing there the>practice of his profession. He was postmaster dur- 
ing Fillmore's administration, circuit court commissioner from 1859 to 
1862, and a delegate to the constitutional convention in 1867. He was de- 
voted to his profession, and had a reasonably fair practice in the locality 
where he resided. He attended most strictly to the interests of his clients 
and omitted nothing that would have a tendency to protect them. Of 
course this location was not such as to give him a large or varied assort- 
ment of cases, but such as he had were attended satisfactorily to his 
clients. After his location at Rochester in 1836 he continued his resi- 
dence in that place until his death, which occurred in March, 1868. 

"Alfred Treadway came to Michigan about 1835 or 1836, and soon 
after was admitted to the bar. 

"After the organization of the state, one session of the supreme court 
and one session of the court of chancery were held annually in Pontiac. 

"Soon after Mr. Treadway's admission he was appointed clerk of 
the supreme court and register in the court of chancery, which offices he 
held until the change in the judicial system. He was also an injunction 
master for the county. At the session of the legislature in 1844 an act was 
passed empowering the judges of the supreme court to appoint a suitable 
person to revise the laws of the state. Sanford M. Green was appointed 
by the judges for that purpose, and he selected Mr. Treadway as his 
chief clerk and from that time until the session of the legislature in 1846 
Mr. Green and his assistants were continuously employed in their lalior- 
ious duties, and Mr. Treadway copied and wrote during the time the entire 
Green Code of 1846. Mr. Treadway was afterwards a document clerk in 
the United States senate, and subsequently was an employe in one of the 
departments in Washington. He did not return to Pontiac to reside, but 
removed to Rhode Island, near Providence, where he afterward died. 
He was an ardent Mason, and took a lively interest in the resuscitation of 
the Masonic lodge in Pontiac. 

"George A. C. Luce was admitted to practice law in Oaklaml county 
May 2, 1837. He was a well educated man, thoroughly versed in his pro- 
fession. After his admission he settled in Troy. Mr. Luce was in feeble 
health and died at the place of his residence. 

"John P. Richardson was born in Woodstock, Vermont, August 23, 


1792. He was "graduated at Dartnidutli College in 1816, and read law 
with Israel P. Richardson and Jndge Aldis, of St. Albans, and afterward 
with Heman Alton, of Alilton, Vermont. -After his admission to the 
bar he practiced law for some years in IJurlington, that state. In 1837 
he removed to Pontiac, where he was admitted to practice on the yth of 
November of that year. He continued to jiractice in Pontiac until 1845, 
when he was appointed in the land office of Sault Ste. Marie, in which' 
oflfice he continued until 1848. He also acted as prosecuting attorney 
durmg the time he was in Chippewa county. While a resident of Oak- 
land county, he was master in chancery. He removed from Pontiac to 
Leavenworth, Kansas, where he resided until his death, September 8, 
1866. He was a kind, a genial man, but was rather singular in some of 
his opinions. He was a sincere friend of the laboring classes of the com- 
munity, planning and scheming to elevate their condition. As a law- 
yer Mr. Richardson was well prepared for his professional duties, but 
he was not a ready speaker. He was extremelv cynical in his reniarks 
before a court or jury. In his intercourse witli hi's fellow men he was 
just and upright in all his dealings. 

"Charles Draper was born in :\Iarlborough, Alassachusetts, in No- 
vember, 181 1. After pursuing the requisite studies necessary to enter 
college, he entered Cambridge University and graduated theVefrom in 
June, 1833, taking a degree of bachelor of arts. In November of that 
year he came to .Michigan to meet his father, William Draper, who had 
about SIX months previously removed to Pontiac. Mr. Charles Draper 
taught school about one year in the old academy in Pontiac ; at the same 
time he was reading law under the direction of his father. He was elected 
county clerk in 1836 on what was called the state's rights ticket, and held 
the office for two years. After pursuing the necessary studies he was 
admitted to the bar of Oakland county November 27, 1838. After Mr. 
Draper's admission to practice law he 'remained in his father's office and 
practiced with him for many years. He was fortunate in having a large 
office experience, his father being a lawyer of long standing in Massa- 
chusetts. Mr. Draper was well versed in the preparation of legal papers, 
and after his commencement of practice in Oakland county the knowl- 
edge he had thus ac(|uired became extremely useful to hini. I think it 
can truly be said of him that there were few attorneys in Alichigan that 
excelled him in celerity of drafting or in the correctness of his legal 
papers. He was elected for several terms as prosecuting attorney of 
Oakland county, and always most satisfactorily performed the duties of 
the office. In 1868 Mr. Draper was elected to' the .senate of the state of 
Michigan, and held the office for one term. He was an intense partisan 
and had no sympathy for. or patience with, any jirinciples adverse to 
what he himself believed. During the Civil war, and for twenty years 
after, any person disagreeing with Mr. Draper's political views was a 
'copperhead,' but notwithstanding the intensity of his zeal upon political 
subjects he was a man of the most genial disp'osition. and in twenty min- 
utes all excitement would be over and the political feelings of the past for- 
gotten. He was a true and devoted friend, and I caii most cheerfully 
say, after over thirty years association with him in legal business, that a 
kindlier, more heljiful or more upright individual could not be "found. 


Excitalile and intense as he was in his convictions, there was nothing 
revengeful in his disposition, and if any person had any ill feelings on 
account of a remark that J\Ir. Draper made he was always ready to make 
the fullest acknowledgements. In the prime of his life Mr. Draper was 
a most excellent lawyer, and had an extensive practice. In 18S4 he was 
stricken with apoplexy, and was compelled to retire from business. He 
partially recovered, but on April 23, 1900, he died at Midland, being at 
the time one of the oldest lawyers in the state. Through all his eccentric- 
ities and the intensity of his political feelings, I do not believe that lie 
had a personal enemy. 

"George W. Wisner was born near Auburn, New York, in 181 2. 
Prior to 1835 he had been prominently connected with, and owned a 
half interest in the Nczv York Sun. He disposed of his interest, and in 
September of that year removed to Pontiac. Shortly after his arrival 
he commenced the study of law with William Draper. While in Pontiac 
he took an active interest in politics, and in 1837 he was elected to the 
legislature. After this he was admitted to the practice of law in 1839, 
and soon after formed a partnership with Alfred Treadway. Succeeding 
the partnership with Mr. Treadway a new one was formed with Moses 
Wisner and Rufus Hosmer, which continued until he removed to Detroit. 
In the fall of 1847, Mr. Wisner, in connection with others, purchased the 
Detroit Daily Advertiser, which he creditably managed until his death. 
He was an intense Whig, and never let an opportunity pass without giving 
his opponents a castigation. He was a fluent speaker, and indulged freely 
in sarcasm. In 1842 he was a candidate for congress in the Oakland 
county district extending to Mackinac, thence through the upper penin- 
sula ; after a severe and bitter contest Mr. Wisner was defeated. In the 
practice of his profession Mr. Wisner was very happy and pertinent in 
his remarks. On account of his tact he would carry the jury with him. 
On one occasion he was trying a man for setting fire to his own barn. 
Hon. Jacob M. Howard, then considered one of the ablest attorneys in 
Michigan, was the defendant's attorney. Mr. Howard attempted to show 
that the lire was the result of spontaneous combustion, and made an elo- 
quent appeal to the jury to sustain his theory. The case was one that 
caused much excitement. Mr. Wisner, in prosecuting the case, entered 
into it with all his professional zeal and in replying to Mr. Howard's 
theory of sjiontaneous combustion (the evidence showed that there were 
tracks around the stack where the fire originated, which was situated 
close to the barn ) Air. Wisner said : "Gentlemen of the jury, did you ever 
hear of a case where Providence came down to earth on a dark stormy 
night, put on a pair of old boots, sneaked around a straw stack and applied 
a match to the stack for the purpose of getting the insurance on the 
barn and its contents?" Stiffice to say the jury had not heard of such an 
occurrence, and when they retired to the jury room they promptly found 
the defendant guilty. 

"Mr. Wisner died in Detroit, in Se]:)tember, 1849, and was Ijuried in 
Pontiac. He was the father of Oscar F. Wisner and Henry C. Wisner, 
two prominent lawyers, the first in Saginaw, the latter in Detroit, and 
both now deceased. 

"Alfred H. Hanscom was born in Rochester. New York, and at an 


early period of his life came with his family to Macomb county, Michi- 
gan. He was educated in New York jjrior to his removal. From Ma- 
comb county he moved to Troy, in Oakland county, and was admitted to 
the bar in Pontiac in 1838. Few persons have been more gifted as 
speakers than was Mr. Hanscom, and it was said of him that he was one 
of the most eloquent advocates in the country. He was appointed pro- 
secuting attorney for Oakland county in 1850, and held the office for 
two years. He was elected a member of the Michigan house of repre- 
sentatives for 1842, and was re-elected for the session of 1845, of which 
house he was elected speaker. While ]\Ir. Hanscom was in practice in 
Pontiac, on account of his forensic ability and tact he was employed in all 
the most important criminal cases. He afterwards removed to Ontona- 
gon ; while there he made a visit to Pontiac and died on board the vessel 
as he was returning to his northern home. Mr. Hanscom was a member 
of the convention of 1850, which convention formed the present constitu- 
tion of Michigan. 

"Samuel G. Watson was admitted to the practice of law before he 
took up his residence in Pontiac. He was prosecuting attorney for a 
time. While in Pontiac he formed a partnership with James B. Hunt. 
He was an educated and prominent lawyer. He afterward removed to 
Detroit, entered into practice there, and subsequently died. 

"Henry C. Knight was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania. 
After his admission to the bar he came to Pontiac and entered into part- 
nership with Origen D. Richardson. He was a well educated man and 
well equipped in his profession. While in Pontiac he gave his whole at- 
tention to legal business, and he was a valuable accession to Mr. Rich- 
ardson's office. Subsequently he removed to Detroit, where he con- 
tinued his practice of law until his death. 

"James B. Hunt's father was a citizen of Westchester county, New 
York, and went to Demarara, South America to reside. During his resi- 
dence there he was married, and James B. Hunt, his second child, was 
born in that place. When he was four years old his father returned with 
him to New York. Mr. Hunt attended the academy at Fairfield, Herki- 
mer county, where he completed his classical studies and there he entered 
the office of Michael Hoffman to prepare himself for the practice of law. 
He was admitted as an attorney of the supreme court of New York, 
February 22, 1824, and as counselor in 1837. He was prosecuting attor- 
ney for the county of Herkimer for two terms. In 1835 he was in- 
spector general with the rank of colonel in the New York militia. In 
the summer of 1835, on account of a lung difficulty, Mr. Hunt was or- 
dered by his physician to go west, settle on a farm and work out of 
doors. He came to Michigan in that year and settled on the bank of 
Elizabeth lake, near Pontiac, Oakland county. In March, 1837, Mr. Hunt 
was appointed one of the commissioners of internal improvement by Gov- 
ernor Mason. As such commissioner he had charge of the construction 
of the Michigan Central railroad from Detroit to Ann Arbor; the con- 
struction of that portion of the Clinton and Kalamazoo canal from Mt. 
Clemens to Rochester, and other works of internal improvement. -After 
he was admitted to practice law in Oakland county he o])ened an office in 
Pontiac, and continued practice in that place until he was elected to con- 


gress in 1842. He remained in congress for four years, and in January, 
1848, he was appointed registrar of the land office at Sault Ste. Marie, 
which office he held until June, 1849. After that he returned to Pontiac, 
holding the office of circuit court commissioner of Oakland county until 
he removed to Washington, D. C, where he died in August, 1857. 

"Ransom R. Belding was born in Fabius, New York. He came to 
Michigan and taught district school for some time. His education was 
acquired principally from the common schools of Michigan and New 
York. In 1836 he entered the office of O. D. Richardson, of Pontiac, as 
a student of law. After studying the required period of three years he 
was admitted to practice in 1839. He was a diligent student, and became 
well versed in his profession. For some time he was clerk of the circuit 
court. In the fall of 1840 he was elected registrar of deeds for the 
county of Oakland, which office he held for four years. For a tinle, in 
1841 and 1842, Mr. Belding edited the Pontiac Jacksonian, a democratic 
newspaper, published ill Pontiac. He took a great interest in the cause 
of education and contributed many articles relative to the improvement of 
our schools. He had little or no taste for the practice of law, and devoted 
the most of his time to more congenial matters, notably politics. He died 
in 1846, in Birmingham, Oakland county. 

■'iMoses Wisner, in his day one of the most noted and promising law- 
yers of Oakland county, was born in Springport, Cayuga county, New 
York, June 3, 181 5. His education was acquired in the common schools 
of the country, such as they were in his boyhood days. He was brought 
up a farmer. In 1837 he left his native place, and migrated to Michigan. 
He soon purchased a piece of land in Lapeer county, and commenced 
clearing it for a home. The task was uncongenial, and he decided to 
abandon it and try his fortune in a different location. He came to Pon- 
tiac and entered his brother's office as a student of law. After his ad- 
mission to the bar Mr. Wisner first removed to the village of Lapeer, and 
was appointed prosecuting attorney by Governor Woolbridge. He 
remained in Lapeer but a short time and then returned to Pontiac, entered 
the firm of Wisner and Hosmer, and engaged in the active practice of the 
law. He devoted himself assiduously to his profession. It was only a 
short time before he was recognized as one of the rising lawyers of the 
country. His partner, Hosmer, was naturally indolent ; his brother George 
was deeply immersed in politics, and the real, hard labor of the office 
devolved upon Moses. The firm possessed, for that time, a fine library 
of books and to these Mr. Wisner gave much attention, preparing himself 
as much as his circumstances would admit for the trial of his cases. In 
his intercourse with his fellow lawyers he was fair and courteous, never 
treating them with coarse invective but as professional equals. He had 
great taste for farming and gardening, was an ardent lover of flowers, 
and during the latter years of his life he had a great profusion of them 
around his residence. On his homestead he planted a small forest of pine 
trees, which still remain after many long years, a monument of his ar- 
boreal tastes. Mr. Wisner during his professional career in Pontiac very 
regularly attended the terms of court in Genesee and Lapeer counties, 
and there was very rarely an important case in either of those counties in 
which he was not engaged. As an attorney he was popular and had a 


large clientage. He gave great care to the i)reparation of his cases for 
trial, and if his life had been spared, and he had continued in his pro- 
fession, very few would have excelled him as a trial lawyer. .Xfter Mr. 
W'isner came to Michigan he connected himself with the \\ hig party; 
and upon the formation of the Repul)lican party he joined that, and was 
quite ultra in his views relative to the (|uestions advocated by his associ- 
ates. In 1858 he was nominated for governor by the republican party, 
and was elected. He assumed the duties of his office, and performed them 
conscientiously and honorably, and. as was supposed, to the full satisfac- 
tion of the people. 

"John AIcKinney was elected state treasurer on the ticket with Mr. 
Wisner. At the time of his election there was not a doubt or sus]jicion 
of McKinney's honesty and integrity ; every one had the greatest respect 
for him. The treasurer of Michigan has the control of the state's 
moneys, and the governor could not at that time remove him unless he 
was impeached; nor can the governor himself handle, touch, or control, 
of his volition, one cent of that money. During ^McKinney's administra- 
tion rumors arose that matters were not all correct in his office. His 
friends could not believe that there was any dishonesty in his actions, and 
they attempted to combat the charges that were hinted against him. Mr. 
Wisner was among his friends, and believed him to be honest, and he 
said : 'McKinney is as honest a man as ever lived." Time passed and 
AIcKinney proved to be a defaulter. The time for the nominating of 
i860 approached. The Democratic papers all over the state were rife in 
their charges relative to McKinney's defalcation ; the Republicans could 
not in any way justify him. They saw and heard the statement Governor 
Wisner had made, that 'McKinney was as honest a man as ever lived,' 
and they were compelled to drop Governor Wisner. He had made as 
excellent an administration as any one of his party that preceded or suc- 
ceeded him ; but he was the victim of circumstances over which he had 
no control ; he had to .suffer for the acts of another. If there were blame, 
it must lie with the people who nominated and elected John McKinney; 
l)ut no blame can be attached to them for they believed him at the time, 
just as Governor Wisner had said. .After his retirement from the office, 
Mr. Wisner resumed the practice of his profession in Pontiac and con- 
tinued until the summer of 1862. Then he conceived the necessity of 
raising troops for the Civil war. The regiment was raised in the counties 
of Oakland, Lapeer and ]\Iacomb, and he was commissioned its colonel, 
September 8. 1862. The regiment was assembled at Pontiac, on the old 
fair ground in that city. It was comjiosed of as fine a body of men as 
could be found in the respective counties, and Mr. Wisner was untiring 
in his efforts to educate them in their military duties and make soldiers 
of them. .\t the time he lived about half a mile from the camp, and the 
.soldiers lived in their tents. Mr. Wisner to allay all feeling left home 
and took up his lodging in his tent with the soldiers. His regiment, the 
22d, was sent to Kentucky near Lexington, where Mr. Wisner was taken 
sick and died January 5, 1863. 

"The first circuit court held in Oakland county was begun on the igth 
day of June, 1826, almost six years after the first ojjening of the Oakland 
count)' court, lion. John liunt. of Detroit, was the first jiresiding cir- 


cuit judge; and that court lasted about four days. The next term of the 
court was the March term, 1828, and the Hon. Judge Chipman, of De- 
troit, circuit judge presided ; that court lasted one day. The third term 
held began on Monday the 6th day of October, 1828; Hon. William Wool- 
bridge, and Hon. Soloman Sibley, both of Detroit, circuit judges, jointly 
held that term of court which lasted two days. From that time, through 
Michigan's territorial existence, until 1839, the circuit court was held 
from time to time by circuit judges residing outside of Oakland county. 
The first legislature that convened after Michigan became a state passed 
an act dividing it into four judicial circuits, Oakland county being in- 
cluded in the fourth. The office of circuit judge was not filled until 1839; 
and there was considerable effort made among the various aspirants to 
obtain the position. The friends of Origen D. Richardson made much 
efifort to have him obtain the office, but they were not successful. After 
quite a warm contest Qovernor Mason decided to appoint Hon. Charles 
W. Whipple, of Detroit. The friends of Mr. Richardson had urged that 
the nominee should be taken from the judicial district, and this feeling 
was ciuite general among the profession ; but they yielded gracefully, and 
acorded Judge Whipple a kind reception. When he came here there had 
been a long vacation for the v/ant of a judge, resulting in a large docket ; 
and Judge Whipple held his first term of court in this circuit, in the fall 
of 1839. The circuit extended northerly to !\Iackinac county, and west- 
erly to and including Ionia county. 

"I have thus briefly sketched a fragmentary history of all the at- 
torneys practicing in Oakland county, prior to 1840. Nearly all of them 
were more or less intimately associated with its early history ; many of 
thein with that of the state, having not only a local reputation, but a state 

"Almost from the first organization of the territorial council, C)akland 
county was represented in that legislative body. In the various conven- 
tions relative to constitutions, Oakland county held important positions, 
and had its share of influence. It is well, therefore, that the names of 
the attorneys of Oakland county in its infantile days should be preserved. 
This particularly also applies to the counties older than Oakland, Wayne, 
Monroe and Macomb. They have had their influential men, whose names 
will soon pass into oblivion unless some person, or persons, assumes the 
labor to preserve, even in the slightest degree, their memory. 

"To write such a history is no easy task. A lawyer moves into a 
town or city, and practices his profession there for several years; he is 
an able and influential man ; he dies ; and how long do you suppose it 
takes for his name to be utterly forgotten? No person thinks of in- 
c|uiring into his family history, or his birthplace, or his early education ; 
and for any one to assume the duty a half a century later, with little data 
to aid him, and with few individuals living to whom he can apply for 
information is, I can assure you, no easy undertaking. 

"I cannot close these remarks without adverting to a few attorneys 
who came into Oakland county, between 1840 and 1845. 

"Sanford M. Green was admitted to the bar. and practiced in 
Rochester, New York. He came to Michigan, and first located in 
Owosso. He was elected to the state senate in 1842, and after the first 


session lie removed lo I^ontiae, and entered into partnership with Gover- 
nor Riehardson. In 1844 ar^aet was passed authorizing the revision of 
the statutes of Michigan, by a person to be appointed by the judges of 
the supreme court. Mr. Green, then a member of the senate, was selected 
by them to perform the duty, l-'rom the time of the adjournment of the 
legislature in 1844 Mr. Green labored assiduously in the performance of 
his task, re-writing the entire body of the laws of Michigan, and had his 
revision ready for submission to the legislature of 1846. In 1845 he was 
again elected to the senate. His revision was duly reported to the legisla- 
ture and after a thorough examination by the proper committees, and the 
house, it was passed by both houses, with only a few changes or amend- 
ments, and became the law of this state, known as Green's Revision, to 
take effect January i, 1847. Since that time there has been no revision 
of the laws of Michigan ; and that fact of itself, is the highest commenda- 
tion that could be given to Mr. Green's labors. Soon after this Mr. 
Green was elected circuit judge of the Oakland district and held the office 
in the Oakland, Genesee and l:!ay county districts until very recent years. 
His long judicial life, exceeding that of any other person, I believe, in 
the state, has caused Judge Green to be more generally known than any 
member of the bar. Some years ago Judge Green prepared a practice for 
the circuit courts of this state, wdiich has been in use for many years. As 
a legal worker he has been excelled by but few persons, and in his ripe 
old age, and after a long life of practical usefulness he passed away 
August 12, 1901, aged 94 years. 

"Hester L. Stevens was a practicing lawyer in Rochester. New York, 
for many years. In 1845 he changed his residence and located in Pon- 
tiac, opening an office there and commenced the practice of his profes- 
sion. Mr. Stevens was a man of great erudition both in law and general 
literature. He was a thorough practitioner, and an eloquent man. Upon 
his coming to Pontiac he at once obtained an excellent practice. His 
suavity and courteous manners made him many warm friends. In 1852 
Mr. Stevens was elected to congress from the Oakland district. While 
he v\'as in congress there was a Washington birthday celebration held at 
Mt. Vernon, and Mr. Stevens was selected as the orator for the occasion. 
At the end of his congressional term, Mr. Stevens decided to continue 
his legal practice in Washington, where he remained until his death in 

"Another person who has held a most proinincnt part in the legal i)ro- 
fession in Pontiac was ]\lichael E. Crofoot. He was born March 14, 
1822, in Montgomery county. New York. He was educated in the com- 
mon schools, and at Temple Hill Academy, at Geneseo, New- York. He 
began his study of law with Gen. H. L. Stevens, in Rochester, New York, 
in the spring of 1843, and after Gen. Stevens moved to Pontiac in the 
spring of 1845, 'i^ advised Mr. Crofoot to come to Pontiac which he did 
in the fall of 1845, and was admitted to the practice of law in the winter 
of 1846. In 1848 he was elected i)robate judge, and reelected in 1852, 
holding the office for eight years. In 1862 he was elected ])rosecuting 
attorney, and w-as re-elected in 1864, holding that office for four years. 
He took an active part in all educational matters: and in the building up, 


and improvement of the Oakland County Agricultural Society. He was 
active in having the Eastern Michigan Asylum for the Insane established 
at Pontiac, and was a member of the board of trustees for several years. 
As a trial lawyer, Mr. Crofoot was unexcelled. His practice was not 
only in the county of Oakland, but in the adjoining counties of Lapeer 
and Genesee. In his professional matters he was thorough, probing every 
question to the bottom. He was frank and generous, and in his personal 
friendships and attachments was warm and sincere. During the last years 
of his life he suffered most excruciatingly from rheumatic troubles which 
prostrated him, and rendered him incapable of transacting business. He 
finally succumbed to the disease, departing this life on the nth day of 
May, 1884, mourned and lamented by hosts of loving and appreciative 

"I have in the foregoing remarks attemjjted to give the names of all 
the attorneys resident iji Oakland county prior to 1840, and a brief 
synopsis of their professional career. In a paper of this nature more 
lengthy statement could not be expected. Some of them are entitled to 
a much fuller account than I have given, but it would require much more 
research than would be possible to embody in this paper. I have not in- 
dulged in a fulsome eulogy of any of them, but have given a plain recital 
of such facts as were necessary to place them fairly before their suc- 

"It is not claimed that they were men of superhuman powers, or of 
extraordinary mental faculties, but they were plain, sensible persons, de- 
voted to their professions; men of intelligence, and some of them of 
more than ordinary ability. They came into a land sparsely populated, 
knowing that it had a destiny for great improvement; and they were 
willing to suffer all the privations of pioneer life, believing that there was 
a bright prospect in the future ; hoping that that future would bear fruit 
which would fully compensate them for their privations and trials. They 
anticipated success, and many of them lived to see a full fruition of all 
their desires. 

"It was my fortune to come into this state, and the county of Oakland, 
on the I2th day of November, 1837, where I have since resided. In the 
fall of 1839 I was connected with the county clerk's office, and on Judge 
Whipple's holding his first term in the fall of that year, I was clerk of 
the court. Prior to that time I had an acquaintance with most of the 
lawyers in Pontiac, and at the first session of the court all the lawyers 
in the county were present. From that time onward I became more in- 
timate with them, and after an acquaintance of a quarter of a century, 
I believe they were as able, as learned, and as sober a body of men as the 
most of the counties can present. They were an honor to the county and 
their profession, and I am thankful that I have been permitted to present 
their names to this society, and have them enrolled upon its records, where 
they will remain so long as the society exists. Their deeds are part of 
the history of the state, and when some future historian attempts to 
write a detailed history of Michigan, the' acts of some of these men must 
therein have a permanent abiding place." 


CiiiiiF Justice ]\Ioouk"s I'icti-kks 

Cliief Justice Joseph II. Moure, a native of Coinnierce, where he was 
born November 3, 1845, was eckicated at Hillsdale College and in the law 
department of the Slate University, afterward became a leading lawyer 
of Lapeer (whither he moved in 1868), prosecuting attorney of the 
county and a prominent member of the state senate in 1879. He served 
as judge of the sixth judicial circuit for eight years and was elected 
justice of the state supreme court on the Republican ticket in the spring 
of 1895. On June 8, 1904, he delivered an address before the joint meet- 
ing of the Michigan State Judges Association and the ^Jichigan State 
Bar Association, and, as his narrative progresses, it is evident how well 
qualitied he is to speak of the early-time judges and lawyers who have 
given fame and dignity to the bench and bar of Oakland county. 

"In reply to a query put by me to a prominent member of the Ingham 
county bar." says Judge Moore, "I was informed that in the trial of cases 
in justice's court the interest of the parties litigant are now attended to 
by men who have been regularlv admitted to practice of the law. When 
my recollection of the trial of knvsuits first began the practice was very 
different. I then lived in southwestern Oakland county. The county was 
comparatively new. There was a disposition upon the part of the indi- 
vidual to assert his rights and to resent any interference therewith. 
Brawls and personal encounters were much more frequent than they are 
now and trials growing out of these occurrences, as well as civil cases be- 
fore justices of the peace, were very fre(|uent and attracted wide atten- 
tion. The interest of the respective parties were usually attended to by 
bright, clever men who were not, however, regularly trained in the law 
and who had not been admitted to practice and were frequently called 
pettifoggers. I remember one of these men with feelings of gratitude 
and respect. He was by occupation a harness-maker who lived in the 
village of Walled Lake. He had a serious lung trouble and was advised 
by his physicians to relin(|uish his trade and get out into the air and sun- 
light, if he hoped to live, tie was a i)right. (|uick-witted man. with an ex- 
cellent vocabulary, a musical voice and a clever way of putting things. 
He got together a few law books and devoted himself to them with 
assiduity. He bought himself a gun and a dog, tried what lawsuits he 
could get before the local magistrates in three or four townships and 
spent what time he could in the open air. He was afterward elected 
county clerk, was regularly admitted to the Oakland county bar and died 
after I became presiding judge of that circuit. He was a kind man, and 
while I was yet a boy at work in my father's saw-mill he suggested to nie 
to become a lawyer and placed at my disposal his little library of law- 
books. While working twelve hours a day. I read the tw-o volumes of 
Blackstone loaned me by James D. Bateman, for that was his name. 
There was great rivalry in the trial of cases before justices of the i)eace 
between Mr. Bateman living at Walled Lake, Mark .Arnold living at 
Farmington and l-'lias Woodman living in Xovi. Mr. Woodman was a 
man of considerable ])ro])erty who has served in the legislature of the 
state and was a member of the convention which framed the constitu- 
tion of 1850. His son Hamilton had an excellent record as a soldier in 


the War of the Rebellion, with the rank of captain. Mr. Woodman took 
a great deal of pride in referring to that fact and the fact that he was a 
soldier in the Mexican war; that his father was a soldier in the War of 
1812 and that his grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. 
Mr. Bateman thought Air. Woodman made an undue use of these facts 
in his arguments to juries and slightingly referred to the harness-maker, 
Mr. Bateman, who presumed to know something about the honorable 
profession of the law. 

"After reading Blackstone as stated, and attending llillsdale College 
a few terms, and teaching school three winters, I became deputy county 
clerk of Lapeer county and, as such, attended the sessions of court, mak- 
ing up the court journals, reading law as I could and familiarizing my- 
self with the pleadings which were filed and the court entries which were 
made. After a year or six months, as it then was in the law department 
of Michigan, I applied for admission to practice in the court over which 
Hon. Joseph Turner presided. Hon. William T. Mitchell of Port Huron, 
then in attendance upon court in Lapeer, was chairman of the committee 
who conducted the examinations and, much to my gratification, in Octo- 
ber, 1869, I was admitted to practice. When I contrast my preparation, 
or lack of preparation rather, for the practice of law, with the very rigid 
and searching examination to which the applicants are subjected by the 
State Board of Law Examiners, and the three years' course of nine 
months each now required by the law schools before a student can se- 
cure his diploma, I am reminded that an evolution has been going on in 
the law quite as marked as that in other callings. 

"At the time I applied for admission to the bar, Robert J. Taylor, a 
graduate of the literary department of the University of Michigan, was 
also admitted to practice. He was afterward elected prosecuting attorney 
and state senator, each of which offices he held for two terms, the duties 
of which he discharged with marked ability. He was a man of some 
means and preferred the peaceful avocation of growing fruits and the 
work of an apiarist to the contentions of the court-room, and for some 
years has not been in the active practice of his profession. 

"The practicing lawyers at that time in Lapeer county were Mr. 
Andrus, Egbert W. Cook ; Hon. William Hemingway, who had been a 
member of the Michigan legislature; Hon, Silas B. Gaskill, who was 
later circuit judge; Hon. William W. Stickney, who succeeded Judge 
Gaskill upon the circuit bench ; Phineas White, Hon, Jonathan R. White 
Harrison Geer, who was the junior member of the firm of Gaskill & 
Geer and whom you all know as the very successful and aljle trial lawyer 
now living in Detroit ; Calvin Thomas ; Stephen Thomas, the father of 
Calvin, now an honored i)rofessor in Columbia University ; and John AI. 
Wattles, who later established the bank still doing business as John M. 
Wattles & Company. These men have all gone into the life beyond, ex- 
cept Mr. Geer and Judge Stickney. Most of them were men of ability 
and character and did nuich to so shape events in that country as to 
make it one of the most intelligent and law-abiding in the state. 

"It is a singular and to me a gratifying circumstance that the chair- 
man of the examining committee before whom Senator Taylor and my- 
self appeared, the genial and learned Judge Mitchell of Port Huron, 

Vol. 1—12 


though now upward of eighty years of age, is yet in the active practice 
of his profession, and within the present year argued a case before the 
court, over which I have the honor to preside, with a degree of learning 
and energy which would have done credit to a much younger man. It 
is also a source of pleasure to know that the presiding judge, Josiah 
Turner, is still living and within a comparatively short time read a very 
interesting paper before the annual meeting of the State Association of 

"The judges who have presided over the circuit court for the county 
of Lapeer within mv recollection are Josiah Turner, fames S. Dewey, 
Levi B. Taft, Augustus C. Baldwin, Silas B. Gaskill, William W. Stick- 
ney, Joseph 13. ]\loore and George W. Smith. The list for the Oakland 
county circuit is the same as the above except that the name of Sanford 
M. Green should be substituted for Josiah Turner. All these gentlemen 
are dead except Josiah Turner, Williani W. Stickney, Joseph B. Moore 
and George W. Smith. 

"On Friday, May 20, 1904, the last session of the court was held in 
the Oakland county court house, ])revious to tearing it down to make way 
for a one hundred thousand dollar building which should be more in 
keei)ing with the growth and prosperity of that great county. As I had 
been presiding judge of that circuit for eight years, I was honored with 
an invitation to be present. The local paper reproduced the address 
which had been made by Hon. Michael E. Crofoot at the dedication of the 
building in Ma'rch, 1858. In that address it was stated that while nearly 
all the county was yet a wilderness such was the regard of the people for 
law and order they deemed it necessary to provide a building in which the 
law might be administered, and as early as 1820 Chief Justice Thompson 
and associate Justices Bagley and Bronson met in a court house Ijuilt of 
logs and where, because of the poverty of the people, those modern ajj- 
pendages, doors, floors and windows, were entirely lacking. 

"Judge Crofoot made a most masterly address, tracing the origin of 
our system of laws and insisting upon it that, in the adoption of the 
common law of Great Britain and in the organization of the government 
into three distinct departments, the executive, legislative and judicial, 
the fathers had formed a government which he described, namely pure 
democracy, where sovereign power was lodged in the aggregate assembly 
of all the free members of the community to be exercised in person ; 
second, aristocracies, where it is lodged in an assembly of delegates, and 
lastly in monarchies, where it is lodged in the hands of one whose will is 
law, with power to decree, design and execute. Judge Crofoot insisted 
then, what is equally true now. that no profession demands higher integ- 
rity, honor and uprightness than the legal profession ; that no position in 
society re(|uires higher moral and more thorough education, and no calling 
in life more honorable dealing. Tic insisted that the men of eminence in 
the legal profession are men of integrity who are not disposed to stir up 
law suits for trivial and imaginary wrongs, hut men who are inclined to 
dissuade from unnecessary litigation and to take only meritorious causes. 

"As I listened to the able and scholarly address of Hon. Aaron Perry, 
prior to adjourning court for the last time in the old court room, a flood 
of recollection came to me. My mind ran back fortv-seven years to the 


first time I ever saw the old building. In company with my father and 
mother who lived in the village of Commerce I, a mere boy, visited the 
then village, now the city of Pontiac. The workmen were employed in 
what seemed to me the hazardous occupation of putting in position the 
iron figures of four large American eagles with outspread wings, which 
were placed upon a tower arising from the center of the roof of the 

"It was stated by Mr. Perry that the active members of the Oakland 
county bar at the time of the dedication of the building were Thomas J. 
Drake ; William Draper, Morgan L. Drake, Moses Wisner, Randolph 
Manning, Augustus C. Baldwin, Charles Draper, A. B. Cudworth, Loren 
L. Treat, Michael E. Crofoot, Jacob Van Valkenburg and Junius Ten 
Eyck. It was my good fortune to know all of them except William 
Draper and Randolph Manning, the last of whom was a justice of the 
supreme court. For all these men the door on noiseless hinges has swung 
wide and ushered them into what we call eternal life. 

"Among the greatest lawyers I have ever known were ]\Ioses Wisner, 
Augustus C. Baldwin and Michael E. Crofoot. Had the last named lived 
in the metropolis of the state, he could have divided the honor which was 
held for so many years by the able and learned George V'an Ness Lothrop 
of being recognized as standing at the head of the legal profession of 
Michigan. Augustus C. Baldwin was a member of the legislature, a mem- 
ber of congress and circuit judge, and lived until a little more than a 
year ago. Moses Wisner, as you all know, was governor of the state and 
died while colonel of the Twenty-second Michigan Infantry. His hand- 
writing was of such a character as to be almost indecipherable. Judge 
A. H. Wilkinson of Detroit, an Oakland county boy who was admitted to 
practice in Pontiac, related an occurence which happened in the old court 
room. Thomas J. Drake who usually wore a silk hat, was a spare, thin 
man, very careful of his personal appearance. Morgan L. Drake cared 
little for dress, and one day when Thomas J. Drake came into the court 
room to present a motion to the judge and placed his silk hat bottom- 
side up on the table near Morgan L., he picked up an ink-stand and emp- 
tied its contents into the head covering. After completing his argument, 
Thomas J. Drake took up his hat and with a dignified air started to leave 
the room. Just before getting to the door he put his hat upon his head 
with the result you might expect and, while the ink was running over 
his face, he turned to the presiding judge and said T desire to solemnly 
protest against the effort of Moses Wisner to write his name in my hat.' 

"Upon the occasion of bidding farewell to the old court room it was 
recalled by Judge Jacokes that in the old room Horace Greelev had de- 
livered an address, and the citizens had from that rostrum heard the 
political issues of the day discussed by such eminent men as Schuyler S. 
Colfax, Thomas M. Hendricks, John C. Breckenridge and Cassius M. 

"It was also recalled that when figliting Dick Richardson, a favorite 
not only of Oakland county but of the commonwealth of Michigan, laid 
down his life that the nation might be saved, his body lay in state for 
three days in the old court room and was visited by thousands of people 
who had respected and loved him. It was also recalled that when the 


war was Ijrouglit near to its close by the surrender of tlie Confederate 
forces under Roijert I£. Lee^to General Ulysses S. (irant at A])])omattox, 
upon the evening of the day of the receipt of the news a light was ])laced 
behind each of the small panes of glass, and the building was brilliantly 
illuminated and congratulatory speeches were made to the many men 
and women present, some of whom had given their best beloved to their 
country, and all of whom rejoiced that the end of the war was in sight. 
It was stated by Judge Smith, the present presiding judge, that the last 
court business done in the building was to sign a decree of divorce, and it 
was estimated by the learned judge that twelve hundred couple had in 
that room received decrees that legally separated them ; while a procession 
of two thousand, made up of boys, men and a few women, criminal, had 
stood at the bar of the court and received sentence, while many thou- 
sands of civil cases had been decided. A striking commentary upon the 
part occupied by the courts in the life of a community. 

"I cannot do better in closing this discursive paper than to quote from 
Mr. Perry's address: "The sources of justice must be guarded and kept 
from ])ollution and the courts must be res])ected, dignified, honored and 
obeyed. When, if ever, our courts shall become corrupt, disresi^ected, 
dishonored and disobeyed, anarchy will have arrived and ruin will fol- 
low. It is a mere truism to say that the peaceful settlement of disputes is 
necessar}' to the perpetuity of any government. 

" 'But important as it is that courts should be furnished and preserved 
for the peaceful settlement of disputes, that is not the only important 
function they perform. The imporance of the educational functions of 
the courts of justice in connection with our jury system cannot be over- 
estimated or excessively magnified. This court and this court-house have 
constituted, for forty-six years, the greatest educational institution in 
the county of Oakland. During that time nearly five thousand jurvmen 
and many spectators from all parts of the country have sat and listened 
day after day to the exposition of the law ; the necessity of obeying it, and 
the inevitable penalties that must follow its breach. Not only that — they 
have listened day after day to the testimony of experts and other wit- 
nesses as to how things ought to be done. They have learned the wrong 
way and the right way. But still more important than all — those jury- 
men themselves have sat as judges between man and man and have 
learned to listen patiently to both sides, and not to decide or act until they 
have learned all the evidence on the question. They have been given 
judicial minds. That is the great safeguard to this commtmity and this 
republic. Men so educated do not act hastily. They do not act first and 
then think afterwards. They have learned to marshal facts, weigh argu- 
ments, reason logically, forstall conseqtiences and to respect and obev the 
law. Mob violence can not flourish in such a communitv. Maintain the 
purity of the judiciary, the present jury system, and the present efficiency 
of the public schools, and the re]niblic is safe.' " 

A.-xRox Perry's Contrirutiox 

On the ninth day of March, 1858, on the first day of a new term of 
court, the second court house was dedicated. .V grand jiu\v had on the 


previous day made its report, and tlie trial of the celebrated Tulley case 
was about to commence. The court, however, paused long enough to 
dedicate what was then regtirded as their magnificent new court house. 
The principal address on that occasion was made by that skilled e.\aminer 
and eloquent advocate, Michael E. Crofoot, then at or near the zenith of 
his fame. Extracts from the speech delivered at that time have already 
been given. 

Perhaps I cannot do better than to ([uote from my address delivered 
as a farewell to the court house of 185S, the words Ijeing spoken in 1904: 
"When we now contemplate this old building with its cracked walls and 
ceilings, its cramped and crowded offices and its dearth of modern conven- 
iences, we can hardly realize the genuine pride and satisfaction with 
which the bar of this county then regarded this newly completed build- 
ing. As we now look about us and are reminded of its numerous incon- 
veniences and its general unfitness and inadequacy and observe its long, 
crooked stove pipes and ancient, dilapidated and uncouth condition, we 
realize the fitness of the appellation given it by Captain Howard, when he 
recently dubbed it the 'Lime Kiln Club.' This court room certainly does 
have a striking resemljlance to the hall in which M. Quad's famous Lime 
Kiln Club held its nocturnal meetings. 

"Such thoughts, however, for those of us who have practiced here 
for over a quarter of a century, are quickly followed by memories that 
are akin to the pathetic. We are startled and rendered contemplative, 
when we recall that not a single lawyer who practiced at this bar when 
this building was first dedicated is now alive. Many months have passed 
since the last of them, our genial friend. Judge Ten Eyck, finally shut 
up his law books, closed his accounts and peacefully bid us an everlast- 
ing farewell. 

"There are memories and memories, and thoughts and thoughts — 
some of them 'that lie too deep for tears' — that linger around this old 
court room. We shall leave it with feelings that are akin to those that 
tinge with sadness the joy the head of a family feels when he leaves the 
old house for the new — the old house in which, in his more impression- 
able years, he has shared with his good wife, in the companionship of 
his family, so many joys and so many sorrows. 

"Old and out of date as this court house now is, it is a palace when 
compared with its predecessors. 

"The first settlement within the county of Oakland was made by 
James Graham in the present township of Avon in March, 1817. The 
next settlements were made at this city, in the fall of 181 8 under the 
auspices of the I'ontiac company, of which Stephen Mack was then the 

"John Jones, a pioneer of Bloomfield, is claimed to have cleared the 
primeval forest from the site of the present court house. He is recorded 
as having done it at the moderate wages of fifty cents per day. 

"The predecessor of this court held its first term of court in this city 
in an old log building which stood near the present Rose House, in the 
year 1820. Judge Crofoot said in his speech dedicating this building that 
that court house was without door, floor or chimney. 

"Soon thereafter, in 1823 or 1824, a new court house and jail com- 


bined were built on the lot where the present jail now stands. The first 
story was constructed of squared logs or timbers, surmounted with a 
framed second story. The tower story was used as a jail and the upper 
story as a court room. The prison cells were made of six inch oak ])lanks 
sawed by Almon Mack in his saw-mill at Rochester. The sheriff's home 
also adjoined the court room in Ihf u])iK'r story of that building, and 
those upper rooms were not finally coni])lctcd until about 1830, when the 
board of supervisors finally caused the court room to be graced with a 
modern 'up-to-date' finish of lath and plaster. 

"But even that palatial court Jiouse did not satisfy the progressive 
people of this county long. As early as 1835 the building was indicted 
by the grand jury, and the struggle for a new court house began. Efforts 
W'Cre made by the board of supervisors that year to get the legislative 
council of the territory to authorize a loan for that purpose. The author- 
ity for such loan was secured but the board of supervisors finally refused 
to negotiate the loan. The matter was before that board again in 1837. 
The board voted to submit the matter to a vote of the people in the fall 
of 1838, but nothing finally resulted from that effort. In April, 1844, 
the electors of the county voted down a proposition to raise $8,000 for 
a new court house. The matter was frequently before the board of 
supervisors after that. In the spring of 1852 a proposition to raise the 
necessary funds for a new court house was again voted down by the elec- 
tors of the county. In the spring of 1854 a similar proposition was again 
rejected by the people. But finally in the spring of 1856 the people by 
a vote of 2,277 to 744 authorized the building of the present court house 
During the year of 1856 the contract for the erection of this building 
was let to D. J. Pratt for $12,594. 

"In 1848 Solomon Close entered into a contract to erect a building 
for county officers for the sum of $937.50 and it was probably erected 
during that year. That was a long one story wooden building situated in 
front of where this building stands, with a roof sloping to the front, sur- 
mounted with a balustrade fifty-nine feet long on which were painted in 
large letters the words, 'Oakland County Offices.' That building was 
used for county offices until the present court house was completed. 

"In 1847-8 Solon B. Comstock built a new jail building for the county, 
for the sum of $5,539.51. That structure was replaced by the present 
very creditable jail building, only a few years ago. In 1874 the fire- 
proof vaults now in this court house, were constructed at an expense of 
about five thousand dollars. 

"The old court house was badly cared for. At the time this one was 
built the benches and tables were badly worn and had been carved in a 
disrespectful way by pioneer jack knives. The boys of the first genera- 
tion in this county seem to have had much more license in the use of their 
'Whittles,' as Burns calls them, than have the children of the i)resent day. 
Judge Crofoot speaks in his dedication address of the old court house 
as then 'tottering on its foundation' and as having 'both graced and dis- 
graced our county.' 

"On March 9. 1858, after the dedication ceremonies, a jury was im- 
panelled for the trial of the three Tulley boys on the charge of having 
murdered their father ; and the next eight davs were devoted to the 


trial of that famous case. Thomas J. Drake, Michael E. Crofoot and 
Moses Wisner appeared for the defendants. Charles Draper, then pro- 
secuting attorney, appeared for the people, and Sanford M. Green pre- 
sided as judge. All were learned in the law and skilled in its practice. 

"At that time the following attorneys constituted the members of the 
Oakland county bar in active practice : Thomas J. Drake, William Draper, 
Morgan L. Drake, Moses Wisner, Randolph Manning, Augustus C. Bald- 
win, Charles Draper, A. B. Cudworth, Loren L. Treat, .Michael E. Cro- 
foot, Jacob Van Valkinburg and Junius Ten Eyck. Not one of them is 
now living. 

"The judges who have presided over this court in this building are 
the following : Sanford M. Green, Joseph F. Copeland, James S. Dewey, 
Levi B. Taft, Augustus C. Baldwin, Silas B. Gaskill, William W. Stick- 
ney, Joseph B. Moore and George W. Smith. 

"All have been able judges and an honor to the bench. Three of 
them, Hon. W. W. Stiqkney, Hon. Joseph B. Moore and Hon. George W. 
Smith still survive. And we are grateful to Providence for having spared 
their lives and preserved their health. And we appreciate the compliment 
of their having honored us with their presence on this occasion and 
joined us in bidding farewell to this old building, filled with recollections 
and associations dear to them as well as to ourselves. 

