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M. L 



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V.9 
1886 
1720892 



REYNOLDS HISTORICAL 
GENEALOGY '-^CV LHCTION 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 00828 9065 



Digitized by the Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 



http://www.archive.org/details/michiganhistoric91886mich 



COLLECTIONS 



F«EP=>OF«T 



PIONEER SOCIETY 



STATE OF MICHIGAN ^ 



TOGETHER WITH 



REPORTS OF COUNTY PIONEER SOCIETIES. 



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SECOND EDITION 


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LAy^TNG 
WYNKOOP HALLENBECK CRAWl -RD COMPANY. STATE PRINTERS 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1886, by the 

PIONEER SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, 

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 

Reprint, 1908. 



iT;ro892 



PREFACE 



With renewed confidence in the yreat value of the work beinp: done liy 
the Pioneer Society of the State of ^Michigan, the Connnittee of Historians 
submit the ninth volume of Pioneer Collections to the public, believing that 
it will not be found inferior in interest and information to any that has 
gone before. 

Within the pages of the several volumes of these Collections is contained 
the recital of many matters of important interest to all who may wish 
to know the full history of the country now composing the State of Michi- 
gan. Xot that these volumes form a history in themselves, but rather, that 
they are collections of sketches, statements, papers and documents, written 
by the actual participants in the scenes described, and which must prove 
of inestimable value to him who shall hereafter write The History of Michifjan. 

While, with commendable liberality and enterprise, the legislature pro- 
vided for the appropriate celebration of this the Fiftieth Year of Michi- 
gan as a State, and the commission having that celebration in charge 
arranged an interesting programme of able historical papers concerning 
every important interest connected with the growth and development of 
the State, yet it must be borne in mind that in the short space of but 
one day comparatively few and brief could be the ]>apers presented. To 
the Pioneer Society, therefore, necessarily remains the work of collecting 
and rescuing from decay and oblivion the many iini>ortant matters which 
have hitherto escaped preservation or attention, but which must combine 
to make our history correct and complete. Again, Michigan's history is not 
embraced within the short period of fifty years but extends backward for 
more than two centuries, and to gather and preserve any and everything that 
will give light to the unwritten history of those years is one of the chief 
objects of this Society. 

Since the publication of the eighth volume, we have extended our 
researches beyond our own State. Our representative. Mr. B. W. Shoemaker, 



iv PREFACE 

of Jackson, Michigan, spent three weeks in Ottawa, examining the ar- 
chives of Canada. The result of his labor among these collections of by- 
gone days was most gratifying to the Society. A portion of the so-called 
"Haldimand Papers," published in this volume, will give some idea of 
the importance of the manuscripts found at Ottawa. In 1872 the Canadian 
government established a department, with chief and assistants, especially 
devoted to the collection and preservation of their historical documents. 
During the fourteen years of its existence this department has brought 
together and arranged a vast amount of material. Mr. Douglas Brymner, 
the Archivist, has made personal research among the governmental records 
of Great Britain and France, and through his agents procured many docu- 
ments of importance from all the European powers. 

The Ottawa collection covers three periods of the history of our own 
State. The proceedings of the Colonial Council at Quebec, extending 
from the ceding of this country by the French to the actual possession of 
Detroit by the American forces (1763-1796), contain the legislation of 
this council over the District of Hesse. Detroit and a large portion of 
our territory was included in this district, and their proceedings are full 
of interest to the student of early days. The second period, the War of 
Independence (1776-1781), can be studied from the original correspond- 
ence of the officers of the frontier posts with each other, and with the 
commanding officer, General Haldimand, at Quebec. The letters of the 
Haldimand Papers portray not only the military but also the civil life of 
the times. The treaties and conferences with the Indians, the means 
employed to obtain their alliance, and the influence they had in the war, 
as shown in the Haldimand Papers, give us a better knowledge of these 
unfortunate people. The third period, the war of 1812 (1812-1815), is 
also faithfully depicted by the correspondence of the officers of the British 
forces. These letters treat of the capture of Detroit, the battles of Riviere 
an Raisen the settlement of the boundaries, etc. 

The above is a brief outline of the manuscripts that are now in the hands 
of the cojjyist and publishers, and will be numbered among our collections 
at no distant day. Our Society is indebted to many of the Canadian 
officials for the kindness and assistance shown their representative while 
in Ottawa, and wish especially to thank Mr. Douglas Brymner, the Ar- 
chivist, for the courtesy and help they obtained from him. He has taken 
a personal interest in the success of our work, and has done all in his power 
to aid us in our research. 

The several preceding volumes of Pioneer Collections have spoken for 
themselves in the valuable contents presented, while, for Volume IX, the 



PREFACE V 

Committee of Historians asks a careful examination, believing that it will 
conclusively show that the Society is earnestly laboring to acconiplisli the 
work laid out for it. Following the reports of officers and committees, 
including brief sketches of pioneers who have ceased their earthly toils, 
first appear the papers presented at the annual meeting of June s :md :», 
ISSG. and within which is contained much that will jirove of historic value 
Next is given the action of the society relative to The Semi-< Vntcniiial 
Celebration of Michigan as a State, and then follow the papers read at the 
Semicentennial Celebration of the settlement of Ottawa county, which was 
held at Grand Haven, December 2, 1884. The careful preservation of all 
within its power, concerning the history of the several counties, townshijis 
and districts of the State, has ever been a special object of the society, for 
the fact is recognized that from the smaller parts the greater whole is 
formed. These papers regarding Ottawa county's history are, therefore, 
highly prized. The last half of the volume contains the first installment of 
the "Haldimand Papers," which have already been referred to. In the ])ub- 
lication of these papers it will be observed that care lias been taken to pre- 
serve, as closely as possible, the exact orthography, capitalization, i)unctua- 
tion. etc., of the original copies. 

Grateful acknowledgements are due and are hereby tendered to all who 
have contributed in any way toward making this volume what it is. 

M. SHOEMAKER, CHAiR;>rAX, 

HARRIET A. TEXXEY, Secretary. 

TALCOTT E. WIXG. 

WITTER J. BAXTER. 

O. C. COMSTOCK. 

THOMAS M. COOLEY. 

Committee of Historians. 
Laxsixg. December 13. 1886. 



PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION 
VOLUME IX 

The original edition of Volume IX of Pioneer Collections having become 
exhausted, this second edition has been prepared as authorized by Act No. 
62 of the legislature, approved April 25th, 1907. 

The differences between this and the first edition are not of much impor- 
tance, though many minor corrections have been made. Before making any 
alterations however slight, references have been made to the author's original 
copy and to the historical authorities on the shelves of the State Library, — 
and such changes have been made, either by reference to an appendix or a 
note inserted in the text in brackets; actual changes of the wording have 
been made only for the correction of palpable blunders. 

On account of an index of the first fifteen volumes already published, it 
was necessary to make the paging of the Second Edition exactly follow the 
first, consequently the comments usually appearing as footnotes had to be 
printed as an appendix, each note numbered according to the page to which 
it refers. 

That the reader will still encounter errors is to be expected, especially as 
the time allowed for revision was limited, but it should be held in mind that 
no attempt has been made to substitute the editor's style for that of the 
author's, and that the bad spelling, grammar and capitalization of the 
Haldimand letters have been religiously preserved. 

HENRY S. BARTHOLOMEW, 
State Library, July, 1907. Editor of Second Edition. 



CONTENTS 



Page. 

Preface, first edition iii 

Preface, second edition vi 

Contents vli 

List of Officers of the Society for 1886-7 xi 

Annual Meeting. June 8 and 9, 1886: 

Address of the President 1 

Report of the Recording Secretary 5 

Report of the Corresponding Secretary 12 

Report of the Treasurer 14 

Report of the Committee of Historians 15 

Report of the Memorial Committee: 

Allegan County 17 

Berrien County 18 

Branch County 19 

Clinton County 26 

Crawford County 29 

Eaton County 29 

Genesee County 32 

Hillsdale County 36 

Ingham County 41 

Ionia County 43 

Jackson County 47 

Kalamazoo County 54 

Kent County 54 

Lenawee County 56 

Marquette County 59 

Oakland County 60 

Saginaw County 64 

St. Joseph County '^5 

Tuscola County """^ 

Van Buren County 78 

Washtenaw County S2 

Wayne County 86 

List of Members of the State Pioneer and Historical Society 90 



viii CONTENTS 

Papers Read at the Annual Meeting: Page. 

A Quarter-Century of Education in Michigan 92 

Reminiscences of the Survey of the Northwestern Lakes 100 

An Old-Time Trip 108 

Recollections of Pioneer Life in Michigan 118 

The Diocese of Detroit— What it was— What it is 128 

Convivial Habits of the Pioneers of Saginaw 137 

History of St. Andrew's Church at Ann Arbor 141 

Recollections of Early Ministers of Washtenaw County 155 

From Buffalo to Michigan in 1829 , 161 

Incidents of Early Days in Michigan 166 

The Town of Green 172 

Andrew Nowland: The Old Pioneer Mail Carrier and Teamster 175 

The Goodrich Family Reunion 178 

Sketch of John Skinner Goodrich 180 

Sketch of Hon. Charles Upson 188 

Sketch of Thomas L. L. Brent 192 

Sketch of Dr. George W. Fish 196 

Sketch of Linus Cone 201 

Sketch of William Poppleton 205 

Last Letter of Col. T. Broadhead 208 

Uncle Tom's Bond 210 

Letter regarding the Battle of Cherubusco 211 

A New Version of an Old Song 212 

Seventy Second Anniversary of the Marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Odren 213 

Semicentennial Celebr.\tion of Michigan as a State: 

Action of the Pioneer and Historical Society 217 

List of Delegates to Represent the Society 217 

Address of Hon. W. J. Baxter at the Celebration 219 

Papers Read at the Semi-Centennial Celebration of Ottawa County: 

Historical Discourse 222 

Early Settlement of Ottawa County 234 

Rev. W. M. Ferry, Rix Robinson, and Other Early Settlers ... 238 

Semicentennial Poem 246 

Organization of Ottawa County and its Towns 251 

Early Administration of Justice 256 

Soil and Climate of Ottawa County 258 

Agriculture of Ottawa County 261 

Fruit Culture in Ottawa County 267 

Railroads in Ottawa County 270 

Commerce and Ship-Building ." 280 

Manufactures — Actual and Possible 286 

Buildings of Ottawa County 292 

Newspapers in Ottawa County 295 

The Holland and German Churches 301 

Churches Worshiping in the English Language 315 



CONTENTS -^ 

Papers Read at Semi-Cextennial Celehratiox of Ottawa Co. — (Continued): Page. 

The Schools of Ottawa County p,2i 

The First Schools in Holland n2G 

Historical Sketch of Hope College 32S 

Early Recollections of Grand Haven n:',0 

Early Medical History of Ottawa County :]n2 

The Burnin,^ of Holland in 1871 004 

The Song of Time — Poem ,'>41 

The HAi.niMAxn Papers: 

Letters of Gen. Carleton and Lieut. Gov. Hamilton 343 

Letters of Gen. Haldimand to Maj. DePeyster at Michilimackinac .3.52 

Letters from Maj. DePeyster, Commanding at Michilimackinac 365 

Letters of Gen. Haldimand to Lieut. Gov. Hamilton 39g 

Letters of Gen. Haldimand to Capt. Lernoult 407 

Stores, etc., taken upon Lieut. Gov. Hamilton's Expedition 409 

Letters of Capt. D. Brehm 410 

Letters of Gen. Haldimand 42:} 

Letters of Lieut. Col. Bolton to Gen. Haldimand 427 

Letters of Lieut. Gov. Hamilton 430 

Report of Indian Councils at Detroit 442 

Account of the Expedition of Lieut. Gov. Hamilton 489 

Letters of Haldimand, Brehm, and Sinclair 516 

Letters of Sinclair, DePeyster, and Others 580 

Papers Concerning Samuel Robertson 618 

Letters of Gen. Haldimand to Maj. DePeyster. at Detroit 633 

Description of Michilimackinac in 1781 642 

Trip to Lake Superior in 1784 643 

Inventories, Bills of Accounts, and Returns. 647 

Indexes: 

General Index 659 

Index of Names 671 



op^i^iCE^i=es 



PIONEER SOCIETY 



STATE OF MICHIGAN 



ELECTED JUNE 9, 1886 



PRESIDENT 
M. H. GOODRICH : Ann Arbor. 

VICE PRESIDENTS 
County. Name. . Repidencp. 

Allegan Don C. Henderson Allegan. 

Barry David C. Robinson Hastings. 

Bay William R. McCormick Bay City. 

Berrien Alexander B. Leeds Berrien Springs. 

Branch CD. RanIjall Coldwater. 

Calhoun Benjamin F. Hinman Battle Creek. 

Clare Henry Woodruff Farwell. 

CUnton Samuel S. Walker St. Johns. 

Crawford Melvin D. Osband FredricvilUe. 

Eaton David B. Hale Eaton Rapids. 

Emmet Isaac D. Toll Petoskey. 

Genesee Josiah W. Begole Flint. 

Grand Traverse J. G. Ramsdell Traverse City. 

Houghton Jay A. Hubbell Houghton. 

Ingham C. B. Stebhins Lansing. 

Ionia Hampton Rich Ionia. 

Jackson Hiram H. Smith Jackson. 

Kalamazoo Henry Bishop Kalamazoo. 

Kent Wright L. Coffinbury Grand Rapids. 

Lapeer John B. Wilson Lapeer. 

Lenawee Francis A. Dewey Cambridge. 

Livingston Isaac W. Bush Howell. 

Macomb John E. Day Armada. 

Manistee '. T. J. Ramsdell Manistee. 

Marquette Peter White Marquette. 



xii OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY 

County. Name. Residence. 

Monroe J. M. Sterling Monroe. 

Montcalm Joseph P. Shoemaker Amsden. 

Menominee , James A. Crozier Menominee. 

Muskegon Henry H. Holt Muskegon. 

Oakland O. Poppleton Birmingham. 

Oceana Oliver K. White New Era. 

Ottawa 

Saginaw Charles W. Grant East Saginaw. 

Shiawassee Alonzo H. Owens Venice. 

St. Clair William T. Mitchell Port Huron. 

St. Joseph H. H. Riley . Constantine. 

Tuscola Townsend North Vassar. 

Van Buren C.J. Monroe South Haven. 

Washtenaw Ezra D. Lay Ypsilanti. 

Wayne Philo Parsons Detroit. 

RECORDING SECRETARY 
HARRIET A. TENNEY Lansing 

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY 
GEORGE H. GREENE Lansing. 

TREASURER 
EPHRAIM LONGYEAR , Lansing. 

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE 

JOHN C. HOLMES, Chairman Detroit. 

ALBERT MILLER Bay City. 

FRANCIS A. DEWEY Cambridge 

STEPHEN D. BINGHAM Lansing. 

COMMITTEE OF HISTORIANS 

MICHAEL SHOEMAKER, Chairman Jackson. 

HARRIET A. TENNEY, Secretary Lansing. 

TALCOTT E. WING Monroe. 

WITTER J. BAXTER JonesviUe. 

OLIVER C. COMSTOCK Marshall. 

THOMAS M. COOLEY Ann Arbor. 



ANNUAL MEETING JUNE 8 AND 9, 1886 



MICHIGAN 
PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT 



BY HON. HENRY FRALICK. OF GRAND UAPIDS 



Ladies and Ovntlcmen : Fathers, Mothers, l^oiis and Daughters : Pioneers of 
Miehigan: 

It is my pleasant and agreeable duty as president of the Pioneer Society 
of the State of Michigan, to greet you on the return of another annual 
meeting of this society. The large attendance here annually of so many 
aged persons, and from long distances, attests the interest felt and the 
enjoyments attained in this pleasant annually recurring social intercourse. 
To those scenes and incidents long past and gone, yet comparatively 
fresh and vivid in the recollections of those who participated in them, 
whether they were scenes of trial and suffering, or of enjoyment and pleas- 
ure, where persons are well past middle age as most ot us arc. tlic mind 
loves to revert back and clings Avith great tenacity, and that is one of the 
strongest reasons of the interest and pleasure taken by our associate 
pioneers in these meetings. 

While it is a great pleasure to meet so many of the old familiar I'aics. it is 
mixed with pain to notice the many vacant places nmde in our niuks by the 
remorseless sickle of old Time, but such is life. It therefore behooves us 



2 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

who still remain to be laborers in the prolific field of gathering up such 
fragments of the early history of our beloved State, while yet we may, as 
important to their permanent place in the future history of the State. 
With you who have felled the forests, cleared the fields, prepared the soil, 
and sowed the seed, and so Avisely started the early history of this now great 
State, is the knowledge that no generatiou after this can obtain if not 
imparted and left of record by you. Every week death calls from our 
ranks some of those who have in a greater or less degree helped to change the 
wilderness into fruitful fields of plenty, having left their native States in 
the early days to fill the noble mission of a pioneer. 

The incidents, self-denial and hardships of braving the terrors of the 
unbroken forests, in the settlement of a new country, are well known to you; 
but they, thank God, are now largely removed from the present generation, 
by the energy, privations, and indomitable preseverance of our early 
pioneers. 

I think it the duty of every pioneer, according to his or her ability, to con- 
tribute of his or her knowledge and experience in the early settlement of 
this Territory and State, including incidents, circumstances and transactions 
which go to make up a full and complete record of its pioneer history. Each 
one may and can furnish the information of what transpired in" his or her 
neighborhood or locality. It may not seem material to them, but when 
properly arranged and compiled makes the veritable history, which is the aim 
and object of this society to gather, record and perpetuate. 

Our work is progressing fairly, the seventh volume of our publications 
has just been issued; it has been delayed some time by the press of other 
State printing that required urgencj^ ; the material for the eighth volume is all 
ready for the printers, and there is sufficient material now nearly ready for 
the ninth volume. We hope to get both volumes out before January next. Our 
Committee of Historians, with the help of some good friends, have been able 
to obtain quite voluminous, but reliable and valuable papers relating to the 
early history of the territory now comprised in the limits of the State of 
Michigan. The Society has been at some expense in having such of these as 
required it translated from the French into the English language and all 
carefully compiled. In this we are confident the money has been wisely 
expended. The work of the last year has required a good deal of the time 
and attention of the Committee of Historians for which they are entitled to 
the thanks of the Society, as are also the Kecording and Corresponding Sec- 
retaries and Treasurer, for the prompt and faithful services rendered. 

The dignity of labor, both mental and physical, is exhibited in all laudable 
undertakings, and in none more so than in felling the forest, clearing and 



ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT 3 

fultivating the new lauds, oroanizing new towns, counties, and states, 
building the necessary and indispensable roads and bridges, farm Iniildings, 
school-houses, churches, mills, factories, villages and cities, fonii ami enact 
proper, Avise, and suitable laws for the government of each. ^Vll<) has 
greater and better cause for gra(ulation than the })ioneers of this State, in 
the glorious success of their efforts in establishing a State so great and com- 
plete in all the elements that are desirable in a cojnmunity as the State 
of Michigan. 

We have accomplished in that sense our full duty; it siill remains for us, 
for the benefit of the State, the nation, our children, and our successors in 
whatever capacity, to perfect the record, so far as possible, of the ways and 
means how this great work was brought about. There is no doul)t the 
underlying cause of the rapid and desirable progress of Michigan was in the 
character of a large majority of its early settlers. They were mostly from 
New York and New England; their early training had been in the right 
direction; they and their progenitors had been early imbued with the knowl- 
edge that industry, sobriety, and good morals were vitally essential to the 
ultimate desirable success in the formation of the society and laws of a new 
community; and to their influence and action much of the enviable position 
of this State and character of its people are undoubtedly due. 

The land was sold only for cash at time of purchase: thus those unsatiable 
cormorants, high prices and large interest for credit, were generally avoided 
by the early pioneers. They were thrown on their own resources, and about 
their only hope lay in self-reliance and those principles which sustain it. 

I am confident that I am briefly giving the experience of most of my 
hearers and associate pioneers. We were early taught that intelligence was 
essential to success, therefore one of the first joint actions of a few settlers, 
comparatively remote from each other b}- reason of the want of roads, was 
the building of a school-house, though of the most primitive kind, and 
establishing a school. When the neighborhood had a few more settlers an 
addition to the school-house or a new and larger one was erected, not only 
for holding schools, but in Avhich to hold religious and other necessary 
meetings. Gradually as the country became more settled and improved 
school districts were organized and a primary school system established, 
which was soon followed by a few seminaries and high schools for the 
preparation of teachers. Then as the means of the people increased the 
establishment of our Normal School and University system and private 
colleges followed. All of which were so well managed, patronized, and 
sustained, that at the National Centennial held in 187G, it was found on 
examination and comparison by the able judges selected for the purpose. 



4 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

that the primary school system of Michigan was entitled to the first rank, 
and its university equalled, if it did not excel, the oldest and most richly 
endowed colleges of the country. 

Fathers, mothers, and fellow pioneers, your useful lives have been spared 
to behold the celebration of the centennial year of our Nation's existence ten 
years ago, which was a wonderful event in the world's history. It brought 
together representatives from most of the civilized and semi-civilized nations 
of the world, with their industrial arts and inventions. This was, perhaps, 
not more important, if as much so, in the wonderful display, as in the influ- 
ence of kindred fellowship shed abroad among the nations of the earth, giv- 
ing them their first real personal contact and knowledge of the people and 
their ways and progress of the great country where the people are the sover- 
eigns. Not only this have you beheld, but with the blessing of God your 
lives and health have been continued to see the time and occasion when the 
State of your adoption, and at whose birth many of you were present, will 
celebrate the fiftieth year of its existence as a State, and the semi-centennial 
year of its admission into the Union of States. In this I trust that many of 
you will take a part. The celebration will take place next week, the 15th 
instant, at this place. The programme of the celebration seems wise and 
appropriate; eminent men in all the various Avalks of life, citizens of the 
State, have been selected to gather up and put into a proper and permanent 
form not only the general history of the State and current events affecting 
it, but also to go somewhat into detail into the history and progress of the 
important branches or departments that go to make up a successful State. 
These include the historical, executive, legislative, congressional, judicial, 
financial, mineral agricultural, horticultural, mechanical, educational, re- 
formatory, fish and fish culture, and railroad development in the State, with 
brief biographical sketches of some of the men who have been largely instru- 
mental in various ways in making Michigan what it is, one of the fore- 
most States in all the great and material interests of the union. 

Thus, in the short space of the time of an active life, we have seen a ter- 
ritory of an almost unbroken forest as large as th'e Kingdom of Great Britain 
peacefully purchased from the red men of the wilderness; the forests 
removed, the country settled and cultivated, a State government formed and 
established, villages and cities with all the various necessary industrial shops 
and factories built, trade and commerce established, including railroads 
and all the other improvements necessary for a great State and the accom- 
modation of its nearly two millions of people; where any industrious and 
good citizen may and can own his own domicile and enjoy himself "under 
his own vine and fig tree, with no person to make him afraid." 



REPORT OF THE RECORDING SECRETARY 5 

All this we have seen and in our way helped to aoooniidish, and we may 
now retire from active life in full tontidence that we leave our work in safe 
hands, thanking; God for all the great blessin<!;s bestowed on us and ours, 
and praying; that a Divine Providence may continue his favor and proteet- 
tiou on our beloved f^tate and its people in the future as in the past. 



RErOKT OF THE RECORDING sr^ECRETARY 



Office of the "j 

PioxEER Society of the State of Michigan, C 

Lansing, June 7', 1886. ) 

In accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Pioneer So- 
ciety of the State of Michigan, I hereAvith present my twelfth annual report, 
as follows : — 

ANNUAL MEETING. 1885. 

The annual meeting of the society was held in the Central M. E. Church, 
commencing at 2 o'clock, Wednesday afternoon, June 17. 

Officers Present: 

President — Francis A. Dewey. 

Vice Presidents— J. W. Begole. George H. Greene, F. R. Stebbins, Peter 
White, O. Poppleton, B. O. Williams, William T. Mitchell. E. D. Lay, Philo 
Parsons. 

Executive Committee— Henry Fralick. Judge Albert Miller. 

Committee of Historians— M. Shoemaker, J. C. Holmes. T. E. Wing. O. C. 
Comstock, M. H. Goodrich, Harriet A. Tenney. 

Recording Secretary— Harriet A. Tenney. 

Corresponding Secretary — George H. Greene. 

Treasurer — E. Longyear. 

The President, Hon. Francis A. Dewey, took the chair, and the exercises 
of the afternoon were opened with reading of the Scriptures and prayer by 
the Rev. George Taylor, of Lansing. The audience joined in singing ''Old 
Hundred,-' led by the Misses Brown, Miss Addie Berridge acting as musical 
director. 



6 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

The reports of the recording and corresponding secretaries and tlie treas- 
urer were read and adopted. 

An original poem, written for the occasion by Wm. Lambie, Avas read by 
E. Longyear. 

A violin solo, "Tannhauser and Marseilles Hymn," was rendered by Mrs. 
Ella W. Shank, of Lansing. 

The report of the Committee of Historians was prepared and read by 
T. E. Wing, and, on motion of 0. Poppleton, was accepted and adopted. 

Memorial reports were presented by the Corresponding Secretary, George 
H. Greene, and by the Vice Presidents from the following counties : — Allegan 
county, by Don C. Henderson; Berrien, by Alexander B. Leeds; Genesee, by J. 
W. Begole; Ingham, by George H. Greene; Jackson, by C. R. Taylor; Kala- 
mazoo, by Henry Bishop; Kent, by W. L. Cofifinbury for Robert Hilton; 
Lenawee, by F. R. Dewey; Marquette, by Peter White; Montcalm, by Joseph 
P. Shoemaker; Oakland, by O. Poppleton; Ottawa, by Henry Pennoyer; 
Shiawassee, by B. O. Williams; Saginaw, by C. W. Grant; St. Clair, by 
William T. Mitchell; A'an Buren, by Eaton Branch; Washtenaw, by E. D. 
Lay; Wayne, by Philo Parsons. 

Memorial notices of the late Judge Hezekiah G. Wells, reported by the 
special committee, Messrs. Fralick and Comstock, were read by Dr. Com- 
stock. 

Remarks upon the life and labors of Judge Wells were made by W^ J. 
Baxter, Maj. Wyllys C. Ransom, and Philo Parsons. 

A vocal solo, "Memories of Childhood," was sung by Miss Lizzie Brown. 

The President then appointed the committee to nominate officers for the 
ensuing year, as follows : J. C. Holmes, Albert Miller, B. O. Williams, J. 
W. Begole and T. E. Wing. 

John F. Hinman, of Battle Creek, then read a paper entitled, "Early Recol- 
lections of Eaton County." 

Remarks were made b}' Philo Parsons on the contemplated erection of a 
statue of Gov. Lewis Cass in the National Capitol Hall of Statuary. Re- 
marks were made by Major Ransom, Judge W. T. Mitchell, B. O. Williams 
and Hon. Geo. Robertson commending the project. 

The following resolution, presented by Judge Mitchell, was adopted : 

Resolved, That this society highly commends the project of erecting a statute of Hon. 
Lewis Cass as a memorial erected by the people of the State to the perpetuation of his 
fame and the honor of the State, and we fully approve of the appropriation made there- 
for by the legislature, and we honor Hon. Philo Parsons for his activity in procuring 
the same. 

The hymn, "Silver Sweet," was then sung and the society adjourned till 

7 o'clock in the evening. 



REPORT OF THE RECORDING SECRETARY 7 

Wednesclai/ Evening 

The President called the society to order accordin;;' to adjoiiniiiit'iit. Tlie 
session was opened by the reading of the 101st Psalm and jirayer liy 1{<'V. IJ. 
Franklin. 

A quartette, "Spring Time.'' was sung by Mrs. Flora Karrick. Miss ICIla 
liaker. Messrs. Willis Bement and L. A. 15aker. ]Miss Emily r.aiiiard j. laying 
the accompaniment. 

A memoir of John Mullett was read by John 11. Forster, of Williamston. 

B. O. Williams stated that Mr. Mullett boarded at his father's house and 
was sent across Silver Creek one morning while he was getting out from the 
quarry an immense pair of mill stones, the first that wore ever used in Oak- 
land County. 

Mr. O. Poppleton arose to make an explanation in regard to an item or 
statement in Mr. Hinman's paper in regard to the naming of the town of 
Battle Creek, and read a letter of John Mullett's to Gen. Cass, in regard to 
the matter, that was published in volume six of Pioneer Collections. :Mr. 
Hinman stated that he related the circumstances just as he received the 
same from Mr. Mullett many years ago, as near as he could remember them. 

A vocal solo, "Let Me Dream Again," was sung by Mrs. Homer Thayer. 

A paper on "The Iron Kegion of Lake Superior," was read by Hon. Peter 
White, of Marquette. 

A solo, "Who Will Buy My Flowers?" was sung by Miss Flora Parrick. 

The story of the "Indian Chief Tonguish." by :^[. D. Osband. was read by 
his son, Charles H. Osband. 

The' evening session was closed with the singing of the hymn. "All Hail, 
the Power of Jesus' Name.'' 

Thursdaii Jlorniug 

The Society met at 9 o'clock, the President in the chair. Rev. J. S. Valen- 
tine opened the exercises with the reading of a portion of Scripture from 
St. Matthew and prayer. The hymn, "Brightest and Best," was then sung 
by the audience. 

T. E. Wing introduced Mr. E. H. Custer, of ^lonroe, father of Gen. Custer. 
INIr. Custer was eighty years old. He expressed his thanks to the society 
for the courtesy shown to him by the members, and relaletl some of his early 
experiences in Michigan. 

"Reminiscences of Her Early Life in Micl'.igan" was read by :\lrs. Richard 
Dye, of Ionia. 

"The Pioneers and Early Ministers of Washtenaw County." by liev. 
Lorenzo Davis, was read bv Dr. O. C. Comstock. 



8 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

T. E. Wing stated that he knew that the first church organized in Michi- 
gan, outside of Detroit, was in Monroe, instead of in Washtenaw county. 

A duet, ''Fantastic Waltzes," was rendered by Edna Dayton on the violin 
and May Sipley on the organ. 

An historical paper by E. S. AVilliams of Flint, entitled "Michigan as it 
Was Seventy Years Ago, or the Williams Family in Michigan," was read by 
M. Shoemaker. 

On motion of Dr. Comstock the following was adopted : 

Resolved. That E. S. "Williams, in the presentation of his exceedingly interesting and 
valuable historical papers to this society, receive our sincere thanks, and that he be 
requested to further extend it as intimated by him. 

The song, "Give Me the V>^ings of Faith," was sung by Lena Berridge. 

The President called for five minute speeches. 

T. E. Wing responded, and after stating that he was born in Detroit, 
related the scene of the last case of capital punishment in Michigan, that 
occurred in Detroit Avhen Mr. Wing was eleven years of age. J. C. Holmes 
also made a few remarks about the case. 

Mrs. Mary E. Foster, of Ann Arbor, being called upon, made some very 
eloquent remarks. Ex-Gov. Begole also gave a short talk. 

A paper by A. L. Williams of Owosso, relative to the removal of the 
Capitol from Detroit, was read by Mr, Fralick. 

"Pleyel's Hymn" was then sung, and the Society adjourned. 

Thursday Afternoon 

The society met according to adjournment, the President in the chair. 
The 23rd Psalm was read, and prayer was offered by Kev. B. Franklin, and 
"America" was sung by the audience. 

A continuation of his "Sketches of the Early Settlement of the Copper 
Region of Lake Superior," was read by John H. Forster. 

The report of the committee on the nomination of officers for 1885 was 
made as follows : — 

President — Henry Fralick. 

Recording Secretary — Harriet A. Tenney. 

Corresponding Secretary — Geo. H. Greene. 

Treasurer — E. Longyear, 

Executive Committee — John C. Holmes, Chairman; Albert Miller and F. 
A. Dewey. 

Committee of Historians — Michael Shoemaker, Chairman ; Talcott E. Wing, 
Witter J. Baxter, Dr. O. C. Comstock, M. H. Goodrich, and Mrs. Harriet 
A. Tenney, Secretary. 

Vice Presidents — The same as for 1884. 



REPORT OF THE RECORDING SECRETARY - 

The report, on motion of Dr. Conistock, was adopted. 

A piece of music was then rendered by the Reform Scljool Orchcsli-a. 

On motion of J. C. Holmes a vote of thanks Avas tendered to the oicliesira 
for their fine music. 

A memoir of Father Winter and family was read by (\ IJ. S(('l)bins, of 
Lansing. 

A solo, ''Home, Sweet Home," was suni*- by ^liss Ella Baker. 

The followino- telegram was receive from an old pioneer. 

Detroit. Mkh.. .Tune 17, 188.5. 
To the Michigan State Pioneer Society: 

A veteran of eighty-one years, and fifty-six years a pioneer, sends hearty greeting to 
his fellows now in the enjoyment of their eleventh reunion. May they yet see many 
repetitions. Temporary indisposition only prevents his participation and his presence 
to partake in the exercises of the occasion. God bless and preserve you is the benedic- 
tion of Hexry R.vymond. 

"Shadowy Reminiscences of 1847; or Farewell to the Old State Capitol at 
Detroit," by Enos Goodrich, Mas read by W. J. Baxter. 

Five members of the legislature of 1847, Henry Fralick, E. D. Lay. J. 
Kilbourne, Albert Miller, and H. B. Lathrop, being present, were called to 
the platform and on motion of W. J. Baxter, three cheers were given to tlie 
said members. 

"Reminiscences of the Early History of Ridgeway. Lenawee County," by 
O. Lamb, was read by F. A, Dewey. 

Remarks were made on the removal of the Capitol from Detroit to Lan- 
sing, by Isaac X. Bush, H. Fralick and O. C. Comstock. 

"Blest be the Tie" was sung by the audience, and the society adjourned. 

Thursday Evening 

The society met according to adjournment, the President, Mr. Dewey, in 
the chair. 

Prayer was offered by Rev. H. M. Joy; he also, by reipiest, sang "Beautiful 
Hands." 

An anthem was then sung by the quartette. Misses Eva Turner and Lizzie 
Haines, Messrs. C. O. Pratt and E. Esselstyn. 

''Detroit, One Hundred Years Ago" was read by Silas Farmer, of Detroit. 

Solo and chorus, ''The Star Spangled Banner." was rendered by Mrs. K. 
B. De Yiney and audience. 

A paper on ''The Probate Judges of Lenawee County." liy Hon. Norman 
Geddes of Adrian, was read by Dr. O. C. Comstock. 

A song, "What Joy," was rendered by the quartette, Misses Turner and 
Haines, and Messrs. Pratt and Esselstyn. 
2 



10 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

"Reminiscences of Hon L. B. Price,-' by Mrs. Frank Hagerman, his 
daughter, was read by Mrs. Harriet A. Tenney. 

Impromptu speeches being called for Messrs. W. J. Baxter, O. Poppletou, 
T. E. Wing, J. C. Holmes, Wyllys C. Ransom, Isaac N. Bush, Rev. Alfred 
Cornell, Jr., J. H. Forster, and others responded. Many amusing anecdotes 
were related of ''Salt Williams." 

The following resolutions, offered by Dr. O. C. Comstock, were adopted: 

Resolved, That the thanks of this society be tendered to the ladies of Lansing who 
have decorated the church with such a profusion of beautiful flowers, and for the many 
courtesies that have made our meetings successful and pleasant. 

Resolved, That the music, both vocal and instrumental, has contributed largely to the 
enjoyment of 'our meetings, and the secretary is hereby asked to communicate this 
sentiment to the performers with the thanks of the Michigan State Pioneer Society. 

The exercises of the meetings were closed with the singing of "Auld Lang 

Syne" by the audience, and the benediction by Dr. Wm. H. Haze. 

MEMBERSHIP 

There are now six hundred and thirty-three names upon the membership 
book of the society. Since the last annual meeting twelve names have been 
added to the membership, as follows : — Jay A. Hubbell, Isaac Bush, Robert 
Hayward, John F. Hinman, Sullivan R. Kelsey, Richard Dye, Mrs. Polly 
Dye, J. H. Kilbourne, Ebenezer Walker, James L. Thorn, Mrs. N. S. King, and 
Joseph Busby. 

DONATIONS 

Some very valuable donations have been made to the society during the 
I)ast year. They are fully entered upon the record book. The list of these 
donations is as follows : 

Buffalo Historical Society: 

Annual Report of Managers for 1886. 
Chicago Historical Society: 

Three Pamphlets: Samuel DeChamplain. Constitution and By-Laws of Chicago His- 
torical Society. In Memoriam: John S. Wright. 
Wm. H. Cross, Centreville: 

Two copies "Centreville Times," Jan. 2, 1886, containing Pioneer Articles and Chro- 
nology of 1885. 
Charles W. Darling, Utica, N. Y.: 

One Pamphlet: Anthropophagy, Historic and Prehistoric. 
D. W. C. Edgertoiv, Chillicothe, Mo.: 

One copy "Kansas City Sunday Journal," Dec. 27, 1885, containing article on Unclaimed 
Estates in England. 
Silas Farmer, Detroit: 

One copy "Magazine of Western History," Vol. Ill, No. 3, containing article by Silas 
Farmer, "Detroit During Revolutionary Days." 
J. C. Holmes, Detroit: 

One copy "Lynn Transcript," Oct. 16, 1885, containing account of Seventy-third Anni- 
versary of Lynn Light Infantry. Program of Exercise at Memorial Presbyterian 
Church, Feb. 20, 1883. One Pamphlet: Memorial to Rev. James Ballard. One 
pamphlet: Annual Report of Trustees of Elmwood Cemetery. 



REPORT OF THE RECORDING SECRETARY 11 

O. A. Jkn I.SOX, Lansing: 

First issue of State Republican. Jan. 1. 1886. Large poster of Twentieth Annual Fair 
of Michigan Agricultural Society, 1885. Metal sign, taken from the office of -N. 
Osborne & Co.." contractors for building Michigan State Capitol. 
Kans.\s State Histortcai. Society: 

Two copies "'Daily Commonwealth." Topeka. Kansas, Jan. 30, 1886. containing account 
of Celebration of Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Admission in the Union, and the 
annual meeting of Kansas Historical Society. 
A. C. McCuRG & Co.. Chicago: 

Memoir of Edwin Channing Larned. 

PHILADEIPniA LiRRARY CO. : 

Bulletin for 1SS6. 
C. D. Randall. Coldwater: 

One copy Coldwater Semi-weekly Republican. Sept. 29. 188.5. containing account of 
Dedication of State School Chapel: ^Memorial of Judge Upson, and Notice of Mr. 
Randall's Appointment to Membership in ''Society of Agricultural Colonies and In- 
dustrial Asylums of Poland." One copy ditto. Feb. 19. 1SS6. containing Letter from 
Hon. E. B. Pond. One copy ditto. June 1, 1SS6. containing History of Coldwater. 
F. H. Revell, Chicago: 

Five copies "American Antiquarian." Vol. VII., Nos. 5 and 6: Vol. VIII., Nos. 1. 2 and 3. 
CoL. M. Shoemaker. Jackson: 

Detroit Free Press. Dec. 7. containing account of Fiftieth Anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. 
John Burt's Wedding. Two copies of Detroit Gazette. July 2.5, 1817. 
Mrs. Mary C. Spexcer. Lansing: 

One Pamphlet : Memorial Sermon for Rev. John A. Wilson. D. D. 
C. B. Stebbixs. Lansing: 

One copy of ''The Beacon." Aug. 27, 1885. 
UxKXOwx': 

One pamphlet Annual Report of Governor of North Western Branch of National Home 
for Disabled Volunteers, 1885. Three copies "Detroit Free Press." Sept. 20. 1SS5, 
containing account of its Fiftieth Anniversary. One copy "Coldwater Republican." 
July 20. 1879. containing History of Coldwater Journalism. One copy "Berrien 
County Journal." July 11, 1SS5. containing Reminiscences of Mr. Levi Godfrey. One 
copy "Grand Rapids Morning Telegram." Jan. 19, 1SS6. containing Notice of Meet- 
ing of :\Iichigan State Pioneer Society in connection with Legislative Reunion. 1S86. 
Ca^talogue of Historical and Biographical Works of Mr. Henry Stevens, of Vermont. 
Uxitep States Departmext of the Ixterior. Washington: 

House and Senate Journal. Second Session, Forty-eighth Congress, 1884-85, 2 vols. 
Geort.e H. White. Grand Rapids: 

Memorial of Grand Rapids Valley. 
Abel Wiiitxey. Adrian: 

One pamphlet. Surnames and Coats of Arms of the Williamses. History and Biograph- 
ical Record of Lenawee county. Michigan. 2 vols. Genealogy of the Whitney Family 
of Connecticut. 3 vols. Incidents of Early Settlements of Bean Creek Valley. 
Michigan. 

A larger miiiil)ei- of valuable mauiiscript liistDi-ioal iiajtei-s than usual 
Lave l>eeu collected by the society, and will soon be publishetl in volumes 
eight and nine. 

This society has overcome many obstacles since its organization, and it 
would seem that a few more years of the systematic, i)ersevering work com- 
menced by the executive committee and the eommitte of historians will 
give the State Pioneer Society of Michigan a recognition equal to that of any 
other Historical Societv in the United States. 



12 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

We do not hesitate to declare it a great honor to be identified in promot- 
ing the welfare of vsuch a society. 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

HARRIET A. TENNEY, 

Recording Secretary. 



REPORT OF THE CORRESPONDING SECRETARY 



Lansing, Mich.. June 8, 1886. 
To the Officers and ^lemlers of the Pioneer Society/ of the State of Michigan: 

The time has again arrived when, according to custom, it becomes my 
duty to make a report of the correspondence, which, though not large, is 
gradually increasing from year to year as our society becomes more widely 
known. The letters and communications received during the year are here- 
with submitted, all filed in the order of their reception; on the back of 
each is the name and postoffice address of the writer, also the date it was 
answered, if an answer was necessary. 

At the close of our last annual meeting I forwarded a copy of the Lansing 
Repuhlican containing the proceedings of the meeting to all the officers of 
the society, including the Vice Presidents; and a little later I sent a postal 
card to each of the Vice Presidents notifying them of their election and their 
duties, and again about a month before this meeting I sent them a further 
notice requesting them to furnish a memorial report for their county of all 
pioneers who had died during the year; quite a number have sent such a 
report, which will be presented at the proper time, and others no doubt are 
here to make their reports in person. 

Notices of this meeting were promptly forwarded to each member. 

Death has claimed a greater number of our members within the past year 
than in any previous year. Those who have passed away, so far as I have 
been able to ascertain, are nineteen in number, and are as follows:— 

Chas. A. Lull, Bridgeport, died July 11, 1885. 

Robert Hilton, Grand Rapids, died July 14, 1885, at Grand Rapids. 

Theodore Romeyn, Detroit, died July 22, 1885, at Detroit. 

Charles Upson, Coldwater, died September 6, 1885, 

George W. Fish, Flint, died September 19, 1885. 

Jacob H. Hicks, Ann Arbor, died September 21, 1885, at Jackson. 



REPORT OF THE CORRESPONDIXG SECRETARY 13 

Heury H. North, Delhi, died October 30, iss."), at Delhi. 

Steplien Hill, Walertown. died November 5, ISS."), Watertowii. 

A. L. Williams, Owosso. died Jamiary 5, ISSO. 

Richard Dye, louia. died January 28, ISSG, at Ionia. 
' E. H. Thompson, Flint, died February 2, 1880. 

George G. Bates, I^adville, Goh, died February 11, 1880, at Denver. 

Alonzo €. Davis, Detroit, died February 20, 1880, at Detroit. 

Henry Pennoyer, Nunica, died April 25, 188G. 

Eugene Laible, Detroit, died April 27, 1880, at Detroit. 

Joseph Gonior, Monroe, died May 5, 1880, at Monroe. 

Mrs. Fanny L. Avery, Grand Rapids, died ;May 8, 1880, at Grand Rapids. 

William Besley, St. Johns, died May 10, 1886. 

Philo H. Budlong, Harbor Springs, died May 20, 1880. at Harbor Springs. 

Also deaths of the following named members which have not been men- 
tioned in my former reports, have come to my notice within the past year: 

Henry Packer, Jouesville, died November 10, 1881, i\X Jonesville, 

W. N. Wilder, Marshall, died August 14, 1882, at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

Joseph Wood, St. Johns, died June 3, 1883, at St. Johns. 

George C. Monroe, Jonesville, died August 16, 1883, at St. Johns. 

The correspondence of the last year shows a growing interest in the society 
throughout the State; those who have known little of us until quite recently 
are now^ doing all they can, apparently, to make up lost time. To verify 
this fact permit me to make the following quotations from among many that 
might be made. Hon. Euos Goodrich, of Washington, Tuscola county, who 
furnished us a valuable paper at our last annual meeting, in a recent letter, 
says: "I have been looking over Vols. II. and III. of the Pioneer Collec- 
tions, and I am forcibly impressed with the idea that I should have been 
acting with your organization long ago, and that I have lost much precious 
time that can never be recalled.'' 

Rev. Frank A O'Brien, of Kalamazoo, who will read a ])a]>er liere this 
evening, says: "The object of your society is very praiseworthy. I am in 
love with it. I regret that I have not more time at my disposal to rumage 
the archives-of our old churches for their hidden treasures."' 

These are gratifying and cheering words to those who have been struggling 
for these tw^elve long years to make the society what it now is. 

Let us continue in the course we have marked out. and many others will 
fall into line. 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 

GEORGE H. GREENE, 

Correspou ding Secretary. 



14 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



REPORT OF THE TREASURER 



Lansing, Mich.. June 8, 1886. 
To the State Pioneer Society of Michigan: 

Your Treasurer submits the following report : 
E. Longycar, Treasurer, in account with the Society from June 15, 1885 to June 

7, 



RESOURCES 

To balance on hand June 15, 1885 $199 42 

Receipts for membership fees $29 00 

Pioneer Collections, Vols. 1 and 2 10 50 

Old Folks' Song Book 2 15 

from appropriation, General Fund, of 1884 500 00 

Publication Fund, of 1883 1,000 00 

1884 1,000 00 

Total $2,542 06 

$2,741 48 

DISBURSEMENTS. 