"The tower, or cupola of this building, call it what you may, was for- 
merly ornamented with the iron figures of four large American eagles 
with spreading wings. And more or less of the spread eagle style has 
manifested itself in the building ever since. 

"During the last forty-six years this room has on many occasions re- 
sounded to the melodious cadences and fiery appeals of eloquent advo- 
cates, as well as to some speeches that have been dull and commonplace — 
to speeches that have fired the jurors with indignation or suffused their 
eyes with tears, and to some that have lulled their wearied minds to invol- 
untary slumber. 

"Once an old lawyer was giving advice to his son who was just enter- 
ing upon the practice of the father's profession. 'My son,' said the coun- 
selor, 'if you have a case where the law is clearly on your side, but jus- 
tice seems to be clearly against you, urge upon the jury the vast importance 
of sustaining the law. H, on the other hand, you are in doubt about the 
law, but your client's case is founded on justice, insist on the necessity 
of doing justice, though the heavens fall.' 'But,' answered the son, 'how 
shall I manage a case where both law and justice are dead against me?' 
'In that case,' replied the old man, 'talk round it !' 

"I fear there has been some talking round the subject in this court 
room. This room has heard many Irish bulls, much keen satire, s])arkling 
wit, quick retorts and ready repartee. But I am pleased that I can afiirm 
that exhibitions of uncontrolled temper, heartless abuse, pettyfogging 
tactics and sharp practices have been extremely rare. 

"Business in this court has vastly increased since 1848, both in the 
number and in the importance of the cases adjudicated. I also believe 
that there has been a corresponding increase in the gravity and resjionsi- 
bility felt by the attorneys practicing here. 

"In 1848 the cases in this court rarely involved more than a few hun- 


dred dollars, while now they frequently involve many thousands. Then 
there was but one railroad in tlie county. Instates were small and great 
enterprises, carried on by coj-porations or large aggregations of capital, 
were unknown, will contests and deed contests were rare, or involved 
only small amounts, and acciclent or negligence cases, which now form 
a large proportion of our litigation were almost unknown. 

"To successfully practice law now re(|uires much more general 
knowledge and a much wider examination of authorities than in those 
earlier days. Human affairs have become much more intricate and com- 
plicated. The increase in the number and size of incorporated cities and 
villages, the multiplication of machinery, the multifarious applications of 
steam and electricity, the increase in wealth and production, and the 
energy and strenuousness of the present age — all have rendered the prac- 
tice of law much more onerous and much more difficult. New points 
and new questions are arising more rapidly than they are being settled. 
Our supreme court dockets, as well as our circuit court dockets, are 
crowded and the multiplication of the decisions of the courts of last 
resort is almost appalling. 

'AVhen I began the practice of law in 1876 the 33d Michigan report 
was just out, while now we have 130 of them on our shelves and many 
more of them in the form of temporary pamphlet publications. 

"The pace at which we must now do business is set by the stenog- 
rapher, the typewriter, the telephone and the telegraph. It is little won- 
der that the courts now seek quickly to reach the merits of controversies, 
and do not listen patiently to technical objections, or permit attorneys, as 
in former years, to wrangle over the fine i)oints and abstruse subtleties of 
common law pleadings. 

"So much strenuousness. however, is extremely wearisome and wear- 
ing, and we sometimes feel as though we were being carried forward by 
a whirlwind; and, as the hart panteth after the waterbrooks we some- 
times long for the old days of indolence and leisure — when the lawver 
was permitted to whittle the court room tables, when the court woiild 
adjourn business to go fishing, and^when. after the regular day's work in 
court, all hands — court, lawyers, and jurymen — would adjourn to the vil- 
lage tavern, to play cards or sit with their feet on the table and smoke 
clay or corncob pipes and talk politics and spin yarns until bedtime. 

"Like quill pens, windlass pumps, oxcarts and corduroy roads, this 
courthouse has 'seen its day.' It has served its purpose, but now must go. 
We do not like to see it torn down, but it is in the way, and like other 
slow and antiquated things, it must not obstruct the road of modern prog- 

"Like public libraries, school liouses and churches, temples of justice 
should be among the finest Iniildings in any community. The sources of 
ju.stice nnist be guarded and kept from pollution and the courts must be 
respected, dignified, honored and obeyed. When, if ever, our courts shall 
become corrupt, disrespected, dishonored and disobeyed, anarchy will 
have arrived and ruin will follow. It is a mere truism to say that the 
peaceful settlement of disputes is necessary to the perpetuity of any gov- 

"But important as it is that courts should be furnished and preserved 


for the peaceful settlement of disputes, that is not the only important 
function they perform. The imporance of the educational function of 
courts of justice, in connection with our jury system, cannot be over- 
estimated or excessively magnified. This court and this courthouse have 
constituted, for forty-six years, the greatest educational institution in the 
county of Oakland. During that time nearly five thousand jurymen and 
many more spectators from all parts of this county have sat and listened 
day after day to the exposition of the law, fhe necessity of obeying it, 
and the inevitable penalties that must follow its breach. Not only that, 
but they have listened day after day to the testimony of experts and other 
witnesses as to how things ought to be done, and how they ought not 
to be done. They have learned the wrong way and the right way. But 
still more important than all that — those jurymen, themselves, have sat 
as judges between man and man, and have learned to listen patiently to 
both sides, and not to decide or act until they have heard all the evidence 
on the question. They Jiave been given judicial minds. That is the great 
safeguard to this community and to this republic. Men so educated do not 
act hastily. They do not act first and then think afterwards. They have 
learned to marshal facts, weigh arguments, reason logically, foretell con- 
sequences and to respect and obey the courts and the law. Mob violence 
cannot flourish in such a community. Maintain the purity of your judic- 
iary, your present jury system and the present efficiency of your public 
schools and the republic is safe. 

"Let us then not hesitate to bid farewell to this good old building, be- 
cause we must ; and let every vestige of it be removed, in order to make 
room for a still nobler and better one. But let us do it respectfully and 
reverently, feeling, as brick by brick shall be removed, that it has nobly 
fulfilled its purpose and that to tear down and destroy it, surrounded as 
it is with so many precious memories and associations, even for the pur- 
pose of making room for a better one, is a grave matter and one not 
lightly to be regarded." 



First Official Act — County Seat Fixed — Original Two Town- 
ships — Present Boundaries Established — Oakland County 
under the territory territorial legislative council legis- 
LATION Affecting Town and County — Township Government 
Established — First Supervisors' Meeting — Some Early Assess- 
ments — Circle of Townships Completed — Roster of County 
Officials — Assessments and Taxes — Population for Ninety 
Years — Incorporated Cities and Villages — The County Court 
Houses — Cost of County Building — Present Court House — The 
Oakland County HoMEf — County Superintendents of the Poor. 

Althougli Lewis Cass, governor of the territory of Michigan, pro- 
claimed the boundaries of the new county of Oai<land on the 12th of 
January, 1819, that section of southern Michigan cannot be said to have 
attained a real civil and political existence until its organization into 
townships and the inauguration of its board of supervisors, in 1827. The 
judiciary came into being before the civil machinery, and for that reason 
its development precedes the latter in the narrative which traces the 
historic growth of Oakland county. Up to that year the Indian treaties, 
territorial official acts and judicial proceedings are really applicable to 
unorganized communities so far as the control of civil authorities is con- 
cerned, and are chiefly of interest from the standpoint of the historian 
and the scholar. Hon. T. L Drake has so well condensed these prelimin- 
ary matters that we have mainly relied upon him for the statements which 

On the 2d day of December, 1795, General Anthony Wayne, on behalf 
of the United States, formed a treaty with the sachems, warriors and 
chiefs of the Wyandotte, Delaware, Shawanee, Ottawa, Chippewav, Pot- 
tawatamie, Aliami, Eel-River, Weas, Kickapoo, Prinkashaw and 
Kaskaskia tribes of Indians. By that treaty, generally known as the 
"treaty of Greenville," the United States had conceded to them the post 
at Detroit, and a strip of land included between the river Rosine (now 
known as the Raisin) on the south and lake St. Clair on the north, and a 
line, the general course of which was to be six miles from the west end 
of Lake Erie and the Detroit river. 

On the 17th of November, 1807. Cen. William Hull, then governor of 
the territory of Michigan, on the part of the United States held a treaty 



at Detroit with the sachems, chiefs and warriors of the Ottawa. Chippe- 
way, Wyandotte and Pottawatamie nations of Indians, at which treaty 
there was ceded to the United States all the land included in the follow- 
ing boundaries, beginning at the naouth of the Miami River of the Lakes 
(now known as the Maumee River), thence up the middle thereof to 
the mouth of the Great Au Glaize river, thence due north until it inter- 
sects a parallel of latitude, to be drawn from the outlet of Lake Huron, 
which forms the St. Clair river, thence running northeast the course that 
may be found, will lead in a direct line to White Rock, in Lake Huron, 
thence due east until it intersects the boundary line between the United 
States and Upper Canada, thence southerly following said line down said 
lake, through River St. Clair, Lake St. Clair and the River Detroit, to a 
point due east of the mouth of the aforesaid Miami river, thence west to 
the place of beginning. 

It is presumed by this treaty that the land now included in the county 
of Oakland was ceded' to the United States. 

First OFFicr.\L Act 

The first official act relating to the county of Oakland, oi which any 
record can be found, is an executive proclamation by Hon. Lewis Cass, 
then governor of the territory of Michigan, bears date the 12th day of 
January, 1819, and reads as follows: 

"Whereas, a petition has been presented to me signed by a number of 
the citizens of the said Territory, requesting that the boundaries of a 
new county and the seat of Justice thereof may be established by an Act 
of the Executive, which shall not take effect until the arrival of a period 
when its population require such measure. 

"Now, therefore, believing that a compliance with the request will 
have a tendency to increase the population of such parts of the territory 
as may be included within these boundaries, and prevent those difficulties 
which sometimes arise from the establishment of counties where the 
settlements are formed, and conflicting opinions and interests are to be 

"I do, by virtue of these presents, and in conformity with the provis- 
ion of the Ordinance of Congress, of July 13th, 1787, lay out that part 
of the said territory included within the said boundaries, viz : beginning 
at the southeast corner of township one, north range eleven east north of 
the Base Line, thence north to the southeast corner of township six in 
said range, thence west to the Indian boundary line, thence south to the 
Base Line, thence east to the beginning, into a new county to be called 
the county of Oakland. And I hereby appoint John L. Leib, Chas. 
Larned, Phillip La Cuer, John Whipple and Thomas Rowland, Esquires, 
Commissioners, for the purpose of examining the said County and of 
reporting to me the most eligible site for the seat of Justice, of said 
county: To take effect from and after the 31st of December, 1822." 

On the 5th day of November, 1818, the "Pontiac Company" was or- 
ganized for the purpose of purchasing lands upon the Huron river (then 
so called ) of St. Clair, and laying out thereon a town. 

The company consisted of William Woodbridge, Stephen Mack, 


Solomon Sibk'v, Jolm ],. Whiting. Austin 1{. Wing, David C. McKinstry, 
Benjamin Slcad, Henry 1. Hunt, Aljraliam Edwards, Alex. Macomb, 
Archibald Darraugh, and A. (T. Whitney of Detroit, and William Thomp- 
son, Daniel LeRoy and James 1-ulton, of Macomb. 

County Seat I-'ixkd 

On the I2th of February, iSiQ. a letter was addressed to the commis- 
sioners appointed to examine the county and report the most eligible place 
for the seat of justice, making overtures on the part of the company, to 
give to the county certain lots of land and some money, if the seat of 
justice should be established at Pontiac. 

On the 15th of December, 1819, a road was laid out and established 
from the city of Detroit to the village of Pontiac. 

On the 28th day of March, 1820, the governor, Lewis Cass, by pro- 
clamation limited and determined the proclamation of the 12th of Jan- 
uary, 1819, and declared the inhabitants of the county of Oakland, en- 
titled to all the privileges to which the inhabitants of other counties were 
entitled; and by the same proclamation, the seat of justice w'as estab- 
lished at Pontiac. 


On the 28th of June, 1820, the governor by proclamation, divided the 
county of Oakland into two townships called Oakland and Bloomfield. 

On the 17th of July, 1820, a county court assembled at Pontiac. 
William Thompson, Esq., had been appointed chief justice, and Daniel 
Bronson and Amasa Bagley, associate justices. \\'illiam Alorris had been 
appointed sheriff of the county, and Sidney Dole clerk. On that day, a 
grand jury was organized, consisting of Elijah Willett, Ziba Swan, John 
Hamilton, Elisha Hunter, William Thurber, Ezra Baldwin, Asa Castle, 
Elijah S. Fish, Alpheus Williams, Oliver Williams. Alex. Galloway, H. O. 
Bronson, Nathan L Fowler, Josiah Goddard, James Graham, Enoch 
Hotchkiss, and Calvin Hotchkiss. Spencer Coleman and Daniel LeRoy 
were admitted to practice, as attorneys. 

Of the men who participated in the proceedings of that day, but few 

At an early day, commissioners were appointed by the governor. 
Ziba Swan, Enoch Hotchkiss and Jonathan Perrin were appointed and 
remained in that office until the 31st day of December, 1825, at which 
time the term of office of the justice of the county court, judge of pro- 
bate, county clerk, county registers, treasurers, sherii^'s, justices of the 
peace and clerk of the supreme court were made to expire by an act of 
the legislative council approved March 30, 1825. 

Prksent Bouxd.\kii:s E.<t.\blt.siii;d 

On the 20th day of September, 1822, a proclamation was issued by 
the governor, altering and defining the boundaries of counties and es- 
tablishing new ones. By that proclamation the boundaries of Oakland 
were established as they are now. 


William Thompson was appointed judge of probate; and the first 
probate court was held at the house of David Stannard, in Bloomfield, 
on the 15th day of June. 1822. Application was made for letters of ad- 
ministration upon the estate of Eliphalet Harding. 

Oakland County Under the Territory 

During the time we were under a territorial government the office of 
judge of probate was successively held by William Thompson. Nathaniel 
Millard, Smith Weeks, Gideon O. Whittemore. William F. Moseley, 
Ogden Clark and Stephen Reeves. Sidney Dole was the first county 
clerk, first register of probate and clerk of the Board of County Com- 
missioners, and one of the first justices of the peace. The first case 
which was brought before him as a justice of the peace, and it is pre- 
sumed to be the first brought before any justice of the peace in the 
county, was that of Thomas Knapp against Ezra Baldwin. The sum- 
mons was issued on the 15th of June, and the judgment rendered on the 
2ist day of August, 1820. 

Mr. Dole was a cautious man: He usually carried the papers of each 
case in his hat from the commencement to the termination, and after 
hearing the evidence, seldom rendered judgment until he had consulted 
the authorities in Detroit. Few men enjoyed a higher degree of public 
favor than did he. In connection with Mr. Moseley, Mr. Dole represented 
the county of Oakland in the second legislative council. He died at his 
residence in this village on Sunday morning the 20th of July, 1828. 

"In the beginning of our territorial existence and up to the 7th of 
June, 1824," says Judge Drake, "whatever of legislation we had, was by 
the governor and judge, or by the governor in the form of a proclama- 
tion. I'.y the acts of congress, the governor and judges had power to 
adopt such laws or parts of laws from the states of the Union as they 
might deem applicable to the territory. But they had no power to orig- 
inate any law, and at this day it is difficult to find any warrant for many 
things which the governor and judges did, in the way of law-making; 
and the executive proclamations organizing counties, and again altering 
their boundaries and establishing seats of justice, though they tended to 
the public good, were wholly without authority. 

Territorial Legisl.vtive Council 

"On the 7th of June, 1824, a legislative council convened at Detroit, 
consisting of nine members. The mode by which they were selected, 
may not be known to you all. An act of congress authorized an elec- 
tion to be held in the territory for members of the council. The people 
voted for whom they pleased, and the result at the various polls was certi- 
fied to the secretary of the territory : A board of canvassers then ascer- 
tained the number of votes given for each person. The names of eighteen 
persons having the highest number of votes were certified to the presi- 
dent, and from that list he selected nine persons and nominated them to 
the senate. After their confirmation they were commissioner members 
of the legislative council, and held their office for two years. The ses- 
sions of the council were limited to sixty days in each year." 


Before the election of members of the second council arrived, the 
law of congress was amended, the territory was divided into districts, 
the number was increased from eighteen to twenty-six, and the ])resident 
nominated thirteen persons. 

Again, before the election of members of the third council, the law 
of congress was amended. The people in the several districts elected the 
number of members apportioned to the district, and the result certified 
by the district canvassers, entitled the member to his scat. Therefore the 
president was relieved from the burthen of selecting and commissioning 
the members, and the election given directly to the people, which mode 
continued until the establishment of the state government. 

In the first council, two of its members. Col. Stephen Mack and the 
Hon. Roger Sprague, were citizens of the county of Oakland. At tl>e 
election of the members of the second council, the county formed a dis- 
trict and Sidney Dole and William F. ^loseley, were selected by the 
president, they having received the greatest numl)er of votes, to repre- 
sent this county.\tion Afff.ctixc; Township .\nd County 

On the 2 1 St of April, 1825, an act was passed by the legislative council, 
authorizing the election of county commissioner, county treasurer, con- 
stable and coroner. At the first election under this act, William Thomp- 
son was elected treasurer; Stephen Reeves, William Burbank and Arthur 
Power were elected county commissioners. 

In that year an assessment was made by William Morris, sheriff and 
S. V. R. Trowbridge, from which it appears there were at that time 78,900 
acres of land taxable within the jurisdiction of the county, more than 
2,500 acres lay out of the limits of the county. In the villages of Auburn 
and Pontiac there were 46 lots taxed to individuals. To the Pontiac Com- 
pany there were taxed 186 lots valued at $11,000. There were in the 
county 282 houses, 47 barns, 2,621 acres of improved lands. Major Oliver 
Williams, Col. Stephen Mack and John Sheldon, had each sixty acres ; 
no other person exceeded fifty. 

On the 30th of March, 1827, an act was passed, authorizing the elec- 
tion of supervisors and other town officers. 

On the 1 2th of April, 1827. an act was passed establishing the towns 
of Oakland. Troy, Bloomfield. Farmington and Pontiac. 

Township Go\'icrxiii-:nt Fst.\hi.i.shed 

On the last Monday in May, 1827, elections were held in the several 
townshijjs, and town officers elected. Then a new era was inaugurated 
— township governments were established : the board of county commis- 
sioners was abolished, and that of su])ervisors was established, and from 
that time the finances of the county came under the immccliate control of 
officers selected and chosen from the several towns. 

As stated, on the 30th of March, 1827, an act of the territorial coun- 
cil jjrovided for the election in each township of a supervisor and other 
township officers ; and on the same day another act of the council w'as 


approved providing for the meeting of the supervisors of the several 
townships at the county seat annually, on the third Mondays of January, 
April, July and October, and at such other times as they should find con- 
venient, but not exceeding eight days in any one year. They were em- 
powered to appoint their own clerk, and on the 12th of April following 
they formally abolished the board of county commissioners and vested 
the power thereof in the board of supervisors. 

First Supervisors' Meeting 

The first meeting of the board of supervisors of Oakland county was 
held at the old log court house, at Pontiac, which had been erected in 
1824, on the third Monday and Tuesday in July, 1827. The following 
were present : Roger Sprague, Oakland township ; S. V. R. Trowbridge, 
Troy; Lemuel Castle, Bloomfield; Amos Mead, Farmington, and Jacob 
N. Voorheis, Pontiac. vMr. Sprague was chosen chairman and Joseph 
Morrison, clerk. 

County Commissioners .\nd Supervisors 

Under the territorial law three commissioners were appointed by the 
governor to transact the necessary county business, which law continued 
in force until 1825, when the office became elective and was thus until 
1827, when, as stated, it was abolished by the board of township super- 
visors established in its place. In 1839 the board of supervisors for the 
county was abolished, the supervisors continued as township officers, and a 
board' of county commissioners again established, which was in force until 
1842, when it was again displaced by a board of supervisors. 

Some E.xrly .A.ssessments 

At the October meeting, held on the 15th of the month, a per diem of 
one dollar was fixed as the full compensation for the services of all town- 
ship officers not otherwise provided for. The amount raised for county 
purposes was $1,940.69, the total assessment therefore being $388,138, 
by townships as follows: Pontiac, $123,328; Bloomfield, $72,254; Troy, 
$68,680 ; Oakland, $77,466 ; Farmington, $47,410. The taxes were all col- 
lected with the e.xception of $211.89 o" non-resident lands and $6 delin- 
quent personal ta.x — a pretty good record, and one which would hardly 
be made (that is, taxes collected in proportion to the assessments) in 
these days. 

The assessments and taxes (the latter divided into county and town) 
for 1828 were as follows : 

Town Assessment Tax 

Pontiac $106,377 $ 447.24 

Bloomfield 59.368 299.84 

Troy 63,190 223.04 

Oakland 66,074 293.07 

Farmington 44,000 168.53 

Total $339,009 $1,431.72 


The property assessed in 1828 consisted of horses and cattle of one 
year old and upward, wagon^, carts, clocks and watches, all assessed at 
their actual value. Notes, bonds, money and stock in trade were all as- 
sessed similarly and indebtedness was deducted therefrom. 

At the March session, 1830, the following, called by the officials "a 
moderate cash valuation," was fixed by the board as the rates of assess- 
ment for that year: Stallions kept for stock purposes, $150; other horses 
(first, second and third rate), $75, $40 and $20 respectively; oxen for the 
same rates, $50, $40 and $30 per yoke; cows, same grades, $16, $12 and 
$8; hogs, over one year old, $1.50; sheep not valued. 

In March, 183 1, the job of completing the courthouse was let to John 
\\'. Hunter and G. O. W'hittemore ; and at the same meeting in 1833 the 
balance was paid to the contractors and the work accepted. 

At the October session of 183 1, Southfield township was first repre- 
sented on the board, Henry S. Babcock being the supervisor. At the 
March meeting. 1832, Gardner D. Williams, supervisor of Sagana town- 
ship (Saginaw county) appeared, and at the October session of 1833 
the following newly organized townships were represented by their first 
supervisors: Royal Oak, Major Curtis; Novi, Samuel Hungerford; 
Grand Blanc (Genesee county), Norman Davison. 

The townships of 1833 showed up thus financially: Novi was assessed 
at $85,941, and yielded $526.22 in taxes; Royal Oak, $28,966 and 
$191.55 respectively, and Grand Blanc, $22,906 and $229.06. 

Four new townships were represented in October, 1834 — Commerce, 
by Harvey Dodge; West Bloomfield, by Terrel Benjamin; Lyon, by Wil- 
liam Dutcher; and Mia (Lapeer county), by Oliver Bristol. At this 
meeting, also, the bounty of five dollars for wolf scalps was repealed, and 
one of three dollars, in conjunction with the state bounty of ten dollars, 
offered. During the preceding seven years (since 1827) about three 
himdred and seventy wolves had been killed in Oakland county. 

The three Oakland county townships were assessed and taxed as fol- 
lows: West Bloomfield, $40,971 and $226.44; Lyon. $34,364 and $247.11; 
Commerce, $16,436 and $90.49. 

The six new townships of 1835 yielded the following, as to assess- 
ment of property and taxes: Avon. $89,209 and $516.87: W'aterford, 
$36,058 and $184.53; Highland, $23,238 and $149.99; Milford. $22,034 
and $157.37; Orion. $21,530 and $125.91 ; Groveland. $10,089 and $63.05. 

In October, 1835. the new township of Waterford sent Isaac I. Voor- 
heis as a member of the board of supervisors (he had represented Pon- 
tiac on the preceding board) ; Milford. Abel Peck; Highland. R. Tenny ; 
Avon, William Price ; Groveland. Nathan Herrick ; and Orion. Jesse 
Decker. In the following year only one township was created — \\'hite 
Lake, with Alexander Galloway as supervisor. 

The six new towns which were created in 1836 bore the following 
proportion of assessment and taxes : .-Vddison. $59,063 and $354.55 ; Bran- 
don, $43,666 and $230.68; Oxford, $62,509 and $354.55; Independence, 
$73.n8 and $379.16; Rose, $63,727 and $385.51 ; "Springfield, $73.4:^7 
and $432.27. 

In 1837 Addison township elected Lyman I'oughton as its first super- 
visor; Brandon. G. P. Thurston: Independence. J. Clark, and Rose town- 


ship, J- A. W'andle. Oxford and Springfield paid taxes tiiat year, but 
were not represented at the October meeting of the board of supervisors. 


At the October meeting of 1838, Holly came into and completed the 
circle of townships, with J. T. Allen as her first supervisor. Her prop- 
erty was assessed at $66,634; taxes. $406.56. But the legislature of the 
state did not seem to take kindly to the system of township and county 
government and in the year named changed it from a board of super- 
visors to a body of county commissioners. On the 7th of January, 1839, 
Isaac I. Voorheis, George Brownell and William M. Axford were sworn 
in as the first three commissioners, with Mr. Voorheis as chairman. At 
this meeting they elected the first county superintendents of the poor — 
William Price, Harvey Seeley and Friend Belding — and abolished the 
distinction between county and township poor. 

The dates of the organization of the various townships of the county 
are given in the state census report of 1874 as follows: 

Addison 1837 Oakland 1827 

Avon 1835 Orion 1835 

Bloomfield 1827 Oxford 1837 

Brandon 1837 Pontiac 1827 

Commerce 1834 Rose 1837 

Farmington 1827 Royal Oak 1832 

Groveland 1835 Southfield 1830 

Highland 1835 Springfield 1836 

Holly 1838 Troy 1827 

Independence 1836 Waterford 1834 

Lyon 1834 West Bloomfield 1833 

]\iilford 1834 \Miite Lake 1836 

Novi 183 


*RosTER OF County Officials 

From this time on, the civil government of Oakland county developed 
along the usual lines, and is largely a matter of dry records which are 
open to every citizen. The roster of countv officials is given, as follows : 
County clerks — Sidney Dole, 1820 to January i, 1827; Elias Comstock, 
1827 to January i, 1837; Horatio N. Howard, 1835 to January i, 1837; 
Charles Draper, 1837 to January i, 1839; Pierce Patrick, 1839 to J^"" 
uary I, 1843; Joseph R. Bowman, 1843 to January i, 1849; John T. 
Raynor, 1849 to January i, 1853; Alfred Treadway, 1853 to January i, 
1855; Edward W. Peck, 1855 to January i, 1859; Charles V. Babcock, 
1859 to January i, 1861 ; Zepheniah B. Knight, 1861 to January i, 1863; 
Phillip M. Parker, 1863 to January i, 1863: James D. Bateman, 1865 to 
January i, 1867; John Fitzpatrick, 1873 to January i, 1875; Theodorus 
W. Lockwood, 1875 to January i, 1877; Daniel L. Davis, 1877 to Jan- 
uary I, 1881 ; Mark Walter, 1881 to Januai-y i, 1883; Charles M. Fay, 

* For prosecuting attorneys see Chapter IX. 

Vol. 1—13 


1883 to January i, 1887; Charles P. Grow, 1887 to January i, 1891 ; 
Frederick Wieland, 1891 to January 1, 1895; Frederick Harris, 1895 to 
January i. 1899; George A. ih-ovvn, 1899 to January 24, 1910 (resigned) ; 
Floyd B. Backcock, 1910 to date. 

Registers of deeds — Sidney Dcile, 1820 to January i, 1827; Thomas J. 
Drake, 1827 to January i, 1831 ; Walter Spiaguc, 1831 to January i, 
1835; Francis Darrow, 1835 to January i. 1837; Morgan L. Drake, 1837 
to January I, 1839; Ransom R. Belding, 1830 to January i, 1843 ; Thomas 
J. Hunt. 1843 to January i, 1847; E. H. Budington, 1847 to January i, 
1851 ; Theron A. J"lower, 1851 to January i, 1853: Robert \V. Davis, 
1853 to January i, 1857; Joel P. Toms. 1857 to January i, 1859; Charles 
A. Howard, 1859 to January i, 1861 ; Daniel A. Button. 1861 to January 
I, 1869; Robert W. Davis, 1869 to January i, 1871 ; Thaddeus A. Smith, 
1875 to January i, 1877; James H. Harger, 1877 ^'^ January i, 1881 ; 
Ludovic R. Cole, 1881 to January i. 1885; Daniel Alorrison, 1885 to Jan- 
uary I, 1889; Melvin D. Sly, 1889 to January i, 1891 ; Gleason F. Perry, 
1891 to January i, 1895; William T. Mathews, 1895 to January i, 1899; 
Albert G. Griggs, 1899 to January i, 1903; George F. Brondige, 1903 to 
January i, 1906; Charles H. Glaspie, 1906 to January i, 1909; Harry S. 
Gardner, 1909 to date. 

Couiitv treasurers — \\'illiani Thompson, 1S25 to January i, 1829; 
Samuel Saterlee, 1829 to January i, 1835; James A. Weeks, 1835 to Jan- 
uary I, 1837; John P. LeRoy, 1837 to January i, 1839; Horace C. Thur- 
ber, 1839 to January i, 1843; Bernard C. Whittemore, 1843 to January i, 
1845; William C. Henderson, 1845 to January i, 1849; Jacob Hendrick- 
son, 1849 to January i, 1851 ; Samuel E. Ijeach, 1851 to January i, 1857; 
Harry C. Andrews, 1857 to January i. 1861 ; Erasmus E. Sherwood. 1861 
to January i, 1863; Robert Yerkes, 1863 to January i, 1865; Charles C. 
Waldo, 1865 to January i, 1867; Lysander Woodward. 1867 to January 
I, 1871 ; Hiram Voorheis, 1871 to January i. 1873; Albert B. Simpson, 
1873 to January i, 1877; Alanson Partridge, 1877 to January i, 1881 ; 
Erasmus E. Sherwood, 1881 to January i. 1885; John Allen Bigelow, 
1885 to January i, 1889; George Killam, 1889 to January i, 1893; James 
S. Gray, 1893 to January i, 1895; H. Frank .Stone, 1895 to January i, 
1899; James L. Hogle, 1899 to January i, 1903; Judson L. Sibley, 1903 
to January I, 1907; John Power, 1907 to January i, 1910; George B. 
Richardson, 1910 to date. 

Sheriffs — William Morris, 1820 to January i, 1828; Schuyler Hodges, 
1828 to January i, 1829; Hervey Parke, 1829 to January i, 1832; Orisen 
Allen, 1832 to January i, 1837; Caleb Buckman, 1837 to January i. 1841 ; 
Warren Hunt, 1841 to January i, 1845: Edward Martin, 1845 to January 
I, 1849; Moses G. Spear. 1849 to January i, 1853; ,\rthur Davis, 1853 
to Jaiuiary i, 1857; Clark Beardsley. 1857 to January i. 1861 ; Austin N. 
Kimmis. 1861 to January 1, 1865; Samuel K. Beach. 1863 to January r, 
1869; William Satterlee. 18^9 to January i. 1871 ; Edwin S. Harger, 1871 
to January i, 1873; .\hizah J. Wixom. 1873 to January i. 1875; Edwin 
S. Harger, 1875 to January i, 1877: Lovett W. Stanton, 1877 to January 
I, 1881 ; Hiram L. Lewis, 1881 to January i. 1885; Christopher S. \'oor- 
heis, 1885 to January 1, 1887; .Salmon .S. Matthews, 1887 to January i. 
1889; AL'irtin W. lU'oomburg. 1889 to January I, 1893; Hiram Killuni, 


1893 to lanuary i. 1895; John K. Judd, 1895 to January i, 1899; Richard 
D. Belt," 1899 to January i, 1901 ; William A. Brewster, 1901 to Jan- 
uary I, 1905; George Greer, 1905 to January i, 1909; Chauncey A. Har- 
ris, 1909 to January i, 191 1 ; Arthur J. Tripp, present incumbent (1912.) 

Coroners— This office was filled by appointment until October, 1825, 
when it became elective. The records show the following incumbents : S. 
V. R. Trowbridge and Joseph Alorrison, 1829; S. V. R. Trowbridge, 1832; 
Pierre Patrick, 1835 ; Leonard Weed and Orange Foote, 1836 ; William 
Terry and Nathan Herrick, 1838; Nathaniel A. Baldwin and Benjamin 
Marcer, 1840; Daniel V. Bissell and John Vincent, 1842; Jonathan T. 
Allen, 1844; Jonathan T. Allen and Jacob Loop, 1846; Bela Coggeshall 
and William R. Marsh, 1848; Elias S. Woodman and Bela Coggeshall, 
1850; Archibald Waterbury and Everett Wendell, 1852; Ziba Swan and 
Harrison Smith, 1854; Charles V. Babcock and Benjamin V. Redfield, 
1856; Francis B. Oweij and Hosea B. Richardson, 1858; Hosea B. Rich- 
ardson and Zuriel Curtis, i860; Stephen Reeves and Cory don E. Fay, 
1862; Orrin E. Bell and Abram Miller, 1864; Archibald H. Green and 
Orange Culver, 1866; Curtis Babcock and John Campbell, 1868; David A. 
Wright and Carlo Glazier, 1870; Ira Goodrich and John Highfield, 1872; 
George P. Hungerford and George E. Proper, 1874; George P. Hunger- 
ford and David A. Wright, 1876; John Lacy and Alexander H. Culver, 
1878; George D. Cowdin and John Highfield, 1880 ; George Niles and 
Carnot N. Northrop, 1882; Andrew J. Culver and Allen P. Wright, 1884; 
Andrew J. Culver and George Niles, 1886; Andrew J. Culver and Joseph 
W. Seeley, 1888; John Lessiter and Nathan J. Smith, 1890; Elbert J. 
Kelly and John Lessiter, 1892 ; Chauncey Brace and Charles D. Howard, 
1894; Chauncey Brace and Elbert J. Kellogg, 1896; Chauncey Brace and 
Mason N. Leonard, 1898; Chauncey Brace and Clark J. Sutherland, 1900; 
Ora C. Farmer and John W. Fox, 1902; Ora C. Farmer and Chauncey 
Brace, 1908, present incumbents (1912). 

County surveyors — Previous to the organization of the county, the ter- 
ritorial surveyors had run it into townships. Colonel Wampler, Flervey 
Parke and Horatio Ball had been the most prominent who worked in Oak- 
land county, and their labors have already been noted. Mr. Ball surveyed 
the road from Detroit to Pontiac and marked the "royal oak" with the 
letter "H." The bulk of Captain Parke's work was accomplished in 1821- 
9, as is evident from his interesting personal narrative, published else- 

John .!\Iullet was the first district surveyor and appointed Captain 
Parke his deputy in 1822. The surveying was in charge of district sur- 
veyors until 1833, when a county surveyor was elected. Calvin C. Parks 
held the office in 1833-4, and Captain Parke was elected in the following 
year; then came John Southard, in 1837-8; Captain Parke again in 1839- 
40, and Mr. Southard in 184 1-2. Since 1842 the county surveyors regu- 
larly elected have been as follows: Hiram Barritt, 1843; Algernon Merri- 
weather, 1845 ^"d 1847; Sloane Cooley, 1849; Jo'i" Southard, 1851 ; 
Carlos Harmon, 1853; Henry Nicholson, 1855; Hervey Parke, 1857; 
Reuben Russell, 1859; Hervey Parke, 1861 ; Sloane Cooley, 1863: Elias 
C. Martin, 1865; Reuben Russell, 1867; Horatio Merryweather. 1869; 
Julian Bishop, 1875 and 1877; Hiram Terry, 1878; Ouincy A. Thonins, 


1880; Joseph Rcnnier, 1882; Sloane Cooley. 1886: Reuben Ivussell, i 
Samuel J. Serrell. 1890 and 1892; Reuben Russell, 1894 to 1902; J'Vank- 
liii A. Slater, 1902, present incumbent (1912J. 

Assessments axd Taxes 

In 1876 the total assessment and taxes for the twenty-five townships 
of Oakland county and Pontiac city presented the following exhibit: 

Townships Assessment *Taxes 

Addison $ 241,440 $ 3.359-52 

Avon 542,470 8,735.16 

Bloomfield 534,920 8,351.71 

Brandon 222,200 4,464.38 

Commerce 321,480 4,944-99 

Farmington 534,100 9,069.90 

Groveland 204,910 3,484-49 

Highland 272,010 3,926-83 

Holly 330,195 8,428.15 

Independence 368.000 6.097.23 

Lvon 410,1 10 5,792-59 

Milford 420,408 8,539.35 

Novi 438,225 6,917.20 

Oakland 366,195 5,i95-27 

Orion 278,1 10 4,336-99 

Oxford 330,750 5-539-66 

Pontiac township 368,845 4,645.72 

Pontiac city 891,315 34,472.06 

Rose 225,890 3.374-39 

Royal Oak 285,680 5-384-74 

Southfield 375,370 5-712.65 

Springfield 260,340 4,081.05 

Troy 510,730 6,882.03 

Waterford 375,900 6,534.69 

West Bloomfield 323,880 5-^53-05 

White Lake 222,180 3,793-90 

Total $9-655-733 $177-217-70 

Following are the figures for October. 1880. showing the real and 
personal property of Oakland county by townships and the city of Pon- 
tiac, as equalized by the committee appointed for that purpose by the 
board of supervisors: 

Townships Real Estate Personal Total 

Addison $ 484,620 $110,445 $ 595,o6o 

Avon 1,058,650 296,080 1,354,730 

Bloomfield 1 .083.950 194-O40 i .277.990 

Brandon 467-750 92,600 560,350 

* State, county, town and school. 


Townships Real Estate Personal Total 

Commerce • ? 634,610 $ 142,130 $ 776,740 

Farmington 1,048,550 188,750 1,237,300 

Groveland 447,980 47,020 495,000 

Highland 620,860 S3. 170 674,030 

Holly 664,450 167,590 832,040 

Independence 750,560 134,940 885,500 

Lyon 843,060 167,430 1,010,490 

Milford 884,830 192,010 1.076.840 

Novi 916.155 134,945 1,051.100 

Oakland' 751,580 142,290 893,870 

Orion 562,580 88,480 651,060 

Oxford 741,413 152,617 894,030 

Pontiac 745,040 1 10,070 855,1 10 

First ward (Pontiac) 278,855 120,515 399. 37^ 

Second ward (Pontiac) 298,435 77,105 375. 540 

Third ward (Pontiac) 434,090 153.760 587.850 

Fourth ward (Pontiac) 564,680 265,170 829,850 

Rose .' 476.280 79,460 555-740 

Royal Oak 637,060 54,45o 691,510 

Southfield 775,090 164,390 939,480 

Springfield 574,310 82,460 656,77(j 

Troy t.039,930 134.580 1,174,510 

Waterford 755,100 130.320 885,420 

West Bloonifield 681,260 127.210 808,470 

White Lake 493.660 96.820 590,480 

Totals !>i9,7i6,t88 ,^3.000,042 ,^23.616. 230 

As thus e(|ualized the total taxes levied in the cijuntv amounted to 
$68,888.54, of which the state tax was $33,334.63 anrl the ci:>unt\- .$35,- 

Within the next decade, as shown from the same source for 1890, 
the real estate of the county had reached a valuation of .$19,062,090 and 
the personal pro])erty was assessed at $3,937,910. In 1891 the taxes 
were apportioned as follows: State tax, $37,821.19; countv tax. $41,000, 

In 1900 the real estate, as equalized, amounted to $22,084,805 and 
the personal property, as assessed at $6,695,778; total. $28,740,583. The 
committee on ways and means apportioned the taxes thus : .State. S78,- 
961.56; county, $35,000. 

For purposes of comjiarison with the figures of 1880. the value of the 
real estate, as equalized, and of jicrsonal property, as assessed, is given 
for the year tot t : 

Real Personal 
Townships Estate Projierty Total 

Addison $ 637,500 $ 108.755 $ 746.255 

Avon T, 822.950 450,150 2.273, TOO 

Bloomfield 2,400,180 669,750 3,069.950 

Brandon 7TT.205 241, 7T5 952.920 

Commerce 661,800 1 50,800 812,600 

Farmington i ,405,800 459,450 t, 865, 250 


Townships Real Estate 

Gmvelnnd $ 515,090 

Highland ' 748,640 

Holly 1,166,325 

Independence 774,200 

Lyon 987,870 

Rlilford 943,2()0 

Novi 951,650 

Oakland 757,635 

Orion 1,001,300 

Oxford 1.193,750 

Pontiac township 834,060 

Pontiac City 7,392,000 

Rose 629,330 

Royal Oak i ,850,395 

Southfield 1,044,525 

Springfield 588,250 

Troy 1,222,270 

Waterford 850,960 

West Bloomfield 1,061,975 

White Lake 546,130 



; 84,175 $ 










1 70, 1 20 



1 ,088,400 



























Totals $32,699,080 $10,731,700 $43,430,780 

As assessed on the equalized valuation the taxes were apportioned 
for 191 1 as follows: State tax, $128,294.08; county tax, $85,670. 

Population for Ninety Years 

The population of Oakland county since its organization, according 
to the decadal enumerations of the United States census bureau, has been 
as follow-s : 

1820 330 1 870 40.867 

1830 4,910 i88o 41,537 

1840 23.646 1890 41,235 

1850 31.270 1900 44,792 

i860 38,261 1910 49,576 

For purposes of more detailed comparison the following ta])lc com- 
prising the last three enumerations of the national census, is herewith 

1910 1900 1890 

Oakland county 49,576 44,792 41,245 

Addison township, including Leonard \ill;igc 1,043 1,116 1,139 

Leonard village 313 335 276 

Avon township, including Rochester village 2,657 2,584 1,946 

Rochester village i .516 1.535 900 

Bloomfield township, including llirminghani village. 2.833 2.296 2,044 

Birmingham \illage 1 ,607 1 ,1 70 899 

Brandon township, including ( )rtonvillc village.... 1,129 1,179 1,260 

Ortonville village 377 


1910 1900 1890 

Commerce township 986 1,124 1,113 

Farmington township, including Farmington village. 1,788 i,753 1,639 

Farmington village 564 530 320 

Groveland township 772 828 917 

Highland township 1,040 1,142 1,393 

Holly township, including Holly village 2,278 2,266 2,120 

liolly village 1,537 i.4i9 ^-66 

Independence township, including Clarkston village. 1,144 i.'Qi 1,297 

Clarkston village 345 360 387 

Lyon township, including South Lyon village 1,4-27 1,569 1,660 

South Lyon village 615 657 707 

Milford township, including Milford village 1,660 i,866 1,962 

Milford village 973 1,108 1,138 

Novi township i ,226 i ,245 i ,306 

Oakland township ... 1 702 870 896 

Orion township, including Orion village 1-393 1,507 1,297 

Orion village 717 756 522 

Oxford township, including O.xford village i,934 1,990 2,080 

Oxford village 1,191 1,172 1,128 

Pontiac city 14,532 9,769 6,200 

Ward i' 1,858 

Ward 2 3,264 

Ward 3 2,971 

Ward 4 4,452 

Ward 5 1,987 

Pontiac township ! 953 1,016 947 

Rose township 842 862 958 

Royal Oak township, including Royal Oak village. . 2,801 2,012 1,844 

Royal Oak village i .07 1 468 

Southfield township 1,288 1,378 1,444 

Springfield township 821 906 1,064 

Troy township 1,507 1,527 1,470 

Waterford township 1,065 1,079 i,i''3 

West Bloomtield township 1,113 999 1,229 

White Lake township 642 718 857 

The relative rank among the counties of the state has been: 1840, 
second, l.ieing only exceeded by Wayne, with Washtenaw a close third ; 
1850, still second (gaining faster than Washtenaw and being left rapidly 
behind by Wayne) ; i860, yet second, but being hard pressed by Lena- 
wee county, and having only about half the population of Wayne: 1870, 
fourth, having been overtaken by Kent and Lenawee counties and run- 
ning neck and neck with Saginaw ; 1880, sixth, being exceeded by Wayne, 
Kent, Saginaw, Lenawee and St. Clair, in the order named, and having 
about one-fourth the population of Wayne; 1890, eleventh, its ten pre- 
decessors being Wayne, Kent, Saginaw, Bay, St. Clair, Lenawee, Jack- 
son, Calhoun, Washtenaw and Berrien (by only 40) ; 1900, twelfth, 
with some changes in the relative position of Calhoun (seventh), Ber- 
rien. Jackson and Washtenaw and the displacement of Bay as fourth 
bv Houghton county; IQIO, thirteenth, the order of the counties being 


Wayne, Kent, Saginaw, Houghton, I'.ay. (lenesee, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, 
Berrien. Jackson, TTiirnn, St^ Clair ;incl Oakland. 


From the last "Alichigan Manual'' is condensed the following re- 
lating to the incorporation of the cities and villages of the county : 

Pontiac — Incorporated as a village by the state legislature, 1837; 
amended, 1S38, 1842. 1843. 1845, 1850. Incorporated as a city by 
legislature, 1861 ; act relating to, 1861 ; charter amended 1865, 1869, 
1871. 1877, 1S81, 1885, 1889. 1905, 1907. 

Birmingliam — Incorporated as a village by Board of Supers'isors in 
1864; limits extended liy legislative act, 1S83; reincorporated by act of 
legislature, 1885. 

Clarkston — Incorporated as a village by Board of Supervisors in 
1884; reincorporated by legislative act, 1889. 

Farmington — Incorporated as a village by state law in 1807; charter 
amended in 1869. 1875; reincorporated in 1887; amended, limits ex- 
tended. 1 89 1. 

Holly — Incorporated as a village by state law. 1865; charter revised, 
1873; amended. 1893. 

Leonard — Incorporated as a village by Board of Supervisors in 1889; 
reincorporated by act of the legislature, 1893. 

;\Iilford — Incorporated as a village by state law in 1869; charter 
amended in 1871 ; reincorporated. i88r. 

Orion — Incorporated as a village by state law in 1859: charter re- 
pealed by legislature in 1863; reincorporated by state law, 1869; amended 
by legislative act, 1879, 1889; reincorporated by act of legislature, 1891. 

Ortonville — Incorporated as a village by Board of Supervisors in 
1902 ; by legislative act, 1903. 

Oxford — Incorporated as a village by Board oi Supervisors in 1876; 
reincorporated by legislative act, 1891. 

Royal Oak — Incorporated as a' village by legislative act in 1891. 

.South Lyon — Incorporated as a village by state law in 1873; and by 
legislati\e act in 1885; reincorporated by legislative act in 1891. 

The Coun'tv CorirnrousE.s 

The courthouse, which is the home of the government and 
judiciary of Oakland county, is a gem of taste and an ideal of con- 
venience and comfort among the ijublic buildings of southern Michigan. 
Its cornerstone was laid by the grand lodge of Masons of the state of 
]\Iichigan. August 30, 1904, and the civic ceremonies included addresses 
by James H. Lynch, president of the day, Daniel L. Davis and others. 
and music by the Pontiac band. The new court room was dedicated 
November i. 1905, the address of welcome being by George \\'. .'^mith. 
circuit judge, ancl the dedicatory address by Andrew L. Moore. John 
H. Patterson spoke on "Our Beloved Country," and Chief Justice Joseph 
B. Moore indulged in a series of interesting "Reminiscences." 

'Jhe public exercises on .\'o\eml)er 2d embraced ;i militarx parade 















and exercises at the Howland Oj^era House. Aaron I'erry presided over 
the latter and delivered an interesting and finished address of welcome. 
Mrs. Sybil B. Cleary accepted the rest rooms in the basement of the 
courthouse in behalf of the ladies of I'ontiac and Thomas E. Bark- 
worth delivered the dedicatory address. 

The address of welcome to the members of the bar delivered by 
Judge Smith was so alive with facts and manly sentiment that the chief 
portion of it — that is, the part which deals more especially with the 
history of the courthouses which had been the scenes of so much which 
was dear and important to the profession and the people— is here re- 
produced: "The first term of court in this citv was held in an old log 
building which stood near the site of the present Hotel Woodward, in 
the year 1820. Judge Crofoot, in describing this building, spoke of it 
as without door, floor or chimney. In 1824 a courthouse and jail com- 
bined was built on the lot where the present jail stands. The first story 
constituted the jail and was constructed of squared logs. The cells for 
prisoners were made of si.x-inch plank sawed at the village of Rochester. 
The second story was a framed structure and contained a court room 
with a sheriff's residence adjoining it. No room for offices existed in 
this building. 

"In 1848, there was erected upon the front portion of the present 
site, a long one-story building with a roof sloping towards the front, 
with a balustrade on which was painted in large letters the words. 
'Oakland County Offices.' In 1858 the courthouse of 1824 and this 
long, one-story building were abandoned for the courthouse, we of the 
present generation know as the immediate predecessor of the present 
building. The cost of that- building was $12,000. and of the fire-proof 
vaults placed therein in 1875, $5,000. Its was dedicated on March 18, 
1858, with considerable ceremony and with an eloquent address by 
Judge Crofoot. Its court room was the home of the circuit court for 
the county of Oakland until May 20, 1904. On that date the old court 
room was formally abandoned. Hon. William W. Stickney, of Lapeer, 
and Justice Joseph B. Moore, of Lanshig. ex-judges of this court, were 
present. .Also the members of the Oakland county bar, and a' large 
number of representative citizens. A scholarly and most appropriate 
address, one that ranks well up with that of Judge Crofoot. was de- 
livered by the Hon. Aaron Perry, president of the bar. and the next 
day the beloved portraits that had so long been a part of the room were 
taken down from its walls. 

"In speaking of this room. Mr. I'erry said: 'During tlie last fortv- 
six years this room has on many occasions resounded to the melodious 
cadences and fiery appeals of elo(|uent advocates, as well as to some 
speeches that have been dull and commonplace — to speeches that have 
fired the jurors with indignation, or suffused their eyes with tears — 
and to some that have lulled their wearied minds to involuntarv slumber." 

"It was never well arranged for a court room and it had' no archi- 
tectural beauty. But what the old room lacked in beauty, it made up 
in size. Besides lieing the home of the court, it was used in the earlv 
years for singing schools, lectures, school exhibitions and .school elec- 
tions, and political nicelings and fanners' meetings of all kinds. .\11 



county political conventions were held in it, and there were many times 
when it was packed to the limit as rival candidates struggled for places 
upon the county ticket. It is almost literally true that forty-six years 
of the history of this county was made in that old court room. With 
it are associated memories of some of the most notable trials, civil and 
criminal, in the history of the state. With it are associated memories of 
some of the most diligent and forceful lawyers and judges of the state. 
I omit their names because others today are likely to refer to them by 

Courthouse of 1857-8 

"Merely as a matter of future history, it should be stated that from 
May 20, igoj., to the present time, the county officers, with their files, 
books and records, have been quartered in the Davis block (so-called) 
and the sessions of this court were held in the l^asement of the Con- 
gregational church. During that time, many have attended church who 
had sadly neglected that duty. It is to lie Imped that the religious sur- 
roundings and appropriate mottoes of that basement Sunday school 
room have not been entirely lost upon the jurors or upon the members 
of the legal ]3rofessii)n. I am (|uite sure that they failed to sufficiently 
influence some of the witnesses. 


"To ihc older iiK'iiibers of this l)ar. the old court room l)riiigs back 
many splendid and ])reeious inenKjries. Its surroundings and the work- 
done there almost became a part of their daily lives. Its splendid his- 
tory moved them to zeal and activity. The portraits on its walls of the 
eminent judges and lawyers seemed to inspire as to imitate them not 
only in professional skill, but in professional courtesy and professional 
honor. And after all, — what is professional skill to the lawyer, if he 
has not also professional courtesy and ])rofessional honesty? Profes- 
sional skill alone is merely the povvcr to earn money from the profes- 
sion of law, and it leaves its possessor without honor, without conscience, 
without the respect of the community in which he lives, and without 
the love and confidence of his brethren of the ])rofession. 

"And now after forty-six years in the old room and seventeen 
months of boarding out, we are about to begin life in this new home. 
The old room is but a memory. The new is a reality. We are not here 
merely to cherish a memory, but to engage in the activities of the present 
and to prepare for those of the future. My pleasing duty is to wel- 
come you to the new room — to rejoice with you because of the new 

The following histor}* of the movement which resulted in the erec- 
tion of the beautiful courthouse which has been the home of county 
affairs since 1904 is thus given by the official publication issued by the 
board of supervisors under the title ''Memorial of the New Oakland 
County Building:" "It has taken more than three and a half years to 
evolve the idea and to complete the construction of Oakland county's 
magnificent temple of justice and place of business for the people. Prior 
to the spring of 1902, for a long period there were resolutions introduced 
before the board of supervisors to submit the proposition to the voters 
of the county. 

"Finally in January, 1902, the supervisors passed a resolution to 
bring the matter officially before the people at the April election. That 
spring the proposition for a new building for the county executives was 
defeated. However, during the January meeting of the supervisors the 
following year a banquet was held at the Hodges House, after which 
there was much discussion by members of the county's lawmakers, the 
city aldermen and various prominent taxpayers of the county at large. 

"At that time the sentiment against the inadequate quarters provided 
for the officials was strong and seemed to be pretty w^ell crystalized in 
favor of a new building. Again the matter was brought before the 
voters in the April election in 1904 and was carried by a large majority. 
So much publicity had been given the proposition by the newspapers 
throughout the county showing the great need for a better building, 
that the people resolved to supjiort it and it was carried by a good 

"Result of second vote: 

For .\gainst Total 

Addison 89 131 220 

Avon 244 28<) 533 

P.loomfield lO-^ 1 ig 311 


For Against Total 

Brandon 1 12 174 286 

Commerce 92 158 250 

Farmington 203 159 362 

Groveland 32 139 171 

Holly 203 327 530 

Highland 86 186 272 

Rose 62 146 208 

Royal Oak 142 96 238 

Oxford 109 315 424 

Orion 169 148 317 

Oakland 22 122 144 

Milford 71 373 444 

Novi 88 149 2^j 

Springfield 62 117 179 

Soiithfield .' 98 57 155 

Waterford 193 73 266 

West Bloomfield 123 86 209 

White Lake 66 91 157 

Pontiac township 116 27 143 

Troy 89 52 141 

Lyon 127 162 289 

Independence 94 loi 195 

Pontiac — ist Ward 272 21 293 

2d Ward 448 25 473 

3d Ward 429 48 477 

4th Ward 454 62 516 

5th Ward 270 34 304 

Total 4-757 3-9^7 ^-744 

"Shortly after the election the board of supervisors made no delay in 
taking up the question of the site of the new courthouse, and ordered its 
counsel to file a bill quieting the title in the county of the old property, on 
which the old and new courthouses were erected. From all townships 
came persons who had numerous ideas as to where the building should be 
located, and from all parts opinions differed. Some were in favor of sell- 
ing the old site and constructing the new building on many other prop- 
erties, such as the Pound homestead on east Huron street, the Hinman 
property on West Pike street, the Cortrite lots on West Pike street, or 
the Earl lands on North Saginaw street. Many other sites were offered 
and about a year's time was consumed by the supervisors in discussion 
and endeayoring to reach a conclusion as to which was the most desir- 
able location. This discussion continued for some time and finally cul- 
minated when the board ordered the bill filed in chancery dismissed and 
later voted to build on the old site. 

"After the question of the location was decided the supervisors pro- 
ceeded to advertise for plans. Several of the greatest architects in the 
United States submitted their ideas and after a careful study those of 
Joseph E. Mills, of Detroit, were voted as the best. The plans fur- 



nislied 1>\' Mr. .Mills to tlic hoard called for a Ituildiiig costing 894,000, 
not including- the architect's Jee of $5,000. 

"After the plans had heen agreed upon the county officers proceeded 
to take temporary quarters in the l)a\is Ijlock. where they moved in 
June, 1904, and remained until the present time. 

"A huilding committee was appointed, consisting of l-'rank J. X'owles, 
chairman of the board and acting as chairman of the huilding com- 
mittee; I"" rank Thurstin, Oakland; I fenry Lavery, Royal Oak; LeRoy 
N. Brown, IndejJendence ; Charles A. Fisher. I'ontiac; John Power, 
Farmington, and Ezra Gardner, O.xford. After the death of L. X. 
Brown, E. L. Davis acted in his place. 

"The building committee met twice eacli month and awarded the 
contract to build to John G. Schmidt, of Toledo." 

County Jail 

Cost of County Building 

Appropriation $100,000.00 

Accumulated interest and premium on bonds. . . . 3,142.99 $103,142.99 

Schmidt's original contract $ 91,450,00 

Schmidt's total for extras 1,574,57 

Total $ 93-024-57 

Deductions from contract 264.25 

Total of Schmidt's contract, extras and reductions $ 92.760.32 

Steel file cases. l)ook racks and tables $ 3.200.OO 

Electric fixtures i ,800.00 


Opera chairs for court room 747-50 

Furniture 2,ggi.oi 

Decorating interior of building 3,000.00 

Thermostat heat regulating system 

Carpets, rugs and rubber matting 



Hardware extra 

Architect's services 







Total cost of building as erected and furnished $113,323.18 

Cost above appropriation $ 10,180.19 

Items included in the above statement not usually included are as 
follows : 

Furniture $ 2,991.01 

Decorating interior of building 3,000.00 

Thermostat heat system 535-00 

Carpets, rugs and matting 2,800.00 

Cuspidors 123.75 

Clocks 50.00 

Architect's services 5,200.00 

Total not usually included in giving cost of building $ 14,679.76 

Deducting this amount from total cost as above given, build- 
ing would cost $ 98,623.42 

Present Courthouse 

This "beautiful temple of justice," as the board of supervisors rightly 
called it, as received from the hands of Superintendent Rufus Swine- 
hart, who represented John G. Schmidt, the contractor, of Toledo, on 
the 2d of November, 1905, is built, of gray Cleveland sandstone and 
fronts nearly ninety feet on West Huron street. Its imposing tower 
of brick bears a statute of Justice of heroic size, about one hundred 
and twelve feet above the level of the street. The two entrances and 
doorways are flanked by two massive stone columns twenty-six feet in 
height. Red entered largely into the color scheme, with tiled corridors 
and marble wainscoting. Rest rooms for both men and women are in 
the basement, which also contains offices for the commissioner of schools 
and superintendents of the poor and a large audience room used chiefly 
for school examinations. On the first floor are the other county offices 
and the accommodations for the probate judge and on the second floor, 
the circuit court room, which is beautifully decorated; office of the 
prosecuting attorney, the supervisors' room and the judges private room. 

Two features are especially noticeable on the first, or main floor. 
Opposite the Saginaw street entrance and occupying much of the wall 
space is a large and impressive painting of the great chief Pontiac, and 
at the foot of the stairs as the visitor passes into the courthouse from 
West Huron street, is a large marble tablet which presents a record 


of historic value. Upon its face is inscriljcil tlic names of the building 
committee holdin;,' office during the period of its erection, as follows: 
Frank J. X'owles, chairman; John Power, Charles A. Fisher, Ezra 
Gardner, Frank Thurston, I.eUoy N. iirown, Ik-iu'v X. Lowery and 
E. Laverne Davis. 

Also the following appear : 

Frank J. \'owles, chairman, 1903-4; Alfred i!. Kinney, 1905; Joseph 
E. Mills, architect, Detroit; W. H. Dewey, local superintendent, I'ontiac; 
John G. Schmidt, contractor, Toledo. 

The above are those officially connected with the erection of the 
Oakland county courthouse, but there are few i)ul)hc buildings in south- 
ern Michigan in which the people as a whole have taken more interest 
and with which the public are better satisfied, both from the view- 
points of beauty and utility, than this structure devoted to justice. 

The O.vkland Cuuxtv IJuMii 

Oakland county was one of the state leaders in the humane move- 
ment to abolish the name "almshouse'' or "poorhouse"' in connection 
with the public institution which provides a refuge for the aged and 
the sick, whose means are insufficient to give them shelter in private 
institutions, or whose circumstances have perhaps bereft them of friends 
or protecting relatives. At the annual convention of Michigan superin- 
tendents of the poor held in December, 1903, it was unanimously recom- 
mended that the name County Flome be substituted for the obnoxious 
"Poorhouse," and Oakland county was among the first to adopt this 
suggestion along the line of modern humanitarianism. 

The first action taken by the authorities of Oakland county looking 
towards the acquisition of a "county home'' was that of the board of 
supervisors of 1834 at the October sessions, at which time a committee 
of three were appointed to inquire into the expediency of procuring 
such an institution for the county. Messrs. Yerkes, Steel and Gregory 
were the committee, and they rei)orted adverselv to the project ; but at 
the same session another committee, consisting of Babcock, Castle, 
Dutcher, Gregory and Stephens, made inquiry as to the expediency of 
acquiring a location for a county farm and reported in favor of pur- 
chasing eighty acres, which report was accepted and S700 appropriated. 
The report of the committee was subsequently reconsidered and re- 
jected, and another committee appointed to examine a location, con- 
sisting of uMessrs. Castle, Curtis, I'labcock, Dodge, F^rice and \oorheis; 
and at the March sessions, 1835, Alessrs. Castle, Curtis and \oorheis 
were elected a committee to take charge of the funds already raised 
therefor, and to purchase and fit up a farm for county poor purposes 
at an expense not exceeding $800, to be paid in f(an- annual install- 
ments. This coniniittee purchased the east half of the northeast quarter 
of section 2, in W'atcrford, of Thaddeus Alvord, for $1,050; and in 
March. 1-83''), there was an allowance of $788 made for the stock, 
farming utensils and superintendent's salary. 

The total expenses on account of such relief in 1835 amounted to 


$1,591.31. <_)n May 2, 1835. the committee advertised the building as 
ready for occupancy. 

In 1839 '^'"'^ county commissioners abolished the distinction of county 
and township poor, assuming them all as a county charge. Theretofore, 
only those persons who had acquired no legal residence in the county 
had been helped directly by the supervisors as a county body corporate, 
the townships providing for actual residents. At the first meeting of 
the commissioners in January. 1839, they also elected the first county 
superintendents of the poor, viz. : William Price, Harvey Seeley and 
Friend Belding, whose terms of office were fixed at three years. The 
expense of the poorfarm system the first year was $2,083.68. This 
farm bought in 1835 was occupied by the county until 1857, when it 
was turned in for a payment on a new farm purchased of one Mead, 
in Waterford, of three hundred and seventeen acres, the old farm being 
taken at $40 per acre> and the balance of the purchase-money on the 
new purchase, $9,466.40, secured by mortgage. The land was situated 
in Waterford, and was known as the northeast quarter and west half, 
southeast quarter and southwest quarter, section i~ . excejit ten acres 
reserved therefrom. There were good buildings on the farm. In 
January, 1858, the board resolved to dispose of the Mead farm and buy 
another containing about one hundred acres, and a committee rejiortpd 
in favor of disposing of a portion of the Mead farm and erecting iniild- 
ings on the balance. Mead offered to take back the land on the north 
side of the road at $35 per acre, which proposition was not accepted by 
the board of supervisors, but about the year 18(0 the farm reverted to 
the original owner. Mead, by default in the jjayments on the mortgage, 
and the first farm and the expense involved in remodeling the buildings 
on the second farm was lost by the countv. William W. Martin, of 
Bloomfield, was then engaged by contract to sup])ort and care for the 
county [joor for some years, and received nine shillings per head weekly 
for the same. At the October meeting. 1863, the committee on the 
poorhouse, F. W. Fifield, E. B. Comstock and Noah Tyler, reported as 
follows: "In regard to the system now practiced of farming out the 
paupers, it is extremely objectionable, repugnant to humanity, and in 
opposition to the true interests of the county. The jiaupers under this 
system are not cared for, or as comfortably situated as the dictates of 
humanity or the requirements of justice demand, notwithstanding the 
keeper is doing the best he can for them. The buildings in which they 
are kept are inadequate to the wants and absolute necessities of the 
inmates, and are uncouth, unshapely, and, worse, uncomfortable and 
unwholesome, and the committee recommends the purchase of eightv 
acres of land and the erection of suitable buildings at once." 

In 1864, in accordance with the recommendation, the board author- 
ized the county superintendents to purchase a farm, and they accord- 
ingly bought, April I, 1864, one hundred and twenty acres, being the 
one-half of the northwest quarter, section '>)'i- aiid the southeast quarter 
of southwest quarter, section 26, township 3 north, range 9 east, of 
Joel Benedict, for $4,833. This farm was subsequently sold to T. F. 
Harrington, and on June 23, 1866, one hundred acres ])urchased of 
]\Iortimer F. Osman, being the east part of the northeast quarter, sec- 


tion 24, in Watcrfonl, for $6,000. ( )n llif dlli of A|)ril, iI^'kj, thirly 
acres or more were jnirchast'l from Ira K. Terry, being the southwest 
part of the northwest quarter, section 19, township 3 nortli. range 10 
east, for $2,500, the total cost of the land being $8,500, and the farm 
containing about one htindred and thirty-seven acres. In January, 1866. 
the superintendents of the poor were authorized to receive proposals for 
buildings on the county farm, the cost of which should not exceed $15,- 

000. The buildings were erected in 1866-67. The value of the property 
was estimated by the county superintendents in their report to the secre- 
tary of state as follows : b^arm and buildings, $20.295 ; live-stock on 
the farm, $1,330; farming implements, $488; all other ])roperty. S900 ; 
total valuation. $32,013. 

County SuperintiiNdknts ok tiik Poou 

The county superintendents of the poor have been as follows : 
1839-42, William Price, Harvey Seeley and Friend Ilelding; 1842-44, 
Samuel White, Ziba Swan, Jr. and Ira Donelson ; 1845, Salmon J. Math- 
ews, Orison Allen and Ira Donelson; 1846, (ieorge i'atten, Ziba Swan, 
Jr. and George Dow; 1847, C. H. Woodhull, Ira Marlin and George 
Patten; 1848, Isaac L. Voorheis. George Patten and Francis Darrow ; 
1849, Francis Darrow, G. Robertson and Friend Belding; 1850 to 1853, 
inclusive, James A. Weeks, I. I. \'oorheis and William Yerkes ; 1854, 

1. I. \'oorheis, Stephen Reeves and D. M. Judd ; 1855. Stephen Reeves, 
F. Belding and Phil S. Frisbee ; 1856, H. W. Hovey, Henry Mead and 
F. Belding; 1857, Almeron Whitehead, J. H. Button and F. Bradley; 
1858, Almeron Whitehead, J. H. Button and Stephen Reeves; 1859-60, 
no superintendents elected; 1861, J. H. Button, Robert M. Davis and 
William Cone; 1862, James Newberry, J. H. Button and Andrew Brad- 
ford. In 1863, three superintendents were elected, one for one year, 
one for two years and one for three years. Andrew Bradford was elected 
for the long term, James Newberry for two years and J. H. Button for 
one year. J. H. Button was elected in 1864 for three years and again 
in 1867 for three years, but resigned in 1869. Bradford resigned in 
1865 and Francis Baker was elected to fill the vacancy. James New- 
berry was reelected at the end of his first term of two years for a term 
of three years. To continue the roster: Horace Thurber. 1866-69; 
Caleb Terry, 1868-71 ; |ohn W. Leonard, 1869-71, to lill vacancv ui 
J. H. Button; William" AI. McConnell, 1871, 1874 and 1877; J.' W. 
Leonard, 1872, 1875 and 1878. .Vuguslus \\'. Hovey was first elected 
in 1870 and served for about thirty years. J. S. Stock well holds the 
second record in length of service, as he was in office from 1886 to 
1901. R. C. Beardslee, one of the three incumbents, was elected in 
1902 and commenced his first term of service January 1, 1903; his 
present term expires January i. 1915. I-'iank Harris served from 1001 
until his resignation, June 15, 1908, and was succeeded by William .\. 
Brewster, whose term will ex])ire January 1, 1913. The third su|>erin- 
tendent is E. D. Spooner, who commenced his first term January 1. 
1905; his present term expires January 1, 1914. 

The farm and grounds of the county home compromise one hundred 


acres (the old ( )sinitn property) in Waterford township, and thirty- 
seven acres in the township of Pontiac. Although it has been improved, 
modernized, and virtually rebuilt (mostly in 1902) the original resi- 
dence building was erected in 1868. Ijoth interior and exterior, in- 
cluding the surrounding grounds, are neat and cheerful. In 1870 the 
building (forty by forty feet) now used as a horse l^arn, was erected. 
but all the large outbuildings have gone up witliin the past decade. 
These include the following: A house for the keeping of tools and 
agricultural implements (thirty by forty feet) and an ice house (twenty 
by twenty-two feet) in 1902; the hog house and corn barn (forty by 
forty) in 1904; the large barn (thirty-six by seventy-six) for other 
live stock and grain, in 1905; the hen house (twenty by thirty) in 1907 
and the pumping plant, for fire protection, in 1909. It is the evident 
desire of the present superintenflents of the poor, who are well sup- 
ported by the board of supervisors, to not only safeguard all those com- 
mitted to their care, but to make their lives comfortable and pleasant. 
From seventy to one hundred are thus cared for, of whom two-thirds 
are men. The total value of the county home property is estimated at 



Question of Land Titles — Governor Cass Brings Stability — 
Champions of Public Improvements — The State Constitutions — 
Oakland County's Part in Constitution Making — Doctor Ray- 
nale. Delegate to 1835 Convention — Seneca Newberry, Dele- 
gate TO 1835 AND 1850 Conventions — State Officials, Elected 
and Appointed — Territorial Council Representatives — Speak- 
ers AND Clerk of the House — Michigan Legislators from Oak- 
land County — State Senators — State Representatives — Dis- 
turbances of War Issues. 

By Fred M. Warner 

On January 11, 1805, congress jxissed an act for the organization of 
Michigan territory, and on March ist. President Jefferson ap])ointed 
General William Hull its governor and Indian agent. The governor 
and other territorial otificers arrived at Detroit on the i2tli of June, 
that year, only to find that the ca])ital (which had l)een but a two-acre 
town of little houses surrounded by a palisade of strong pickets) had 
been destroyed by fire. When they took the oath of office on the second 
Tuesday in July, some of the liouses had been erected on the old site. 

Despite this unfavorable outlook for the territorial government "a 
judicial system was established and the territorial militia was disciplined 
and brought into the field. The attention of congress was also called 
to the land claims made by the settlers, founded on occupancv, or grants 
imder the French and English governments. On October 10. 1805, a 
report was made of the affairs of the territory and forwarded to con- 
gress, and in May, 1806. the first code of laws was adopted and pub- 
lished for the territory, called the Woodward code, after Augustus B. 
Woodward, one of the judges. The code was signed by General Hull. 
Judge Woodward and Frederick Bates, judges, by which a civil gov- 
ernment fiir the territory covered by the present state of Michigan was 
at length established and military rule, whether by French, llritish or 
American commandants, forever abolished in times of peace. 

As stated. ])rior to the organization of the territory, what is now 
Michigan had been included in Wayne county of the northwest terri- 
tory, which boasted a crude "court of common pleas." with headquarters 
at Detroit. This court was continued when tlie territory of Michigan 
was created in 1805. 



Question' of Land Titles 

It was not until 1806 that congress began in earnest to consider the 
status of land titles in Michigan. In that year Judge Woodward made 
a report to the secretary of the treasury which was laid before con- 
gress in which he stated that the total amount of land in cultivation did 
not exceed 150,000 acres, or a little more than six townships. He de- 
scribed the farms as from two to four acres front on the river, the 
houses about twenty-tive rods apart, and the people "honest beyond com- 
parison, generous, hospitable and polished." He reported in all 422- 
farms, with dates of settlement running from 1763 to 1801. Nearly all 
were held on French claims, bordered on rivers, with from two to five 
acres frontage and forty acres depth (a French acre was about four- 
fifths of an American acre). As appeared from the report made by the 
register of the land office at Detroit in December, 1806, only six of 
these farms embracing' less than 4.000 acres had valid titles. 

Governor C.\ss Brings Stability 

The appointment of Lewis Cass as civil governor of Michigan in: 
1813 was the commencement of a stable order of things in the matter 
of land titles, as of all else, and marked the starting point of the sub- 
stantial development of southern Michigan. Under him the govern- 
ment acquired by various treaties all lands south of Grand river to the 
headwaters of Tliunder Bay river, as well as such as were required tO' 
make the post of Fort Mackinac safe against Indian attacks, thus safe- 
guarding the interests of traders and settlers in northern Michigan. 

Great Britain possessed Michigan from the time of FIulTs surrender 
in August, 1812, until Perry's naval victory of September, 1813, and' 
the Americans reentered Detroit on the 29th of that month. Lewis 
Cass was appointed civil governor of ^Michigan October 9, 181 3, but Fort 
Mackinac was not evacuated by the British forces until the spring of 

The survey of public lands was begun in 1815 and two years later 
had progressed sufficiently to permit the authorities to begin the sale. 
With the settlement of the interior, which practically began in 1818,, 
came substantial growth and prosperity to the southern part of the 
Lower Peninsula. In the following year (January 19) Governor Cass 
proclaimed the civil and political creation of Oakland county. That 
year (i8iq) therefore marked its entrance to territorial and state poli- 
tics and the real chronological commencement of this chapter. 

The state constitution under which Michigan was admitted into the 
Union bv congressional act approved January 26, 1837, provided for 
the appointment by the governor (with the advice and consent of the 
senate) of the secretary of state, auditor general and attorney general. 
The joint legislature approved the gubernatorial appointment of the 
superintendent of public instruction. All state officers above mentioned 
served for two yearSj the governor and lieutenant governor being elected. 
Judges of the state supreme court were appointed by the governor, with 
"the advice and consent of the senate, for a term of seven vears. 


\ arious provisions of the constitution provided for the improve- 
ments of roads, canals and navigal)le waters in the interior of the state, 
as well as for the establishment of hanks of issue, and wild speculation 
and inflated and unsecured issues of ])aper money, so fre(|uenl in south- 
ern Michigan and the more settled sections of the northwest, ijrought on 
the financial panic and the confusion of all permanent projects which 
marked the period from 1837 to 1847. Unfortunately, this was also 
the period when the state was born and learning to walk alone. As the 
finances of this wild era, with the inflated schemes of internal improve- 
ment, were thoroughly mixed with legislative measures and state ])oli- 
tics, the progress of the young commonwealth was very slow and un- 
steady during its first decade of life, and Oakland county did her full 
share in maintaining the disturbing combination. Some of her ablest 
men represented her in both houses of the legislature dtiring that period, 
but they were also ambitious to see their section of the state advance. 
as it did, notwithstanding the failure of half a dozen of its banks, under 
both the "wild-cat" and "safety fund" dispensations. 

Champion.s of Public Improvements 

Fully ten years before the coming of the "wild-cat" schemes the big 
men of Oakland county saw the necessity of getting it in close toucli 
with the more developed sections centering in Detroit, and even when 
]\Iichigan was a territory they became active and prominent in state poli- 
tics, by championing such measures as the improvement of the Clinton 
river and the construction of the Detroit & Pontiac Railroad. The 
Clinton River Navigation Company of 1827 w'as, in fact, the first cor- 
poration created for that purpose in the territory, while the incorporation 
of the Detroit & Pontiac Railroad in 1830 was one of the pioneers of 
its kind in Michigan, althotigh the latter was not completed to Birming- 
ham until 1839 and was not on solid ground until nearly ten years later, 
and at the time of the collapse of the internal improvement schemes, the 
Clinton river had been "improved" by state money only as far as Roches- 
ter, these enterprises were pushed with such vigor and ability in the 
territorial legislative council by such good men as Stephen ^lack, Roger 
Sprague, William F. Moseley, Thomas J. Drake, Stephen \'. R. Trow- 
bridge, Daniel LeRoy. Charles C. Flaskell and Samuel Satterlee, that 
Oakland county was fully and favorably advertised in the legislative 
halls. At the later period mentioned (1837-47), under state patron- 
age of public improvements, our good friends, Drake, Trowbridge and 
LeRoy, were reenforced in the senate by Elijah F. Cook, John Benton, 
Daniel B. Wakefield, Isaac Wixson, Sanford M. Green and others. 

The Static CoxsTrrfTioxs 

To trace further the gradual develoiiment of the civil system of the 
state which seems necessary in order to ol)tain a clear idea of Oakland's 
participation in the ])olitics of the commonwealth — the second constitu- 
tion of 1850 was that ])roviding for po]nilar election of all heads of 
state departments and judges of the supreiue court. 


In April, 1906, the people voted in favor of another revision of the 
state's fundamental law. The delegates comprising the constitutional 
convention assembled at Lansing in October, 1907, and completed the 
revision in March of the following year, its work being approved by 
vote of the people in November, 1908. What is known as the consti- 
tution of 1909 is therefore now the basic law of the commonwealth of 

By that instrument, of course, the offices of governor, lieutenant 
governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, commissioner of the state 
land office, auditor general, superintendent of public instruction and 
attorney general were made elective, and the functions of government 
were classified as executive, judicial and legislative. The judiciary was 
divided into supreme, circuit and probate and justices' courts, the in- 
cumbents of which were chosen by popular vote. Provision was made 
for the organization and incorporation of counties, townships, villages 
and cities and for tiie purpose of education. The superintendent of 
public instruction came into being, the State University with its board 
of regents, the State Board of Agriculture with its Agricultural Col- 
lege, the College of Mines, the State Normal College and normal schools, 
with the continuation of a system of primary schools. 

Section 11 provided: "That proceeds from the sale of all lands that 
have been or hereafter may be granted by the L^nited States to the 
state for educational purposes and the proceeds of all lands or other 
property given by individuals or appropriated by the state for like pur- 
poses shall be and remain a perpetual fund, the interest and income of 
which together with the rents of all such lands as may remain unsold, 
shall be inviolably appropriated and annually a|)plied to the specific ob- 
jects of the original gift, grant or appropriation." 

Section 12. "All lands, the titles to which shall fail from a defect 
of heirs, shall escheat to the state, and the interest on the clear pro- 
ceeds from the sales thereof shall be appropriated exclusiveK- to the 
support of the primary schools.'' 

Section 14. "The legislature shall provide by law for the establish- 
ment of at least one library in each township and city, and all fines as- 
sessed and collected in the several counties, cities and townships for 
any breach of the penal laws shall be exclusively applied to the sup- 
port of such libraries." 

Section 15. "Institutions for the benefit of those inhabitants who 
are deaf, dumb, blind, feeble-minded or insane shall always be fos- 
tered and supported." 

Under the head of "Corporations" the constitution provided that 
stich bodies might be formed under general laws, but not created, "nor 
shall any rights, privileges or franchises be conferred upon them by 
special act of legislature." 

Xo corporation was to be granted a franchise for a longer [jeriod 
tlian thirty years, "except for municipal, insurance, canal or cemeterv 
pur|)oses, or corporations organized without any capital stock for re- 
ligious, benevolent, social or fraternal purposes; but the legislature may 
provide by general laws, applicable to any corporations, for one or more 
extensions of the term of such corporations.'' The dififerent sections 


of the article on "Corporations"' announced the individual liability of 
stockholders; pronounced against discrimination in transportation 
charges and against railroad consolidation or monopoly, and laid down 
the principle that no "general law providing for the incorporation of 
trust companies or corporations for banking purposes, or regulating 
the business thereof, shall be adopted, amended or repealed, except by 
a vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the legis- 
lature. Such law-s shall not authorize the issue of bank notes or jiaper 
credit to circulate as money." 

Oakland County's Part in Constitution Making 

It looks well on paper to state that Oakland county men have taken 
a ]M-ominent part in the formation and revision of the state constitu- 
tions, but for the purpose of proving it in detail, a list of the delegates 
which she has sent to these august bodies, with special mention of some 
of the leaders, is herewith presented. 

The constitution of 1835 convened at Detroit j\Iay nth and ad- 
journed June 24th, Oakland county being represented by the following 
delegates: Isaac I. Voorheis. Randolph Manning, Seneca Newberry, 
Toshua B. Taylor, Elijah F. Cook, Ebenezer Raynale, John Ellenwood, 
Jeremiah Riggs, Benjamin B. Morris. William Patrick, Jonathan Chase, 
Samuel White, Thomas Curtis and Norman Davison. 

In attendance at the first convention of assent, wdiich was held at 
Ann Arbor from September 26 to September 30, 1836, were Origen D. 
Richardson, William Draper. S. A. L. Warner, Samuel Satterlee, Ed- 
ward W. Peck and John L. Brownell. 

At the second convention of assent, which convened at Ann Arbor 
December 14 and adjourned December 15, 1836, there were present as 
delegates from Oakland countv : Gideon 6. Whittemore, Hiram Barritt, 
Joseph Coates, Charles Grant. Parley W. C Gates, John S. Livermore, 
Henry S. Babcock. \\'illiam K. Crooks. Samuel \\'hite, James B. Hunt, 
David Chase and Benjamin B. Morris. 

Oakland county delegates to the convention which convened at Lan- 
sing Tune 3, and adjourned August 15. 1850 : James Webster, Alfred 
H. Hanscom. Seneca Newberry, Jacob \'anvalkenburgh. Ebenezer Ray- 
nale, Gideon O. Whittemore. William Axford, Zebina M. Mowry and 
Elias S. Woodman. 

Delegates from Oakland county to the convention of 1867, held at 
Lansing from May 15 to August 22, 1867: P. Dean Warner. Edward 
P. Harris. Willard M. McConnell and Jacob Vanvalkenburgh. 

Lysander Woodward represented the county on the constitutional 
commission of 1873, which convened at Lansing, August 27 and ad- 
journed October 16, 1873. 

The last constitutional convention which assembled at Lansing, Oc- 
tober 22, 1907. and adjourned March 3. 1908. sent as delegates from 
Oakland county (in the twelfth senatorial district) Kle1)cr P. Rock- 
well and -Andrew L. Moore, both of Pontiac. 


Doctor Raynale, Delegate to 1835 Coxventton 

In 1835 Dr. Ebenezer Raynale of Bloomheld was elected a mem- 
ber of the convention (as will be noted in the lists published) to form 
the state constitution, and in the fall of the same year was elected to 
the state senate for the term of two years, through which he served ably 
and faithfully. At the first meeting of the legislature, a part of its 
business was the election of a United States senator, concerning which 
there was a warm contest, though not between different parties, as there 
was really but one party, the Democratic, represented in that first legis- 
lature. Doctor Raynale sustained the candidates who proved success- 
ful. During his senatorial term a great amount of work was done, 
among which was the establishment of the common school system, of 
the state university, the lunatic asylum and the state prison, the fram- 
ing of a new code of laws adapted to the wants of the people and the 
commencement of a system of internal improvements. 

At the expiration of his term in the senate, Doctor Raynale settled 
on a farm in Bloomfield, where he remained for two years, and then 
settled in Birmingham, resuming the practice of his profession in 1839. 
In 1850 he was elected a member of the convention to form a new con- 
stitution, and he served faithfully w-ith that body also. 

Doctor Raynale, only son of Ebenezer and Mary Raynale, was born 
in Hartland, Windsor county, Vermont, on October 21, 1804. His 
father, who died in September of that year, had done a little farming 
and had added to this the professions of teacher and land surveyor. 
Three years after her husband's death, Mrs. Raynale removed with her 
two children, Harriet and Ebenezer, to Brooklyn, Susquehanna county, 
Pennsylvania, where a year later she married Jonathan Sabin, and soon 
after they removed to the township of Ovid, now Lodi, Seneca county, 
New York. Here they remained but a short time and removed to Read- 
ing, Steuben county. New A'ork, where they resided until 1819, when 
they made another move, this time to Cambria, Niagara county, New 
York. Here young Raynale lived with his stepfather until he reached 
the age of nineteen years, when he w'ent to Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, 
his former home, and there for four years devoted himself unremit- 
tingly to his preparation for the duties of a professional life, which he 
had decided upon entering. 

At the expiration of this time, with certificates of three years' medi- 
cal study in his pocket, he returned to Cambria and gave another year 
to hard study in the office of Dr. Darius Shaw, after which he was ad- 
mitted to the practice of medicine and surgery, under the laws of New 
York, which at that time were very rigid in this particular. 

In the first part of May, 1828, having decided to emigrate to Michi- 
gan, Doctor Raynale took passage on the steamboat "Henry Clay" at 
Bufifalo, for Detroit, where he arrived on the 5t]i of May, and after 
a short stay in the city, proceeded to the place which is now the village 
of Franklin, in Southfield township, and there he established and com- 
menced business in the line of his profession on the 12th of May. He 
was then the only physician in Southfield, and his nearest professional 
brethren on the east and west were Dr. Ezra S. Parke, at Pietv Hill, 


and 1 )r. ICziukic-1 W'ehh at l-aniiington. 'I'lic country was l)Ut sparsely 
settled, and [jliAsicians were called from a long distance. Doctor Ray- 
nale, in the ])erforniance of liis professional duties, was obliged to tra- 
verse and retraverse the townships of West jiloomfield, Farniingtoii, 
Southfield and JJioomiield, always on horseback, and it was not long 
before he began to enjoy that professional popularity and esteem which 
has followed him through all the years of his career. 

During the winter of 1828-29 he procured the establishment of the 
postoffice of Franklin, and was himself apjiointed ]iostmaster, a posi- 
tion which he held for seven years. 

In October, 1830, he married Aliss Eliza. Cassidy, of Springville, 
Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania. They had four children; Mrs. !•'.. 
R. King, of Pontiac; S. B. Raynale, of Corunna, Michigan; Mrs. G. 
A. Patterson, of Detroit ; and Dr. C. M. Raynale, of Birmingham. 

Seneca Newberry, Deleg.xti-: to 1835 .\nd 1850 Coxvextioxs 

Seneca Newberry was born December 23, 1802, in Windsor, Con- 
necticut. In 1827 he removed to Detroit and there sectired employment 
with his cousin, Oliver Newberry, where he remained for about two 
years, then removing to Rochester and engaged in mercantile pursuits. 
He accumulated a large fortune and was able to retire from business in 
1847. He was a man of prominence and reliability and was elected a 
member of the first and second state conventions which were called in 
1835 3"d 1850 for the purpose of forming a state constitution. He 
was a stanch Democrat and served two terms in the state senate as the 
representative of Oakland county. 

The Newberry family originated in Devonshire, England, and it 
has been said that John Newberry of this family discovered the art of 
weaving. The family is very old and has always been one of respecta- 
bility and prominence with regard to public affairs. The parents of 
Seneca Newberry were Dyer and Ruth (Birge) Newberry, natives of 
Connecticut, the former of whom, a sea captain and a soldier in the 
Revolutionary war, was one of the guards placed over Governor Frank- 
lyn when he was taken from Connecticut to New Jersev. 

Air. Newberry died in Rochester on ^lay 13, 1877. 


Lysander Woodw'ard was a New Yorker who located at Rochester 
soon after attaining his majority, becoming a well-to-do farmer and a 
leader in state ])olitics. As a Republican, he held numerous important 
offices in the gift of the people. The office of justice of the peace has 
been creditably filled by him, and he was several times elected super- 
visor of the township in which he lived. In 1S60 he was elected to the 
representative branch of the legislature from the first district of Oak- 
land county, and served one regular term and two extra sessions. From 
1866 to 1870 he occupied the office of county treasurer, and for three 
years he w-as president of the Oakland County .Agricultural Society. 
,\s noted, he represented Oakland count\- as a member of the constitu- 
tional commission of 1873. 

.Mr. Woodward was among the first to conceive and advocate the 


building of the Detroit and Bay City railway, and spent much time and 
money in its construction. In 1S71 he was chosen the first president 
of the company, and held that office for two years, his entire record being 
one that will bear the closest scrutiny. 

St.\te Oi-'ficial.s, Eli-xted .\xd Appointed 

Following is a list of residents of Oakland county wlm have been 
honored by election or appointment to state offices: Moses Wisner, gov- 
vernor, 1859-1861 ; Fred M. Warner (three terms), 1905-1911; Thomas 
T. Drake, acting lieutenant governor, 1S41-1842; Origen D. Richardson, 
lieutenant governor, 1842-1846; Gideon O. Whittemore. secretary of 
state, 1846-1848; Fred M. Warner, secretary of state, 1901-1904; Dan- 
iel Le Roy, attorney general, 1836-1837; Gideon O. Whittemore, state 
board of education, 1852-1856; Charles H. Palmer, university regent, 
1852-1857: Henry M.^ Zimmerman, commissioner of banking, 1907-1911; 
George W^ Dickinson, state railroad commissioner, 1907-1913. Council Represext.vtive.s 

In the various legislative councils for the territory of Michigan from 
1824 to 1836, Oakland county was represented as follows: 

First (first session, June 7 to August 5, 1824; second session, Janu- 
ary 17 to April 21, i825)- — Stephen Mack and Roger Sprague. 

Second (first session, November 2 to December 30, 1826; second 
session, January i to April 13, 1827) — Sidney Dole and William F. 

Third (first session. May 5 to July 3. 1828; second session, Septem- 
ber 7 to November 5, 1829) — Thomas J. Drake and Stej^hcn V. R. 

Fourth (first session. May 11 to July 31, 1830; second session, Janu- 
ary 4 to March 4, 1831) — Daniel LeRoy and Thomas J. Drake. 

Fifth (first session. May i to June 29, 1832; second session, Janu- 
ary I to April 23, 1833) — Charles C. Hascall and Roger Sprague. 

Sixth (first session, January 7 to March 7, 1834; extra session, Sep- 
tember I to September 8, 1834; adjourned session, November 11 to De- 
cember 31, 1834; second regular session, January 12 to March 28, 1835; 
special session, August 17 to August 25, 1835) — Charles C. Hascall and 
Samuel Satterlee. 

Spe.xkers and Clerk of the House 

Representatives of the lower house of the legislature from Oakland 
county who have been chosen speakers of that body were Alfred H. 
Hanscom (1845) ; Byron G. Stout (1857) and P. Dean Warner (1867). 

Speakers pro tern: William .\. Pratt (1845) -i^cl Augustus C. Bald- 
win (1846). 

Augustus W. Hovey, of Pontiac, served as clerk of the house of 
representatives of the state legislature for the sessions of 1844. 1846, 
1847, 1848 and 1849. 

*Took liis se:it Noveiiilier 6, 1S26. 


^Michigan Lechsi-ators kuom Oakland County 

The following mi-mhers 6i Ihc Michigan legislature served from 
1835 to 1910 inclusive, the subdivisions indicating name, postoffice ad- 
dress, number of district and session of service. In the list relating to 
representatives, when only Oakland county is mentioned it is to be un- 
derstood that in the year designated it formed a district alone: 

State Senators 

Willard B. Arms; White Lake; sth (1885) and 6th (1857, '58). 

*Samuel Axford; Oxford; 6th; 1851. 

Charles V. Babcock; Southfield; 5th (1863, '64) and 20th (1875). 

Alfred J. Boss; Pontiac ; 4th; 1855. 

Charles B. Boughner ; Pontiac; 14th; 1891, '92. 

Mark S. Brewer; Pontiac; 20th; 1873, '74. 

Thornton F. Broadhead ; Pontiac; 6th; i8^o. 

Charles L Deyo : Oxford ; 14th ; 1887. 

Charles Draper; F^ontiac : 3th: 1867. 

Franklin B. Galbraith ; Pontiac; 14th; 1889. 

Sanford M. Green ; Pontiac ; 6th ; 1844, '6, '7. 

James M. Hoyt; Walled Lake; 6th; 1859. 

*Thomas D. Lane; South Lyon; 7th; 1861, '62. 

John P. LeRoy; Pontiac; 3d (1840, '41) and 6th (1851). 

** Randolph Manning; Pontiac; 5th; 1837. 

James McCabe; Pontiac; 6th; 1848, '49. 

Seneca Newberry; Rochester; 4th; 1853. 

John M. Xorton ; Rochester; 15th; 1883. 

John G. Owen; Clarkston ; 6th; 1861, '62. 

* Layman B. Price; Lakeville; 5th; 1871, '72. 
Ebenezer Raynale; Franklin; 5th; 1835-6, '7. 

* Thaddeus D. Seeley; Pontiac; 12th; 1905, '07. 
Samuel W. Smith ; Pontiac ; 15th : 1885. 

* Byron G. Stout; Pontiac; 5th; i86i,''62. 
Loren L. Treat; Oxford; 5th; 1865. 

Rowland E. Trowbridge; ]^>irminghani ; 5th; 1857, "8, 9. 
Stephen V. R. Trowbridge; Birmingham: 3d (1839, '40, 'i) and 6th 

Fred ^L Warner; Farmington : 12th: 1895; '/• '§• 

* P. Dean Warner; Farmington; 5th; 1869, '70. 

* L Rov Waterburv : FTighland Station ; 12th : 1903. 

* Elliott R. Wilcox; Pontiac; i8th: 1877. 
"Tsaac Wixom ; Farmington: 6th: 1842. '43. 

* David A. Wright: Taylorville : 5th: 1853. 

State Repkicsicntatives 

Lsaac Adams, Troy, Oakland county, 1838. 

Abran Allen, Commerce, Oakland county, 4th, 1865. 

* Also representative (see list). 
**To fill vac.Tiicy caused liy resignation of Charles C. Hascall. 