Paid from General Fund: 

for expenses Executive Committee $95 50 

Annual Meeting, 1885 79 30 

Postage • 27 50 

Filing and Recording Papers 24 99 

$227 29 

Paid from Publication Fund: 

for expenses Committee of Historians. 464 10 

translating and copying 651 83 

State Printers 432 34 

Printing paper 292 32 

Heliotypes 37 20 

Reading proof on Vol. 7 100 00 

$1,977 79 

Total disbursements $2,205 08 

Balance on hand June 7, 1886 536 40 

$2,741 48 

* All of which is respectfully submitted. 

E. LONG YEAR, 

' " Treasurer. 



REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF HISTORIANS 15 



REPORT OF Till-: COMMITTEE OF IIlSTOKrAXS 



LansixG;, ^Iich., June S, ISSG. 
To the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society: 

The Committee of Historians would respectfully report that the proceed- 
ings of the committee in the i)ast year have been productive of results of 
great interest. Volume G of Pioneer Collections which was in the hands of 
the State Printers at the time of our last annual meeting, was completed by 
them in July, and was then ready for delivery 1o memlx^rs of the society 
and other purchasers. It contains 571 pages. The material for ^'oluiiit' 7 
was given to the printers immediately after the receipt of A'olume (J, and it 
affords us great satisfaction to be able at this annual meeting to place it in 
the hands of those who feel an interest in the work of the society. There 
are in this volume 709 pages. 

A^olume G contains the proceedings of the annual meeting of 188o. many 
valuable papers read at that meeting, and others collected by the committees, 
also the proceedings of county societies. One hundred and sixty-six pages 
are devoted to papers of a general nature, and iOo to history of counties, 
papers of a local interest, and memorial reports. 

In Volume 7 will be found the proceedings of the annual meeting of 1884, 
and other matter of historical importance relating to the general history of 
the State, occupying 151 pages, papers relating to the Upper Peninsula cover- 
ing 7G pages, also most interesting sketches of the early history of Saginaw 
Valley by Judge Albert Miller, Ephraim S. Williams, and others; these oc- 
cupy 78 pages. The remaining space is taken up with the reports of counties, 
memorial reports, the index of names, general index, and index ttf volumes 
one to six inclusive. 

By the liberal provisions of the law, the seven volumes now jiublished. or the 
nine volumes that will be ready for delivery by the first of January next, can 
be purchased for seventy-five cents per volume. Each volume contains be- 
tween six and seven hundred pages, and the price at which they can be i)ur- 
chased is but a small part of the actual cost of each volume. These books are 
also furnished free of cost to every public library in the State, making applica- 
tion for them. They will be found to be a necessity in every library claim 
ing to have on its shelves an authentic history of the State of Michigan. 

Volume 7 will be of particular service and value to the members of the 
societv. and all others having full sets of -Pioneer Collections." as it has 



16 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

a general index to volumes one to six inclusive. The committee has made, 
through the kindness of Messrs. Thorp & Godfrey, the State Printers, ar- 
rangements for the publication of Volumes 8 and 9, so that the same shall 
be completed and ready for delivery on or before the first day of January, 
1887. 

In obtaining original material relating to the history of the State from its 
first settlement and occupation by the French, and while under the govern- 
ment of France and Great Britain, down to and including the territorial 
government to the admission of Michigan as one of the States of the union, 
the committee have been remarkably successful. Members of the committee 
obtained temporary possession of the papers and documents of the old State 
Historical Societ}' which had an organization in Detroit many years since. 

Most of these manuscripts are of inestimable value as giving original 
matter in connection with all these periods, and without which a correct 
history of the times could not be written, or would be wanting in the details 
of most important transactions. Volumes 8 and 9 will be of especial 
interest to every citizen of Michigan, as they will be composed, to a very 
considerable extent, of inatter copied from these papers. This work is 
being continued, and the committee will endeavor to secure all the material 
that is of greatest value in this collection. 

The committee is now engaged in a work, the importance of which can- 
not be over estimated. At a meeting of the joint committees of the Execu- 
tive Committee and Committee of Historians, held May 18, the following 
resolution was adopted : 

Resolved. That the Committee of Historians be, and it is hereby authorized to take such 
measures, and employ such persons as it may find necessary, to procure original matter 
connected with the history of Michigan, either in Canada, Wisconsin, or elsewhere; the 
cost of the same not to exceed one thousand dollars. 

We know that both in Ottawa, Canada, and Madison, Wisconsin, there 
are papers of the greatest importance relating to the early history of Michi- 
gan, and absolutely necessary for a correct knowledge of many of the most 
important transactions while under French and British dominion. Copies 
of these documents the committee has already taken steps to procure, and 
will be able at the next annual meeting to report more particularly the result 
of its labors in this direction. 

The gratuitous work that the Society has accomplished, and is accomplish- 
ing, has resulted, and will result, in securing original material relating to 
the settlement and history of the State that would, to a great extent, have 
been lost beyond recall but for its methods of procuring from the several 
counties, both of earlier or later settlement, the personal narratives of the 
first to make settlements, or to become residents. This has been done, is 
being done, and will continue to be done, in addition to procuring copies of 



MEMORIAL REPORT— ALLEGAX COUNTY 17 

all authentic documents extant, whetUer in Ouuida, ^^■i!^cousiu, or uur own 
State. 

This work has become so important, and is beino: so thoroughly done, that 
the committee feel confident that the legislature of the State will make 
appropriations that will enable the society to continue its labors in a manner 
commensurate with the importance of the work in which it is engaged. 
All of which is respectfully submitted. 

MICHAEL SHOEMAKEK. 

Chairniaii 



REPORT OF THE MEMORIAL COMMITTEE 



ALLEGAN COUNTY 

BY DOXALD C. HEXDERSOX 

James W. Kent, died January 26, 1885, aged 70 years. 
Zenas L. Griswold, died January 29, 1885, aged 70 years. 
Mrs. Julia A. Montieth. died February 2. 1885, aged 77 years. 
John F. Lasher, died February 0. 1885, aged 53 years. 
Mrs. Sally Drew, died June 15, 1885, aged 85 years. 
Mrs. Catharine A. Town, died June 15, 1885. aged 70 years. 
Orsamus Eaton, died August 27, 1885, aged 75 years. 
Benjamin Plummer, died August 28, 1885, aged 84 years. 
Alford Whitcomb, died September 15, 1885, aged 77 years. 
Mrs. Esther Atkins, died November 18, 1885, aged 66 yeans. 
Mrs. Almira Proutey, died January 18. 1886, aged 75 years. 

BEXJAMIX PLUMMER 

Benjamin Plummer, one of the pioneers of Allegan county, who came to 
Saugatuck fifty-two years ago. died at Plummerville, in Ganges, August 28, 
aged eighty-four years. A wife and a number of children survive this vener- 
able man, whose residence in our county is coincident with its first settle- 
ment by the white man. 

A funeral discourse in memory of the deceased was delivered by Rev. Mr. 
Johnson, of South Haven, in the presence of a large assemblage of mourning 
3 



18 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

friends, who were cognizant for years of the many benevolent deeds of this 
good man. His pall bearers were selected from his fellow pioneers, who 
universallv regret Mr. Plummer's death. 



BERRIEN COUNTY 

BY ALEXANDER B. LEEDS 

Mrs. Mary Mack, died June G, 1885, Berrien, aged 85 years, 

Orrin D. Snow, died June 8, 1885, Berrien, aged 83 years. 

Dr. M. Holland, died June 11, 1885, St. Joseph, aged 70 years. 

Mrs. O. Eldred, died June 20, 1885, Benton, aged 70 years. 

William Zillman, died June 29, 1885, Benton, aged 63 years. 

James Hannah, died August 4, 1885, Coloma, aged 66 years. 

Andrews, died August 8, 1885, Pipestone, aged 70 years. 

George H. Jerome, died August 15, 1885, Niles, aged 66 years. 

Kalph Grow, died August 20, 1885, Benton Harbor, aged 71 years. 

A. C. Carmichael, died August — , 1885, Benton Harbor, aged 62 years. 

Elijah H. Beardsley, died September 8, 1885, Buchanan, aged 78 years. 

Sarah A. Morris, died September 7, 1885, Buchanan, aged 66 years. 

William Ferguson, died September 10, 1885, Benton Harbor, aged 80 
years. 

Keuben Richardson, died September 26, 1885, Berrien Springs, aged 60 
years. 

John Storick, died October 7, 1885, Berrien Springs, aged 87 years. 

Jane Lewen, died October 21, 1885, New Troy, aged 73 years, 

Adna Hinman, died October 25, 1885, Bridgman, aged 80 years. 

James A. Hess, died October 25, 1885, Berrien Springs, aged 65 years. 

John A. Van Riper, died October 25, 1885, Buchanan, aged 75 years. 

Andrew C. Day, died November 1, 1885, Buchanan, aged 80 years. 

Alvin Chapman, died November 6, 1885, Niles, aged 82 years. 

Charles Cowles, died November 8, 1885, Buchanan, aged 81 years. 

Isabella Mayhew, died November 9, 1885, Sodus, aged 80 years. 

Eliza Babcock, died November 27, 1885, Niles, aged 62 years. 

Harriet Fuller, died December 1, 1885, Niles, aged 71 years. 

Betsy Nye, died December 13, 1885, New Troy, aged 73 years. 

William Cochran, died January 7, 1886, Niles, aged 83 years. 

H. H. Hubbard, died January 12, 1886, Bainbridge, aged 72 years. 

Thomas Bayes, died January 17, 1886, Stevensville, aged 87 years. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— BERRIEN COUNTY 19 

Charles T. Hamlin, died Januai-y 17, l.SSO, Beuton Harbor, aycd {)?> years. 
Elias Devoe, died January oO, 188(5, J^incolu, aged ii'.i years. 
Jane Van Hooseu, died February 5, 1880, Coloma, aged 81 years. 
Philo Sanford, died February 12, 1886, Xiles, aged 88 years. 
Lucy Fitzgerald, died February 13, 1886, Niles, aged 72 years. 
David B. Crane, died February 20, 1886, St. Joseph, aged 63 years. 
Barnet Rynearson, died February 20, 1886, St. Joseph, aged 8!» years. 
William Garrison, died February 23, 1886, Sodus. aged 7.5 years. 
Newton K. Hyde, died March 10, 1886, Royalton, aged 71) years. 
Mary A. Tabor, died March 4, 1886, Three Oaks, aged 60 years. 
Henry Rounds, died March 13, 1886, Niles, aged 90 years. 
Henry Rush, died March 17, 1886, Berrien Springs, aged 86 years. 
Phoebe Staton, died March 26, 1886, Xiles, aged 76 years. 
Caleb Rockey, died March 31, 1886, Royalton, aged 83 years. 
Cornelius Stanley, died April 1, 1886, Coloma, aged 75 years. 
Elizabeth Henney, died April 4, 1886, Berrien Springs, aged 66 years. 
Mary Murphy, died A])ril 2, 1886, Berrien, aged 77 years. 
Mary Olives, died Ai)ril 7. 1880, Buchanan, aged 86 years. 
Mrs. Rufus Tuttle, died April 9, 1886, Coloma, aged 80 years. 
Menton F. Allen, died April 10, 1886, Buchanan, aged 76 years. 
Stephen Busbee, died April 12, 1886, Benton Harbor, aged 03 years. 
James Barnum, died April 17, 1880, Niles, aged 05 years. 
Mrs. Zimmerlee, died April 20, 1880, Lake, aged 78 years. 
Nancy Reddick, died April 27, 1880, Niles, aged 83 years. 
Thomas C. Bradley, died May 4, 1880. Three Oaks, aged 07 years. 
James Hastings, died May 8, 1880, Berrien Springs, aged 83 years. 
Nutter M. Holston, died ^May 11, 1886, Niles, aged 71 years. 
A. R. Gould, died May 19, 1886, St. Joseph, aged 79 years. 
Mrs. George H. Fogle, died May 24, 1880, Royalton, aged 70 years. 



BRAN'CH COrXTY 

BY C. D. RANDALL 
ROLAND ROOT 



The funeral of the late Hon. Roland Root was attended yesterday at his 
late residence by a large number of family friends, i.ioneers, members of the 
C. A. R.. and his old Battery comrades. All the members of his own fam- 



20 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

ily, including his seven grandchildren, were present, except Captain S. A. 
Johnson, who was detained in Washington, and Mr, and Mrs. W. S. Field- 
ing, who are in California. Rev. W. T. Lowrey officiated, using the beauti- 
ful burial service of the Episcopal Church and delivering some very appro- 
priate remarks. Tlie music of the male quartet was touchingly effective. 
The numerous floral offerings of kind friends were exceedingly beautiful, 
A sheaf of wheat adorned the casket which was borne by Albert Chandler, 
Harvey Warner, L. D. Halstead, Hon. C. D. Randall, Edwin R. Clarke, 
Hon. Charles Upson, David B. Purinton and William S. Gilbert. The one 
old friend and neighbor now rests in one of the loveliest spots in Oak Grove^ 
overlooking the place where he first located fifty years ago. We append a 
short sketch of his life: 

Mr. Root was born in Onondago county, N. Y., on Christmas day, 1813, 
and died at his residence in this city, August 11, 1885. To the pain and suf- 
fering of a long illness was added, for many months, the calamity of total 
blindness, all of which he endured with touching patience and resignation. 
Mr. Root's education was obtained by attending the winter terms of a district 
school until he was sixteen years of age. By working on a farm, teaching 
school, and a fishing voyage to the banks of New Foundland, he managed in 
two years afterward to save money enough to purchase eighty acres of wild 
land in Michigan. Starting for the west he was pursuaded by his brother, 
Hon. J. M. Root, (then a successful lawyer and later one of the little band 
of original Abolitionists in Congress) to accept a position as clerk for Judge 
Baker, a wealthy merchant of Norwalk, Ohio. He remained there for two 
or three years, during which time his employer bought the property now 
owned by the Kerr Bros., and also many acres of land in what was then 
known as Masonville. The young clerk was sent here to examine the pro- 
perty and report upon its adaptability either for milling purposes or for gen- 
eral merchandising. He made the trip in four weeks on horseback, and his 
report was a favorable one, he was entrusted with |1,600 worth of goods — a 
large stock in those days — with which to open a store. This he did in the 
early fall of 1835, putting up a building 16x26 feet in size near where the 
Kerr mill now stands. After a year there he removed to a better location 
near Mr. Nettleton's present place of business, and soon found himself able 
to start in trade upon his own account. Merchandising in pioneer days was 
very hazardus. Goods were sold on credit, farm produce from the whites 
and furs from the Indians taken in payment, and these in turn sold to pay 
the debts of the merchant. But Mr. Root was careful, prudent and ener- 
getic and was for a long time the leading merchant of Branch county. 

After some years he turned his attention to flour milling, and built and 



MEMORIAL REPORT— BRANCH COUNTY 21 

successfully operated oue of the largest mills in the State. This in the end 
proved disastrous. His mill being totally destroyed by tire, with chararicr- 
istic energy, he built another on a larger scale. The drain ujion his caiiiial 
consequent upon this, the opening of railroads to the north and soiitli of his 
location, impairing his source of supplies, and the locking ui> of liis en- 
tire Hour product one winter, owing to the early freezing of the Erie Canal, 
tinaucially ruined him. He never recovered his losses pecuniarily, but in 
spite of these he gave a good education and all reasonable advantages to a 
large family of children. In 1849 he represented this county in the legis- 
lature, was re-elected in 1850, and has since been chosen many times by his 
fellow citizens of this city and county for public positions of honor and re- 
sponsibility. 

At the first call of President Lincoln for troops in 18G1, Mr. Root — then 
forty-seven years of age — enlisted as a private in the Coldwater Light 
Artillery — afterward known as the Loomis Battery — was commissioned -d 
lieutenant May 28, 18G1, and 1st lieutenant October G. of the same year, l^x- 
posure and hardship brought on rheumatism and other diseases (which 
finally caused his death) and he reluctantly resigned, Xovemlier IT, 18G2. 

He married Harriet Ohapin, of Canandaigua, New York, May 9, 18:57. 
Losing his first wife and their only child he married Irene Alden, of Cold- 
water, January 14, 1841. His wife and eight children survive him. 

The above details outline a hard-working, eventful life. It is not neces- 
sary to dwell upon or to write an extended analysis of his character. The 
])eopIe of this section of the State, in which he has lived and borne his part 
in i)ublic and in private life, in so many dift'erent capacities, for half a cen- 
tury, knew him Avell. A man of decided opinions always freely expressed, 
and energetically acted upon, it goes without saying that he sometimes 
aroused and encountered bitter antagonism. But there was no concealment 
in his nature. His opposition to men, or measures, was of the open, above- 
board kind which manly men respect, and doubtless all feelings of unkind- 
ness towards him have been long since forgotten. He harbored none such. 

Having made his peace with God, he died with only loving, charitable 
thoughts toward his fellow men. A faithful friend, his pioneer associates 
will recollect how freely in the old days he gave of what he had to those who 
had not; and there are many younger in years, who will rememlKM- his 
generous aid and sympathy in times of necessity and trouble. That he was 
a good citizen the public trusts repeatedly conferred upon him prove. That 
he was a good soldier the army records show. That he had the respect and 
love of his comrades let the tender devotion with which they bore him. blind 
and helpless, to their reunions testify. 



22 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Roland Root lived an honest, honorable life. He did his duty to his 
friends, his neighbors, his family, and his country. — Coldwater Republican, 
Aug. 14, 1885. 

HON. CHARLES UPSON 

Early Saturday evening, September 5, 1885, this community was startled 
by the sudden and unexpected announcement that Judge Upson was dead. 
The news spread quickly and rested like a nightmare over the city, causing 
many sad and heavy hearts. He was a man who seldom complained, but 
for a week or more had been indisposed, and was so ill on Monday that a 
physician was called, but on Tuesday he was better and around as usual. 
His condition, however, gave his family anxiety. His brother Edwin and 
wife from Milwaukee had been visiting with him, and Mr. Upson had taken 
great pleasure in their company. They returned last week Wednesday. 
After his dinner on Saturday he lay down on a couch, which was an unusual 
thing for him to do, and his wife asked him if he was sick. He replied that 
he felt tired and his back pained him. After a short time he went to his 
office and transacted business at the bank, and in the afternoon went to the 
postoffice. Those who met him remember now that he was looking pale and 
was unusually quiet. He and his wife expected to spend the evening with 
their daughter, Mrs. Morris G. Clarke, and after taking tea with the family 
he went into the sitting-room and took a seat near the register as if to warm 
himself. Soon after he lay down upon the couch. Seeing him lie there his 
wife asked him if he thought he would be able to go out. He said he 
would be up after a while, and as she wanted to call on Mrs. Allen she 
better do so, and go from there with her daughter, Mrs. Pratt, to Mrs. 
Clarke's. Soon after she left he went out to the street and bought a melon 
of Mr. Harpham. Returning with it to the dinning-room he asked the girl 
for some sherry wine, saying he felt badly. Not finding it he returned to 
the sitting-room, and while standing near the register, throwing his arms 
and shoulders back as if to expand his chest, he fell backwards and expired. 
His wife had barely time to reach Mr. Pratt's when she was summoned by 
telephone to come home. Charles Champion and Will Upham, nephews of 
Mr. Upson, who were upstairs, were summoned, and Mrs. Scovill and Mrs. 
Hale, near neighbors, were called, Mrs. Scovill arriving in time to see him 
gasp twice, when all was over. An autospy was held the following day by 
Drs. Wurtz, Powers, and Clizbe, which revealed the rupture of a large vein 
within the pericardium or heart sac. The pericardium was found full to dis- 
tension with blood which had coagulated; the other organs of the body 
were all sound. The funeral services were held at the Episcopal church on 



MEMORIAL REPORT— BRANCH COUNTY 23 

Tuesday afternoon after a short service at llie home, Mrs. Upson's aged 
mother, who was a member of tlie family, being unable to go to the 
church; and notwithstanding the unpleasant weather a large concourse 
assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to their neighbor and friend. 

Mr. Upson's brother, of Milwaukee, who had just returned home from 
a delightful visit with his brother, was present, and a nejihew and his wile 
from Cincinnati. The members of the Bar Association, the Mayor and 
Common Council, the School Board and the teachers in the schools attended 
the funeral in a body, the members of the Bar wearing badges of 
mourning. The following gentlemen from abroad were also jtresent: 
Judge R. R. Pealer, of Three Rivers; Hon. Witter J. Baxter, of Jones- 
ville; Hon. Cyrus G. Luce, of Gilead; Congressman O'Donnell. of 
Jackson; and ex-Judge Shipman and ex-Congressman McGowan, of "Wash- 
ington, D. C. Many letters and telegrams of sympathy and condolence 
were received, among them a telegram from Gov. Alger and a letter from 
Hon. C. Y. R. Pond, regretting their inability to be present at the funeral. 
The floral offerings were very beautiful and appropriate. A large cross of 
roses and lilies stood at the head and a sheaf of wheat upon the casket. Tie 
was dressed in black, and his features was so natural and lifelike that he 
seemed to be asleep. The grave was lined with arbor-vitae, and the mound* 
of earth converted into a pyramid of plants and flowers. After the burial 
service the quartette sang the beautiful chant "Abide with me," and God's 
benediction was pronounced over a good and useful life. Rev. Herbert J. 
Cook was assisted in the ceremonies by Rev. H. P. Colin, and the male 
quartette sang several beautiful selections. 

After the singing of the 443d hymn by the male quartette, the rector 
delivered the following address, closing with expressions of condolence and 
sympathy, which were spoken without notes : 

When the Apostle answers his own question: "Wliat is your life?" "It is even a vapor that appeareth 
for a little time and then vanishes away," he utters a profound truth. But it is truth spoken in poet ic figure. 
The query is still unanswered, and the problem unsolved. We catch a glimpse of some beautiful landscape, 
— perhaps a cloud-shadowed valley where a noble river sweeps past overhanging mountains on to the open 
sea. Definition is lost in the rising mists, and the sunlit peaks appearing to the imagination, the riddle is 
forgotton. We have caught an idea, however,— appearing for a little time, then vanisliing away. Is not 
this the epitaph of earth's silent and sleeping millions? It is the same for monarchs and for peasants: for 
the wise and the ignorant ; for the old man who carries his burden until it rolls off at the hundredth mile-post, 
and for the infant who died yesterday. The child's life we know was short, and the lament of the patriarch 
is pitched in a minor key— "Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life." 

And yet, dear friends, we forget,— strange beings that we are,— we forget about this. We build houses 
and call the lands after our own names. Though consciously mortal, we act as if we were to stay here forever. 
It is the paradox of human life— our familiarity with death and our disposition to ignore it. See that splendid 
piece of machinerv. It seems to be perfect. It obeys the master's touch like a thing of life. But a slight 
disturbance of parts, the loosening of a single screw, will stop its working and render it for a time simply worth- 
less. The chronometer in your hand will mark the seconds with ahnost the sun's exactness, but a broken 



24 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

wheel or a bit of dirt will make it incorrect or absolutely of no use or value. Infinitely more wonderful 
are the countless living organisms of the earth, and especially the human body. Here is mechanism that 
works in silence and with perfect exactness. No human eye, though itself a marvel, has yet discovered 
the secret springs by which it moves. No philosopher has yet fathomed the mystery of life, or satisfactorily 
answered the apostle's question. We are familiar with the attempts at scientific definition, while the defini- 
tions themselves need to be defined. But the old facts thrust themselves upon us, and philosophy has no 
word of comfort for breaking hearts. Science is dumb by the open grave. "Appearing for a little time 
then vanishing away," is all the answer that comes from this source. It is only when we turn to revela- 
tion, and the beginning and end of life, that we get a clear and definite response to what we most wish to 
know. The poetic question and answer referred to is not the Bible's last word for us. Immortality and 
eternal life in the Son of God is the glorious reply that falls soothingly upon faith's listening ear. The dust 
may and must return unto the dust, but the spirit returns to God who gave it. The curious mechanism 
of the body may crumble into fragments, piece by piece, during the slow process of years — always slow 
to the invalid, who is hardly ever permitted to forget the presence of pain; or the breaking down may be 
sudden, all in an instant, and from an unexpected cause. And so to us life appears a vapor when we allow 
ourselves to think seriously, while in reality our true life is more enduring and changeless than adamant. 
The life that is "hid with Christ in God" is forever safe, and no warning of slow disease lifting up the pale 
finger of admonition, and no shock or alarm of sudden dissolution can ever reach it, for tempest cannot shake, 
and winds cannot move the eternal Rock of Ages. 

Though we all 4o fade as a leaf, He is "the same yesterday, to-day, and forever," and He is able to keep 
what we have given into His care. The creature may fail, but the Creator endures. Our earthly house 
of this tabernacle may be dissolved, but ours is the fault if we have not the title to an house not made with 
hands, eternal in the heavens, whose maker and builder is God. 

These thoughts of the slender hold we have upon this earthly life have been suggested by the sudden 
and common bereavement that brings us all here to-day as mourners. A most unexpected death has closed 
a life of singular private virtues and of eminent public services. It seems fitting', though there is little need 
that some one should voice the general sorrow and give expression to the universal esteem, on such an occasion. 
Allow me, then, to speak briefly of public life in general, and then of the distinguished services of our friend 
and neighbor. 

The public service, dear friends, is so much involved with party spirit and other perhaps necessary evils, 
that we are apt to overlook its absolute necessity and great usefulness. As a rule your public servant is 
never thanked. He is criticized, maligned, and in various ways ill-treated, but thanked, never. The 
spoils idea has so corrupted men that even the well-disposed seem to regard pecuniary considerations and 
public attention sufficient reward for hard and faithful work. But the machinery of government must 
go on, and the future of the country is in the hands of its public servants, and their labors claim more general 
recognition than is usually accorded them. Of what use were wars for the preservation of government 
if there were no able and patriotic statesmen to represent that government and to act for the people? Much 
has been said in eulogy of our army and navy in the history of our country; and too much cannot be said 
for their loyalty and patriotism. But we should not forget the civil officers of those troublous times, 
and what they did to help gain the victory and to secure all that was won on land and sea in many hard- 
fouglit battles. 

Charles Upson was a member of congress in the trying years from 1863 to 1869. It is alike honorable 
to him and to this community that he was twice re-elected. I see here many who were active in 
our country's cause during the critical years of that eventful period. Many of you could bear testimony 
to the patriotic spirit, the high and unswerving integrity of our fellow-townsman in those three successive 
congressional terms. There, as elsewhere, he had clear and decided views of right and wrong, and he had 
the firmness of character to put his principles to the test of action. 

It was so in the legislative haUs of our own State, on the bench, in his professional career, and in many 
places of public trust. If we could always have such men in public places there would be less cause for 
anxiety and more for the highest and best hopes for the nation and society in general than noW appears 
to be the case. It is for us, friends and neighbors, to praise the praiseworthy, and, while we mourn our 
irrevocable loss, to honor the memory of him to whom all honor is due. 

It is no exaggeration to say that the legal profession of this county and State has lost one of its brightest 
ornaments, or that our city has been bereaved of her most widely-known citizen. He had filled so many 
positions and so well that he brought honor and reputation to the community which he represented. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— BRANCH COUNTY 25 

How much he will be missed from our streets ami our social life is beyoiul my power to tell. Of good 
citizens no place can have too many; of eminent citizens every jilace lias too few. We need them for their 
counsel and help. We need them for their example. The young need them for coun.sel and assistance; 
the weak, the aged, as well as others more favored, need them to look up to and to lean upon. They are 
truly the pillars of the social fabric, and happy is that society which has many of them. But now, in the 
providence of God, we are deprived of just such a coimselor, neighbor, friend; and we may well "weep 
with those who weep," as being ourselves also afflicted. 

Judge Upson was a man of books, and he had a pure literary taste. The best authors were his constant 
companions, his unfailing .source of pleasure. He was widely read in the Holy Scriptures and his religious 
ideas were clear and positive. He delighted in the plays of Shakespeare, as noble minds have ever done, 
while the study of history was the favorite diversion of his life. His influence in the province of letters 
in connection with our schools and public library was very marked and wholesome, and his example is one 
that our young men will do wisely to emulate. 

He was a frequent attendant upon the services of the church, though his belief, on some points, differed 
from ours. All the principles of integrity, kindness, true manhood and brotlurly love which the Scriptures 
teach seem to have been the very warp and woof of his character. 

In his own home he was most tender and loving, always thoughtful for the wants of others rather than 
his own, and ready to minister to them. I shall not, however, trench upon those hallowed associations, 
farther than to say that their remembrance will do much to soften the bitterness of bereavement as the 
days go by and the good works of the dead will most surely follow him. 

My dear friends and neighbors, I commend to j-our thoughts the lessons of a useful and honorable life. 
If there were faults in our common friend — and what life is without faults? — they are covered with the 
mantle of christian charity. But the life was singularly free from blemishes, and its whole impression upon 
an individual or the entire community was the very opposite. His thorough manhood and his many virtues 
call upon us both to honor his memory and to emulate the excellence of his character. 

Nor should we forget the admonition of his sudden departure. Like him we iidiabit frail bodie.s, and 
we cannot tell the day nor the hour when our summons shall come. Be it ours so to live the life of each 
to-day that we may be ready for each to-morrow as it comes. Be it ours to seek Divine help for the daily 
struggle, to pray ever to be led on by the kindly hght of the holy Son of God, that death can never surprise 
us whenever it may come. 

".Watch ye, therefore: for ye know not when the master of the liouse cometh, at even, or at the cock 
crowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. -Vnd what I say unto you I say 
unto all, Watch." 

Charles Upson was born at Sontliiugtou, Conn., March 10. 1821. lie re- 
ceived a common school edncation nntil his thirteenth year, when he attend- 
ed a select school taught by Hon. Jesse Olney. For two subsequent winters 
he attended the academy in his native town. He then taught for seven 
winters, during two of which and also one summer he was in charge of the 
union school at Farraington, Conn. In the summer of 1842 he attended 
the higher academical course at Meriden, Conn. During this interval of 
seven years his summers, with the above excei)tions, were occupied in 
assisting his father on his farm. In the spring of 184-t he commenced the 
study of law under Judge Lowery, of Southington. In the fall he entered 
Yale College Law School, continuing there one year. In the fall of 1845 he 
removed to Michigan, and taught in the village of Constantine. St. Joseph 
County, the following winter. Having continued his law studies, in the 
summer of 1846 he went to the village of Centerville and entered the law 
office of Gurney & Hammond. He taught the village school the next winter. 
In January, 1847. he was appointed deputy clerk of St. Josejih county. In 



26 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

the spring, after an examination before the Supreme Court at Kalamazoo, 
he was admitted to the bar. He served two years as deputy clerk, being at 
the same time engaged in the practice of law. Having been elected county 
clerk in 1848, he served in that capacity for two years. In 1852 he was 
elected prosecuting attorney and held that office until November, 1854, 
when he was elected State senator. In the summer of 1856 he removed to 
Cold water for the practice of his profession. In 1857 he was appointed one 
of the board of railroad commissioners, serving four years. In 1860 he was 
elected attorney general of the State. In 1862 he was elected representa- 
tive in congress and was re-elected in 1864 and 1866. In the spring of 1869 
he was elected judge of the Fifteenth Circuit, which office he held until 
his resignation December 31, 1872, In 1871 he was appointed by Gov. 
Baldwin one of the two commissioners to examine the compilation of the 
laws made that year. In 1873 he was appointed by Gov. Bagley one of the 
eighteen commissioners to revise the State constitution and report amend- 
ments thereto. In 1876 he was tendered the position of commissioner of 
Indian affairs by the late Senator Chandler, the secretary of the interior, 
but declined the appointment. In 1880 he Avas elected State senator from 
the Tenth District, consisting of Branch and St. Joseph counties. Later 
he was nominated by the republicans for Supreme Court judge and was de- 
feated by a very small majority. He was twice mayor of our city, had been 
alderman, member of the Library Board, and at the time of his death was a 
member of the Board of Education. 

In 1850 he was married in Leroy, N. Y., to Miss Sophia Upham, who sur- 
vives him, together with three children — A. S. Upson, Mrs. J. F. Pratt and 
Mrs. M. G. Clarke — all residing here. — Coldwater Courier, Sept. 12, 1885. 



CLINTON COUNTY 
BY S. S. WALKER 

Heman Thomas, of Eagle, Clinton county, died July 10, 1885. He was 
born in Middlebury, Ky., in 1810; he moved to Clinton county and settled 
on the farm, where he has always lived, in 1834, being one of the first settlers 
in the county. He was ever a strictly honest, upright, and temperate man, 
a true husband, and a kind and indulgent father. 

Charles Turner, one of the earliest pioneers of St. Johns, died at his 
home, July 22, 1885. He was born in New Jersey in 1801, and when a 



MEMORIAL REPORT— CLINTON COUNTY 27 

young man moved to Geneva, N. Y., and Irom ilierc to St. dolms in is,".". 
He was a member of the Congregational ("hnrtli, and an excmi»laiy nuni. 

Mrs. M. V. Brown died Septendter 8, 1885. Her maiden name was 
Fannie Hewitt, and she was born in I)e Witt in 183t», was marriiMl in is.".:;, 
and moved to St. Johns in 1864. Mrs. Brown was a faitliful nienilx r of tlie 
Metliodist Church, a devoted wife, and a liiglily esteemed nicndx-r of 
society. 

August 23, 1885, Geo A. Britten, of Essex township, committed suicide 
by shooting liimself. September G his father, Jacob Britten, died at the 
age of seventy-six. September 7, his brother. Nathaniel Britten, died, aged 
forty-two. All were pioneers of Essex, having settled there in 18.53. and 
were among the most respected citizens of that township. 

Joab Baker, one of the pioneer lawyers of Clinton county, died at his 
home in Muskegon, September 24, aged eighty-six years. He settled in 
I)e AVitt in 1847. In 1850 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Clinton 
county under the new constitution. When the county seat was removed to 
St. Johns, in 1857, Mr. Baker settled here; he moved from here to Grand 
Haven, and then to Muskegon. 

Alonzo Plumstead, one of the pioneer business men of St. Johns, died 
November 4, 1885, at his home in that place. Mr. IMumstead was born in 
Clinton, Dutchess county, X. Y., in 1808. In 1835 he moved to Detroit; in 
1836 to Northville, where he "svas engaged in the boot and shoe business till 
]855, when he moved to St. Johns. For a long time he was one of the most 
prominent merchants in that place, and was identified with all the enter- 
prises for its early development. For several years he was express agent. 
He was a genial, intelligent, and honorable citizen, and will be missed by a 
wide circle of friends. 

Stephen Hill, the oldest pioneer of the township of Watertown, and a 
member of this society, died at his home the 5th of November. He pur- 
chased of the government and settled on the farm where he died, in 1837. 
By patient labor he made from the wilderness one of the finest farms in the 
township. He was a kind neighbor, and an esteemed and honored citizen. 

Charles Coleman, a highly respected citizen of St. Johns, died Decend)er 
29, 1885. He was born in Orange county, N. Y.. and moved to Livingston 
county, Michigan, where he lived several years; thence he removed to 
St. Johns about twenty-one years ago. Mr. Coleman was not a member of 
any church, but believed in and practiced the religion of an honorable life. 

Barney Bond, for the last thirty-one years a resident of Essex township, 
Clinton county, died at his home December 31, 1885, in his seventy-seventh 
vear. He came to this count v from Monroe county. N. Y. 



28 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Mrs. Catherine Chase, wife of Daniel Chase, of Essex, died January 10, 
1886. She came with her husband to this county from Cayuga county, N. Y., 
some twenty-five years ago. - 

Geo. W. Kinney died January 17. 1886, at the age of sixty-six. Mr. Kinney 
settled in the township of Watertowu in 1847, and has resided there ever 
since. He has been respected and honored by all as a kind, obliging, and 
honest man, and a public spirited, useful citizen. 

Mrs. Anna Richards, of Duplain township, died March 7, 1886. at the age 
of sixty-two years. She was born in Yates, Monroe county, N. Y., and 
came to Duplain in 1846, where she was an estimable christian woman. 

Micah D. Pope died in Clinton county, March 10, 1886, at the age of 
seventy-sev^n. He was born in Vermont and brought up in New Y^ork State. 
In an early day he worked in Rochester in the foundry of Jethro Wood, 
the first maker of iron plows. He moved to Ohio, and from there at the 
close of the war to Michigan. He was of a genial and social nature, always 
looking on the bright side of life. 

Edward W. Higbee, of Watertown, died April 17, 1886, aged seventy-one. 
He was an old pioneer, having settled in Eagle in 1837, and has resided in 
that township and Watertown ever since. He was an honest, intelligent 
man, and his death is universally regretted. 

Mrs. Maria Nichols, of Bengal, died xVpril 22, 1886. She was born in 
1803, moved from Genesee county, X. Y''., to Oakland county, Michigan, in 
1825, and came to Bengal in 1864, where she has since lived. 

Mrs. Mary Van Sickle, of Greenbush township, died May 9, 1886, aged 
seventy. She had been a resident of the county forty years. 

Mrs. Rice, of Bingham township, died May 8, 1886, at the age of seventy- 
eight years. She had been a resident of the county forty-one years. 

Wm. Besley, one of the earliest pioneers of Clinton county, died May 10, 
1886, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was born in New York State, 
and settled in this county forty years ago. He Avas one of the charter mem- 
bers of the Clinton County Pioneer Society and took great interest in its 
meetings, and was also very much interested in the State Pioneer Society. 
In his later years he delighted in telling stories of his early life in Pough- 
keepsie, N. Y., and of Martin Van Buren, with whom he was personally 
acquainted. He was an intelligent and honorable citizen. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— CRAWFORD COUNTY 29 

CRAWFORD COUNTY 

r.V M. I». OSL!ANl> 

:MAKTI.\ VALENTIN E 

^larliu Valentine, of Marathon. Lapeer eoiiuty. died in Frederieville, 
while on a visit to his children, at the residence of his sou, Mi-. P. A alcntine, 
on Sunday, August 9, 1885, aged seventy-one and a half years. Mv. \ alcniine 
was one of Michigan's pioneers. He Avas a native of New York. He was 
married to Miss Mary J. Phillips, March 13, 1830, in the town of Sennet, Cay- 
uga county, and with his young Avife emigrated to Michigan and jMirchased 
a farm in Marathon, during the same jeav. This constituted his residence 
till his death. There were but five families within the tt)wnsliip when they 
came. Their oldest son. Dr. A. B. Valentine, of Montmorency county, was 
the first white child born within the town. Avhich then consisted of what is 
now Marathon, Oregon and Deerfield townships. At the first town election 
he was elected constable and collector. He ran a stage line and carried the 
mail between Marathon and Lapeer. They had eight children, four boys 
and four girls. The girls died young. He was a painter by trade, and fol- 
lowed that business in connection with farming, until his health failed him 
in 1861. Since then he has been an invalid. After these many years, wrest- 
ling with disease of the throat, he rests from his labors. He leaves a wife 
and four sons to mourn his loss. He was buried in the cemetery at Frederie- 
ville. Rev. G. S. Weir officiated at the funeral. 



BATON COUNTY 
BY DAVID Li. HALE 

James I. Rogers died in the tov,nshii» of Eaton Rai)ids. Septend)er 2(5, 
1885,. aged ninety-three years, ten months, and two days. He was l)orn in 
the township of Zone, Massachusetts, November 21, ITOL April 11. ISP), 
lie was married to Miss Savina Lowell, reared a family of ten children; seven 
children are still living. He buried his wife January 24, 1870. Deceased 
was a pensioner of the war of 1812. He participated in the battle of Fort 
Erie and witnessed the burning of. Butfalo. He came to Michigan in the 
summer of 1838, and settled in Eaton Rapids, where he resided until his 
death. 



30 ■ ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Francis Cliamplin died in the town of Hamlin, Septembe.r 8, 1885, aged 
seventy years. Mr. Champlin was born in Stafford, in Genesee county, 
New York, May 15, 1815. He settled in the town of Tyler, now Hamlin, in 
1843. 

Lorilla Pierson died in the township of Hamlin, October 20, 1§85, aged 
eighty years, four months, and twenty-eight days. Born in Batavia, 
Genesee county. May, 23, 1805. Her maiden name was Lorilla Clark ; was 
married to Josiah Pierson in 1832. Moved to Michigan in 183G or 1837, and 
settled on section 14, noAV town of Hamlin. 

David Osborn died in the city of Eaton Rapids, September 3, 1885, aged 
seventy-four years. He was born in Somerset, in the State of Maine. He 
married Miss Eliza Dexter in June, 1838, and settled on land he h^d located 
the year previous in the township of Tyler (now Hamlin), in Eaton county, 
Mich. He continued to reside on the same farm until about a year prior to 
his death, when he moved to the city of Eaton Rapids. 

Eliza Osborn died in the city of Eaton Rapids, December 7, 1885, aged 
sixty-five years, six months, and eleven days. Her maiden name was Eliza 
Dexter. She was born in Weathersfield, Vermont, May 18, 1820. She 
settled with her husband, David Osborn, in Eaton county, when a large 
portion of the county was an unbroken wilderness. 

Amos H. Munson died in the city of Charlotte, April 1, 188G, aged sixty- 
six years. He was born in Salsbury, New York, June 13, 1819. He located 
in Charlotte in the fall of 1854. Mr. Munson was united in marriage with 
Miss Lydia White, February 3, 1840, who died November 20, 1853. He was 
again married, January 1, 1856, to Mrs. Sarah L. Gushing, who survives 
him. He was engaged in the hardware business at the time of his death ; he 
also owned a large farm near the city of Charlotte. He was a man much 
respected for his sterling worth, whose character was above reproach. 

Luther Hartson, died in the city of Charlotte, August 22, 1885, aged 
seventy-six years and seven months. Deceased was one of the early settlers 
of Eaton county. 

Benjamin Bartlett died in the city of Eaton Rapids, November 27, 1885, 
aged seventy-four years. Born in Washington county, Ohio, September 29, 
1811; was married in 1843 to Miss Eunice Hunt, came to Michigan in 1853, 
and settled in the township of Eaton Rapids. 

Wm. R. Kingman died in the township of Benton, March 19, 1885, aged 
sixty-four years. He was born in Virgil, Courtland county. New York, in 
1822, and came to Michigan in early manhood. Settled in Charlotte, where 
he resided about one year, then to Benton, where he continued to reside 



MEMORIAL REPORT— EATON COUNTY 31 

until his death. He was elected clerk and deacon of the r.ai»lis( ("Iinich 
at the time of its organizatfon in Charlotte in 1855, 

Ira Hitchcock died in the township of Carniel, -lannai-y 11. 188(1, ap'd 
eighty-one years and six months. He was a resident of (lie township be- 
tween thirty and forty years. 

James Surene died in Verniontville on tlie 2d day of October, 1885. He was 
born in Kent, Tntmau county, New York, in 1814. In 1837 he was united 
in marriage to Miss Nancy Hough, who survives him. He moved to Shia- 
wassee county Mich., in 18.o5, and in 1870 moved to Verniontville, wlicre he 
died. 

Zelotes Searles died in the city of Charlotte, November 17, 1885, aged 
seventy years, four months and four days. He was born in Wales, ICrie 
county New York, July 13, 1815. He came to Mi(lii«:an when a yiumg 
man. 

Edgar D. Brackett died in the city of Charlotte, January 24, 1880, aged 
forty-one years. He was born in Eaton county, in which lie resided the 
whole of his lifetime. 

Robert Dunn died in Carmel, Eaton county, on the 31st day of May, 188G. 
He was born in Essex county. State of New York, and was seventy years old 
at the time of his death. He settled in the township of Carmel in 1837. 
The town meeting was held at Mr. Dunn's house in 1840, and he claimed 
the' honor of casting the first vote in the township. 

Mrs. Hannah Ross died in Eaton, January 14, 18SG, aged eighty eight 
years. She has been a resident of the county for over forty years. 

Roger W. Griswold died in Vermontville, May 31, 1886, at the age of 
seventy-four years. He was born in Benson, Vermont, in 1812. He was one 
of the original members of the "Vermont Colony,'' and settled in Vcnn(»nt- 
ville in 1836, just half a century ago, and settled on the })lace where he 
spent the greater part of his life. He returned to A^ermont in 1837, and 
was married to Miss Abigail Stor Basconi, who returned with him to his new 
home in Michigan. He took an active interest in the advancement of the 
public interests of his town and county, and ever labored for the best 
interests of society. 

John Dow died in Vermontville, September 30, 1885, aged eighty-one 
years and eight months. iMr. Dow was born in Somerset county. New 
Jersey, in 1804. He moved to Michigan in 1837, and settled in the town- 
ship of Roxand, being one of the earliest settlers of the township. In 1838 
he was elected supervisor, and held the ofnce in that town for iliir(cH>n 
consecutive years, when he moved to Sunfield. and was olecled supervisor of 
that township for thirty years, until old age and declining health compelled 



32 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

him to decline farther responsibilities in that fi^ld. He removed to Ver- 
montville a few years before his death. 

William W. Wolcott died on the 12th day of October, 1885, aged seventy- 
eight years and nine days. He was born in Austerlitz, Columbia county, 
New York, October 3, 1807. He was married on January 29, 1832, to Miss 
Elizabeth Baldwin, who survives him. Mr. Wolcott moved his family to 
Michigan in the summer of 1837 and settled on the land which he had 
located two years previously to that time, and where he continued to reside 
until his death. He reared a family of six children, five sons and one 
daughter. Mrs. Wolcott and five sons are still living. He was a model 
farmer and successful business man, respected by all his acquaintance. 

Emily Robinson was born in Bennington, Vermont, March 31, 1806, and 
was married to W. N. Martin at Bennington, August 26, 1835, with whom 
she removed to Yermontville, Michigan, ]May 25, 1838, She died December 
17, 1885. Mrs. Martin was a woman of firm and independent mind, of few 
words, but full of good deeds, a beloved wife, an honored mother. Unselfish 
to a fault, her life was spent in the service of her Master in Heaven, her 
family, to which she was devoted, the church she loved so well, the poor in 
her town, and all claims of society of right aims. 