John L. Andrews, :\lilford, 3d, 1871, '72. 
Joseph Arnold, Lakeville, Oakland county, 1842. 
Seymour Arnold. Lakeville, Oakland county, 1845. 
Andrew V. Austin, Milford, 2d. 1903. '05. 
Samuel Axford, Jr., Oxford, Oakland county, 1842. 
William Axford, Clarkston, Oakland county, 1850. 
Henry S. Babcock, Southtield. Oakland county, 1842. 
Levi Bacon, Jr., Pontiac 2d, 1857, '58. 
Francis Baker, Groveland, Oakland county. 1848. 
Augustus C. Baldwin, Milford. Oakland county, 1844, '46. 
Charles Baldwin, Rochester and Pontiac, Oakland county (1846) 
and 3d (1879, '81, '2). 

Ezra P. Baldwin, Birmingham, Oakland county, 1848. 

Hiram Barritt, Walled Lake, Oakland county. 1846. 

James Bayley, Big^ Beaver, ist, 1865. 

Uriah Beebe, Orion, ist. 1859. 

Friend Belding, Birmingham. Oakland county, 1849. 

George Blakeslee. Birmingham. 5th, 1861, '62. 

Eli H. Bristol, Commerce, 4th. 1853. 

Benjamin Brown, Walled Lake, 4th, 1859. 

George Brownell. East Farmington, Oakland county, 1835-36. 

Henry S. Buel, Franklin. 5th, 1859. 

Ahasiierus W. Buell, Holly, 3d. 1S63. 

William Burbank. Rochester, Oakland county, 1837. 

Delebar Burroughs, Fentonville, Oakland county. 1850. 

John H. Button, Farmington, Oakland county, 1840. 

Allen Campbell. Groveland, Oakland county, 1875. 

Charles K. Carpenter, Orion, 2d, 1859. 

William E. Carpenter, Pontiac, 2d, 1883. '91, '2. 

Samuel Chamberlin. Pontiac. 2d. 1855. 

Jonathan Chase, Royal Oak. Oakland county, 1839. 

Edwin G. Clark, Clarkston, ist, 1877. 

Elijah B. Clark. New Canandaigua, Oakland county, 1847. 

Jeremiah Clark. Clarkston, Oakland countv. 1839, '41. 

"Bela Cdgshall, Holly, 2d, 1869, '70. 

Lewis M. Covert, Waterford Center. Oakland county, 1851. 

George D. Cowdin, Oxford, 2d, 1907. 

William W. Crippen, Milford. 2d, 1893. 

Thomas Curtis, Kensington. Oakland county, 1841. 

John Davis. Birmingham. Oakland county, 1844, '46. 

Robert W. Davis. Oxford. Oakland county, 1849. 

Oliver P. Davison, Highland, Oakland county, 1847. 

Jesse Decker, Orion, Oakland county, 1838, '39. 

Solomon W. Denton, Pontiac, Oakland county, 1848. 

* Peter Dow, Pontiac, 2d, 1875. 

Peter Dox, Birmingham. Oakland county, 1850. 
John Ellenwood, Pine Lake. Oakland county. 1835-36. 
"Francis W. Fifield. Pontiac, 2d. 1863. '64. 

* Also senator (sec list). 


Ilonry K. l'"ootc, W'allud Lake and .Milford, (Jakland county, (1837, 
'40) and' 4th (1861, '62). 

Philip S. I'Visbee, Davisburg, 3d, 1859. 

Almon B. Frost, Oakland, 1st, 187 1, '2. 

William Gage, Holly, Oakland county, 1843. 

John Galloway, Waterford Center, Oakland county, 1845. 

Samuel N. Gantt, Pontiac, Oakland county, 1838. 

James S. Gray, Troy, ist, 1883. 

David A. Green, Pontiac, 1st. 1909. 

John Hadley, Jr., Holly, 3d, 1861, '62. 

D. Judson Hammond, Pontiac, ist, |8(J7. '98, 99. "oo. 

Alfred H. Hanscom, Pontiac, Oakland county, 1842, '45. 

Seeley Harger, West Bloomfield, Oakland county, 1849. 

Haran Haskins, Pine Lake, Oakland county, 1837. 

William H. Haze, Farmington, 5th, 1857, '8, "63, '4. 

Cass E. Herrington, Pontiac, ist, 1887. 

Hiram Iliglev. Rochester, Oakland county, 1835, '36. 

David Hobar't, Holly, 2d, 1889. 

Joseph H. Holman, Rochester, 1st, 1885. 

"Sardis F. Hubbell, Milford, Oakland county, 1851. 

Augustus S. Johnson, Springfield, Oakland county, 1845. 

Daniel F. Johnson, Groveland, Oakland county, 1840. 

Alonzo S. Knapp, South Lyon, 2d, 1873, '74. 

Elbridge (L Knowleton, Groveland, Oakland county, 1844. 

Daniel S. Lee, Xovi. Oakland county, 1843. 

William E. Littell, Orion, ist, 1879! "81, ^2. 

John S. Livermore, Rochester, Oakland county, 1839, '42. 

Major F. Lockwood, Milford, Oakland county, 1849. 

Henry M. Look, Pontiac, 2d, 1865. 

Thomas N. Loomis, Oxford, Oakland county, 1847. 

Almon Mack, Rochester, Oakland county, 1848. 

Peter D. Makley, Oxford. Oakland county, 1847. 

Robert W. ALalcolm, Commerce, 2d, 1885. 

William R. Marsh. White Lake, 3d, 1853. 

Harry N. AIcCracl<en, Farmington, ist, 1905, "07. 

Thomas AIcGraw, Pontiac, Oakland county, 1847. 

Henry Miller, Rochester, 1st, 1833, '63, '4. 

Zebina M. Mowry, .Milford. Oakland 'county, 1848. 

* Johnson Niles, Troy. Oakland county, 1835-36. 
John D. Norton, Pontiac, 3d, 1875, '"/"/. 

"Nathan C. Parkhurst, Pontiac, Oakland county (1849) and 2d (1853). 

James Patterson, Fenton. Oakland county. 1851. 

Aaron I'erry. Oakland, 1st, 1873, "74. 

Nathan S. Philbrick, Farmington, (lakland county. 1841. 

Orrin Pop])leton, Uirmingliam, 5th, 1853. 

William Pojipleton, I'lirmingham, Oakland county. 1843. 

Nathan Power, h'armington, 5th. 1855. 

Pliny Power. Oxford, Oakland county, 1844. 

William A. I 'rail, k'ranklin, Oakland county, 1843. "4, '5. 

* Also senator (sec list). 


Jacob Price. Brandon, Oakland county. 1850. 

Asa Reynolds. Rose, 3d, 1855. 

Origen D. Richardson, Pontiac, Oakland county, 1835-6, '41. 

Squire W. Rowe. Highland. 3d, 1865. 

Harvey Seeley, Pontiac, Oakland county, 1843. 

Jesse Seeley, White Pake, (Jakland. county, 1847. 

Alorgan L. 'Smith, Alilford, 4th, 1855. 

Erastus Spaulding, Pontiac, 4th, 1867. 

Rollin Sprague, Rochester, Oakland county, 1840. 

Horace Stevens, Waterford, Oakland county, 1845. 

*Byron G. Stout, Troy, ist, 1855, '7. 

Jefferson K. Tindall. Davisburg, 2d, 1887. 

Arthur R. Tripp, Pontiac, ist, 1891, '2, '3. 

Hiram Voorheis, Xew Canandaigua, Oakland county, 1851. 

Isaac I. Voorheis, pontiac. Oakland county, 1835-6, '48. 

Peter A^oorheis. Pontiac, ist. 1895. 

Sebring \'oorheis. White Lake, 4th, 1863, '64. 

George Vowles, New Hudson, 3d, 1869, '70. 

* Daniel B. Wakefield, Springfield, Oakland county, 1838. 

* P. Dean Warner, Farmington, Oakland county (1851), 5th (1865) 
and 3d (1867). 

* I. Roy Waterbury, Highland Station, 2d, 1899, '00, "oi. 
Alanson J. Webster, Pontiac, 2d, 1871, 'j2. 

James Webster, Groveland, (.)akland county, 1846. 
Marshall M. Welles, Kensington, Oakland county, 1850. 
John A. Wendell, Rose, Oakland county, 1842. 
Darwin O. White, Southfield, 4th, 1869, '70, 'i, '2. 

* Elliott R. Wilcox, Rochester, ist. 1869. "70. 
George Willoughby, Clyde, 2d, 1909. 
Jeremiah C. Wilson, Rochester, ist, 1867. 

■ George W. Wisner, Pontiac, Oakland county, 1837. 

* Isaac Wixom. Farmington. Oakland county, 1838, '39. 

* David A. Wright. Austin, Oakland county, 1849. 
Horatio Wright, Austin, 2d, 1867. 

Herman A. Wyckoff, White Lake, 2d, 1881, '82. 
George Yerkes, Novi, 2d, 1879. 

William Yerkes, West Farmington and Xorthville, Oakland county 
(1837) and 4th (1857, '58).^ 

Elisha Zimmerman, Pontiac, 3d, 1S73, '4. 


The various wars which have agitated the state since Oakland county 
was organized have caused political disturbances to a more or less de- 
gree. The Civil war was the only event of that kind, however, which 
became a real issue. In the cases of the "Toledo war" over the Michi- 
gan-Ohio boundary dispute, the home sentiment was unanimous in main- 
taining the contentions of the home state. The same statement applies 

* .'\lso senator (see list). 


to the ]\Jexican war, but it is well known that in Oakland county, as in 
all the northern states, there was a small but persistent element which 
fought the prosecution of the W'ar a very few of its members going to 
an extent which bordered on disloyalty to the national government. 



Basis of Public School System — Central University and Branches 
— First Academies in Oakland County^ — Heads of the County 
System — Remains a Perpetual Fund — Duties of the Teacher 
OF Today — Standings Required — District Libraries — High 
School Scholars-^— District Schools of the County — Present 
Status of Schools. 

The county system of public schools is, of course, an integer of the 
greater system which originates in the state constitution and laws. For 
that reason, if for no other, a brief review of the legislation through 
which the splendid Michigan system has been developed is herewith 

Basis of Public School System 

The ordinance of 1787 for the government of the northwest terri- 
tory contained the oft-quoted provision that "schools and the means of 
education shall forever be encouraged," and the congressional act of 
1804' reserved from the sale of public lands section 16 in each town- 
ship "for the support of schools." These acts were confirmed when 
Michigan became a territory in 1805 ; but the first regular school law 
of the territory was not enacted until 1827, the year when the town- 
ship form of government was fully established in Oakland county, as 
has been already described in chapter XH. By the provisions of that 
act the citizens of any township having fifty householders were obliged 
to provide themselves with a schoolmaster of good morals, to teach the 
children to read and write ; and a township containing two hundred 
householders was obliged to have a schoolmaster who could teach Latin, 
French and English. Neglect to comply with these provisions made the 
people of the township liable to a fine of from fifty to one hundred and 
fifty dollars. 

In 1833 the law was passed which created the office of superintend- 
ent of public schools, and provided for three commissioners and ten 
inspectors to take charge of the school lands, which had by the con- 
gressional act of 1828 been under the control of the governor and ter- 
ritorial council. As it often happened that school section 16 was under 
water, or otherwise almost valueless, when Michigan was admitted into 

the Union in January, 1837, provision was made for securing land which 
Vol. I— !.n 



might be of some real advantage to the school fund — the ordinance by 
which it became a state declaring that "section Xo. i6 in every township 
of the public lands (and where such section has been sold or otherwise 
disposed of, other lands equivalent thereto, and as contiguous as may 
be) shall be granted to the state for the use of schools." This pro- 
vision also greatly simplified the work of managing the school lands 
and the accruing fund. One great advantage of this plan has lieen that 
all sections of the state shared equally and at once in the benefits of this 
general fund. The loss in consequence of poor sections was shared Ijy 
the whole state. 

Centrai, University and Branches 

The act of congress of 1804 for the disposal of the ])ublic lands of 
the northwest territory reserved three townships for the use of semi- 
naries of learning, and one of these townships was for that part of the 
territory now constituting the state of Michigan. In 1817 three sections 
were granted to the College of Detroit. The proceeds of this last grant 
were afterward added to the university fund, which was established by 
legislative act in 1837. This not only provided for the founding of the 
State University, but for the establishment of several branches, one 
of which was at Pontiac. This branch was opened on the 15th of Sep- 
tember, 1837, under the principalship of Professor George P. Williams. 
The magnificent plan of Judge Woodward for a grand central uni- 
versity, with branches at various localities throughout the state, was 
tested and found wanting. Its principal drawback was that which in- 
cumbered most of his plans ; they were too large for the times and the 
available funds. The last appropriation for the maintenance of the 
branches was made by the legislature of 1S46. 

First Academies in 0.m<land County 

Two academies were incorporated in Oakland county in territorial 
times — the first at Auburn village, under an act approved March 2, 
1831, with Benjamin Phelps, S. \'. R. Trowbridge, Elizur Goodrich, 
Ezra S. Park, Reuben Woodford, Seth Beach and George Ilornell as 

The Pontiac Academy, the second institution of the kind, was in- 
corporated by territorial act of April 2t,. 1833, and its original trustees 
were Samuel Sherwood, Hervey Parke, ()lmstead Chanil)erlin, Amasa 
Andrews and William Thompson. 

With the advent of the state public school system these academies 
and various private and select schools disa]3])eared, since which the 
people of Oakland county, in commiMi with those of the entire com- 
monwealtli, have depended with ever increasing appreciation upon the 
system j^rovided b_\' the state. 

lIivNDs Ol- THE CofNTv System 

The county supcrintendency of schools was established by legislative 
act of 1866-7. and continued until it was abolished in 1875. In .\pril, 
1867, Charles Hurd was elected and served until September of that 


year, when he resigned and Phihp M. Parker was appointed in his 
place, serving the balance of the two-years term. In April, 1869. Wil- 
liam Littell was elected, but did not qualify and ^Ir. Parker was reap- 
pointed. The latter resigned in September, 1870, and a Mr. Wilbur was 
appointed to fill his term. Johnson A. Corbin was elected in April, 1871, 
reelected in April, 1873, and served until the repeal of the law in 1875. 
A law was then enacted creating the office of township school superin- 
tendent, giving Oakland county twenty-five, each supreme within his 

Rem.mns .\ "Perpetual Fund" 

Section II, of Article XI, of the 1909 constitution, is as follows : 
"The proceeds form the sales of all lands that have been or hereafter 
may be granted by the United States to the state for educational pur- 
poses and the proceeds of all lands or other property given by individ- 
uals or appropriated Iw the state for like purposes shall be and remain 
a perpetual fund, the interest and income of which, together with the 
rents of all such lands as may remain unsold, shall be inviolably appro- 
priated and annually applied to the specific objects of the original gift, 
grant or appropriation." The original constitution of the state also re- 
quired that the proceeds derived from the sale of the school lands 
should remain a prepetual educational fund. 

The county school commissioner is now at the head of the system. 
Since 1877 the management of the schools of Oakland county has been 
in the hands of Elmer R. Webster, Harry H. Snowdon, Harry S. Elliott 
and Abram L. Craft (present incumbent). No section of the state has 
made more substantial advancement in superior and practical develop- 
ments of its system of public education than this ; and the very mention 
of these names is a forcible explanation for the solid work accomplished 
during the past thirty-five years. 


What is expected of the teacher of today in the Oakland county 
schools is well put in the last "directory" issued by Commissioner Craft, 
under the head "Duties of Teachers." 

1. It is the duty of the teacher to place upon the blackboard or 
wall, within three days after the beginning of school, a program of the 
daily work, giving the time of each recitation. 

2. The teacher should practice such discipline as would be exer- 
cised by a wise parent in a well governed home; being always firm, but 

3. Use good judgment in teaching the pupils to be neat and orderly 
at all times. 

4. Insist upon having order in the room during the recess interval 
as well as during school hours. 

5. Teach pupils the principles of morality and virtue and imjiress 
upon their minds the value and care of school property. 

6. Keep the school room comfortably warm and well ventilated. 


7. Have plenty uf "Inisy seat work" for young' i)ui)ils when not in 

8. Encourage the Eighth Grade pupils; give thcni frequent reviews 
in all studies and insist upon thorough advance work. 

Standings Reouirkd 

The following standings are required in Oakland county by the 
board of school examiners : 

First grade certificates, 85 per cent average, 75 per cent minimum. 

Second grade certificates, 85 per cent average; 70 per cent minimum. 

Third grade certificates, 80 per cent average, 65 per cent minimum. 

A standing of not less than 75 per cent is required in arithmetic, 
grammar, orthography and spelling for all grades of certificates. 

Eighth grade, average 80 per cent ; 65 per cent minimum. 

Applicants not known to any member of the board must furnish 
letters of recommendation. 

Teachers holding certificates issued by other authority than the 
county board of school examiners, must promptly file the same in the 
office of the commissioner of schools to become legally (|ualified teachers. 

A male teacher is required to pay an annual fee of one dollar and 
a female teacher an annual fee of fifty cents, to the director or secretary 
of the board at time of contracting providing such fee has not been 
previously paid within the current year, and no teacher is legally quali- 
fied until such fee is paid. 

The growing sentiment among school officers and patrons of school 
districts in favor of teachers who have had some preparation besides 
high school to begin their work in the school room, has caused the 
board of school examiners to adopt the recommendation of the superin- 
tendent of public instruction, that applicants for third grade certificates 
should attend the Ypsilanti Summer School, the Ferris Institute, or 
some equivalent school. 

District Libr.xries 

School district libraries are provided for in Sections 4757 to 4764 
of the school laws. Any district, by a two-thirds vote of all the qualitied 
voters present at an annual meeting, may establish a district library. 
When so established the district is entitled to such a share of the fine 
moneys, apportioned by the state superintendent through the county 
treasurer to the township, as the number of children of school age in 
the district bears to the whole number of children in the township. 

The district board has charge of the lilirary, may appoint a librarian 
other than the director. The librarian must report annually to the 
state librarian through the commissioner of schools. 

The director must report the library in his annual report to the 
superintendent of public instruction in order to enable the district to 
draw its share of the fine moneys. 

The law provides that the director shall purchase a case for library 
books, and the library should be kept at the school house. 


Tliere is no reason why every school district in the state should not 
maintain a library, and it is hoped that school officers and teachers will 
make a strenuous effort to provide this means of culture for the chil- 
dren placed under their care. 

High School Scholars 

All eighth grade scholars who have passed the eighth grade county 
examination and received diplomas may enter any of the three nearest 
high schools and their tuition must be paid by their district. Pro- 
vided, that the parent or legal guardian of such children must notify the 
officers of their district of their intention to send their children to a spe- 
cified high school on or before the fourth Monday in June. The amount 
of such tuition cannot exceed twenty dollars per year. Surplus primary 
money niay be used to pay tuition, and the school board may vote a 
tax for the payment of transportation of such children. 

District S<tiool.s of the County 

The district schools included in the public school system of Oak- 
land county are as follows : Addison township — Brewer, Leonard, 
Lakeville, Kingsbury, National and Arnold schools. 

Avon township — Stony Creek, Wilcox, Frank, Hamlin, Rochester, 
Brewster, Ross, Flubbell, Christian Hill, Graham and Stiles schools. 

Bloomfield township — Pjirmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Hickory Grove, 
Linton, Gilbert Lake, Hammond, Tuscarora, Wing Lake and Bartlett 

Brandon townshii^ — Seymour Lake, Oak Hill. Union, Brandon Cen- 
ter and Ortonville schools. 

Commerce township — Plains, Walled Lake, Sugden, Stephens, Sleeth, 
Union, Burch, Killam, W^ixom, Jones, Commerce and Patten schools. 

Farmington township — Coleman, Geriuan, Nichols, Green, Thayer, 
Fair View, West Farmington, Farmington, Clarenceville and Noble 

Groveland township — Algoe, Stone, Campbell, Groveland Center, Cot- 
tage and Bird schools. 

Highland township — Hickory Ridge, Clyde, Excelsior, Highland Sta- 
tion and tirub schools. 

Holly township — Stony Run, Bel ford, Five Points. Olive Branch, 
Holly, Patterson, Willover and Trajihagan schools. 

Independence township — Sashabaw, Clarkston, Bailey Lake, Hunter 
and Bigelow schools. 

Lyon township — Kensington, Wood, Wilson, Blackwood, Smith, New 
Hudson, Bullard and South Lyon schools. 

Alilford township — Town Line, Foote, Bird, Milford, Stone, Tuck, 
Taylor, Welch, Pickett and Hale schools. 

Novi township — Bassett, East Novi, Stone, West Novi, Yerkes, Chap- 
man, Novi, Griswold and Sanford schools. 

Oakland township — Snell, Goodison, Kline, Brush, Eaton and Car- 
penter schools. 


Orion township — Howarth, Clark, ( )ri()n. Shanghai, I'rospccl, l!ig- 
ler, Wilson. 1 'roper and IJlocl':- schools. 

Oxford township — North Oxford, Oakwood, Kast Travis, (J.xford, 
Town Corners and West Travis schools. 

Pontiac township — Amy, Shattuck, Stanley. Kemp. I'.all Mountain, 
Five Points, Phillips and Hallstead sciiools. 

Rose township — Seaver, Craft, Jones, .Stone, Rose Corners, Rose 
Center and Pioneer schools. 

Royal Oak township — Parker, Starr, Clinton, Lamphere, Stumpf, 
Royal Oak, Baker, Hazel Park and Porter schools. 

Southfield township — Franklin, Bingham, Erity, Jackson, Beddow, 
Angling, McKinley, Brace, Klett and Southfield. 

Springfield townshii:) — Springfield Plains, Brondige, Davisburg, An- 
dersonville, Springfield, Covell and Austin schools. 

Troy township — Troy Fractional, Troy, Leonard, Smith, Coleran, Big 
Beaver, Log Cabin, Poppleton and Stone schools. 

Waterford township — Elizabeth Lake, Four Towns, Covert, Water- 
ford Center, Clarkston Station, Clintonville, Drayton Plains, Wj'ckoi? 
and Waterford schools. 

West Bloomfield — Eagle, Scotch, Pcnnell, i'ine Lake, Hosner, Green 
and Walnut Lake schools. 

W'hite Lake townsliip — Webster, Granger, White Lake Center, Gib- 
son, Fair, Thompson, Dublin and White Lake schools. 

Present St.\tus of Schools 

Commissioner Craft's annual report to the state board of education 
was filed in July, 1912, the Pontiac city schools not being included in 
the figures given. From this document it api)ears that the entire census 
enrollment in the county is ii,9fi<S, with an average school attendance 
of 8,378. The total number of teachers employed, including Pontiac 
city, is 408, while the whole number of legally qualified teachers in the 
county is 424, showing that all but 16 are employed. 

The school commissioner made 340 visits from September 15th to 
June 15th, 20 schools were visited twice. Fifty-five inexperienced teachers 
were added to the force during the year. The amount of fees collected 
and credited to the teachers' institute fund is the largest ever known 
in the county to date, being $506, after paying for expenses of the 
teachers' mid-winter institute and the summer school at Ypsilanti. The 
total amount paid the teachers is $1 16,000, leaving a surplus of $19,651.37 
primary money. There are 285 female teachers emjiloyed receiving 
$92,140 or an average salary of $32.33 a month, while 32 male teachers 
receive for the same length of term, $19,460, or an average monthly 
salary of $62. The above average includes su]X'rintcndents and ])rin- 
cipals of all high schools outside of J'ontiac city. 

The districts raise for general expenses, $45,192, or $4 jier capita. 
There is a surplus library fund of $2,228.85. .\11 but 58 schools in the 
county maintain libraries. The townshi]) of Lyon has no sur])lus pri- 
mary money on hand, while the township of Royal Oak has $3,514.76. 

Three districts in the county have enough ])rimary money on hand 


to run their school for two years. Four districts closed their schools 
during the past year and paid tuition to adjoining districts. There are 
334 eighth grade pupils in the county exclusive of the graded schools, 
of this number 192 received diplomas at the May examination and will 
enter the high schools, being eligible to free tuition from their respective 

The number of districts supplied with maps, charts, globes and dic- 
tionaries is 192, while 140 have flags and iio have wells as required by 
law. There are no districts in the county furnishing free text-books. 

Three public examinations were held during the year and 165 teachers 
and 311 eighth grade pupils attended the same; 115 certificates were 
issued to teachers and 192 diplomas granted to eighth grade pupils. 
There are in the county 100 state normal graduates, 63 county normal 
graduates and 12 who hold state life and University of Michigan cer- 
tificates and 25 who ^have city certificates. 

All but 20 schools in the county have a uniform series of text-books, 
following an adopted course of study as prescribed by the commissioner, 
and 25 districts have a regular course of study adopted by the school 

Not a district in the county has lost its primary money in two years 
through neglect of directors or school commissioners. Oakland county, 
through careful management, is one of the first to file reports with the 
state department, and no report has ever been rejected by the state. 



First Oakland County Highway — Other Roads Established — Im- 
provement OF THE Clinton River — First Michigan Railway 
Chartered — Detroit & Pontiac Railroad Company — Finally 
Completed to Birmingham — Detroit & Milwaukee Railway 
Company — Establishment of Present Systems — Coming of Elec- 
tric Lines — The Grand Trunk System, — The Michigan Cen- 
tral — Pere Marquette Railroad^ — Detroit United Railway — 

It was not until the late 'twenties that the roads which lirought immi- 
grants to Oakland county from north and south were sufficiently estab- 
lished to encourage settlement. The military road begun by Colonel 
Leavenworth in 1817, started from Detroit and followed the old Indian 
trail to Saginaw. Previous to 1819 this highway had been completed 
about three miles, besides "corduroyed" several additional miles. What 
manner of road it was, has been already told by Capt. Plervey Parke, 
the surveyor, and other early comers into this region by way of Detroit. 

First Oakland County Higiiw.vy 

An act to establish a road along the Detroit-Saginaw route was 
passed December 7, 1818, and the following proclamation by Governor 
Cass completed the legislation relating to it: 

"Whereas, by virtue of the provisions of an act of this territory 
passed the 7th day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
eight hundred and eighteen, entitled "An act to establish a certain road,' 
the governor was empowered to lay out and make a pul)lic highway and 
road mentioned therein, and to appoint three commissioners for carry- 
ing the said act into effect ; and whereas, John Hunt, Ezra Baldwin and 
Levi Cook, Esquires, commissioners as aforesaid, did, on the 13th day 
of December instant, transmit to me their report upon the subject of 
the said road ; 

"Now, therefore, by virtue of said act antl in conformity with the 
said report, I do lay out the followin<j as a public road or highway 
namely: Commencing at the center of the military square in Woodward 
avenue, in the city of Detroit, and running along said avenue to Witherell 
street, and thence with Witherell street to the commencement of the 



space of one hundred feet between lots 56 and 57, in Fletcher's plan of 
the survey of the tract of land granted by the act of congress passed 
April 21, 1806, and entitled (an act to provide for the adjustment of 
the titles of land in the town of Detroit and territory of Michigan, and 
for other purposes) ; thence along the said space of one hundred feet 
and, with the course thereof, through the said tract ; then thence west- 
wardly on the road which was opened and cut by the troops of the United 
States to the termination thereof ; thence westwardly to a large oak- 
tree standing on the right of the Saginaw trail, so-called, and within a 
short distance of the same, the said tree being marked with the letter 
H ; thence westwardly in a direct line as surveyed and marked by 
Horatio Ball, to the main street in the village of Pontiac, and thence 
along said street to the termination ; and the line surveyed as aforesaid 
is to be the center of the road. 

"In testimony whereof I have caused the seal of the said territory 
to be hereunto affixed. Given under my hand at Detroit, this fifteenth 
day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred 
and nineteen. 

"Lewis C.\ss. 
"By the Governor : 

"William Woodbridge, 

"Secretary of Michigan Territory." 

This road, originally commenced by Colonel Leavenworth, was ex- 
tended from time to time, under various acts of legislation by the terri- 
torial government, until it reached a point some six miles beyond the 
present city of Flint, about 1834. It was cut out of the width of one 
hundred feet through its whole course and graded to a width of eighty 
feet. Subsequent to the admission of Michigan as a state, it was worked 
by the various counties through which it passes until it became a splen- 
did turnpike. 

Other Roads Established 

By act of July 23, 182S, a road was ordered laid out from the north- 
east corner of Oakland count}', running south along the county line 
until it intersected the Detroit and Pontiac turnpike. Under the same 
act a road commencing at the bridge over the Clinton river in Pontiac 
and running along the north side of Pine lake, the east side of Orchard 
lake and the north side of Walled lake, was also ordered. The council 
act approved March 4, 1831, ordered a road laid from Pontiac south- 
west to a point on the road between ^Monroe and Ypsilanti ; that of 
June 26, 1832, one running from section 18 in Southfield township to 
Detroit; and the acts of April 4 and April 20, 1833, authorized thorough- 
fares from Bloomfield west to the Pontiac and Monroe road and from 
the same point, through Auburn, to Flint. Nearly all of these roads 
were afterwards substantially graded and graveled. 

The legislative records show, however, that the act of 1819 ordering 
the Detroit and Pontiac turnpike was not fully carried out; for in June, 
1822, another act was passed by the council authorizing the governor 
to appoint three commissioners to establish a road from Detroit via 
Pontiac, to Saginaw, or the Saginaw river. Again, an act approved 


August 5, 1824. iiicor])orating the I'onliac and Taint Creek Turnpike 
Company, named the followmg as the incorporators : John R. Wil- 
liams, Daniel LeRoy, Peter I. Desnoyers, William Thompson, Solomon 
Sibley, Amasa Bagley. James McCloskcy, David Sauard. IJenjamin 
Woodvvorth, Jonathan Kearsley. Johnson X'iles, David C. McKinstry. 
Thomas Palmer, Cyrus Chipman and Olmstead Chamberlain. This 
turnpike was to extend from a point three miles from the Detroit river 
on the present road, by the most practicable route via Royal Oak to 
the courthouse in Pontiac. with a branch from Royal Oak to a point on 
Paint creek to be fixed by the commissioners. The corporation stock 
was fixed at $200,000, divided into eight hundred equal shares. James 
McCloskey, Daniel LeRoy and Johnson Xiles were ai:)pointed commis- 
sioners to receive subscriptions. This was a toll-road, with two gates — 
one near Detroit and the other within half a mile of where the Paint 
creek branch commenced. 

The contrast of the old and the more modern roads, noted in the 
following paragraph written thirty-five years ago is further intensified 
by the many improvements made in the thoroughfares of the county 
within the intervening period : "The contrast between the smooth turn- 
pike-roads of the present day. upon which an ordinary roadster can 
easily make eight miles an hour, anfl the bridle paths and subsequent 
'corduroys,' where the speed was seldom more than one or two miles 
per hour, is indeed wonderful. The first twelve miles from Detroit on 
the Saginaw trail was nearly an impenetrable swamp, covered with heavy 
timber and so level that the water stood upon the surface a greater 
part of the year. Many a venturesome pioneer, who had perhaps found 
his way from New York or New England, has had the last atom of 
faith in the new country taken from him in this indescribable morass." 

iMi'RovicMKxr OF Till-; Cltxtox River 

The difficulties of transporting persons and goods over the early 
roads projected between Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and Pontiac, naturally 
drew attention to the waterways which connected the interior with the 
lake regions. The valley of the Clinton river was thought to be espe- 
cially feasible as an outlet for the products of Oakland county and an 
inlet for goods and settlers, and the improvement of that stream was 
pushed so persistently that the legislative council of the territory passed 
an act, which was approved by the governor ^April 17, 1827. incorporat- 
ing the Clinton River Navigation Company. Specifically, it was in- 
corporated "for the purpose of removing obstructions from the Clinton 
river, and making such river navigable for boats from the village of 
Mount Clemens to Mack's lower mills in the county of Oakland." 

The length of this |)roposed improvement was about thirty miles and 
it was calculated that it would atiord invaluable shipping facilities to a 
large extent of rich agricultural country. It was the first incorporated 
company of the kind in the territory, and but for the advent of rail- 
ways would undoubtedly have been a success. The incorporators of 
this company were Nathaniel Millard, Jonathan Kearsley, Levi Cook, 
Charles Larned, Ellis Dotv, lohn R. Sheldon. Christian Clemens, Alfred 


Ashley, Jacob Tucker, Ignace Morass and Joseph Hayes. Under the 
act of incorporation, the company was required to clear out the river to 
the east line of Oakland county. The work was to commence, at latest, 
by July I, 1827. and when the stream had been made navigable for flat- 
bottomed boats the company could collect toll not exceeding fifty cents 
per ton for the entire distance and a proportionate rate for a less dis- 
tance. Parties owning water-power on the river below the east line of 
Oakland county were required to construct locks at every dam sufficient 
for the passage of the company's boats. The river above the said line 
was declared by the act of incorporation a public highway, but persons 
owning land extending across the river had the right to construct dams 
for water-power purposes by putting in the necessary locks, or the com- 
pany could construct them at the expense of the parties owning tiie 
lands. The improvements were finally completed as far as Rochester, 
a portion of the states loan of $5,000,000 being appropriated therefor. 
Business was carried on to a small extent for a number of years, but the 
enterprise was never a prosperous one. 

First Michigan R.mlw.-w Ch.xrtered 

In the meantime the suljject of railways had become an earnest sub- 
ject of discussion and even an object of legislation. Oakland county has. 
in fact, the honor of inducing the legislative council of the territory to 
incorporate the first railway company chartered in Michigan; that event 
occurring July 31, 1830, when Governor Cass approved the act con- 
ferring a charter on the Pontiac and Detroit Railway Company. Its 
original incorporators were John P. Helfenstein, Gideon O. Whitte- 
more, William F. Moseley. William Thompson and Hervey Parke, "and 
such other persons as shall associate for the purpose of making a good 
and sufficient railway from Pontiac to the city of Detroit." Nothing 
practical was done under this charter. 

Detroit & R.mlroad Company 

A second company was formed and a new charter obtained, wdiich 
was approved by the governor March 7. 1834. Under this act William 
Draper. Daniel LeRoy, David Stanard, Johnson Miles, Seneca New- 
berry, Elisha Beach, Benjamin Phelps, Joseph Niles, Jr., and Augustus 
C. Stephens, were appointed commissioners to receive subscriptions to 
the stock of the Detroit & Pontiac Railroad Company, the amount of 
which was fixed at one thousand shares at $50 per share. The company 
was vested with the power to construct a single or double track, but the 
work was to be commenced within two years from the passage of the 
act and completed within six years, or otherwise the rights, privileges 
and powers of the corporation were to become null and void. 

The principal stockholders and managers of the new railroad com- 
pany were Alfred Williams and Sherman Stevens of Pontiac. and their 
control continued until 1840. But as they gave more attention to "wild 
cat banking" than to the Detroit & Pontiac Railway, the progress of the 


"iron horse" was slow and often lialky ; and, although the hank was an 
offshoot of the railway, the tail really wagged the horse. 

Finally Compli:ted to Birmixgham 

In 1839 the line was finally completed to Birmingham, and in Sej)- 
tember of that year Henry J. Buckley, agent and conductor, put forth an 
advertisement in the county papers announcing two trips a day to Birm- 
ingham, the cars running in connection with "post coaches" to Ponliac 
and Flint, together with a semi-weekly line to Grand river. Wooden 
rails and horse ])ower were the features of the earliest period of the 
road. In 1840 the Detroit & I'ontiac Railroad was bid in by several 
eastern creditors, and was completed to I'ontiac in 1843. -^^ this time 
it was owned by various Syracuse capitalists, who leased it for ten years 
to Gurdon Williams, but in 1848 it came into possession of a company 
headed by H. N. Walker and N. P. Stewart. The former was elected 
president, negotiated bonds for a sufficient amount to relay the track, 
and the enterprise was taken permanently out of the class of "laughing 
stocks," in which it heretofore had figured. 

Detroit & AIilwaukee Railway Companv 

The Oakland & Ottawa Railroad Company was chartered on the 3d 
of April, 1848. This enterprise was also carried along through the 
persistency and good management of Air. Walker. Work was actually 
commenced in 1852 and in the following year that gentleman went to 
Europe and succeeded in purchasing twenty-six hundred tons of rails 
with which the track was laid to Fentonville, in the southeastern corner 
of Genesee county near the Oakland county line, fifty miles northwest 
of Detroit. This point was not reached until October 2, 1855, the Detroit 
& Pontiac and the Oakland & Ottawa railroads having been consolidated 
in the preceding Feljruary under the name of the Detroit & Milwaukee 
Railway Company. This afterward became a section of what is now 
known as the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railway, the main line 
of the Cirand Trunk system in Michigan. 

Establisiimext oe Presext Sv.stems 

The I-'lint & Pere Marquette Railway was completed from llolh- to 
Flint in 1862, and the Holly, Wayne & Monroe line was finished in 
1870. The two were afterward consolidated under the name of the 
F'lint & Pere Alarquette Railway (now Pere Marquette Railroad). 

The Detroit & Bay City road (now a part of the Michigan Central) 
was completed through Oakland county in 1872. 

The Pontiac, Oxford & Northern Railroad (now a part of the (jrand 
Trunk S_\stcm ) was a product of the late seventies, but the line was 
not fully completed to Port .\ustin, on the Lake Huron shore, eighty- 
four miles, until November, 1883. l-'or twenty-five years it had a 
checkered career, and in March, 1908, was sold at auction by judicial 


decree. R. J. Lounsbury acted as receiver of the road for some time 
before its acquisition by the Grand Trunk management. 

Coming of Electric Lines 

On November 5, 1889, an ordinance was passed through the city 
council granting the Pontiac & Orchard Lake Railroad Company per- 
mission to construct its lines along certain thoroughfares; the routes 
thus laid down were changed in several details before the system was 
completed, which has given the city (now owned by the Detroit LTnited 
Railway) such excellent service. Under the ordinance all locomotion 
by steam was debarred within the city limits, and the fare within such 
limits fi.xed at five cents per individual. 

When the Detroit & Northwestern Railway Company built its line 
from Detroit to Orchard Lake, in 1890, it purchased the Pontiac & 
Orchard I-ake Railway' which gave that corporation a complete route 
to the county seat and metropolis. In 1902 the Detroit United Railway 
commenced that process of absorbtion by which it acquired all the interests 
of the Detroit & Northwestern, as well as of the Detroit & Pontiac 
Railroad, and obtained a virtual monopoly of the electric service within 
Oakland county. 

The Grand Trunk System 

Of the steam railways, the three lines included in the Grand Trunk 
System furnish Oakland county with its most complete facilities for 
transportation. Generally speaking, they pass diagonally through its 
territory, crossing and centering at Pontiac. The main line, known as 
the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railway, runs diagonally through 
the county from Royal Oak to Holly, passing through Royal Oak, Bloom- 
field, Pontiac (southwest corner), Waterford (northeast corner). Inde- 
pendence (southwest corner), Springfield, Rose (northeast corner), and 
Holly (southwest corner) townships, and including the following sta- 
tions : Royal Oak, Birmingham, Pontiac. Drayton Plains, Waterford, 
Windiate Park, Clarkston, Davisburg and Holly. There are about forty 
miles of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee line within the county, 
following being the distances between the stations : Royal Oak to Birm- 
ingham, 5 miles; to Pontiac, 8; to Drayton Plains, 5; to Waterford, 2; 
to Windiate Park, i ; to Clarkston, i ; to Davisburg, 7 ; to Holly, 5. 

Commencing at South Lyon, in the southwestern corner of the county, 
the Michigan Line division of the Grand Trunk runs in a north- 
easterly direction, twenty-five miles to Pontiac, and thence eight miles 
to Rochester near the eastern county line. The stations along the way 
are South Lyon, New Hudson, Wixom, Walled Lake, Orchard Lake, 
Sylvan Lake, Pontiac, Amy and Rochester. The line passes through 
Lyon, Milford (southeast corner). Commerce and West Bloomfield 

The Pontiac, O.xford & Northern branch of the Grand Trunk Sys- 
tem takes a northerly direction from the county seat, as its name indi- 
cates, traversing Pontiac, Orion, Oxford and Addison townships, and 
embracing these stations : Pontiac, Eames, Cole, Oxford, Shoup and 


Leonard. It iiickulcs twx'iity-oiio niik-s within the coiint\'. tiic direction 
from I'ontiac to Oxford lieins; almost due iKirtli; tlien to Leonard, cast 
by north. 

In November. 1907, the Grand Trunk completed a convenient pas- 
senger depot, and witiiin the succeeding four years is said to have ex- 
pended something like $400,000 within the city limits. This sum included 
the extension of its trackage and the erection of buildings, the latter 
including a large freight house which alone cost $100,000 and was put 
in commission during the latter \>;>.r\ of 191 1. 

The Miciiican Centk.xl 

Seventeen miles of the Bay City division of the Michigan Central 
Railroad runs through the northeastern townships of the county from 
Rochester to Thomas, the station beyond Oxford, including Orion and 
Goodison's in its route. 

Pere Marquette R.mlroad 

The western townships of Oakland county are accommodated by the 
Pere AJarquette Railroad. Its branch from Detroit to Lirand Rapids 
runs along the southwest corner of Lyon township, with South Lyon as 
a station, while the branch from Toledo to Ludington traverses Xovi, 
Commerce (extreme southwest corner), Milford, ilighland. Rose and 
Holly townships. The latter branch embraces as stations, Novi, Wixom, 
Milford, Highland, Clyde, Rose Center and Holly, and furnishes the 
county with thirty-two miles of railway. 

Detroit Unitkd Rah.w.w 

After the Grand Trunk System, the Detroit United (Iilectric) Rail- 
way is the most important transportation agent of Oakland county ; and 
in the points of frequency of running and convenience of stoppage it 
has the advantage of the steam railway. Perhaps the most important 
sections covered by the electric lines are those in the southeastern, 
southern a,pd central portions of the county, which are not well accom- 
modated by the steam railways. Within the city of Pontiac they not only 
give easy access to the business and manufacturing sections of the city, 
but to the homes in tlie northern ar.d western sides and the Pontiac 
State Hospital. 

The Flint division of the Detroit United runs through Royal Oak, 
Clawson, Big Pieaver, Rochester, Lake Orion Junction and (loodison, 
to Orion and Oxford ; thence to Ortonville. in the northern part of the 
county. Its general course is north to Rochester and thence northwest 
to Ortonville. and it covers about llfty-five miles of trackage. 

The Orchard Lake division of the Detroit United runs from I'"arm- 
ington to Pontiac, fifteen miles, taking in its course Orchard, Cass and 
Sylvan lakes, and the cream of the summer resort region in the central 
sections of the countv. The Pontiac division covers the fourteen miles 



between Poiitiac and Royal (Jak. and runs southeast from the county 
seat through Bloonifield Hills and llirniingham. 


To condense; The Grand Trunk System embraces sixty-one miles 
of continuous road (including Pontiac, Oxford & Northern, twenty-one 
miles) in Oakland county; Michigan Air Line, twenty-five miles; Fere 
Alarquette Railroad, twenty-five miles; Michigan Central, seventeen 
miles ; Detroit United Railway, eighty-four miles. Total, two hundred 
and twelve miles. 

First Car into Rochester 



Oakland County's First Bank — The "Wild-Cat" Banks — 
"Safety Fund" Bank — National Banks in the County — The 
State Banks — Pontiac Savings Bank — The Oakland County 
Savings Bank — First Commercial Bank of Pontiac — The Ameri- 
can Savings Bank — First State Savings Bank of Birmingham — 
Farmington Exchange Bank — Rochester Savings Bank — Holly 
Savings Banks — Farmers' State Bank of Oxford — Royal Oak 
Savings Bank — The Orion State Bank — State Savings Bank 
OF South Lyon. 

In consideration of its population and undeveloped condition in the 
late thirties, Oakland county had its full share of ex])erience in "wild-cat 
banking," and all that the expression implies. As in other sections of 
Michigan, the banks of that period were largely the mediums through 
which it was excepted to develop the canal and railroad enterprises in- 
cluded in the grand state scheme of internal improvements. The pro- 
posed improvements were ahead of the times and far in advance of the 
available funds to carry them out ; and when the railroads and other 
improvements flattened out, in their initial stages, the banks went with 

Oakland County's First Bank 

The first bank of issue established in Oakland county was the Bank 
of Pontiac, which was established on a franchise of the Detroit & Pontiac 
Railroad Company and authorized by the charter of that corporation 
approved March 26. 1835, which allowed the incorporators, or their suc- 
cessors, to found a iiank of issue under the foregoing name, with a 
capital of $100,000. The books for the subscription to the cai)ital 
stock of the bank were opened on the 26th of May, 1835, in Pontiac, and 
the whole amount, less .$10,000, taken, and the required ten per cent in 
cash paid in during the same day. Banknotes were shortly afterward 
put into circulation. During the suspension of specie payments, in the 
panic of 1837, the Bank of Pontiac redeemed its bills in specie for a 
time, after all the other banks in the state had suspended. It finally 
collapsed, was revived for a short period liy Josei)h Dows and E. B. 
Comstock. and then really died. 



The "Wild-Cat" Banks 

The general banking law of 1837, which specifically produced the 
"wild-cat" system, brought six failures to the banks of Oakland county. 
The first was founded in July of that year and was called the Bank of 
Oakland. It had a capital" of' $50,000, and its board of directors was as 
follows : Daniel LeRoy, president ; G. O. Whittemore, cashier ; Schuyler 
Hodges, C. C. Hascali, Amasa Bagley, Olmstead Chamberlain, G. W. 
Williams and Francis Darrow, directors. 

This was soon followed by another called the Farmers' & Mechanics' 
Bank, with a capital of $50,000, of which Schuyler Hodges was presi- 
dent, G. W. Williams, cashier; and G. O. Whittemore, teller. 

In December, 1837, the Clinton Canal Bank was established with the 
same amount of capital — William S. Stevens, president, and Alfred 
Treadwav, cashier. 

In the early part of 1838 the Farmers' Bank of Oakland and the 
Bank of Auburn, each capitalized at $50,000, were established, and at 
once proceeded to pour into the market their promises to pay, which 
th€ good citizens trustfully received as real money. 

l)Ut the circulatory power of the "wild-cat" banks proved to be of 
short duration, as they all suspended payment in 1838, on the decision 
of the supreme court relieving the stockholders from any liability touch- 
ing the redemption of the bank bills. 

The Clinton Canal Bank was reported in good standing with the state 
institutions in June, 1838, but in October it was enjoined against fur- 
ther operations, and S. Beach appointed receiver. The Farmers' & 
Mechanics' Bank failed July 9, 1838, William Draper being appointed 
receiver therefor, and others were wound up shortly afterward. Samuel 
'York, at Lee, was the receiver of the Farmers' Bank of Oakland. 

One "Safety Fund" Bank 

The Safety Fund system produced only one bank — the Oakland 
County— which was chartered April 28, 1836, and on the 2d of Decem- 
ber, 1842, called in ten per cent of the stock, being the first business done. 
In August, 1843, F. A. Williams was president and in Octol^er Norman 
Rawson was cashier. The real owner and operator of the bank, however, 
was Wesley Truesdell, who also owned the Monroe Bank, which he re- 
moved to Detroit. The Oakland County Bank suspended in 1846, after 
it had succeeded in getting out a large amount of circulation in Detroit, 
and its charter was repealed in the following year. No other banks of 
issue were established in the county until the national banks were founded 
under the national banking law. 

National Banks in the County 

The First National Bank of Pontiac was organized April 29, 1864, 
with a capital of $50,000. W. H. Perry was elected its first president, but 
never qualified ; Theron A. Flower was also elected and immediately re- 
signed ; and in July E. B. Comstock was chosen to head the directors. 
Charles R. Durand was the first cashier. 

Vol. I— IB 


The Second National Bank, which was established September i, i<S05. 
was the jjredecessor of the Pontiac Savings ISank, and the First National 
Hank of Holly, founded in December, 1870, preceded the First State Sav- 
ings Bank of that ]:)lace. There are now two national banks in the county, 
both young — the First National of Rochester, organized in i()oS, and the 
First National of Birmingham. estal)lished in igio. 

In 1887 Almeron Whitehead and (leorge 11. Mitchell founded a pri- 
vate bank in Birmingham. Under the name Exchange Bank its business 
continuously developed into one of the leading institutions of the kind in 
Oakland county. On the 9th of November. 1910, this was merged into 
the First National Bank of liirmingham, of which Mr. Whitehead is ])re- 
sident : Eugene Brooks vice president, and Minnie T. Jarvis, cashier. .Mr. 
Mitchell and A'olney Ni.xon are also directors. The last available state- 
ment of the bank indicates a capital stock of $25,000; surplus and un- 
divided profits, $8,223.61 ; deposits, ,$278,215.70. 

The First National Bank of Rochester is one of the comparatively new 
financial institutions in this part of the county, its organization having 
been etTected on September 24, 190S. It has prospered most creditably in 
the time that has elapsed since then, and is able to make a most satis- 
factory showing among the lianks of the county. The original officers of 
the concern were John C. Day, president ; C. S. Chapman, vice-president ; 
Frank E. Hale, vice-president ; M. H. Haselswerdt, cashier. The presi- 
dent and cashier remain the same. 

The bank has a capital stock of $50,000 ; surplus and profits, 
$8,094.96; deposits, $365,789.97, according to their official report rendered 
to the comptroller of the currency on April 18, 1912. 

Thk St.\ti-: B.\nks 

.\ccording to the last list of state banks compiled for the Michigan 
Manual of 191 1, Oakland county has the following of this class: 

First State Savings Bank of Birmingham. 

Farmington Exchange Bank. 

Citizens' Savings Bank of Flolly. 

First State Savings Bank, Holly. 

Citizens' State Savings Bank, Orion. 

Orion State Bank. 

Farmers' .State Bank. (r)xford. 

Oxford Savings Bank. 

.American Savings Bank, I'ontiac. 

First Commercial Bank, Pontiac. 

Oakland County Savings Bank, Pontiac. 

Pontiac Savings Bank. 

Rochester Savings Bank. 

Royal Oak Savings Bank. 

State Savings Bank, .South Lyon. 

Sketches of the lianks now doing business in Oakland county follow, 
and they are institutions in which the entire community takes solid pride. 
All suspicion of the "wild-cat" element has been eradicated from them 


years ago, and they stand for the substantial advancement and the pres- 
ent prosperity of Oakland county. 

PoNTiAc Savings Bank 

The Pontiac Savings Bank, one of the leading financial institu- 
tions in Oakland county, was organized in 1898, with a capital stock 
of $50,000.00. It was organized to succeed the Pontiac National Bank, 
the latter having been the successor of the Second National Bank, 
founded in September, 1865. The subscribers to the capital stock of the 
Second National Bank, fixed at $100,000, were M. Lamont Baggs, Theren 
A. Flower, Stephen Baldwin, Horatio N. Howard, A. A. Lull and Wil- 
liam Brown, whicJi company of gentlemen with the exception of Air. 
Brown, comprised the board of directors of the bank. Dr. M. L. 
Baggs was the first president, Theron A. Flower, vice president, and 
Alba A. Lull, cashier., 

The first president of the Pontiac Savings Bank was B. F. El- 
wood, who was succeeded in the same year of organization (1898) by 
James A. Jacokes. Mr. Jacokes was succeeded by D. H. Power in the 
presidency in 1902; and after a year of service Mr. S. S. Matthews 
followed Mr. Power. The death of Mr. Matthews in 191 1 brought 
about the appointment of Mr. S. E. Beach to the office of president, 
and he is at present serving in that capacity. Yice presidents of the bank 
from date of organization to the present time are as follows : 1898, D. 
J. Hammond; 1900, Harry Coleman; 1902, S. S. Matthews; 1903, F. 
H. Hale. Cashiers : 1898 to 1902, D. H. Power ; 1902 to present date, 
Camer Smith. The bank has a surplus of $40,000, and in 1912 the capi- 
tal was increased from $50,000 to $100,000. 

The Oakland County Savings Bank 

The Oakland County Savings Bank commenced business in Feb- 
ruary, 1893, with a capital of $50,000 (which has never been increased) 
and the following officers ; Byron G. Stout, president ; A. C. Baldwin, 
vice president ; and Charles W. I'rench, cashier. Air. Stout continued 
as president for three years, and in 1896 was succeeded by Joshua Hill, 
the present head of the bank. J. A. Greeley is vice president and Frank 
L. Perry, cashier. The capital of the Oakland County Savings Bank 
is $50,000; sur])lus and unflivided |)rofits, $25,000; deposits, $1,250,000. 

First Commerci.\l Bank of Pontiac 

The First Commercial Bank of Pontiac, the successor of the first 
National Bank of Pontiac, was organized in 1892 with John D. Nor- 
ton as president; (lOodman Jacobs, vice president; and Benjamin S. 
Tregent, cashier. The present officers of the bank are F. H. Carroll, 
president ; A. A. Corwin, vice president ; C. E. Waldo, cashier. Tlie 
bank is capitalized at $100,000. 

The American Savings Bank 

The American Savings Bank of Pontiac was established in 1903, 
the first officers being H. S. Chapman, president; A. G. Griggs, vice 


president ; A. F. Newberry, cashier ; and A. W. Dickinson, assistant 
cashier. The present officers are the same with the exception of a 
change in the position of assistant cashier, that post being filled now by 
Charles Merz. The bank has a capital stock of $50,000. with surplus 
and undivided profits of $15,000 and deposits of $660,000. 

First State S.wtxgs Bank, Birmixgiiam 

The First State Savings Bank of Birmingham was organized and 
established in November, 1909. The bank has a capital stock of $20,000, 
surplus and undivided profits of $3,157.53, with deposits of $280,172.26. 
In addition to its banking operations, the bank writes fire insurance and 
sells real estate. 

The present officers of the bank are : Frank Ford, president ; Frank 
Hagerman, vice president; Thomas H. Cobb, cashier; Charles E. Toms, 
auditor. Frank Ford, Frank Hagerman and T. B. Smith are directors. 

Farmington Exchange Bank 

What is now known as the Farmington Exchange Bank was in- 
corporated as a state institution on October i, 1910. Its predecessor 
was Warner's Exchange Bank, a private concern founded in 1898 by 
the following copartners: P. Dean Warner, C. J. Sprague, F. M. Warner, 
M. B. Pierce, C. W. Wilber, O. M. Whipple, George W. Whipple, 
Samuel D. Holcomb. The paid in capital of the bank amounted to 
$6,000 and the responsibility $150,000. The present officers of the 
Farmington Exchange Bank are : Fred M. Warner, president ; .Samuel D. 
Holcomb, vice president ; C. W. Wilber, cashier. The capital stock is 
$25,000; surplus, $700; deposits, $145,000. 

Rochester Savings Bank 

The Rochester Savings Bank was organized in September, 1900, with 
the following officers : E. R. Mathews, president ; F. C. Andrews, vice 
president; John J. Brewer, cashier. The present officers are: William 
C. Chapman, president ; M. I. Brabb, vice president ; H. J. Taylor, cash- 
ier; H. A. Case, assistant cashier. The capital stock of the bank is $25,- 
000; surplus and undivided profits, $14,445.61; deposits, $426,789.87, 
according to their statement on February 20, 1912. P'our per cent inter- 
est is paid on deposits. 

Holly S.wings B.\xks 

The Citizens' Savings Bank of Holly was organized .\ugust i, 1902, 
with A. H. .Shepard as president, John \\". Patterson, vice jiresidenl, and 
C. J. Cummings, cashier. H. Lee Wright is now jircsident. but otherwise 
the officials are unchanged. The cajjital of the bank is $20,000, surplus 
and undivided profits $3,750 and deposits $140,000. 

The First State Savings Bank was organized as the First National 
Bank of Holly in December, 1870, with a cripital of $50,000 and James 


B. Simonson as president. On January i, 1872, this amount was in- 
creased to $60,000. J. C. Simonson was tlie second president of the insti- 
tution, which in 1890 was reorganized as a state savings bank — J. C. 
Simonson president and E. M. Newell ca'shier. In 1895 Charles A. 
Wilson was elected cashier, and Mr. Simonson retained the presidency 
until January i, 1907. Eli Bird served as president for the suceeding 
four years and on January i, igii, D. D. Hadley, present incumbent, 
assumed the office. Since that date J. W. McKinney has been vice presi- 
dent. The capital of the Ijank is $30,000 : surplus and undivided profits, 
$60,000; deposits, $640,000. 

Farmers' St.\te Bank of Oxford 

The Farmers' State Bank of Oxford, Michigan, was organized in 
1905 with the following official personnel : G. W. Mackinnon, president ; 
J. B. Shoemaker, vice-president ; M. L. Hagle, second vice-president and 
W. W. Lyons, cashier. In April, 1907, Mr. Hagle succeeded W. W. 
Lyons as cashier, Mr. Lyons resigning to accept a similar position with 
the Otisville State Bank, and T. C. \'. Kline stepped into the vacancy 
thus brought about. In June, 1909, Mr. C. H. Fuller, who had been with 
the Oxford Savings Bank for six years as teller, succeeded M. L. Hagle 
as cashier, and A. McCarty was appointed assistant cashier. The capital 
stock of the bank is $20,000 ; surplus and undivided profits, $3,735 ; de- 
posits; $155,284. 

Royal Oak S.wings Bank 

The Royal Oak Savings Bank was established in 1907. Its official 
report issued in April, 1912, indicates its financial condition to be as fol- 
lows: Capital stock, $20,000; surplus and undivided profits, $10,460.50; 
deposits, $254,152.05. George J. Baker is cashier. 

The Orion State B.\nk 

Since its organization on July 28, 1896, the Orion State Bank has 
built up a surplus fund of $15,000 out of its earnings, a circumstance which 
gives it place on the "roll of honor" list, being one of but two banks in 
the county to claim that distinction. LTpon organization, Ira Carpenter 
was elected president of the bank and has retained that position through- 
out the years that have elapsed. J. C. Predmore was the first vice-presi- 
dent, and after two years service he was succeeded by Alfred G. Had- 
drill, who has continued in the office to the present time. Gleason F. 
Perry was the first cashier, and he was succeeded in turn by Cramer 
Smith, W. W. Lyons and Lee Earle, the latter of whom assumed his 
duties on September i, 1905. continuing to the present date. The capi- 
tal stock of the bank upon organization was $15,000: surplus, as noted 
above, $15,000; total deposits at this writing (July, 1912) aggregate 
about three hundred thousand dollars, with loans of about two hundred 
and sixty thousand, of which more than seventy-five per cent is repre- 
sented by real estate first mortgages. 


Static Savings Bank ok South I,^■o^" 

The State Savings Bank 'of South l.yon. Michigan, was established 
on April 17, 1905. Its present officers and directors are named as fol- 
lows: H. Letchfield, president; J. H. Sayre and J. 1'.. i'.radley, vice presi- 
dents; D. B. Lyons, cashier. The capital stock of the bank is $20,000; 
surplus and undivided profits, $5,927.50; deposits, $179,128.17. 



Pioneer Conditions — Primitive State of Medical Practice — Allo- 
pathic Practitioners Prior to 1837 — Dr. William Thompson, 
First Physician — Drs. Olmstead and John Chamberlain — Dr. 
Ezra S. Parke — t)R. Cyrus Chipman — Drs. Lamb, Lamond and 
Alger — Dr. John C. Emery — The Old County Medical Society 
— Allopathic Practitioners from 1837 to 1866 — Three E.\rly- 
TiME Homeopaths — Present County Medical Society — Pontiac 
Medical Society — Present Practitioners. 

By Mason (/'. Gray. M. D. 

The first settlement in Oakland county in 1817 was followed, one year 
later, by the opening of the Erie canal to liufi'alo and by steamboat navi- 
gation between Buffalo and Detroit in i8ig, thus making the region ap- 
propriately called Oakland more accessible for these heroic men and 
women from New York state and the eastern states who were destined to 
transform the wilderness into the productive farms and the modern fire- 
sides enjoyed by the present generation. 

Pioneer Conditions 

Consequently the first settlement was rapidly followed by others, so 
that two years later the territorial government found this section of suffi- 
cient importance to establish the boundaries of Oakland county. In 1820 
the population of the county was 300, but so rapidly did settlers occupy 
the land that in 1830 it was 5,000, and in the territorial convention of 
1836 r)akland was entitled to si.x delegates and Wayne eight, which pre- 
sumably was an index of the comi.virative nnmlier of inhabitants of the 
two counties. 

During this period it is doubtful if the pioneers enjtiyed any more of 
the physical comforts than had been the common lot of English-speaking 
peojile for three hundred years. It is true they were a free people to 
whom were vouchsafed full civil and religious liberty, but their homes 
were crudelv built, as we know, from the unhewn trees of the forest and 
heated by a single fireplace which served also for cooking purposes. The 
outfit of the pioneer consisted chiefly of his axe, liis rifle and his ox-teanc 



Primitive State ok Medical Practice 

Put if the life of the average ])ionccr was one of jjrivation and hard- 
ship, that of the pioneer doctor was one beset with greater difficulties. 
His patients were widely scattered throughout the wilderness, and pre- 
vious to 1830 Oakland county roads were little better than l)lazed trails, ' 
which during a good part of the year were impassable. 

The outfit of the pioneer doctor was quite as meager as was that of his 
brother settler. His lancet and calomel, his turnkeys and Peruvian bark, 
constituted his essential armamentarium. We. in this generation, are 
sometimes prone to speak jestingly of the ])ractice of those early doctors, 
but due reflection will accord to them a full measure of credit for what 
they did for their patients. In the first third of the nineteenth century 
the healing art was primitive and largely empirical. But tw-o epoch-mak- 
ing discoveries had been made in the world of medicine up to that time — 
namely, the discovery of the circulation of the blood and that of vaccin- 
ation. The use of ether as an anesthetic was not demonstrated until 
1846, and chloroform w^as introduced two years later: so that .any neces- 
sary surgical operation was most painful for the patient and difficult 
for the doctor. The great scourge of those times was the malarial 
fevers, but chemistry had not devised a method for the separation of 
quinine from Peruvian bark until 1820, and for years after, this drug 
was so very expensive that only the rich could obtain it. Pharmacy 
had not yet come to the aid of medicine, so the practitioner necessarily 
was obliged to make his own tinctures, triturate his powders, roll his 
pills and gather, each in its season, the native herbs and plants having 
medicinal qualities. 

How'ever, it is certain that the early practitioners of the county were 
men capable of bringing to their work in the care and relief of the sick 
every available means and influence. They were, moreover, prominent 
in the community. They were the educated men and therefore the in- 
fluential citizens. As family physicians they sustained with their 
patients the relation of counsellor and friend. Indeed, it has been said 
the pioneer doctor was generally present at all the important family 
events: "He was present at every birth, he sat with the minister In' 
every death-bed, and his signature was affixed to every will." Most 
of these physicians had, for the time, thorough (pialifications. Many 
of them were graduates of medical colleges. .Some had graduated in 
New York ; others in Philadelphia ; still others, from European insti- 
tutions. Some, of course, had not had the benefit of collegiate train- 
ing, but they had served long and active apprenticeships under the tute- 
lage of some physician and surgeon, and had earned the right to prac- 
tice by passing a rigid examination before a committee of the County 
Medical Society. 

The first Oakland County Medical .'society being chartered and hav- 
ing authority to grant licenses to i)ractice had been organized under a 
permit granted June 12, 1831, on jietition of Drs. William Thompson, 
Daniel L. Porter, Kzra L. Parke and Thaddeus Thompson. The per- 
mit to organize was granted by the first Michigan Medical Society which 
had been organized August 10, 1819, under territorial law. 


Physicians of Oakland Countv Prior to 1S37 
Dr. William Thompson 

The first physician to locate in this county was Dr. William Thomp- 
son. He came to Michigan from Lisle, Broome county. New York, in 
1815, visiting Detroit and stopping for a time in Mt. Clemens. He then 
came to Avon township and finally to Pontiac, in 1819, where he spent 
the remainder of his active life in the practice of his profession. Wil- 
liam Thompson was the son of Thaddeus Thompson, a surgeon in the 
American army during the Revolutionary war, and Betty Whitlock, the 
widow of a British officer. He was born at Lenox, Berkshire county, 
Massachusetts. January 15, 1786. His education was obtained in the dis- 
trict school and academy for Latin and Greek of his native town, and 
when fourteen years of age he was said to be fitted for college. At about 
this period of his life, with his parents he moved to Lisle, Broome 
county. New York. He commenced the study of medicine in the office 
of John IMcWhorten in the neighboring village of Cincinnatus, New 
York, a graduate of Glasgow University, a man of strong personality 
and rare qualities as a practitioner. After two years of study Dr. Thom- 
son was licensed to practice his profession, but not being satisfied with 
his preparation he attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons of 
New York City for two years, from which institution he was graduated, 
receiving the degree of M. D. in 1810. His death occurred in 1867. 

There were few, if any, specialists in those days, but Dr. Thompson 
for many years after locating in Pontiac was the acknowledged expert 
obstetrician in this part of the country. His former preceptor had 
taught him the use of the obstetric forceps, and his personal reminiscences 
and notes on practice record many cases of instrumental delivery by him- 
self to which he had been called in consultation, some of them in Detroit, 
others as far away as Romeo and Saginaw. 

That Doctor Thompson soon occupied a prominent place in the com- 
munity is evidenced by his appointment by Governor Cass as the first 
chief justice of the newly organized county court, there being two asso- 
ciate justices. The first session of the court was held July 17, 1820, and 
the doctor held the judicial office until 1827. Dr. Thompson w'as also 
one of the organizers of the Pontiac Company which was such a factor 
in the settlement and organization of the county. 

Dr. Thaddeus Thompson, brother of William, located at Troy, this 
county, previous to 1828, where he practiced his profession for many 
years, afterward moving to Detroit. 

Drs. Olmstead Chamberlain .\nd John Chamberlain 

Among the first to settle and practice in Pontiac after Dr. Thompson 
were Dt. Olmstead Chamberlain and Dr. Sterling W. Allen. The latter 
came from Monroe county. New York, and located at Pontiac in 1825. 
He was a skillful physician and afterwards resided at Grand Rapids. 

Dr. Olmstead Chamberlain came from Lewiston, New York, but did 
not follow his profession as a business. He settled in Pontiac in 1821. 
He was born in Richmond, Vermont, in 1787. He was a prominent citi- 


zeii of I'onliac and Oakland county for forty-three years, and was posl- 
niaster of I'ontiac for several j-ears. While a resident of I'ontiac in the 
early days, an epidemic broke out among a company of United States 
troops stationed at Saginaw, from which many soldiers died, and the 
surgeon of the post was stricken down. A courier was sent to I'ontiac 
for aid. The only road was an Indian trail through the woods, but the 
doctor at once mounted his horse, and traveling night and day, at times 
obliged to dismount and feel for the trail on his hands and knees, arrived 
in good time, and rendered good service for the sufferers. In 1864 he 
left Pontiac and went to reside with a son. Samuel, at W'aupun. Wiscon- 
sin, with whom he remained until October 10, 1876, at which date he 
died, aged eighty-nine years. 

Dr. John Cham!)erlain came from near Auburn, Xew York, in 1825, 
or thereabouts and located at the village of xAuburn. He was the most 
learned physician in the county in his day, and was a most able practi- 
tioner. He removed from the county in or about 1830. and dierl in the 
early seventies. 

Dr. Ezr.\ S. Pakke 

Dr. Ezra S. Parke, a native of Middle Haddam, Connecticut, and 
brother of Captain Hervey Parke, of Pontiac, came to Bloomfield, from 
Onondaga covmty. New York, in 1822. He studied medicine with Dr. 
Ransom, of Camden, Oneida county. New York. He had a good prac- 
tice, which he continued to follow until his death, which occurred in 
1846. He was postmaster at Bloomfield for several years. ( Hervey 
Parke, organizer and senior partner of the great firm of manufacturing 
chemists, was his son. ) 


Dr. Cyrus Chipman came to Avon township in 1821, and was for 
many years a prominent physician in the township. He held the position 
of postmaster twelve years, and then removed to Rochester village. He 
was originally from Vermont, and about 1850 removed to Grand Rapids, 
where he died a few years ago. He was a good practitioner and a very 
excellent man. Pie was in Troy for a time previous to his removal to 
Grand Rapids. 

Dr. Ebenezer R.\vn.\le 

Dr. Ebenezer Raynale was born in \ermont. but spent the most of his 
life until 1828 in New York and Pennsylvania. At this date he came 
to Michigan and located at Franklin, Southfield township. He read 
medicine in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, and Niagara county, 
New York, and had for many years an extensive practice in Oakland 
county, and even beyond, in the early days. He retired from practice 
in 1873 on account of ill health, surrendering his business to his son. Dr. 
Charles M. Ravnale. of I'lirniingham, with whom the old doctor after- 
ward resided until his death. The young doctor read medicine with his 
father, and graduated from Detroit medical college.. Ebenezer Raynale 
was a prominent citizen outside of his profession, was a member of the 


state senate in 1836-37, and also a member of the first and second consti- 
tutional conventions of Alichigan. (A sketch of the Doctor is given in 
the chapter on "State Politics.") 

Drs. Lamb, Lamond and Alger 

Dr. Caleb Lamb, a Baptist divine as well as a physician, came to Oak- 
land covmt)' in 1830 from western New York and located first in Bloom- 
field, at Gilbert's lake, and subsequently at Farmington for a time. He 
changed his practice during his later years in Oakland county to the 
homeopathic school. 

Dr. R. D. Lamond located in I'ontiac previous to 1833, coming there 
from Canada, but was a native of the United States. He removed to 
Flint where he was for many years the principal physician of the place. 

Dr. Josiah Alger located in Troy in or before 1831. Dr. Z. M. AIow- 
rev came to Alilford ifi 1840, and was in~ practice with Dr. Foote; was in 
the legislature in 1849. and in the constitutional convention in 1850. He 
died in 1874 with the harness on. actively engaged in his profession. 

Dr. Joiix C. Emery 

In the year 1830 Dr. Emery came from Seneca, New York, and lo- 
cated in Novi township. He was born in New Hampshire July 11, 1796. 
served in the Thirty-first V^ermont Volunteers in the War of 1812 under 
Major Hamilton, and was in several important battles of that war with 
the British and Indians in northern New York and the Canadian fron- 
tier. The education of Dr. Emery was received in Ludlow (Vt. ) Acad- 
emv, at the Castleton (Vt.) Medical College, and a course of study under 
the auspices of the New Jersey Medical Society. He commenced the 
practice of medicine in 1822. In 1823 Dr. Emery married Miranda 
Haines, of Marion county. New York. He resided in Novi until 1850, 
when he went to California, but finally settled in Lansing, Michigan, in 
1868, where he died January 21, 1880. Dr. Emery was the grandfather 
of Josiah Emery, of Waterford, and Charles S. Emery, of T,ansing. 

The Old County Medical Society 

The first Oakland Countv Medical Society was organized by author- 
ity granted by the Michigan Medical Society June 12, 1831, to Drs. Wil- 
liam Thompson, Daniel L. Porter, E. S. Parke and Thaddeus Thompson. 
The parent society had authority from the territorial council and was 
organized August 10, 1819. Although the organization never flourished 
vigorously, it lived until well into the 'seventies. 

The Northeast District Medical Societies 

In the meantime (June 14, 1854) the Northeast District Medical and 
Scientific Association had been formed at Romeo, Macoml) county. This 
organization had jurisdiction over that county, as well as Oakland. La- 
peer, St. Clair and Sanilac. Its first president was Philo Tillson, of 


]\.onico, arid the association held yearly meetings for nearly half a cen- 
tury, excepting fur two years^during the Civil war period. In 1870 its 
name was abbreviated to the Northeast District .Medical Society. The 
society came to an end at the time of the reorganization of the profession 
in the state during 1902, when the existing medical society of the county 
was founded. 

Allopathic Practitioners from 1837 to 1866 

Dr. Pliny Powers came to what was known as Deming's Corners, Ox- 
ford township, in 1837, from the state of New York. In 1838 Egbert 
Uurdick, of New York, was associated with him in practice, and at Ox- 
ford village, in 1839. ^^ removed to Detroit, where he died. 

Dr. Morrison practiced in ..Addison. He came there in 1842. 

Dr. Drake came to Royal Oak in 1849 from Cayuga county. New 
Y'ork. lie was a brother of Hon. Tliomas J. Drake, and died in the 
late sixties. 

Dr. W. G. Elliott was first located in Pontiac previous to 1850, and 
removed shortly after that date to the state of New York, from whence 
he entered the hospital service of the army at Alexandria, and after the 
war returned to Pontiac, where for many years he followed a lucrative 
practice. He pursued his medical studies with Dr. Paddock, and gradu- 
ated at the Cleveland Medical College. 

Dr. J. N. Donaldson came to Lakeville in 1854. He pursued the 
study of medicine under the instruction of Dr. Asahel Barnard, of the 
United States army, at Dearborn, Michigan, ajid graduated at the Uni- 
versity of .Michigan in 1833. He practiced sixteen years in Lakeville, 
and then removed to Pontiac, where he opened a drug store and con- 
tinued in the business for four years, when ill health compelled him to 
cease active work of all kinds. He died in Pontiac, July 15, 1877. He 
was a native of Mendon, Monroe count}-. New York. 

The late Dr. E. B. Galbraith, of Pontiac, was a graduate of the Uni- 
versity of Michigan, class of i860, and of the College of Physicians and 
Surgeons of New Y'ork City, in 1861. He was surgeon in the Tenth 
Michigan Infantry and Fourth Michigan Cavalry, and located in Pontiac 
in 1865. 

Dr. Lawrence located in Oxford village in 1862. 

Dr. Robert Le Baron, of Pontiac, graduated from the University of 
Michigan, class of 1861. lie practiced with Dr. Hayes, in Livingston 
county, one year, was two years surgeon of the Fourth .Michigan Infantry, 
and located at Pontiac in 1864. 

Dr. Chauncey Earle graduated in 1853 at the .Michigan University, 
having pursued his studies under Dr. Spaulding, of Oxford, Dr. Earle 
began his practice in .\ddison township, where he remained one year, and 
then removed to Orion, where he remained till the fall of 1866. when he 
came to Pontiac. 

Dr. F. Curtis, long a practioner of Holly, located first at Rochester in 
1832. At one time he was the jihysician of every familv in Livingston 
county, when there were not well persons enough to take care of the 
sick. This was Iietwecn 1835 and 1840. 


Dr. B. P. McConnell, a brother of William M. McCoimell, of Poiitiac, 
was for many years a prominent ]3hysician of that city. He was a skill- 
ful surgeon, and went into the military service as surgeon of the Twenty- 
second .Michigan Infantry, Colonel Wisner commanding. He removed to 
Ludington in 1873. 

Dr. William Wilson settled at Pine Lake, in 1835. He was a Scotch- 
man, educated thoroughly at the Glasgow University, and had a very 
extensive practice. He was a skillful surgeon. He died in August, 1863. 
His son, John P. Wilson, read with his father and graduated at the New 
York College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1851, and was long in prac- 
tice. He was surgeon of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, and also brigade 
surgeon of the cavalry brigade. 

Dr. William Aitcheson located in Ortonville, Oakland county in 1873 
immediately after graduating in medicine from the University of Michi- 
gan and lived and practiced his profession there until his death. He was 
born in Paris, Ontari6, in 1846; prepared for college at the Gait Col- 
legiate Institute, and graduated from Toronto LTniversity in 1869. In 
1871 he entered the medical department of Michigan LIniversity from 
which he was graduated in 1873. Dr. Aitcheson was a valued member 
of the Oakland County Medical Society, Michigan State Medical Society 
and the American Medical Association. He married Isabella Murdie 
who was born near Seaforth, Huron county, Ontario, of Scotch parent- 
age, but had no children. He died at his home in Ortonville, January 10, 
1909, of pneumonia. 

Three E.\rly-Time Homeop.xtiis 

The first practitioner of the school of Hahnemann was Dr. Caleb 
Laml), who located first in Farmington, and practiced under the allopathic 
system, but came to Pontiac in 1847, ^'""^ began the practice of homeop- 
athy. He removed from Pontiac in December, 1847. 

Dr. Amos Walker, of Pontiac, begun the practice in 1847, in Brook- 
lyn, Jackson county, Michigan. He was educated under the allopathic 
system, graduating at Pittsfield, Washtenaw county, Massachusetts, 
where lie remained eight years, and then went to Brooklyn, and thence 
came to Pontiac in 1848, where he remained for thirty years or more, with 
the exception of the years 1871-73, when he was in Arkansas. 

Dr. E. C. Fuller came to Pontiac in 1863, from Dutchess county. New 
York ; was a graduate of the Geneva medical college, and graduated 
from the Detroit Homeopathic College in 1872. 

Present County Medical Society. 

Pursuant to a circular letter sent out by Dr. C. D. Burr of Flint, 
Michigan, councilor of the Sixth District, of the Michigan State Med- 
ical Society and a call issued by Drs. M. W. Gray, Wm. McCarroll, 
George H. Drake and J. Morse, these being then the executive com- 
mittee of the Pontiac Medical Society, thirty-two members of the med- 
ical profession of Oakland county assembled at Pontiac, September 9, 
1902, and organized the Oakland County Medical Society, Dr. F. B. 


Galbrailli. (if I'ontiac. was uiianiiiiously elected as the tirst ])resi(lent 
for one year; Dr. D. W. C. U'ade, of Holly as vice president, and Dr. 
William .McCarroll as secretary and treasurer. A constitution was later 
drawn up and adopted. The society is designated as Branch No. 5 of 
the Michigan State Medical Society. It has continuously grown in 
numbers and usefulness until at the present time it has nearly fifty mem- 
bers throughout the county. Meetings are held six times annually — 
the first Thursday of February, A|)ril. June. August, October and De- 
cember, the later being the annual meeting. Three meetings ])er year 
are held at the county seat, usually during the winter and spring, the 
balance of the time throughout the county. Two or three papers are 
usually given at each meeting which are followed by general discus- 

Outside talent is very often secured for the meeting and many prom- 
inent members of the profession, both in and outside the state, have 
addressed the society on various occasions. 

The society issues a publication a])pearing every two months previous 
to the meetings, entitled the Journal of the Oakland Medical Socictx. 

The officers of the society for 1912 were: Dr. E. .\. Christian, pres- 
ident; Dr. William McCarroll, vice president; Dr. J. B. Chapman, sec- 
retary and treasurer, who also acts as editor for the Journal: directors 
— Dr. R. Y. Ferguson, Dr. George H. Drake and Dr. M. W. Gray. 

PoxTi.\c Mkdkai. Soctety 

The first I'ontiac Medical .Society was organized June 27. 1892, Ijut 
while it served a useful purpose for a time it soon became dormant largely 
because of the informal plan of organization without a president. 

October 8, 1901, a meeting of former members of the Pontiac Medical 
Society was called in the office of Dr. M. W. Gray, to consider ])lans for 
reorganization. At this meeting there were present Drs. \\'illiam Mc- 
Carroll, Jason Morse, Irving H. Xeff, George H. Drake, and Mason W. 
Gray. A reorganization on a more permanent basis was eftected and the 
following officers elected : President. Mason W. Gray ; vice president, 
Jason Morse; secretary, ^Ir. McCarroll; treasurer, George H. Drake. 
This society has proved a valuable means for the unification of the 
profession of the city and for the advancement of scientific work of its 
members. Its present officers are: President. Edw'ard V. Howlett; vice 
president, (^eo. H. Drake; secretary. Harry Sibley; treasurer. Samuel A. 

Pkicsk.nt Pr.\( TiTiox i;ks 

The following are the names of the ])rofession in Oakland count}- with 
locations and vears of graduation : 

** E. A. Chri.stian * 1882 

** Frank S. I'.achelder * 1905 

A. L. P>rannack 1903 

** Samuel .\. i'.utler * 1907 

D. G. Castell * 1899 

H. S. Chapman * 1885 

*\Icnil)crs of Cminly Medical Society. 
** Pontiac State Hospital. 


Joseph B. Chapman * 1006 

N. B. Colvin * 1882 

George H. Drake * 1893 

L. A. Faniham * 1905 

R. Y. Ferguson * 1896 

S. E. Galbraith * 1899 

Mason W. Gray* 1880 

H. C. Guillott 1891 

E. V. Howlett * 1902 

Robert Le Baron * 1861 

J. W. Losee 1891 

L. R. Lumbv 1893 

C. D. Morris * 1894 

James I. Murphy * 1897 

John D. Riker * ' 1890 

C. T. Starker - : 190=; 

**C. W. Mack- 1908 

T. T. Bird* 1908 

William McCarroll - 1881 

A. D. McKinney 1903 

R. E. Moss •. . . 1880 

Elsworth Orton 1892 

H. A. Sibley * 1907 

**Geneva Tryon 1907 

Frank Gerls 1912 

All the above are located in Pontiac. 

W. L. Cole. Oxford ^ 1881 

L. E. Gibson, Oxford 1906 

Dr. Watson, Orion 

Dr. Hathaway, Orion 

Dr. Hughes, Orion 

C. A. De Cou, Orion 

A. P. Schulz, Orion 1906 

E. B. Guile. Ortonville • 1895 

W. T. Tucker, New Hudson 1877 

C. P. Felshaw, Hollv * 1S77 

T. E. McDonald, Holly * 1894 

Ora Manly, Highland * 1879 

E. F. Holcomb, Farmington 1889 

W. H. Carr, Davisburg 1902 

C. J. Sutherland, Clarkston * 1 891 

J. L. Campbell, I'lirmiiigliam 1880 

C. M. Raynale. Birmingham 1869 

N. T. Shaw, Birmingham 1892 

Norman L. Baker, Milford * 1902 

Edward A. Lodge, Milford 1879 

E. A. Chapman, Walled Lake * 1876 

William S. Gass, Royal Oak 1899 

Ainsley Smith, Royal Oak 1884 

*Membt;rs of County Medical Society. 
** Pontiac State Hospital. 


Dr. Snyder, Royal Oak 

A. F. Novi, Holcomb 1884 

G. F. Hamlin, Rochester 1896 

Floyd W. Lockwood, South Lyon 1909 

Lyman A. Sayles, South Lyon 1901 

B. C. H. Spencer. Rochester 1881 

H. S. Demming. Oxford 1892 

George \V. McKinnon, Oxford 1890 

M. J. Uloth, Ortonville * 1902 

S. B. Robb, Leonard '■= 1892 

F. L. Johnson, Hollv * 1903 

J. R. Van Sickle. Holly * 1906 

F. D. German, Franklin * 1906 

J. A. Miller, Farniington * 1900 

C. W. Snyder, Clyde * 1903 

J. W. Bennie. Big Beaver 1910 

P. D. Hilty, Birmingham * 191 1 

George P. Raynale. Birmingham * 1902 

John C. Black. Milford ....'' 1887 

Thomas T- Jackson, Milford i88q 

S. L. Weisbrod, Milford * 1894 

James W. Anderson, Royal Oak * 1891 

J. S. Morrison. Royal Oak 1905 

Jesse E. Wilson, Rochester* 1855 

Charles S. Strain. Rochester 1902 

George M. Milliman, South Lyon 1888 

* Members of County Medical Society. 



What Women Have Done for Oakland County (by Martha Bald- 
win) — Women's Work in F'ontiac — ^The Pontiac City Hospital 
— Pontiac Public Library — Women's Literary Club of Pontiac 
— The Round T.vble Club — West Side Reading Circle — Women's 
Christian Temperance Union — Birmingham Public Library — 
Birmingham Literary Club — Greenwood Cemetery Association 
— Ladies' Library Association of Holly. 

W^onien's influence in Oakland county, as everywhere, has been de- 
termined largely by what she has done ; her thoughts and words have 
ever blossomed into deeds and institutions of charity and love. None of 
her sex is better qualified to speak for her from this standpoint than 
Martha Baldwin, of Birmingham, who, through her earnest words and 
practical works, has exerted a fine, invigorating influence upon her 
liome community first, and upon a far more extended field with herself 
and Birmingham as the points of radiation. She speaks, therefore, as one 
having authority. 

What Women H.we Done for Oakland County 

By Martha Bald-u'iii. 

The part that women have taken in the building up of Oakland county 
can never be fully told. Coming into a wilderness nearly one hundred 
years ago, she bravely took her share of the burdens of pioneer life and 
bravely has she carried these burdens down through all these years. 

She walked beside the ox-teams that were drawing the household 
goods ; she helped to build the log house ; she planted the tiny seed whence 
came the orchards for which the county was soon to be famous. She had 
left home and friends, her whole early life, but she resolutely faced 
the future; she must find courage, not for herself alone, but for all. If 
she had tears and regrets the others must not know. She helped to build 
the school house and gathered the little ones within its walls. 

She tended the sick and went miles on errands of mercy. She carded 
the wool, spun the yarn, wove the cloth, bleached the flax, baked in the 
out-of-door oven, made the garden, and then mended and patched the 
garments of the sleeping children till morning hours. The floors must 

Vol. 1—17 



be scrubbed, for there were no car|)ets; the fruit must be dried, for tliere 
were no fruit cans; the candles mtist be dipped; the geese must be picked; 
the cliildren must be helped Villi their lessons — and with all this she 
found time to read the news of the day and to keep tip with the times in 
which she lived. 

From that early day to this, she has led in all the reforms ; slie has 
kept up the interest in the church, taught in the Sabbath school and led 
in the social life of the community. How has she done it all ? The 
lips are hushed now, and the hands are at rest ; hands that toiled for us ; 
lips that prayed for us ; souls that struggled on patient to the end. 

This interest in her home and in her country has come down from 
mother to daughter till today we see her through many different activities 
still doing her best. Through the W. C. T. U. she is striving to guard 
the young and uplift the fallen. 

She is smoothing the ])illo\v of the sick and suffering, for it is the 
noble effort of a courageous band of women that has placed the Oakland 
County Hospital in our midst. It is the women of our county that have 
carried words of cheer to our County Home, looking after the needs of 
their less fortunate sisters. 

It is the women of Oakland county who have united in one the fifteen 
women's clubs from east to west and from north to south, and these 
gaining strength by union are working for better schools, for forestrv, 
for the neatness of our highways, of our towns and villages, for civil 
service reform, for jnire food, for better things in the home and for better 
state laws. 

It was the women's clubs worked for the rest rooms in our 
county court house. In this, as in all these works, thev have been most 
generously aided by the splendid manhood of the county, without whose 
help they could not have succeeded. Take the work of the women out 
of our churches and how many would exist? Yet thev question if 
women should vote on church government. 

Girls are leading in our schools anil universities and (Jakland has 
her share in the great work, thanks to the mothers who have trained these 
women in the home. Conditions have changed, surroundings have 
changed, but not the workers. The loom and the knitting needles have 
gone from the home to the factory, the fruit is at the cannery, the cloth- 
ing comes to the home ready made, but she is not idle. If she has not 
been forced to follow these industries she is still working. 

Today politics come into the home with the water, with the milk, 
with the meat and with the im]Hire food, and if she would keej) her home 
jjure, her loving ones well, she must have a voice in these things that the 
politicians control. It is for this that she is asking for the ballot, for to- 
day all these things are settled by the voter. 

Look back at her splendid record as ])ioneer. ever foremost in good 
works, as the home maker ever guarding all within that home, and ask 
yourselves if every weapon of defense should not be jilaced in her 

If Oakland county stands ;miong [he llrst counties of our state, thanks 
must be given to her wdnien. ;is well as to her sturd\- l(>\-al men. She is 


now and ever will be urging the needed reforms, leading where the hon- 
est, the pure and best will gladly follow. 

Woman's Work in Pontiac 

There are few cities in southern Michigan where the women have 
accomplished so much both in the elevating influences of thought and 
deed as Pontiac. Its hospital, library, literary clubs and temperance union 
are virtually her sole creations, while it goes without saying that the 
churches would quickly perish without her ministrations. Mrs. Harry 
Coleman, Mrs. Samuel W. Smith, Mrs. Aaron Perry, Mrs. Charles Going, 
Miss Anne Murphy, Mrs. A. B. Avery, Mrs. J. S. Stockwell, Mrs. H. C. 
Guillot, Mrs. E. A. Christian, Mrs. Peter B. Bromley. Mrs. Arthur Davis, 
Mrs. Mark S. Brewer, Mrs. Joshua Hill, Mrs. Byron Stout, Mrs. A. L. 
Moore, Mrs. A. L. Craft, Mrs. E. H. Wilson, Mrs. F. J. Walters, Airs. 
Maud Chattuck and others have been leaders in the charitable, literary 
and reformatory movements which have centered in Pontiac and raised 
her to such a high standard of municipal life. 

At the county seat, as in other comnumities, the history of many of 
the most worthy and noteworthy institutions are placed to the credit of 
the women, and the following sketches bear out in detail all of Miss Bald- 
win's general statements. 

The Pontiac City Hospital 

In a very comprehensive and appreciative article devoted to the his- 
tory of the Pontiac City Hospital, the Pontiac Press Gazette says in part : 
"When Mrs. Charles Going met Mrs. Harry Coleman on the corner of 
Lawrence and Saginaw streets, some ten years ago, and told a tale of a 
sick man being taken to the jail as the only place of refuge for a stranger 
and further remarked, from the depths of her pity, 'we ought to have 
a hospital!' neither knew what she was starting or getting into. For if 
they had been able to look into the future they might have elected not to 
have met at all, or meeting, to talk on any subject under the sun save 
that of sick strangers and jails! But at any rate, the meeting happened 
and the words were spoken, and a troublesome idea hatched out which 
grew in ten years to a very respectable looking bird, indeed. 

"One of the secrets of success of the women who built the Oakland 
hospital was, of course, hard work. But perhaps the chief secret of suc- 
cess was in trying to solve but one problem at a time. They used to meet 
with Miss Webb or Mrs. Cowles in their dressmaking rooms in the Le 
Baron block and talk over the most simple plan of opening a room or two 
where the sick might be taken to be under the care of a trained nurse. 
This idea grew into a plan of renting a house. And thus the first prob- 
lem arose for solution. Should they rent a house ? No. Nobody would 
have them. They wouldn't be desirable tenants. Should they buy a 
house? This they discussed very seriously. They looked at many houses 
and many thought it a grievous mistake that they did not accept the offer 
of the octagon house on Huron street, offered at a most generous figure 
for a hospital. The answer to this problem was that old houses require 



too nnicli nioiiL'\- in ahcralioiis to make tlK-in hosi)ital-tit. Then should 
they build? Yes. And to tluit end they l)oughl three lots of Robert J. 
Lounsbury on Huron street." 

Thus was inaugurated a project which in the course of ten years 
has developed into one of the finest institutions known to the city of 
Pontiac, and probably the one of which the city is most proud. 

With the beginning of the evolution of their idea, the ladies had be- 
gun to earn money for the support of the plan, and at the end of 1902 
they had a credit of $886.57 in the treasury, variously earned, and it was 
then they bought the three lots of I\Ir. Lounsbury, paying for them the 
sum of $500. .Many people considered them unwise in that they went so 
far out of town, but they knew what the qualities were which went to 
make a desirable hospital location, and accordingly chose a site sufficiently 
distant from any factory and on naturally high land and on a car line. 

Pontiac Citv Hospit.m, 

On October 7, 1902, they incorporated under the state laws as the 
Pontiac City Hospital, and those who signed the articles of incorporation 
were: Mrs. Samuel W. Smith, Mrs. W. R. Sanford, Mrs. Harry Cole- 
man, Mrs. C. \'. Taylor, Aaron Perry, Mrs. Charles Fisher, Mrs. J. R. 
Mitchell, Miss Anne Murphy, ]\[rs. S. S. Mathews, Mrs. M. S. Brewer, 
Mrs. J. S. Stockwell, Mrs. Elizabeth .Smith. Mrs. Charles Going, Charles 
A. Fisher and E. \V. Murph\-. 

In 1903 they began bringing the Lyman Howe moving pictures to 
Pontiac, and since then that has been an annual source of revenue to the 
board. At the end of that year they had a treasury fund of $1,602.19. 
At the end of 1904 they had .S2. 65 5.96 ; ic)05. $3,530.80: 1906, $5,326.29. 
In 1907 they began to l)uild. and their tribulations increased in complete 
accordance with their extended operations. Mrs. .S. \\'. Smith at the 
time made searching studies of ilitTercnl hospitals in \\'ashington. Y). C, 


and Airs. Groom of Ann Arbor hospitals. Others visited hospitals in 
Bad Axe, Batavia, New York, and Detroit. Josejah Alills, the architect, 
was asked to plan a hospital to cost about $10,000, although some time 
previous they had rejected plans, very attractive, but in excess of the 
$6,000 which they originally expected to expend. They had made the 
discovery, however, that the absolute necessities of a hospital, including 
diet kitchen, baths, linen room, supply and chart room for each ward, 
besides operating room, sterilizing room, office, elevator, dining room 
and general room, must be maintained, no matter how small the hospital 
may be, and that all details of that nature must be considered as care- 
fully for ten patients as for one hundred. It developed that the hospital, 
built in dull times, with much of the work and material donated, cost 
over $17,000. It will accomodate twenty-five patients and is regarded 
as a model of completeness and convenience, experts claiming that it 
could be improved in but few minor details. 