GENESEE COUNTY 

by j. w. begole 

3it:s. :margaret page 

Mrs. Margaret Page died at the residence of her niece, Mrs. James Hart, 
in Brooklyn, N. Y,, Tuesday, January 30, 1883. To her intimate friends in 
Flint Mrs. Page's death was not altogether unexpected, having been a suf- 
ferer for some time past from a disease sure to prove fatal, yet the hope that 
ever lingers, even after the fates have made their decree, caused the sad news 
to be received as if unanticipated. Mrs. Page was one of the very few early 
settlers of Flint. She was one of the first two or three members of St. 
Paul's Episcopal Church, organized in 1839, and although for some time 
past her home has been mostly in Brooklyn, her name is still on the church 
register as an active member. Her quiet and energetic church work was 
ever felt and appreciated. Mrs. Page was one of the most efficient members 
of the Ladies' Library Association organized in 1851, having held the posi- 
tions of president and librarian longer than any other member of the 
organization. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— GENESEE COUNTY 33 

The remains arrived in Flint Thursday evenin}?, and wore taken to the 
residence of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Eddy, old and warm friends of the 
deceased. The day following a large number of friends followi'd the licarsi* 
to St. Paul's Church, where the funeral services were held. The n-ctor, Mr. 
Seabrease, in a few remarks, paid a deserved tribute to Mrs. Page's faithful 
and close connection with the church from its foundation. To the still 
living two or three present who partook of that first communion it was as 
the voice of the past telling its tale of days long gone by. • 

JOIIX C. MATIIKWSON 

John C. Mathewson died at his home in Mundy, June 0. ISSG, in the 
eighty-second year of his age. Mr. Mathewson was born in Smyrna, ('lie 
nango county, N. Y., June 1, 1804. At an early age he removed to 
Franklinville, Cattaraugus county, where, in 1S29, he married the youngest 
daughter of General Joseph McClure of that place. In 1S4S he removed 
with his family to Michigan, settling in Mundy on the t'aiiii which has since 
been his home, and where he died. He may therefore he considered as one 
of the pioneers of the county, not only by virtue of long residence, but also 
from the hardships and privations which he endured. In IS.'t; his first wife 
died. In 1858 he married the daughter of Mr. John Slaght, of Mundy. and 
she died in 1881. He had five children by his first wife, all of whom survive 
him. The eldest is ]Mr. Stephen Mathewson, of this city. Two sons and a 
daughter reside in Mundy, and a married daughter lives in (Miesaning. Mr. 
Mathewson enjoyed and deserved the respect of his neighbors during all the 
years of his residence in Mundy, and his death is much regretted. He had 
preserved his faculties to a remarkable degree, and appeared much younger 
than he really was. During his residence in Mundy he held almost every 
township oflSce in the town. He was a consistent member of the Congrega- 
tional Church for more than fifty years. 

ED WARD II. THOMSON 

Edward H. Thomson was born June 15, 1810, at Kendal, in Westmoi-e 
land county, England. While a small child his parents moved to r..»sinii. 
Mass. He entered White Plains Academy in New York Siate and reiii.iiiietl 
there four years. In 1830 he began the study of law in ilie ollice of .Milhn.l 
Fillmore, who was subsequently elected President of the lulled States. W 
twenty-two years of age he ojiened a law oftice at Unlfalo. but subse(|neni ly 
removed to Cleveland, Ohio. 

In 1836—7 Michigan received a large number of immigrants from other 
States and among them was Col. Thomson, who reached tlws State in ■::7. 



34 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

and located at Atlas, which was then a part of Lapeer county. Governor 
Stevens T. Mason, Michigan's first governor, appointed Mr. Thomson 
prosecuting attorney of Lapeer county. He remained there but one year, 
however, when he removed to Flint and went into partnership with Jno. 
Bartow, who was then register of the LTnited States Land Office here. The 
firm of Bartow & Thomson was probably at tliat time the leading firm of 
lawyers in noi^thern Michigan. In 1845 and 1846 he was the prosecuting 
attorney of Genesee county. In 1847* he was elected to the State senate, his 
district embracing Genesee, Oakland, Lapeer, Shiawassee, Saginaw and Tus- 
cola counties, and also the entire Upper Peninsula. He was also the father 
of the bills which located the Institution at Flint, and the Asylum for the 
Insane at Kalamazoo. 

Governor Ransom, recognizing Mr. Thomson's services in passing a bill 
for the encouragement of immigration to Michigan, appointed him commis- 
sioner of immigration, with headquarters in New York City. Subsequently 
it was deemed wise to send Mr. Thomson to Germany, and his headquar- 
ters were changed to Stuttgart, Wurtemberg, Germany. By his energy and 
eminent social qualities, he made himself a favorite there, as always else- 
where, and Michigan gained nearly thirty' thousand hard working German 
citizens by his personal endeavors. In 1851 Mr. Thomson was appointed 
United States deputy commissioner to the World's Exposition, held that 
year in London, England, and by his ability, courtesy and liberality, made 
large numbers of friends. In 1858 he was elected to the house of repre- 
sentatives in this State, and his former experience as chairman of the 
committee on the judiciary, chairman of the committee on minerals, and 
a member of the committee on state affairs in the senate, equipped him 
for effective Avork in the lower house, where he was made a member of the 
committee on the judiciary and of state affairs. At the outbreak of the war 
Gov. Austin Blair appointed Mr. Thomson a member of the State military 
board, and when Gen. A. S. Williams resigned the chairmanship of that 
board to go into active service. Col. Thomson was made its chairman. 

In the city of Flint the Colonel has been an active member of the school 
board, and mayor of the city in 1878. 

It will be seen from this rapidly prepared sketch that the Colonel has 
always been a man of affairs, but whether as lawyer or politician, he has 
always fouiid ample time to cultivate the graces of life, and as a social, 
genial gentleman he will long be remembered by his hosts of friends, not 
only here but all over our State and country. In 1880 the Colonel was 
nominated by the democrats for the lieut.-governorship, and although he 
had little hope^of success he labored earnestly for the election of his ticket. 



♦See appendix 



1TT0893 

MEMORIAL REPORT— GENESEE COUNTY 36 

He was a i'i]>e Shakespearian scholar, and his iua«;nitii'eni Sliaki'sjicariaii 
library, which now graces the rniveisily of Michijiaii. is one of tiic tim-st 
l)rivate colhM-lions evei- made in Ihe rnited Stales. II is privali' lilnary, 
pietnres, and souvenirs of jdihlic men and distinguished wdnicn. fonns a 
most comi>lete and deli*>;htfnl collect i(»n. 

Col. Thomson died at liis spacious mansion on K'cai-sley and I'.ast Streets, 
February 2, LSSO. His only dau.uhter, Mrs. A. 15. Witherhee, of Washinj;- 
ton, D. (\, Avas with hini durinj^- his sickness until recalled to her home by 
the illness of her daui>hter. In addition to this daughter the Colonel leaves 
one son, Edward H., and a devoted wife. 

He was enjiaged in the preparation of a new le('ture on Shakesjteare, to be 
delivered durin<; the winter, when he was first attacked with what has so 
sadly proved to be a fatal illness. 

Entertaininii, ^^cnerous, genial, gentle Col. Thomson is dead. His loss 
will be felt by all classes of people in the community, and it may be said of 
him truthfully, in the words of a distinguished divine of Flint: "'Colonel 
Thomson had more and readier excuses for the short-comings of men than 
any man I ever knew." He was charitable in the best and broadest sense 
of the word. But he has gone forever. This is no place for moralizing, 
but we cannot refrain from adding that while Col. Thomson faile<l to 
secure a large fortune as estimated by commercial standards, he held a 
place second to none in the hearts of his friends, his neighbors and fellow 
citizens. 

RICHARD H. HUGHES 

Richard H. Hughes died February 11, ISSt;. Mr. Hughes was dejnity 
state oil inspector, and had been called to ]>ay City on otlicial business. 
He was not well when he left home, and was so ill on reaching his destina- 
tion as to be obliged to take to his bed almost immediately on his arrival. 
His wife being notified of his illness went at once to him, and was .soon 
joined by her brother, Frank Dullam. both of whom remained with him 
until he died. A lunuber of the mend)ers of (Jovernor Ciajto Tost. C. A. K.. 
were also with him in his last hours. 

Mr. Hughes was born in Oakland county in this State in 1S4(I. bui his 
family moved to Flint when he was yet a lad. Most of his early youth 
was spent on a farm in Mt. Morris township. At the outbreak of the 
rebellion he enlisted in Captain S. C. Randall's company in the '2:U\ Michi- 
gan Infantry, and fought through the war. In 1800 he married a daughter 
of Mr. R. W. Dullam, who. Avith four children, survives him. While residing 
in Mt. Morris he held several township offices, ineluding treasurer and 



36 ANNUAL MEETING 188« 

supervisor. Some years ago he disposed of his farm and engaged in business 
in Flint. He built and operated the apple evaporating factory near 
Begole, Fox & Go's mill. He was a member of the Genesee Gommandery 
Knights Templar, also of the A. O. U. W. and several other societies, 
including Governor Grapo Post, G. A. R., of which he was past commander. 
He was personally popular, and deservedly so, and made friends wherever 
he went, and his death is widely deplored. 

Upon the arrival of the remains at Flint they were met at the station by 
the G. A. R. post and numerous citizens. The funeral occurred on Sunday 
at two p. M. at the Gourt Street M. E. Ghurch, under the auspices of the 
post. Rev. I. N. Elwood officiating. The Knights Templar and the A. O. U. W. 
attended the funeral in a body in uniform, in addition to the G. A. R. The 
attendance of citizens generally was very large. 

The community has lost a good citizen, and his family an affectionate and 
devoted husband and father. Peace to his memory. 

O. HEMPHILL 

Orin Hemphill came from Mt. Morris, New York, to Burton, Genesee 
county, Mich., in 1837, Avhere he has since resided. He was an industrious 
and energetic farmer, and did his full share toward making Genesee county 
one of the very first counties in the State. He took an active part in our 
Agricultural Society and was for many years county superintendent of the 
poor, and was always a worthy and highly respected citizen. He died 
February 11, 1886, at his late home in Burton township. 



HILLSDALE COUNTY 
BY E. O. GUOSVENOU 

In making a report of the deaths of pioneers in this county since date of 
my last report, which, I believe, was in 1884, I am unable, owing to the very 
large number who have passed away, to give more than the name, age, time 
•of death and residence. Some of them were members of the State .Pioneer 
Society, most of them members of our county society, and all were residents 
of the State and county. 

Some of them have filled prominent positions in the county and State, 
and deserve more than a passing notice. In such cases I doubt not you have 
received and placed on file suitable obituary notices, which have appeared in 
our local and State papers. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— HILLSDALE COUNTY 37 

I commence my list June 1, 1884 and bring it down to May 31. 1880. 

John C. Kobertson, Cambria, died June 7. 1884. aged 82 year-s. 

Mrs. Electa Townsend, Litchtield, died June 18, 1884, aged 85 years. 

Nathaniel McCurdy. Adams, died June 18, 1884, abed 85 years. 

John S. Drake, Amboy, died June 28, 1884, aged about 00 years. 

Charles Carmichael. Wheatland, died June 28, 1884, aged 84 years. 

James R. Curtis, Hillsdale, died July 0, 1884, aged 53 years. 

:^rrs. Wm. Curtis. Wheatland, died July 14, 1884, aged 81 years. 

Mrs. Anna Simmons, Pittsford, died July 30, 1884, aged 91 years. 

Mrs. Mary L. Curtis, Hillsdale, died August 4. 18s;4, aged 40 years. 

A Warner, Reading, died August 0, 1884, aged Cd years. 

Benjamin F. Credit, Jonesville, died August 8, 1884, aged 78 years. 

Mrs. Rhoda Wright, Jonesville, died August 10, 1884, aged 04 years. 

Mrs. Maggie McDougal, Litchfield, died August 10, 1884, aged 57 years. 

W. H. Comfort, Woodbridge, died August 18, 1884, aged 71 years. 

Orville Curtis, Litchfield, died August 19, 1884, aged 75 years. 

William H. Brandwell, Litchfield, died August 27, 1884, aged 73 years. 

Jacob Barnhart, Scipio, died August 30, 1884, aged 50 years. 

Mrs. Mary E. Hewitt, Allen, died September 7, 1884, aged 58 years. 

Horace Osborn, Wlieatland, died September 10, 1884, aged 50 years. 

W^alter B. Parks, Fayette, died September 19, 1884, aged 82 years. 

Anson R. W'isner, Jonesville, died October 3, 1884, aged 00 years. 

Mrs. William B. Hawkins. Jonesville, died Octol)er 5, 1884. aged 58 years. 

Mrs. Matilda Blatchley, Scipio, died October 15, 1884, aged 85 years. 

Mrs. Abagail Lockwood, Hillsdale, died Ogtober 28, 1884, aged (il years. 

Thomas W'arner, Hillsdale, died November 7, 1884, aged 83 years. 

Luther R. Wisner, formerly Jonesville, died November 14. 1884, aged 58 
years. 

Levi Todd, Litchfield, died November 10, 1884, aged 71 years. 

John R. Cook, Hillsdale, died December 15, 1884, aged 72 years. 

Daniel Murray, Reading, died December 20, 1884, aged 77 years. 

John E. Wooster, Wheatland, died December 28, 1884, aged about 70 
years. 

Harley J. Olds, Jonesville, died January 0, 1885. aged (iO years. 

Ephraim Baker, Ransom, died January 0, 1885, aged 84 years. 

George W. Greek. Ransom, died January 18, 1885, aged 84 years. 

Samuel Wescott, Somerset, died January 25. 1885, aged about 80 years. 

Mrs. Ann Sibbald, Jonesville, died January 25, 1885, aged 70 years. 

David Young, Allen, died January 27, 1885, aged 81 years. 

Henrv Blount. Allen, died January 28, 1885, aged 01 years. 



; ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Mrs. Mahala Sprowles, Adams, died February 3, aged 71 years. 
Mrs. Mahala Darling, Jonesville, died February 3, 1885, aged 49 years. 
Mrs. Eunice Woodruff, Jefferson, died February 8, 1885, aged 80 years. 
Alonzo B. Strong, Somerset, died February 8, 1885, aged 60 years. 
Mrs. Samuel Fellows, Litchfield, died February 10, 1885, aged 81 years. 
Mrs. Ann M. Kesselring, Cambria, died February 10, 1885, aged 66 yean 
James J, Baker, Kansom, died February 10, 1885, aged 83 years. 
James A. Strong, Somerset, died February 8, 1885, aged 65 years. 
Mrs. Mary E. Farnam, Hillsdale, died February 11, 1885, aged 61 years. 
John Wilkins, Allen, died February 16, 1885, aged about 75 years. 
Mrs. Emily Hicks, Allen, died February 16, 1885, aged 61 years. 
Chester Cole, Adams, died February 16, 1885, aged 74 years. 
Mrs. Cornelia Russell, Hillsdale, died February 16, 1885, aged 82 years, 
James T. Bassett, Jefferson, died February 17, 1885, aged 79 years. 
Mrs. Lydia A. Fondly, Ransom, died February 20, 1885, aged 73 years. 
Mrs. St. John, Woodbridge, died February 21, 1885, aged 93 years. 
Frances Harris, Reading, died February 25, 1885, aged 70 years. 
William P. Carrel, Hillsdale, died February 28, 1885, aged 60 years. 
Mrs. Maria M. Simmons, Moscow, died March 1, 1885, aged 74 years. 
Isaac C. Vaughn, Moscow, died March 9, 1885, aged 71 years. 
Haynes B. Tucker, Jonesville, died March 12, 1885, aged 68 years. 
Mrs. Hannah Bolles, Hillsdale, died March 21, 1885, aged 84 years. 
Ijewis Riggs, Jonesville, died March 24, 1885, aged 70 years. 
A. M. Kellogg, Litchfield, died April 5, 1885, aged 64 years. 
Jacob Dibler, Litchfield, died April 8, 1885, aged 66 years. 
Lorenzo D. Green, Jonesville, died April 10, 1885, aged 63 years. 
James H. Thorn, Pittsford, died April 11, 1885, aged 69 years. 
AYarner Bunday, Litchfield, died April 20, 1885, aoed 85 years. 
Mary E. Cutler, Pittsford, died April 25, 1885, aged about 80 years. 
Mrs. Maria Kellogg, Litchfield, died April 28, 1885, aged 71 years. 
Mrs. Betsey A. Janes, Cambria, died May 4, 1885, aged 69 years. 
Leman Strong, Litchfield, died May 6, 1885, aged 75 years. 
Mrs. Harriet Strong, Litchfield, died May 12, 1885, aged 75 years. 
Sewell E. Blackman, Adams, died June 10, 1885, aged 77 years. 
Mrs. Sarah Jefferay, Hillsdale, died June 13, 1885, aged 59 years. 
Mrs. Phoebe Bond, Hillsdale, died June 14, 1885, aged 81 years. 
Mrs. Elizabeth A. Timms, Hillsdale, died June 15, 1885, aged 40 years. 
Mrs. Martha Campbell, Hillsdale, died June 16, 1885, aged 83 years. 
William Andrus, Jonesville, died June 20, 1885, aged 75 years. 
Samuel Foote, Cambria, died June 27, 1885, aged 87 vears. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— HILLSDALE COUNTY ^0 

Mrs. Mary A. (Jaigo, JoiiosvilU', died July <i, ISS,"), ajivd .")." ycnrs. 

Erastus Hagen, .Joiiesville, died July 8, t885. a«;;(Ml 75 yoars. 

Mrs. Eunice ^rason, Litolitield, died July 2S, 1885, aj^ed 7!) years. 

Daniel Lincoln, Moslierville, died August 18, 1885, aged 75 years. 

:^^rs. Malinda Cozens, Fayette, died August 23, 1885. aged 7!> years. 

Daniel Hufif, Bankers, died August 26, 1885, aged Gl years. 

John Washburn, Allen, died August 27, 1885, aged (lO years. 

Mrs. Rachael Scott, :Moscow, died August 30, 1S85, aged S(i years. 

Bishop A. Johnson, Jonesville, died September 2, 1885. aged (55 yeai-s. 

John W. Ferris, Hillsdale, died September 3, 1885, aged 7(1 years. 

Kachael Bolles, Hillsdale, died September 3, 1885, aged <;i years. 

Joseph Hancock, Cambria, died September 8, 1885, aged 75 years. 

]\Irs. Louisa Eddy, Somerset, died September 20, 18^85, aged 04 years. 

^Mrs. Harriet Crossman, Litchfield, died Se^»tember 20. 1885, aged 07 
years. 

Philander Mead, Hillsdale, died September 20, 1885. aged about 70 yeais. 

Mrs. Electa B. Chilson, Osseo, died September 20, 1885, aged 80 years. 

Mrs. Mary Eea, Jonesville, died October 2, 1885, aged 77 years. 

Moses Culver, Scipio, died October 10, 1885, aged 88 years. 

Mrs. Barnes, formerly Jonesville, died October 15, 1885, aged about 75 
years. 

Benjamin T. Farnum, Hillsdale, died October 17, 1885. aged 81 years. 

Eason Wilbur, Adams, died November 30, 1885, aged 81 years. 

James Anderson, Hillsdale, died December 7, 1885, aged 80 years. 

Peter Hnghes, Hillsdale, died December 8, 1885. aged 83 years. 

Charlotte Lockwood, died December 11. 1885, aged 75 years. 

Thomas Hayward, Cambria, died December 23, 1885. aged 52 years. 

Samuel Smith, North Adams, died December 27, 1885, aged 75 years. 

Ozan Keith, Pittsford, died December 27, 1885, aged 87 years. 

Mrs. Catherine Cook, Hillsdale, died January, 1, 188G, aged 82 yeai-s. 

Mrs. Matildri Nutten, ]Moscow, died January 4, 188(5, aged 52 years. 

Frank M. Culver, Scipio, died January 8, 1880, aged 5(5 years. 

Mrs. Charles Ten Eyek, Litchfield, died January 10, 188(5, aged 40 years. 

Mary A. Courtright, Jonesville, died January 10, 188G, aged 05 years. 

Phoebe Arch, Montgomery, died January 1!). 188G, aged 70 years. 

Mary Copeland. :Montgomery, died January 23, 1886, aged 70 years. 

Mrs. Cornelia TitTany, Jonesville. died January 27, 188G, aged 04 years. 

Enoch H. Goodrich, Kansom. died February 2. 1880, aged 74 years. 

Eansom Bullard, Litchfield, died February 2. 1S8(;. aged 80 years. 

Mrs. Benj. Franklin, :Moscow, died February 3, 1880. aged 08 years. 



40 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Mr. Fish, North Adams, died February 1, 1886, aged 69 years. 
P. S. Bugbee, Osseo, died February 6, 1886, aged 62 years. 
Mrs. Rachael Hicks, Adams, died February 7, 1886, aged about 80 years. 
John Moore, Litchfield, died February 13, 1886, aged 80 years. 
Joseph Bulger, Litchfield, died February 15, 1886, aged 58 years. 
William Moreland, Jerome, died February 15, 1886, aged 68 years. 
Ezra J. Hodges, Scipio, died February 18, 1886, aged 59 years, 
Frank Kelsey, Jonesville, died February 20, 1886, aged 49 years. 
Mrs. Aurelia Stone, Allen, died February 25, 1886, aged 81 years. 
Mrs. Eliza Traver, Litchfield, died February 27, 1886, aged 67 years. 
Mrs. Penella E. Curtis, Hillsdale, died February 28, 1886, aged 81 years. 
Mrs. Hannah Trumbull, Wheatland, died February 28, 1886, aged 60 years. 
Mrs. Rudolph Rozelle, Litchfield, died March 2, 1886, aged 68 years. 
J. S. Stowell, Fayette, died March 1, 1886, aged 70 years. 
Mrs. Malinda Wilkinson, Litchfield, died March 5, 1886, aged 64 years. 
John Cole, Osseo, died March 5, 1886, aged 98 years. 
Harley C. Clark, Osseo, died March 5, 1886, aged 77 years. 
Daniel Murdock, Litchfield, died March 6, 1886, aged 78 years. 
Mrs, Mary Mosher, Hillsdale, died March 16, 1886, aged 58 years. 
Mrs. Elizabeth Mann, Litchfield, died March 25, 1886, aged 72 years. 
Samuel Gilmer, Jonesville, died March 25, 1886, aged 61 years. 
Zebulon W. Parker, Cambria, died March 21, 1886, aged 69 years. 
Stephen W. Watson, Litchfield, died March 26, 1886, aged 75 years. 
Mrs. Thorne, Osseo, died March 29, 1886, aged 87 years. 
Mrs. Ann Wood, Wheatland, died April 7, 1886, aged 85 years. 
Mrs. Phoebe Knight, Moscow, died April 15, 1886, aged 79 years. 
Mrs. Sarah A. Reiley, Hillsdale, died April 16, 1886, aged 75 years. 
Mrs. Woolson, Adams, died April 19, 1886, aged 68 years. 
Hiram H. Baker, Amboy, died April 23, 1886, aged 72 years. 
Mrs. Joseph Woolson, Adams, died April 30, 1886, aged 73 years. 
Joseph Huff, Osseo, died May 7, 1886, aged 67 years. 
Charles C. Wells, Allen, died May 9, 1886, aged 73 years, 
Asa T. Woodworth, Hillsdale, died May 14, 1886, aged 72 years. 
Mrs. Alice D. Harding, Jonesville, died May 22, 1886, aged 34 years. 
Mrs, Mary E, McCune, Hillsdale, died May 24, 1886, aged 62 years, 
Mrs, Bridget McKinney, Jonesville, died May 28, 1886, aged 58 years, 
Joshua M. Chase, Moscow, died May 28, 1886, aged 69 years, 
Amasa C. Allen, Hillsdale, died May 31, 1886, aged about 65 years. 
This makes the large number of one hundred and fifty-four pioneers who 
have died in this county from June 1, 1884, to May 31, 1886 — two 



MEMORIAL REPORT— INGHAM COUNTY 41 

years. Of the whole nnniber but six are named who died uinlcr fift.v years 
of age, and these are included because, being children of early sci tiers, their 
entire lives have been passed in this State, and most of them in this county. 
A tabular statement is given below, in periods of ten years, showing relative 
number who died within the ages named, and the average age of the entire 
number : 

Died under 50 years of age 6 

Died between 50 and GO years of age 17 

Died between 60 and 70 years of age 41 

Died between 70 and 80 years of age 48 

Died between 80 and 90 years of age 38 

Died between 90 and 100 years of age 4 

The oldest died in his 99th year. Average age of entire number, 71 Vo 
years. Aggregate age of entire number, 10,987 years. 

Since the foregoing was written, the following has been received for inser- 
tion in connection with this report : 

REV. LEVI H. CARSOX 

Rev. Levi H. Carson, for the last thirty years a resident of Jonesville. 
rector and clergyman of Grace (Episcopal) Church, called on the morning 
of February 23, 1884, at the store of Button & Munsell in this village, and 
while sitting in a chair conversing, ceased for a moment to speak, gasped 
once or twice and was dead. He was born at Saco Bay, Maine, July 3, 1801. 
graduated from Amherst College, 1829; ordained deacon in Hartford. Conn., 
1831; priest in 1833. After twenty years' service as rector in various })lace8 
he came to Jonesville as rector of Grace Church, May 28, 1854; has lived 
here ever since, and most of the time as rector of the church. He was also 
a prominent member of the Masonic Fraternity, belonging to Lafayette 
Lodge No. 16, Jonesville Chapter and Council, and Eureka Commandery 
No. 3. Has been presiding officer of Lodge, Chapter, and Council. Was 
married is 1831. His wife and three sons survive him. 



INGHAM COUNTY 
BY C. B. STEBBINS 

The following are statistics, such as I have l)een able to gather, of pioneer 
residents of Ingham county who have passed away since our last mw^ting: — 
6 



42 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Mrs. Rebecca S. Brown, June 12, 1885, aged 71 years; a resident of Lansing 
30 years. 

Mrs. Eunice Hart, Lansing, August 4, 1885, aged 82 years. 

Rev. B. W. Blanchard, August 10, 1885, aged 75 years; a' resident of Lan- 
sing 21 years. 

Ezra Harris, Lansing. August 14, 1885, aged 75 years. 

J. H. Tenney, Lansing, August 18, 1885, aged 75 years. 

Henry Lederer, August 27, 1885, aged 62 years; he was born in Austria, 
came to America when 23 years of age, and resided in Lansing 33 years. 

Mrs. M. Irwin Carpenter, Lansing, August 26, 1885, aged 73 years ; she had 
resided in the State 39 years. 

Oliver Keith, October 15, 1885, aged 62 years; a resident of Lansing 21 
years. 

John W. Holmes, Lansing, October 15, 1885, aged 83 years, 

Appleton Ballard, October 27, 1885, aged 76 years ; a resident of Lansing 38 
years. 

Henry H. North, Delhi, October 31, 1885, aged 69 years; a resident of 
Ingham county 48 years. 

Mrs. Louise M. Peake, November 13, 1885, aged 85 years; she had resided 
in Bunkerhill 41 years. 

Mrs. Fannie W. Warren, Lansing, November 22, 1885, aged 39 years; born 
in Portland, Michigan. 

Mrs. Mary E. Sears, Lansing, November 24, 1885, aged 84 years. 

Mrs. Laura Reed, Lansing, January 23, 1886, aged 85 years; a resident of 
the State 32 years. 

Mrs. Lavinia Simons, Lansing, February 1, 1886, aged 80 years; she was 
born in Canada, and resided in Michigan 46 years; she left nine children 
living. 

Mrs. Charlotte Ekstein, March 29, 1886, aged 54 years; she was born in 
Austria, and resided in Lansing 42 jears. 

Mrs. Sarah Kingsley, Lansing, March 30, 1886, aged 89 years. 

Mrs. Barbara Blasius, April — , 1886, aged 69 years ; she came from Ger- 
many in 1843, and resided in Lansing 27 years. 

Mrs. Martha M. Molineaux, April 25, 1886, aged 52 years; she had resided 
in Lansing 22 years. 

Dr. Alvin S. Dingman, Lansing, April 27, 1886, aged 38 years ; a resident of 
Michigan 28 years. 

Samuel Beck, May 13, 1886, aged 59 years; he was born in Bavaria, had 
been in this country 34 years, and resided in Lansing 20 years. 

Mrs. Emily Elliott, May 16, 1886, aged 64 years; she resided in Lansing 
22 years. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— IONIA COFNTY 43 

Mis. Fidelia A. Howell, ].iuisin<;, M;i.v I'l, lSS(i. i\ixvi\ :{s vcars ; sIm' was 
born in Howell, Mich. 

Mrs. Eliza ^loots. May 22, 1SS(;. aj;e(l S4 ycais; slic was lioin in Cciinaiiy 
and resided in Lansinj; 'M') years. 

Of these twelve were over 70, ten over T."), one (tvcr SO ycurs of m;^*'. \U\\ 
four were under oO years. Six were natives of foreign couiitrics ; Ixit iwo 
were born in Midiiiian. 



IONIA COUNTY 
r.Y IIAMI'TON lilCII 

The following biographical sketches have been collected by nic for the past 
year : 

NATHANIEL liEAT'lli: 

Nathaniel Beattie, who had been contined to his house for the past eight 
years, died on Friday, January 15, 188G. He had a paralytic shock the week 
before, which was the immediate cause of his death. Mr. Beattie was one 
of the oldest and most highly esteemed residents of Ionia, and the family 
have the sympathy of a host of friends in their affliction. The funeral 
services took place Sunday afternoon, and wei-e attended by a Iarg<' nuinlicr 
of our citizens. The deceased was born in Coldenhani. (Grange county, 
X. Y., February 2t), 1815. He removed to Bloomfield, Oakland c(ninty. in 
this State, in 1820. He was married April 0, 1830, to Catherine ^^'allace. 
who survives him, and removed to Ionia county in 188!). He settled in the 
township of Keene, where he followed the business of farming until lsri:>, 
when he removed to Ionia, where he afterward resided. .Mr. F.eattie was 
regarded as an honorable business man, and he was very successful. For 
nearly ten years he was ill, so as to incapacitate him almost entirely for any 
labor, for eight years l)eing confined to the house, much of the time in IhmI, 
and requiring the constant care of a devoted wife and family. He was for 
many years a member of the M. K. Church. In ]iolitics he was a staunch 
democrat, and his last visit outsidi' his si-k room was to vote liis jtarty tirket. 

ijK]iAia> nvK 

lonians were shocked Thursday evening. February 4. ISSC. by liie anmuince- 
ment of the death of Kichard Dye. He left his ofiice, where he had been 
engaged all the afternoon in business matters, about five o'clock, and was in 
good spirits and ajiparently in exccllcnr health, doing to his home, he went 



44 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

out to fill the coal scuttles, and was discovered by J. W. Baldie a few min- 
utes later lying upon his back in the snow with one foot inside the coal 
house door. His eyes were closed, and he had apparently died without a 
struggle. Rheumatism of the heart was perhaps the cause of his sudden 
demise. Deceased was one of the earliest settlers of this county. It is fifty 
years, this .year, since he first located in Ionia. He was born in Herkimer 
village, N. Y., October 23, 1810, and was therefore in his 76th year. His 
father was a thrifty farmer and a pioneer of Herkimer county, who served 
in the revolutionary war, and came from Rhode Island when a 3'oung man. 
In March, 1832, the subject of this sketch married Miss Polly Welch, 
daughter of Vine Welch, a substantial Herkimer county farmer. ' Mr. Dye 
was a cabinet maker and worked at his trade in Herkimer until 1836, when 
he came to Ionia in company with Simon and John B. Welch, his wife's 
brothers, and Philander Hinds. They Avalked from Detroit. Mr. Dye 
selected a quarter section of land in what is now the township of Keene — the 
farm owned by William Gunn — and going to the United States land office, 
then at Kalamazoo, located it. Returning to the east in the fall he came 
back in the spring with his family, consisting at that time of his wife and two 
children, George H. and Mary E., and went to work on the farm. He had 
brought with him a lathe and an outfit of tools for cabinet making, and 
these he set up in the upper part of his log house a.nd manufactured many 
articles of common household furniture for the settlers. In 1832 he removed 
to Ionia and started a shop on what is now the corner of Dye and Washing- 
ton streets. The population of Ionia was then only about 150 souls. In 
1859 he and his brother Nelson engaged in mercantile pursuits under the 
firm name of R. & N. Dye; later the late A. F. Carr was associated with 
them as the company of the concern. Seven years later Mr. Dye with- 
drew and retired from business, having acquired more than a competence, 
and has since given his attention to the care of his real estate and personal 
property. He has been a life-long and ardent democrat, and in 1845 was 
appointed postmaster by President Polk, and has been a member of the city 
council. He has been identified with the masonic fraternity thirty-seven 
years, or since 1849, being a member of Washtenong Lodge, Ionia Chapter 
No. 14, and Ionia Commandery No. 11. In these bodies he has almost 
always been the trusted treasurer. He united with the Church of Christ 
(Disciples) in 1861, under the ministrations of Rev. Isaac Errett. The char- 
acteristics of the deceased as a business man were industry, frugality, 
sterling honesty and rugged common sense. He was a devoted husband and 
father; a true, sincere friend; an exemplary citizen. His constitution was 
rugged and he was rarely, if ever, sick, and at the last stepped from one life 



MEMORIAL REPORT— IONIA COUXTY 45 

into the other. Avithout a iiioiiient's preinoiiition that the slciulor link llinl 
bound him to a long and useful life was about to be snapped in twain. 

The obsequies were held Thursday afternoon at the Church of Christ. An 
immense concourse of citizens attended, among whom the faces mimI whitened 
heads of scores of old citizens and friends of the deceased were conspicuous. 
The funeral sermon was by Rev. K. S. (h-oves, pastor of the church of wlii.h 
Mr. Dye was a member, and for many years a trustee. He was assisted in 
the service by Rev. D. Van Alstin, ]). D., pastor of the Baptist Church, and 
Rev. Job Pierson, D. D., Rev. L. Master and Rev. AV. S. Potter were also 
I)resent. Ionia Commandery Xo. 11, sixty-five strong, turned out as an 
escort. 

Brief services were held at the house before going to the church, in accord- 
ance with the Templar ritual, which were conducted by Sir Knights John 
B. Hutchins and A. H. Heath. The remains and family were then escorted 
to the church by the commandery, the following acting as pall-bearers; 
Sir Knights H. H. Hinds, Wilmer Bishop, A. F. Kelsey, O. H. Heath. G. S. 
Cooper and William Steele. 

At the church the services were as follows : Hymn by the choir. "Come, 
Ye Disconsolate;" Scripture lesson, 90th Psalm; prayer; "Over There." 
favorite hymn of deceased, by the choir; sermon, text: I, Corinthians, xv.. ll'. 

At the conclusion of the sermon the choir sung an anthem. "Prepare to 
Meet Thy God," and then the Knights filed out and the mournful proces- 
sion moved to Highland Cemetery, where the last sad rites of the order were 
observed, as they laid the remains of their departed Sir Knight away in 
their last resting place on earth. The entire ceremonies were very solemn 
and impressive, the universal regret at the departure of "Uncle Richard 
Dye" being unaffected and profound. 

iiox. !•:. ir. STAXTOX 

It was with a feeling of sorrow and regret that the citizens of Ionia 
learned of the death. May 8. 1880. at his home, of Hon. Erastus H. Stanton. 
Erastus H. Stanton Avas born at Durham, Greene county, X. Y., Xo\(Mnl)er 
13, 1817. His grandfather moved from Connecticut to Xew York in \~W. 
The family is of Welch descent. His mother was a daughter of Henry 
Xiles, a descendant from a Scotch family belonging to the sect of Quakers 
or Friends. They were persecuted for their opinions under the reign of 
Charles II., and fled to a new continent that they might enjoy that freedom 
of opinion denied at home. Mr. Stanton was educated in the common 
schools and academy of his native town. An early developed taste for read- 
ing was gratified by access to a circulating library. At the age of sixteen he 



46 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

was placed, at his own request, with a mercantile firm at Kensselaerville, 
Albany county, where he acquired a knowledge of the business. He began 
business for himself in 1837 at Greenville, Green county, where he remained 
twelve years. Here he was married, September 2, 1840, to Miss Mary San- 
ford, who survives him. Owing to the ill health of Mrs. Stanton he removed 
to Illinois, purchasing a farm near Eockton, only a mile from the Wisconsin 
line. He remained there engaged in farming, banking and merchantile pur- 
suits until 1867, when he came to Ionia and again embarked in mercantile 
pursuits, in which he remained until he began lumbering operations at 
Sheridan. This business occupied his time and personal attention until 
within the past thnee or four years, when he gave up the cares of active 
business life. 

In 1838 Gov. Marcy of New York commissioned Mr. Stanton quarter- 
master of the 37th brigade of State troops, a position he held for four years. 
In 1861, being then in Illinois, Gen. Yates, afterwards governor of the State, 
appointed him as his military aide, in which capacity' he visited the several 
Illinois regiments in the department of north Missouri, his duty being to 
see that the troops were properly equipped with arms, clothing, etc. During 
his residence in Xew York and Illinois he v\'as several times elected super- 
visor, and held other positions. Always a public spirited and enterprising 
citizen, the people of Ionia were not slow to recognize his character. In 
1872, when the Ionia and Stanton railroad project was inaugurated, Mr. 
Stanton was elected a director and the first secretary and treasurer of the 
company, which position he filled until the road vras consolidated with the 
Detroit, Lansing, and Lake Michigan company. He took a lively interest 
in the completion of the road, taking upon himself many arduous duties, 
and as an officer of the company he proved himself a capal;le and energetic 
official. 

In politics Mr. Stanton was a staunch republican, severing his political 
ties with the democratic party as eai-ly as 1856. In 187f) he was elected 
mayor of Ionia, his competitor being James M. Kidd. and the following year 
he ran against A. F. Bell and was re-elected. In 1880 he was elected to 
represent the then twenty-fourth district in the State Senate, in which body 
he was a leading, influential member. In 1882 he declined to be a candidate 
^or renomination, but at the urgent solicitation of numerous friends allowed 
his name to go before the State convention as a candidate for State treasurer. 
J3e was too modest and sensitive to make a personal canvass, and even 
xefused to go to Kalamazoo to aid his own candidacy, and although he 
received the cordial and unanimous support of the Ionia delegation, and 
made a creditable run, was not successful. Those w^ho were intimate with 



MEMORIAL REPORT— JACKSON COUNTY 47 

Mv. Stanton know how niiuh he was hurt at tlie result, not because he was 
not nominated, he did not value office for its own sake, but for the reason 
that as he believed, friends who had encouraged him with jiroffers (.f tli<ir 
support, failed him in the convention. He was the soul of politic.il li(in»ir 
himself, as lie was an exam])ler of business integrity. He never failed to 
carry out his own idedges, or held out false hopes to his friends, llui he 
was perhai)S of too contiding- a nature, and jdaced too much stress njxm talk. 
judging others by his own high standard of morals. He was often sjioken 
of as an available candidate for other and higher positions, and there was 
no man in Ionia county, to say the least, who had a wanner jiersonal follow- 
ing, based on genuine good will and resjieci for his high ipialilies of man 
hood. But he was modest and retiring in his disposition, and lacked the 
ability, not to say the disjjosition, to push himself to the front. 

As a neighbor he was kind and considerate to others, as a citizen upright 
and just, as a business man honest and honorable in all his dealings, as a 
legislator incorruptible and fearless, as a friend ever true. He was childlike 
in his faith, his imi)licit confidence in others, and it shocked him to find 
that all men are not as simple, as direct and ingenuous as he was himself. 
He had many friends who were knit to him by bonds of steel, and of the 
many good men who have gone from Ionia to the land of shadows within the 
last decade or two. none will l)e more kindly rememliered or deeply regrette*!. 
Farewell, friend. May you rest in ])eace. 

BETSEY F. COMSTOCK 

Betsey Fuller Comstock. born in Kxeter, Olsego county. New York. 
August 11, 1800, died in Konald. Ionia county. June 1. 1SS(J. She came to 
Michigan in 1842. She was mother of twelve children, nine sons and three 
daughters. 



.JACKSON COUNTY 



BV CIIESTEK TAYLOR 



:Mrs. Eliza Dixon. Pulaski, died February 17. ISS.", a.ued SO yeai 
Ezra Barnes. Parma, died March S. ISSo, aged 70 years. 

John Whittaker. Concord, died ^farch 22, 1885. aged . 

<'has. Atwell. Hanover, died April 1.", 1885. aged 05 years. 
Mrs. Stephen Miles. Hanover, died April 21, 1885, aged 44 years. 
:Mrs. E. Burt. Concord, died April — , 1885, aged 44 .rears. 
:Marsliall Fisher, Concord, died April — , 1885, aged 73 .rears. 
Barnabas Far. Norvell, died May 15. 1885, aged 08 years. 



48 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 • 

Mrs. Prescott, Hanover, died May 28, 1885, aged 71 years. 

Mrs. S. Sweesey, Norvell, died September 6, 1885, aged 75 years. 

Thomas Tucker, Hanover, died September 8, 1885, aged 85 years. 

William Mitchell, Concord, died September 9, 1885, aged Gl years. 

T. J. Drake, Hanover, died September 14, 1885, aged 68 years. 

William W. Wolcott, died October 12, 1885. 

Mrs. E. D. Hendee, died October 17, 1885. 

William Knickerbocker, Jackson, died October 19, 1885, aged 86 years. 

Mrs. Eachel Elmer. Arland, died October 21, 1885, aged 81 years. 

Wordthorp Harrison, died October 23, 1885. 

Samuel Lendrum, Blackman, died October 24, 1885, aged 75 years. 

James Worth, Spring Arbor, died October 26, 1885, aged 80 years. 

John French, Spring Arbor, died October 26, 1885, aged 74 years. 

Elizabeth Waterstreet, Napoleon, died October 27, 1885, aged 70 years. 

Mrs. Mary Heffner, Rives Junction, died October 28, 1885, aged 87 years, 

Mrs. Henrietta Clark, , died November 12, 1885, aged 70 years. 

Mrs. Amanda Britton, died November 12, 1885. 

Allen Green, Napoleon, died November 16, 1885, aged 96 years. 

John Putman, Leoni, died November 30, 1885, aged 81 years. 

Mrs. Marian Scutt, Norvell, died December 13, 1885, aged 64 years. 

Phillip Smith, Parma, died December 20, 1885, aged 81 years. 

Jeremiah ^Marvin, Jackson, died December 22, 1885, aged 81 years. 

Thomas Mayett, Blackman, died December 25, 1885, aged 95 years. 

S. Holland. Hanover, died December 25, 1885, aged 73 years. 

Mrs. Ruth A. Harwood, Jackson, died December 26, 1885, aged 64 years. 

Norman Webster, Concord, died December 28, 1885, aged 79 years. 

Hiram Tuthill, Liberty, died December 28, 1885, aged 77 years. 

Spaulding Welch. Parma, died December 30, 1885, aged 59 years. 

Jacob Rhines, Sandstone, died January 20, 1886, aged 82 years. 

S. C. Crafts, Blackman, died February 3, 1886, aged 71 j'ears. 

William Jackson, Casnovia, died February 4, 1886, aged 72 years. 

William H. Darling, died February 5, 1886, aged 62 years. 

Mrs. Mary Hawkins, Parma, died February 7, 1886, aged 91 years. 

Mrs. Hulda Landon, Leoni, died February 10, 1886, aged 70 years. 

Alonzo Ferris. Saginaw, died February 10, 1886, aged 89 years. 

Abram V. Berry, Jackson, died March 24, 1886, aged 82 yeairs. 

WILLIAM W. WOLCOTT 

William W. Wolcott, one of the pioneers of Michigan, was stricken with 
paralysis while walking along the streets of Eaton Rapids, Wednesday^ 



MEMORIAL REPORT— JACKSON COUNTY 49 

October 7, and died Monday, October 12, 1885, at (J:;>() v. m., aged seventy- 
eight years and nine days. Mr. Wolcott was born in Austcrlitz, Colnnibia 
county, N. Y., October 3, 1807. His family long resided at Wcatlicrstield, 
Connecticut, and the old building is still standing where his great grand- 
father used to do business. In 1825 his father moved to (ienesee connt.N. 
and it was on the famous hunting grounds of the Seneca Indians llmi Mr. 
Wolcott acquired his love for hunting, that formed the chief j.astiine of his 
life. January 29, 1832, he married Miss Elizabeth lialdwin, who w.is horn 
^'ovember 4, 1808, at Dorset, Bennington county, Vermont. She still sur- 
vives the loved companion of more than half a century. He first came to 
Michigan in 1834, and having formed a traveling acquaintance with an old 
gentleman, they walked from Detroit to Ann Arbor, The cholera was 
raging in Detroit at that time. From Ann Arbor they took a stage to Jack- 
son, following the trail which crossed the Grand River near the present site of 
the State prison. A man named Russell kept tavern at the crossing. Mr. 
Wolcott could have bought the prison site for |300 at that time. John M. 
Dwight kept a variety store, and Bill Bothwell was landlord of the Thomp- 
son House, which had Indian blankets for windows. Messrs. Blackmau, 
Hamlin, Bailey, Moody, Durand, Russey and Allen were also residents, and 
constituted the nucleus of the present prosperous city of Jackson. The sur- 
veyors were running the Clinton road through Jackson when Mr. Wolcott 
arrived, and they were camped on the hill where Gov. Blair's residence now 
stands. 

Mr. Wolcott and his friend, George AVoodworth, followed the surveyors 
over the new road, through snow and rain, to Tompkins Center, where they 
resolved to locate a mill in the wilderness; but after retracing their ste|»s to 
Monroe to visit the land office, they ascertained that the laud they wanted was 
taken by another man. Thoroughly discouraged, Mr. Wolcott went to York 
State, but returned the following year and located the fine farm in tlie town 
of Hamlin, Eaton county, where he continued to reside for fifty years. At 
the time of his arrival a man named Booth, living at Onondaga, was the only 
white man in Ingham county. The land office was located in Kala- 
mazoo, and Mr. AA'olcott had to go there to secure his homestead, most of the 
journey on foot. 

They were selling town lots in Battle Creek at that time ioi- ^-7) each. .Mr. 
Wolcott then went to Detroit and washed out a bushel of apple seeds at a 
cider mill, with which he started a nursery on his new farm, and fniiiished 
many of the present orchards in this section, but the iiroject was not a liiiaii 
cial success. He returned to New York for his family in the fall of is.*}."), 
but came back in the spring of 1837 to build his house and fix up before 
7 



50 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

moving here. He then went to New York State, bought a fine team, and 
with his family traveled through Canada to Detroit, and thence to Jackson, 
where he sold his team for |375 to Paul B. Ring and D. B. Hibbard, who 
used them in the stage and mail business. It was the finest outfit ever 
brought to Jackson at that time. Mr. Wolcott's subsequent adventures with 
wolves, bears and other wild animals w^ould, if written out, form an interest- 
ing volume. He was very fond of hunting, and easily supplied his table 
with delicious game, but the hardships attending those days were numerous 
and severe. His trusty rifle was for years his steadfast friend when he came 
on foot to Jackson to get his mail, and it never failed him in encounters with 
Avild animals. 