On July 12, igo8, the corner stone was laid, with interesting and im- 
pressive ceremony. Rev. Fr. T. J. Ryan made the opening prayer and 
the address by Judge Stockwell was a masterly effort. In May, 1909, the 
building was opened, absolutely free of debt. Mrs. E. A. Christian, of 
the board of trustees, supervised in person the furnishing of the hos- 
pital and saw to the placing of every item of equipment in the establish- 
ment. While the work of construction had been going on, the advisory 
board, a company made up of representatives from every church and 
women's society in the county, was busily at work making provision for 
the linen furnishing of the hosiptal, and on opening day, not only sheets, 
pillow cases, towels, mattress covers, table cloths, doilies, tray cloths and 
napkins were in place, but also bed gowns, door hushers and operating 
pads were in readiness for the first patient. 

The operating room was furnished and equipped b\' the physicians 
of the city as a memorial to the late Dr. F. B. Galbraith. 

The building committee was composed of Aaron Perry, Miss Anne 
Murphy, Mrs. R. W. Groom, Edwin M. Murphy and A. L. Dewey, with 
J. R. Prall as superintendent in charge. The committee on plans was rep- 
resented by Mrs. S. W. Smith, Mrs. R. W. Groom, Mrs. IT. C. Guillot, 
Airs. H. Coleman, Mrs. J. S. Stockwell, Mrs. H. S. Chapman, and Joseph 
E. Alills of Detroit, architect. 

The work of raising money for the building extended over a period of 
eight years, and at no time the sums coming in were large. The amounts 
donated usually were small, and the largest subscribers were Mrs. David 
Ward who gave $500 and furnished two rooms and Judge J. L. Jacokes 
who gave .$1,000. The bulk of the money came in as profits from enter- 
tainments given, rummage sales and catering. When the building was 
opened. $1,200 was raised through the columns of the Gazette to pay the 
final cost of the building. 

It is the present plan of the board of directors to build an addition com- 
prising six private rooms, with room for nurses, they being housed at pres- 
ent in a cottage rented by the hospital. The institution is out of debt, and, 
when run at its capacity, is self-supporting. The average number of 
patients cared for during 191 1 was fifteen. Thus far the city and county 


have cadi given $1,000 annually for tlie maintenance of the hosijital, am! 
the hoard of directors continues to raise ahout $1,000 annually. 

At tlie time of the laying of the corner stone the hospital was a city 
institution, being known as the I'onliac C'ity Hospital. Init later designated 
as the Oakland County Hospital. 

The present officers of the association are as follows: Mrs. H. C. Guil- 
lot, president ; .Mrs. E. A. Christian, first vice president ; Mrs Harry Cole- 
man, second vice president ; Mrs. H. S. Chapman, financial secretary; Mrs. 
Charles Going, treasurer; Mrs. Fred M. Millis, treasurer; Miss Margaret 
Meigs, su])erintendent ; Miss Bertha Berry, assistant superintendent. The 
board of trustees is composed of Mrs. Guillot, Mrs. Christian, Mrs. Cole- 
man, rMrs. Chapman, Mrs. Going, Mrs. Alillis, Mrs. Jas. A. Cash, Mrs. 
Jayno Adams, Aliss Emily Parent, Mrs. George Smith, Mr. Aaron Perry, 
Mr. Henry Pauli, .Mrs. John J. Grant, Mrs. Peter B. Bromley. 

With the solid establishment of the hospital, the women of the city and 
county have not "wearied in well doing," but have continued to give liber- 
ally to the support of the institution, and the shelves of the storerooms ' 
have been kept filled with canned fruit, vegetables and jellies by the women 
who have from the beginning displayed unusual interest in the project. 

The hospital is in excellent hands with Miss Margaret Meigs in charge. 
She is a graduate of the Harper Hospital of Detroit, and was the former 
superintendent of the Lansing Hospital. A training school for nurses has 
been established, with a course of two years and three months, the last 
three months' instruction to be given in a Detroit hospital. 

Rooms in the hospital have been furnished bv IMrs. Pelouge, Mrs. E. 
M. Murphy, the D. A. R., the Pythian Sisters, the Y. W. C. T. U., the 
Walnut Lake ladies. Miss Marcia Richardson, and The Willing Workers 
— the last, an auxiliary organization of the advisory board of the hospital, 
furnishing two rooms. Mrs. Arthur Davis is president of this society; 
]\Irs. Oscar Carpenter first vice president; Mrs. Wilson Bailey, second 
vice president; Mrs. George Cotcher, secretary; Mrs. George Hoyt, 

The new apartments for the housing of the nurses in training men- 
tioned in a previous paragraph, now l)eing planned for, it is estimated 
will cost in the neighborhood of $3,000. Joshua Hill has subscribed the 
first $1,000 of the amount. 

The hospital board, while for the most part being made up of women, 
has been ably su])ported by men who have been particularly active in 
their labors for the institution. To Aaron Perry especially do they owe 
a debt of gratitude for his wise counsels and timel}' help from their 
earliest operations as an organized institution up to the present time, which 
has been heartily acknowledged upon many occasions. 

PoXTI.VC Pflil.U Lll'.R.\UV 

An organization of which Pontiac is justly proud is the Ladies' Lil^rary 
Association, which has in the thirty years of its existence seen much 
growth and i)rogress. The library is located on Williams street, and has 
a down-town de])artmeiit which is open on Tuesdays and .Saturdays. The 
association today owns something more than five thousand \-olnmes. 


The origin of the association and its struggles for existence during tlie 
earher part of its thirty years of life make interesting history and show 
forth the unselfish devotion which has made the library a possibility anil 
a fact. In May, 1882, the association was founded by the younger women 
of the city. Mrs. Byron Stout was one of the leaders in the movement, 
and "was for years interested deeply in literary work of all kinds. .She 
was ably assisted by Misses Louise Parker, now Mrs. Mark S. Brewer. 
Flora McConnell, now Mrs. Butts of Ann Arbor, Ella Green, Belle and 
Efifie Harris, Mary Crofoot and Mary Dawson Elliott, all of whom de- 
voted many hours of hard and conscientious work to the project. They 
were aided by a numljer of the married women of the city, and received 
very material assistance from the merchants and other business men of the 

In July, 1882, the library was opened in one of the second floor rooms 
of the old Ga"ette building on East Lawrence street. A little catalogue 
compiled and prepared by Mrs. Stout has been printed, giving a complete 
list of all books belonging to the library at that time. The patronage was 
small at first, and the finances of the little association were too often in 
a precarious condition, but they managed to weather the lean years by giv- 
ing frequent entertainments, catering at banquets and in various other 
methods, not finding any work too difficult for their cause. 

The erection of the present library was due to the kindly interest of 
Mr. and Mrs. Byron Stout, each leaving to the association sufficient money 
to make the building a possibility. I\lrs. Stout left the association the 
brick building at the corner of Auburn avenue and Saginaw street with 
instructions that the management should sell it and use the proceeds to- 
ward the erection of a library Iniilding. When Mr. Stout died a few 
years later, he left in his will a provision that the association might have 
his life insurance of $5,000, which, in conjunction with the bequest of his 
wife, was to be used in the erection of a building for the library. The will 
also contained the clause that if the building was ever used for other than 
library purposes, it should revert to the Stout heirs. This fact has given 
rise to a problem which the association has often discussed. For the 
present there is no necessity for larger c|uarters. but if at any time in the 
future the location should become undesirable, or for any reason it might 
be deemed best to move it elsewhere, the association would be powerless 
to realize anything upon the building or secure anything for the improve- 
ments which it has made upon it from time to time, and expects to make 
in the years to come. 

At the present time the library has an endowment fund of $2,000, the 
interest of which is only used toward the support of the library. Mrs. 
D. C. I'lUckland left the association a gift of $1,000 at her death and Mrs. 
B. A. Palmer made a similar gift when she died. 

The present officers of the association are : Mrs. Joshua Hill, president ; 
Mrs. A. F. Newberry, vice president; Mrs. V. S. Stewart, secretary; and 
Mrs. Charles H. Going, treasurer. These, with the following named 
ladies compose the executive board: Mesdames F. E. Starker. Joseph New- 
biggins, E. D. ISenjamin, J. W. Lossee, George W. Smith, C. V. Taylor, 
John Dudley Norton, G. H. Drake. A. L. Craft, and the Misses Addie 
Jewell and Mae Woodward. The book committee is comi)ose<l of Mes- 


dames F. E. Starker, Joseph Xewbigging and A. F. Xevvljcrry. To this 
committee falls the lot of selecting the new books each year, although 
members of the association are 'permitted to send in the title of one book 
they wish purchased. The books are being added to the collection at 
the rate of about twenty volumes each month. lioard meetings are held 
the first Tuesday in each month. 

Among those women who served as presidents in the past years doing 
very creditable work for the library, are : Mrs. Byron Stout, who was the 
first president ; Mrs. J. S. Powell ; Mrs. J. A. Jacokes and Mrs. C. B. 
Turner, both of whom are now deceased. 

Miss Agnes Cudworth has served as librarian for the past fifteen 
years and has been a most worthy incumbent of that post. The present 
membership of the association is one hundred and thirty-three, not a 
large membership in view of the size of the city. The membership fee 
is $i.oo a year, and all persons are eligible. This merely nominal fee 
entitles the members to draw two books each week. Six months and three 
months subscriptions are also accepted at corresponding rates. The as- 
sociation is one which has been of inestimable value to the city, and is 
deserving of better support in the way of annual memberships than it has 
yet experienced. The library is maintained by subscriptions from mem- 
bers, fines collected on books, and interest from the endowment fund. 
The sum of $ioo is expended annually for new books. 

The Wojien's Litkrarv Club 

The Women's Literary Club of Pontiac is now in the twentieth year 
of its life, and as a society has a history ijoth interesting and enviable. 
It was founded in 1892, as the successor of the Chautautjua, which was 
organized in 1884 and after four years was followed by the Ladies" Round 
Table, a club which lived for a year only. Thereafter until 1892 the 
energies of the ladies of Pontiac were directed in lighter paths, and it 
was not until 1892 when a Mrs. Lewis of Detroit, visiting friends in 
Pontiac, was instrumental in bringing about the organization of the 
Women's Literary Club. The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. 
Lillian D. Avery in October, 1892, when the club was organized, Mrs. 
Avery being chosen as president, and Mrs. Aaron Perry drafting its first 

For a time weekly meetings were held, after wliich the fortnightly 
plan was adopted and obtained until 19CX), when the club reverted to its 
former plan of holding weekly meetings. The first study course out- 
lined was that of Grecian history, and since then a vast number of sub- 
jects have been covered by the work of the clul). They have been mainly 
literary, but some attention has been given as well to piiilanthropy, music, 
art, social service and civic aft'airs. 

The membership of the club was limited to forty and since the sixth 
year the roll has been full. The roster now includes fifty active members, 
twenty honorary members (retired active), and twenty-five associate 
meml)ers. At first the dues of the club were twenty-five cents yearly, but 
they have been advanced to two dollars. 

The club has been active in nuitlcrs aside from its studies, and in 1898 


brought al)out the organization of a soldier's aid society. In 1889 it 
joined the state federation and in 1902 originated the Comity Federation 
of Women's Ckibs. 

Of the original members of the club, but three remain ; — Mrs. S. S. 
Mathews. Mrs. Aaron Perry, and Mrs. Lillian D. Avery, who was the 
first president of the club. 

The present officers are : Mrs. A. L. Moore, president ; Mrs. George 
Cleary, vice president ; Mrs. A. L. Craft, second vice president ; Mrs. Otto 
Sachse, recording secretary ; Mrs. C. C. Freeman, corresponding secre- 
tary; Mrs. E. L. Keyser. treasurer; Mrs. D. H. Glass, parliamentarian. 

The Round Table Clur 

The Round Table Club of Pontiac, an organization founded with the 
idea of mutual improvement, came into existence on February 11. 1910, 
and is now in the second year of its life. Lpon organization the follow- 
ing officers were chosen : Mrs. Welcome Young, president ; Mrs. W. R. 
Harrison, vice president ; Mrs. John S]3ringer. second vice president ; 
Alta Springstein, secretary ; Mrs. F. H. Walters, treasurer ; Hazel Tibbels, 
corresponding secretary. In 191 1, the officers were continued in their 
respective positions with the two exceptions of president and correspond- 
ing secretary, Mrs. E. H. Wilson being elected to the presidenc)- and Mrs. 
Crossett, corresponding secretary. The present officers are Mrs. E. H. 
Wilson, president; Mrs. H. Monroe, first vice ]iresident ; Mrs. H. Stevens, 
second vice president ; Mrs. T. Knight, recording secretary ; Mrs. B. H. 
Warner, corresponding secretary; Mrs. J. Watchpocket, treasurer. 

The present membership of the club is twenty-six, and all are enthus- 
iastic and ardent supporters of the study courses which have thus far 
been inaugurated by the society. The meetings are held on the first and 
third Thursdays of each month, and are well attended at all times. Thus 
far in its life, the Round Table Club has confined its studies to matters 
of historical interest, and while their progress has not been rapid in the 
course of study outlined, it has lieen of a most thorough nature, and in- 
tensely interesting as well as educational. 

The West Side Re.-\di.\'g Circle 

The first Ladies' Reading Society in Pontiac was organized as early as 
1862. and thereafter was active for some years, it being one of the pleas- 
ing features of Pontiac society during its reign. Most delightful meet- 
ings were held weekly, and the exercises were participated in by the elite 
of the city. In later years, various literary and reading clubs have come 
into life in Pontiac, among which tlie West Side Reading Club is prom- 
inent and representative of the best. It was organized in 1902 by six 
women in the western part of the city who felt the need of social and 
intellectual betterment, and during the first few years a systematic course 
of reading was pursued. During recent 3'ears, however, the order of mis- 
cellaneous programs has been followed. Anniversaries of important 
events in the history of the state and nation and in the lives of noted men, 
such as ^Michigan day, Lincoln day, Dickens day, and other days com- 


ineniorating affairs of national import, such as Reciprocity clay, have 
been in turn oltservcd fittini,'lv l)y the club. Wirious programs have been 
arrangeil dealing with nature studies, civic reform, etc. 

Tlie club is limited in membership to twenty-five, and the roll is now 
full, with several names on the waiting list. Meetings are held on every 
alternate Monday during the year. The circle is affiliated with the county 
and state federation of women's clubs, and its members have always taken 
an active and important part in the work of those organizations. 

Since the beginning of the West Side Reading Circle, the various 
presidents have been as follows: Mrs. Turnbull, first president; Mrs. 
Ale.x Buchanan; Mrs. Albe Lull; Mrs. C. E. Hawkins; Mrs. Daniel [ohn- 
son; Mrs. N. A. Dewey; Mrs. F. J. Poole; Mrs. H. M. Dickie;" Mrs. 
Pardon Doty; Mrs. G. M. Camjibell. Officers for 1912-1913 are as fol- 
lows: Mrs. F. J. Walters, president; Airs. C. S. Johnson, vice president; 
Miss Fannie Anderson, second vice president; Mrs. John Fowler, record- 
ing secretary; Mrs. Newton Beach, corresponding secretary; Mrs. J. 
Springer, treasurer; Mrs. G. AL Camjibell. ])arliamentarian ; Mrs. Roy 
Aliddleton. reporter; Mrs. F. J. Poole, delegate to state federation; Mrs. 
F. H. Walters, alternate. 

Women's Christi.w Temperance L'nion 

The \\'. C. T. U. of Pontiac was organized on April 3, 1877, in the 
old Congregational church, with a membership of about two hundred and 
fifty. The first officers of the society were: Mrs. Cressy, president; Mrs. 
William Albertson, recording secretary ; Mrs. Gelston, treasurer ; Mrs. 
J. W. Rice, corresponding secretary. Some of these officers only held 
for a brief time, there being numerous changes during the first year. 
There were no vice presidents during that year, but in later years a vice 
president was chosen from every church in the city. 

At the first annual meeting Mrs. William Albertson was elected presi- 
dent; ]\Irs. Harrison \'oorheis, vice president; Miss C. E. Cleveland, 
corresponding secretary; ^Irs. C. B. Turner, recording secretary; Mrs. 
J. W. Rice, treasurer. The present officers are .Mrs. Maud Chattuck, 
president ; Airs. Electa Rice, corresjionding secretary ; Mrs. .Annette 
Fisher, recording secretary; Airs. Jane Ogden, treasurer. The vice 
presidents are: Airs. Catcher, representing the Presbyterian church; Airs. 
Newbiggins, of the Episcopal church; Airs. Hodge of the Baptist church; 
Mrs. Wright of the First Alethodist Episcopal church; Airs. Kendrick 
of the Central .Alethodist church ; and Airs. Beach of the Congregational 
church. The present membership of the society is one hundred and 

BiKMiNcn.\M Prnr.ic Lii!R.\kv 

In the year 1869 a few persons gathered at the home of Airs. Edwin 
I'.aldwin for the purpose of forming a Library Association. About forty 
dollars had been secured from ])ersons who had been members of a Good 
Templars' lodge, recently disbanded. The first purchase was thirty-nine 
volumes. As years passed the society grew and was soon incorporated 
inider the state law. 


The old ^Methodist church was bought and was used by the society till 
1893, when a lot on one of the main corners of Birmingham was bought 
and a building erected at a cost of thirty-five hundred dollars. Money 
was raised by the women in every conceivable way by holding baby 
shows, fairs, balls, dramatic entertainments, dinners, banquets, etc., till 
there were twenty-five hundred books on the shelves. In 1907 the society 
offered their property to the village provided a tax of one-half mill on a 
dollar was voted for the support of a free public library. Miss Alartha 
Baldwin, who had served many years as secretary of the society, oiifered 
to give to the village a mortgage of twenty-five hundred dollars, held by 
her upon the building. After a hotly contested election, the library won. 
The decision was carried to the Supreme Court and there the library won 
again. It was not till August, 1907, that it was catalogued under the 
Dewey system and opened to the public. Its success has far exceeded 
the expectations of its friends. It is now open four times a week with a 
skilled librarian in change. It was the first public library in the county. 
It now numbers four thousand volumes and many magazines and papers 
are on the reading tables. 

Birmingham is proud of its library and it is also prouder of the women 
who worked for it and of the men who voted for it. A list of those is 
kept in the library records. 

Miss Baldwin has been president and Miss V. Post, secretary of the 
board since its organiaztion. 

The present board is composed of the following: President, Miss M. 
Baldwin ; vice jiresident, Mrs. Mary Cooper ; secretary. Miss V. Post ; 
treasurer. Dr. J. Rainy ; Mrs. J. A. Bigelow and Mrs. Lena Wilson. 

Birmingham Literary Cia'h 

The Women's Literary Club of Birmingham was organized in 1890. 
It is a member of the county and state federations. Mrs. Helen Brey is 
president; Mrs. Stanley Todd, secretary; Mrs. William H. Poole, corre- 
sponding secretary. 

Greenwood Cemetery Association, Birmingham 

In September of 1881. two women were strolling through the village 
cemetery. Dr. Raynale, who had done so much for its care and preserva- 
tion, had finished his labors and was at rest within its limits and there 
was no one to carry on the work. 

The yotmger woman was loud in her praises of the good conditions 
of a neighboring ground. The older one said nothing, but thought "what 
they can do, we can do, and more." Within a week a dozen women were 
called together and an association formed. The yearly dues were placed 
at fifty cents. The grass was mowed and the grounds cleaned. 

In 1885 the society was incorporated under the laws of the state and 
two and one-half acres of adjoining land were bought at a cost of $500. 
This was platted according to the landscape gardening plan. The dues 
were raised to one dollar per year. In 1901 and 1904 further additions 
were made; a new tool house was built, water pipes laid, a gasoline en- 


gine ])Ut in w hich piini]).s water from a creek. By the payment of twenty- 
live dollars ])cri)etual care is in.sured. There is now twenty-live hundred 
dollars in that fund. Since 1903 no lot has been sold except with ])er- 
petual care. 

In 1910 a vault was built that will hold nine bodies. Since 1881 tlie 
same person has held the office of secretary and superintendent (Miss 
]\Iartha Baldwin). The association is officered entirely by women and 
all business is done by them. They have had to combat old-time preju- 
dice, but the up-to-date condition of the grounds reflects credit on their 

Ladies' Libr.\ry Associ.vtion 

The Ladies' Library Association of Holly was organized February i, 
1877, with Mrs. L. L. Morrison president of a managing board of twelve 
ladies. I'or many years the members of the association paid one dollar 
a year dues, and had the privilege of drawing two books per week. Later 
it was made a free library with reading room attached and was open 
two days of the week. During this time the funds for carrying on the 
work were obtained by public subscriptions, library lecture courses and 
other entertainments of various natures. In February, 191 1. after thirty- 
four years of e.xistence as a Ladies' Library, and after having expanded 
to something more than two thousand volumes, it was made a township 
library, largely through the efforts of the president of the board, Mrs. 
F. J. Barrett; Mrs. T. L. Patterson, treasurer, and Mrs. A. Steinbaugh, 



Oakland County Soldiers of the War of 1812 — Napoleonic Sol- 
diers — Early Military Organizations — The Mexican War — 
The War of the Rebellion — First Michigan Infantry — Second 
Infantry — General I. B. Richardson — The Second Regiment — 
Third Infantry — The Fifth Infantry — Seventh Regiment — 
Eighth and Ninth Infantry Regiments — The Tenth Infantry 
— Death of Adjutant Cowles — The Fourteenth Infantry' — 
The Fifteenth and Sixteenth — Twenty'-second Infantry — ■ 
Governor Moses Wisner — Twenty-ninth Infantry — Thirtieth 
Infantry and "Mechanics and Engineers" — Custer's Michigan 
Cavalry Brigade — The Eighth Cavalry' — Ninth and Tenth 
Cavalry Regiments — Michigan Light Artillery' — Qne Hun- 
dred AND Second United States Colored Troops — Military 
Matters of Late. 

In Chapter VI has been recorded the careers of those soldiers of the 
Revolution who settled in Oakland county, some of whom became prom- 
inent in her citizenship. For several years previous to the War of 1812 
the military spirit of the Revolution had been kept keenly alive by the 
campaigns of the American soldiery against the Indians, inspired and sup- 
ported by the British, and at the time of the defeat of Tecumseh by 
Harrison in November, 181 1, a large force of home troops had been col- 
lected in Ohio ready for contingencies. They were divided into three 
regiments and placed under the command of Colonels McArthur, Find- 
lay and Cass. A fourth regiment under Colonel Miller joined them, and 
the entire command was placed under Governor Hull, of Michigan ter- 
ritory. His disgraceful surrender of the American army, so eager to 
uphold the native name for bravery and patriotism, is, unfortunately, a 
matter of history. So far as the War of 1812 directly affects the record 
of Oakland county and her citizens, lies in the fact that a number of 
those who participated in its campaigns afterward located within her 
limits. In this connection it should be remembered that the county's first 
permanent settler did not appear until 1817. 

0.\kland Colinty Soldiers of the W.\r of 1812 

The list of soldiers of the War of 1S12 who became citizens of this 
county is as follows : Addison township — Derrick Hulich and Jesse 
Elwell; the latter died in 1874. 



Avon lownsliip — Julin Sargent served from 1812 to 1817; was sta- 
titjncd for a long time at l''ort^ Gratiot. 

lirandon township — James Arnold from Xew York; Adam Drake, 
who died in 1874, aged ninet\'-seven years. 

Commerce township — Cornelius Austin. 

Farniington township — A Mr. Burns. 

Oakland township — Ezra ]>rewster, served in CajHain T.acey's com- 
pany of New York militia : also Josiah Dewey and James Coleman, in 
the same command. 

Oxford townshi]) — Peter Stroud, served in Cajitain .Abraham Matte- 
son's company of New York troops. 

Pontiac townshi]) — Elizur Goodrich and Robert Parks, settled in Troy 
in 1822-3 ; former afterward moved to Auburn for a time. 

Troy township — Solomon Carswell and Captain Robert Parks. 

Waterford township — Isaac Willets. 


It is known that at least two soldiers of Napoleon the (jreat have been 
residents of Oakland county — Joseph Laubley, a native of the canton 
of Berne, Switzerland, who settled in Groveland township in 1836 and 
died in 1841 ; and John Oliver, who located in Rochester about 1830 and 
died there* about 1875. 

Early .Miijt.vrv Org.\xization.s 

Under territorial laws every man between the ages of seventeen and 
forty-five was liable to be called upon for military service, and a regiment 
was organized in Oakland county as early as 1825. Among its earliest 
commanders were Colonel David Stewart, Henry O. Bronson and Calvin 
Hotchkiss. Within a few years the regiment grew so rapidly that it had 
to be divided into what were known as the Rifle and the Militia (or I'lood- 
wood) regiments. 

The first company organized in Pontiac was commanded by Calvin 
Hotchkiss, who subsequently rose to the rank of general of the state 
militia. A general muster occurred annually in the autumn and the com- 
pany drills were of frequent occurrence. At the time of the celebrated 
"Toledo war" great preparations were made by the Pontiac contingency 
to cover itself with glory ; but its eft'orts, as is well known, were fruit- 
less. In 1826 Almon Mack was elected ensign of Captain Hotchkiss' 
company and T. J. Drake, lieutenant. Lieutenant Drake afterward re- 
signed and G. O. Whittemore, formerly ensign, was promoted. Ensign 
Mack was promoted lieutenant in the fall of 1827 ami detailed as acting 
adjutant the same year. 

Governor Cass was jircsent at the general muster in 1827 and made 
an address to the regiment. The Governor was a strong Jackson man 
and the regiment is said to have had three Jackson men in its ranks ; so 
that his really interested audience was very select. 

Colonel Stephen Mack, so ])romincnt in the early affairs of Pontiac, 
received his military title in \'ermont ])revious to removing to Michigan, 


as he was a colonel of a Green Mountain regiment before the War of 

In 1835 the military of Oakland county formed the Third brigade of 
the Second division. Brigadier General John Stockton, commanding. Col- 
onel Wells Waring commanding the brigade. In 1837 the brigade was 
commanded by Colonel Calvin Hotchkiss. In 1838 Oakland county con- 
tained two regiments — the Ninth and Tenth, of the Fifth brigade, Third 
division. W'illiam Crooks was colonel of the Ninth, and Orange Foote 
of the Tenth. 

Avon, as one of the townships first settled, was quite prominent in 
military matters. The Avon RiHemen were considered a star organiza- 
tion. Calvin Chapel was captain of the company ; Calvin A. Green, first 
lieutenant ; Almeron Brotherton, second lieutenant ; Thomas Stewart, 
third lieutenant, and Christian Z. Horton, Ormul Stewart, Francis 
Brotherton, and Calvin H. Potter, the four sergeants. There were four 
corporals, two bass drummers, two snare drummers, three fifers and 
forty-four privates. The first officers were commissioned July 9, 1838, 
Almeron Brotherton being elected captain in May, 1840. 

The Mexicwn W.\r 

r)aklaiul county was represented in the Ale.xican war by Coiupany A, 
Fifteenth Regiment United States Infantry, which served from the com- 
mencement of hostilities in 1847 until it was mustered out of the service 
July 30, 1848. The privates numbered a full hundred and most of the 
men enlisted in March and April, 1847, nearly a half being enlisted by 
Lieutenant Samuel E. Beach in Pontiac. Captain Eugene \'an de Venter 
was the first commander, being afterward promoted to major, his com- 
mission for the latter rank dating from Decemljer 22. 1847. He was trans- 
ferred to the Thirteenth Infantry. 

Company A saw active service at Chapultepec, Churubusco, Vera 
Cruz and the city of Mexico, and her dead and wounded were practical 
tributes to the bravery of the boys who went from Oakland county. The 
officers of the command who led the soldiers into the field were as fol- 
lows : Thornton F. Brodhead, captain ; William R. Srafford, first lieuten- 
ant ; Samuel E. Beach, second lieutenant, breveted for meritorious con- 
duct at Contreras and Churubusco and promoted first lieutenant, Febru- 
ary 28, 1848: Edwin R. ^lerryfield, second lieutenant; Lewyllen Boyle, 
second lieutenant ; Charles Peternell, second lieutenant, promoted first 
lieutenant January 26, 1848; Thomas W. Freelove, first lieutenant. 

That the soldiers who went from Oakland county were honorable 
men is proven by the records which note but two cases of desertion. On 
the other hand the list of killed in battle and died of wounds and sick- 
ness is large, in proportion to the number enlisted and recruited. 

Killed in battle: — Samuel Carney, at Churubusco, August 20, 1847, 
and John Haviland, at Chapulte]iec, September 13, 1847; both privates. 

Died of wounds: — Iliram Brown, battle of Churubusco, October 26, 
1847; William R. Koch, battle of Chapultepec, September 17, 1S47; 
Henry Wydner, battle of Churubusco, August 28, 1847. 

Died of sickness: — TJiomas Ainsley, Vera Cruz, July 2, 1847; John 


Aseltinc, Jr.. L'liai>iillc-i)cc, JX-cenilxT i. 1S47: William R. liuzzcll, cily of 
Mexico, October jy, 1847; Charles Calkins, Puehla, July 28, 1847; Chand- 
ler Delong, I'uebla, July 28, 1847; Andrew J. (iriffin, Perote. August 20, 
1847; Daniel D. Haines, Terete, July 15, 1847; ICdward Kelley, Camj) Rio 
San Juan, June 13, 1847; James J\l. i'roper, Chapultcpec. December y. 
1847; Claudius H. Riggs, Vera Cruz, July 12, 1847; Henry Clay Rice, Vera 
Cruz, July 2, 1847; George Scudder, Chapnltepec, December 8, 1847; 
Jacob Strobe, Perote, September 20, 1847. 

Till-: War of the Rebellion' 

In proi)Qrtion to her wealth and population, Oakland county w'as sec- 
ond to none in Michigan in her contributions of men and funds to sup- 
port the Union. The amount of money raised by the county and its 
townships during the Civil war was $586,556.98, which sum was exceedeil 
only by Wayne county in the state of Michigan. 

Under the Soldiers' Relief law $127,993.38 w^as expended, and large 
amounts were raised for sanitary purposes by the Sanitary Commission 
and the various Ladies" Aid Societies. "God bless the women" was no 
enijoty sentiment in those days, when uttered by the soldiers in thetield or 

The State Sanitary Commission included as delegates from Oakland 
county: Rev. J. M. Strong, of Clarkston, Rev. W. P. Wastell, Holly; 
Rev. J. W. Allen, Franklin, and Rev. John Pierson, Alilford, all attached 
to the Army of the Potomac and all engaged for six weeks with their 
duties of relieving the soldiers of Michigan in the field. Among the 
volunteer surgeons from Oakland county were Drs. John Smith. J. E. 
Wilson, and F. B. Galbraith. 

In the fall of 1864 commissioners were appointed by the governor, 
under authority of the state legislature, to proceed to the various sections 
of the country at which Michigan troops were in service and superintended 
an election for presidential electors ; in other words, to place the priv- 
ilege of the franchise within the hands of the soldiers in the field from 
their state. Upon this commission was Asher E. Mather, of Pontiac, 
who had charge of the casting of the presidential ballots by the Ninth 
and Twenty-second Infantry, Army of the Cumberland. 

No commonwealth has a more magnificent memorial to its soldiers 
and sailors than has Michigan at Detroit, and upon the board of direct- 
ors which brought the enterprise to such a splendid conclusion were M. 
E. Crofoot and W. M. McConnell, of Pontiac. They officially represented 
a county which had sent to the front more than 3,700 of its brave men. 
of whom more tlian 400 laid down their lives for the Union cause in 
battlclield, |)rison and hospital. .Scattered throughout the county are also 
minor monuments which stand as mute memorials of love and honor 
erected by the living, while many a grave in the beautiful homes of the 
dead is yearly covered with the flag which the sleeper loved so well. In 
Oak Hill cemetery is an es])ecially gallant company — Major General 1. I'.. 
Richardson. L'nited States \olunteers. mortally wounded at .\ntietam ; 
Colonel Moses Wisner. Twenty-second Michigan, died at i-exington. 
Kentucky; Captain T. C. lleardsloe. Twenty-second Michigan Infantrv, 


died at Nashville; Lieutenant Samuel Pearce, Fifth Michigan Infantry, 
killed at the crossing of the North Anna, \'irginia; Lieutenant Percy S. 
Leggett, Fifth Michigan Cavalry, killed near the Rappahannock; Lieu- 
tenant Richard Whitehead, Fifth Michigan Cavalry, killed near Hanover 
Courthouse ; Lieutenant Joseph McConnell, Eighteenth Ljiited States 
Infantry, killed at Stone river ; Sergeant Major William Churchill, Seventh 
Michigan Infantry, killed at Antietam ; Cajitain William North, Fifth 
Michigan Cavalry, killed at Cedar creek. Memorial day has generally 
been observed in Pontiac, especially interesting and impressive ceremonies 
being observed on June 4, 1869. Upon that occasion Rev. W. H. Shier 
delivered the principal address of the day. Among other statements 
which he made were that twenty-seven soldiers ranking from a major 
general down to a private lay in the Oak Hill cemetery, and out nf that 
number he knew of but one who had nothing to mark his resting place, 
and that was Major G^eneral I. B. Richardson (or, as he was more famil- 
iarly known in the army, "Fighting Dick"). He proceeded to state that 
the General was a graduate of West I'oint, fought under General Scott 
in all the important battles in the Mexican war, and as soon as the rebel- 
lion broke out was one of the first to offer his services to his country. 
He fought bravely in the Army of the Potomac up to the time he was 
killed, l)Ut after he had gained such a national reputation as a patriot and 
a fighting general, being the first to be created a major general, a stranger 
desirous of visiting his grave could not find it in Oak Hill cemetery, as it 
remained up to that time (1869), wholly unmarked.* 

TiiK First Micinr,.\x Infantry 

The First Michigan Infantry was naturally a three months' organiz- 
ation. LInder Colonel Wilcox, it lead the advance of state troops to the 
front, and at the battle of Bull Run fixed the standard of Michigan troops 
for the entire period of the Civil war. The boys from the Wolverine 
state were both stubborn and dashing, and at Bull Run, as in many a 
hard fought battle afterward, the dead of the First Regiment were found 
nearest the enemy's works. 

Among tlie loss to the regiment were Captain llutterworth, Lieutenants 
Mauch and Casey wounded and taken prisoners ( who afterward died of 
their wounds in the hands of the enemy), and Colonel Wilcox, who was 
wounded, taken prisoner and held at Richmond for fifteen months. 

The regiment was mustered out at the expiration of the three months' 
term of service, August 7, 1861, but was soon afterward reorganized as 
a three-year's regiment. It returned to the Army of the Potomac, August 
i6th, under command of Colonel John C. Robinson, who was succeeded 
on his i)romotion to a brigadiershi]), by Colonel H. S. Roberts. 

The Second Infantry 

The Second Infantry was commanded by Oakland county's most dis- 
tinguished and popular soldier, Israel B. Richardson, who was wounded 

*A tasteful and impressive momimcnt was erected to the memory of General 

Vol. I—] 8 


at the hatllc of Aiitietaii) ami died Xoveniher _^. 1X62. A \\'est I'oint 
cadet from his native state of \'erniont, upon liis graduation from the 
miHtary academy he was breveted second lieutenant and assigned to tlie 
Third United States Infantry. .\s lirst Heutenant. to which he was pro- 
moted in Septemlier, 1846, lie commanded his company in the Mexican 
war (at Cerro Gordo ), and was afterward breveted captain and major for 
gallantry at Churubusco and Chapulte])ec. It was soon after the close of 
the Mexican war that- he moved to Oakland county, where the War of 
the Rebellion founrl him. 


On the first call for volunteers General Richardson offered his services. 
Governor ISlair at once appointed him colonel of the Second Michigan 
Infantry, and, when he arrived at Washington, General Scott fittingly 
acknowledged his services in the Mexican war by assigning a brigade to 
him. He was in the first battle of Bull Run ; was soon after promoted 
to the rank of brigadier general, and both his dash and judgment in the 
peninsula camjiaign under McClellan were so conspicuous that he was 
advanced to the major-generalship. As had been well stated: "At An- 
tietam his zeal led him to do a colonel's work, and in leading a regiment 
he received his mortal wound." 

General Richardson's remains were brought home to Pontiac for 
interment, and the funeral obsequies were performed November ri, 1862, 
a little more than three weeks after the battle of Antietam at which the 
s]3lendid soldier received his death wound. At the courthouse the dead 
general lay shrouded in the colors to which he had sworn fealty in boy- 
hood and which he had so faithfully and ably defended in two wars. 
Detachments from the military organizations then in the state were in 
attendance, including the Detroit Light Gtiards and Captain Daniel's 
battery of light artillery. Rev. Mr. Eldridge, of the Fort Street Presby- 
terian church, Detroit, delivered the funeral oration ; the procession to 
Oak Hill cemetery was formed and commanded by General Henrv D. 
Terry, a companion in arms; and the remains of "Fighting Dick" were 
laid to rest with the solemn ritual of the Episcojjal church and the soldiers" 

TiiK Skcoxd Regiment 

The Second Regiment was under the immediate command of Colonel 
O. M. Poe, in Richardson's brigade, particij^ated in the engagement at 
lilackburn's Ford and covered the retreat of the army at first Bull Run. 
\\'illiamsburg. Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, second Bull Run and Chantilly 
followed; and in 1863 it participated in (jrant's Mississip])i cami)aign, 
being also with Burnside in east Tennessee and the defense of Kno.xville. 
In General Sherman's pursuit of Johnston it is credited with making one 
of the most daring and gallant charges of the war, it Iteing then com- 
manded by Colonel Hum])hrey. The regiment also won bright laurels at 
the siege of Knoxville by Longstreet in November, 1863. Its charge of 
the 24th against a force of investing confederates was another notable 
event of the war. Afterward the Second returned to the .\rm\' of the 


Potomac and participated in the famous campaign of (icneral lirant in 
1864, the last notable operations in which it participated l)eing the siege 
of Petersburg from June 17, 1864, to April 5, 1865. 

The Third Infantry 

Although the original Third Michigan Infantry was raised in Grand 
Rapids, the decimation in its ranks was largely filled by Oakland county 
men. It was a part of Richardson's brigade at lilackburn's Ford and 
afterward belonged to Berry's celebrated brigade of Kearney's division. 
It was particularly distinguished at Fair Oaks, where its losses were heavy 
and Captain Samuel A. Judd was killed. It lost forty-one, killed, 
wounded, and missing at Gettysburg, and followed the fortunes of the 
Army of the Tennessee and the Army of the Potomac until the final siege 
of Petersburg in April. 1865. On June 20, 1864, the regiment was 
mustered out of the service, but reorganized and left for the field in Ten- 
nessee October 20th, following. With the Second, it afterward returned 
to the campaigns in \'irginia being conducted by Grant through the Army 
of the Potomac. The reorganized Third was stationed in Texas during 
the winter of 1865-6 and was mustered out May 26, 1866. 

The Fifth Inf.\ntrv 

The Fifth regiment, often called the Fighting JMflh, Icfi Detroit for 
Virginia, Septemljer 11, 1861, commanded by Colonel Henry D. Terry 
and, as a part of Berry's brigade, had its first engagement at Williams- 
burg, May 5, 1862. There its conduct was gallant and its losses heavy, 
among the killed being Lieutenant James Gunning and the wounded, 
Lieutenant Colonel S. E. Beach, of Pontiac. Captain L. B. Ouacken- 
bush and Lieutenant Charles II. Ilutchins were killed at Fair Oaks, and 
Lieutenant Charles 11. Traverse mortally wounded. At Chickahominy, 
Peach Orchard and Charles City Cross Roads, the regiment conducted 
itself as it should. Lieutenant W. T. Johnson being killed and Major Joim 
D. Fairbanks being mortally woimded at the engagement last named. 
Fredericksburg caused the death of its commanding officer. Lieutenant 
Colonel John Gilluby, the losses of the rank and file at these battles telling 
the story of general bravery. The regiment participated in the desperate 
charge made on the rear of Stonewall Jackson's forces, near Chancellors- 
ville, which threatened the destruction of the right flank of the L^nion 
army; was at Gettysburg during the two days' battle, losing on July 2d, 
in one hour, 105 men and officers, and on July 2d, assisting to repel the 
final charge of the Confederates on Cemetery Hill. In May, 1864, under 
Colonel Pulford the regiment entered the great campaign of Grant against 
Richmond, and within the following three weeks participated in the gen- 
eral movement to the North Anna river, in the crossing of which Lieu- 
tenant Samuel Pierce was killed. On the lOth of June the Third Michigan 
was consolidated with the h'ifth. I'Vom March until .April, of 1865, the 
regiment was engaged in the general movements around Petersburg, on 
the ,^d of the latter month participating in the general assault and capture 
of the enemv's fortifications. 


Brigadier General Berry coiii|)liiiicnte(l the Second, Third and l-'iflh 
(all of which regiments his brigade), most highly when he said 
of them : "A nobler set of men never lived. Any man can win fights 
with such material." 

The Skventii Inf.\ntuy 

More than one liuiulred men from Oaklantl county joined various com- 
panies in the Seventh Infantry. Francis Daniels of Company II being 
promoted from a sergeantcy to second lieutenant ni December, 1864. The 
regiment was organized under the direction of Colonel Ira R. Grosvenor 
at Monroe, and served through the Peninsula campaign, one of its great- 
est services being performed as the rear guard of the Army of the 
Potomac on the retreat to Harrison's Landing. It was also engaged in all 
the Maryland actions, and at Antietam it lost more than half its forces 
engaged, including Captains Allen H. Zacharias and J. H. Turrill and 
Lieutenants I. B. Eberhard and John A. Clark. The regiment jiassed 
through the Wilderness campaign under Major .S. W. Curtis, especiallv 
distinguishing itself at Hatcher's Run by the capture of an important 
Confederate command five hundred strong with a force of only eighty-five. 
The Seventh continued in active service until the surrender of Lee, April 
9, 1865, being finally mustered out on the 5th of the following July. 

The Eighth and Ninth Ixf.\xtry Regiments 

(-)nly about sixty men from Oakland were with these ccjmmands. The 
former, raised by Colonel W. M. Fenton, of Flint, was engaged in nine 
battles in four states — South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Maryland — ■ 
and afterward served in the several campaigns of the Ninth corps in Ten- 
nessee and Mississippi until the close of the war in \"ifginia. The only 
officer from Oakland county was William A. Clittord. who entered the 
service as sergeant major of Comjjany B; was promoted to be first lieu- 
tenant October 5, 1864, and adjutant of the regiment, April 25, 1865. 

The Ninth Infantry was chiefly noted for the part it took in the bril- 
liant defense of Alurfreesboro, July 13, 1862, and its participation in 
the battle of Stone River, in January, 1863. It was mustered out of the 
service September 15, 1865. Officers from C)akland county: C. C. Stark- 
weather, who joined Company I, as sergeant, was made second lieuten- 
ant May 14, 1863, first lieutenant (Company E), September 20, 1864, 
and Captain of Company B, .\pril 20, 1S65; John B. Gimning. sergeant 
of Company I, promoted to second lieutenant Company D, April 20, 
1865; and William Wilkinson, Jr., who was mustered out as a non-com- 
missioned staff officer, September 15. 1865. 

The Tenth LNE.\NTR^• 

The Tenth infantry, organized at Flint by Colonel Charles M. Linn, 
contained a large element of Oakland county soldiers, and its officers 
were well reiiresented among the citizens of this section of the state. 
The latter include the following: Sylvester D. Cowles. first lieutenant 


and adjutant (formerly first lieutenant in Fifth Infantry), who was 
killed by a Confederate sharpshooter at Farmington, Mississippi, May 
26, 1862; John Piersons, first captain of Company H, and promoted to 
be lieutenant colonel of the 109th United States Colored Troops, August 
30, 1864; Alva A. Collins, second lieutenant Company C, who was pro- 
moted first lieutenant, June 2, 1862, and captain of Company H, August 
30, 1864; Fred S. Stewart, sergeant major and promoted first lieuten- 
ant and adjutant, May 28, 1862; Benjamin B. Redfield, first lieutenant; 
Sylvan Ter Bush, first lieutenant of Company H, and promoted to cap- 
tain of Company C, March 31, 1863 (wounded at Jonesboro, Ga., Sep- 
tember I, 1864), major May 20, 1865, and lieutenant colonel June 7, 
1863; Joseph E. Tupper, sergeant major, and promoted second lieuten- 
ant,' May 13, 1863, and major United States Colored Troops, November, 
1863 : Warren G. Nelson, sergeant Company H, and promoted first lieu- 
tenant of Company C, February 24, 1865 ; Eslie R. Redfield, sergeant 
Company C, and promoted first lieutenant Company F, September 3, 
1864, and captain Company I, May 20, 1865; Charles P. Rice, sergeant, 
and promoted second lieutenant June 7, 1865; Alex. H. Allen, sergeant, 
and promoted second lieutenant June 7, 1865; Mark H. Ridley, sergeant 
Company C and promoted second lieutenant Company H, June 7, 18(15; 
and Fletcher W. Hewes. sergeant Company C and promoted first lieu- 
tenant Company D, May 8, 1865. 

The Tenth Regiment first encountered the enemy in battle near Cor- 
inth, Mississippi, and among the most marked events in its splendid 
history were the engagement at Buzzard's Roost, Georgia, February 25, 
i864:'the battle of Jonesboro, September i, 1864. and the fight at Ben- 
tonville, March 19 and 20, 1865. 

Death of Adjut.\nt Cowles 

The death of Adjutant Cowles was a great blow to the Oakland 
county boys. In company with other officers of the regiment he was 
riding along the picket line at Corinth examining the rebel works. He 
dismounted, in order to get a better view, and at first stood behind 
a tree. Not satisfied with that position he stepped into the open, re- 
marking as he did so, "I guess they won't hit me." He had scarcely 
uttered the words when the bullet from the Confederate sharpshooter 
struck him in the left breast, passing through the body obliquely and 
coming out through the right shoulder. He simply exclaimed, "I am 
hit," and expired. 