Mr. Wolcott reared a family of six children — Grove H., William V., 
Mark S., Thomas C, Charles C, and Josephine. The latter died in 1861. 

This aged pioneer who has gone to his rest was all through life a man of 
strict integrity and genial, kindly nature. The funeral took place from the 
late residence of the deceased Wednesday afternoon, October 14, and was 
largely attended by his many neighbors and friends, who loved and respected 
him as an upright citizen. 

MRS. R. D. HENDEE 

Mrs. R. D. Hendee died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. H. M. 
Cole, 803 Waterloo avenue, Saturday evening, October 17, 1885, at nine 
o'clock. Deceased had lived in Jackson county since 183G, and had been a 
member of the Baptist church since its organization here. 

WII.LIAM KNICKERBOCKER 

William Knickerbocker died at his home, 101 N. Blackstone street, October 
19, 1885, aged eighty-six years, after a short illness. Deceased had lived in 
this county 49 years, locating in Pulaski in 1836. He was born in Dutchess 
county, New York, December 24, 1799. He was well and favorably known 
in this county, where he lived an honorable, upright life, and was one of 
the best of citizens. He was the father of Charles R. Kn.ickerbocker and Mrs. 
Morris Knapp. 

MRS. RACHEL ELMER 

Mrs. Rachael Elmer, wife of Franklin Elmer, died October 21, at her home 
in Arland. Michigan, in the eighty-first year of her age, leaving an aged 
husband and five children to mourn her departure. Mr. and Mrs. Elmer 
were married in 1829 and have walked the path of life together for fifty-six 
years. He was the first town clerk at Leslie, and built the first frame house 



MEMORIAL REPORT— JACKSON COUNTY 51 

there. He served in the V. S. arniv Iroiii ISlm; Io is:;7. Tims he In-casicd 
the storms of pioneer life and lent an eaincsl and hclpfnl hand lo tlie dcvcldi.- 
uient of our State. Tlu^ nionrninii Inishand and children have ihc s\iii]»athv 
of a large circle of friends. 

wounTiioup H.VUUISOX 

Woodthorp Harrison, so long known as llie liot(d keeper at Xai.nlcon, died 
October 23, 188.5, from a eancerons atVeetion of the face. .Mr. Harrison came 
to this state from England and located at lirooklyn. in ihis cunniv. some 
time about 1852, and by his own energy aecpiired a fair compi'ieiicy. He 
made numy friends, and although he had almost reached the three scoi-e and 
ten years, yet his vigorous constitution would have carried him ahmg s.niie 
years more had he not been attacked by this fatal malady. 

.joiix i-Ki:x(ii 

John P\'ench died at 1 o'clock on the morning of October L'C. iss.". at his 
residence, in the townshi]) of Sju-ing Arbor, of paralysis, in the seventy-fifth 
year of his age. The funeral took ])lace at tlie clnu-ch in Spring Arbor. Tues- 
day morning at 10 rod. Deceased was a ])ioneer of .lackson county, coming to 
Spring Arbor from Ontario county, X. V.. more than till y yeai-s ago. ^\•||eI■e 
he took up a farm from the governnuuit and has lived in the same ]dace tor 
half a century. He leaves a wife and five children, namely Moses .1. Frendi, 
Elizabeth, wife of John Denton, of this city, Maria, wife of John Cogswell 
of SjU'ing Arbor, ^lartlia French and Joseph A. French, of Sjiring Arbor. 

ELIZABETH WATERSTUEET 

Elizabeth Waterstreet, wife of Christopher A\'aterstreet. di(Ml October 27, 
1885, at the residence in Napoleon, of paralysis, aged seventy years. Deceased 
leaves a husband and sister to mourn her loss. She had been a resident of 
Napoleon for nineteen years. 

ALLEN GREEX 

Allen Green, of Napoleon, died Monday, November Ki. ISS,"). at his resi- 
dence, aged ninety-six years. He was one of Jackson county's i»ioneers. 
<:-oming here from Oneida county. N. Y., in 183J), and settling in the town- 
ship of Nai)oleon, where he resided for almost half a century. 

JOIIX ITT.MAX 

John Putmau. of l.eoni, died at 2:30 r. m., November 30. iss.l. of paralysis 
of the brain, at the age of eightv-one vears and fmu- months. He leaves a 



52 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

wife, three sons and a daughter, Mrs. J. W. Solomon, of this city. He had 
resided in the township forty-five years and came ther^ from Rochester, 
N. Y. 

JEREMIAH MARVIN 

Jeremiah Marvin died at his residence on Lansing avenue, Dec. 22, 1885, 
at 7 o'clock, p. iM., in the eighty-first year of his age. He came to Jackson 
at a very early day, from Stafford, Genesee covinty, N. Y. His property was 
at one time estimated at |50,000, a considerable portion of it being 500 acres 
of land lying partly within the city limits, and 900 acres in Mississippi, which 
he willed, five years ago, to his wife. He leaves a Avife and one child. 

THOMAS MAYETT 

Thomas Mayett died at the residence of his son, Thomas Mayett, Jr., in 
Blackman, on Christmas day, aged ninety-five years, nine months and thirteen 
days. He was born in Buckinghamshire, England, and came from there to 
Michigan in 1834, and has been a resident of Jackson county over forty-nine 
years. He was a member of the First Baptist Church and always a zealous 
Christian. He leaves one son and three daughters. 

S. C. CRAFTS 

S. C. Crafts died Wednesday, February 3, 1885, at his home in Blackman, 
aged seventy-one years. He came to this county from New York, in 1846, 
and was for some time in the grocery business in the city of Jackson. 

GEN. WILLIAM JACKSON 

William Jackson died at the residence of his brother, James Jackson, at 
Cazenovia, N. Y., at 11 o'clock a. m., Feb. 4, 1886. For nearly fifty years 
Gen. Jackson was a resident of Jackson county, coming to Leoni in 1838 
and to this city in 1852. He was born in Cazenovia, N. Y., in February, 
1814; he entered Union college at Schenectady, N. Y., when very young, 
where he was a classmate of ex-Gov. Austin Blair, and here, it is said, he 
gained the title of ''general" from Dr. Knott, which has always clung to 
him. In 1844 he was a candidate for the legislature from this county and 
was defeated by an error in reporting the votes, which fact elected his com- 
petitor, Austin Blair. In 1852 he opened a grocery store at the corner of 
Main and Mechanic streets. After three years he moved across the street 
and located where Webb's drug store now stands, and continued there until 
1860. He then, in company with Benj. Mosher, built a brick block, with a 
large hall above, on the site where the Pratt & Myers stores are now standing. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— JACKSON COUNTY 53 

It was destroyed by fire in 1869, but the block was shortly after n-lmilt in its 
present form. In 1859 Gen. Jackson was elected mayor of Jackson, and in 
this capacity he attained a wide reputation as a progressive executive iU'u. 
Jackson was a firm friend to many strugglinfj young men and heljied them 
to various jtositions where they subsequently achieved distinction and honor. 
He had a highly cultivated mind and has left many mementoes in prose and 
verse of rare literary excellence. Gen. Jackson never married. About a 
year before his death, having amassed a comfortable fortune, and being 
warned by a severe illness, he closed his business in Jackson and returned to 
his native village to die amid the scenes of his youth. 

MRS. MARY HAWKINS 

Mrs. Mary Hawkins, of Parma, aged ninety-one .years, died of old age. 
Sunday afternoon, February 7, 1886. She was a native of Vermont, and 
came to this State half a century ago. One of her sons. L. D. Hawkins, is a 
resident of this city. 

ALONZO FERRIS 

Alonzo Ferris came to Jackson in 1846, and was agent at the State prison 
for one year, and afterwards keeper for thirteen years, and was appointed in 
1847 as one of the State commissioners to establish the capital grounds at 
Lansing. He died in Saginaw on Wednesday. February 10; ISSC. and his 
remains were taken to Jackson for burial. Mr. Ferris was born in Benning- 
ton, Vermont, in 1797, and was therefore nearly ninety years of age. He 
came to Michigan in 1833 and settled at Flint, where then there were but 
four families. When he took charge of the State prison in 1846 there were 
only 120 convicts confined. He leaves a son in Saginaw, with whom he liv<'d 
while there, and two daughters in the city of Jackson, while many relatives 
and associates also mourn the loss of an old and valued friend. 

A. V. BERRY 

Abram V. Berry of Jackson died March 24, 1886, aged eighty-two years. 
He was born in Berona, N. Y., August 29, 1804. He was appointed colonel of 
a New York regiment before he came to Michigan, by Gov. Clinton, and has 
been known as Colonel Berry by the people of Michigan. He has been 
known to most of the inhabitants from one end of the State to the other by 
his public work as a contractor and explorer. He, in a common forge, made 
the first bar of iron made from Lake Superior iron. He was the first presi- 
dent of the village of Jackson, and its marshal for several years, and held 
the office of weighmaster when he died. A special meeting of the city 
council, March 25, passed resolutions of merit and condolence, and the council 
attended the funeral in their official capacity. 



54 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

KALAMAZOO COUNTY 

BY HENRY BISHOP 

Martin Turner, died June 19, 1S85, aged 81 years. 
William Skinner, died July 1, 1885, aged 80 years. 
Thomas Van Guilder, died July 14, 1885, aged 77 years. 
John B. Ide, died August 15, 1885, aged 74: years. 
George Crooks, died August 27, 1885, aged 81 years. 
Robert R. Campbell, died July 13, 1885, aged 84 years. 
Wilber A. Cooley, died August 17, 1885, aged 70 years. 
Elizabeth Weller, died September 24, 1885, aged 80 years. 
Gilbert Higgins, died September 1, 1885, aged 82 years. 
Lucina Armstrong, died September 14, 1885, aged 73 years. 
Samuel Prayles, died October 10, 1885, aged 79 years. 
John Hogeboom, died October 24, 1885, aged 75 years. 
Melankton Freeman, died October 24, 1885, aged 86 years. 
Preston I. McCrary, died October 30, 1885, aged 80 years. 
George A. Goodrich, died November 1, 1885, aged 61 years. 
Susan Barney, died November 1, 1885, aged 76 years. 
Adelia A. Clifford, died November 15, 1885, aged 72 years. 
Joseph Skinner, died November 21, 1885, aged 84 years. 
Hamilton Wyman, died December 9, 1885, aged 86 years. 
Horace Sawyer, died December 29, 1885, aged 79 years. 
James Mason, died December 28, 1885, aged 85 years. 
Eli Johnson, died January 21, 1886, aged 88 years. 
Benjamin Toby, died — , aged 89 years. 
Harriett Watts, died February 9, 1886, aged 85 years. 
Benjamin F. Smith, died May 1, 1886, aged 82 years. 
Peter Knip, died May 14, 1886, aged 78 years. 
Philo D. Clark, died May 20, 1886, aged 71 years. 



KENT COUNTY 

To the Pioneer Society of the State of MicMgan: 

The delegates from The Old Residents' Association of the Grand River 
Valley respectfully report that Robert Hilton, the President of that Associa- 
tion, who was also one of your Vice-Presidents, has deceased since your last 
meeting and with your permission present a copy of the memorial and 
resolution adopted, on motion of Thomas B. Church, on the occasion of his 
funeral, on the 16th day of July, A. D. 1885. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— KENT COl'NTY 55 



MEMOUIAI. 



Robert Hilton, our lato IMcsidi'iit, was hoi-ii in New Ilanijisliii-c. 1T!M»: liis 
youth on a farm was one* of lal)or and liniitcil sdiool piivilcp's. He was 
early apprenticed to learii the carpenter trade, and in that day apprentice- 
ship meant hard work, strict discipline and careful instruction. 

He pursued this vocation when duly admitted, in IJoslon. ilicn in rii.;i. 
then in Detroit. In the latter city he, in partnorshiji wiih II. 11. LiKo.v. t(mU 
a high position in the trade. In 1830 he came with his faniil.v to the little 
settlement of Grand Rapids, in which place, subsecpiently a villajie, and tiu'ii 
the present city, and its vicinity he has ever resided. He jmrchased a trart 
of land in the now town of Walker and commenced improvements thereon, 
and the "Hilton Farm," under his energetic management, soon hei-ame a 
noted point on the "Lower River." In 1848 he sold out and returned to 
Grand Rapids, where, as well as at Grand Haven, he had meanwhile super- 
intended the erection of many buildings, then regarded as of much import- 
ance. 

For several years he continued engaged in his trade i)rin(i}»ally. and St. 
Mary's Church (west side), a purely Gothic structure, is a durable monu- 
ment of his skill. Vigorous in body and mind, he soon became (piite 
prominent in social positions; in the religious circle, as a New ( 'hurclinian 
and a Universalist ; in politics, a firm and aggressive democrat. He was 
chosen one of the commissioners who, before the creation of the board of 
supervisors, governed the county. During his administration the court 
house was built on Fulton street park. He held several other otfices in 
county, village and city with credit to himself and benefit to constituents. 
In his greater age he began a business more suitable thereto, and as agent 
for owners of real estate, and as a dealer therein, has been especially known 
to the present generation of our people. Living plainly, he accumulated a 
property, the product of frugality and industry, untainted by exaction and 
speculation. He lived without fear or favor of anyone, fulfilled conscien- 
tiously all trusts, earned high respect, which, amongst those who could 
review years of companionship with him as old settlers, and as age softened 
the originally positive and somewhat combative features of his character and 
conduct, became a warmer sentiment, and drew the hearts of his old associ- 
ates to him as well as their judgments. 

He repeatedly asked to be excused from tlu^ cares of the ju-esidency of this 
body, filled by him many years, as he was bent down more and more umhu- 
the inevitable burden of age; but this organization really seenn^d incomph^te 
without that staunch-made, thorough-rigged, live-oak old man in the chair, 
and he was annuallv re-elected. 



56 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

At the head of our column he goes calmly and even rejoicingly into the 
breach of death. Over his departure we cannot mourn; it is the natural, 
•desirable close to such a life. Those near to him in blood relationship have 
cause of felicitation, not of grief, in the career and close thereof of this 
sturdy exemplar of the best hereditary characteristics of his native New 
England. Therefore 

Resolved, That this Association do now proceed to the funeral of Robert Hilton, our 
•deceased president, and render our last tribute of regard to him; recognizing the virtues 
of his life, the manly courage and christian submissiveness with which he passed away. 



LENAWEE COUNTY 



BY FRANCIS A. DEWEY 



DEATHS IN JUNE, 1885 

Jane Knight, Blissfield, aged 67 years. 
Margaret Holliway, Adrian, aged 60 years. 
Clinton Kelly, Macon, aged 56 years. 
Jane Sheeler, Cambridge, aged 75 years. 

DEATHS IN JULY, 1885 

Edward Landon, Tecumseh, aged 70 years. 

Rollin Hill, Morenci, aged 85 years. 

Henry Gross, Riga, aged 70 years. 

William Taylor, Rome, aged 70 years. 

Levi Sherman, Rollin, aged 77 years. 

Isaac Deane, Adrian, aged 74 years. 

Homer Turner, Addison, aged 75 years. 

Mrs. J. C. Clough, Tecumseh, aged 65 years. 

Mrs. Win. Knight, Blissfield, aged 80 years. 

Joshua Kuder. Clinton, aged 74 years. 

Mrs. Mary A. Lancaster, Franklin, aged 87 years. 

DEATHS IN AUGUST, 1885 

Mrs. Eliza Phillips, Fairfield, aged 74 years. 
Mrs. T. T. Kneeland, Tecumseh, aged 73 years. 
Ephraim Willard, Adrain, aged 74 years. 
Mrs. Hannah Prettiplace, Madison, aged 92 years. 
Mrs. Wm. Britton, Macon, aged 77 years. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— LENAWEE COUNTY ( 57 

DEATHS IN SEPTRMBER 

Mrs. Phoebe Austin, Addison, aged To years. 
Mrs. Lydia L. Seelye, ^Medina, aged 77 years. 
Mrs. Alva Holt, ^[orenci, aged 00 years. 
Artemita Merrick, Adrian, aged 75 years. 
Whitman Ripley, Rome, aged 86 years. 
Jonathan Lapham, Adrian, aged 69 years. 
Emiline Himes, Fairfield, aged 53 years. 
Mrs. O'Brine, Hudson, aged 83 years. 
Nancy Yan Fleet, Hudson, aged 86 years. 
Reuben I. Bird, Clayton, aged 74 years. 

DEATHS IN OCTOBER, 1885 

Ellen Hagerman, Fairfield, aged 75 years. 
William Bills, Hudson, aged 60 years. 
Jonna Coryell, Clinton, aged 70 years. 
Thomas Cripps, Blissfield, aged 70 years. 
Thomas Blacker, Ridgeway, aged 78 years. 
P. T. Hough. Rome, aged 75 years. 
Seth W. Fenton, Madison, aged 78 years. 
Deacon Farley, Medina, aged 80 years. 
Helen Miscer, Adrain, aged 58 years. 
Martha A. Childs, Hudson, aged 70 years. 
John C. O'Dell, Fairfield, aged 74 years. 
C. Bennett, Adrain, aged 83 years. 

DEATHS IN NOVEMBER, 1885 

Anson Fisher, Palmyra, aged 76 years, 

Sylvester Slater, Canandaigua, aged 70 years. 

Alice Hough, Rome, aged 77 years. 

Mary L. Sheldon, Blissfield, aged 66 years. 

Mrs. Lydia Furgeson, Cambridge, aged 80 years. 

Mrs. Wm. Graves, Adrian, aged 82 years. 

Mrs. E. N. Xichols, Tecumseh, aged 87 years. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Quackenbos. Tecumseh, aged 70 years. 

Mrs. Augustus Montgomery, Ridgeway, aged 76 years. 

Mrs. Maria P. Lebaron, Tecumseh, aged 78 years. 

Uri Decker, Rome, aged 80 years. 

Wm. Word, Rome, aged 80 years. 

Edward D. Pearson, Hudson, aged 66 vears. 



58 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Isaac D. Miller, Eidgeway, aged 85 jears. 

Susan Drake, Woodstock, aged 74 years. 

Mrs. Close, Medina, aged 75 years. 

Stephen Spear, Seneca, aged 77 years. 

Archibald Brown, Fairfield, aged 81 years. 

Joseph Binns, Kollin, aged 76 years. 

Mrs. John Brooks, Kome, aged 51 years. 

Mrs. Almira Morse, Teciiniseh, aged 74 years. 

Mrs. Nicholas Stafford, Cambridge, aged 83 years. 

Samuel Rose, Clinton, aged 79 years. 

Ira J. Hagerman, Fairfield, aged 70 years. 

Mrs. Russell, Macon, aged 75 years. 

Mrs. Philip Morse, Fairfield, aged 81 years, 

Bridget Kelley, Clinton, aged 74 years. 

Alexander Pierce, Hudson, aged 80 years. 

Eliza Taylor, Cambridge, aged 82 years. 

Joseph W. Gray, Tecumseh, aged 81 years. 

Amelia Brownell, Rollin, aged 76 years. 

Clark Hall, Raisin, aged 77 years. 

[DEATHS IN MARCH, 1886 

Wm. Freeman, Ogden, aged 90 years. 
James Berry, Adrian, aged 75 years. 
Mrs. Peter Clement, Adrian, aged 76 years. 
Mrs. Anso Bakus, Adrian, aged 70 years. 
Austin Thayer, Fairfield, aged 90 years. 
George H. Mills, Hudson, aged 70 years. 
Dwella M. Clapp, Adrian, aged SO years. 
Eveline Wilson, Madison, aged 85 years. 
Orrin Hiscock. Raisin, aged 84 years. 
Mr. Hardy, Franklin, aged 80 years. 
Shubel Mosher, Tecumseh, aged 87 years. 
Jesse Fleming, Adrian, aged 75 years. 
Hannah Van Aiken, Hudson, aged 85 years. 
Christopher Collwell, Hudson, aged 65 years. 
M. Hendricks, Weston, aged 76 years. 
Levi Stevens, Rome, aged 75 years. 

DEATHS IN APRIL, 1886 

Mary Lobraige, Tecumseh, aged 83 years. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— MARQUETTE COUNTY 69 

Caroline L. Tindall, Tecuniseh, aged 71 yoars. 

Mr. Deaue, Adrian, aged 80 years. 

Geo. H. Kedzie, Deerfield, aged 0(5 years. / 

(^'atharino Soper, Dover, aged 7.^ years. 

John Kessler, Clayton, aged (J-t years. 

DEATHS TX MAY, 1886 

Mrs. David Coryell, Ridgeway. aged 70 years. 
Geo. P. Wood, Blissfield, aged 70 years. 
^'oah K. Green, Medina, aged 82 years. 
Mary Lapliam, Rome, aged 90 years. 
Albert Southworth, Raisin, aged 70 years. 
Samuel Sweet, Adrian, aged 85 years. 
Ezra De Puy, Clinton, aged 67 years. 
Rebecca Chandler, Riga, aged 81 years. 

One hundred and five pioneers have died in I^enawee county during tlie 
last twelve months, and we can most truly record that they were among the 
most estimable citizens of Michigan. The average age of the one hundred 
and five was seventy years. The oldest was Mrs. Mary Lapham, of Rome 
township, aged ninety-six years; there were thirty-two avIio died lxMwe<^n 
eightv and ninetv rears of age ; four over ninetv. 



MARQUETTE COUNTY 
BY PETER WHITE 

Mrs. Mehitable E. Everitt, wife of Philo :M. Everitt, was born at Concord, 
y. H., December 8, 1818, and died at Marquette, December 1, 188.'^. She 
came to Michigan in Xovember, 1840, and settled at Jackson, where she 
lived ten years. She resided at ^Marquette from 1850 to the time of her 
death. 



60 



ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

OAKLAND COUNTY 

BY O. POPPLETON 



The following pioneers of Oakland county have died since the last meeting 
held in June, 1885: — 



Names. 


Place of Birth. 


Year of 
Settle- 
ment. 


Town. 


Date of 
Death. 




Alger Josiah H 


Bloomfield, Ont. Co., N. Y.. 
Covington N Y' 


1823 

1844 

1836 

1839 

1833 

1839 

1836 

1833 

1847 

1834 

1824 

1822 

1828 

1830 

1837 

1836 

1825 

1833 

1836 

1837 

1831 

1834 

1826 

1824 

1845 

1824 

1836 

1836 

1832 

1851 

1840 

1830 

1826 

1842 


Troy 


Dec. 17, 1885 
Dec. 17, 1885 
Dec. 17, 1885 
May 28, 1885 
July 19, 1885 
Nov., 1885.... 
Nov. 3, 1885 
April 3, 1886 
June 19, 1885 
Sept., 1885.... 
Feb. 27, 1886 
June 3, 1886 
May 3. 1886 
April 3, 1886 

Oct., 1885 

Mar. 3, 1886 
Jan. 1, 1886 
Nov. 26, 1885 
April, 1886.... 
Nov., 1885... . 
July 6, 1885 
May 21, 1886 

Oct., 1885 

May 7, 1886 
June 19, 1885 
July 31, 1885 
Sept. 7, 1885 
Nov. 18, 1885 
April 13, 1886 
Nov. 14, 1885 
Jan. 23, 1886 
Feb., 1886.. . . 
Oct. 23, 1885 
Dec. 31, 1885 


75 




Orion 


57 


Buckner S D 


Warren Co., N. Y 

Glastonbury, England 

Manlius, Onon. Co., N. Y. . . 
Donegal, Ireland . 


Orion 


66 


Bartlett, Dr. Richard 

Cobb, M. G 


Independence . . . 
Independence . . . 
Milford 


62 
73 


Crawford John 


7R 


Downey, Alexander 

Draper Albert F 


County Down, Ireland 

Marlborough, Mass 

Rensselaer Co., N. Y^ 

Newark, N. J 

Springwater, Liv. Co., N. Y'.. 


Groveland 

Pontiac 


85 
6R 




Pontiac 


83 




Novi 


87 




Farmington 

Pontiac 

Pontiac 

Groveland 

Bloomfield 

Farmington 

Farmington 

Oxford 

Commerce 

Holly 

South Lyon 

Avon 

Troy 

Troy 


83 




69 


Howard, Horatio N 

Horton, Henry W 


Pittsfield, Berks. Co., Mass.. 
Oswego (May 31, 1797), N. Y 
Montgomery, Or. Co., N. Y. 


80 

88 


Hunter James G. . . . 


75 


Knight, Mrs. Potter 

Lapham Norton . 


67 


Pahnyra, N. Y 

Hebron, N. Y 

New York City 


79 


McKnight David 


76 


McKinley John G 


51 


Morehouse, Matthew 


Canada 

Seneca Co., N. Y 

Sherman, Fairfield Co., Con. 

East Bloomfield, N. Y 

Great Barrington, Mass 

Chili N. Y 


72 
66 




68 


Toms, Martin M 


76 
92 




Orion. 


61 




Rome N Y 


Avon 


82 


Armstrong, Theodore C 

Barnum William 


Tyne, Seneca Co., N. Y 

Utica (Nov. 20, 1807), N.Y. 
Pomfret, (Feb. 11, 1803) Vt. 

Albany (1803), N. Y 

Orwell, Vt 


West Bloomfield 

Wayne Co 

Commerce 

Detroit 


66 
78 


Burch Elect a 


83 




82 




Southfields 


9€ 






7f 


Everts Mrs Miles 


Broome Co N. Y 


Bloomfield 

Bloomfield 


8] 


Fosdick, Mrs. Alvin 


Kingsborough, Mon. C, N. 'i 


7. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— OAKLAND COUNTY 

PIONEERS OF OAKLAND COVNTY.— Continued. 



61 



Name.s. 


Place of Birth. 


Year of 

Settle- 
ment. 


Town. 


Date of 
Death. 


< 




Clinton, Duchess Co., N. Y.. 

Orwell, Vt 

Cohoctah, Steuben Co., N. Y. 

Sussex Co., N.J 

Albany, N. Y 

England 

Pillstown, Ren. Co., N. Y.. . 


1833 
1825 
1835 
1835 
1843 
1840 
18.30 


Oakland 

Southfields 

Troy . . 


April 17. I88(i 
June, 1885.... 
Aug. 0. 1885 
Mar. 1 1 . 1886 
Aug. 14, 1885 
.\pril 5, 1886 
Oct. 1 , 1885 
Nov. 27. 1885 
Sept. 9, 1885 
Sept. 21 . 1885 
Nov. 14, 1885 
Nov. 12, 1885 
Nov. 17, 1885 
Nov. 17, 1885 
Jan. 7, 1886 
Nov. 22. 1885 
Dec. 21 . 1885 


78 
SO 
73 


Fuller. Benjaniin 

Frink. Mrs. Susan 


Ganong. Rebecca Cole 

Lock wood, John 


Waterford 

Highland 

Waterford 

White Lake 


81 
70 


Olmstead, Harley 


82 






Merryweather, Horatio 


Yorkshire, England 

Hoosac Falls, N. Y., 1802... 
Grotton, Allegheny Co.. N. Y 
1819 


1853 
18.36 
1848 
1849 
1835 
1835 
1847 

1853 


SpringHeld 

Lenawee Co 


85 
83 




01 


Selby Warren B 


Farmington 

Bloomfield 

Bloom field 

Lyort 


66 


Sandbrook, William 

Sandbrook, Mary Ann 


England, April .■}(). 1807 

(killed bv R. R. trahi) 

England, Oct. 26, 1814 

Vermont, Sept. 10, 1804 

1799 


78 
71 
81 






80 


Whitsell George B 


Warren Co., N.J. , Feb. 2 1805 


Orion 


80 









1 have been enabled to collect the data and report the names of 51 i)i(>neers 
whose deaths have occnrred dnring the past year in the connty. A<r^re<rate 
nnmber of years, 3.77S. Average age, 74 l-i:i. Oldest. Mrs. Harriet Cox. 
1K>. Next oldest, Ira Toms, 02. 

BRIEF SKETCHES 

Lyman G. Wilcox was born in Rome, X. Y.. ISOi', came to Michigiin in 
1823, retnrned to New York the same year, and in 1S24 returned to Michi- 
gan and settled in Rochester, Oakland county. Died .July 31. ISS."). lie 
was one of the earliest settlers in his township. Was ever noted for his 
enterprise, business capacity, integrity and benevolence. He had witnessed 
and assisted in the development of his county, which ranks second to none 
in the State. 

Noah Tyler, born in Chili, N. Y'., October 10, 1S21. Tame to Michigan 
in 1841.. Settled in Orion on a farm. Moved to Tonliac in isc.v. Was 
elected secretary of the Oakland County Agricultural Society for fourteen 
consecutive years. He was an efficient, capable, faithful officer. He died June 
10, 1885. 

Mrs. Polly Green, widow of Wardell Green, was lioin i 
Livingston county, N. Y., September 20. 1802. Married in 
in Farmington in 1824. Was the second white woman \vh( 
township. 



S])ringwater. 
1S2(). Settled 
settled in the 



62 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Ira Toms, aged ninety-two years, one month and twenty-six days, died at 
his home in Birmingham, May 7, 1886. Born in Great Barrington, Mass., 
March 12, 1794. Eemoved with his parents to Bloomfield, Ontario county, 
N. Y., in 1800. From there he went to Yarmouth near Kettle Creek, Canada 
West, in 1820, where he married Mima Crawford, daughter of David Craw- 
ford, December 9, 1821, with whom he lived until her death, May 2, 1866. He 
became a member of the Presbyterian Church, in Bloomfield, Ontario 
county, N. Y., in 1818, and assisted in organizing a society in Birmingham 
in 1834. Mr. Toms was a pensioner of the war of 1812, having been 
engaged in the service of his country, in the defense of the Niagara frontier, 
where he contracted a permanent disability. In 1824 he removed from 
Canada and settled in Troy, Mich., locating the w ^2 <Jf the s w I/4, sec. 28, 
town 2 north, range 11 east, and assisted in developing said township. He 
subsequently sold this farm and purchased on sections 29 and 32 in the 
same township, moving upon the lands in 1832. In 1856 he removed to 
Birmingham, where he lived until his death. Thus passed awaj' one after 
another the very early pioneers of the State. 

Henry Wisner Horton, born in Oswego, N. Y., May 31, 1797. Married 
Ada Jennings, in Pennfield, N. J., January 31, 1819, w^ho died January 20, 
1856. In 1830 with his wife and three children he came from Royalton, 
Niagara county, N. Y., by land, with a covered wagon and team, settling in 
Groveland, Oakland county, Michigan. Was elected town clerk at the first 
election held in the township in 1835, holding many offices of trust and 
responsibility in his township. He was the last of the old pioneer settlers 
of his township to pass over the river. He was one of the original stock- 
holders of the Oakland Chronicle; Avas strictly a temperate man, and early 
took issue against the use of alcholic liquors as a beverage; was a member 
of the M. E. Church. In him was witnessed a pleasing example of happy 
old age. He died at nearly the age of eighty-nine years. 

Harley Olmstead was born June 19, 1803, in PittstoAvn, Rensselaer county, 
N. Y. He made the first. entry of government land in White Lake town- 
ship, building its first house in 1832. He died October 1, 1885. 

Horatio Merryweather was born in Yorkshire, England, August 20, 1800. 
€ame to the United States in 1851, w^as employed in the government survey of 
Lake Superior country; settled in Springfield in 1853; served as surveyor 
for Oakland county for four years; died in Springfield, September 9, 1885. 

DR. EDWARD BARTLETT 

Dr. Edward Bartlett, a well known and much respected physician of 
northern Oakland, died at his home in the village of Spring-field, Friday 
night. May 28, 1885, of consumption, aged sixty-two years. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— OAKLAND COUNTY U3 

The deceased was born in (Jlastonbury, Soiucrsetsliii-c, I'.ii^land, in 1SJ4. 
He came to America witli liis jjareuts in ISlMI, livinj^ in ()nonda«ja and 
Cayuga counties, X. Y., until 1830, when he came to Michiuan. and iliis 
county, with the family, settling in the township ui IndejKMidcncc, on new 
laud north of Clarkston village. Here the deceased spent liis boyhood ;iiid 
struggled hard to obtain an education, the crowning motive of his early life. 
He read medicine with Dr. Abbey in Clarkston, and attended lectures at 
the medical department of the Western Reserve (.'olloge at Cleveland, Ohio, 
Dr. W. G. Elliott, of this city, belonged to the same .lass. From this 
college he received his diploma and began practice in i^pringfield. Clarkston, 
and vicinity, where he practised until prostrated by disease. For almost a 
quarter of a century he had been ]»ostmasler. and had l>ecn town <lerk several 
terms. 

The following ante mortem poem Avas written by Dr. F.artlett in 1S4G, 
and published in the Gazette, to which lie was a frequent contributor. 
While the sentiment as applied to mankind is of universal a])plication. it is 
a fitting and appropriate benediction on his own life, and in his case the 
sentiment, "O that I may die with my friends,'" was gratified, and he ])assed 
to his long home amid the tears and caresses of those he loved most. 



ANTE MORTEM 
'•What 'vails it where we barter life." 

'O that I may die with my friends," 

Is often expressed with a sie;h: 
But when grim death with his message attends. 

It will matter not where we die. 
The place where we barter our life 

To pay the great debt which we owe. 
Tho' it even would be in battle's strife 

Where life's last breath shall go. 

Are there any who truly would grieve. 

Or for my departure would care? 
I would be far away when my soul takes its leave. 

Their feelings I gladly would spare. 
Let not a tear moisten the eye 

When my life shall be drawn near a close. 
For I'd cheerfully live and as cheerfully die 

As the weary would seek for repore. 

And if there are none to deplore. 

Sincerely to grieve when I'm dead. 
Then, too, would I die on some distant shore: 

No false-hearted friends near my bed 
To shed the deceitful tear 

With a cold, unfeeling heart. 
I would rather the stranger alone should be near 

When this spirit from earth shall depart. 



64 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Aye, little, I ween 'twill avail 

Where we are when that debt becomes due. 
We have lived, we must die, 'tis an oft told tale, 

Yet to us, as to others, 'tis true. 
But when we are borne to our rest. 

Be it here or afar o'er the sea, 
If we're fondly remembered by some feeling breast, 

How blest will our memory be. 



SAGINAW COUNTY 
BY CHARLES W. GRANT 
CHARLES A. LULL 

Charles A. Lull, one of the oldest pioneers of the county, died at his resi- 
dence in Bridgeport, July 11, 1885. His demise was the result of no special 
disease, but rather the wearing out of the physical frame that had endured 
past the allotted three score years and ten. 

Mr. Lull was born in Windsor, Windsor county^ Vermont, May 17, 1809. 
He was the son of Joab Lull, also of Windsor. His father was a lieutenant 
in the war of 1812, and his grandfather was a captain in the revolutionary 
war. Mr. Lull received a liberal education for those days and learned the 
mason's trade. On reaching young manhood he went to New York State, 
where he worked a short time at his trade. In 1832 he came to Michigan 
and settled in Oakland county. The next year he removed to Saginaw and 
located eighty acres of land in section one, of the town of Spaulding, and 
became the first farmer to locate on the east side of the river in this county. 
He lived here eighteen or twenty years and then located one hundred acres 
in the town of Bridgeport, where he lived ever afterwards. After he located 
his farm in Spaulding he went to Detroit to enter it, and made the journey 
back with a yoke of oxen and a cart which he purchased there. He was 
married October 3, 1835, to Eoxy Whitney, of Nelson, Madison county, 
N. Y., who died in Januar}', 1880. They had three children, all of whom 
are living. They are Mrs. D. A. Pettibone, of Bridgeport, C. L. Lull, who 
occupies the farm in Spaulding, and Mrs. Isam Simons, of Bridgeport. In 
1882 Mr. Lull married Miss Ward, of East Saginaw, who survives hinu The 
hardships endured by this pioneer family were many. Mr. Lull raised the 
first wheat grown in Saginaw county. He took it to Waterford, Oakland 
county, to be ground, carrying it on a sled drawn by two yoke of oxen. On 
his first trip to Saginaw he came from Flint by canoe, and on arriving here 



MEMORIAL REPORT— SAGINAW COUNTY 65 

was eutertaiiKHl iinder the hospitable i-ooi" of the kite Judge Jewett, at Creen 
Point. There were no roads from here to Flint at that time, nothing hut 
Indian trails. Mrs. Lull made the first cheese and first woolen cloth ever 
made in this county. After Mr. Lull removed to Bridge])ort he huilt a saw 
mill, which he operated for a short time, and in 1S(;;'> he sunk a salt well. 
He built the Center House at Bridgeport, which he kept fui- nian\ years. 
^Fr. Lull was an honest, upright, scpiare dealing, highly resjieried citi/en. 
lu politics he was a rejniblican. and during the war was a iiieniber of the 
Union League. 

GKORGE A. FLANDERS 

AVednesday evening. August 20, 1885, about 8 o'clock, George A. Flan- 
ders, a well-known lawyer of East Saginaw, died at the house of his father- 
in-law, Francis Krause, of 107 North Third streel. He had been ((tntined 
to his bed for thirteen weeks by an illness of a complicated nature. .Mr. 
Flanders was born in New Hampshire in 183.'i, but moved to Michigan when 
but a boy. Later on he graduated from the Michigan University. A\lien 
the war broke out he left for New Hampshire, and at once enlisted and went 
to the front. He retired from active service wounded and gazetted with the 
rank of lieutenant-colonel. He then returned to Michigan and settled in 
East Saginaw, where he resided ever afterward. He held various ollices, 
l)eing elected justice of the peace in 1808, which he held until 1S71. ami 
prosecuting attorney in 1870, for one term. He was also at one time city 
attorney. Col. Flanders was a lawyer of marked ability, a genial gentlenum 
and excellent linguist. He leaves three children, two girls and a boy, aged 
twelve, nine and six years, respectively. Four years ago his wife died, and 
since then he has resided with his father-in-law, from Avliose residence (»n the 
street mentioned the funeral took place on Sunday afternoon following his 
death. 

A representative of the Saginaw Courier, in conversation with a gentleman 
who had visited Col. Flanders during his last illness, learned that the Colonel 
had given a history of his life to the gentleman, who related it to the reporter. 

Some little time ago I sat all night as a watehei- by the bedside of Cdl. 
Flanders. He was almost constantly in great pain, and in order to make 
the pain at all endurable, it was necessary for the watcher to kei^j* up an 
incessant pres.sure with his hands upon the locality of the pain. The night 
was hot and oppressive, and sleep was utterly impossible. To while away 
the time during the Aveary watches of the night we conversed of many things. 
That is, he talked and I listened. In agony, and. as even he himself realized, 
stretched upon his dying bed. I was astonished at the elegance and i»urity of 
his language. To anv one who listened to him. if even for but a mouM-nt, it 



66 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

was evident that lie was a man of splendid education and even more than 
ordinary attainments. His sentences, albeit frequently interrupted by 
groans, were as finely constructed as those of any college professor in the 
land. Among other things he told me the story of his life, and as I sat 
there and listened to it, it was one of the most interesting tales I ever 
listened to. With the garrulousness of a sick man, he told many things 
which he perhaps under other circumstances might not have spoken. Such 
are sacred. 

But some of the most interesting incidents of his life it will be no breach 
of honor to repeat, and a few of these I will relate. 

He was born upon a small farm in the central part of New Hampshire 52 
years ago. His father was a poor farmer, and it was all that he could do to 
furnish his children with the bare necessities of life. His eldest brother, an 
engineer and machinist by trade, some time in the '40's had emigrated to. 
New Orleans, and by the year 1853 had amassed a comfortable fortune. He 
was engaged in the manufacture and sale of sugar-making machinery, and 
was the largest dealer in that line in the South. In the last mentioned year 
the Colonel was taken under the wing of this brother, Avith the promise that 
when he had completed his education and graduated from college, he was to 
go to New Orleans and become a partner with his brother. When he had 
completed his preparatory course and looked about him for a college, he 
chose the Michigan University, for the reason that the then professor of 
French at Ann Arbor was the best known writer of French text books in the 
United States. He made the study of French a specialty, as expecting to 
spend the remainder of his life among the Creoles of Louisiana, he knew it 
would be of great advantage to him. He also studied Latin and Greek, and 
was proficient in both those languages. He also made some study of the 
German language while at college, but in the main his knowledge of that 
language was gained after leaving college. In order to perfect himself in 
French, his summer vacations during his college course were spent at a little 
village near Montreal, where not more than one or two of the inhabitants 
spoke English, in the family of a well-to-do Frenchman, none of whose fam- 
ily talked anything but French. In the summer of '59 he graduated from 
the University of Michigan with high honors, in the same class with Prof. 
Adams, recently elected President of Cornell University, who, as I can 
testify, speaks in the highest terms of the Colonel's record while at the uni- 
versity. 

As soon as he had graduated he expected to go at once to New Orleans to 
begin the business that was to be his through life. ''But man proposes and 
God disposes." And as at this time the war clouds had already begun to 



MEMORIAL REPORT— SAGINAW COUNTY 67 

gather, acting upon the advice of his hrcihcr. he (■<iii.Iii(hMl Ihal il would lie 
best to wait until the stoi-ni shouM l)l(i\v ovci- itdure procccdiin; smiih. In 
order that the time si)ent in waiting for the political horizon to clem- siioiild 
not be lost, he entered a hiw ollice, and for a .year and npwai-ds engag<Ml in 
the study of mercantile hiw. This sliglit incident was tlie one which deter- 
mined the profession wliicli he should fo]U)\v tiirouuh life. Aflei- a little 
the storm which had so long been brewing culminated, niid before the peo^ 
pie of either the north or south realized, the Mar had actnally begun. 
Almost with the first gun, the Colonel entered the army and sf)on rose to 
the rank of cai)tain. After s(»nie little service in Virginia, he was ordered 
with the rest of the regiment to the (Julf. with the expedition under Farra- 
gut. His brother, who had been so long a resident of New Orleans, for a 
long time refused to aid the confederates, although ottered high rank ii» 
their service. At last, however, as the conflict became more bitter, he con- 
sented to act as chief inspecting engineer of the confederate flotilla in and 
around New Orleans and as such had under his charge the engintx^rs of all 
the transports, etc., of that department. When New Orleans had itself been 
evacuated, the officer in command suddenly remembered that, in the hurry 
of retreat, no steamer had been sent to bring away the garrison of the small 
fort that guarded the inlet from the gulf into Lake I'onchartrain. A trans- 
port was soon found, but the engineer had deserted, and none was to be 
found. At this juncture Chief Insjjector Flanders came to the rescue, and 
himself took the throttle. The garrison was safely rescued and landed at 
Mississippi City. 

The brothers had not heard from one another for many months, but 
within an hour after the steamer, at whose throttle stood one of them, had 
steamed away from the fort with the garrison in gray, another steamer land- 
ed at the fort a detachment in blue, among whom, in the uniform of caji- 
tain, was the other. 

A few days after, as Captain Flanders was walking down one of the streets 
of New Orleans, he found himself face to face with his brother. They 
stopped and looked at one another in silence. 

His brother was the first to speak. "My God, George!" he said, "how 
could you have the heart to come down here to kill me and my friends?" 

"It is not for that I am here," he answered; "I am tightiTig to preserve 
the union.*' 

''Well, never mind," said his brother, as with tears rolling down ilieip 
cheeks they clasped their hands, "we will not talk about that n«»w. let us 
talk of home." 

And so. in the captured city, these two brothers, ami yet enemi<'s. the erne 



68 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

victor, and the other vanquished, sat them down in the shadow of the 
Louisiana jjalms, and talked of the brown farmhouse, nestling amid the 
granite hills of old New Hampshire, around whose hearthstone the}^ had played 
so many years ago ; of the father, no longer young, who still tilled the barren 
mountain soil; of the sister, now almost grown to womanhood, whom one 
remembered but as an infant at their mother's breast; and lastly of the 
gray-haired mother who had smiled above their cradles as she sang them 
with sweet lullabys to rest, who had sent them forth into the world even 
with her blessing, who had prayed for them as they knelt in unison beside 
her knee, and who, please God, beneath the northern stars, was praying for 
them yet, rebel and loyal alike. 

Small wonder that they forgot that they were enemies and had sworn 
allegiance unto different flags. 

A few hours they talked, and then they parted, the one to continue in the 
army, the other to become an exile in foreign lands. 

"I cannot," said the elder, "take up arras against my blood relations, 
neither can I fight against my southern friends, and so there is no room for 
me under either the rebel or the union flag." 

"He died," said the Colonel to me, "about a year after. The doctors 
gave his disease a learned Latin name, but I knew better — he died of a 
broken heart." 

Soon after the fall of New Orleans Captain Flanders was promoted to 
major, and v/as placed in command of a regiment, the Colonel being upon 
detached service. 

For upwards of a year he was the commanding officer of his regiment, 
which did good service in the swamps of Louisiana. At last his name was 
sent in to Washington by the general commanding that department with 
the recommendation that he be promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. 
The recommendation was approved at Washington, but the governor of New 
Hampshire, Walter Harriman, refuvsed to sign his commission. 

Learning of this he wrote the governor a caustic letter, resigned his com- 
mission, to take effect in thirty days, procured a furlough for that time, and 
came home. He went first to Boston to see his eldest sister, and found her 
in tears, and when he asked her what she had been crying about, she handed 
him a paper over which she had been crying. It was a copy of his commis- 
sion as Colonel, signed but two da^^s before, which had been sent her from 
Concord. He applied to the War Department to be assigned to duty in the 
army of the Potomac, but was curtly ordered to report for duty with his 
regiment in the Department of the Gulf. This he at once did, and served 
there until the close of hostilities. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— SAGINAW COTXTY G9 

Much more lio lold iiic tluil I rjuinot now rt'lale. An<l iu»\v lie is drjul ; at 
last lie has solved tin' .meat coiuiiidiMiin of tlu* a^es : "After death, what?"' 
A man of genial presence and a kind heai-1 ; a hrave soldier, who scivi-d his 
eonnh-y well; an honest man, he has rnn his race and has now railcu asli'cjt. 
May he rest in peace. 



Yesterday. Septendier 24, ISSo, another of the ])ionecrs of Sajrinaw City 
■was called to join the majority. Charles (\ ^liller died at his Ikmiic on J '.ales 
street abont 10 :H0 o'clock. The announcement was quite unexpected, as 
Mr. Miller had been around until within a day or two. On Monday Mr. 
Miller was at work on a residence he was building at 'the corner of Jetfer.son 
and 3Iason streets. He took a heavy cold that day, which settled on liis 
lungs, and which confined him to his house, though not to his IhmI. Yester- 
day morning he ate breakfast with his family, and thought he would be able 
to get out and look after his building in the afternoon. About 10 o'clock 
he walked up and down the room a few times, saying that he wanted to 
exercise a little and gain some strength. In a few minutes he sat down and 
complained that it was difficult for him to breathe. Something apparently 
of the nature of paralysis followed, and in thirty minutes he was dead. Mr. 
Miller was sixty-three yeai-s of age on the 3d of July last, was a native of 
Germany, and had been a resident of this city for thirty-two years. 

He was a builder by trade, and many of the business blocks and residences 
of the city were built by him. At one time be owned and operated a large 
planing mill and sash, door and blind factory, in what was known as the old 
red warehouse, which was destroyed by fire some ten years ago. Mr. Miller 
invested considerably in real estate, and at one time was counted well otf. 
The loss of bis mill by lire and the general depression in general bnsiness 
bore heavily on him financially. For the past few years he has bwn carry- 
ing on building on a smaller scale. Politically, 'Sir. Miller was formerly a 
republican, but for many years past has identified himself with the green- 
back party. He was its candidate for sheritf in 1876. He was under-sheriff 
during Henry Miller's last term as sheriff. He Avas at one time city treas- 
urer. He leaves a family of a wife and seven children — five daughters and 
two sons. Three of his daughters are married. They are Mrs. Ge(U-ge 
Spindler, Mrs. Fred King and :Mrs. .1. Si. Furgeson. 

DR. M. C. T. PLESSNER 

The older citizens of Saginaw county, as well as many of the y<ninger 
generation, -were shocked on hearing of the death of Dr. SI. C. T. Tlessner. 
the venerable German iiioneer and widely res[>ected citizen. For years 



70 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

deceased had been troubled with an affection of the heart from which he 
died at 10:30, September 24, 1885. He was at the supper table, as usual, 
and in apparently good spirits. He retired at 10 o'clock, and thirty min- 
tiites later answered the summons that comes once to all the living. Drs. 
Ostrom and Davis were in attendance. He leaves a wife and ten children, 
having lost two children some time since. 

M. C. T. Plessner was born in Striegau, Prussia, October 20, 1813, and 
was a son of Prof. Henry Plessner, of the university at Breslau, who died in 
1835. The literary* education of the subject of this sketch was received at 
the gymnasium, and his medical course at the University of Berlin. In 1849 
he removed to America, locating in Saginaw City on August 10 of that year. 
From 1852 to 1860 he' was justice of the peace and superintendent of the 
poor. In 1859 he received the appointment of captain of a company of State 
militia in Saginaw, but resigned the following year. He was president of 
the board of education ten years, and in 1868 was elected presidential elector. 
Dr. Plessner was one of the oldest members of the Masonic order in America, 
having been initiated in 1835, and organized the first lodge in this country, 
and had taken the thirty-third degree. He was also the oldest practicing 
physician in Saginaw county, and has always been noted for his progressive 
character and activity in every enterprise calculated to enhance the material 
prosperity of Saginaw. In 1881 he was elected president of the German 
Pioneer Society of the Saginaw Valley, and at that time delivered an able 
and interesting address, full of historical data. 

EBENEZER THURGOOD AND WILLIAM BARBARIN 

Two pioneers of this county were buried from the M. E. Church at Free- 
land yesterday. Ebenezer Thurgood died at the residence of his son, E. P. 
Thurgood, near Freeland, at 10 p. m., September 25, and William Barbarin 
at the residence of his son, George Barbarin, at Freeland, at 8 p. m.^, on the 
same day. They were both old pioneers of Saginaw, having resided in this 
county forty years. They were both warm personal friends, both Englishmen, 
and both died of old age. Mr. Thurgood was aged seventy-one and Mr. 
Barbarin seventy-eight years. Mr. Thurgood had known of the sickness of 
Mr. Barbarin, and only two hours before his death inquired for his friend. 

THOMAS S. KENNEDY 

Thomas S. Kennedy, a resident of Saginaw for forty-one years past, died 
from the effects of cancer, November 4, 1885. 

Mr. Kennedy was born at Painesville, Ohio, December 1, 1820, and was 
consequently sixty-four years, eleven months and three days of age. He 



MEMORIAL REPORT— SAGINAW COUNTY 71 

came to Saginaw in the fall of 1843. Two years later he retinnfMl to Ohio, 
returning here in ISiT. In that year he was niari-ied to Mary i:. 
Bitterding, the daughter of a German resident and a prominent mover in llie 
affairs of Saginaw in its early days. He leaves a wife, one daughter and a 
son, Stewart Kennedy, the deputy controller, to mourn his dcniisi'. In \ho 
summers of 1847 and '48 Mr. Kennedy sailed the schooner Julia Sniiili. and 
was well known upon the lakes as a vessel captain. The Snnth sailed upon 
the lakes, making all the shore points, and going as far as IJuffalo. As cap- 
tain, Mr. Kennedy brought to this city many old residents, among whom 
are P. C. Andre, George Streeb and others. Giving up the life of a sailor. 
he settled down in this city, and has lived here ever since. In the T.O's he 
held positions under the city government of more or less importance. He 
served as marshal from 1SG2 to 1804, discharging the duties of that office 
faithfully and efficiently. He was the last marshal under the elective and 
the first under the appointive plan. He served for four years as dei»uty 
sheriff and as constable for many more. During recent years a cancer gath- 
ered upon his neck, which steadily and surely shortened his days. 

Om^O ROESKR 

At 10:30 A. M., November 18, 1885, Judge Otto Roeser. one of Saginaw 
county's best known and most esteemed German citizens, died at his home in 
Saginaw City. The announcement was not surprising to those who knew 
the deceased best as they were well aware that for six years past he had been 
suffering from a complication of diseases that had nmde serious inroads of 
late upon a once strong constitution. The sad news came unexpected, 
however, as Mr. Roeser had been confined to bis bed only about two weeks, 
and Avhile his condition was worse at times than at others, none thought the 
end would come so soon. 

Judge Roeser was born in Halle, Prussia. Xovemb<n* 18, 1823, and was 
therefore 62 years of age on the day of his death. He graduated from llu' 
University of Halle in 1846, first entering the university in 1841; the first 
two years he took a theological course, afterwards commenced reading law 
and graduating as a law student, and being admitted to the bar in the court 
at Appille in 1849. In 1850 he emigTated to America from Saxon Russia, 
and arrived in Saginaw in June of the same year, settling on a farm on the 
Tittabawassee river in the vicinity of Freeland, where he folh.wcd farming 
for ten years. He was elected justice of the peace, and served the township 
in that capacity for four years, and for two years acted as township clerk. 
In 1860 he removed to Saginaw City and was api)ointed deputy register of 
deeds, which position he held for two years. In 1863 he was elected justice 



72 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

of the peace in Saginaw City, and appointed superintendent of the county 
poor, and in 1864 he was elected to the ofiflce of judge of probate, which he 
continued to hold until a year before his death. 

Judge Roeser was a charter member of Germania Lodge, Xo. 79, and also 
of the Teutonia Society, Saginaw City, and for fifteen years had been a 
prominent member of the school board of that city, having acted as secretary 
of the board for eight years. The deceased leaves a wife and seven children, 
three boys and four girls, five of whom are minors. William Roeser. a 
brother, resides at Freeland. 

CHARLES B. CHOATD 

Charles B. Choate, a resident of East Saginaw a quarter of a century, died 
Jan. 11, 1886, at his residence on North Jefferson street, quite suddenly. 
Mr. Choate has been sorely afflicted with asthma several years, and that 
disease is attributed as the immediate cause of death. It is said that he had 
only been confined to his house two days. The writer is not in possession of 
the exact data, but in 1864 deceased was a member of the hardware firm of 
Shaw, Reynolds & Co., of this city, and subsequently he became the sole 
member of the firm, the other partners retiring, and Mr. Choate continued 
in the business up to the time of his death. He was born in St. Lawrence 
county. New York, and lived some years in Milan, Ohio, serving one term 
in the Ohio Legislature. From Milan he removed to East Saginaw. He 
Avas 67 years old, was a good citizen, retired and unostentatious in tempera- 
ment, and in all the relations of life above reproach. 

ALBERT \l. ROOT 

Albert M. Root was a native of Madison county. New York, and came to 
East Saginaw from Syracuse, early in 1863, in company with his partner for 
many years, the late A. J. Midler. They commenced business in a building 
just south of the free bridge. In 1872 the firm purchased the steamer L. G. 
Mason and subsequently the Daniel Ball, both of which were put upon the 
Saginaw River route between the Saginaws and Bay City, and when the Ball 
was destroyed by fire some years later they built the Wellington R. Burt. 
Mr. Midler died several years since and Mr. Root continued to carry on the 
business, subsequently purchasing the interest of the estate of Mr. Midler 
therein, although the firm has always been styled Root & Miller. The 
Avholesale and retail liquor and tobacco house was removed from Water street 
to a building purchased by Mr. Root on Genesee avenue, and the trade of 
the house largely increased, aside from the boating business. Last year the 
business of the firm considerably exceeded flOO.OOO, having an extent covering 



^MEMORIAL REPORT— SAGINAW COUNTY 7!? 

the entire northern portion of the State. While liis husiness intc.m-il.v was 
above reproach, personally All)ert ]\r. Root was a most companioiuildc ^M-ntlc- 
man, always easy and conrteons in his demeanor. lie rej)res('ntc(l ilic 
second ward in the common council, and performed the duties of the olhcc 
with conscientious fidelity, his term expirinsj: last sprinj;, and he would have 
been re-elected but for his positive declination. In the varied relations of 
life he was a useful and respected business man and citizen, and liis j»rivate 
life was as quiet and unostentatious as it was spotless. Vvw citi/cns in this 
city had so Avide a circle of M'arm personal friends, and his dcalli was ihc 
>;ource of i)rofound regret. Mr. Root was 48 years old on June IT last, and 
was a Master Mason. He leaves a wife and one daughter, ^Irs. John GrwMi- 
way. of Syracuse, N. Y. In his death, which occurred June 22, 1880. the 
city loses a public spirited, enterprising and generous business man, and his 
family a model husband and affectionate father. 

GEORGE SCHMIDT 

George Schmidt, a resident of Saginaw City for many years, died at liis 
residence on Webster street, between Jefferson and ^Madison, Feb. 2, 188G, 
After months of patient suffering and lying at death's door for hours at a 
time, he at last succumbed to the inevitable and breathed his last at the time 
indicated above. The deceased was born on Jan. 27, 1827, at Kitzingen-on- 
the-Main, Germany. He attended the schools in that city up to October, 
1840. In May, 1841, he went into the employ of a firm in Regenslnirg as 
salesman, in which occupation he continued until ;May, 1844. He then re- 
uioved to a neighboring city and continued in the same occupation for about 
five years more. In May, 1850, he removed to this country, and in 1860 com- 
menced farming near Vassar, Tuscola county. In 1853 he removed to Franken- 
muth, where on January 3, 1854, he was married in the German Lutheran 
Church to Margaretha B. Baidcer [Banker]. The result of their union was 
uine children, of whom six are living. In 18.58 he removed to this city. He 
had served as township supervisor for seven years. Soon after removing 
here he was elected to the oflSce of register of deeds, which he held for iwo 
years. At the expiration of his term of oflSce he went back to farming. In 
1801 he was elected as county clerk, which office he held for four years. 
About this time his health commenced failing and gradually grew wors4\ 
He soon gave up the life of a farmer, and removing to this city engaged in 
the real estate business. Since that time he has visited his native home in 
<Termany twice, seeking the restoration nf his declining health. He was 
atTected with a complication of diseases, which ultimately were the cause of 
his death. 

10 



74 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



FERDINAND DIECKMANN 



February 2, 1886, shortly after 11 o'clock p. m.^ Ferdinand Dieckmann, 
who for the past thirty-seven years has been identified with East Saginaw as 
one of its most esteemed citizens, breathed his last. He was taken ill about 
twelve days ago with an attack of pneumonia, and Dr. Hesse, his family 
physician, was called in to attend him. Mr. Dieckmann at first improved, but 
had a relapse and his disease developed into an attack of typhoid pneumonia 
from which he died at the time mentioned. Deceased was born at the town 
of Hovestadt, province of Westphalia, Prussia, Dec. 2, 1811, and when quite 
young learned the business of surveyor. He held later on a position under 
the government as surveyor of highways, and at one time was a non-commis- 
sioned officer in the Prussian army. In 1848, when not connecte'd with the 
military department of the government, and in his character of a private 
citizen, Mr. Dieckmann, who had become strongly imbued with republican 
principles, joined in the rebellion against the government to establish a re- 
public in Germany. The agitation which made that year memorable in the 
history of the German nation ended in the victory of the government, and 
those concerned in the rebellion had to flee for their lives. Mr. Dieckmann^ 
who had been elevated to a position as commander of a large body of the 
insurgents, was followed closely and went first to Alsace, then a part of 
France, and thence he fled to Switzerland, narrowly escaping capture, finally 
arriving at Genoa, in Itlay, from which port he sailed for the United States 
in the latter part of this most eventful year of '48. The narrow escapes and 
adventures experienced by him before reaching the sea coast have been fre- 
quently told to many of his friends, and are of a very interesting natui-e. 
He first landed in New York, staying there but a brief time and then going 
to Cheboygan, in this State, where he remained about a year. Having pur- 
chased some property in East Saginaw, he came here to reside. This was in 
the year 1849, and our city had a decidedly primitive appearance. Many a 
time has the writer had long and interesting talks with the deceased over the 
days of East Saginaw's infancy, and he has told how he used to shoot deer on 
the site of what is now the Bancroft house. As a mark of the esteem in 
which he was held in those days it might be mentioned that he was elected 
by the citizens as a sort of arbitrator of difi'erences between them, a grateful 
tribute to his judgment and recognized integrity. Shortly after coming to 
this city he engaged in the business of floriculture, and also of gardener and 
dairyman, and this business he has carried on up to the present time, . In 
the summer of 1884 he with his wife went over to Germany and resided there 
until within a few months ago, when they returned to their home here. He 



MEMORIAL REPORT— ST. JOSEPH COFNTY 75 

was a member of tlie (Jei-niania society mul was bvii-ied xuulw its aiisi)ires 
on Friday afternoon at l' o'clock, the Kev. ('uniad Vo\/. otliciatinLT. lie leaves 
a wife and four children, two boys and two jiirls, all j»rown nj), and dejtarts 
this life at the age of seventy-four, respected, and universally • liked by all 
who knew him. 



ST. JOSEPH COUNTY 
BY IT. ir. RII.r.Y 

O. W. Wilcox, Centreville, died July 2, ISSH, aged SI years. 

Francis Gorden. Mendon, died July 31, 1SS5, aged 71 years. 

John Huntington, Leonidas, died July 22. 1885. 

Elizabeth McElrath, Mendon. died June 11), 1885, aged S-l years. 

Jane Ann Proudfit, Constantine. died August 20, 1885. aged 74 years. 

John Rower, ^lendon. died September 15, 1885, aged 85 years. 

Joseph Titus. Three Rivers, died September 18, 1885. 

George W. Potter, White Pigeon, died September 17, 1885, aged 80 years. 

William Wheeler, Flowerfield, died September 10. 1885, aged 75 years. 

William T. Clark. ]\[endon. died November 19. 1885, aged 78 years. 

Elizabeth Hill. Colon, died November 22, 1885, aged 84 years. 

Isaac W. Price. leonidas. died November 25, 1885, aged 52 years. 

Horace Sawyer. Centreville. died December 20, 1885. aged 85 years. 

Samuel Bear, White Pigeon, died January 2. 188G. aged 04 years. 

Mrs. Chambers, Florence, died January :>, 1886, aged 83 years. 

John Shears. White Pigeon, died January 7. 1886, aged 70 years. 

Julia A. Doud. Mottville. died January 0, 1886, aged 77 years. 

Benjamin Perrin. Parkville. died April 5, 1880, aged 74 years. 

John Anderson. Centreville, died April 22. 1880. aged 80 years. 

Henry H. Brown. Mendon, died March. 1880. 

Captain Frederick Sweetland, Stiirgis, died Sei)tember, 1885. 

Mrs. Joseph Code, Sturgis, died February 23. 1880. 

Samuel C. Murdoch. Sturgis. died ^farcli :'., 1880.. 

Catherine Briggs. Sturgis. 

:Mrs. Henry Snook. Colon, died June 17, 1885, aged 50 years. 

John Liddle. Colon, died Novend)er 11, 1885, aged 83 years. 

Mrs. Dr. I. Sides, Colon, died June 27, 1885, aged 07 years. 

Mrs. George Fister, Colon, died November 20, 1885, aged 84 years. 

Elisha Hill, Colon, died Novend)er 22, 1885, aged 83 years. 



76 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Mrs. Michael Yetter, Colon, died November 25, 1885, aged 46 years. 
Samuel Ensign, Colon, died January 25, 1886, aged 67 years. 
Rev. Franklin Gage, Colon, died January 1, 1886, aged 76 years, 
Mrs. George Harbster, Colon, died January 5, 1886, aged 58 years. 
IMrs. Henry Grabber, Colon, died April 2, 1886, aged 66 years. 
Isaac Eberhart, Colon, died April 28, 1886, aged 73 years. 
David Sliimmel, Centreville, died May 23, 1886, aged 66 years. 
Miss Ewings, Constantine, died May 18, 1886, aged 85 years. 
Mary A. Shepard, Constantino, died May 18, 1886, aged 77 years. 
James D. Burr, White Pigeon, died May 14, 1886, aged 43 years. 
Mrs. William McCormick, Centreville, died March 24, 1886, aged 79 years. 
Eunice Mathews, Leonidas, died July, 1885, aged 83 years. 
Mrs. A. Wetherby, Fabius, died October, 1885, aged 83 years. 
Barak O. White, Fabius, died November, 1885, aged 70 years. 
Mrs. Weld, Florence, died July, 1886. 

Mrs. Horace Jones, Mendon, died April 12, 1886, aged 84 years. 
Joseph Olney, Mendon, died June 1, 1886, aged 66 years, 
Charles Casement, Constantine, died May 2, 1886, aged 78 years, 
Charles Shucks, Constantine, died August 7, 1885, aged 45 years. 
John E, Force, Constantine, died July 24, 1886, aged 65 years. 
Aaron Heckman, Constantine, died March 9, 1886, aged 71 years, 
Mrs. Richard Barnard, Constantine, died March 23, 1886. 
Samuel Hass, Constantine, died July 19, 1885, aged 70 years. 
Mrs. Adam Gentzler, Constantine, died August 20, 1885, aged 55 years. 
James Houston, Constantine, died March 13, 1886, aged 66 years. 
Thomas Broadley, White Pigeon, died in Illinois, 1886, 
Mrs. Gilbert Foot, Leonidas, died September 16, 1885, aged 73 years. 
Mrs. Eliza Ennes, died May, 1886, aged 70 j^ears. 

Mrs. C. Rosenhoeser, White Pigeon, died September 23, 1885, aged 49 years. 
Mrs. Thomas Catton, AVhite Pigeon, died October 1, 1885, 
George Biesel, junior, White Pigeon, died December 29, 1885, aged 42 j^ears, 
Mrs. Nettie Clapp Yan Fleet, White Pigeon, died March 28, 1886, aged 37 
years. 

Joseph Theurit, White Pigeon, died April 9, 188(;, aged 77 years. 
Mark Roach, White Pigeon, died April 11, 1886, aged 68 years. 
Josiah White, White Pigeon, died May 8, 1886, aged 44 years. 
Huldah Bryant, Burr Oak, died November 18, 1885, aged 86 years. 
Mary Martha Adams, Burr Oak, died November 30, 1885, aged 66 years, 
Mrs. Didoma Plumb, Burr Oak, died July 20, 1885, aged 73 years. 
George Harts, Burr Oak, died February 24, 1886, aged 73 years. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— TUSCOLA COUXTY 77 

Mrs. Nancy Kelley, Buir Oak. died March 18, 1880, aged DO years. 

Mrs, Harriett Young, Three Kivors, died November, 1885, aged (»s years. 

Lewis Thomas, Three Kivers, died November, 188.5, aged 70 years. 

Mrs. Benjamin King, Three Kivers. died ^fareh, 188(5, aged 75 years. 

James Crawford, Lockport, died December, 1885, aged (!5 years. 

D. S. Hale, Flowerfleld. 

Francis S. Brown, Sturgis, died October 17. 1885, aged (il years. 

Elisabeth Hibbard, Sturgis, died October 18, 1885, aged <i(; years. 

Anna Jacobs, Sturgis, died November 23, 1S85, aged 70 years. 

Bracy Toby, *^turgis, died April 24, 188G, aged 85 years. 

Jehial Palmer, Sturgis, died February 19, 18SG, aged 57 yeai*s. 

Malachi Boat, Sturgis, died April 24, 188G, aged 52 years. 

Mrs. William Fitzsimmons, Centreville, died July 1, 1885, aged 55 years. 

Mrs. James Adams, Centreville, died November 21, 1885, aged 06 years. 

Mrs. Henry Lohr. Centreville, died February 19, 1886, aged 60 years. 

Mrs. Aaron Schall. Three Elvers, aged 73 years. 

Hugh Morton. Three Rivers, aged 64 years. ^ 

John Hamilton, Meudon. died July 30, 1885, aged 77 years. 

Mrs. Samuel Coon. Mendon, died August 7, 1885, aged 85 years. 

O. D. Hall, Mendon, died December 6, 1885, aged 78 years. 

Mrs. Sarah Goss, Mendon, died December 22, 1885, aged 71 years. 

Mrs. John Sinzley, Mendon, died February 15. 1886, aged 55 years. 

Barbery Ansook, Colon, died June 2, 1880, aged 50 years. 

Mrs. William Scherhorm, Nottawa, died June 8, 1880, aged 70 years. 

Jonathan Hoats, Park, died April 17, 1880, aged 81 years. 

John Hoats, Park, died June 7. 1880, aged 79 years. 

Mrs. Samuel Frankish, Mendon, died May 1. 1886, aged 72 years. 

Francis Gooden, Mendon, died July 31, 1885, aged 71 years. 



TUSCOLA COUNTY 



BY JOIIX BAKER 



(Secretary of Tuscola County Pioneer Society) 

Jacob Russan. died about October 30. 1885. 
Buell French, died about November 30, 1885. 
Charlotte French, died about December 30, 1885. • 
Alford Tivy, died about January 8, 1880. 
Ira Tappon, died about March 5, 1880. 



78 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Mrs. Hannah, died about March 9, 1886. 
Granny Gunnell, died about April 27, 1886. 
William Ayliffe, died about May 2, 1886. 
Nathan Potter, died about May 6, 1886. 

All of these were early pioneers in this county. Their ages ranged from 



VAN BUREN COUNTY 
BY EATON BRANCH 

THOMAS B. IRWIN 

Died, at his residence in Paw Paw, on Sunday morning, November 27, 
1885, at six o'clock, in the sixty-ninth year of his age, ]Mr. Thomas B. Irwin. 
Funeral services were held at the house on Wednesday, the 2d December. 
Mr. Irwin was one of our old residents, having lived in the county upwards 
of forty years. He was widely and favorably known, having been, until 
within a few years past an active and energetic business man. He was a man 
who possessed more than an average amount of ability and was endowed with 
a wonderful degree of originality. His apt, fitting and quaint comparisons 
and illustrations will not soon be forgotten by those who were intimate with 
him during past years. At one time he was the owner of a considerable 
amount of property, but during the later years of his life, he met with some 
financial reverses, that deprived him of much of his means. He carried a 
life insurance of |3,500, Avhich will place his widow beyond the reach of 
want. Politically, Mr. Irwin was a radical republican, and was once regarded 
as one of the leaders of the party in this county. In 1858 he was elected to 
the office of register of deeds, and was re-elected to the same office in 1860. 
About 1870 he was appointed postmaster at Paw Paw, which position he 
occupied for about two years, Avhen he was attacked with a severe illness that 
nearly cost him his life, and, being unable to attend to the duties of the 
office, he resigned in favor of Mr. G. W. Matthews. Although he apparent- 
ly recovered his health, his intimate friends could see that he never recovered 
liis full mental vigor. For the last few years of his life he was continually 
iailing, both mentally and physically, and for some months past he has re- 
quire 1 almost constant care and watching. His bereaved family and friends 
will receive the most heartfelt sympathy of the entire community, in this 
their hour of sorrow and affliction. Tom, as he was familarily known, genial, 



MEMORIAL REPORT— VAN HUREN COUNTY. . 79 

social and hospitable Tom has left us. Let us hope he has found a belter 
home, where sickness and death, care and sorrow, can never enter. This 
world would be a better world if it contained no worse men than our 
lamented friend, T. B. Irwin, 

MRS, II. S, ALLEN 

Mrs. H. S, Allen died in Lawrence, I)ecend)er 1>. ISS,". She was born in 
I^ew York State in 1812. and came to ]\richi<jan in 1S4<;. She was the nitither 
of three sons, all of whom survive her. 

MRS. II. r, WELLS 

Mrs, H. C. Wells died in Lawrence, January 24, 1880. She was born in 
New York State, September 25, 1811, and camc^ to Michi<!;an in 1S,~:;. Shi- 
was the mother of ten children. 

MRS. ^MARGARET SAXTOX AXI) MRS. ADELIA SAXTOX lUTLEIt 

! 

The following is the prelude to Pastor Fislfs sermon at the funeral of 
Mrs. Saxton and Mrs. Butler, at the First Baptist Churcli, on the words 
found in I Corinthians, xv., 50, 57, 58. Mrs. Margaret Saxton was born in 
1807 in the town of Hector, Tompkins county, New York. She was con- 
verted in her youth and lived her religion all the remainder of iier life. Slie 
died February 0, 1880, aged 79 years. She came west with her family about 
Ihe year 1839, and settled in the town of Sandstone, Jackson county. Michi- 
gan. After about four years the family removed to Heading. Hillsdale 
county. Some six years afterward they came to this county and settled a 
few miles west of Paw Paw. She was a woman of good mind, and usvi] it to 
the best advantage. Seeing things as they exist at a mere glance, her (piick 
perception and ready way of speaking and acting, threw her into the front 
rank of active women. So prompt was she in decision and action, it made 
her life appear almost as one of im])etu()sity. Her convictions were all very 
strong, and her ideas well defined when her mind was fully made up. But 
we are reminded that this is a double funeral. Mrs. Adelia Saxton Butler 
was born in 1825, at the same place as her mother, ami made the snine cliaiiges 
of residence, following her to the better land only twenty-three hours after 
the mother bade us her final farewell. She was converted at the age of 18 
and always adorned her profession with a well ordered life, and C.odly c.»n 
versation. These two mothers in Israel had many virtues and traits of char- 
acter in common. They were both scrupulously honest and critically correct, 
bold in holding to the right, and earnestly contending for it. yet mildness and 
urbanity characterized all their movements, public and private. They were 
ladies of strong attaclimonts. so strong that wo may well suppose that if 



80 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

their friends were to become their enemies, they would still love them, to the 
fulfilling of the Saviour's command in his great mountain sermon. Their 
faith in the doctrines of the Bible seemed to know no wavering or change. 
Their anxiety to have their children and relatives come to Christ and be 
saved, seemed to know no abatement to the last. Many of us will remember 
their choked utterances, as they have often asked us, in our prayer meetings^ 
to continue to pray for them, as they themselves prayed for them daily. 
God grant to lay up those prayers as rose leaves in his book of remembrance, 
till the answers come in the conversion of the whole family. Their love for 
the sanctuary seemed to have resolved itself into a passion. They loved their 
church and their church loved them. The remembrance of their being with 
us only a week before their departure will always be pleasant, and the assur- 
ance that they exchanged the church militant for the church triumphant is 
equally pleasant, yea, even transporting. They have gained a victory over 
death, the last enemy, and are now and for ever at rest, sweet, sweet rest. 
By arrangement with Dr. West of Lawton, he was to preach Mrs. Saxton's 
funeral sermon. So she told me as I came from the doctor's funeral, adding, 
''Now you will preach it." How strange it seems that the time has come so 
soon. If these sainted ones were to speak to their loving pastor from their 
seats in glory, and dictate the subject for me at this hour, I imagine they 
would both say, ''Tell the people what Jesus has done for the world, and 
how to trust Him in order that they, through His grace, may meet us in 
lieaven. Tell them of our triumphs and victories, and how we won them." 

WILLIAM JONES 

Mr. William Jones was born in North Wales, in Devonshire, on the 2d 
day of May, 1814. He lived in Devonshire nineteen years, and emigrated 
to this country in 1833, with but one friend accompanying him. He stopped 
at Prairie Ronde, where he remained six years, marrying Lucy Heath in 1839, 
and sliortly thereafter removing to v^diat is known as the Jones farm, in 
Bangor. Three children were born to them, one of whom died in 1864. 
His wife died in 1862, and 1869 he removed to Arlington, and, in January 
of tlie next year, was married to Melissa Johnston, who passed from earth in 
]882. Mr. Jones was a hard-Avorking man, and by prudence, careful manage- 
ment and honest dealing had accumulated a competency, which will be 
inherited by his two daughters, Mrs. Celia Eastman and Mrs. Lovisa Tweed. 

ORRIN sissox 

Orrin Sisson, who died Sunday morning, April 11, 1886, was born 
June 1, 1809, in the town of Greenfield, Saratoga county, New York. He 



MEMORIAL REPORT— VAN BUREN COUNTY SI 

had been a resident of this State foi-(v-two years. (»r \ an IIuitmi roimly forty 
years and of the township of Hartford seven years. A iniuihcr dl' linics In- 
served his town.sliip in tlie capacity of supervisor and justice of the peace, 
and at an early day he took an active interest in the agricultural allairs of 
his county. He was a man of great industry and llirift, ImiI was ("illcd to 
suffer heavily from fire a number of times, at one lime losiii<i <iver .*;(;,(l()(i in 
a single conflagration. Mr. Sisson was twice married, the first time \o 
Roxanna Xeygus and the second time, in ISii!). to Mrs. Alvira A'an Ingen, 
who survives him. Tuesday morning following his death, iu the ]»reseiice of 
a large company of the older citizens and pioneers of the township. Iiis 
funeral services were attended and he was carried to Paw Paw for burial. 
The day was unusually fine and a number of his old neighbors from the 
vicinity of his former home, near I'aw Paw. fell into the i)rocession and 
assisted in laying his remains gently to rest in the old yard north and east 
of the village of Paw Paw. 

LYM.\X M. WITTER 

Lyman M. Witter died in Lawrence, April ;{(!, LS'^G. He was intra in 
New York State in 1820. and came to Michigan in 1842. He was a thrifty 
farmer and a worthy citizen much respected. 

MRS. FANNIE R. TAYLOR 

Passed to the higher life, May 15, 188G, Mrs. Fannie K. Taylor, aj^ed 
seventy -nine years and seven months, at the residence of her daughter. Mrs. 
A. D. Stuyvesant, of East Valley, Decatur. She was born in the town of 
Berkshire, Vermont. At the age of nine years she. with her i)arents. re- 
moved to Dunham, Canada East, where at the age of eighteen, she was 
married to H. Randall, and there became the mother of seven children, 
four sons and three daughters. In 183G she emigrated with her family to 
Allegan, Michigan. In the year following they settled on (irand River, in 
Ottawa county, then a wilderness, principally inliabited by Indians, where 
she lost her husband and three children within one year. During her 
widowhood, her life was threatened by Indians, and. sick and alone." she 
defended herself and little ones as best she could, and there occurred her 
marriage with Alvin Taylor, whom she has survived seven years, and by 
whom she had six children. Her surviving children are P»enjamin Katidall 
of Des Moines. Iowa. Maynard Randall of New Tacoma, Washington Ter.. 
Mrs. Sabra Anton of Paw Paw. and :Mrs. Anna Stuyvesant of Decatur. Of 
her father's family of ten children, only three survive, one brother and two 
sisters. At the meridian of life she became a firm believer in the spiritual 
11 



82 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

philosophy, of which faith she was ever a fearless advocate and in which she 
remained firm to the last. She was a faithful wife and a kind mother, ever 
ready to aid the sick, the needy and the afflicted. 

JOSEPH PACKARD 

Joseph Packard died in Hamilton township, Van Buren county, May 31, 
188(i. He was born in New York State in 1812, and came to Michigan in 
1836. 



WASHTENAW COUNTY 
BY E. D. LAY 

Thomas Shaw, died June 7, 1885, aged 75 years; a resident of York 55 
years, 

Mrs. Lucretia Knickerbocker, died June 12, 1885, aged 76 yeai's; a resident 
of Saline 31 years. 

Daniel Forshee, died July — , 1885, aged 75 years; an old resident of 
Saline. 

Hon. Edwin Lawrence, died June 26, 1885, aged 77 years; a resident of 
Ann Arbor 50 ^ears. 

Ira Bassett, died June 8, 1885, aged nearly 86 years; a resident of Lodi 
46 years. 

Mrs. Ellen Maloy, died June 25, 1885, aged 81 years; a resident of Ann 
Arbor 50 years. 

James McMahon, died Jul}' 10, 1885, aged 65 years; a resident of Ann 
Arbor 48 years. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Hutchinson, died July 14, 1885, aged 88 years; a resident 
of Ypsilanti town and city 50 years. 

Melancthon Sanderson, died July 29, 1885, aged 83 years; a resident of 
Augusta 32 years. 

Arthur Coe, died August 18, 1885, aged 83 years; a resident of York and 
l^psilanti city 49 years. 

Edwin A. Piatt, died August 21, 1885, aged 85 years; a resident of Pitts- 
field 52 years. 

James O'Neil, died August 29, 1885, aged 105 years; a resident of Ann 
Arbor 45 years. 

James Hicks, died September 22, 1885, aged 61 years; a resident i,: Lodi 
55 years. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— WASH I EXAW COUNTY 83 

Mrs. Harriet Crane, died S('pleiiil)er !*(►, issr>, a.m'd ')'.'> veai-s; a resident <if 
Saline 53 years. 

Hiram ]Mc(''artney, died September L'T, ISSo, aged S.'} years; a resident of 
Augusta 47 years. 

James O. Thompson, died ()ctol)er .'>, 18X5, aged !»L* years; a r«'sident <if 
Superior town 53 years. 

John Switzer, died October 15. 1S85, aged S3 years; an ohl lesich-nt <»f 
Saline. 

Mrs. Hannah ^A'iard, died November 12. 1S85. aged 81 years; a resident of 
Ypsilanti town 52 years. 

Henry W. Kellogg, died November 17. 1885, aged 74 years; a resident of 
Ann Arbor 40 years. 

Mrs. Coon Redner, died November 28, 1885, aged 80 years; an old resident 
in county. 

Daniel Donahue, died November 27, 1885, aged 00 years; an old resident 
of Augusta. 

Addison Fletcher, died December 12, 1885, aged 75 years; a resident of 
Ypsilanti 35 years. 

John Van Fleet, died December 2, 1885, aged 70 years; a resident of 
Dexter 40 years. 

Mrs. Maria Temper, died Deceml)er !), 1885, aged 83 years; a resident of 
Solo 53 years. 

Mrs. Timothy Showerman, died December 21. 1885 (age not known i ; an 
old resident of Ypsilanti city. 

William Densmore, died December 22, 1885, aged 70 years; a resident of 
Ypsilanti town 00 years. 

James B. Arms, diet! December 17, 1885, aged 85 years; a resiih'nt of 
Webster 51 years. 

Miss Martha E. Wellman. died December 0. 1885, aged 0!) years; a resident 
of county 52 years. 

George Gill, died December 31, 1885. aged 77 years; an old resident of 
Superior town. 

Mrs. Maria Forsyth, died l^ecember 31, 1885, aged 00 years; a resident of 
this county 52 years. 

Mrs. Abigail Ewers, died January 5, 1880, aged 90 years; a resident of 
Augusta 50 years. 

Samuel M. Yought, died January 3. 1880, aged 08 years; a resident of 
Su]terior and Ypsilanti 51 years. 

John Mclntyre. died January 0. 1880, aged DO years; a resident of North 
field 55 vears. 



84 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

John Quigley, died January — , 1886, aged 55 years; a resident of North- 
field and Ann Arbor 50 years. 

James M. Nichols, died January 12, 1886, aged 75 years; a resident of 
Pittsfield and Ypsilanti city 54 years. 

Mrs. Phebe Wycoff, died January 14, 1886, aged 86 years; a resident of 
Salem 60 years. 

Orrin Thatcher, died January 20, 1886, aged 62 years; an old resident of 
Chelsea. 

Judson Wilson, died January- 25, 1886, aged 66 years; an old resident of 
this county. 

Henry Hammond, died February 1, 1886, aged 79 years; an old resident pf 
this county. 

Mrs. Patty Kenuey, died February 2, 1886, aged 94 years ; an old resident of 
this county. 

Chester Perry, died February 10, 1886, aged 87 years; came to Ypsilanti 
nearly 60 years since. 

Miss Amy K. Churchill, died February 6, 1886, aged 72 years ; a resident 
of Ypsilanti city and town 60 years. 

Mrs. Edward Beadner, died February 7, 1886, aged 66 years ; a resident of 
Ann Arbor 46 years. 

' Mrs. R. G. Laubargayen, died February — , 1886 (age not known) ; old 
pioneer of Lima. 

Mrs. Ann E. Hammond, died March 6, 1886, aged 70 years; a resident of 
county 50 years. 

Ira Waterbury, died March 12, 1886, aged 81 years ; a resident of Ypsilanti 
town 32 years. 

Mrs. Calista Davis, died March 27, 1886, aged 62 years; a resident of 
Ypsilanti city 52 years. 

Bernard Peyton, died April 5, 1886, aged 60 years; an old resident of 
Ypsilanti town. 

Frank McConnell, died April 13, 1886, aged 84 years; a resident of county 
44 years. 

Mrs. Catharine Donovan, died April 9, 1886, aged 69 ^^ears; a resident of 
Ann Arbor 46 years. 

Josiah Rundall, died April 13, 1886, aged 77 years; an old resident of 
Pittsfield. 

Mrs. Harriet N. Rexford, died April 16, 1886, aged 70 years; a resident of 
Ypsilanti city 49 years. 

Mrs. Phebe L. Hunt, died April 26, 1886, aged 85 years ; a resident of Lodi 
58 years. 

Homer Lake, died April 26, 1886, aged 70 years; a resident of the county 
53 years. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— WASHTENAW COUNTY So 

Mrs. W. IT. Dell, died April 1(1. iSSd. a-iod T.'l years; a resident of Saline 
4 L years. 

Allen Crittenden, died :May Id. 1SS(5. a.ucd Tt*. years; a resident of IMllstield 
a.") years. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Nichols, died :May 10, 1886, aged 69 years; .set tied in 
Tontiac in IS'2'2, and had resided in Ann Arbor the past 25 years. 

Peter B. Ingalls. died June 1, 1886, aged 73 years; an old resident of 
Sui)erior town and Ann Arbor. 

The oldest person was James O'Xeil. died August 1*0. 1885, aged l(i5 years; 
a resident of Ann Arbor 45 years. 

The average ages of the deceased are as follows: 

Over 100 years of age 1 

BetA\'een 95 and 100 years of age 1 

Between 90 and 95 years of age 3 

Between 85 and 90 years of age 7 

1 >etween 80 and 85 years of age 11 

Between 75 and 80 years of age 11 

Between 70 and 75 years of age 7 

Between 65 and 70 years of age 1 1 

Between 60 and 65 years of age 4 

Between 55 and" 60 years of age 1 

Between 50 and 55 years of age 1 

Average age, 76 1-8 years. Whole nund>er 58 

There are none of those persons that have died within the last year who 
were members of this society, but some of them were members of the Wash- 
tenaw county pioneer society, and the following three persons were prominent 
persons in society in the county : 

Hon. Edwin Lawrence, of Ann Arbor, died June 26, 1885, aged 77 years; 
resident of Ann Arbor for 50 years. He had been circuit judge of that dis- 
trict for several years, and had held other important offices besides, being 
one of the best counsellors in the county. 

James McMahon, died July 10, 1885. aged 65 years; resident of Ann 
Arbor 48 years. Mr. :McMahon had held the office of county clerk one «.r 
more terms, supervisor several years, circuit court commissioner and other 
offices in the county, and almost all the time was called to fill some import- 
ant office in the county. 

Allen Crittenden, died :May 10, 1886. aged 76 years, resident in Bittsfield 
55 years. Mr. Crittenden had held the office of supervisor 15 years, and was 
one of the directors of the Washtenaw insurance company for several years, 
was frequently called upon to settle estates, and was one of the ruling elders 
in the Stony Creek Presbyterian Church for several years; and was one of 
the elders of the Saline Presbvterian Church at the time of his death. 



86 ^ ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



WAYNE COUNTY 
BY PHILO PARSONS 



CHAUNCY HURLBUT 

Chaiincy Hurlbiit died peaceably at his residence, No. 661 Jefferson 
avenue, at 5 o'clock p. m., September 9, 1885. He was born in 1803, in 
New York, and came to Detroit in 1825 with Cullen Brown, worked at his 
trade of harness maker for a few years, and then formed the copartnership 
of Dean & Hurlbut. The firm had carried on the saddlery and harness 
trade for three years Avhen Mr. Hurlbut left it to go into the grocery 
business with his brother-in-law, Alexander McArthur. The firm had 
an existence of but a few years, Mr. McArthur leaving the city for Corunna. 
In 1837 Mr. Hurlbut built the store at No. 50 AYoodward avenue, where he 
engaged in the general grocery trade up to a short time before his death. 
His public services began in 1840, when he served a term as alderman of the 
second ward, and again in 1841. In 1857 he was appointed sewer commis- 
sioner, an office to which- he was reappointed in 1859. In 1861 he was 
appointed to the board of water commissioners in place of John V. Reuhle, 
who entered the army, and was reappointed to this board in 1868, at the 
expiration of the term of S. G. Wight. He had been attached to the water 
board ever since, and was its president when he died. 

In 1837 he was elected foreman of engine No. 1 of the old fire department, 
was appointed chief engineer of the department by the council in 1837, and 
again in 1842. He was always an active member of the Detroit mechanics' 
society, and was its president in 1835. When the merchants' exchange and 
board of trade was formed, at a meeting over which C. C. Trowbridge 
presided, he Avas chosen one of the directors with John Owen and B. L. 
Webb. In 1863 he assisted in organizing the Second National bank, and 
was a member of the board of directors continuously from its organization. 
He leaves a wife, whom he married in 1831, and a brother, Francis Hurlbut, 
who resides in Booneville, N. Y. He had no children. 

The following letter, which is characteristic of the man, is preserved in 
Farmer's History of Detroit: 

Detroit, March 31, 1841. 
John Owen, President Fire Department: 

Dear Sir — Inclosed you will find a warrant on the city treasurer for $100, which I received 
for services as chief engineer of the fire department. Being a believer in Franklin's doctrine 
that no man should grow rich by the emoluments of office, I remit the warrant to you for the 
benefit of the fire department. 

Chauncy Hurlbut. 



MEMORIAL REPORT— WAYNE COUNTY 87 

GEOUGIO C. liATKS 

Hon. George C. Bates, a Detroit i)ioneei', aii<l in many i-csikm-Is one of tlie 
most prominent men original iiig licre, died Thnrsday iiighi. Fcl). 11. is,s(;. 
at Denver, Col., of inflammation of the bowels, after an illness of a week. 
Mr. Bates was in his seventy-fourth year, but hale and well jtreserved. He 
was all his life a successful practicing lawyer, and did a large legal business 
in Denver. He died however in comparatively poor circumstances. 

George C. Bates was born in Canandaigua, X. Y., in isii*. He worked cm 
a farm and attended common schools until his twelfth year. He prejiarcd 
for college in the Canandaigua Academy. He graduated from Hobart Col- 
lege, Geneva, X. Y., August 5. 1S31. He studied law in the ollice of John 
C. t^pencer in Xew^ Y^ork for some time. He arrived in Detroit May 1.'}, 
1833, and that fall entered the office of Cole & Porter. May ."). is:u. he 
passed an all day examination and was admitted to the bar. One cd' liie 
examining committee was Hon. Daniel Goodwin, still living in Detroit. He 
practiced law in Detroit for several years. President W. H. Harrison 
appointed him district attorney for Michigan. He held the office four 
years. For several jears following his retirement he was largely engaged in 
defending suits brought by the government. He was the ^Vhig candidate 
for congTess in this district in 184:8 but was defeated. In 1841) he was 
again named district attorne}'. He held this place until 18.")2 when he 
resigned. In this year he stumped California for 8cott. In the campaign 
of 18.5G he spoke throughout Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin for Fremont. 
He was one of the most celebrated campaign orators of those exciting times 
in national history. He practiced law in Chicago from ISGl to 1871, and 
lost much property in the great fire. In 1871 he was appointed by President 
Grant United States attorney for Utah. He acted efficiently in this jxtsition. 
and on his retirement became the counsellor of the Mormon Church for two 
years. In January*, 1877, he returned to this city and resumed the practice 
of his profession. In the days of the great Ix^adville excitement he removed 
there and thence went to Denver, where he died. He was a brilliant judiiie 
speaker and a fine and ready writer. 'Slv. Bates was representative from 
Michigan to the whig National Convention held at Harrisburg in is:!!>, ar 
which Harrison and Tyler were jicuninated, and was the oldest sur\iving 
delegate to the national convention from ^Michigan. He was also one of the 
earliest alderman of the city of Detroit. His last visit to Detroit was in the 
fall of 1884. His only son. Major Kenzie B;;tes. died here about two years 
ago. 