The Fourteenth Infantry 

The county sent more than ninety into the Fourteenth Infantry, in- 
cluding the following officers : Frank Powell, captain Company I ; John 
P. Foster, first lieutenant of Company I, who was promoted to be cap- 
tain January 29, 1863, and wounded at Averyboro, North Carolina, 
March 16, 1865; Alfred A. Parker, second lieutenant of Company I 
and promoted first lieutenant June 20, 1862; Frederick Banks, sergeant 
of Company I, and promoted second lieutenant June 20, 1862; New- 


come Clark, sergeant of Cc)ni|)an_\ J, and promoted secc^nd lieutenant 
June i6, 1862, major First -^licliigan Colored Infantry ( I02d United 
States Colored Troops), March 12, 1864, and lieutenant colonel June 

19, 1865; Cornelius Losey, sergeant Company I, and promoted first lieu- 
tenant August 10, 1864, and captain, February 13, 1865 (wounded March 

20, 1865) ; and Isaac Olive, sergeant Coinpany I, and promoted second 
lieutenant Company F. March 14. i86^, and first lieutenant, lulv 7, 

fhe Fourteenth Infantry left \ psilanti, where it was rendezvoused, 
in command of Colonel Robert P. Sinclair, of Grand Rapids, under 
whose direction it had been recruited, and joined the Western Army at 
Pittsburgh Landing. It participated in the battle of Stone River, in De- 
cember, 1862, and January, 1863, and was also actively engaged in tiie 
Atlanta campaign. The battles of Jonesboro, Georgia, on September i, 
1864, and Bentonville, North Carolina, March 19 and 20, 1865, were its 
special fields of honor. 

The Fifteenth and the Sixteenth 

Both the Fifteenth and the Sixteenth Infantry regiments received a 
number of recruits from Oakland county, each about sixty, and several 
officers were also drawn from her citizens. Dr. Levi M. Garner, surgeon 
of the Fifteenth, died May 17, 1862; \V. H. Hubble, sergeant of Com- 
pany F, was promoted to the first lieutenantcy October i, 1862, and to the 
captaincy, ]\Iarch 4, 1863. Most of the recruits of this regiment were 
received during the later days of the war, the engagements in the At- 
lanta campaign and "Sherman's .March" being the only actions in which 
they participated. 

The Sixteenth was raised and organized during the summer of 1861 
by Colonel T. B. W. Stockton, and was for some time known as Stock- 
ton's Independent Regiment. Its active service began with the siege of 
Yorktown in April, 1862, and ended at Appomattox Court House, after 
having passed through the various campaigns of the Army of the Poto- 
mac with highest credit, as a part of the Third brigade, first division, 
F'ifth corps. Among the battles in which it jjarticipated none are per- 
haps more to its credit than Gaines Hill and Peebles' Farm. In the for- 
mer engagement Captain Thomas C. Carr and Lieutenants Byron McGraw 
and Richard Williams were killed, and Colonel Stockton had his horse 
shot from under him. Captains Mott and I'isher and Surgeon Wixom 
were taken prisoners. .At Prebles" h'arm. Colonel N. E. Welch was 
instantly killed while going over the enemy's works sword in hand. 

The rwEXTV-si;( x)xd Ixe.vntkv 

Of all the rei,Mnients which went to the front, the Twenty-second 
created the most widespread interest throughout the county. More men 
from Oakland county joined its various companies than those of any 
other regiment (something like 560) and its commanding officer was 
Moses Wisner, who had already served as governor of the state and w^as 
among its most honored and jMipular citizens. It was largely through 


his efforts and personal influence that it was raised. His command left 
the state of Kentucky September 4, 1862, and Colonel Wisner died of 
tjphoid fever at Lexington, Kentucky, January 5, 1863. It is thought 
that his unremitting labors in the raising, organization and drilling of the 
regiment brought about such a nervous condition as to make him an easy 
victim to the disease which caused his death. 


Governor Wisner was an able lawyer and a broad minded public man, 
and as he was a thorough disciplinarian and deeply read in military 
tactics his friends and the public at large looked confidently to see him 
make a splendid reputation as a soldier. He not only possessed the true 
temperament for a military leader, but he inherited the ambition to be 
such from his fathe;r (also Moses), who was a colonel in the War of 
181 2 and brave and masterly in battle. Colonel Wisner was buried in 
Oak Hill cemetery on January 9, 1863, without military display, but as 
unostentatiously as he had lived. The legislature, the supreme court of 
the state and the bar of Oakland county all adopted resolutions of respect 
and affection, and, as expressed by a local publication, "the resolutions 
passed bv his own regiment were like the wailings of orphans for a dead 
father." ' 

The deceased was succeeded in the command by Colonel Ileber Le- 
Favour, who first led the regiment against the enemy at Danville, Ken- 
tucky, March 24, 1863. At Chickamauga, on September 9th, it formed 
part of Whittaker's brigade, and played a leading part in coming to the 
rescue of Thomas' imperiled line. The Twenty-second lost on that 
day 372 in killed, wounded and missing, and among those mortally 
wounded were Captains W. A. Smith and Elijah Snell. Most of the 
missing were taken prisoners, including Colonel Leh'avour. The regi- 
ment also participated in the battle of Missionary Ridge, November 26, 
1S63, its last action being before Atlanta, Georgia, July 22 and 2^. 1864. 
Elijah Snell, captain of Company D, died of wouncls received at Chicka- 
mauga, September 20, 1863. Altogether sixteen officers of the regiment 
hailed from Oakland county. 


Over one hundred men were recruited in Oakland county for the 
Twenty-ninth regiment, one of the latest to enter the service. Under 
command of Colonel Thomas M. Taylor it arrived at Nashville, October 
3, 1864, and, although "new at the game of war," when it met the enemy 
at Decatur, under Hood, on the 26th of the month, it behaved with great 
coolness. The regiment moved out from the breastworks behind which it 
was sheltered and, in the face of a hot fire of musketry and artillery took 
possession of a line of rifle pits. Colonel Doolittle, who was in charge of 
the Union force, had but five hundred men but with them he successfully 
resisted five thousand Confederates — W'altham's division of Stewart's 
corps. The Twentv-second was mustered out of the service September 
6. 1865. 


TiiiKTiiyrii Imantkv and "AIicciiamcs and En'oinehrs" 

The citizen soldiery of Oa4<land county was slightly represented in 
the Thirtieth Infantry, a home regiment which was stationed at differ- 
ent points in Michigan during the last year of the war, and the "Mechanics 
and Engineers,"' who so distinguished themselves in Kentucky, Tennes- 
see, Georgia and North Carolina both as fighters and bridge builders. 

Custer's AIiciikian Cavalry I'.rkjadi-: 

Of the cavalry regiments, the First, Second, Third, Fourth, F'ifth, 
Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth, all received considerable acces- 
sions from Oakland county. The First Cavalry was organized during the 
summer of 1861 by Colonel T. F. Brodhead, of Detroit (formerly of 
Pontiac), and left that city for Washington, December 29th. It partici- 
pated in the campaigns on the upper Potomac, in the Shenandoali valley 
and on the slopes of the Blue Ridge in 1862, Colonel Brodhead being 
killed at the second battle of Bull Run, August 30, 1862. He was an edu- 
cated lawyer, a member of the Oakland county bar, and after moving to 
Detroit served for some years as postmaster of that city. 

The First Michigan Cavalry was in the Gettysburg campaign of 1863. 
With the Fifth. Sixth and Seventh regiments of cavalry, it was incorpor- 
ated into what became widely known as the Michigan Cavalry Brigade in 
command of the lamented Custer. After the death of Colonel Brodhead 
the First Cavalry was commanded by Colonel Charles H. Town, and at 
Gettysburg his command successfully resisted a full infantry brigade of 
the enemy, putting them to route with drawn sabers. It was also at 
this terrific battle that the Fifth went to the relief of the .Seventh Mich- 
igan Cavalry. 

The history of the four brigades composing the command which Cus- 
ter led forms a bright chapter in the Union operations of this branch of 
the service in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac from Win- 
chester to Appomattox. Colonel John T. Copeland of the First cavalry 
organized the Fifth, but in November, 1862, being promoted to the rank 
of a brigadier, he was succeeded in the command of the regiment by Col- 
onel Freeman Norvell. Major R. A. Alger, of the Second Cavalry, was 
commissioned colonel of the Fifth on the 2Sth of the same month, and 
served in that capacity until September 20. 1864, when ill healtli com- 
pelled him to resign. 

The sixty or seventy men from Oakland county who joined the .Sixth 
and Seventh Cavalry regiments were generally transferred to the First: 
so that the record of the Fifth and First virtually covers all of interest 
to the readers of this history. 

Till". EiinriM Cavat.rv 

More than two hundred men from Oakland county enlisted in the 
Eighth Michigan Cavalrv. under connnan<l of Lieutenant Colonel G. S. 
Wormer. It formed iiart of the Union forces who pursued Morgan on 
his raid through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio in 1863, and whose sixteen 


days' chase resulted in the rout of the Confederate leader at Butilington 
Island, in the Ohio river, July 19th of that year. The Union troops cap- 
tured 573 prisoners, 487 horses and mules and a large quantity of arms, 
but ]\Iorgan himself avoided capture for a week. A detachment of the 
regiment in charge of Lieutenant Eioynton led a force commanded by 
Major Rue, of the Ninth Kentucky Cavalry, which captured the famous 
rebel cavalryman near New Lisbon, Ohio, on the 26th of July, 1863. The 
Eighth was raised by Colonel John Stockton, who commanded it until 
his health failed. During the war it was opposed by such brilliant leaders 
as Forrest and Wheeler and invariably held its own against them. Its 
achievements are most conspicuous while checking the advance of Long- 
street's army and in the defense of Knoxville. One of its last engage- 
ments was that of November 28, 1864, at Duck Creek, Tennessee, where 
the Eighth Michigan and the Fourteenth and Si.xteenth Illinois Cavalry 
dismounted, fixing bayonets and charged through the surrounding eneiuy, 
driving one hundred o^ the rebels into the river. In the following month, 
followed the engagements around and in front of Nashville, lasting from 
December 14th to 22d, the decisive liattle between Hood and Thomas 
being fought on the 15th and i6th. 

Ninth axd Tenth Cavalry Regiments 

Oakland county contributed over one htmdred men to the Ninth and 
Tenth Cavalry. The former was the only regiment in this branch of the 
service which had the honor of accompanying Sherman in his entire 
march from Atlanta to the sea, composing the escort of General Kilpat- 
rick when he opened communication between the army and the Atlantic 
coast. The Ninth also bore a conspicuous part in the pursuit and capture 
of General Morgan in his raid through Indiana and Ohio. 

The operations of the Tenth Cavalry were mainly in Tennessee and ex- 
tended from January, 1864, to April, 1865, the last three months of ser- 
vice being in North Carolina and Virginia. The regiment left Grand 
Rapids in December, 1863, in command of Colonel Thaddeus Foote, and 
was afterward led by Lieutenant Colonel L. G. Trowbridge. Among 
the officers contributed by Oakland county was James H. Cummins, who 
joined the Tenth as first lieutenant of Company L; was promoted to be 
captain April i, 1864; and was breveted major of United States Volun- 
teers March 13, 1865, for capturing with one battalion at High Point, 
North Carolina, on April 10, 1865, $3,000,000 worth of property and de- 
stroying it. 

Michigan Light Artillery 

The regiment of Michigan Light Artillery was composed of twelve 
six-gun batteries, and was commanded by Colonel L. C. Loomis ; but from 
the character of that arm of the service the batteries were never brought 
together as a regiment. About a hundred men were scattered through its 
several batteries — A, C, D, G, H, I, L and M — and also through the 
First, Fourth, Fifth. Eighth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth. Battery A, the 
first to leave the state, was originally designated Loomis's. It departed 
for western \'irginia, under Colonel I.oomis, on July i, 1.861, first engag- 


ing the enemy on tlie i itli of that month at Rich Mountain. Thence it was 
transferred to Kentuck}', and dicl its full share in defeating a flanking 
movement launched against the right wing of the Union army. At Stone 
River it lost heavily, but won distinction, and at Chickamauga suffered 
little short of annihilation in defense of its guns. Missionary Ridge, 
Tennessee. November 25, 1863, was its last battle. 

Battery H had c|uite a contingent from Oakland county, both of offi- 
cers and gunners. Marcus D. Elliott was promoted through two grades 
to the captaincy on January S, iHf)^; William Garner became first lieuten- 
ant May 29, 1865, and William King, second lieutenant June 10, 1865. 
This battery rendezvoused in Alonroe in connection with the Fifteenth In- 
fantry and left that place March 13, 1862 under command of Captain 
Samuel DeGobyer, to report to General Halleck at St. Louis. Thence it 
was ordered to New Madrid, Rfissouri, and afterward served in Ken- 
tucky, west Tennessee and northern ^Mississippi, taking an active part 
in the Mississippi campaign which preceded the siege of \'icksburg. during 
which Captain DeGobyer received a wound from which he died August 
8th following. The operations of liattery H were conducted entirely in 
Mississippi and Georgia, its last engagement being at Lovejoy's Station, 
in the latter state, September i, 1864. 

One Hundred .\nd Second U. S. Colored Troops 

Forty citizens of Oakland county joined the only colored regiment 
raised in Michigan during the war. It was known as the I02d United 
States Colored Troops, was raised by Colonel Henry Pjariis of Detroit, 
and organized by Lieutenant Colonel W. T. Bennett. In March, 1864, it 
took the tield in command of Col. H. L. Chipman, then a captain in the 
regular army who had procured a leave of absence for that purpose. The 
colored troops first faced the Confederates at Baldwin, Florida, in Au- 
gust, 1864, and decisively repulsed the attacking force of cavalrymen. 
The men there proved that they were gallant and stanch fighters, and 
fully sustained that rejnitation in the Carolinas and other states in which 
they were engaged in their ]:)rogress northward. The regiment was mus- 
tered out of the service with honor on the 30th of September, 1865. 

Military M.\iti;ks ok Late 

Pontiac is ])roud of her armory, as she should be. It came after 
years of effort and waiting, and is largely the result of the consistent 
work of D. L. Kimball, Alderman Henry Pauli and Charles A. Fisher. 
An independent company was organized soon after (he Spanish-.-\mer- 
ican war, in which Captain Kimball commanded a company (Thirty- 
fifth Michigan Infantry). It originally occu])ied (|uartcrs in the Brad- 
ley block on Fast I'ike street and the third tloor of the 1 lowland build- 
ing on West I'ike. .Along in 1907 a keen agitation was started for the 
erection of a separate armory, the original plan being for the state to 
appropriate $10,000 and the city to raise $8,000. The final decision was 
$15,000 for the state and .$6,000 for the city, and the bonds which were 
issued for $21,000 were sold chiefly through the exertions of .\lder- 


man Pauli, in April, 1910. Tlie armory was opened to Company E, 
Third Infantry (as the command was then known), December 22. 191 1. 
On June 23, 1905, the original company was mustered into the reg- 
ular service as a part of the First Battery, Michigan National Guard. 
In June, 1906, it was transferred from the artillery to the infantry, by 
action of the military board of the state, and was incorporated into the 
First Infantry, with William Marjison as captain, C. L. Allen as first 
lieutenant and H. II. Ross, second lieutenant. Late in 1906 Mr. Allen 
resigned, Mr. Ross was promoted to the first lieutenantcy and Fred 
Thorpe to the second lieutenantcy. In December, 1906, Captain Marji- 
son resigned and on the 13th of the month, David L. Kimball received 
his commission as captain of Company E, Third Infantry. He is one 
of the best disciplinarians in the state and one of the most popular cit- 
izens of Pontiac. In 1909 First Lieutenant Ross resigned and Second 
Lieutenant Thorpe was promoted to the vacancy. Ma.x Hodgdon was 
made second lieutenant. Company E has forty memliers in good standing. 



Colonel Mack's Company — First Pontl\c Settlers — Works of 
Mack, Conant and Sibley — Colonel's Mack, Father and Son — 
Settlers of 1822-1836 — County Seat and Courthouse — Town- 
ship Organization — The Village of Auburn (Amy) — Pontiac 
Village Incorporated — Early Trustee Meetings — Real Estate 
Item — The Mill Pond Nuisance — The Fire of 1840 — Early 
Bridges — Common Council, the Governing Body — ^The Village 
F"ire Department — Gas Works Inaugurated — Heads of the 
Village Government. 

The village of Pontiac was not incorporated by regular legislative 
act until March 20, 1837, but it had an existence as a growing settle- 
ment from the time of the formation of the Pontiac Company, by Stephen 
Mack, of Detroit, on November 5, 1818. Colonel Mack, who obtained 
his title as the head of one of the Vermont regiments to which he rose 
before coming from his native state to Detroit, was a prosperous hotel 
keeper and merchant before he became a citizen of the Michigan metrop- 
olis, in 1810. In that year he located in Detroit with Thomas Emerson, 
one of his business ac(|uaintances of \'ermont, and they were engaged 
in trade at that point when Hull surrendered to the British. That event 
deranged their plans, Ijut after the war was over Colonel Mack again 
engaged in trade at Detroit under the tirm name of Mack &' Conant. 
The partnership continued until the Pontiac Company was formed and 
the Colonel proceeded, as its agent, to lead a small colony to tlie site 
selected for the new town. 

CoLON'Ei. Mack's Company 

The com[.)any, which was formed, as slated, nii the 3th of November, 
1818, at the city of Detroit, comprised William Wootlbridge, Stephen 
Mack, Solomon Sibley, John L. Whiting, .\ustin E. Wing, David C. 
McKinstry, Benjamin Stead, Henry I. Hunt, Abraham Edwards, Archi- 
bald Darragh, Alexander Macomb (General Macomb, of the U. S. 
army) and i\ndrew G. Whitney, of that place, and William Thompson, 
Daniel LeRoy and James Fulton, of the county of Macomb (of which 
Oakland county was then a part). As shown by the records of the 
land office, the i'onliac Company, by its agent. .Stephen Mack, jnirchased 



on the day following its formation, the eighteen hundred acres compris- 
ing section 29, the northeast quarter of section 32, and the northeast, 
northwest and southwest quarters of section 28, township 3 north, range 
10 east. Between that date and the 19th of February, 1819, the original 
town plat of Pontiac was laid out on the southeast quarter of section 
29, by Maj. John Anderson. According to Capt. Hervey Parke's rec- 
ollections, all the corners were marked with posts made of four-inch 
scantling sawed at the mill completed in the spring of 1819 by Mack, 
Conant & Sibley. 

First Ponti.xc Settlers 

The first settlers on the spot now occupied by the city of Pontiac 
were undoubtedly Col. Stephen Mack, Maj. Joseph Todd, William Les- 
ter and Orisen Allei\, who, with a body of workmen, located on the 
southeast quarter of -section 29, in November or December, 1818. In 
1819 Calvin Hotchkiss and Jeremiah Allen entered lands in the vicinity ; 
that year also witnessed the coming of Harvey Williams and Elisha 
Gardner, the first blacksmiths of the place who worked in the old shop 
built by' Colonel Mack. Among those who came in 1820 and 1821 
were Charles Howard, Oliver Parker, Capt. Hervey Parke, Judah Church, 
Abner Davis, Eastman Colby, Alexander Galloway, Rufus Clark, Enoch 
Hotchkiss, James Harrington, G. W. Butson, John Edson, Joshua S. 
Terry, Joseph Harris, Stephen Reeves and Capt. Joseph Bancroft. 

Works of Mack, Conant & Siblev 

The firm of Mack, Conant & Sibley (Judge Solomon Sibley was a 
silent partner) made the first improvements in Pontiac. They obtained 
from the Pontiac Company the title to the water power, in considera- 
tion for which they agreed to pay a bonus of $i,ooo toward the erection 
of county buildings, in case the county seat should be located at Pontiac. 
The company itself also donated certain lots as an inducement for such 
location, and reserved various sites for schools, churches and a cemetery. 

This firm built a dam on Clinton river below Pike street and spent 
the winter and spring of 1818-19 in the erection of their sawmill; but 
the first house which rose on the present site of Pontiac was a small log 
cabin built for the workmen who were engaged on these enterprises. 
It stood where the Commercial Hotel was afterward built, and in March, 
1819, after the sawmill was completed, it was occupied by Maj. Joseph 
Todd and family, William Lester and Orisen Allen. After this cabin, 
the ne.xt building completed was the blacksmith shop which stood near 
the mill. In 1819-20, the flour mill was finished — the first in the county. 
It contained one or two burr stones, and one run of common stone 
made from native boulders ; but its completion was a great event, and 
quite a number of the- I'ontiac Company from Detroit, as well as others, 
celebrated the opening of the mill for business. Among those who 
attended were William Woodjjridge, Solomon Sibley, John L. Whiting, 
Austin E. Wing, David C. McKinstry. Henry I. Hunt, Andrew C. Whit- 
ney, William Thompson, Judge Whipple. Daniel LeRoy and Colonel 


Mack; and. as was the custom (if the liiiK-s. tlicv freely circulated the 
flowing bowl. 

Colonels M.ack, F.vtiiicr .\nd .Sox 

In 1820 Mr. Conant retired from the firm of .Mack, Conanl & .Sibley, 
and the two remaining partners continued the business until the Colonel's 
death in 1826. .\bout 1823 Colonel Mack built a distillery, which was 
run in connection with the flour mill and in 1824 also erected and 
operated a small woolen mill. The latter contained one set of machinery, 
for carding, spinning and weaving, and in its day did quite a business. 

In the meantime Almon Mack, the son of the Colonel, had come to 
Pontiac (1822), had taken charge of the mill business and become his 
father's active manager. A daughter of the Colonel also came on to 
keep house for her father. These, with an adopted daughter, occupied 
what was known as the company's building, which was used both as a 
dwelling and an office. ]\Iiss Lovina Mack, the daughter mentioned, 
died September 2, 1823, and this is believed to have been the first death 
of an adult white woman in C3akland county. The father died in Novem- 
ber, 1826, and was buried near his daughter on land which he owned on 
the east side of the river south of Pike street. The Ijodies were after- 
ward disinterred and buried in Oak Hill cemetery. 

Colonel Mack raised a family of twelve children. Joseph Smith, the 
Mormon prophet, was a cousin of the ]\Iacks, and visited Oakland county 
several times previous to his removal to Illinois. .Almira, one of the 
Colonel's nine daughters, joined the .Mormons at an early day and fol- 
lowed their fortunes to Utah. .About 1846 Mrs. Colonel Mack joined 
this daughter at Salt Lake and remained with her until her death ten 
years later. 

.•\lmon Mack, the third son of the Colonel, became ■|uile ])rominent 
in business and military matters. In his earlier years he had received 
a military training at the \'ermont ^lilitary College, Norwich, and even- 
tually became a colonel in the Michigan state militia; so that both fatlier 
and son were legitimate "colonels." 

Skttlers of i822-i83('i 

'fhc same year of Almon ^Mack's arrival also .saw the coming of S. 
L. .Millis, Joseph Morris, Asa Murray and Capt. Joseph Bancroft. 

Among others who became settlers of Pontiac and vicinity prior to 
1837, the year of its incorporation, may be mentioned the following: 

1823 — John Southard. Ira Goodrich, Chester Webster and Joseph 

1824 — E. B. Comstock, Francis J. Smith. .Mcrritt Ferry, Henry W. 
Thomas, Deacon lacob .\. NHorheis. John I'owcll and Hon. Thomas J. 
1 )rake. 

1825— D. C. lUickland. S. T. Murray and II. W. McDonald. 

1826 — Laban .Smith and Ira .Stowcll, Sr. 

1827 — Origen D. RicliardsoiL 

1S28— Luke l'hilli|)s. 


1830 — W. C. Palmer, Nelson Revnolds, [oseph R. Bowman, Joseph 
Hunt and Eli Welch. 

1831 — Hugh Kelly. James Henry, George Hopkinson, G. \V. Gray 
and Levi Dewey. 

1832 — Alonzo Barbour and James, Loop. 

1833 — George Reeves, Charles Torrey and Harrison Voorheis. 

1834 — David Cummings, E. E. Sherwood and Joseph Voorheis. 

1835 — W. B. Frederick, D. C. Dean and Ithamar Smith. 

1836— Deacon A. P. Frost, W. IL McConnell, H. C. Linahury and 
John Springer. 

County and Court 

Tlie proclamation of Governor Cass, issued January 12, 1819, an- 
nouncing the bounds of Oakland county, also provided for the appoint- 
ment of John L. Leib, Charles Earned, Philip LaCuer, John Whipple and 
Thomas Rowland, as commissioners to report upon the most eligible site 
for the seat of justice. Tlie town platted by the Pontiac Company was 
duly selected as the county seat, March 28, 1820, and about 1824 the log 
building which was to combine the cjualifications of court house and jail 
was begun. The distinction between the two lay in the f|uality of raw 
material -used in their construction ; the upper part, or framed portion, 
was the court room, and the first story, built solidly of logs, was the jail. 
Major Oliver Williams, of Waterford, had the contract for getting out 
the timber, and the plank of which the cells were made and which were 
six inches thick was sawed at Mack's mill. The saw which did the 
work was run by Colonel Mack's son, Almon. This first county building 
stood near the present court house. The court room was not finished 
until 1830. In February, 1835, the structure was condemned by the 
grand jury, and the agitation for a convenient court house, or at least 
for one fairly adequate to the needs of the county, resulted, after more 
than twenty-one years, in the erection of the 1856-7 structure. 

Township Or(~..\niz.\tion 

It was during the year 1827 that the original township df < )akland 
was divided into five townships, of which Pontiac was one. When first 
formed it included all of congressional townsJiips Nos. 3, 4 and 5 north, 
ranges 7, 8 and 9, and township 3, range 10 east, and also had attached to 
it for township purposes a portion of the present county at Lapeer, and 
all of the counties of Shiawassee and Saginaw. On the 29th of May, 
1828, the present township of Orion was detached from Oakland town- 
ship and attached to Pontiac. Subsequently, the counties of Lapeer, Shia- 
wassee and Saginaw were organized, and the following townships were 
formed from the original township of Pontiac, in the years named : 
Waterford, 1834; Orion, Highland and Groveland, 1835; Springfield, 
Independence and White Lake, 1836; Brandon and Rose, 1S37: Hollv, 

The first meeting for the township of Pontiac was held at the old 
court house on Monday, May 28, 1827; present — Sidney Dole, Charles 
C. Hascall, Gideon O. Whittemore, Henrv O. Bronson and David Stan- 


nard. justices of the peace. The meeting was organized l)y the clioice of 
Joseph ISIorrisoii, Jr., as moderator. The town was divided into eleven 
road districts. At this meeting the jjolls were also declared open for 
the election of supervisor. Jacob N. \'oorlieis, Elisha I'.each and Oliver 
Williams ])resented their names for the office, and Mr. \'oorheis, receiving 
74 out of the i lo votes cast, was declared elected. Thus the township 
machinery was put in operation at Pontiac. 

The \'illage of x\uburn (Amy) 

The only settlement in Pontiac townshijj outside of the county seat 
was the village of Auburn (now Amy), in the extreme southeast corner. 
Its first settler was a man by the name of Elijah Thornton, a Canadian, 
who settled on the south side of Clinton river in the early part of 182 1. 
He located as a "squatter" a little above the present station of Amy, on 
the Grand Trunk line. Aaron Webster, of Cayuga county, New York, 
was the first property owner and permanent settler of Auburn, coming 
from Troy township. Webster went to the nearest sawmill, that at 
Pontiac, for the purpose of getting lumber with which to build his cabin, 
but when he interviewed Colonel Alack he decided that the price asked 
(ten dollars per thousand) was too high, and concluded that he himself 
would build a sawmill and cut his own lumber. He had noticed the 
water power at the expansion of the river just northwest of where 
Auburn afterward was platted. Squatter Thornton had planted himself 
on a portion of the land which lie required and J\Ir. Webster offered him 
one hundred dollars for his claim ; this was promptly accepted and 
Thornton departed for a point near Romeo, Macomb county. Webster 
then disposed of his property in Troy township and, with the proceeds, 
entered 320 acres of government land, including the tract upon which 
Thornton had squatted and that controlling the water power. He at 
once built a dam and a mill race, erected a sawmill, and was preparing 
to build a gristmill, when he was taken down with typhoid fever and 
died in August, 1823. 

After Webster's death, the entire property was purchased by Eben- 
ezer Smith, and his son, with others, erected the gristmill which had 
been projected by the deceased. Elizur Goodrich, an old friend of Web- 
ster's who had bought some of his Troy township property, afterward 
located at Auburn, purchased the sawmill and operated it for a time. 

The village of Auburn was laid out in September, 1826, its pro- 
prietors being Ebenezer Smith, I. L. Smith, Elizur Goodrich, .\aron 
Smith and Sylvester Smith, the Smiths having become interested in the 
sawmill. Ebenezer Smith died soon after the village was laid out by 
Captain Hervey Parke. The gristmill then became the property of Aaron 
Smith, son of the deceased. Two additions were made to the village of 
Aulnirn in 1S36, by which time it had become quite a place, with card- 
ing and cloth dressing works, a tri]) hammer shop, tannery, and a flour- 
ishing academy. A good flouring and custom mill was erected at a later 
day ; but the earlier promise of the village has not been realized by tiie 
events of subsequent years. 


PoNTiAc Village Incorporated 

The village of rontiac was incorporated by legislative act approved 
by the governor March 20, 1837. Its original limits were one and a half 
miles square, including all of section 29, the north half of section 32, 
the west half of section 28 and the northwest quarter of section 33, 
comprising an area of 1,400 acres. The first regular election for vil- 
lage officers was held at the court house on the first day of May, 1837, 
and the result is told on the tirst page of the first book of village and 
city records, still in a good state of preservation in the possession of the 
city clerk of Pontiac. The words are as follows: "At a meeting of the 
qualified electors of the village of Pontiac held at the courthouse in said 
village on the first day of .May, A. D.^ 1837, pursuant to public notice, 
to elect seven trustees of said village, Origen D. Richardson and Amasa 
Bagley were elected (viva voce) judges of said election. 

"Origen D. Richardson was sworn by J. P. LeRoy, Esq., and Amasa 
Uaglev and James A! Weeks were sworn by O. D. Richardson, in con- 
formity to law. After the ballotting and canvassing were finished, it 
appeared that Schuyler Hodges received 105 votes; Randolph Manning 
103 votes; George W. Williams, 103; Gideon O. Whittemore, 106; Ori- 
sen Allen, 103; Benjamin Davis, 100 ; Daniel LeRoy, 105; David Pad- 
dock, 57; William Draper, 54; Seth Beach, 156; Alonzo Barber, 54; 
John P. LeRoy, 58; Elkanah B. Comstock, 57; Abel H. Peck, 57; and 
scattering, 4. 

"Origen D. Richardson then declared to the meeing that Schuyler 
Hodges, Randolph Manning, George W. Williams, Gideon O. Whitte- 
more, Orisen Allen, Benjamin Davis and Daniel LeRoy were elected 
trustees for the village of Pontiac for the current year. 

"The meeting was then adjourned. 

"We hereby certify that the foregoing is a true account of the pro- 
ceedings of the meeting for the purposes aforesaid. 

"O. D. Richardson 
"Amasa Bagley, Judges of Election. 
"J.\MEs A. Weeks. Clerk. 

"I hereby certify that I have this day notified the within Schuyler 
Hodges, Randolph Manning. George W. Williams, Gideon O. Whitte- 
more, Orisen Allen, Benjamin Davis and Daniel LeRoy that they were 
elected trustees for the village of Pontiac for the current year. 

"JAMES A. Weeks, Clerk of within named election. 

"Recorded May 8th, A. D., 1837. James A. Weeks, Clerk." 

Thus with due formality and solemnity, was the nucleus of Pon- 
tiac village created. On the 8th of May six of the trustees elected met 
at the courthouse — Messrs. Hodges, Manning, Whittemore, LeRoy, Wil- 
liams and Davis — were sworn into office and elected Daniel LeRoy presi- 
dent. James A. Weeks was chosen clerk. 

Early Trustee Meetings 

At a meeting held a week thereafter the by-laws creating the village 
offices and defining their duties, drafted by Messrs. Manning, Whitte- 
voi. I—: 


more and Drivis, were a(lo]nc(l. It was- furtlier resolved that all by- 
laws be piiljlislied in the Democratic Balance and Foiitiac Adzrrtiser 
for three suecessive weeks; •i-'rancis Darrow was elected treasurer; 
Theron W. 1 iarber, marshal ; and Origen D. Richardson, Olmsted Cham- 
berlin and Asahel Fuller, assessors; and the president of the board ap- 
pointed standing committees, consisting of two members each, on the 
following: Streets and highways, accounts, taxation, nuisam.-es, and 
stoves,, chimneys and tires. 

Trustee Allen did not appear to be sworn into office until May 27th. 
when, at the meeting held in Air. liagley's house, President LeRoy re- 
signed and Gideon O. \\ hittemore was elected head of the village board. 
As one means of guaranteeing a quorum, the trustees present at the 
courthouse meeting of June 5th resolved to fine each member one dol- 
lar "who shall not attend any regular meeting without a reasonable 
excuse." July 17th was a red-letter day, in that the village board jjassed 
an ordinance "relative to fire buckets and to guard against fire." 

The receipts and expenditures for the first current year of the cor- 
poration were as follows : Receipts, $863.77 ; expenditures, $607.47 ; bal- 
ance in treasury, $166.30. 

The trustees elected May 7, 1838, were Charles W. Harbach, Willard 
M. McConnell, M. LaMont Bagg, Seth Beach, Elkanah B. Comstock, 
Abel H. Peck and Suel Wesson. The highest number of votes (139) 
was received by Mr. McConnell. In the following week .Mr. Wesson 
was elected president and Mr. Weeks, clerk ; G. O. Whittemore. treas- 
urer ; Julius Dean, marshal; Samuel Sherwood, Horatio X. Howard 
and James A. Weeks, assessors. At the meeting of May 22d, Mr. Weeks 
rejiorted that "a suitable fire engine for this village will cost from $500 
to $750; that the rivet hose will cost 85 cents per foot, the 'sewed' hose 
$1 per foot, and that the terms on which they are purchased by the city 
of Detroit are one-half down, the balance in six months." 

At the meeting of the trustees held May 7, 1839, the re]Jort of the 
treasurer indicated a balance on hand as follows : Non-resident tax un- 
])aid, $io.8g; two certificates of canal bills, $39: cash ; (Pontiac and Oak- 
land county) $5; and current funds $3.66. Total balance in village treas- 
ury, $58.55. It cost $1,091.20 to "run the village" in 1838: leaving the 
board in debt for 1838, $36.56. But on May 7, 1839, taking everything 
into consideration, the village clerk figured a "balance in favor of corpora- 
tion" of $119.95. 

Re.m. Est.atk Itf.m 

An interesting real estate item taken fi-oni the record of the i)oard 
meeting of May 28, 1839, is tliat the trustees agreed upon the following 
prices at which village lots should be oH'ered for sale: Xos. I. 2 and 3, 
$175, each: Nos. 4 and 5. $125 each; \o. 6. $140; No. 7, S145; Nos. 8 
and 9. $175 each; No. 10, $150; No. 12, $135. But it api)ears from the 
July report that there were no bidders even at those prices. 

In the fall of i83<) tlie Public Xuisance committee commenced to 
stir up the conniumity. the board of trustees declaring among other things 
that Asher P>uckland"s "nine or ten ])in alley" and "the tolling of the 
bell in cases of death and at funerals" were placed in tlic list of jniblic 


nuisances — the latter, "inasmuch as it disturbs the pubhc peace and is 
considered by the physicians as injurious to those who may be sick," 
also the dam and niillpond across the Clinton river and the residence of 
Sewell Wisson. 

The JNIiLL Pond Nuisance 

The two mill ponds long remained public nuisances and objects of 
contention, legal and otherwise, between the village and the city and 
owners of abutting properties. As late as 1840 the channel of Clinton 
river was badly obstructed with brush and dead timber, and in Septem- 
ber of that year we find the council ordering the same removed, from 
"H. N. Howard's dam to the Yellow mill," the job to l^e let to the low- 
est bidder. The work seems, however, to have hung fire, for in June, 
1841, petitions were circulated and presented to the council praying that 
Clinton river and Pontiac creek might be cleared of rubbish, and the 
marshal was instruGted to remove carcasses from the river at fifty 
cents each. A low water mark was established on the mill dams below 
which the mill owners were not permitted to draw water under penalty. 

It is impossible and would answer no good purpose to go into details 
concerning the litigation extending over a period of some sixty years 
by which the Corporation, or the People, endeavored to abate an evil 
which often threatened the public health. A compromise was finally 
efl^ected by which the city agreed to erect banks around the offending 
mill pond and narrow the channel of the river. This work was not fully 
completed until about 1902, but now the old-time pond, with its free- 
flowing outlet, the Clinton river, is a thing both of beauty and sanitation. 

The Fire of 1840 

The village had not even a hand engine when the fire of April 30, 
1840, broke out in the Exchange, recently occupied by E. Burlington, 
corner of Saginaw and Lawrence. The flames soon swept across Sagi- 
naw street, which they swept clean to Pike street. Twenty-five build- 
ings were destroyed altogether, at a loss of some $25,000. These figures 
do not now look appalling; but they did at that time, as they represented 
the destruction of the business heart of Pontiac. The Jacksoiiian says 
that at the time the fire swept along Saginaw street "the spectacle was 
truly awful and sublime"; further, that "every one acted with commen- 
dable coolness. The ladies, who turned out and carried buckets, water, 
etc., are worthy of all praise." 

Early Bridges 

During the summer of 1841 bridges were built over the mill pond 
at Pike street and over Pontiac creek at Clinton street. In the follow- 
ing year the Pontiac & Detroit Railroad was approaching the place, and 
the question of the right-of-way Ijegan to be discussed. 

"Common Council," the Governing Body 

The election of officers for May, 1842, was held under the amended 
charter, which changed the title of the corporation from "president 


and trustees" to "cumnioiT eouncil."' and allowed the ])eo])le to choose a 
]iresident. three trustees, a recorder and a marshal. 'I'lie treasurer was 
appointed by the council. The first election under the new order of 
things resulted as follows : President, Pierce Patrick ; trustees, Fran- 
cis Darrow, Rufus Hosmer and \Villard M. ]\IcConnell ; recorder, War- 
ren J. Nelson. Julius Dean was appointed treasurer. 

It would appear that the people became tired of the monotony of the 
place under the order prohibiting the ringing of bells, for in 1850 a peti- 
tion signed by 221 citizens was presented to the common council pray- 
ing that Martin Bransby be appointed bell ringer. Their prayer was 
granted and said Bransby was allowed a salary of $52 for ringing the 
i)ell at five, nine and twelve o'clock A. M. and at one, five and nine 
o'clock P. M. 

In 1851 a new bridge was constructed over the Clinton river on Pike 
street, at the mill pond, and in 1853 one was built on Andrews street, 
now Orchard Lake avenue. A bridge was built over the mill pond on 
Pike street in 1858, and in i860 one on Pike .street, west of the rail- 
road, was completed. 

The Village Fike Dep.\rtment 

The question of applying for a city charter began to be discussed 
early in 1859. In the meantime the fire department had been so developed 
that it consisted of Pontiac Fire Company Xo. i, with forty-one men, 
and Deluge Fire Company No. 2, with thirty-seven members, two hand en- 
gines and one hose cart. The first company was organized in 1833, but the 
men appear to have got along with buckets until 1844, when a hand 
engine was purchased in Rochester, New York, for six hundred dollars. 
In 1847 a Piano engine was ]5urchased, and in the following year a one 
story brick house was completed; herein was housed the engine of 1844 
(No. i) and the engine of 1847, which was christened Deluge Fire En- 
gine No. 2," the second fire company being formed in that year. 

In 1847 H. C. Thurber was appointed chief engineer of the depart- 
ment, being succeeded by Colonel Archibald Spear in 1850. \\'illiam C. 
Palmer in 185 1, and James A. Weeks in 1852. 

G.\S W'ORK.S In.\ugur.\ted 

Previous to the incorporation of Pontiac as a city in 1861 the de- 
jiartment consisted only of the two companies mentioned. The year 
before it became a munici]jality jjreliminary steps were taken to erect 
gas works, a committee of the common council being appointed to look 
after the matter and an ordinance ])assed March 21, i860, authorizing 
Enos F. Chai)pell to form a stock company for that purpose. At the 
time Pontiac donned city garb, however, the gas works were still "in 
the air." 

He.\d.s oe th!-. \'ili..\ge Government 

The heads of the village government when the popular body was 
known as the "board of trustees" were as follows: 1838, Sucl Wesson, 


president; 1839. Amasa L'.agley ; 1840, G. O. Whittemore ; 1841, E. B. 

After the governing body became the "common council" its presi- 
dents, year by year, were as follows: 1842, Pierce Patrick; 1843, William 
S. Henderson; 1844, John P. LeRoy; 1845, Rufus Hosmer ; 1846, Joseph 
R. Bowman; 1847, Ri'fus Hosmer; 1848. Horace C. Thurber; 1849, 
Horace C. Thurber; 1850, Alfred Treadway ; i8si, William \1. Thomp- 
son; 1852, M. La .Mont Bagg; 1853, Alfred Treadway; 1854, Alfred 
Treadway; 1855, James A. Weeks; 1856, Samuel E. Beach; 1857, Julius 
Dean; 1858, Julius Dean; 1859, R. W. Davis; i860, A. B. Matthews. 



First Election — City Police Departmext Borx — First City Hall — 
\^\LUE OF Property in 1876 — "John P. Foster No. 2"- — Smallpox 
Epidemics of 1881-82 — Newspaper Sensation — Resignation of 
Chief Engineer Foster — City Finances in 1876 — Board of Water 
Commissioners Created — The New Fifth Ward — Original Sys- 
tem OF Water Works — Electric Lighting and Telephone Sys- 
tems — First Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph — Municipal 
Government in 1894 — First Three Years of Water Service — 
Lighting and Telephone Service Again — Sewerage System In- 
augurated — Extension of Water Works — Telephone Service 
Up to Date — Commission Government Adopted — Early .Meas- 
ures Passed — Increased Efficiency of Fire Department — The 
Present City Hall^Mayors of Pontiac — The City Press — 
Oak Hill Cemetery — Gas Lighting and Electric Power — 
Postoffice and Postmasters — The Pontiac State Hospital. 

This cliapter deals with the history of Pontiac as a city, tracing its 
general (leveloi)ment as a municipality, with sketches of its various de- 
partments, from its first incorporation in 1861 to the adoption of the 
commission form of government in 191 1, a period almost exactly of 
half a century. 


Pontiac was chartered as a city by an act of the legislature approved 
by the governor ;\Iarch 15, 1861, its territorial limits being the same as 
those of the village — that is, section 29, the west half of section 28, the 
north half of section 32 and the northwest ([uarter of section 33. By 
the amendment of March 20, 1867, the limits were extended so as to in- 
clude the south half sections of 19, 20 and 21 and all of sections 28, 
29. 30. 31. 32 and 33, making an area of three by two and a half miles 
and including 4,800 acres. The same territory was covered by the city. 
although of course settled and improved along every modern line, at 
the commencement of the commission form of government .\pril i, 191 1. 

By the amended act of March 20, 1867, Pontiac was divided into 
four wards, and a fifth was added in 1889. 

The above may be designated as the chief divisions in the history of 
Pontiac as a city. The steps in this progress are to be described here- 
after somewhat in detail. 



First Election 

The first election for city officers was held April i, 1861, and a few 
days later the War of the Rebellion broke upon the country with its 
hideous storm of death and destruction. Pontiac responded to Lin- 
coln's call for 75,000 volunteers with patriotic promptness, and on the 
27th of April the common council voted to raise one thousand dollars 
for the benefit of families of volunteers, the same to be issued in city 
orders of fifty dollars each. For the entire year of 1861 the total tax 
raised was $3,621.79; school ta.x, $1,850; the total receipts were $8,433.56, 
and the expenditures, the same. 

In 1863 the valuation of city property is given as follows : First 
ward, $272,052 ; second ward, $388,235 ; total, $660,287. The school tax 
amounted to $3,575. 

In February, 1864, the council agreed to pay a bounty of one hun- 
dred dollars to eacli volunteer for Civil war service, and in the early 
part of the following year Mayor Cudworth, reiTresenting that body, 
entered into a contract with the gas company to supply Pontiac with 

The treasurer's report for the year ending April 25, 1865, showed the 
total receipts of the city to have been $17,066.91 and expenses $16,700.53. 
City indebtedness : War bonds issued, $9,840 ; city bonds, $20,000. 

City Police DEr.vRTMEXT Born 

.A night police was established during the winter of 1867-8, this being 
the first attempt at the establishment of a city police department, but 
one of the .first acts of the newly-elected council of 1868 was the dis- 
bandment of the night force. It was soon afterward reestablished. 

Under the amended charter of March, 1867, the city made a jump 
from two to four wards, and under the same act the school limits of the 
Pontiac union district were made coextensive with the municipal limits. 

First City H.\ll 

In 1868 the two-story brick building on Pike street, which was after- 
ward remodeled for the fire department, was completed for the use of 
the municipal officers at a cost of $12,000. 

In 1 87 1 the iron bridge on Saginaw street was built by the Canton 
Iron Bridge Company, of Ohio, for $4,500. 

For that year the receipts into the city treasury amounted to $43,- 
247.10 and the ex])enditures. $39,448.04; Ijalance, $3,799.06. Five years 
afterward, March 20, 1876, the balance in the hands of the city treasurer 
amounted to $5,111.55; the receipts for the year had been $40,205.18 
and the disbursements, $35,093.63. The largest sources of income were 
the liquor tax ($3,122); city tax to pay face and interest of bonds 
($4,239) and that raised for school purposes ($17,500). 


Value of Pkonnrrv in 1876 

At tlie council meeting of October 11, 1S76, the assessed valuation 
of city ])roperty was reported as follows: 

Wards Real Estate Personal Total 

First $125,180 $ 2cj,8oo $154,980 

Second 128.250 42,400 170.650 

Third 183.075 50.15° 233.225 

F""ourth 240.550 83.910 324,460 

Totals $677,055 $206,260 $883,315 

The amount of taxes levied for the year 1876 on the above valua- 
tion was as follows: City tax (three- fourths of one per cent), $6,624.86; 
sinking fund (one-tenth of one per cent), $883.31 ; matured bonds, with 
interest, $2,280; bridge fund. $1,000: for school purposes, $17,000. Total, 

The common council at its meeting of December 30. 1878. passed 
resolutions of respect and condolence on the death of lliram \'oorheis, 
so long a valuctl and lieloved member of that body. 

"John P. Foster. No. 2" 

At the session of January 20. 1879. bids were received from four 
or five well known manufacturers of steam fire engines, east and west, 
offering to "deliver the goods" in Pontiac for $4,000, the Silsby Manu- 
facturing Company of Seneca I'alls, New York, also agreeing to repair 
the old steamer "Pontiac." which was all but out of commission. The 
Ahrens Manufacturing Company of Cincinnati, offered to take its pay 
in Pontiac city bonds, payable five years from delivery of engine, or 
eight per cent ofif for cash. The Silsby concern secured the contract and 
by February, 1879. the so-called Silsby "combination engine"' was safely 
housed in Pontiac. It was received from Chicago and failed to give 
satisfaction. The council then refused to ratify the purchase of the 
new engine, but agreed to pay the eastern concern for the repair of the 
old engine. The Silsby Company threatened to sue the city for viola- 
tion of contract, but a compromise was finally eiifected and the engine 
was retained. It was named John P. I'oster, No. 2. 