88 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

HENRY N. WALKER 

After a long illness Henry N, Walker, an old and prominent citizen of 
Detroit, died at his residence, 1016 Jefferson avenue, at 2.45 a, m,, February 
21, 1880, Mr. AValker has been closely identified with the history of Detroit 
since 1835, when he came here from Chautauqua county, N. Y. He brought 
with him a diploma from an academy at Fredonia, and entered the law ofiQce 
of Farnsworth & Bates as a student. In due time he was admitted to prac- 
tice, and finally to a junior interest in the firm. Mr. Farnsworth was 
eventually elected circuit judge and withdrew from the firm, and a few years 
afterwards Mr. Bates retired from active practice. The firm was then re- 
organized under the name of Walker, Douglas and Campbell. Mr. Walker 
in early life identified himself with the temperance movement and was closely 
allied to it up to the day of his death. In 1845 he became attorney-general 
of the State, a position he held two years. Afterwards he was appointed to 
the honorary position of historiographer of the city of Detroit, and while in 
Ihat position collected many valuable manuscripts which are now in posses- 
sion of the public library. In 1844 Mr. W^alker was elected to the lower 
branch of the State legislature, and was afterward appointed reporter to the 
supreme court. In 1849 Mr. Walker resigned this position and organized 
the Detroit Savings Bank, of which corporation he was elected president. In 
1856 Mr. Walker became president of the Detroit and Milwaukee railroad, a 
position he held until 1863. In 1859 he was appointed postmaster, but was 
removed when the republicans came into power in 1860. After his retire- 
ment Mr. Walker became connected in an editorial capacity with the Detroit 
Free Press, but in 1875 resigned his position upon the paper and the western 
associated press, which had been organized while he was connected with the 
Free Press. Mr. Walker was also identified with the first organization of 
the Canadian Great Western railway, the first direct railway route to the sea- 
board ever built from Detroit. Mr. Walker married, late in life, Miss Emily 
Norvell, a daughter of United States Senator John Norvell. He leaves a 
widow and three children. 

Eelative to Mr. Walker, the Detroit Free Press said : In the death 
of Henry N. Walker, whose brief biography we published yesterday, the 
Free Press loses a firm and steadfast friend, whose counsel and expe- 
rience were always at its service and always highly prized. He was for 
many years our honored chief, and loved no less than honored. During 
that period he made himself a place, not only in journalism, but in the hearts 
of his associates. A kinder man or better friend never drew breath. He 
was not by nature or temperament an active man ; but in the service of his 



MEMORIAL REPORT— WAYNE COUNTY 89 

friends lie bocaiiie llie very iiuai'iiatioii of aclixitv aiul (Micrjiy. And as lie 
I'.ad many friends — as many ]»rol»al)]y, as avci-c ever vouchsafed lo any man — 
his life np to tlie time of his i-eiii-emtMit from Imsiiicss was a life of ceaseless 
activity. As a journalist ^Ir. Walker was earnest. Hnent and forcihh'. He 
never jumped rashly to conclusions; but when he had traced witii th<' kc«-n 
eye of the trained lawyer the exact ground to be covered he covered it with- 
out any circumlocution or evasion. lie strengthened materially during his 
connection with the Free Press the ties that bound it to the <lemocratic 
party with whose principles he was in sincere and ardent sympathy. And it 
is to him and his influence that the Free Press is largely indebted for the 
commanding: position it has so long held and now holds in the councils of 
the party. In his public life Mr. Walker was wise, able and faithful. He 
had in no ordinary measure the faculty, as valuable as it is rare, of imbuing 
men. even utter strangers, Avitli his own confidence, his (»wn faith and hopes. 
An ardent believer in the future of Michigan he impressed that belief upon 
others and gTcatly aided thereby in building \\\) the State in many directions. 
In despite of those reverses of fortune which came to him in later life and 
which might have been expected to embitter him, ^Ir. Walker steadily main- 
tained his cheerful habit and even multiplied his enjoyments to the best and 
most rational and lasting and satisfying pleasures of life — the pleasures that 
surround a man who retires from the world's irritating bustle into the atmos- 
jihere of a happy home, to whose liapi)iness he himself has been a generous 
contributor. He had partaken of public honors; had felt the thrilling 
inspiration of popular applause; had been a leading actor in many of the 
largest commercial adventures of his day; had seen all Eurojie; had known 
life in its most alluring aspects, and had earned by zeal, directeil by ability 
and judgment, those dignities according to the measure of which men largely 
reckon on success. Yet home, family — the placid peace of an ideal domestic 
relation — ^was to him more than honors, more than fame, more than material 
fortune. It is for the qualities of head and mind and heart which made this 
possible that Mr. Walker will be longest remembered. 
1? 



90 



ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



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PAPERS READ AT ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



A QUARTER CENTURY OF EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN 



BY PROP. HENRY A, FORD 



In the early days of August, I860, I came to Michigan by the happy 
accident of acquaintance with the Hon. John M. Gregory, the Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction, to become a teacher in the business school of 
his brother, Mr. Uriah Gregory, at Kalamazoo. My interest in education 
here has since been steady and earnest; my labors in its behalf frequent, 
and I trust, notAvithstanding many errors, not altogether ill-directed. It 
has been a good State for that kind of work — its people kind and helpful, 
the leaders in education for the most part hospitable and friendly, in the 
spirit of that liberality which a so-called liberal education implies. 

In the year of grace 18G0, many capable, and some eminent men, were, or 
very recently had been, in pedagogic service here. Dr. Gregory, as I have 
noted, was leading the common school host with great efficiency and success, 
though with many hindrances and under many'* severe labors. Mr. C. B. 
Stebbins, then alone sufficient for the clerical duties of the office, was his 
deputy, and remained at the post for twenty-two years. Dr. Tappan, 
clanim et veneraMle nomen, was at the head of the State university, on the 
roll of whose faculty were the distinguished names of Frieze, Williams, 
Boise, Winchell, Wood, White, and others. Adams, now President of 
Cornell University, was an undergraduate at Ann Arbor. A. S. Welch was 
principal of the State. Normal School, aided by Sill, his latest successor, 
Ripley, Carey, Pease, still teaching there, Mrs. Aldrich, Miss Susan Tyler, 



A QUARTER CENTL'RY OF EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN 513 

of the faiuous family, and i>ei'liap>< others. Dr. T. ( '. Altltot was rmfrssdr 
of En<;lish Literature, and L. K. Fiske of cheiiiisiry in ihc Ajii-icultural 
Colleiie, of which the former, si ill connected with the sclniol, was so l(in<^ 
the distinguished head. Dr. J. A. U. Stone and his accomplished wife, 
who are even yet at work in the higher education. Imt in (|iiict. ja-ivaic ways. 
Avere in cliarge of the Kalania/oo College, and aiiionu ilicir tcadicrs wcri- 
Olney. the renowned mathematician, and the young Trof. L. i:. Il<»l(lcii. now 
a Cleveland millionarie. The celebrated Asa Malian was |)rcsi(lcni of A<hian 
College, whose buildings had been o]iened bui a IV'w nionilis hclorc. 
Thomas II. Sinex was in the exiMutivc chair of the W'cslcyan Scniinarv and 
Female College, now Albion College. 1-:. 1>. Fairticid, then considcraiily in 
republican politics, and lieutenant-governor of the Slate for one lerni, 
was president of Hillsibile; .M. W. Fairtield at ()li\ei. IMof. llosford. 
since, and for eight years. Stale superintendent, held, as he still holds, the 
chair of mathematics at Olivet. Louis ^IcLouth, who came lo he a large 
figure in Michigan education, had just completed his first year in cliai-ne of 
the Lapeer Academy. Burrows, now the ehxpient and inllueniial Congress- 
man, ruled the Kichland Seminary in Kalamazoo county; Kev. T. .1. IN»or. 
tlie Dickinson Institute in Komeo, froju whose building the juiblic schools 
have but recently been removed: the lamented Kev. K. .1. IJoyd. the \'oung 
Ladies' Seminary and Collegiate Institute at Monroe; Mr. ( ). .Moll'ai. the 
Colon Seminary; James Cochran, the Disco Academy; and Herr F. \'ireoke, 
the German-English ScJiool in Detroit. The since famous Female Seminary 
in that city, of which J. M. B. Sill was Principal for years, had been started 
but the year before by the Rev. J. V. Beers, of Worcester. Massachusetts. 
The Michigan Female College at Lansing, so pleasantly remembered by many 
hidies of the older generation, was admirably conducted by Misses A. C. and 
Delia Rogers. 

The growth of the high school system has caused most of the old time 
academies and seminaries to disappear. The names of those that still 
survive will be readily recognized. On the other hand, the college system 
has gi'own. The only colleges then in existence in Michigan were the State 
university and those at Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Olivet. Adrian, and Albi(m. 
The Detroit College (Roman Catholic), and the schools of this character at 
Battle Creek and Holland (IIo]>e College), are of later growth. The theo- 
logical departments of Kalamazoo, and inn-haps of other denominational 
colleges have, however, disappeared. Naturally, the faculties and the s-veral 
corps of students have greatly strengthened. 

The university in the academic year 1850-60, had but twelve full professors, 
two assistant professors, three instructors, and 510 students, of whom 00 must 



94 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

be credited to the law department organized at the beginning of that year. 
The same institution, twenty-five years after (1884-85), had more than 80 
members of its several faculties and 1296 students in its various departments, 
of whom 196 were women. I need not add, but still desire to put on record 
in this rapid survey, the fact that this great school is the most Avorthy of the 
"university" name of any west of the Alleghanies. 

Twenty-five years ago, Detroit had no superintendent of Public Schools, in 
the present acceptation of the term, and had not until Mr. Sill's accession 
in 1864. The larger school buildings, however, — there were only the old 
capitol, now the high school, the Bishop, and the Barstow, — were in the com- 
petent hands of such men as Chaney, Nichols (who survived to be the oldest 
graded school teacher in the State by continuous service, and died full of 
years and honors) ; and Olcott, who is still on duty, but in the Upper Penin- 
sula. Among the primary teachers were two young ladies who have since 
achieved distinction as principals of ward schools — Miss Sarah Russel, just 
retired, but temporarily, we may hope, from one of the most remarkable 
pedagogic careers any woman has had in this country; and Miss Caroline 
Grossman, of the Barstow School, almost the sole survivor in Detroit schools 
of the teachers of 1860. The entire corps in the city then numbered but 63, 
against about 300 at the present time. The total attendance of pupils was 
then 4,490 ; it is now 21,325. 

In those days J. B. Danforth, later and now one of the foremost educa- 
tors in the Empire State, for some years its deputy superintendent of 
public instruction, and since jn charge of the Elmira schools, was 
directing the teachers at Grand Rapids. Estabrook, so long and still in 
valuable service among us, was in command at the Ypsilanti Union Semi- 
nary, the fine central school building then new and much admired, and 
even yet an ornament to that centre of public education. Putnam, an emi- 
nent name in our efforts to this day, which should stand at the very head of 
the Normal force to the hour of his death or retirement, was head master at 
the "Old Union," then the new one in Kalamazoo. Daniel B. Briggs, since 
superintendent of public instruction for two terms, now living in retirement 
in Detroit, had just closed a brief term of superintending in Ann Arbor, 
Avhere his next predecessor had been Glaudius B. Grant, at present a dis- 
tinguished judge in the Upper Peninsula. Professor Payne, a young and 
strong man, had the schools at Three Rivers, Avhere his work is still vividly 
and afifectionately remembered. It was about this time that a conversation 
with Dr. Gregory, as they rode together on some professional errand, opened 
to him the fruitful field of the philosophy of education, in which he has 
since become the foremost worker west of the mountains, Sadler was at 



A QUARTER CENTURY OF EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN •)-, 

Sturgis; Bellows, now oni- well-known Xoiinal iiiulcssdi- and niallicniai iciaii. 
was about to irtui-n to tlie Constant ine schools Irom a year or two of tcacliinf;- 
in northern Indiana; Silas P.ctts was at Niles; .McCowan. since a con.i,n-ess- 
nian and now a Washington lawyei-, was then, oi- soon aficr. I'lincijial of the 
Coldwater liigh school. Frank (J. Knssell. a Normal gradnate. now a Detroit 
attorney, had in charge the ''Middletown union school" at f.ansing. S. M. 
Cutcheon, also a prominent Detroit lawyer, and for some years United Stales 
district attorney, had bwni at the head of the Ypsilaiili lii^li school, lnit 
returned in the summer of IStH) to Sjuiiiglield, Illinois, to i(e<:iii ic.ual jtrac- 
tice. Edwin Willits. who, so fortunately for himself and the State, has 
returned to educational service, had dro})ped into law and politics at Monroe, 
and was about to be elected ])rosecuting attorney for his couiiiy. deorge 
Willard, who had been a j)rofessor in Kalania/oo college, was a l(»w church 
Episcopal clergyman in the Burr-oak village. Horace Ilalhert was ]»riiiciiial 
of the high school there. 

A few day after 1 came to the State the ninth annual iiie<'ting o| the 
State Teachers' Association occurred in Ypsilanti. and I was priviledgcd to 
attend that meeting. It was presided over by Princii)al INtor. of Kom<M>, in 
the absence of E. J. Boyd, of Monroe, and was attended hy an excellent 
representation of the pedagogic force of the State, and hy many intelligent 
citizens. That great and now venerable thinker and worker in education. 
the Rev. Thomas Hill, then President of Antioch College, Ohio, and for a 
time at the head of Harvard University, was the sole distinguished visitor 
from any other State, and in an evening address presented his (triginal and 
practical views on ''The True Order of Studies," whicli haV<* since Ikhmi 
made widely familiar through various publications. Principal Welch, of the 
Normal School, had also one of the main addresses of the occasion, on 
''The Natural System of Instruction," and a lectin-e was delivered by the 
Rev. Dr. Hogarth, pastor of the JetTerson avenue Presbyterian Uhurch in 
Detroit, on "The Use of the Att'ections as a Mental Stimulus." Papers 
upon various topics were read by I'rof. Olney of Kalamazoo, and Uare> ot 
the Normal School, Superintendents Danforth of (Jraiid Kapiils. Sadler of 
Sturgis, and Betts of Niles, and by ^Miss A. U. K.igers. The address of 
welcome to the association was given by the late Uhaunccy .loslin. Escp, 
who was said as a boy of sixteen (in 1829) to have delivered the first lecture 
ever pronounced on free schools in the United States, endeavoring to estab- 
lish the proposition that universal education should be maintained by 
universal taxation. Rejxu-ts from committees were made on '-Text P.ooks" 
by Prof. Abbot of the Agricultural rollege. and on -Keforms in School 
Laws," by State Superintendent Gregory. An interesting discussion was 



96 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

had upon the subject of "School Prizes," in which Dr. Hill and Mr. 
Danforth favored the system, and Messrs. Putnam, Estabrook, and others 
also joined in the debate. They were able men who were present at this 
meeting, most of them in the prime of life, and full of manly vigor and 
enthusiasm. The most vivid impressions left upon my own mind, aside from 
thfr personnel of the convention, relate to the philosophy of child nature, 
especially to the early development and culture of the perceptive faculties, 
as underlying first procedures in all rudimentary branches by means of 
object lessons. Dr. Hill's address and Mr. Danforth's paper on "Elemen- 
tary Instruction," with many remarks in other addresses and papers, and in 
the discussions, opened a new world in education to me, and helped to new 
departures in my own work. Dr. Gregory's presence and active participa- 
tion in all transactions were also exceedingly inspiring and helpful to the 
young auditor. 

The roll of oflScers-elect at this meeting adds some names to those of our 
previous summary of the Michigan educators of twenty-five years ago. They 
were : — 

President — Prof. E. L. Ripley, then of the Jackson public schools, after- 
wards a teacher at the Normal. 

Vice-Presidents — George H. Botsford of North Adams, afterwards county 
superintendent of schools in Hillsdale county; Superintendent Sadler of 
Sturgis, L. J. Marcy of Detroit, Messrs. Abbot, Olney, Poor, Danforth, Wm. 
Travis of Flint. H. A. Pierce of Owosso, H. Bross of Newaygo, and J. G. 
Everett of Ontonagon. 

Recording Secretar y^John Richards of Albion. 

Corresponding Secretary — D. Putnam of Kalamazoo. 

Treasurer— J. M. B. Sill. 

Executive Committee — Messrs. Hosford and Welch. 

Writing but sixteen jears afterwards of the history of this association, 
Professor Putnam indulged in this reflection : ''One is forcibly reminded of 
the fact that most of the active members of that time have disappeared from 
our ranks, and many of them from our State. The compensation is found in 
the new and fresher blood, which, from year to year, has flowed in to give a 
quickened life to the current." The meetings of the society were steadily 
maintained amid the alarms of war, and have never, I believe, been inter- 
mitted. It has justly been regarded as prominent among the educational 
forces of the State and as ranking fairly in the ability of its members, and 
the strength and freshness of its work with any similar body in this country. 

To the State association, indeed, may be placed the beginnings of several 
important reforms in our system of popular education that, ultimately, were 



A QUARTER CENTURY OF EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN 97 

crystallized in legislatiou. The coimty siiperintendcncy of schools, un- 
doubtedly the most efficient plan of local suporvisinji' yd adopted in any 
State or county, and which was the ^Michigan plan from 1S«;7 to 1ST:'., had 
its rise in this State in discussions by and reports to. this association, begin- 
ning as early as 1855 and running through no less than twelve years. After 
the failure of the superintendency through serious defects in the organic 
act, and very likely in the administration of the officers apjioinled lo e.\<'cnte 
it. various tentative efforts have been made to find a satisfactory system of 
examination of teachers and insi)cction of schools, issuing at last in the 
I)resent scheme of county boards of examiners. The course of legislation in 
this matter does not require extended review. 

On the 3d day of July, 1869, appropriately just before the celebration of 
''Independence Day/' the educators and more intelligent citizens of ^lichi- 
gan rejoiced in the abolition of the rate bill — that relic of barbarism, as 
Dr. Gregory had long before called it. The act of repeal took effect on that 
day, and thenceforth the public schools of our State have been absolutely 
free and open to all comers from the district in which the school is situated. 
But the repeal was the result of agitation which had l>een maintained ever 
since 1850, the year of our present State constitution, which plainly contem- 
plates a free school system, and of efforts by the State association, dating 
back at least eleven years, to the Xilcs meeting of 18.58. 

Compulsory school attendance was ordained by the State legislature, in 
1871, with no important effect; and sundry later attempts at amendment 
and strengthening of the law have not produced appreciable results in the 
increase of figures of attendance in our school reports. It may be doubted 
whether the conditions exist in Michigan, or indeed in any American State, 
for the general enforcement of a compulsory education, or more jirojierly 
school attendance law. 

These are the principal measures of legislation bearing upon our common 
school system during the last quarter century. Within little more than half 
that period, the next most notable changes have occurred at the State univer- 
sity. In January. 1870, the following resolution was adopted by the 
governing board of that institution : 

Resolved, — ''That the board of regents recognize the right of every resi- 
dent of Michigan to the enjoyment of the privileges afforded by the university, 
and that no rule exists in any of the university statutes for the exclusion 
of any person from the university, who possesses the requisite literary and 
moral qualifications." 

This peculiarly worded resolve had but one intent and purpose, which might 
13 



98 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

have been more bravely and distinctly expressed — to open the doors of the 
university at once, and it may be hoped, for ever, to the admission of women. 
The first graduate under this just and liberal provision, now Mrs. Madelon 
Stockwell Turner, of Kalamazoo, has proved a noble exemplification of the 
capacity of woman to receive and her ability to apply for the benefit of society 
a thorough-going university culture. 

The later establishment at Ann Arbor of a chair of pedagogy, the first of 
the kind in any similar institution in this' country, and its continuous occu- 
pation by the original incumbent, Professor W. H. Payne, have been truly 
eflScient forces in the general uplift of the teaching profession, and so of 
popular education in this State. 

A brief paragraph must be given to educational journalism in Michigan. 
In 1860, the Michigan Journal of Education had been published for nearly 
seven jears, most of the time in the editorial care of Dr. Gregory. The 
various arrangements of the State Teachers' Association for its continuance, 
including one prevailing in 1860, for its management by twelve editors, one 
for each number of a volume, did not tend to its strengthening oi' perma- 
nence, and a really useful publication ceased to exist near the close of the 
next year. The issue of the Michigan Teacher began in January, 1866, at 
Niles, as the personal venture of Professor W. H. Payne and C, L. Whitney. 
John Goodison, H. L. Wayland, and H. A. Ford, were successively added to 
its staff, and at the opening of 1871, just before his retirement from the 
county superintendency, it fell exclusively into the hands of the last named, 
by whom it was sold to the Educational Weekly, of Chicago, at the close of 
1876. Another monthly, entitled The School, edited and published by Pro- 
fessors of the Normal School at Ypsilanti, was issued from January, 1872, to 
the end of 1876. In about four years thereafter, the Michigan School 
Moderator was started at Grand Rapids, since removed to Lansing, and now, 
as a semi-monthly in the hands of Professor H. R. Pattengill, lately appointed 
to the faculty of the Agricultural College, it has become one of the ablest and 
most useful journals of the kind in the land. » Several other but minor and 
generally unimportant attempts have been made in school journalism in a 
sporadic and transient way, calling for no detailed notice here. During 
the brief period of the county superintendency some spirited and well- 
intentioned little papers were published by superintendents to forward their 
local work, in which much matter of permanent value appeared. 

In 1860 there were but 94 union or graded school districts in the State; 
twenty-five years afterwards, by the official returns of 1885, there were 440. 
The graded and ungraded districts numbered 4,094, against 6,492 of un- 



A QUARTER CENTURY OF EDUCATION IN MICHIGAN 99 

graded dislriots alone last year. Of cliildrcn ol' scIkkiI a^c l'tr..(;s4 wcro 
enumerated. ajj;aiiisi r)!!.").?.")!*, oi- a link' uhhc than twice as iiiaii.\. in iss."). 
The enrollment in ]»nl)lie seliools was hut r.)L'.!i;!7, a;iainsi 411.!tr)4. Tlie 
number of men teachers in the schools was 2,501), a<'ainst ;{.S7(>; of women 
teachers 5,342, against 11,482. The hidies have evidently bwn forjjjin;: in 
force to the front in the i)edauojiic jirofession, relatively regarded. Tlie 
respective totals of public school teachers are 7,941 and 15,358. The aggre- 
gate wages of teachers were |467,286.50 in 1800, and $2,785,28().1(;, showing 
an increase quite out of proportion to the numerical increa.se, being, indeed, 
more than three times as great. The average number of months taught in 
the schools for the year grew from 6.2 in 18G0 to 7.6 in 1884, which un- 
accountably decreased by one-half of one per cent in 1885. 

I must pause here, for I did not set out to write a volume, but only a 
preliminary essay or outline sketch, which some one may some day till. The 
changes in the teachers' institute system, and some other reforms, are too 
well known to need notice. The condition of both the popular and ilie 
higher education in our Peninsulas may be regarded as exceedingly for- 
tunate, and the State is to be congratulated, in general, upon its educational 
men and measures. The university, the colleges, the few old-time .semi- 
naries and academies that remain, and the public schools of all grades and 
no grade, are for the most part competently officered and intelligently con- 
ducted according to standards increasing in efficiency and practicality year 
by year. We have one man in education — Professor Payne of the State 
university — who is named in high eastern quarters as "in a position to 
become a national authority"— a high honor, truly, for any man or any 
State. In the Kev. Dr. Xelson Ave have a superintendent of public instruc- 
tion, who, if continued in office and measurably restored to health, may 
revive the glories of the Gregory regime. We have many others who are 
reputably known in the councils of the National Association and in the 
ranks of text book, and miscellaneous writers or compilers, and are likewise 
distinguished in their home work. Michigan is a felt influence in the 
education of the country, but more importantly in her own colleges of the 
people, the free public schools. I am glad to have lived upon her soil, 
and to have labored in and for her most of the years of the last quarter 
century; and am thankful to the authorities of the State Pioneer Society 
who have kindly allowed me thus to put on record some of my impressions 
and reminiscences. 



100 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



KEMINISCENCES OF THE SUEVEY OF THE NORTHWESTERN 

LAKES 



BY JOHN H. FORSTER 



This survey, extending through a long series of years, has been brought to 
a successful close. It was a work which perhaps never attracted much 
attention on the part of the general public, but it was, nevertheless, one of 
great magnitude and importance. It was conducted upon the highest 
scientific principles and by skilled and practical men. The commerce of 
the lakes and our internal improvements, such as river and harbor and light- 
houses, have been greatly aided and benefited by these surveys. 

The topography of the far-reaching coasts of our great lakes, including 
islands, bays, harbors, rivers and river mouths, straits and channels, have 
been traced with great minuteness and beautifully delineated upon charts. 
The hydrography of these great inland lakes has been no less skilfully 
executed by close soundings near the shore as well as by deep sea soundings 
reaching across the lakes in diagonal lines, from shore to shore, giving to 
the mariners a complete map of the bottom, indicating all reefs and shoals 
and profound depths. The charts thus produced, and within reach of all 
having business in these waters, are very complete, including moreover, sail- 
ing directions, courses and distances, the location of light-houses, harbors 
and ports of refuge. 

Meteorological and astronomical observations were also carefully made, with 
practical application to the surveys. Secondary and, primary triangulation 
constituted a part of the survey, and lines from fifty to ninety miles were 
measured. 

The rise and fall of the lakes ascertained by daily observations, at many 
places, for many years, were carefully noted. These observations are found 
to be of great practical advantage in the building of harbors, dredging rivers, 
construction of locks and other engineering operations. It is an interesting 
fact, made certain by these observations, that while there are, on the great 
lakes, no regular tides as in the ocean, yet their waters rise and fall daily, 
yearly, and through a greater period, measured by fifteen to twenty years. 



1 



SURVEY OF THE NORTHWESTERN LAKES lUl 

Something like tides have been noticed, but such ])ulsations have Won 
erratic and not fully exi>lained. Standing upon the shore of Lake Superior, 
upon a perfectly cahn day. I have seen a single wave a foot or more in 
hight, roll in and dash upon the sands, then all would be smooth again. 
The phenomenon was startling. Other waves w(M-e ex]>ected but none came. 
Again, twenty-four liours before the occurrence of a heavy gab', with the 
wind off land. I have repeatedly witnessed an inrush of waters against the 
wind, of great violence driving uj) into canals, or streams, raising the sur- 
face level several feet. 

But it is not my purpose, in this necessarily brief paper, to indulge in 
any extensive remarks upon the scientific features of the scenery of the 
lakes. 

If I am not mistaken the work has already been well done by one well 
qualified to discharge the duty, Mr. Farrand Henry, of Detroit. If not in the 
archives of this Society, his paper will be found, I think, in the collection of 
the Detroit Historical Society. 

My present humble attempt will be the presentation of some sketches 
relating to the early history of the survey. Our surveyors may justly claim 
the title of pioneers in their line, for they were in the field, according to my 
knowledge, forty-three years ago; indeed, they were at work before that, 
but I was not a worker with them. I relate only what I know myself. 
The field of operations was. at that early day, confined for several years to 
northern portions of Lakes Huron and Michigan, including Green Bay and 
the Straits of Mackinac, although Lakes Erie and Ontario, lying nearer to 
civilization, had not been surveyed. That portion of our State was then 
reposing in almost primeval silence. Nothing could be more wild and soli- 
tary than those northern coasts, which it Avas the duty of our surveyors to 
trace. 

The surveys were made under orders from the War Department and con- 
ducted by United States topographical engineers, aided by a corps of civil 
engineers, named assistants. 

In those days headquarters were at Buffalo, New York. In early spring, 
or as soon as the ice would permit of navigation, the several parties, fitted 
out with instruments, tents, boats and supplies for a season's work 
were embarked on steam or sail vessels and conveyed to their assignetl 
stations or fields. Then they were hastily dumped ashore in a howling 
wilderness, and left to the tender mercies of black flies and mosquitoes un- 
til winter. Towns, cities, human habitations, had long before reached the 
vanishing point. But briskly uprose, beneath some pleasant pine grove, in 
full view of the blue lake, a small village of white tents, with boats and 



102 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

batteaiix anchored in the offing, or reposing on the banks of a small stream. 
The smoke of the camp-fires was curling above the tree-tops and our sur- 
veyors were cheerfully dining upon pork and hard tack, before the vessel 
that brought them had disappeared from sight. Happy, self-reliant survey- 
ors. 

En route, our surveyor quickly after leaving Detroit, began to have a view 
of the wilderness before him. St. Clair River did not present the pleasant 
picture of cultivated fields and handsome towns and cities that it does to- 
day, but the banks of the noble stream were for the most part clothed in 
primeval forests, with here and there a break and settlement. Reaching 
Lake Huron he sailed northward, — on his right hand a wide expanse of 
water, like the ocean ; on the left a seemingly interminable stretch of densely 
clothed forest-land, without notch or clearing to denote the presence of 
squatter or settlement. A closer inspection might, perhaps, have revealed 
the presence of some forlorn pioneer, who in later years, became a lumber 
baron. 

As he advanced farther north beyond Saginaw Bay, (a gulf of terror in 
those times,) the scenery became so wild and forbidding, the country so 
poor, that he hesitated not to predict that a century must certainly elapse 
before the crowded people of the east, in desperation, would seek homes in 
this remote section. 

In the year 1844 I found myself one of a large party encamped on the 
south shore of the straits of Mackinac. The camp was near the si^e of old 
Fort Mackinac which was surprised and destroyed by the followers of the 
great Indian chief, Pontiac. Cedar pickets, protruding from the sands, 
were pointed out as the remains of the ill-fated post. As we rowed over the 
shallow waters of of the straits we would occasionally see a small cannon ball, 
much corroded, lying at the bottom. In this vicinity to-day we see the busy 
hamlet of Mackinac City, the terminus of two important railroads, growing 
into prominence. But in the times of which we write, there was no shadow 
of civilization and the poor, sandy soil nourished a mixed growth of trees 
and underbrush. The outlook upon the straits was the only thing cheerful 
in the landscape. The clear blue waters, dotted with numerous islands, 
conspicuous among which Mackinaw looming in the distance, with lime-stone 
bights and whitewashed stone fort, presented an ever inviting picture. 

The business of our party, thus posted, was to establish and measure 
a base line for triangulatiou. This line was four miles long, one hundred 
feet wide, crossing the dense forest. The timber was chopped, cleared out 
and burnt. Twenty feet of the line was gi'ubbed and graded so as to be very 
carefully measured.' 



SURVEY OF THE NORTHWESTERN LAKES »103 

At the termini of the base, two lofty stations, trianfinlation points, were 
built ior observations. The entire work Avas laborious; exccedinj^ cart' is al- 
ways required in the measurement of base lines. Steel rods were used, held 
by tripods, aligned by a transit, moved with delicate adjustinj;- screws. piiimlKMl 
with weights suspended in buckets of water, so that there should l)e no vibra- 
tion. So carefully was the work performed, that each of the four ten foot 
long steel rods, with attached thermometers, were tested at each setting, in 
order to ascertain and note down the expansion or contraction. The multi- 
plication of notes, during twelve or fourteen hours' work was enormous. 
Those who may think that Uncle Sam's men do not earn their rations should 
have some of this experience. The daily routine was as follows: Turn out 
at 4 A. M. ; breakfast on hard tack, fried pork and black cotfee, as soon as 
ready. Then a sharp tramp, by trail, through the underbrush to the base 
line. Here, without intermission, save an hour at noon, with a cold dinner 
served on a log, the work went on during the long, long days of that northern 
latitude. The mosquitoes and black flies fairly swarmed in that close, hot, 
forest-lined avenue, termed the base line, base in more senses than one. 
Without the protection of shields over the face, buckskin gloves, and top 
boots, it would have been impossible to work in such a place. Thus muf- 
fled, with the thermometer sporting in the nineties, we were roasted ; had the 
pains of purgatory within and without. Return to camp after sundown — 
supper same as breakfast. Then came the hardest task of all. A y(»nng 
fellow, about my size in those days, had a standing order to copy before 
morning, in ink, in neat hand, all the multitudinous figures recorded during 
the day. Seeking his low soldier's tent, and seating himself uj)on a buflalo 
robe and blankets, his usual bed, jjen in hand, a barrel head supported on 
his lap for a table, a dip tallow candle for a light, at it he went. Already 
tired out with his day's work, he summoned up a new courage for his hard 
task. The snoring of his fellows in adjoining tents was all that broke 
the profound silence. They were happy in the oblivion of dreams; he 
was the unhappy plodder. The next moment the call turn out rings out. 
Our scribe finds himself limply reclining on his couch, fully dressed, with 
pen grasped in his hand, just as he tumbled over some time in the night 
-Tis morning and the call, "turn out." summons him to a new day of toil. 
In this fashion several months were expended. The only relief — let-up — 
came with Sunday. This sacred day was devoted to the washing and mend- 
ing of clothing and general repairs. 

The following year found our surveyors plunging through the marshes of 
distant Green Bay. Here all the charms of solitude were realized. At the 
head of the bav were some old French settlements: at the mouth of Fox River 



104 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

we found Fort Howard without a garrison; opposite these were two strag- 
gling villages named Navarino and Astoria. Indians were numerous and 
Indian traders seemed to occupj' the principal business places. These were 
evidently frontier settlements. 

The western shore of the bay northward to Bay De Noquet was bordered 
with wide belts of marsh land, covered with rushes and wild rice, and cut 
by numerous small sluggish streams. Save on the Menominee, the larg- 
est stream north of Fox River, there were no settlements. Some distance 
above the mouth of the Menominee were two saw-mills, pioneers of the 
great lumber establishments found at that point to-day. Back of the 
marshes, on higher ground, were belts of magnificent pine forests, in which 
lay the future wealth of all that region. .The east shore of Green Bay, in- 
cluding the islands,^ was of an entirely different character, being high, 
broken, and resting upon a limestone formation. 

Wherever we could find a dry ridge near the bay, we pitched our camp. 
There was a force of sixty men; to shelter so many, with stores and provisions, 
required a large number of tents. 

The engineer ofiicers had wall tents ; the men the small soldier tents. There 
were also tents for the cooks and for mess rooms. There were several six- 
oared boats, designed for speed and for sounding; there Avere Mackinac boats 
and batteaux for transportation purposes. The crews of men were chiefly 
made up from those expert boatmen known as Canadian Frenchmen. They 
were a hardy, patient, untiring set, always cheerful and obedient. After 
rowing all day, in hydrograph work, at sundown, with ten miles between 
them and camp, they Avould bend cheerily to their oars as though inspired 
with new vigor, sending their cherished boat through the water with a bone 
in her mouth, all the while the stroke of oars keeping time to their Canadian 
boat songs. 

The Indians and half breeds found in the party were less tractable and 
were often mutinous, — restive under discipline. They gave us a good deal 
of trouble. Besides the regular topographical and hydrographical work, we 
cut out a base line on the west shore of the bay. The line crossed a belt of 
magnificent pine timber: these stately trees, "fit for the mast of some tall 
admiral," were ruthlessly cut down and burned. We found game and fish 
abundant; they were an agreeable change from monotonous hard bread, 
beans, and pork. 

Our commanding officer was Captain Williams, of the corps of topographi- 
cal engineers U. S. army, whose headquarters were on board the little iron 
side-wheel steamer Albert, familiarly known in camp as the Polliwog. 
Captain Williams was a very accomplished officer, graduating from West 



SURVEY OF THE NORTHWESTERN LAKES lO.') 

Point, was of coninianding- presence, not affable, a strict disciplinarian, l)ut 
warm hearted and generous. In the Mexican war, a few years later, he fell 
mortally wounded under Ihe walls of Monterey. 

The next in command was Lieutenant Gunnison, a native of New ITamp- 
shire, a graduate of West Point Academy, and officer of the corps of tojto- 
graphical engineers. He was tall in stature, slim and active; he was talented, 
energetic and enterprising. He delighted to act as pioneer, to lead the 
party in his shirt sleeves, with an axe. cutting down trees and clearing the 
underbrush. An indefatigable worker, he tired out the rest of his ])arty. 
His young civil assistants, to use a modern expression, thought him loo 
much of a rustler. But he was brave, generous and considerate in trouble 
and sickness. He asked no one to go where he would not lead ; he was 
always pleasant and cheerful, thoroughly practical and sensible, without any 
trace of the martinet in his manners. Above all he was one of the most sin- 
cere Christians the writer ever knew, — active in all good works. He soon 
became a captain and made a survey of the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah. 
On his return he wrote an interesting but temperate book on that peculiar 
people, the Mormons, thereby incurring the enmity of that fanatical sect. 

Subsequently, while surveying a government line of railway which crossed 
Utah south of Salt Lake City, he was slain by the Mormans disguised as 
Indians. With a small party, without military escort, he was running a side 
line up Sevier river. In the morning, before breakfast, wliile saying his 
prayers in his tent, he was startled by the discharge of guns and the shouts 
of his men. He rushed to the front of his tent, saw that his party were 
being massacred, and holding up his hands he cried to the supposed Indians 
to desist, *'that he was the good captain," (a name that the Indians had 
given him). He immediately fell upon his face pierced w^th thirteen arrows. 
Save one person, who escaped to the main party to tell the tale, all perished. 
Captain Gunnison's body when found was sadly mutilated by wolves. His 
right hand was missing. Later, it was ascertained by the cai)tain's brother, 
who gave the writer the information, that a friendly Indian chief, who loved 
the captain, had secured the hand, dried it, and preserved it as a memento. 
Thus perished this brave and good man. But for a providential accident, 
the present writer would have been in this party, and doubtless would have 
shared the same fate. 

Some years after the survey of Green Bay, which was iniorrupled by the 
Mexican war, your writer having returned from the survey of the Mexican 
boundary line, found himself in the spring of lSo5 again attached to the 
survey of the lakes. With Mr. Wni. H. Harding and others he was ordered 
to make a survey of Beaver Island and the north shore of Lake Michigan in 
14 



106 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

the Upper Peninsula. Captain Macomb was chief engineer in command of 
lake surveys at the time. But in the winter he was relieved by Captain 
Meade, better known in history as General George G. Meade, commander of 
the Union forces at Gettysburg. 

Beaver Island, the largest of a group of islands belonging to the State of 
Michigan, washed by the lake of the same name, is, in greatest measurement^ 
thirteen miles long and six miles wide. Its shape is somewhat like, a beaver 
with his head pointing north. At the northeast extremity of this island 
there is a good nearly land-locked harbor, and, at the time of which I write, 
nestling on the west side of the harbor, we found the hamlet of St. James. 
This place was the residence of the notorious King Strang. He was an 
active, energetic man of considerable ability and education. He was forty- 
five or fifty years of age, with the hope of many years of vigorous patriarchal 
honors in store. ' On the untimely death of Joseph Smith, the Mormon pro- 
phet, Strang claimed that the mantle had fallen upon him. He therefore 
assumed the triple title of prophet, priest, and king. A majority of the 
church of the Latter Day Saints not recognizing Strang's claims, but adhering 
to Brigham Young, Strang, with such followers as believed in him, retreated 
to Beaver Island, and there set up a kingdom, and he carried it with a high 
hand. He and his saints were poor in this world's goods, but they seemed 
to be industrious. We found good roads on the island, laid out with skill ; 
also many improved farms under diff'erent degrees of cultivation, with some 
good crops growing, good fences and out-houses. There was a decided 
appearance of thrift and industry. 

At St. James there was a little cluster of log buildings ; a temple of 
square-hewn pine logs, of large size, but incomplete; a dry goods and grocery 
store, several dwelling houses and a good dock, with warehouse and wood 
piles. The sale of cord wood to passing steamers was quite a profitable 
business. The island furnished fine maple timber. 

King Strang's house, shaded by native trees, Avas a large and comfortable 
building, though plain and without ornament. We called there on business 
and saw the King seated at his dinner table with his six wives* and many 
children to cheer him. He had the air of a well-to-do patriarch, but for 
some unknown reason he did not extend to us the hospitalities of his table. 
Perhaps his religion forbade him giving salt to the Gentiles. W^e passed 
through a suite of rooms, in each one of which was a double bed and a 
cradle. The cradles were mostly occupied. These evidences of domestic 
felicity were pleasing to us bachelors who were obliged to pass our time in 
solitary camps. The king had an office down town, where he said he would 
prefer to meet us. To that place we adjourned and found therein a printing 

*Vol. 32, p. 202, states that Strang had five wives. 



SURVEY OF THE NORTHWESTERN' LAKES 107 

press, type, etc.. and tound our tliat ovir many-tit led fi-iciid was also an editor. 

In his office Sti-auji was niore <ienial than in the midst of his harem. Ilo 
was shrewd enough to extend ns the freedom of the ishand, always outside 
of his house, liowever. He was nnicli interested in the surveys he assured 
us. but with a little too much effusion we fancied. We complained thai we 
found the saints, scattered over the island, very retitent. disoldigin^'. if not 
hOvStile. They would <iive us no information. Living n]ion unpaid for or 
stolen lands, these saintly people thought, doubtless, that our piirpos*' there 
was to spy out the land and rejtort the state of affairs to the government. 
Of course they were mistaken ; their suspicious were unfounded. King 
Strang excused his people, said they were ignorant, and that he would rectify 
matters. He was as good as his word and we had no further trouble, except 
from the unkindness of the young "saintesses," who incontinently fled to cover 
every time we meandered their pleasant country roads, with a theodolite in 
hand. 

Strang visited our camp often. He refused not to partake liberally of 
certain stores in our medicine chest. He became quite jolly and delighted 
us with his free aud easy stories about the saints. From a prophet they were 
quite remarkable, and would not bear comparison with those of the seers of 
other times. He praised his wives lavishly, declared that they were fond of 
him, and the institution of polygamy. Two of his wives were sisters; they 
agreed perfectly in their devotion to him and to each other. They were 
educated, cultivated ladies, and spent their leisure hours in the sweet con- 
solations of poesy. Such was his story. His lawful wife resided in 
Wisconsin, and was uot a believer in plural numbers. As is well known, 
Strang was afterwards shot to death by one of his own people whom h<' liad 
cruelly treated. His tragic taking off resulted in the destruction of his 
kingdom on Beaver island, and the dispersion of his band of saints. Strang 
was undoubtedly unscrupulous and dishonest, if not a robl>er and murderer. 
With few exceptions his followers on the island wei-e the lowest kind of white 
trash, ignorant, superstitious, and licentious. 

After we left the island we found among the tisheriiian and traders on the 
main land the utmost hostility to the Mormons, and the general expression 
was that Strang was a i)roved thief and robl>er and a very dangerous man. 
By repeated piratical expeditions, in armed boats, he had robl)ed their 
fisheries and taken their boats and nets away. Strang was a member of the 
legislature of Michigan, and was well-known to many of our citizens in his 
I'ole of statesman. It was a bullet well-aimed that remov<'d him from his 
earthlv kingdom. 



108 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



AN OLD-TIME TRIP 



BY F. R. STEBBINS 



Thirty-five years ago. These words awaken in the minds of the young 
people of to-day, no personal memories of the past, and have to them only 
the significance of a mention of the times of "long ago," the times away 
back of their first look upon this fair land, the region of the great lakes. 

Our children listen to the simple story of our experiences thirty, forty and 
fifty years ago, with great interest, but can never realize the full import of 
our narratives; but to such of us as have been, during these years, the actors 
in this labor of moulding and working out, in fact largely creating the great 
material, social, and political grandeur of this fair home of ours, which we 
found a wilderness, these words awaken many memories. How does the 
mention of these years bring to our minds a flood of recollections, of the 
sorrows and the joys, the failures and the successes, the toils of all, and the 
resting from their labors of so many, who once aided us in this great 
work of founding a new and noble State. Now, as we look around our well- 
furnished homes, our smiling farms, our stores, our manufactories, our 
schools, and school-houses, and churches, our railroads and wagon roads, 
the memories of the times of forty and fifty years ago seem a dream only, 
and a record of those times, as they pass, only a page from the romance of 
the novelist; and yet how that page glows and enlarges, and how even 
romance is dimmed by the stranger realities, as the individual experiences of 
those years are related in the many volumes of our pioneer collections, you 
all know. I jliave, in this paper, no strange tale to tell, no startling romance, 
and perhaps very little interesting reality to record; but, thinking that the 
incidents of a trip to our truly great lakes in 1851 might not be entirely 
devoid of interest, I present them on this occasion. 

Early in the month of August, 1851, it was, my good fortune, through the 
kindness of Sheldon McKnight, in company with my wife and two young 
daughters, to find myself and family pleasantly settled in a good stateroom 
on board the steamer London, one of McKnight's line of boats, at Detroit, 
bound for Sault Ste. Marie, where we were to be transferred to a "propeller" 



AN OLD-TIME TRIP 109 

of his Hue on Lake Superior. The charm of such a trip to these then new 
and wild sections of our State, for the first time, to our i)arty, can hardly be 
described: but that such a tour, with quiet water on the lake, was one of 
pure enjoyment. I have no doubt many pioneers present, who have taken 
such a tri]), can easily believe. The few isolated settlements, with their 
rude wharves, and scattered and cheaply-constructed houses alonjr llie St. 
Clair Eiver, and the land on the south and west shores of Lake Huron, to 
our eyes gave little promise of their present beauty and population. l'(»it 
Huron was just beginning to be recognized as a stopping i)lace of a few of 
the lake steamers, and Lexington and Sand Beach were of no account to 
mariners, with Forester, Forestville. and other points, now visited by nearly 
all the coasting steamers, either having no existence at all, or being usually 
avoided as dangerous localities for steamers. 

On the west shore of the lake, beyond Saginaw Bay, the wilderness was 
still more unbroken. Where now stands Alpena, with its thousands of 
population, and its great lumber and fishing enterprises, a solitary jiioneer, 
or fisherman's shanty, marked the spot — the Indians having prevented all 
attempts of settlement — and there, as along the coast, the great pine forests 
came down to the water's edge. All was unbroken wilderness, with its 
wealth of timber. A small and very rude settlement only at Cheboygan and 
Duncans. 