Mayor Mabley resigned at the meeting of the council held July 7, 

1879, and a special election was called for the first Monday in August 
to select his successor. Alderman Jacobs became acting mayor. Charles 
Dawson became mayor at the .Xjiril election of 1880. 

William .Smith & Sons ])etitioned the common council, December 27, 

1880, for permission to lay gas pipes in the city streets and alleys, alleg- 
ing that the "gas made by our process is free from all impurities and is 
five times greater candle power than coal gas ; hence it reeiuires only 
one-fifth the <|uanlity to produce the same amount of light." Their 
petition was granted at the next meeting, provided the pijies for the 
aforesaid gas were laid within two years; but the enterprise failed to 


Smalij'ox Epidemics of 1881-82 

On account of the threatened prevalence of smallpox in ]S8i and 
the prevailing carelessness of citizens to take proper precautions, the 
board of health, of which John Meloy was chairman, adopted a house- 
to-house vaccination campaign, l)eing, of course, backed by the common 
council. At the same time vigorous measures were put in force to eradi- 
cate all filthy conditions which would naturally stimulate the spread of 
any epidemic. A pesthouse was established during this period, as several 
cases run their course notwithstanding all the precautions taken. When 
the epidemic had abated the pesthouse was closed, but several blankets 
were unfortunately left behind — most unfortunately, because a certain 
colored family appropriated them for private uses, and started an epi- 
demic in the following year which was worse than the first. lUit that 
was also stamped out^ by energetic measures. 

An interesting item taken from the records of 1884 is that which 
presents the schedule of licenses adopted at the meeting of the common 
council held on April 21, of that year. A menagerie and circus were to 
pay into the city treasury $15 each; circus and menagerie combined, $25; 
side show, $5 ; stand or booth. $2 ; concert or minstrel show, per day or 
night, $2 ; theatrical troupe, ])er day or night, $2 ; rope walker, per day or 
night, $2 ; street exhibition of animals, per day or night, $2 ; other enter- 
tainments not mentioned in the foregoing, $2 per day or night ; wagons 
or tables (transients), per day, $5; street peddlers other than the fore- 
going, $5; meat peddlers, per year, $25; fish stands, per year, $10; vege- 
table, fruit or candy stands, carts or wagons (single or combined), per 
year, $10; hacks, omnibuses and other public carriages, transient, per 
day, $5 ; auctioneer, transient, per day, $5 ; auctioneer, local, per year, $5. 

Newsp.\per Sens.vtion 

Some excitement was caused at the council meeting of April 20, 
1885, by the introduction of a resolution to the effect that the city papers 
(Gazette and Bill Poster) had charged that body with misappropriating 
cemetery funds for general purposes ; one correspondent in the Bill 
Poster stated that the amount so taken was as much as $3,000; and, in 
view of said charge and contemplated purchase of new cemetery ground 

"Resolved, that the mayor appoint a committee of five to investigate 
such charges and any other matters concerning said cemetery and report 
at the next meeting, said committee to consist of two aldermen and 
three citizens." 

Such investigation showed that the council had borrowed about $2,000 
from the trust fund with which to buy the south addition to the ceme- 
tery grounds, with no other intention than of promptly ])aying it back 
(which was done) ; so the excitement and newspaper sensation eft'ect- 
uaily evaporated. 

The council held a special meeting April 2j. 1885, to take a])propriate 
action on the death of Mayor Samuel H. Norton, and resolutions were 
adopted and engrossed at the meeting of May 5th. 


Investigating Light and Water Systems 

Aldermen Meloy. Taylor and Weston were appointed a committee, 
at the council session of August lo, 1885, to visit neighboring cities and 
investigate the matter of supi)lying the city with electric light. 

At the same meeting, Aldermen William R. Rowley, G. H. Turk 
and Alf. Webb made a long report on their examination of difterent 
systems of water works. They examined the gravity system of Ann 
Arbor, the direct pressure systems of Lansing and Grand Rapids, and 
the works at Big Rapids. Reed City, Petoskey and Flint, which also 
illustrated the stand-pipe system. The committee collected complete 
figures as to the ditiference between actual ownership, cost of fire pro- 
tection and the cost of the same by franchise, its final recommendation 
being that the city build and operate its own works, and that, in view 
of the existing low prices of material and machinery, a special election 
be called to submit the question of voting bonds at once. 

On October 5, 1885, however, the council adopted a resolution to 
submit the proposition of issuing bonds not to exceed $75,000 for the 
proposed water works, at the regular charter election. In February, 
1886, the council invited proposals from construction companies and 
named March ist as the date for opening them. Professor Charles E. 
Green, of the civil engineering department of the Michigan University, 
was called to the city to make the necessary surveys and estimates and 
report to the council. At the charter election of April 5, 1886. however, 
the water works proposition was defeated, 573 voting "no" and 418 
"yea" on the issuing of bonds. 

Resignation of Chief Engineer Fo.ster 

Chief Engineer Foster, of the fire department, made his annual re- 
port and resigned his office, to the deep regret of all, April 14, 1886, in 
the following communication to the mayor and common council : 
"Gentlemen : I herewith submit my annual report as chief engineer 
of the Pontiac fire department from April i, 1885, to April 14, 1886. 
We have had during the year three small fires and eight false alarms. 
The loss of property has been very small. 

"We have on hand two steamers and two hose carts, all in good 
condition. We have about 2,200 feet of hose, 500 feet of which is No. 
I, 500 feet No. 2, and the balance No. 3. This comprises all the prop- 
erty belonging to the city for use in the fire department which has been 
placed in my hands. 

"With this report will terminate my services as ciiief engineer of the 
Pontiac fire department for the past thirty-six years. I wish to retire 
now from further service and, in retiring, I feel that I leave it in good 
hands. Some of the men have been with me for a number of years 
and are selected from the l)cst material that is available. They are all 
good men and thoroughly understand their business. Mr. H. G. Mon- 
roe, tlie engineer, in my judgment is a very valuai)le man for the city, 
perfectly comjietent and second to none in the state. He is ably assisted 
by Mr. Cass Hurlburl. 


'"Hoping the same good fortune may attend our city in the future as 
of late years. I remain, 

"Your obedient servant, 

"J. P. Foster, Chief Engineer." 

CiTv Finances in 1886 

From the reports of various city officers we now present the several 
items which best exhil)it the financial status of Pontiac, and those who 
are interested in this subject should revert to similar figures already 
published for the year 1876, or a decade before. 

The balance in the treasury March 12, 1886, was $1,661.22; the total 
receipts for the year having been $34,359.93 and the disbursements, 

The property valuation and tax apportionment, by wards, was as 
follows : 

Wards Valuation General Fund P)ridges Schools 

First $ 449.500 $2,065.54 $ 187.77 $1.87741 

Second 366.800 1.685.53 ^Si-^^ i. 53^-42 

Third 659,000 3.028.24 275,27 2.754.02 

Fourth 918,000 4,220.69 383.63 3.836.15 

Total $2,393,300 $1 $1,000.00 $10,000.00 

Bo.vRD OF Water Cdm.mis.sioners Cre.\ted 

At a meeting of the council held .-\ugust 22, 1887, an ordinance was 
passed establishing a city board of water commissioners, to consist of 
four members, with the mayor ex officio president of such board. Their 
regular term of office was to be four years. As the first members of 
the new board the council elected J. D. Norton, whose term of office 
was to expire the second Wednesday in April, 1889; Alfred Webb, 
whose term was to expire on the same date in 1890: Judson A. Ham- 
mond, in 1891, and A. A. Lull, in 1892. 

The New Fifth W.\rd 

The first officials of the Fifth ward, which was created in 1889, 
were as follows: C. J. Fox, supervisor, who served until 1892; C. C. 
P. Pittman, alderman, who was succeeded the same year by J. W. fiird, 
Daniel Linabury, constable ; William Jay. treasurer. 

It was first announced in the council which met March 4, 1889, that 
there was a movement afoot to divide the Fourth ward. Although there 
was considerable opposition to its creation, the measure finally went 
through the council. Its first appearance in the city finances of that 
year indicates that it embraced property valued at $555,700, and bore 
the following taxes: General, $3,953.85; bridges. $213.94; interest on 
water bonds. $818.09; schools, $2.780.43 — total. $7.766.^^1 . The entire 
valuation of city property was $2,598,200 and its tax levy, $36,311.50. 


Oricixal Svstkm oi-' Waticrvvouks 

The first report of the boarci of water commissioners submilted to 
the council February lo, 1890, is as follows: "To the Honorable Mayor 
and Common Council — Gentlemen : Since the creating of the board of 
water commissioners by your predecessors a complete system of water- 
works has been established in the city of Pontiac. Large powers and 
responsibilities were entrusted to this board ; no system decided on, 
or a plan proposed. The board accepted of the trust in the same s])irit 
in which it was given, and have endeavored to give to this city the best 
system of waterworks they could with the money to be expended. We 
feel that our efforts have been successful and assert, without fear of 
successful contradiction, that no city has a better iilanl for the money 
expended than has this city. 

"Your commissioners, ignorant of the kind of a plant most desirable 
and unskilled in the practical establishment and working of the same, 
endeavored by a personal visit to our neighboring cities, similar in size 
and surroundings, to inform themselves as to the most efficient system 
to adopt. 

"Two systems of waterworks were practicable to us — one pumping 
into a stand]iipe and taking the distribution from said pipe ; the other, 
pumping direct into the mains. ISoth systems have their adherents, in 
order to have 100 pounds pressure — fire pressure — the standpipe would 
have to have been 200 feet in height. A less height would have necessi- 
tated the constant presence of an engineer or fireman at the pum])ing 
station, in order to make fire pressure, if needed ; hence, no economy 
in regard to labor. .-Vgain, the bids submitted for a suitable standpipe 
would have taken about one-fourth of the total appropriation. 

"Your board adopted the system of punijiing direct into the mains. 
The wisdom of this course seems fully justified. The location of the 
pumping station was fixed near the railroad for economy in fuel, and 
near the river, above the city sewage, for unfailing water stipply. John 
D. Cook, of Toledo, was engaged as consulting engineer, who prepared 
the specifications for the construction of the works and laid out the 
system of pipe distribution. Bids for the construction of the v^'orks 
were opened December 22, 1887, and on February 6, 1888, the contract 
was approved Ijy the council and awarded to W. S. Parks & Company, 
they being the lowest bidders. CJn November 12, 1888, the works were 
in operation, since which time they have been under constant pressure. 

"The season of 1888 being near its close, but few taps could be 
made before the ground was frozen, and rental of water takers com- 
menced January i, 1889. Bonds of the city to the amount of $85,000 
were issued, drawing interest at the rate of fnur and a half per cent 
per annum, interest payalile semi-annually, and were sold to the Wayne 
County .'savings Bank of Detroit at i>ar; S75,(JOO of these lionds were 
dated March i, 1888, and $10,000 May i, 1888, the savings bank pay- 
ing out the funds as needed and allowing four per cent interest on 
l)alances. Of these bonds. $5,000 matured in 1888, and $5,000 each and 
every year thereafter until paid. 

"In the pipe distri])ution, the first consideration was fire protection 


to as large a portion of the city as possible ; second, to accommodate 
the most water consumers. Unfortunately and unjustly, many living in 
the suburbs have not the advantages of the water, nor can they, without 
additional appropriations. 

"The plant embraces duiilicate jiumping machinery and Ijoilers, with 
sufficient capacity to accommodate a city of twenty-five thousand peo- 
ple, with about 13 miles of mains, 115 hydrants and "jz gates. 

"The board has held si.xty meetings since its organization and has 
given such attention as required. On January i. i88g, H. G. Monroe 
was appointed general superintendent and engineer, under whose per- 
sonal supervision the works are conducted. D. J. Hammond was ap- 
pointed secretary to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Fred Van 

"All of which is respectfully submitted, 

"WlLLI/\M G. HiN.MAN, 

"A. A. Lull, 
"Alf. Werb, 
"D. J. Hammond, 
"John D. Norton. 
"Board of Water Commissioners." 

John D. Norton, treasurer of the board, also made the following 
report: "Financial statement of the Pontiac Waterworks from the 
commencement of construction to January I. iSgo: 


From issue of bonds $85,000.00 

Interest on account 622.23 

From city treasurer for i88g 5,794.50 

From private consumers for 1889 1,447.84 

From overdraft at First National Bank 323-81 

From money borrowed 1.500.00 

From hay sold 3.00 

Total $94,691.38 


For construction account $85,891.49 

Interest on bonds for 1889 3,825.00 

Running expenses for 1889 4,388.64 

Tapping material on hand 140.68 

Tapping dues unpaid 108.90 

Break under bridge (unsettled ) ^S-37 

Total on hand 271.30 

Total $94,691.38 

It appears, further, that the total gallons of water pumped for the 
year 1889 was 55,098,184, ranging from the lowest month. April (when 


1,897,244 j^allons were puniped), to the liigliest, August, when the 
amount was 8.726,(110. To acconii3hsh tliis work 770,4')7 jjounds of 
coal were consumed. .Supermtendent Monroe also reported that the 
total nunilier of water consumers was 253. 

Electric Lighti.n'g .\.\d Tiiijcphoxic Sv.sti'.ms 

In the fall of iSgi the citizens of I'ontiac and the common council 
were especially interested in providing an ade(|uate system of electric 
lighting. Visits were made to Chicago and other cities and in Septem- 
ber the city fathers received a proposition from the Commercial Electric 
Company of Detroit, offering to install and sell a ])lant for ,'p 13,300, to 
be operated in connection with the city waterworks, $2,000 being added 
for the purchase of grounds. The proposition was subsequently ac- 
cepted. In March, 1892, the company offered to sell the plant to the 
city for $19,849.67, either in cash or in bonds running for three years. 

On March 7, 1893, the council passed the ordinance granting to 
John D. Norton, William G. Ilinman, Joseph E. Sawyer, judson Ham- 
mond. Alfred Webb and their associates (the Michigan Bell Telephone 
Company), the exclusive right to operate a telephone exchange in Pon- 
tiac, provided they accepted the ordinance within six months from its 
passage and commenced the erection of such exchange. The rate for 
service was not to exceed $24 per telephone for business places and $18 
for residences, seven free telephones being supplied the city. 

First G.\mewell Firic Al.vrm Telegr.mmi 

On May 29, 1893, the council entered into a contract with the Game- 
well Fire Alarm Telegraph Comjjany for the installation of its well 
known system in connection with the city fire department of Pontiac. 
The contract was not for its purchase at that time, but for its lease until 
February 15, 1897. Twenty-five fire alarm boxes were provided for. 
The company agreed to sell the system for $4,700, with interest. 

MiTNiciP.AL Government in 1894 

It is impossible to give the reader a better idea of the functions of 
the municipal government, as developed at this time (1894) than to 
make liberal extracts from the report of the special committee of the 
common council, headed by City Attorney P. I!. Bromley, to whom had 
been referred the communication of the Michigan Municipal Commis- 
sion, asking for information on the subject. Tlie report was read July 
30, 1894, and was in substance as follows: 

(First) Organization — The city of Pontiac is incoriioratcd by a 
special act of the legislature approved .March 15. 1861. as amended 
March 18. 1865. March 20, 1867. .March 20. i869,"lMarch 9, 1871. May 
23, 1877. May 28. 1879, May 26, 1881, June 2, 1885, and iMarch 26, i88g. 

(Second) Officials— Mayor : Chosen by the electors of the city; 
term one year; salary, $ioo and fees of the office. 

'J'en aldermen, two from each of the five wards of the cit\-; elected 


one each year; term, two years; salary, $2 per meeting for not more 
than twenty-,six meetings. 

City attorney; Appointed by the council; term, one year; salary, 
$100 per year and reasonable pay in the judgment of the council fur 
the conduct of actual cases in court, or other extraordinary services. 

City marshal ; Appointed bv the council ; term, one year ; salary, 


City treasurer ; Ap]iointed by the council ; term, one year ; salary, $50. 

Official paper ; Designated by the council ; term, one year ; salary, 
the fees allowed b)- the statutes of the state for legal printing. 

Night watchman; .\ppointed by the council; term, one year; salary, 

Chief of the fire department ; Appointed by the council ; term, one 
year; salary, $50; two assistants to chief, $25 salary each. 

Health officer, or city physician ; Appointed by the council ; term, 
one year ; salary, $50 and ])ay for extraordinary services. 

Driver to hose cart : Appointed by the council ; term, one year ; 
salary, $500. 

Driver to hook and ladder truck; Appointed by the council; term, 
one year ; salary, $400. 

The council haye the power to remove for cause any appointive 

(Third) Schools — The city and school district include the same terri- 
tory. The school board have charge of the schools. Its members are 
chosen at an annual meeting of the electors held on the first Monday 
in .September of each year. Woman may vote at school elections. The 
school board is composed of five nieml)ers ; term of office, three years, 
and same are elected each year. 

( Fourth ) Assessment and Review — The city has a supervisor in 
each of the five wards and they are the assessing officers. The city 
collects city, state and county taxes at the same time. The board of 
review is composed of the supervisors of the city, but the city clerk 
is made clerk of the meetings of this board. The limit of the city's 
taxation is three-(|uarters of one per cent and a permitted indebtedness 
of $3,000 outside of bonded indebtedness ; and that is regulated by the 
statutes of Michigan. The taxes are collected by the ward treasurer 
of each ward, who holds his office (elective) for one year. The com- 
pensation of ward treasurer is the same as townshij) treasurer, the fees 
allowed being fixed by statute. 

( Fifth) FubHc Improvements — The city has waterworks, owned and 
controlled by the municipality through a board of water commissioners 
composed of four members, the mayor being an ex-officio member. Said 
four members are appointed by the council, the term of office of one 
member expiring each year. 

The city streets are lighted by the arc system of electricit\-, the plant 
being owned by a private company. Liglit is furnished under a three- 
year contract which expires in October of the present year (1894). 

Street improvements are assessed in the first instance to the city at 
large. The city keeps the streets in repair. Under the statutes of the 
state it is discretionary with the city to either pay for private property 


lakcn for pulilic- imjuejx (.'iiicnt out of ilie i;L'ncral fund, or to assess the 
projierty Ijenefited by such puljlic im])rovemenl. The city has exi)eri- 
enced no great trouble in coFlectino' sjjccial assessments. When private 
])roperty is taken for ])ubHc improvement the city ac(|uires the jiroperty 
by agreement and purchase ; the amount lias to be paid from the general 
fund and the city in such case has no ])o\ver to assess the property 
benefited. It was recommended that the city in such cases have the 
power to constitute an assessment district and assess and collect the 
whole amoimt or any portion thereof, on and from the projierly benefited. 

(Sixth) Boards — The city has a board of water commissioners, 
hereinbefore referred to : also a board of control of cemeteries, com- 
])rising three members with annual terms of office. Its members are 
appointed by the common council and serve without compensation. 

( Seventh ) Fiscal year — The fiscal year begins on the second Wed- 
nesday after the first Monday in April. 

The eighth section of the re])ort was devoted to recommendations 
to the following effect : That the city marshal be elected annuallv ; 
that the limit of taxation be fixed at one per cent outside of the amount 
to be raised for bridge purposes ; that if property owners fail to build 
sidewalks the city do the work and assess an additional ten per cent 
to the cost thereof ; and that the city have the right to issue bonds to 
commence the establishment of a sewerage system and create a board 
of sewer commissioners for the purpose. 

The report was adopted at the council meeting held September lo, 
1894, after it had been amended so as to fix the mayor's salary at $200 
and that of the aldermen at $100 per year. 

First Three Ye.\rs oi-- W.\ter Service 

In March, 1S94, Superintendent Monroe reported the following gal- 
lons of water pumped and pounds of coal consumed during the three 
years the works had been in operation : 

Year (ials. Pumped Lbs. Coal Consumed 

1891 107,391,190 940,661 

I S92 1 24,47 ' -3^0 1 . 1 80.464 

1893 157-36--070 1 .^85.948 .\.\D TEi.EriioxE Si'.RvrrE" 

The city, through its common council, made an agreement with the 
Fontiac Standard Lighting Company, October 8, 1894, for electric light- 
ing for a term of five years from October 25th of that year. The con- 
tract called for not less than ninety arc lights for the streets at a rate 
of $60 per light per annum. 

The Home Telejilinne Company (by its secretary j. l-^. ."^awyer) 
gave the council notice March i, 1895, that it had commenced the erec- 
tion of the exchange, and awaited instructions from the city as to the 
])lacing of the telephone |)oles. 

.Messrs. \lf Webb. C. J,-icf)l)^ and 1). j. Hammond, of the l)oard 


of water commissioners, petitioned the mayor Alarch 25. 1895. that 
W. H. Brummit, of the First ward, be appointed an associate member 
to fill the vacancy caused by the death of J. D. Norton. Such a|)point- 
ment was made. 

Sewerage System In.\ugur.\ted 

The people of Pontiac voted in favor of expending, at most, $25,000 
on a sewerage system, at the general election of November 28, 1894. A 
special committee presented a bill to be introduced to the legislature 
looking to that end, and also to legalize the creation of a board of 
sewer commissioners. The bill was adopted and the council reciuested 
their legislative representatives to use their best efforts at Lansing to 
have it passed into law. 

In 1897, 250,103,010 gallons were pumped by the city waterworks, 
and 267,195,180 gallons in 189S. 

ExTENSiox OF Waterworks 

Superintendent H. G. Monroe, in compliance with a request from 
the board of public works, on May 24, 1900, submitted an estimate of 
the cost for required improvements in the waterworks. The items in- 
cluded $14,000 for an air-lift plant, with a daily capacity of five million 
gallons; $18,800 for pumping machinery of like capacity, and $17,200 
for extension of the water mains. 

On September 23, 1901, the council aflopted a resolution accepting 
the bid of the Snow Lump Works of Lutfalo. New York, for furnish- 
ing and erecting on foundation a five million-gallons daily capacity pump- 
ing engine (triple expansion, high duty) for $21,000, in line with the 
recommendation of Superintendent Monroe. On January 10. 1902, 
the board of public works employed H. L. Monroe as third engineer 
at the waterworks. It appears from the report made by the board in 
May of that year that the water bond sale realized $53.33378, to be 
ajiijlied to the imjirovement of the waterworks. 

The $10,000 bonds for remodeling the fire hall were awarded to 
Dennison &• Farnsworth, of Cleveland, on May 6, 1907. 

The report of the finance committee of the common council March 
4, 1901, contains the following on the then financial status: "The city, 
has a bonded indebtedness of $25,000 sewer bonds bearing five per 
cent interest per annum; water bonds, $85,000, bearing four and a half 
per cent, and $56,000 special assessment paving bonds, bearing five per 

"The following is a statement of the salaries paid the officers of the 
city per annum: Mayor, $50; ten aldermen, each $50; clerk, $720; city 
treasurer. $600; attorney, $100 and not to exceed $300 for special 
services; health officer, $100; city engineer, $100; city marshal, $600; 
chief of fire department, $50; assistant chief, $25; two night police, each 
$700; drivers of hose cart and hook and ladder, each $500; liose com- 
pany of fourteen members, each $65 ; city assessor, $600." 

308 TIISTORV Ol' OAKLAND COl^\'•|"^' 

At a special election held July 8, 1901. for the purpose of authoriz- 
ing the city to raise $50,000 for improving the waterworks, the proposi- 
tion was carried by a vote of 757 to 121. 

The rapid growth of Pontiac is illustrated in no more forcible way 
than in the increased demands of its jieople for adecjuate water supply, 
and by 1909 the cry for an extension of the system was loud and in- 
sistent. On September 20th of that year the common council there- 
fore resolved to submit to voters a proposition to issue Ijonds in the 
amount of $125,000 for the extension of the water-supply system. As 
advised by the board of pulilic works, the improvements comprised the 
following: The construction of a two million-gallon reservoir at a cost 
of $25,000: sinking and etjuipment of eight additional wells, $5,600; 
purchase and installation of 1.600 feet of 24-inch suction. 87. 200; one 
five million-gallon pumping engine, with foundation and pipe connec- 
tions, $28,200; to provide for adequate extension of the water mains, 
auxiliary force mains and pumping engines to liagley street, ,S56,907.22, 
and to purchase land for additional wells. $2,092.78. Making a total oi 

Later, the board of public works cut down their estimate to $81.- 
907.22 — that is, $25,000 for the reservoir and $56,907.22 for the auxiliarv 
force mains and extensions. 

Therefore, the question before the voters at the November election 
was that of raising bonds in the sum of $82,000, bearing date from 
January i, 1910, not in excess of four and a half per cent interest, to 
be paid in twenty-one annual assessments beginning with the vear 1918. 
The proposition carried by 557 to 166. 

Telephone Service Up-to-Date 

On June 11, 1900. the franchise was granted to Jose]:)h W. Martin 
as the Oakland Telephone Company, and the same was later ac<|uired 
by the Oakland County Telephone Company. The common council 
passed an ordinance, December 8, 1910, providing that if the Michigan 
State Telephone Company should purchase the property and franchise 
of the Oakland County Telephone Company and operate the system, all 
rights should pass to the new corporation. This property and fran- 
chise were offered for sale by a decree of the circuit court on December 
9, 1910, and were purchased by the Michigan State Telephone Company. 
The purchase was duly confirmed on the 29th of that month, and the 
latter thereby entered into possession of the plant of the Oakland County 
Telephone Company. 

On January i, 1911, the Michigan State Telejihone Company took 
over the Oakland County Telephone jiroperty. On assuming control 
of the business, they erected a fine new building at a cost of about 
$15,000, which came into use on January i, 191 2. The Pontiac office 
has within its jurisdiction nine exchanges, which are here given, with 
the number of ])hones in operation at each exchange: Pontiac. 2,800; 
Birmingham, 530; Royal Oak, 345; Rochester, 270; Oxford, 350; Orion, 
185; Leonard, 81; Ortonville, 250; Clarkston. 254. 


In JiUiC, 1910, the council placed the salary of the chief of police at 
$1,000 per annum and regular policemen at $900, and organized the fire 
department with a chief engineer and twelve full-paid firemen. 

At a meeting of the board of public works held December 2^, 1910, 
Hector L. Monroe was appointed superintendent of the waterworks, 
and on the 26th the appointment was confirmed by the common council. 

Commission Government Adopted 

The sentiment in favor of a general revision of the city charter had 
so increased in strength that at the April election of igio, 2,196 votes 
were cast in its favor and only 812 against. On May 23d a charter 
commission was chosen by popular vote consisting of the following: 
Commissioners at large, A. J. Johnson, Elmer E. Hymers and Thaddeus 
D. Seeley ; First ward. Homer H. Colvin ; Second ward, Ernest H. 
Fay; Third ward, Johi] E. Brondidge ; Fourth ward, J. Arthur Tillson ; 
Fifth ward, Andrew L. Moore. 

Having completed their labors, the members of the commission sub- 
mitted the proposed charter to the governor, his approval being affixed 
to it on the 28th of December, 1910. It was submitted to the voters for 
their approval at the special election of January 30, 191 1, the result by 
wards being as follows : 

Wards For Against Mutilated Total 

First 53 91 7 156 

Second 163 135 8 306 

Third 236 94 330 

Fourth 194 102 5 301 

Fifth 173 7^ -^ -247 

Total 824 494 22 1 ,340 

The council at its meeting of February 2, 191 1, unanimously con- 
firmed the action of the voters and Pontiac was thereby placed under 
government by commission from ■"12:00 noon on the second Monday 
in April following the election of the commissioners." The term of 
mayor, with his two associates forming the commission, was fixed at 
three years, with an annual salary of $2,000. 

The charter made no changes in the boundaries of the city ; but the 
radical departure was, of course, in the form of government. The 
executive and administrative powers are by it divided into six (le]>art- 
ments, those of Public Safety, Finance, Sewers and Drainage, Streets and 
Public Improvements, Water Supply and Public Utilities, the mayor hav- 
ing charge of the first two, one commissioner of the next two, and the 
other commissioner of the other two. The commission constitutes the 
legislative body of the city, assuming, under the charter, all the powers 
previously exercised by the board of public works and the common 
council. While divided into departments and allotted to the mayor and 
the two commissioners, the work of the city and its finances are at the 
same time suljject to the general supervision of the commission as a 
body. The object of the change has been thus far realized. Full re- 


siJonsihility has been eentered in a few officials, who are jiaid lo devote 
their entire time to municipal affairs. 

The charter further prov'des that the commission sliall apijoinl the 
city clerk, city treasurer and hoard of review; the mayor to a])pc)inl the 
city attorney, chief of fire department, chief of police and health officer. 
The ap]Jointment of the city engineer is left to the two commissioners, 
while the selection of the employees necessary to conduct the several 
departments is vested in the commissioners having siiecial charge of 

The Recall and Initiative and Referendum are botli in force. The 
former provision provides that a petition signed by at least twenty per 
cent of the voters of the city shall be sufficient to warrant the commis- 
sion in calling a special election on the i|uestion of removing the official 
whose fitness is called in question. Any ])roposed ordinance may also 
be submitted to the commission by the same proportion of citizens ; where- 
upon the commission must pass , the ordinance without alteration, or 
submit it to vote at a special election called within thirty days, unless a 
municipal election is to be held within ninety days from the date of 

These are the most striking features of the city government which 
is now in force; for the details the reader must go to the charter itself. 

Under its provisions the first commission consisted of Robert J. 
Lounsbury, mayor ; Richard ( Dick ) Dewey, commissioner for three years ; 
William H. Osmun, commissioner for one year. Mayor Lounsbury went 
into office by a majority of 659 over Daniel Thomas. 

On April 29, 191 1, the commission passed an ordinance fixing the 
salaries of the appointive officers, and appointed J. K. Judd, ex-sheriff, 
as chief of police; John B. Austin, chief of the fire department; P. B. 
Bromley, city attorney ; Dr. D. G. Castell, health officer ; Rollin W. Clark, 
water collector ; Ciiarles L. Grosebeck, city clerk ; George C. Johnston, 
city treasurer ; W. J. Fisher, city engineer. 

E.\RiA' Me.\sures Passed 

At the meeting of the commission of April 17. 191 1, an ordinance 
was placed on file regulating and granting saloon licenses, limiting the 
number to twelve within the city limits. 

An estimate as to the money required to pay the general indebted- 
ness of the new city until June i, 191 1, was made as follows: 

General fund $52,649.08 

Bonds and interest 14,374.14 

W^ater fund 9,395.00 

Sewer fund 14,093.43 

Other general 3.678.00 

Total $94,189.65 

To meet the situation on .\pril 25, 1911, the commission passed an 
ordinance jiroviding for the bonding of the city for $100,000. The com- 
mission made its report for the nine months ending January i, 1912, 


during which the city liad been imder the new form of government, 
which conve3-ed the welcome intelligence that there was not then a dollar 
of indebtedness which was past due, and that the city had been enabled 
to uniformly discount its bills . The proposition to bond the city had 
been carried at the election of May 22. 191 1, by a majority of twelve to 
one. Although there had been some delay in commencing public im- 
provements, which depended on the sale of the bonds when once com- 
menced they progressed so rapidly that more had been accomplished 
than during any previous year under the old system of city government. 

Incre.ased Efficiency of Fire Department 

The report also noted the purchase of the automobile fire truck as 
a decided increase to the efficiency of the department. It should be 
added, in explanation, that in September, 1911, the city purchased from 
the American-LaFronce Fire Engine Company, of Elmira, New York, 
an automobile chemical and hose wagon, with 1,000 feet of hose, at a 
cost of $5,000. There is no better apparatus of the kind in Michigan, 
and the commission figured a saving through its use of at least thirty 
dollars a month. 

In May, 191 2, the efficiency of the fire department was further in- 
creased when the city purchased an eight-circuit electrical fire alarm 
equipment to replace the two-circuit affair which had been in use nine- 
teen years. Taking this safeguard into consideration few cities in Michi- 
gan have a better fire service than Pontiac; certainly none of its size. 
According to Chief Austin's figures for 1912, it costs about $13,000 to 
maintain the department, of which amount over $10,000 goes to pay 

Reverting to the work accomplished during the first nine months of 
the commission's life, the following are given as important items: In- 
creased saloon licenses for more than enough to pay increased salaries ; 
built twenty-five sanitary sewers, 6,000 feet of surface sewer, and built 
and repaired 58,878 square feet of cement sidewalk ; collected more old 
accounts than were ever before collected in one year; completed the city 
water reservoir, and auxiliary main and laid 15,000 feet of new mains; 
adopted system of payment in advance of flat water rates, thus being 
able to discount its bills. 

The Present City Hall 

On February 4, 1908, the common council awarded the contract for 
the construction of the new city hall, southeast corner of Pike and Mills, 
to the Slater Construction Company. The building was completed dur- 
ing the year at a cost of $9,737.43. The home of the commission and 
other city officers is a handsome two-story and basement brick building, 
with a large auditorium formerly used by the common council in the 
upper story. In the liasement are the heating plant, vaults, etc. As a 
whole, the city hall is modern in all its arrangements and equipments. 

The appointments for new city officers were made in May, 1912, but 
there were no changes in the original stafl^ except in the lioard of review. 


AFavous of Fontiac 

The mayors of I'oiitiac since its incorporation in i80i have been as 
follows: Erastus Thatcher, 1861-62; Theron A. Flower, 1863; A. B. 
Cuflworth, 1864; Robert W. Davis, 1865; Levi Bacon, Jr.. 1866-67; M. 
L. Bagg, 186S; Alark Walter, 1869; George R. Richards, 1870; David 
D. Thurber, 1871 ; A. C. Baldwin, 1872; Daniel D. Thurber. 1873-74: 
Theron A. Flower, 1875-76; Thomas Wabley. 1877-79 (resigned. July 
7th); Charles Dawson, 1880-81; Samuel IL Norton. 1882; Homer H. 
Colvin, 1883-84; Alason VV. Gray. 1885; Frank B. Galbraith, 1886-88; 
William G. Hinman, 1889; David S. Howard, 1890-91 ; Thaddeus A. 
Smith, 1892; David S. Howard, 1893; Harvey S. Chapman, 1894; Frank 
H. Carroll, 1895-96; Elbert J. Kelly, 1897; William A. Bre\v.ster. 1898; 
Peter Maloy, 1899-igoo; Harry C. Guillot. 1901-03: John D. Riker. 
1904: Harry C. Guillot. 1905-06; Ellsworth Orton. 1907; A. J. Johnson, 
1908-09: R. F. Monroe, 1910: Robert J. Lonnshury, 1911 1 ])resent in- 
cumbent, October, 1912). 

The CiTv Press 

Although the newspapers of Pontiac, as a whole, have no official con- 
nection with the city government, as printers of the council and com- 
mission proceedings some of them have been closely identified with it. 
and all are associated in the public mind as the main agents through 
which municipal affairs are brought to the people. Hence, they are 
noticed at this point in the history. 

The first paper printed in Oakland county was established at Pon- 
tiac May 31, 1830, by Thomas Simpson. It was called the Oakland 
Chronicle, and died in its infancy, April 22, 1832. It reappeared in De- 
troit. The Democratic Balance appeared from 1836 to 1837, when it 
was merged into the Pontiac Herald, which suspended on the first of 
the new year 1839 and was moved to Flint. Arthur G. Sparhawk 
started the Oakland Whig on the 28th of January, 1835 ! ''^s name was 
changed to the Pontiac Courier in February i, 1836, and to the Jeffer- 
son ian in 1840, when J. Dowd Coleman became its owner. Mr. Cole- 
man, who was a Flint newspaper man, soon sold to W. M. Thompson, 
and in January, 1844, brought his Genesee Herald from that ])lace to 
Pontiac, but in the following month ceased its ]niblication and founded 
the Oakland Gacettc. 

On January 14. 18^)8. William 1'. Nesbett established the Pontiac 
Bill Poster as a monthly journal ; its full title was the Bill Poster and 
the Monthly Visitor. It was enlarged at various times prior to July 
7, 1869. when it first appeared as a weekly. In 1874 Mr. Xesbett sold 
a half interest to 1^. |. Kellv, who became sole proprietor January t, 

For many 3c;irs the (ia.:ettc and tlie Bill Poster divided the city 

The Pontiac Jackson ian was one of the old and substantial news- 
papers of the city. Its first number was issued March 24. 1838, by 
Fldrcdge i^ Denton, and it did not die until May, 1873. 

The Press Gazette, the only daily newspaper in Oakland county, was 


established September 15, 1900, by Harry Coleman, its present publisher. 
Conceiving the idea that the establishment of rural delivery made pos- 
sible an independent newspaper which should be primarily a home county 
paper, Mr. Coleman canvassed the situation thoroughly among the lead- 
ing business men and citizens of I'ontiac. 1 le met with no encourage- 
ment. It had been tried before. "The city is not rightly situated," 
argued his friends. "We cannot support a paper every day." But Mr. 
Coleman was not discouraged by this sentiment. He backed the proposi- 
tion with all the money he could command and went in debt heavily for 
machinery and other equipment. At different periods of the paper's 
existence he was much discouraged, a heavy loss being recorded the first 
two years. But he kept on and added new features. Finally the county 
awoke to the fact that nearly two-thirds of all the people in Oakland 
county were readers of the paper. Mr. Coleman had opinions, which he 
freely expressed in his editorials but it was the policy of the paper to 
always print the news no matter whether it agreed with his ideas or 
not. In discussing the question of the paper's success he said: "The 
Press Gazette has succeeded because it has been fair. It has printed 
the news. It has printed the news of Republicans as readily as it 
printed the news of Democrats. It has given all classes a chance to be 
heard. Its columns are not closed to anybody. Its news is never col- 
ored and notwithstanding the fact that its editorials are vigorous and 
that the editor invariably takes sides the reader always knows that the 
news columns are unbiased and present the facts as near as human 
hand and mind can present them." Mr. Coleman's instructions to his 
editorial force are contained in the following: "This paper is the fol- 
lower of no particular party. It chooses the best out of all parties. It 
hits at the wrong wherever such wrong ajjplies to the general public. 
It desires that its reporters present facts only ; that a true picture be 
taken every day of what takes jilace in Oakland county in order that 
the readers may see the picture. The ]iaper has no friends to reward or 
enemies to punish, but above all it will jjrint what hajipens in the com- 

The Press Gazette lias I he largest cii'culation of an\' pa[.)er in .Michi- 
gan which is published in a city of equal size. It is a member of the 
■Associated Press and enjoys connection for the collection of news from 
all over the world. Its mechanical equipment is complete, one of its 
features 1)eing a new Hoe press capable of printing 24,000 pajjers per 
hour up to twenty pages. The hyphenated name Press Gazette comes 
from the al)sor]ition of the Gazette by the Press, after the latter pa])er 
had lieen published six years, the experience of the community being 
that two pajiers could not exist near a large cit\- like Detroit. 

0.\K Hii.L Cf.meti:rv 

This beautiful resting place for the dead is under the control of a 
board of five members appointed by the mayor. The cemetery com- 
prises a tract of one hundred and sixty acres lying on either side of Mt. 
Clemens street, the grounds sloping gradually from Clinton river.' Oak 
Hill cemetery is really three quarters of a century old and contains many 
honored dead of the citv. countv and state. I'.rieflv stated, the events 



which preceded its foundiiii; were as follows: The earliest burials in 
Pontiac were on Colonel Ste^'hen .Mack's land on the ridge east of the 
river, and on the corner of Huron and Saginaw streets, as early as 
1819-20. In February, 1S39, the village trustees procured a deed of 
out lot No. 9 of the original i)lat, which said lot was surveyed and sub- 
divided in April of that year by Captain Harvey I'arke, and lot No. 11 
of the subdivision was set apart for a i)ublic burying ground. This 
was the beginning of Oak Hill cemetery, the original plat of which con- 
sisted of but eleven acres. 

Oak Hill is laid out with all the skill and taste of the landscape gar- 
dener, and also contains many handsome anrl costly memorials. The 

BucKL.\N'D Memorial Cii.\rF.L 

Buckland Memorial chapel was completed November 4. 1898, and is a 
tasteful structure of Old English style built of Berea .sandstone, with 
roof of German mottled tiling. Its windows are of opalescent glass, 
and set in the rear walls are three memorial tablets of solid bronze bear- 
ing inscriptions in memory of Don C. Buckland. Mrs. Sarah A. Buck- 
land and Mrs. Harry G. Hamihon. Besides the Buckland memorial, 
the old ])ortion of the cemetery contains tasteful monuments to the 
memory of Major General Richardson, Governor Wisner. A. A. T-ull 
and David Ward. The grounds accupy an unusually imposing site, 
sloping gradually and gracefully towartl the banks of the Clinton river. 

G.\s I.ic.inixr, .\xd Fi.kctkic I'owkr 

The gas lighting of Fontiac and the electric ])ower used are supplied 
bv the i'ontiac T-ight Comjjany and the Fontiac I'ower Company. These 


corporations are under the general control of New York directors, with 
F. \V. Humplireys as general manager. Julius Merz, the secretar\-, is 
located at i'ontiac, and F. W. Jackson is treasurer. The headquarters 
of both companies are in in a substantial building erected in 1902. Of- 
ficers of the Pontiac Light Company : B. C. Cobb, president ; W. H. 
jMorgans, F. H. Carroll and W. H. Barthold, vice presidents. Officers 
of the Pontiac Power Company: W. ^L Eaton, president; B. C. Cobb, 
vice president. 

The gas works are located at Wesson street and the Grand Trunk 
Railway, and their capacity has been practically doubled within the past 
three or four years. The total number of consumers is more than 2.700 
(nearly 1,000 residences) and over 200 street lamps are supplied. 

The power plant, which is on Rapid street, has supplied the electric 
current to the entire city since the early part of 1912. The combined 
value of the light and {:;ower plants is about $500,000. 


The postoffice at Pontiac was established as early as 181 9, and the 
first postmaster was Alexander J. Irwin, appointed in that year or 1820. 
He served for about two years. Dr. Olmstead Chamberlain was ap- 
pointed in 1823 and continued in the office until 1836. A short period 
between the service of Irwin and Chamberlain was filled by one Almon 
Mack, although he was never officially appointed to the office. In 1836 
Schuyler Hodges was appointed, serving until 1840. 

During this period, which included the first three years of Pontiac's 
life as a city, the mail facilities of the locality were as follows : Detroit, 
twice per week, Mondays and Thursdays : Auburn, Troy, Lapeer, Sagi- 
naw and Plymouth, one mail weekly, with special weekly route from 
Lake Elizabetli, Salome and Commerce. 

Samuel Sherwood succeeded Mr. Hodges in 1841 and served until 
1842, when he was removed by President Tyler, and Alfred Treadway 
followed him in the service. Thereafter the following men were regu- 
lar appointees to the office : Solomon W. Denton, Levi Bacon, Jr., Don 
Carlos Buckland, Solomon S. Mathews, Charles F. Kimball, Thomas 
Gerls, James G. Buchanan, E. F. H. Pearson, Ferris S. Fitch, Herman 
A. Wyckofl: and George A. Brown, the latter being the present incum- 

With the establishment of the postal savings banks, Pontiac was 
made a station, and the bank is gradually finding favor with the public. 

A comparion of the annual statements of the Pontiac postoffice for 
the years 1877 and 191 1 will give a comprehensive idea of the growth 
and progress of the city. In 1877 the aggregate income of the post- 
office for the year was $6,500 ; total money order business for the year, 
$60,000. In 191 1 the stamp sales aggregated $46,000. with a ]50stal 
money order business of $260,000. 

Pontiac's new postoffice building for the transaction of the grow- 
ing local business was com])leted in the summer of 1912 and is one of 
the best examples of a structure which combines mechanic convenience, 
tastefulness of architecture and furnishing, and comfort for both em- 


IllSTORA' ()!•■ OAKI. WD COL■^'T^■ 

ploycc and patron, lo be found in any of the smaller cities of southern 
Micliigan. The building is one and a half stories in height, colonial in 
style and fronts ninety feet on East Huron street, running back tifty-six 
feet toward Mt. Clemens. 'J'he grounds are bounded on one side by 
Afills street, a pretty lawn sloping toward Mt. Clemens. The building 
materials of the new postofifice are white stone, brick and marble. i\ 
wide cement walk and stei)s lead to the main entrance on Huron street, 
si.x large columns Corinthian capped being the architectural features of 
the front. The public room, or lobby, is tifty-six by sixteen feet, with 
flooring of Meadow Gray Tennessee marble and wainscotting of tlie 
same material. 

One side of the room is occupied by ])rivate boxes and carrier and 
general delivery windows. The postal money order and registered letter 

The New Post Ofi-ick 

offices are accommodated in a space fifty-four by forty feet. On the 
j\Iills street side are the (|uarters for the postmaster and his assistants. 
and a comfortable rest room for the carriers has been ])rovide(l in the 
basement. The estimated cost of the entire Iniilding. exclusive of fur- 
nishings, is .$70,000. 

The Poxti.\c St.\te Hospital 

By an act of the legislature in 191 1 the name of this institution, for- 
merly known as the I'lastern Michigan Asylum, was changed to the 
Pontiac State Hospital. Although a ward of the stale, it is so identi- 
fied with the city, as one of the institutions that has nnich contributed 
to local distinction, that the sketch of its founding and growth is here 

I'roni tlie report of the boiird of state commissioners haxing in charge 



the erection of the asylum, covering tlie period from September 30. 
1876, to September 30, 1878, it is learned that it was opened for the 
reception of patients August 1, 1878. The sums placed in the hands of 
the board for constructing and furnishing the asylum aggregated $467,- 
000. It was designed to provide a building for 300 patients ; one was 
actually provided to accommodate, normally, 330, and with a full ca- 
pacity of 400. On the 30th of Septeml)er, 1878, 306 had been actually 
received, the total expenditures, including the cost of locating the asylum 
and cost of land, having been $448,401.36. 

In i8go the training school for attendants was established, the first 
of the kind in the state and the eighth in the country. An ice famine 
during the previous winter led to the construction of the first of two 
large ice houses for the storage of ice. Plans for the enlargement of 

Main Building Pontiac State Hospital 

the institution were interrupted by the fire of 1891 which destroyed the 
interior of the administration building, as well as the halls lly autumn 
of the following year the damage had been repaired at a total cost of 
$75,000. In 1891 the fifty acres known as the Hickey and Mawhinne\- 
parcels were added to the grounds of the institution, and the construc- 
tion of a slaughter house the same year initiated the plan long followed 
thereafter of slaughtering on the premises. The cottages known as the 
Baldwin and the \'inton were occupied in 1894. It was during that year 
that Dr. C. B. Burr resigned as medical superintendent to acce]