What a world of memories of the traditions and the romantic histories of 
the far-famed Mackinaw region came over us as we steamed by beautiful 
Bois Blanc, and came out in view of old Mackinaw, Point St. Ignace. and 
the gem of all, the peerless Mackinaw Island. All was new to many of our 
company, and save the fort and framed houses, and the rude wharf and 
modern vessels, instead of Indian wigwams, and the beach lined with bark 
canoes, much the same as when Marquette first looked upon the same scen- 
ery nearly two hundred years before. It did not detract from the inter- 
est I took in this beautiful island, when I remembered how. in my boyhood, 
in the old school-house spelling be<^s, in Vermont, so many of us ust-d to 
wrestle with the old name "Michilimackinack," and I am not sure that 1 can 
spell the word correctly even now. After a short stop we steamed away for 
Detour, and entered the river St. Mary. By this time our passengers 
became pretty well acquainted with each other, and we could call the roll 
for the then Governor John S. Barry. Auditor General John Swegles. John 
Harmon, a State senator. A. Harvie. :Mr. Harris, editor of the Cleveland Her- 
ald, and we were joined at the Sault by Hon. Mr. Henry, from Vermont, 
and Hon. Truman Smith, U. S. Senator from Connecticut. The fact that 
four of us were staunch whigs. and four dyed-in-the-wool democrats, 



110 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

did not mar in the least our pleasant intercourse during the trip. Governor 
Barry, from his sedate countenance, in the early voyage, had been set down 
by the stranger passengers as a missionary to the Indians, on the way to join 
his charge, and we had to joke the governor on his missionary work, all of 
which he took without offense. To those of us who knew John Harmon in 
those days, I need not say he was not taken for an assistant missionary, 
although a listener might sometimes hear him exclaim, "I assist." 

At the "Soo" we left the London and took quarters at the hotel, waiting 
a day or two for the arrival down of the propeller Monticello, upon which 
we were to take our voyage on Lake Superior. During our stop I had the 
pleasure of catching a string of speckled trout, in the rapids, fishing 
from the shore. The population of the village of Sault Ste. Marie at that 
time was made up largely of Chippewa Indians and French and Indian half- 
breeds, and a few soldiers at the United States military post, and contained 
very little enterprise or trade beyond saloons, and stores for Indian supplies. 
There was no canal, and all transit to Lake Superior, andf from the lake to 
the river, around the rapids, was overland about one mile, by teams, or by a 
tram railway, with platform cars; and the two and only steam vessels on 
Lake Superior had been taken over this portage from St. Mary's river. 
What a contrast with to-day, when it is stated, on good authority, that the 
tonnage of grain, metals, ores, merchandise, etc., through the great locks at 
St. Mary's, was during the last year, larger than that passing through that 
great world's highway, the Suez canal. The next morning, after leaving the 
Sault, we were in sight of the Pictured Rocks. And who can describe 
the sensation of a traveler whose eyes for the first time rest upon these won- 
derful pictures of nature's handiwork? And who shall describe the pictures 
as they appear? Weird, wonderful, beautiful is all we can exclaim. Pass- 
ing Pictured Rocks, we tied up to the shore of Grand Island. Here was one 
house and a little clearing, where a solitary family was struggling for a liv- 
ing, by cultivating a few vegetables and furnishing fuel for the propellers on 
Lake Superior. 

Gov. Barry was here taken with a fainting attack; but he was taken on 
board and soon recovered, and we proceeded on our way. 

Our next landing was at the present site of Marquette, then called ''Carp 
River." A settlement had just commenced there, but the bluff was covered 
with pine and spruce trees, with a few modest cabins, the whole presenting 
as dismal a looking pioneer beginning as one could find anywhere. A little 
iron ore had been quarried and smelted there, but the greatness of this 
industry and mineral wealth, since developed under the fostering care of 
protection to home industry, was not dreamed of, even by the most sanguine 



AN OLD-TIME TRIP HI 

of the enterprising men who even then saw great things for the newly- 
discovered mineral wealth of the Lake Superior region, Seeing .Nfarcpiette, 
as I did then as Carp River, with no wharf, almost no snth-d jMipula- 
tion. a mere opening in the wilderness. I was not prepared lor iht- woiidcr- 
ful change I saw when I visited it some thirty years afterwards, in i1m; 
o;reat ore docks, and an almost continuous line of cars, disrhai-ging into the 
boats the rich ore from Xegaunee and Ishpeming. and the busy, beautiful city, 
with its brick blocks, costly residences and iron works, and other industri<'s. 
To no one man, probably, has Marquette more reason to be grateful for ln*r 
wonderful growth and prosperity, than to a mend)er of this society, and one 
who has often added to its interest in recitals of accidents connected wiili 
the early settlement of the Upper Peninsula, the lion. Peter W'liiie. 

Giving Carp River a parting gun from a small cannon on our deck, we 
steamed away up the lake to Eagle Harbor. This was also a very small 
beginning of a settlement, with a few rude buildings scattered among the 
pine trees. Our next stop was at Eagle River. Here was no harbor and no 
wharf, and the steamer anchored some distance from shore, and the jiassen- 
gers went ashore in row boats. Here the steamer "landed" some cattle, 
which was done by pushing them overboard at the gangway, the cattle 
swimming ashore. Eagle River was the landing place for the Clitf and 
North American copper mines, which were located some three miles away, 
the road to the mines passing over a high land ridge some six or se\en linn- 
dred feet in height. The Cliff mine that year was thought to \u\\o done a 
great work in the shipment of 1200 tons of copper. Another mine, since 
that, has shipped 18,000 tons in one year. 

Another jjarting gun. and we headed direct for La Pointe. Soon al'ier 
starting, .we met and saluted heartily tlie other steamer on tlie lake, the 
propeller Manhattan, little dreaming of the coming events of our next meet- 
ing. 

Our approach to La Pointe was one of great interest to many of our party, 
the larger part having never before visited the region of the Apostle islands. 

On shore we saw the old mission house, a large trading house, a few other 
buildings, with a large sprinkling of Indian wigwams. From all i)arts of the 
little settlement we saw coming towards the landing a few white men. ami a 
motley crowd of Indians, including squaws, and young and older ciiihlren, 
all clad in Indian costtime, or a mixture of Indian and white men's chdhing. 
the advent of a steamboat being at that time an uncommon event at La Pointe. 

We were much pleased to learn that old Chief Buffalo was at home, and 
that a hundred or more wild Chippewas were encamped in the woods near 



112 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 I 

by, adding no little interest to our visit. We were soon all on shore, and 
exploring the settlement. 

Of course the first objective point, for a few of us, was the Indian wig^vams, 
made either of skins or bark, with the usual architecture of Indian skill, 
and the usual decoration of dirty blankets, kettles, and skins. Meanwhile 
the dancing portion of our party were entertaining a large party of the 
natives with a white man's dance, in the trading house, which soon suggested 
an Indian dance; the first intimation of which I received by the arrival of 
the lord of a wigwam, the interior of which I was inspecting, who turned 
me out of his "castle," peremptorily, with the excuse, imparted mostly by 
signs, that he wished to dress for the war dance. We found w^hen we recog- 
nized the gentleman of the woods later, at the dance, that his "dressing" 
consisted in taking off what few clothes he usually wore, and painting his 
body with all manner of devices, rudely made with his several fingers for a 
paint brush. 

We all lost no time in gathering at the mission house before which, on a 
wide lawn of short grass, the dance was to be held. Ere long we heard in 
the direction of the woods, where the wild Indians were encamped, the pecu- 
liar thump of the "tom-tom," or Indian drum. 

The excitement of the white tourists now became intense. W^e all knew 
we were to look upon a genuine Avar dance — all but the war — not by some 
mountebank company, but principally by the woods Indians, who so far had 
refused to be civilized and Christianized into doubtful saints, at the 
Jesuit mission stations. We all moved outside, and arranged on the wide 
platform in front of the house, which from a gentle elevation afforded a 
fine view of the dance ground. On one part of the platform w^ere placed chief 
Buffalo, seated in the only arm chair to be found, with Governor Barry and 
the other dignitaries on either side of him. Chief Buffalo could only ex- 
press himself through an interpreter, and he sat in stoical silence, without a 
movement of facial muscle during the whole dance. The rest of our party 
were standing on the other part of the platform, with our ladies in front, all 
in eager anticipation of the appearance of the Indians ; and certainly not the 
least interested in the coming procession were our tourists who enjoyed the 
front seats, where nothing could obstruct a free vision of the warriors. 
On came the red men. First is seen the motion of the elevated staff adorned 
with large eagle feathers, borne by an aged warrior; next an old torn Ameri- 
can flag; and soon, with steady tread, to the measured beatings of the Indian 
drum, the whole band comes in view. Now came a new sensation. The 
ladies had hot been informed of the peculiar features of the elaborate ball 



AN OLD-TIME TRIP 113 

dress of the Indians, and no sooner had the much-painted warriors come in 
sight, than the longest-sighted lad^-, shading her eyes witli her hand lor a 
moment, to get a better view of the details, was suddenly taken ill, and, 
hastily pushing our rear ranks of gentlemen asunder, she fled into the lioiise. 
Nearer came*the Indians, and anotlier lady was attacked with the same dis- 
order, and escaped inside. Thump, thump, lounder sounded the tom-tom, 
nearer and nearer came the Indians, when another lady was attacked with 
the strange contagious disease, and then another, and another, quickly fol- 
lowed by a stampede of every lady on the platform, for which was made an 
open rank movement, and we, the men. were left alone on the platform to 
admire Indian warriors' toilets. Now the motley band halted before us, ilie 
tom-tom ceased, and the naked loveliness of these forest dancers appeared, 
even to the most short-sighted beholder. Notwithstanding our great interest 
in the display, we could not help being anxious about our ladies, in the house, 
whose sudden illness was depriving them of an equal share in the entertain- 
ment. Our great regrets were uncalled for; and if we had in those earlier 
years of life known what riper experience has taught us, that the ladies, 
although timid at the start, on any great and unusual display of strange forces 
will always find a way to overcome the timidity, and push again to the front, 
and be the last to leave the conflict, our anxiety for these would have been less. 
And so it was on this occasion. My mind, reverting in sympathy to the un- 
fortunate indisposition of our ladies, I naturally cast my eyes back towards 
the windows of the room in which they were concealed, just as the drum 
commenced to beat again for the grand dance; and what was my astonish- 
ment to see six distinct female faces instantly dodge back from six window 
panes, they were plainly and closely pressing. Soon, another fair face ap- 
peared, looking over the shoulders of the gentlemen in the doorway*. The 
gentlemen naturally made way for the fair one to get a better view, and the 
lady improved the kindness. Another lady filled her place, and soon, in her 
turn, advanced for a better view; occupying the place of the first lady, who 
had now moved on nearer the front, and this movement went on by the ladies, 
until, in succession, as quickly, as they had been attacked by the strange dis- 
order, the invalids were all recovered, taking their old positions in the front, 
''fighting bravely until the last gun was fired." and then complaining that 
the battle of the "breech-cloths" did not last longer. 

The warriors in this dance, as they moved around in a circle in close sin- 
gle file, presented a variety of dress enough to suit anyone. Very many of 
them had no dress, save the breech-cloth, and paint. One old warrior was 
dressed in a wolf skin, with the wolf head forming a head covering. 
Another, with spare spindle shanks, trotted around with a bright scarlet 
15 



114 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

shawl on his shoulders, worn folded, with the corner points dangling at his 
heels. One nobly-formed savage wore, suspended on his bare breast, two 
large silver medals, presented by the U. S. Government in 1825, one stamp- 
ed "peace and friendship," the other, "John Quicy Adams, President of 
the United States." The old men simply gave an occasional grunt, as they 
moved around with measured tread of spare and tawny limbs unclothed, in 
solemn dignity. The younger braves w^ere profuse in grotesque postures and 
whoopings, barkings, wolf bowlings and discharging their guns in the air. 
Some were dressed only in deer-skin breeches, with the usual ornaments of 
beads, tassels and feathers, and some had red shirts only. 

After the dance the great Buffalo signified his desire to have a talk 
with Gov. Barry. State Senator Harvie introduced -the Governor, who said : 
"The great chief of Michigan is glad to meet the great chief of the Chip- 
pewas. He desires to meet him as a friend and a brother, but not to confer 
upon political subjects. Let this meeting be one of friendship between the 
people of the great chief of Michigan and the people of the great chief of 
the Chippewas, and nothing more." This was repeated to Buffalo in the 
Chippewa language, sentence by sentence, by the interpreter. 

The great Buffalo replied, through the interpreter, as follows : "My 
father, I am glad to meet you here, on this land where my fathers lived, 
and the land which they have left me, and where their bones repose. Espe- 
cially am I glad to meet you at this time, when on account of some things, 
my heart is sad. I was told I should be paid off here, in this place, twenty- 
five years ago ; and now, before the time is half gone, I am told I must go to 
Sault Ste. Marie. It is a great way; I am old and cannot go. The man 
who sold these lands was but a child. Buffalo did not do it. My father 
knows the ways of the white man and the ways of the red man. In view of 
all this, the great Buffalo feels sad. I wish you to look at these papers." 

Here the chief took from beneath his dress a copy of a treaty with the 
Chippewas and handed it to the Governor, who, after looking at the title, 
handed the papers back to the chief, and replied : 

"The chief of Michigan is only chief of another great tribe, and has no 
power in the matter of this treaty. He will do all in his power to promote 
justice and right, and he advises the great Buffalo to do as his great father, 
the President, directs, as he will do right." 

The same old "taffy," as the boys now call it, always dealt out so liberally 
to the Indians. The "great father" at Washington no doubt "did right," 
by enforcing the wrong in the bogus treaty with the "child," of whom Buf- 
falo spoke. As Buffalo told Gov. Barry, "he knew the ways of the white 
man." I think we all know pretty well of the wrongs so many times 



AN OLD-TIME TRIP 115 

enforced in accordance with the terms of fraudulently obtained treaties with 
the Indians by the government, which the wronged natives are told "always 
does right.'' 

Tlie pipe of jieace was then i)assed around, and the "talk" was over. 
At this point John Harmon and the mercurial Senator Harvie had concluded 
the scheme of a little joke upon a peculiar financial characteristic of Gov. 
Barry. It was well known that the Governor, although wealthy, was very 
prudent with his means, in his expenditures of money, and it required very 
adroit management to open his purse strings on any common occasion. But 
here was a very uncommon call, and when John Harmon suggested to the 
Governor that it was customary in such cases to make some small present 
to the Indians, the Governor, thrown off his guard by the excitement of the 
dance, and the words small present, in Harmon's suggestion, replied: 
"Very well, gentlemen, make them such a present as you think siiitable for 
me.'' Harmon and Harvie sped away to the trader's store, and the small 
present speedily distributed to the red men and their squaws, would have 
insured the Governor at least six votes each from the braves had they resided 
in Chicago or New York at the next election. But when, just before we 
were to embark for our departure, the bill, to the amount of some forty or 
fifty dollars, was presented to the Governor, those of you who knew him can 
imagine the pent up wrath which his dignity, before another great chief, 
restrained from explosion; but it cast over his dark features a look which 
reminded one of a black thunder cloud which seemed just ready to burst 
asunder with terrific lightning and thunder. He paid the bill in portentious 
silence, and said not a word; but had he, about that time, caught John Har- 
mon and Senator Harvie alone, I think I would decline to record the merited 
rebuke he would have given them in his well known vigorous language, 
when occasion called for it. The clouds of the affair hung over him a long 
time; and when we landed at Ontonagon, the Governor would not go ashore, 
for fear, I suppose, of more Indians, to receive "small presents." 

We left La Pointe with regret, having our time so much occui)icd by the 
red men that we had no time to thoroughly exj)lore the locality where ^lar- 
quette was located about 1669, when only thirty years of age. 

We were obliged to anchor nearly a quarter of a mile from shore, at Onto- 
nagon, on account of the shoal water; and a part of our company went ashore 
in row boats. An old barn-like warehouse, a low double log house, one or 
two other log cabins, and a small frame house in process of construction, 
was all there was of Ontonagon; and we were soon on board and steaming 
down the lake. 

We made two other landings on our wav back, and as the last sunset we 



116 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

would be able to enjoy on Lake Superior bade us a golden good night, we 
gathered around the cabin lights, and congratulated each other upon the 
unvarying beautiful weather for the entire week we had passed upon this 
great water ; and retired to our state rooms for peaceful rest, and the 
landing in the morning at the Sault. It was a beautiful starlight night, and 
when about five miles off Whitefish point, at midnight, we were all awakened 
by a terrific crash, and concussion of the boat, which nearly threw us out of 
our berths. Such of us as were thus rudely awakened, supposed we had 
struck a rock. On entering the cabin from my state room, I found the floor 
around the dining room table strewn with broken crockery, food, and glass- 
ware, which the collision had thrown from a table where the captain and the 
choice spirits of the passengers were having a farewell supper; and the pas- 
sengers were running to and fro in great alarm. We soon found we had 
come in collision with the other and opposition steamer on the lake, the 
Manhattan, but did not know for a short time of intense suspense if one or 
both steamers would go to the bottom, which was soon found to be beyond 
soundings. Very soon, we heard our captain. Jack Wilson, call out to Capt. 
Colwell, of the other steamer, 'Tor God's sake hurry your passengers 
aboard my boat, for you are sinking." 

In the midst of intense excitement, the few men, women, and children, 
were hurried from the sinking Manhattan, and lifted from the small boats 
on board the Monticello, nearly all of them in their night clothes, barely 
escaping with their other garments in their hands. 

We saw the doomed steamer gradually sinking deeper and deeper in the 
water, and waited with anxious eyes for the moment, soon expected, when 
she would take the final plunge. She was soon down to the upper deck, and 
just as we held our breath to see the Avater engulf her, some one cried out, 
"She floats!" And so it proved. The boat was heavily loaded with lum- 
ber and wood, and, just sinking to her upper decli floor, floated, from the 
bouyancy of the loading. We took the wreck in tow, and the next morning, 
within a few miles of the landing at the Sault, I saw her keel plow into the 
sand bottom, in twenty-two feet of water, and the rest of that season, ''our 
line" had no opposition. 

It is often very amusing, even in the midst of events full of ruin and dis- 
aster, to witness the ludicrous acts of individuals. 

A lady was brought on board our boat, who sank upon the cabin floor, in 
her night clothes, and, clasping her hands as if in utter despair, exclaimed, 
"Oh, dear! my trunks are all lost, and my two new silk dresses in them, and 
I have been way down to Massachusetts to get them; but I don't care if 
I can get my nev^ teeth! I left two new sets in my state room, and I must 



AN OLD-TIME TRIP 117 

have them! Do tell somebody to get my teeth before the boat sinks. If I 
can only get my teeth, 1 don't care for anything elsel" One man came through 
the cabin, crying out to the passengers. "(Jet out of the way ; she has jiowdcr 
on board, and will explode in a minute!" 

As we all knew that powder was, at that time, ten feet un(h'r water, he 
di<l not alarm us much. But it was very touching to see the mothers clasp 
their children in their arms, when they realized their safety, and with tears 
streaming down their cheeks, thank God for their deliverance from the 
sinking boat. There were many tearful eyes in that cabin, besides those of 
the rescued. Before we left the wreck aground, I went aboard and found 
the stem of our boat had struck the Manhattan about midship, and almost 
at right angle, cutting completely into her hull and deck some seven or 
eight feet. As a piece of naval war practice, this collision would have been 
a great success. But as a peaceful meeting, on the broad, deep lake, on a 
bright, starlit night. I suppose the courts must have decided on its merits. 
I never learned the subsequent fate of the Manhattan. 

We found the London at the wharf, below the St. Mary's Kapids. and the 
tram railway soon transferred us to the new quarters on board. We took a 
direct course for Detroit from Mackinaw, in the face of a strong wind; and 
the next morning, when somewhere off Thunder Bay, it was blowing a gale, 
and the waves made our boat groan in every joint. The captain very pru- 
dently put about and made for Presque Isle harbor, where we remained all 
day, until the storm subsided. There was one board dwelling house at 
Presque Isle, and the old unbroken forest came down to the lake shore. 

A pleasant ride down to Lake Huron, and we entered the River St. Clair, at 
Fort Gratiot, in the afternoon, well contented to enjoy the beautiful quiet 
waters of the river, after the somewhat uncertain waters of the lake; and at 
night we went to our state room for onr last sleep on the steamer, before we 
should again walk the streets of Detroit, with its already known dignity as 
a city, and rejoicing that on our now fast closing tour we had safely 
escaped all the perils of collisions, the wild Indians, and wilder waves of the 
great lakes. But events proved it is not judicious to balance your books before 
your accounts are all posted. In my berth that night, while quietly enjoying 
the steady movement of our boat in the still water, I heard a low grating 
sound coming up from the bottom of the boat, and by a little attention soon 
discovered it was the keel of the boat scraping acquaintance with the gravel 
of the shoals in Lake St. Clair, and I was rather enjoying the novel enter- 
tainment, when, all at once, there came a crash below our room that shook 
the boat as if a torpedo had been exploded under us. 

You mav well l)elieve the satisfaction I felt, at that moment, in the know- 



118 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

ledge that the solid earth was not six inches below our boat's keel was of no 
little magnitude, and as the wheels soon began to move, and the boat evi- 
dently was again on her course, we kept our berths, and slept until morning, 
counting two collisions on one trip of no small importance in the list of our 
adventures, for we found, in the morning, we had collided with the bowsprit 
of a large schooner, breaking it off, and it in return completely wrecking the 
cook room and pantry of the steamer. 

The pleasant memories of that two weeks' trip to Lake Superior, in 1851, 
are green in my memory yet; but with them is mingled the sad reflection 
that of the twelve persons of our party mentioned in this paper, only three 
remain, John Harmon, my oldest daughter, Mrs. Colvin, of Adrian, and 
myself. Oh how our pathway through the departed years is shaded by the 
many willows we have planted along the way, over the graves of our friends 
and loved companions. Fellow pioneers, our turn to stop and rest, as these 
have done, is not far away. May our lives be such that when it comes, kind 
hands may plant the cypress and the willow over our resting places with the 
same sincere regard we have cherished for the dear ones who have gone be- 
fore us. On through the coming years we seem to see the unclouded bright- 
ness of the pathway, for those who shall fill our places; but let our children 
remember that an unbroken line of the cypress and the willow will follow 
them, as it has followed us, as the years move on, until we all gather on that 
shore, where there can be no- shadows, because there is no sun ; ''for the Lord 
our God is the light thereof." 



KECOLLECTIONS OF PIONEER LIFE IN MICHIGAN 



BY JOSEPH BUSBY 



While on a vist to my old friend, Judge Albert Miller, of Bay City, in 
the fall of 1885, we w^ere talking over matters of "Auld Lang Syne," as we 
were accustomed to do whenever the opportunity occurred. He suggested 
that I should write something of my early experience as a pioneer of Mich- 
igan, and as I have always taken a deep interest in the pioneer movement, I 



RECOLLECTIONS OF PIONEER LIFE IN MICHIGAN 119 

readily consented to do so, and in doing which I may have to speak often of 
myself, but hope not to be thought egotistical. 

My father kept cows, sold milk, and kept a store for the sale of butter, 
cheese, and eggs, etc., in London, England, for many years. His life was 
a laborious one; often during the suninun- lie would have to rise at 
midnight and ride six or eight miles, to milk his cows, as pasture could 
be obtained better and chea]>er at that distance; he would get home 
with the milk by five or six o'clock in the morning, then he would 
have to serve the milk to out-door customers, and that would take two 
persons (my father and younger brother), until nine o'clock; then, if he 
could, he would have one or two hours' sleej). and after a lunch or early 
dinner, would have to start again to milk, and on his return would go 
round again to serve the milk, as his customers all expected to be served 
twice a day. I Avas apprenticed at that time and lived away from home. My 
mother attended to the store and house affairs; they kept one servant of all 
work. As I said before, it was very hard on father, and it Avas not so easy to 
change into any other business then. In the early part of 1830, a gentleman 
from Canada was visiting a friend of mine, and from him I received a glow- 
ing account of that country. I also secured books and pamphlets, written 
by William Cobbett and others, relating principally to farming interests in the 
United states, and advising persons to go there instead of to Canada. I 
used to read these works to the folks at home, and urged my father to sell 
out and try his fortune in that new, distant, and to us unknown country, as 
I felt badly to see him work so hard, and thought he might do better there, 
and finally he advertised and sold out his business, and after bidding all our 
friends farewell, we sailed for New York (quite an undertaking in those days), 
in what was then considered a large vessel, a packet ship of 500 tons. We 
were forty-four days upon the water, and sometimes pretty well shaken up. 
1 have seen it so rough that nearl}' every one was sea-sick, even the animals, 
for in those days they always took a cow, sheep, pigs, and poultry. I re- 
member well the turkeys were sick, also the cow. Every day or so they 
would kill a pig or sheep for fresh meat. I could tell of many incidents of 
the voyage, and the perils, etc., but I will only mention two. Once there was 
an alarm of fire, which caused quite a commotion for a time, but it was soon 
extinguished, to our great relief. A ship on fire at sea is something awful to 
think of. It was caused by ashes from a pipe carelessly thrown among some 
inflammable matter. At another time we were nearly run down by another 
vessel in the night, and were only saved from a terrible disaster by the vigi- 
lance of the captain. The vessel was coming down before the wind, and was 
near cutting us in two, as our ship was tacking, and was within a ship's 



120 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

length of us, but the captain happened to come on deck in the nick of time, 
and got the ship round so that only the rigging of the two vessels became 
entangled. It was a very providential escape. My mother was very sick all 
the way over. She felt very badly at leaving all her family, father, mother, 
brothers, and sisters behind, without any prospects, as she supposed, of ever 
seeing them again. A voyage across the broad Atlantic in those days was a 
great undertaking, and especially to come to an unknown country, among 
entire strangers. Now we can cross in comparative ease in less than seven 
days. I could tell a great deal more about our journey, but it is unnecessary 
here, as I started out to tell of our early experience as pioneers of Michigan, 
but thought it might be interesting to some to know why we left our native 
land. 

We were very glad to set foot on terra firma once more, and were delight- 
ed with New York (what we saw of it), but did not stay long, as my father's 
intention was to get a farm; so we started for Utica (I believe one of our 
fellow passengers was going there to a brother), where he made a short stay, 
and there heard that in Michigan eighty acres of good land could be purchas- 
ed for one hundred dollars. Father thought that was just the thing, so he 
concluded to go there. Emigration then was setting that way. Very few 
now living can realize what traveling was in those early times. In the first 
place, on leaving New York, we took steamer from there to Albany; then 
by the Erie canal (which had been finished just five years) to Buffalo, and 
from there to Detroit by lake steamer. We crossed the lake in the old 
Superior, and arrived in Detroit without mishap. It was the only way we 
could go, as there were no railroads then. Time from New York, over two 
weeks; now it takes twenty-three hours. It was a long and tedious journey 
with a family of seven, and very expensive; no competition. My father 
hired the half of the house, I think on Woodward avenue, just above Jefferson 
avenue, as it was cheaper than going to a hotel, and he had to economize. 
We then began to look around and. make enquiry about the country, and 
after waiting a day or two, father and I started out to ''view the land." 
We were advised to go westward, and went on foot to Ypsilanti (30 miles). 
The country and roads were new ; the road muddy, with a clay soil, which 
made it heavy walking. We passed several small houses on the road, occu- 
pied by new settlers, and I think in every house we found some one sick, 
and in one or two the whole family were down. We stopped for informa- 
tion, but it was very discouraging to find so much sickness; but we kept on, 
as we intended to go as far as Ypsilanti, and perhaps farther, if we liked 
the country. But night overtook us hbout six or seven miles from our des- 
tination, and a darker night I think I never saw. And what made it worse. 



RECOLLECTIONS OF PIONEER LIFE IN MICHIGAN 121 

it commenced* to rain in torrents, accompanied with tlumder and lightning, 
and the road was horrible (wet clay), with a dense wood on each side. The 
lightning showed us our road occasionally, and what made it still worse, we 
heard the howling of wolves, first on one side, then on both sides, and also 
behind ns. We had heard and read about wolves, but never had them so 
unpleasantly near before, and I must confess we were somewhat alarmed — 
not knowing what they might do. It was so dark we could not see them, 
but I carried a loaded fowling piece, and intended to give them a warm 
reception if they came too near; but they did not molest us, and in due 
time we arrived at the tavern in Ypsilanti, and related our experi- 
ence, before a rousing fire, such as we had never seen before, and after get- 
ting a good supper, instead of making one for the wolves, and drying our 
clothes, we retired to bed, and made up our minds we had seen enough .on 
that road and the next morning started back to Detroit rather discouraged. 
We then became acquainted Avith a Mr. Lawson (an Englishman), living 
about four miles out on the Pontiac road, who had a log house on his farm 
that was unoccupied, and which he offered to us free of rent until we could 
decide where to locate, — the offer was gladly accepted. We also had the priv- 
ilege of cutting what firewood we needed, and also if we chose to cut cord 
wood, for Avhich we were to be paid. I remember going out with my father 
one morning to cut down our first tree. We selected a good sized one. prob- 
ably fourteen inches in diameter; we cut into it and all around it. without 
any idea which Avay it would fall. Mr. Lawson came uj) while wo wore at 
work and told us we were in danger, and explained to us how we should do 
it, but we did not make much headway at that kind of work and gave it up. 
Father, by Mr. Lawson's advice, leased a house on Woodward Avenue, a 
few doors below the Grand Circus, or rather where the Grand Circus is now. 
At that time it was a mud hole, and after a heavy shower the water would 
cover the road. I remember one Sunday afternoon seeing a young Irishnmu 
and his sweetheart who wanted to go across and he took her on his back and 
carried her over. We fitted up the house during the winter for a hotel and 
moved into it in the early spring, raised the sign with a spread eagle on each 
side and called in the Eagle Tavern. That was in the spring of 1831. We 
had a good run of custom, all we could accommodate (the house was not 
large), and sometimes more. Some days all the hotels would be crowded, 
and people would come in and be content to lie even on the floor rather than 
stay out of doors all night. Detroit then was a small place of about 2,200 in- 
habitants, and had few of the conveniences of modern times. No water-works. 
I had to take the horse and cart and empty barrels every morning and drive 
down to and into the river, and then with a pail fill the barrels, which, 
16 



122 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

by the time I got home, would not be more than two-thirds full, owing to the 
rough road, and sometimes I would have to go twice in one day. How different 
now. The roads of Detroit were bad. There Avas a stage ran from there 
to Pontiac, on a very fair road in summer, but in the spring and fall almost 
impossible to get through with an empty wagon, and often the stage would 
stick fast in the clay soil up to the hubs, and the driver would have to get help 
to pry it out, the passengers having to get out at the worst places and walk. 
It was a standing joke, at the time, that the passengers had to carry rails with 
them to help the stage out of the mud. I will mention an incident that oc- 
curred while keeping tavern (I might relate many others but it would occupy 
too much space) . It was customary for father or myself to meet the steamers 
as they came in from Buffalo and to take passengers to oiir house. Sometimes 
they would land thousands in a day, and on one occasion he brought a lady 
and infant a few weeks old. She said her husband left the boat for a few 
moments to procure some necessity, and got left behind, but that he would 
take the next boat. So the next day she left the child at the house and went 
to meet her husband, as she said he would not know where to find her, and 
that was the last we ever saw or heard of her, so the baby was left on our 
bands. Of course we did not want any babies, and should have sent it away, 
but one of the guests who had no children of her own took pity on the little 
thing, and agreed to take it and bring it up, and in a few days left with her 
husband, Mr. Spare, for Saginaw. I believe it lived for one year and then 
died. 

My father succeeded very well that year, but the next year, 1832, the 
cholera broke out and raged fearfully in Detroit ; business generally was stag- 
nated and a great number left the city. I remember well one man and wife 
(strangers) came there. He left his wife and went to look for a place in the 
country. He came back in three days. In the meantime his wife had died 
and was buried. And one gentleman, a resident of the city, sent his family 
away, but stayed himself to attend to business, but all his family died except 
himself. There were also many cases of small-pox and bilious fever. I was 
taken down with the fever and was very low indeed, and not expected to re- 
cover, and it was a long time before I regained my strength. The doctor 
who attended me died himself of cholera. About this time the Black Hawk 
war broke out. It caused quite an excitement in D.etroit, and they drafted 
about three hundred men who went to join the forces against the Indians. 
My brother James volunteered to go with them. They were in command of 
Colonel Brooks, and were encamped on the common, back of our house, and 
made it quite lively for some days. That company went about sixty miles 
and then received orders to return. I afterwards saw the chief and his sons. 



RECOLLECTIONS OF PIONEER LIFE IN MICHIGAN 123 

and some more of the Indians in Detroit. In the early part of 18:i:^. my 
sister was married to James Fraser, who afterwards concluded to remove his 
family to Saginaw, where he had bought land, and he prevailed on jiiy fatlu^r 
to do the same. So in the fall of that year he sold out the tavern business 
and accompanied the Erasers to Saginaw, then a very new country, and but 
few white settlers there. I, and a young- man named Edward Brown 
(whose family were to be neighbors) Aveiit out first and took a drove of 
cows and oxen, etc., and a horse each. T think we slept three nights on the 
road (it might have been four) ; T am not certain now where we stoi)ped or 
how we fared the first part of the road, but when we got to Flint we 
stopped with John Todd, the only house we could stop at. There were two 
other houses and I think that was all. The next day we drove to the Cass 
river, not much more than a trail through the woods. We arrived there after 
dark, the cattle and horses very tired ; we could not see whether we had them 
all or not. An old Frenchman (I think his name was Campau) lived across 
the river, and we called him to bring over his canoe, and after taking the 
bridles and saddles off the horses we let them go and crossed with the French- 
man, and got sui)i)er, and then laid down on the bare floor in front of a good 
fire, and being tired slept soundly till morning, and then, after breakfast, 
crossed the river again and found horses and cattle all there. They had bwn 
too tired to go away far, so after swimming them over we started on our 
journey again, and after going eleven miles arrived at Green Point. Here 
the river was wide, — the Shiawassee and Tittabawassee rivers make a junction 
with the Saginaw, about two miles above the city of Saginaw. — and here I met 
for the first time my good friend. Judge Albert Miller, and his brother-in- 
law. Mr. E. Jewett. Mr. Miller was then a young man and lived with his 
mother (a most estimable lady, whose kindness of heart and hospitable wel- 
come to new comers was well remembered and highly appreciated). We 
received very great and timely assistance from Messrs. Miller and Jewett in 
swimming our cattle across the wide stream. We then proceeded on our 
way and arrived at our destination on the Tittabawassee before dark. My 
father had purchased the place opposite James Eraser's mow Ihe I'aines 
farm), so the families could be near each other. There was a house on the 
place adjoining occupied by a family named Tuft, with whom we stayed un- 
til we could get a house up on fathers place. In the meantime my brother 
James had come out to assist me. and we cut logs for a house 20 by 30. and 
hewed them on two sides, and then invited the neighbors for miles around 
(and it took about all there were) to the raising, and we got the walls up that 
day and began to feel proud of our house. We obtained shingles from 
Detroit by water, and split out oak ribs to nail them to, so we had a good 



124 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

tight roof, and then we had plank floors. I think the Judge has said some- 
thing about that in an article written by him. He spoke of being a part of 
the first saw mill in the country ; well, I was the other half. I believe we two 
sawed the first plank ever sawed in the Saginaw valley. He was pitman and 
I was top sawyer. We sawed plank for two floors out of green pine (the saw 
my father brought from England with a number of farming implements that 
he had better have thrown overboard, as the freight from New York cost 
more than they were worth). It is needless for me to describe the building 
of the chimney (of sticks and clay) and finishing of the house, as these things 
have so often been described before. Suffice it to say we received great and 
timely assistance from Judge Miller all through, and when it was done we 
felt proud of it, and if you could have been at the house-warming and wit- 
nessed the dancing, and heard the singing, I think you would have said we 
were a happy family. I never heard my father utter a word of regret at 
leaving England; he seemed perfectly contented. My mother felt very badly 
at times, the separation from all her family, with very little prospect of ever 
seeing any of them again in this life. But after a time those feelings wore 
off and she became perfectly reconciled. While I and my brother were stay- 
ing at Tuft's (who was a very superstitious man) he awoke us one night in 
great alarm, and called to us to get up and come down, for the world was 
coming to an end. Of course we got up at once and went out and witnessed 
a very beautiful sight, the meteoric shower of 1833. We watched until day- 
light, it was indeed a sight worth seeing and never to be forgotten. I have 
never seen anything so grand since, and would not have missed it on any ac- 
count. My brother James was married in that house to the eldest daughter 
^of Captain Maiden, and Judge Miller married them (the first couple he ever 
married), and we had a rousing party on that occasion, such as had never 
been seen in that part of the country before. My brother, who had learned 
the carpenter trade in Detroit, went with his wife to reside there. 

We were very much annoyed at times by the wolves, and often kept awake 
at night by their bowlings. Sometimes there would seem to be fifty or more 
at once, generally when they were chasing deer. The bears also were trouble- 
some at times, and would kill our hogs. One of our neighbors, D. 
McClennand, heard one night a great commotion among his hogs in the pen, 
and getting up to ascertain the cause, saw by the light of the moon a large 
bear making off with one of his fat hogs weighing about 200 lbs. which he 
had taken out of the pen. He immediately seized his gun and went out 
through the snow just as he got out of bed, but the bear dropped the hog 
(which he had killed), and made for the adjacent woods, but the next day the 
Indians followed the tracks and killed the bear. Speaking of hogs, I never but 



I 



RECOLLECTIONS OF PIONEER LIFE IN MICHIGAN 125 

once saw a real druukeu hog (I lueau a foui'-legged one), and that was at the 
raising of a log barn or shed on Eraser's place; it was customary in those early 
days to furnish liquor at all gatherings, especially at raisings, as the neigh- 
bors turned out to help without pay, and that day a large tin pail of whisky 
was brought and set down a short distance off by the fence, when, on turning 
my head that way, I saw a hog with his head in the pail, and before we could 
prevent he had iml)ibed the whole, and it made him quite frisky, lie would 
jump around something like a dog after his tail, then he would fetch on his 
nose, stagger, and fall and squeal, in fact was drunk; but I don't know if he 
suffered from headache afterwards, as he never mentioned it. 

We were never molested by the Indians, but always on friendly terms 
with them. We would trade with them occasionally for venison, fish, or 
cranberries. Once two strapping fellows came to the house late in the even- 
ing and wanted some whisky, and made us understand that his squaw had 
got little papoose. We very seldom let them have liquor, but as that seemed 
to be a special occasion we let them have some, but they did not seem in any 
hurry to go home, but laid down on the floor and slept until daylight. They 
were very quiet. Sometimes they would pitch their wigwam near the house 
and then we could get very little sleep. They would have a pow-wow, and 
keep it up all night, with a monotonous drumming and singing (after their 
fashion), but beyond that we were not disturbed. There was one thing we 
missed very much and that was religious instruction ; Ave had no preaching 
for about two years, and sometimes I would find parties at work who did not 
know what day of the week it was until I told them. 

1 used frequently to go from the farm to Saginaw, on Sunday, to the post- 
offlce for mail matter. The mail carrier used to come on horseback from 
Flint once a week, and cross the river at Green Point, the only crossing at 
that time. I remember meeting him once, and as he had some errand to our 
house T accompanied him. He did not want to be troubled carrying the mail 
bag there and back, so he pitched it into the bushes until he returned. At 
that time the mail was not a heavy one. 

We underwent many privations in those early days of the settlement. We 
had to get our supplies from Detroit, and as they could not be brought by 
land they came by water, and only one small vessel, the Scrage, at that time. 
If late in the season it would get frozen in the ice in the bay, and then we 
would have to wait until the ice would bear a team. Meanwhile, we would l>e 
out of flour and meal, etc., and would have to borrow from those who were 
more fortunate, who always divided cheerfully with those who had none. I 
have pounded corn in a mortar, made from a hollow log cut off and set up 
endwise, and a pestle fixed to a spring pole fastened across under the beams. 



126 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

I can't say the meal was very fine. We would blow away what chaff we could 
and the rest we had to eat in the mush. Sometimes we would use a large 
grater, but that was too slow a process; and then to make the flour hold out 
we would boil potatoes and mix with the flour, half and half, which did very 
well. One thing we had plenty of — good milk and good appetites. In the 
winter we would make up sleighing parties, and the ice on the river being 
sound we would make eight or ten sleigh loads and go ten, fifteen, or perhaps 
twenty miles, and call on a neighbor, and all get out and have a dance, and 
then come home by moonlight. I have had my fingers frozen driving but we 
enjoyed the sport. 

In 1835 my father left the farm and moved to Saginaw and opened a 
boarding house. A great number had moved there from the east, which made 
business lively. I took the farm to run on my own account. I had some 
very choice crops in the ground which looked well and promising, but the 
water rose and overflowed the banks of the river and destroyed them. I 
waited until the ground became dry enough and replanted, but the water 
rose a second time so I could take my canoe and paddle all over the ground. 
I then became discouraged and gave up farming, and went to Saginaw and 
engaged in other business. About this time there Avas quite an excitement 
caused by the advent of the first steamboat ever seen in those waters. We 
heard that the Governor Marcy was actually coming up the river with a 
large company on board. And on she came, sure enough, and everybody 
was out to see her and give her a welcome. I went on board with a number 
of others and we went up the river, and up the Tittabawassee, until she 
touched bottom just below John Brown's (Scotch Brown's), for we had two 
John Brown's, and to distinguish them called one Scotch and the other 
Yankee Brown. 

There are one or two things I forgot to mention before. The early settlers 
will remember what a pest the blackbirds were, and what a trouble we had 
to keep them from destroying the crops, especially the corn, just when it 
was soft and milky. They would flock there by the million, and it would 
take all our time and attention, until the corn got hard, to keep them off. 
Day after day, from daylight in the morning until the middle of the day, 
and again from two hours before sundown until dark, I have had to run up 
and down the field, until as wet with the dew as if I had been in the river, 
firing at and hallooing at them to keep them from alighting, and by doing so 
would succeed in driving them over; but they would come, one flock after 
another. We would build stages some distance apart, and take an empty 
barrel, and beat with a stick, or anything to make a noise. Only by such 
means could we get a crop. If we could keep them on the wing, they would 



RECOLLECTIONS OF PIONEER LIFE IN MICHIGAN 127 

pass over to the wild rice liekls till towards eveniug. I have known whole 
fields destroyed in a day or two by neglecting it. Another great pest was 
the mosquitoes. They were very thick and troublesome, and we had to 
make fires around the house and keep them off by the smoke; but sometimes 
it seemed they could stand as much smoke as we could. Then came the 
fever and ague, brought on by exposures (and I don't wonder at itj. Almost 
every new comer would have it at some time. I had it. at one time, for two 
months, and would shake every other day; one day I would go to work, and 
the next shake, but I finally shook it off. I never had it more than tliree 
or four days at a time after that, and then quite light. I will merely state 
further that I continued to reside in the Saginaws until the fall of 1830 ; 
in the meantime, learned the carpenter's trade. I helped to raise the first 
saw mill (the Williams mill), and worked on a number of the best houses of 
that time, and could have had i)lenty of business, but there was a great scar- 
city of money. I finally raised enough to carry me to Xew York, where 1 
resided until the spring of 1S4C, when I bought and removed to Williams- 
burgh, now Brooklyn, Eastern District, where I carried on business as a 
builder, part of the time in partnership with my brother James, until in 
1869 I went into the real estate and insurance business, from which I retired 
two years ago, and since that time have been traveling through this country 
and some parts of Europe. 

In conclusion, I would say that I am much interested in the pioneer 
movement, and in reading the reports and doings of the society. I write 
from memory, having no notes to refer to. I often regret not having made 
some memoranda at that time, but what I have written is too deeply 
impressed on my mind ever to be forgotten. I should have been very much 
pleased to have attended your next social gathering, but expect to be in 
Europe at that time; but if spared another year, shall endeavor to be pres- 
ent. I take great pleasure in reading the volumes of ''Pioneer Collections.'' 
Many of the names and incidents I am familiar Avith. And now. wishing the 
society every success, I must bring this pajier to a close. 



In reference to the preceding paper. Judge Albert Miller, of Bay City, has furnished 
the following: 

Many of the incidents mentioned in the foregoing article I well remem- 
ber. The ''Eagle Tavern" must be remembered by the early settlers of 
Detroit, and by those who traveled north from Detroit in 1831 and 1832. 
The difficulties incident to travel in those days are well described. I remem- 
ber the trouble we had in swimming the cattle (mentioned by Mr. Busby), 



128 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

across the Saginaw river. In swimming, cattle are prone to follow a leader; 
there were quite a number in the drove mentioned, and they were all driven 
into the river together, and, following their instincts, instead of striking for 
the opposite shore, they formed themselves into a circle and swam after each 
other, till with great difficulty, we succeeded in breaking the circle and 
heading one animal for shore, where he landed, followed by the rest of the 
drove, after having been drifted by the current far below the regular land- 
ing place. 

Mr. Busby mentions the sawing done by him and myself as being the first 
done in the county. He is mistaken in that; for there was hand-sawing of 
lumber done by the U. S. troops long before he or I ever saw Saginaw. In 
mentioning the subject in my address to the pioneers of Saginaw, I said it 
was the only saw running in that locality at the time mentioned. The 
house raising, chimney building, house warming and wedding, are well 
remembered by the writer. 

Albert Miller 



THE DIOCESE OF DETROIT— WHAT IT WAS— WHAT IT IS 



BY THE REV. FRANK A. O BRIEN^ OF ST. AUGUSTINE^S CHURCH^ KALA- 
MAZOO 



Air. President, Ladies and Gentlemen — 

The Diocese of Detroit is no small factor in the history of the Catholic 
Church in the United States. Not only on account of present importance, 
but on account of its history as well, dating as it does, a long way back. 
The Catholic settlements in Michigan were very early, and the annals of that 
church are unique. 'A diocese means a certain territory assigned to the 
spiritual jurisdiction of one bishop. He is the head of all within his dio- 
cese, accountable to God and Rome only for its administration. Detroit, and 
its adjacent territory, which meant all the northwest, was successively under 
the jurisdiction of Spanish, French, English and Canadian bishops till the 



THE DIOCESE OF DETROIT— WHAT IT WAS— WHAT IT IS 129 

establislinieiit of The See of Baltiiuoie in ITS!), when it became a department 
of that See. Then, as the churcli grew, and new Sees were erected, it became 
subject in succession to Bardstown, Ky., and tinally to Cincinnati. So rapid 
was the growth of the church, or rather, so much had been done by the early 
missionaries, that the northwest seemed to be an enigma to the bishops who 
had not visited it. Scarcely would one See be created, but the new bishop 
would inform his seniors that more were needed ; that his share was too large 
to manage projjerly. So it was, in a particular way, with Michigan, which 
was thought to be outside the limits of civilization; not only in Europe, either^ 
as it is so thought there, in some localities, even now, but in our own country, 
especially "down east.'' Bishop Fenwick was consecrated Bishop of the Dio- 
cese of Cincinnati in 1823. and assumed control of Michigan as part of his 
diocese. In the following year, in making his episcopal visitations, he was 
astonished at what he saw in Michigan; churches were where he had not 
thought of, schools flourished, alike for white and Indian. The Indian 
schools at Green Bay. Mackinaw and L'Arbre Croche were wonders. The 
latter had put on the airs of an academy, and the good Bishop, on examina- 
tion, found several of its scholars fit for the university. He immediatly 
volunteered to defray the expenses of all of this class who felt like enjoying 
the benefits of such a course. Two Indian youths availed themselves of this 
offer, William Maccodabinese and Augustus Hamlen. Bishop Fenwick sent 
them immediately to the University of the Propaganda at Kome, where they 
were received with open arms. They were studious, and profited of the 
chance given them, as many testimonial letters to Bishop Fenwick testify. 
Among the warm friends whom they found in Rome was a young priest, of 
rare talent and remarkable ability, who took them under his protection, and 
gained for them many favors, which otherwise they would not have had. 
This person was Father Frederick Reze. afterwards the first bishop of 
Detroit. William Maccodabinese studied for the priesthood, but died 
before ordination. Augustus Hamlen returned to his tribe an accomplished 
civil engineer. Perhaps they are the only natives that ever completed a uni- 
versity course. Bishop Fenwick. after his five months' visitation tour in the 
Michigan portion of his diocese, returned convinced that Detroit must have 
a bishop. He made this the object of a trip to Baltimore. He consulted 
with the bishops of Baltimore, New York, Bardstown, Philadelphia and 
Charlestown, and from the arguments he used, they agreed to unite with 
him in a petition to Rome for a division of his diocese v/ith Detroit as the 
See city. They united in commending Father Gabriel Richard as a suitable 
candidate for its first bishop. Rome, it seems, was fearful that the Church 
was spreading too fast. Its creed is to make haste slowly. It was, no 
17 



130 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

doubt, astonished to receive this petition, which was but a repetition of what 
had come when Cincinnati was erected into a diocese only three years previ- 
ous. Its answer of April, 1826, was gracious, but decidedly unsatisfactory 
to Bishop Fenwick, who counted on relief. The letter went on to state 
that, while they felt that Detroit would one day be a See, yet they were 
doubtful if the opportune time had arrived. Father Richard was known at 
Rome; his zeal, piety and labors were held in high esteem at the Roman 
court, and they felt sure he would do honor to the position. Still, Rome did 
not possess sufficient knowledge in regard to Michigan to make this impor- 
tant move. AVould Bishop Fenwick and the other bishops be so kind as to 
send along the number of Catholic churches, priests, and what sources ot 
revenue there were for the support of a bishop in a becoming manner, who 
is always a prince of the church. Rome also called their attention to the 
fact that there should be some order followed in the nomination of bishops, 
who were increasing in America. The nomination of a single individual, 
no matter how worthy, was not in keeping with the laws and customs of the 
church. Hence, they suggested that, as it must come soon, let it begin 
with Detroit, that the bishops nominate in the future three worthy })riests 
for a vacant or new See, saying which was worthy, more worthy, and most 
worthy, and Rome would select one of the three. In this case Gabriel Rich- 
ard's name must be one of the three. This method suggested for the 
election of the first bishop of Detroit was the one adopted by the Second 
Provincial Council of Baltimore and observed even till our own day. 

Good Bishop Fenwick was disappointed; his work was growing; his 
co-laborers were not numerous enough; each of them was doing double 
work. The spiritual affairs of his vast district he could manage by delegat- 
ing, to a great extent, but the continually growing temporal interests were 
almost too much. A visitation trip consumed, as a rule, six months. At 
every step he was greeted with, "'Will you send us a priest?" What could he 
do? When he returned home, business which had accumulated during his 
absence kept him very busy, so that, finally, instead of going from place to 
place, as had been his wont to execute deeds etc., he gave power of attor- 
ney to individuals for each specific work. A specimen of such a power of 
attorney' may be of interest, the original being in the Bishop's own hand- 
writing. 

''Know all men by these presents, that I, Edward D. Fenwick, Bishop of 
Cincinnati, have made, constituted and appointed, and by these presents do 
make, constitute and appoint Michael Cummins, rector of St. Antony's 
Church, Monroe, Mich., my true and lawful attorney, for me and in my 
name and in my place and stead, to sell, lease, let or devise so much of that 



I 



THE DIOCESE OF DETROIT— WHAT IT WAS— WHAT IT IS 131 

parcel oi' giouiul conveyed to me by Martin Nadeau, trustee of St. Antony's 
rinirch, as compreliended between the road leading to the ujiper settlement 
on the north side, and the River Raisin on the south, being one chain S!»i/j 
links along River Raisin, and then to the track confirmed to Jacque and 
Francois Leipelle on the east, and that owned by Gabriel Richard on the 
Avest, that is between the middle of the sixty feet broad road leading to 
Rocky River and aforesaid tract owned by Gabriel Richard. The money 
arising from lease, sale, rent, or devise of aforesaid, to be employed in 
finishing the new brick church of St. Antony, 

"In witness whereof, etc., etc. Edward J >. Fexwick." 

This mode of proceeding aided him somewhat, but he felt the burden was 
too great to bear alone. He concluded to go to Rome in person to state his 
case, in preference to visiting each bishop again, as the time consumed would 
be about equal. He had also in view the augmenting of the number of clergy 
in his diocese by volunteer missionaries of Europe, whom he could solicit in 
person, and also the funds which he might collect to aid along works of 
charity in his rapidly growing diocese. He accordingly set sail, and met with 
a very favorable reception from the Holy See, who spoke encouraging words, 
endeavored to enlist volunteers in his service, and furnished him wit^i aid 
for his missions, but his favorite theme, the new Diocese of Detroit, was re- 
ferred to a council of bishops, which Rome desired to meet in Baltimore as 
soon as the time would permit. While in Rome a young Hanoverian ])riest, 
whom Ave have before mentioned, of noble family, who had graduated with 
the honors from the Urban College, an institution of the highest standing, 
visited him and stated he had concluded to return to his diocese with him. 
Bishop Fenwick at this announcement was surprised as well as edified. 
Young Reze was looked up to in all circles and promised great things for the 
future. His talents and gentle bearing had won for him a high position in 
church circles at its very centre. Naturally he could look forward to all the 
honor the church could give, and to see him willing to forsake all for the 
wilds of the northwest astonished the good Bishop of Cincinnati. Before 
leaving Rome, January 13, 1827, Bishop Fenwick oflScially appointed him 
his chancellor and vicar general. Bishop Fenwick returned to his diocese, 
having arranged before leaving Rome, that Father Reze was to go on a col- 
lecting tour through Europe. 

In this he was very successful. Many clergymen listened to his earnest 
appeal for more laborers and cast their lot with him. The number of 
church ornaments he collected helped materially to adorn many a church in 
the northwest. The works of art. i)aintings, etc.. he gathered form the 



132 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

treasure of a number of churches. Among such works is a masterpiece of 
Van Dyke, ''The Crucifixion," now in the bishop's private chapel in Detroit. 
Besides these items he succeeded in collecting- very large amounts of money. 
His great work was the organization of the Leopoldine Society in 1828, at 
his home, which gradually spread through the whole of the old German 
Empire. The object was the aid of the poor American missionaries. Every- 
body joined it. The dues were a penny a month, and it took like wildfire. 
This idea was not original with him, however. The French had such a society 
organized in 1822, called the society of the "Propagation of the Faith,'' which 
is still in existence, with its headquarters at Lyons, and subdivisions in every 
quarter. The latter society collected for many years from |500,000 to 
11,000,000 annually, about $250,000 of which went each year to the 
poor American mission's from the formation of the society till about 1850. 
In 1830, much of what came to America was used in Michigan. The society 
organized by Father Reze was named after the Archduchess Leopoldine of 
Austria, who became its protectress. The Archduke Rudolph and the Arch- 
bishop of Omulty heartily endorsed the movement and for many years this 
society furnished from |15,000 to $25,000 a year to the American missions, 
the bulk of which was distributed by Father Reze. If it was not for the 
help thus obtained from Europe the schools, etc., could not be maintained; 
the missionaries would be without support, lands which were required for the 
future could not be had, few churches would be erected, and our glory to- 
day would not be. Time and again had missionaries and bishops applied and 
petitioned for aid to the United States government, for the Indian schools, 
but it was steadily refused till about the advent of Bishop Reze in 1833. 
Then the government allowed $1,000 yearly, payable quarterly for the main- 
tenance of all Catholic Indian schools in the northwest, which cost more than 
ten times that sum. The lack of co-operation on the part of the govern- 
ment, was the reason why the school books, dictionaries, etc., of our schools 
at that time were printed at Layback, Illyria. While speaking of these 
societies it might be well to state what was received one year, as a criterion. 
Take a year at random, 1834, for instance. From the society at Lyons, 
$14,000, from the Leopoldine's society, $20,000. This was all used in the 
Detroit Diocese and will account for such buildings as Ste. Anne's, old 
Trinity Church, about which there has been so much talk recently, and other 
churches in the Diocese, paid for by foreign money. 

But to the subject. Shortly after the return of Bishop Fenwick to America 
he made a pastoral visit to the northwest, presumably to get the required 
information for the council soon to assemble at Baltimore. He was at this 
time more than six months on the trip and visited nearly every nook in that 



THE DIOCESE OF DETROIT— WHAT IT WAS— WHAT IT IS 133 

region. He was received at each Catholic settlement with great eclat. At 
L'Arbre Croehe a total abstineuce society of fortj-two members, in regalia, 
came quite a distance to meet him. The attention of our temperance peoj>le 
is called to this society, in existence twenty years before the advent of Father 
Matthew, or the beginning of the temperance work in America. The first 
Provincial Council of Baltimore met in 1829. Bishop FenAvick earnestly 
advocated the erection of the Diocese of Detroit, and the nomination of a 
bishop for it. The council recommended it unanimously and nominated 
candidates. The documents Avere duly forwarded, but the answer was a 
"long Avhile a coming." In the meantime Bishop Fenwick redoubled his 
energies in working for the new diocese. Father Reze had arrived with 
missionaries and funds, and a new fire, as it were, was enkindled all along 
the line. Father Keze himself became an active worker; he soon mastered 
the Indian language, as well as the English, and labored zealously in the 
cause. He established several new missions, and became the great favorite 
of the Pottowattomies. He began a school and church at Pokagon settle- 
ment, and attended it for some time, as well as doing the work of Yicar- 
General during the absence of Bishop Fenwick from his See. The last visit 
of this venerable jtrelate to his favorite field was in the spring of 1832. His 
register tells of his visits to the different schools and with what affection he 
was greeted, and what care he administered to his cherished flock. The 
number of confirmations are also recorded, viz.: 105 at Green Bay, 84 at 
L'Arbre Croehe, etc., etc. 

His arduous trip over rough ways, his duties of encouraging, advising, 
rebuking, and the hardships he underwent on this trip, aided to bring on a 
severe attack of dysentery. Upon feeling symptoms of ill-health he imme- 
diately started for home, but the cholera overtook him a short distance from 
Cincinnati and he died amid strangers, September 27, 1882, without the 
consolations of the faith he served so well, and before he saw the realization 
of his cherished desire. He was an earnest, zealous soldier of the Cross, and 
his name will be ever held in benediction. 

Father Richard, too, during the year before the Bull reached him. which 
would nmke him a prince of the church in the country he loved so well, laid 
his life on the altar of sacrifice, for his flock. Father Reze became adminis- 
trator of the Diocese of Cincinnati, and all the Northwest. While tilling 
this i)ost with credit, he received from Rome, under date of May 18, 1833. the 
particulars of the canonical erection of the new Diocese of Detroit, and his 
appointment as Bishop of the newly erected See. The diocese comprised 
that territory bounded on the east by Lakes Huron. St. Clair, and Erie; 
north. Lake Superior and Hudson Bay territory; west. Mississi]>pi River, and 



134 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

south by a line from the mouth of the Maumee River until said line inter- 
sected the Mississippi ; in other words all of which is at present Michigan and 
Wisconsin, part of Minnesota, and a small portion of what is now Illinois, In- 
diana, and Ohio, as may be seen from the accompanying map, which has been 
copied from one issued by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in 
1835. Father Reze was consecrated Bishop of Rt. Rev. Dr. Brute, in Cincin- 
nati, October 6, 1833, seven daj-s before the consecration of the late Arch- 
bishop Purcell. He immediately left Cincinnati for the Second Provincial 
Council of Baltimore, held that year; after which he came to Detroit and 
labored indefatigably for the welfare of the diocese committed to him. To be 
brief. The great work and care of this large province from 18.33 to 1837 
proved too much for the physical strength of the Bishop. The exhaustion 
was so great that he was unable to attend properly to the business of the 
diocese for at least a year before the assembling of the Third Council of Balti- 
more, in April, 1837. He determined to surrender the charge which had made 
him a physical wreck. On the assembly of that body he declined to sit at 
its private sessions till his resignation would be acted on. It was as follows : 

"Most Reverened Fathers, in Provincial Synod assembled: 
"It is known that I reluctantly accepted episcopal consecration, and as I 
soon learned by experience, that the erection and administration of the new 
diocese, with its numberless difficulties and cares springing up on every side, 
were a burden too great for me to bear, I have accordingly frequently enter- 
tained the intention of resigning my diocese into the hands of His Holiness, 
the Sovereign Pontiff, or at least soliciting a suitable coadjutor from the 
Holy See. This intention I desire to carry out by these presents, and for 
this purpose I have empowered my actual vicars-general Rev. Messrs. Baden 
and DeBruyn, to exercise joint jurisdiction in my absence and until further 
arrangements are made. * * * * I beg you to aid to the fullest extent 
in your power to obtain the successful realization of my desires, if it shall 
seem good to our Lord. Your brother, etc., 

"Frederick Rbzb, 
"BisJioj) of Detroit." 

The council resolved unanimously to recommend the acceptance of his 
resignation to the Pope, and made provisions, in case of its acceptance, for 
a successor. Rome refused to accept the resignation, and ordered Bishop 
Reze to Rome to state his reasons in person for so requesting. He obeyed 
the order and arrived in Rome in very feeble health in 1839. A softening 
of the brain was threatened, or had already set in. On seeing the condition 
which he was in, Rome immediately retired him, but never took away his 
title as Bishop of Detroit. Although he lived for more than thirty years 
thereafter he was ever Bishop of Detroit. He remained in Rome with his 
mind so shattered that he was hardlv able to attend to auv business till the 



THE DIOCESE OF DETROIT— WHAT IT WAS— WHAT IT IS 



135 




136 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

revolution of 1849. He then returned to his home, where he died in 1871, 
a lunatic. He was cared for at the expense of his diocese. Eev. J. M. 
Odin was appointed bishop administrator of Detroit in December, 1840, but 
a position that had crazed a worth}' man was not to be thought of by him. 
He positively refused it. The Bulls, so tradition says, were sent to another 
whose name I have not been able to learn, who also declined. They were 
sent for a third time to Rev. Peter Paul Lefevre, a zealous, worthy mission- 
ary, with a premonitory order that no refusal would be entertained at Rome. 
He governed the diocese prudently and well for nearly thirty years. During 
his reign several divisions were made without weakening the parent diocese. 
He died universally beloved in 1869. Father Hennaert ruled the diocese 
well during the interval from the death of Bishop Lefevre till the advent of 
the present incumbent, Rt. Rev. Dr. Borgess, a native of Prussia, who came 
to this country when a child, and is so thoroughly imbued with American 
principles that we may consider him to the manor born. The Diocese of 
Detroit has grown wonderfully under his management. A native priesthood 
has been introduced, the diocese divided, many new churches and institu- 
tions erected, and we have learned the great lesson of being able to take care 
of ourselves. No foreign money is now being used whatever. To-day 
Detroit stands in the front rank, and no more pro'sperous or less burdened 
diocese exists in the United States. The children that have gone out from 
her in the shape of new dioceses have prospered amazingly and reflect new 
glory on their honored old mother, Detroit, for whom they have the kind- 
liest feeling, and of whom they have good reason to feel proud. 

'Bishop Lefevre, although governing Detroit for more than twenty -eight 
years, was never Bishop of Detroit, only Bishop administrator. Bishop 
Borgess was consecrated Bishop administrator, but succeeded to the title of 
Detroit on the death of the first bishop in 1871. The seal of the diocese 
consists of an A and M interwoven, surmounted by a cross and the usual 
episcopal insignia, the letters meaning ''Under the protection of Mary." 
The personal seal of the first Bishop of Detroit were the emblems of faith, 
hope, and charity; his motto, the words. Bishop Lefevre used only the 
ofiicial seal. When Bishop Borgess was consecrated, the remarkable coinci- 
dence occurred of adopting as his seal the same emblems and motto of the 
first bishop, of which at the time he was entirely unconscious. The Diocese 
of Detroit at the present time comprises the counties of the Lower Penin- 
sula south of Ottawa, Kent, Montcalm, Gratiot, and Saginaw, and east of 
the counties of Saginaw and Bay. It has 156 churches, one bishop, 133 
priests, a Catholic population of about 110,000. A retrospective glance 
of what Detroit was when it set out for itself as a new diocese in 1833, and 



CONVIVIAL HABITS OF THE PIONEERS OF SAGINAW 137 

what it is. or rather wluit the territory it occupied at the start, is. to-day. as 
far as the growth of Catholicity is concerned, may be compieliended better 
by a few statistics. In 1S34 we had in tlie diocese of Detroit one bishoi), 
30 priests, and 20,000 of a Catholic population. In 1885 we had in the 
territory comprising the diocese of Detroit in 1833, two archbishops, nine 
bishops, 920 priests, and a Catholic population of 802,000. This growth 
will be a matter of astonishment to many, but it is as near accurate as can 
be got at. The hundred fold yield of the good seed sown has been more 
than realized. 



CONVIVIAL HABITS OF THE PIONEERS OF SAGINAW 



BY JUDGE ALBERT MILLER 



One object of these publications is to give some idea of the manners and 
customs of the pioneers of Michigan, and of the lights and shadows of pioneer 
life. In former articles I have mentioned the propensities of the pioneers of 
the Saginaw Valley for social enjoyments: but there were rougher sj)orts 
participated in only by the male portion of the inhabitants which deserve 
notice. 

Aside from the few families located at the fort and vicinity there were a 
number of employes of the Messrs. G. D. & E. S. Williams and of the 
American Fur Company that were an element in the community that must 
have their recreations. 

Christmas in the west, especially that portion of it that was earliest settled 
by the French, has always been observed as a holiday to be celebrated in a 
manner that is congenial to the tastes of those celebrating. 

My brothers-in-law, Jewett and Rumrill, as well as myself, had l)een raised 
in New England, in a locality where but little attention was paid to Christ- 
mas, Thanksgiving day being the great holiday of the season in that locality. 
On Christmas day, 1833, we had been at work till near the close of the 
day, when we took a large canoe and paddled down the river two miles, from 
Green Point to Saginaw or to the Fort (as Saginaw City was then usually 
18 



138 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

designated), where we had business at the store of Messrs. G. D. & E. S. 
Williams. On entering the store we found we were in for it. We had no 
sooner passed through the door than it was locked and a guard placed tO' pre- 
vent our egress. Jewett, understanding the situation at once, gave us the 
wink to be ready to escape the moment an opportunity presented. On look- 
ing around we found that all the male portion of the inhabitants, after 
carousing all day, had gathered in the store to have a night of it. We entered 
into their sport with such pretended zest that they soon relaxed their vigilance 
over us, and we stood together at the door when it was opened and we darted 
out and ran for our canoe. We were no sooner outside of the door than a 
dozen men were after us, and the foremost one was about laying his hand on 
the prow of our canoe as we shoved off the shore, and being determined to pre- 
vent our escape he waded into the water in pursuit till it reached his waist, 
which, under ordinary circumstances, at that season of the year, would not 
be considered very fine holiday sport, but, failing in his attempt, a large canoe 
was soon maned and started in pursuit of us; no steamboat had ever dis- 
turbed the placid waters of the Saginaw at that time, and I will venture to 
say that no water-craft had previously passed over the two miles' space in a 
shorter time than those two canoes on that Christmas night. It was an even 
race, we keeping the start we had gained at the outset, and when we landed, 
instead of going to our houses we ran to the woods, where we remained till 
the noise of our pursuers frightened the inmates of ofir houses, when we came 
out and faced them. I had recently built a frame house, and one of the party 
seized a club and commenced hammering the siding, calling to me to come 
out or he would tear my house down, it would only cost him five or six 
hundred dollars. They undertook to force us into their canoe to carry us 
back to finish the night, but we entered into a good natured scuffle with them, 
and after a while that, with the exercise of paddling their canoe, sobered them, 
so they were willing to enter their canoe without us; and they returned to 
their respective homes, where they peacefully retired to spend the balance 
of the night in repose, instead of making it hideous with their orgies. 

That was my initiation into the mysteries of a Saginaw "train,-' as those 
drinking bouts were usually termed, but between that time and 1838 I wit- 
nessed many scenes of conviviality, usually participated in by a more select 
party, whenever there might be a seeming occasion for them. The arrival 
in the place of some friend of a resident, or of a distinguished stranger, or 
of some individual contemplating settling there, an advantageous sale of 
property, etc., were considered fit occasions for convening a champagne 
party. They were not entered into so much for the love of drink as for a 
desire for social enjoyment, and for keeping up the reputation of the place 



CONVIVIAL HABITS OF THE PIONEERS OF SAGINAW 139 

for hospitality and uood cliecM'. which was proverbial. The flow of cham- 
pagne wonld soon loosen the tonjines for song, anecdote, repartee, and smart 
sjjeeclies, and the conviviality Axonld continue till ''the wee sma' hours ayont 
the twal." when the company wonld disperse and spend the next day suffer- 
ing with a "sair head," as the Scotchman would say. The last one of the 
series participated in by the writer was in February, 1838, soon after his 
marriage; gotten up expressly to "lay him out" as the phrase was. On the 
morning after a night s])ent in social enjoyment with a large party at the 
opening of the Webster House, at Saginaw City, I w'as awakened by a num- 
ber of voices calling to me from the outside of my house. Suspecting what 
was intended. I was too well acquainted with the company to think of shirk- 
ing the ordeal. I quickly arose and met the company of about a dozen men 
at the door, when they took me into Jewett's hotel, which was next door, and 
presented me with a bottle of champagne; not waiting to uncork the bottle 
I broke the neck of it on the stove and put it to my mouth and allowed the 
contents to run down into my boots. I told them if they would allow me to 
finish dressing I would go with them wherever they desired. We started in 
sleighs and drove to every place in town w^here liquor could be obtained. T 
generally took the lead, called for the bottle, and prepared myself with a 
bumper of cold water ready to drink with them when they had their 
glasses filled. I feigned drunkenness, which I could easily do, for I had 
plenty of patterns before me, and in the afternoon when I went with the 
company to my own house to partake of some choice wines that I had, my 
wife and mother were greatly surprised and shocked at my apparent condi- 
tion of inebriety, but not more surprised than they were a short time after- 
wards when I returned without a show of liquor about me. I had scarcely 
swallowed a drop of liquor during the day. and was not in the least under 
its influence, but my companions were all ready to retire from the field 
before night. I became convinced of the folly of such operations, and as 
the hard time came on, after the great financial crash of 1837, the people 
generally, if they had the disposition to do it, had not the money to spend 
foolishly. 

After the gi^eat temperance reform inaugurated by Father Matthew, in 
Ireland, the Catholics generally throughout the United States took up the 
theme, and their priests distributed the Father Matthew pledge among their 
people in almost every community. About the year 1841, I think it was, 
Father Kundig, of Detroit, came to Saginaw, and instituted a series of 
temperance meetings among the Catholics, a large number w^hom took the 
pledge, and. so far as my observations extended, religiously kept it. T have 
two notable instances in my mind. Louis ^Major. a Frenchman, who had been 



140 ANNUAL MEETING 18S8 

a former employ^ of the American Fur Company, and had previously been 
employed by the Hudson's Bay Company, when he married an Indian woman 
and came to Saginaw, where he had a large family of respectable half-breed 
children, but himself had become so besotted that he daily became a loath- 
some spectacle, living on the streets, sleeping off the effects of the large 
draughts of whisky that he had taken and was no longer able to carry. " He 
took the pledge from Father Kundig, and all the ingenuity of rum sellers 
and former drinking associates could never induce him to break it. He lived 
many years, faithfully attending the ferry at Saginaw City, till he was injured 
by a vicious horse and thrown from his ferry boat and drowned. The other 
was an Irishman. Barney McArdle, an honest and industrious man till the 
demoii alcohol got full control of him and bound him so fast that there was 
no hope of his escape, but he took the pledge and was as firm as a rock in 
keeping it. He was a character in his day, full of Irish wit and quaint say- 
ings; he lived to a good old age, and passed away respected by all who knew 
him. 

The Protestant portion of the community, not wishing to be outdone by 
their Catholic fellow-citizens in so laudable an undertaking as a temperance 
reform, inaugurated total abstinence societies at the city, and in all the 
school districts in the vicinity. The Washingtonian temperance move was 
in vogue about that time. One of the original Washingtonians, who signed 
the first pledge at Baltimore, settled at Saginaw. 

An effort was made to enlist the young on the side of temperance so they 
would grow up without acquiring a taste for intoxicants. I recollect an 
instance where I met a neighbor's son, a lad about fifteen years old, at a 
temperance meeting at a country school-house, whom I knew had never 
drank liquor, and I adtised him to sign the pledge so that he might never 
have a desire for it; he willingly did so, but the next morning his father 
came to me with wrath in his countenance desiring to have his son's name 
taken from the paper, he wanted him to have the privilege of drinking w^hen 
he desired. The father's request was granted, and the son, thinking it such 
a great privilege to drink whisky, soon acquired the habit of it; and the last 
act of that father before retiring to his bed in his last sickness was to rescue 
his son from a drunken brawl that he had been engaged in during the night. 
The son two or three years afterwards was accidentally killed, which probably 
saved him from a drunkard's grave. 



HISTORY OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH AT ANN ARBOR 



HISTORY OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH AT ANN ARIiOR 



BY THE RT. KEV. G. D. GILLESl'IE 



Note. — This history of St. Andrew's Church, Ann Arbor, is from a sermon of the Rev. 
G. D. Gillespie, November 7, 1869, then the rector of the parish (now bishop of Western 
Michigan). The occasion was the last service in the old parish church building just 
prior to taking possession of the new and more commodious stone edifice just com- 
pleted, and the history was given as follows: — 

This buildiug is so identified with the history of the parish that it scciiis 
appropriate that as we are leaving it as our usual place of worship, some 
notice should be taken of the past of our existence as a parish. My materials 
are too meagre to allow of a full sketch, since I have to rely chiefly on the 
reports of the various rectors as they appear in the convention journals, and 
it has been prepared in the hurry and anxiety of arrangements for the con- 
vention.* 

The earliest notice I find of the parish is in connection with the labors of 
the Rev. Richard F. Cadle, in Detroit. In 1824 the Domestic and Foreign 
Missionary Society appointed the Rev. Mr. Cadle its first missionary in 
Michigan. His labors succeeded those of the Rev. Alanson W. Welton. the 
first clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the territory, and 
who removed to Detroit in 1821, but in the providence of God was permitted 
to exercise his office in that city but a few months when he was removed l)y 
death. Mr. Cadle repared to the scene of his future labor in the summer 
of 1824, and there served the Church with fidelity and success for the space 
of five years. During this time he was the only Episcopal clergyman in the 
Peninsula of Michigan. In his labors the church and her institutions were 
planted with judgment and nurtured with care. Though residing in 
Detroit, and chiefly officiating in that city, his valuable labors were extended 
to various places in the adjacent country. Washtenaw county participated 
in these missionary tours. In an article published in the Si)irit of Missions, 
1837, it is recorded: "At Ann Arbor and other places in that county he 
found manv scattered members of our communion. The stated services of 



*The consecration of the new church took place a few days later. 



142 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

a missionary there seemed to be loudly called for, and a prospect of much 
usefulness to be presented." In the spring of 1828 St. Andrew's Church, 
Ann Arbor, was organized, the third parish in Michigan. Mr. Edward 
Clark, the only survivor of the participants in this formal planting of the 
vine in which we now rejoice, now resident among us.* furnishes us with 
the following particulars. 

After the organization lay reading was sustained for six months by a can- 
didate for orders, named Merchant Huxford. in the southeast corner of the 
Chauncey S. Goodrich, built by Judge James Abbott, of Detroit, in 1824 
or 1825, on the southwest corner of block one, north of Huron street, and 
range five east. Probably the orders referred to, when in the report of the 
Bishop of Michigan, 1829, it is stated, that they have agreed to appoint a 
missionary to Ann Arbor as soon as the person who has been selected by the 
members of the church there shall obtain ordination. 

The Eev, Mr. Bury, the successor of Mr. Cadle, in St. Paul's, Detroit, 
reports having visited the parish in 1830, preached to a congregation of fifty 
in a brick building, which he calls the Academy. 

The Rev. A. H. Cornish furnishes memoranda of the early services, in a 
letter to a member of the parish, dated Pendelton, S. C, April 9, 1859. 
Renewed solicitations were now made for a missionary to be established in 
Washtenaw county. Whatever nursing care, it was said, should be extended 
to it would be amply repaid in the enlargement and prosperity of the church, 
and by the sure foundation which would be laid for the permanent support 
of the principles of truth and order. The first regular services seem to have 
been under the Rev. S. W. Freeman, who in 1830,' became the missionary to 
Ann Arbor, Dexter, and Ypsilanti. In these places* and others in the vicin- 
ity, he officiated for about three years. In notes of the history of the church 
in Michigan, in the Spirit of Missions, it is recorded, "Mr. Freeman appears 
to have devoted himself with much zeal to the work entrusted to him. Yet 
the end of that ministry was not in death, but in the awful discipline of the 
church. He was deposed for intemperance. From the few documents in 
my hands, I gather the following names of early churchmen : Mr. Edward 
Clark and his mother, Mrs. James Kingsley, Philip Brigham, M. D., William 
A. Fletcher, Henry Rumsey, Edw^ard Munday, Matthew F. Gregory, George 
W. Jewett, George Miles, Robert S. Wilson, AndreAv Cornish, W. G. Tuttle, 
Gideon Wilcoxson, Zenas Nash, Charles Tull, Wm. G. Brown, Olney Haw- 
kins, David Cleveland, Samuel Denton, E. Piatt, A. Piatt, Elisha Belcher, 
Marcus Lane, Nathaniel Noble. 

In May, 1834, Rev. John O'Brien reports to the convention, having spent 



*Mr. Clark is still, (November, 1885), living at Ann Arbor. 



HISTORY OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH AT ANN ARBOR 143 

pome Sundays in Ann Aibor. To tlie same convention Kev. \\". N. Lyster 
reports: "I have preachetl at Ann Arbor four times and baptised six per- 
sons, one of whom was an adult; also administered the holy communion." 
To the convention held in Detroit, in 18o4, May 3. the lollowinj^ delej^ates 
were elected of whom the two first named were present, (leoijie W. Jewett, 
Henry Rumsey, Charles Tull, William G. Brown, and Thilip lii-igham. 

In August, 1834, the Kev. John I. Bausman, of the Diocese of Ohio, be- 
came the missionary at Ann Arbor and other ])laces. He resigned in October, 
1835. His only report, made June 13, 1835, states that on his arrival here, 
he found the church in a weak and languishing condition. Few came to her 
solemn feasts. Her gates were desolate and she was in bitterness. To be in- 
strumental in effecting a change, he has endeavored, in season and out of 
season, both publicly and from house to house, to teach and preach Jesus 
Christ, and although unable to state any immediate fruit of his labors, he 
humbly trusts that they have not been in vain in the Lord. Laboring under 
great disadvantages in regard to a convenient place of worship, he has urged 
upon the people of his charge to erect a church as early as practicable. To 
accomplish this very desirable object about |1,500 has been subscribed, and 
the delightful hope was entertained that before this i>eriod the work would 
have been considerably advanced. "His hope has not been realized, and 
when the head stone shall be brought forth with shoutings, grace, grace 
unto it, is altogether uncertain. A Sunday school has been established but 
is not flourishing." The number of communicants at this time was twenty. 
Several months since there fell into my hands a subscription list with this 
heading, ''The members of St. Andrew's Church in Ann Arbor have with 
great exertion obtained subscriptions at that ])lace amounting to |1.300 
towards the expense of erecting a church edifice, the cost of which is esti- 
mated at about |2.000. For the difference between these two sums they 
rely upon the sister churches in the diocese, but more particularly upon 
the well-known liberality of St. Paul's Church in Detroit, and they take this 
method, through their pastor. Rev. Mr. Bausman, to declare their wants in 
the hope that their expectation will not be disappointed. February, 1835." 
The sum subscribed on the paper is |2G7. Of the twenty-four subscribers 
only six remain to this day. among them, the first on the list. Mr. C. C. 
Trowbridge of Detroit, |50. of whom it has lately l>een written, "Next to 
his bishop he is gratefully recognized as the father of the diocese." and I 
may add, this generous contributor of thirty-four years ago was one of those 
who most kindly and liberally met my late application in Detroit for pro- 
vision for students pews. 

The Rev. Mr. Bausman died in Baltimore a few months since. When 



144 V ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

making a collection of photographs of the former rectors in 1862, I addressed 
him a letter and received one in reply, and in a commnnication made to the 
same parishioners, who were addressed by Rev. Mr. Cornish, he gives some 
particulars of his ministry here. 

During the vacancy in the missionary charge the diocese received her first 
Bishop. As early as 1827, Bishop Hobart, of New York, visited Detroit, and 
laid the corner stone of the church, and in August, 1828, he again visited 
that city and consecrated the church, on both occasions administering con- 
firmation. His visit Avas confined to that city. At a later date, probably in 
1833, the diocese which had been organized in 1832 was placed under the 
charge of the Rt. Rev. C. P. McTlvaine, Bishop of Ohio. The first and only 
visitation the Bishop made was in April, 1834. In his address to the conven- 
tion the next month, he states that, leaving Detroit for a visitation to Troy, 
where he was brought at the close of day, over a most difficult and dangerous 
road, he was seized with a return of the ague and fever in consequence of the 
fatigue of the journey. Returning next day the carriage was overturned, 
and the consequent exposure immediately renewed the fever, so that the 
whole plan of visitation was deranged. He adds in reference to ''the par- 
ishes of Ann Arbor, Dexter, and Ypsilanti, it was exceedingly painful to 
think of omitting them after having come so far to visit them." At the 
annual convention at Tecumseh, June, 1835, the Rev. H. J. Whitehouse, 
D. D., of Rochester, N. Y., was elected Bishop of Michigan. He having de- 
clined, a special convention in November of the same year, finding itself 
canonically incompetent, by reason of clerical removals, to elect for itself, 
made application to the house of Bishops to elect a Bishop for the diocese. 
The Rt. Rev. S. A. McCoskry, D. D., rector of St. Paul's, Philadelphia ( the 
expressed choice of the dioeese), was thus elected and was consecrated in 
that church July 7, 1836. When in the following September, the newly 
elected chief pastor visited the infant churches, he found St. Andrew's, 
Ann Arbor, under the charge of the Rev. Samuel Marks, as a missionary, 
dividing his time between this place and Dexter. Mr. Marks had come out 
with the Bishop from Philadelphia, and on arriving here in August found 
the church but just enclosed. "The basement was filled with shavings, and 
boards, and stones, and brickbats." He adds in the letter from which this 
statement is taken, "these were cleared away, and a floor laid, and you 
would have smiled at the primitiveness of my pulpit." Mr. Marks left be- 
fore the church was finished. In his report to the convention, October, 1836, 
he states: *'At Ann Arbor I found sixteen communicants; five had been added 
since I came. I cannot close my report without the remark that I have reason 
to bless God for having led me by His Providence into this new and rapidly 



HISTORY OF ST. ANDREWS CHURCH AT ANN ARBOR 145 

increasing diocese. Too often the minister of the gospel is left to grajjple 
with poverty, and to groan under the weight and care of an increasing fam- 
ily. Here, to the i)raise of our parishioners be it spoken, those fears are 
removed, and those complaints silenced. Nothing has been left undone by 
the people of my parishes and others, to raise my spirits and spur me on to 
the faithful performance of my duty. These remarks are not made with a 
view to flatter, but to encourage the laborer to sow in ho])e and the laity to 
continue in well doing." In his subsequent report he thus refers to the com- 
mencement of his ministry here: ''Until we could procure the basement story 
of the church we were subjected to much inconvenience, and somewhat re- 
tarded in our progress. I found but few attached to the church from an 
enlightened and conscientious belief that the ministry, doctrine, and discip- 
line Avere according to the Scriptures and apostolic times. Jn fact, my pros- 
pect was dim and my congregation few in numbers. My head hung down 
and my heart was discouraged. Honor to the sacred name of God, the ])ros- 
pects of my parish have brightened, the house is full, and my person is well 
sustained. I can truly say 'the lines have fallen to me in pleasant places." 
It was expected that our church would be consecrated at this convention, 
but owing to adverse circumstances it must now be delayed to the middle of 
November next. The room of our edifice will accommodate about three 
hundred, and for neatness, we think will not be exceeded by any in our vil- 
lage. It gives me gi-eat pleasure to say that between the meml)ers of our 
own church and other societies, there exists the kindest of feeling. It is with 
pleasure I add that, connected with the church is a Sunday school well in- 
doctrinated. Communicants, twenty-six; marriages, six; baptisms, ten; 
funerals, eleven." 

Mr. Marks resigned in 1838. removing to Clinton. In 1840 or 1811 he ac- 
cepted the charge of Christ's Church, Huron, Ohio, and in a i)arish which 
to-day only numbers thirty-three communicants, and pays a salary of only 
four hundred and twenty dollars, he has spent nearly twenty-five years; a 
beautiful instance of calm contentment in doing good in an humble sphere — 
a lesson to the restless pastor — and a fact that will answer, in some degree, 
the charge of instability in the ministry. Had I the space I would quote in 
his honor Timothy Dwight's lines, "The Country Pastor."' You will be 
gratified with me to learn that this almost father of the parish will, God 
Avilling, be with us on Wednesday next. In October, A. D. 1838. the ]>arish 
came under the charge of the Rev. F. H. Cumming. From this time the 
church assumes more the due proportions of a parish. In his report to the 
board who had commissioned him he thus gives his first impressions: "The 
congregation is a highly respectable one. As to size it bears a fair propor- 
19 



146 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

tion to others in villages of the same class with that in which this would be 
ranked. Myself and family have been treated with much kindness by the 
inhabitants of the village generally. The village is healthy, and beautifully 
situated, inhabited by an enterprising and intelligent people and is fast rising 
into consequence." The communicants were reported to be fifty-four. Two 
interesting services marked the commencement of this rectorship — the insti- 
tution of the new rector, Sunday, November 13, 1838, and on the same day 
the consecration of the new church. It is noteworthy that the consecration 
of the first church took place just thirty-one years ago less eight days. This 
must have been indeed a happy day to the little flock. In the previous 
period we traced their services in the southeast corner of the Goodrich House, 
in a school-house on Fourth street, near where, until a few years since, 
the old academy, stood; in a mansion or store then on Main street, which, 
after sojourning for several years on Huron street, opposite the Presbyterian 
Church, was not allowed to pass its advanced years in peace, is now rejuvena- 
ted, and is the dwelling of our fellow-citizen, Mr. A. M. Schoff; in the court 
house, the common home for all infant parishes ; in a little building fitted up 
for services with a temporary pulpit, near the site of the Congregational 
Church; and finally in the basement of this edifice. The first collection for 
this building was probably that referred to in the heading of the subscription 
paper dated February, 1835, already read. I have no means of ascertaining 
the cost of erection, as the record book of the vestry in my hands only dates 
from 1843. As our narrative follows the track of time we shall find this 
edifice undergoing various changes and enlargements until it reaches the con- 
dition in which it is now left by us. The Bishop, in his address, referring 
to the consecration, states: ''This congregation has made a praiseworthy 
effort in relieving themselves from all embarrassment, and in securing to 
their rector his support independent of the miserable system, which has 
been heretofore pursued, of relying upon subscriptions oftentimes from 
those who feel but little interest in sustaining the ministers of Jesus Christ." 
In 1840, the rector is happy to state that the temporal affairs of this parish 
are in a much better condition than they have ever been. The debt with 
which it was embarrassed (amounting to about $2,800), has been entirely 
liquidated by the efforts exclusively of the parishioners. A parsonage house is 
nearly finished, towards which they have contributed about |600. Our services 
have been -well attended, with marked seriousness on the part of the congre- 
gation generally. In 1841 we are told : "The parsonage alluded to in the 
report last year, I am happy to state, is entirely finished and is universally 
admired for its beauty and convenience, and for the economy observed in its 
construction." I may remark in passing that it is one of the least happy 



HISTORY OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH AT ANN ARBOR 147 

traditions of tlie. parish, that this, its only rectory was sold, and the money 
diverted to other purposes. I venture to say that every subsecjueut rector, 
subjected to the inconveniences of the hired house, and perliaps compelled 
to secure a house from which he might not be expelled, has sighed for that 
rectory. The report continues: "The ladies of the parish have, by most un- 
tiring exertions, succeeded in raising money enough, principally by means of 
the needle, to procure a very handsome silver communion set. The act was cer- 
tainly creditable concerning the position of the parish. Probably there are 
not to-day six silver communion sets in the diocese." Mention is also made 
of the sacred edifice having been very seriously injured by fire, and an appeal 
made to the friends of the church at the east having been promptly and gener- 
ously responded to. so that it has been entirely repaired. The organ, too, 
had been rebuilt and very much improved. The Bishop, in his address, speaks 
of the church as ''one of the most beautiful edifices in the west.'' 

The years 1842-43 added to the property of the parish a bell cOvSting |320, 
jtrobably the same that now summons us to the house of prayer, and a fence 
around the church as the lot then was. In October, 1843, Dr. Gumming 
resigned, removing to Grand Rapids, where his remaining years were spent, 
dying August 26, 1862. His five years told on the stability and growth of 
the parish. As one test of growth he found twenty-eight communicants and 
left seventy-six. Coming to an unfinished edifice he left a church projwrly 
equipped for service. Other statistics of his ministry are : Baptisms, adult, 
13: infants, 38; confirmed, 48; marriages, 20; funerals, 43, contributicms, 
$4,065.69. His remarkable missionary activity made the church known in 
all the neighboring region. In the language of one of the numerous 
obituaries his death called forth: "Dr. Cumming was no ordinary man. 
United to great respectability of talents and acquirements he possessed a 
native energy of character which contributed to his success in the ministry. 
Whatever objects he thought worthy of his attention he pursued with an 
unfaltering purpose and the most untiring industry, and seldom failed of 
their attainment. As a preacher he was sound, direct, plain, and forcible. 
There was an earnestness of manner both of preaching and conducting the 
services of the church that could not fail to arrest and hold the attention of 
a congregation. As a parish minister he had few equals in the church. His 
supervision of his flock was most faithful. His parish work was wonderfully 
systemat'ized. aud he had the happy faculty of enlisting his people in his 
plans and securing their cordial cooperation in their execution. In the 
chamber of sickness, in the house of mourning, and in the dwelling of want 
he was a frequent and welcome visitor. While the death of such a man is a 
loss to the whole church, to the Diocese of Michigan it is one that cannot 



148 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

soon be repaired.'' Upon the resignation of Mr. Cumming the Rev. W. X. 
Lyster supplied the church with ministerial labor about one half the time 
for five months. The parish may well be proud of having thus in the roll of 
its shepherds, one whose record is so noble. Coming to this country in 1S33 
from his native land, Mr. L3'ster has not only given his energies with 
apostolic zeal to building up the church in this Diocese, but his purse, once 
ample, has been freely opened to lay her foundations. Ever a missionary 
by choice he has dignified that noble name. Faithful even to the end in 
his chosen lines, to-day, at an advanced age, he serves at his missionary 
posts. I know no more beautiful illustration of simple, self sacrificing de- 
votion in the vineyard of our Lord. There are records of the ministry that 
will be read by a greater number, but few that more deserve to be known 
and perpetuated. 

For entries in the vestry minutes, I judge that this interregnum was a 
period of weakness and embarrassment. When will vestries and congTega- 
tions learn the injury to their parishes of long vacancy in the rectorship? 
Scarcely a parish can bear to be subj,ected to this trying ordeal. The Rev. 
Mr. Lyster having declined the permanent charge, the vestry extended a call 
to the Rev. Charles C. Taylor of Rhode Island, Avho accepted and entered 
on his duties July 22. 1844. His first report records the payment of a float- 
ing debt of $700. His report for 1845-G, mentions the parish having raised 
$400 for additional land to improve the church lot, $120 for a well at the 
rectory, the adoption of a plan of weekly collections on Sunday morning, 
the need of additional pews, and that God. in a peculiar manner, was follow- 
ing with His blessings, the solemn fastings and services of Lent. That for 
184G-7, improvements on the church, and a parochial singing school, and re- 
peats the demand for more and better accommodations for the comfort and 
convenience of those who wish to attend our services. That for 1847-8, the 
expenditure of |250 in repairs; on Sunday afternoon after prayers an hour 
devoted to catechetical instruction and singing; more than one-half the 
present number of commiTuicants added during the last four years; the 
prevalence of an unusual, alarming, and fatal disease, by which some of our 
most efiicient members have been removed from the church militant. The 
Bishop in his address remarks of Ann Arbor: ''Here a new church is much 
needed, or else an extension of the old one." "There is a limit now placed 
to growth by want of church room." The report of 1848-9 notes the inter- 
est taken in the Sunday school, Bible class, and catechetical instruction. 
That for 1849-50 speaks of a debt of |200 to $300, which has assumed such a 
form that it can no longer be neglected without great peril to the prosperity 
of the parish. It has also this important record: "The parsonage has been 



HISTORY OF ST. ANDREWS CHURCH AT ANN ARBOR 149 

sold and the paynicnts aiiij)lv stMured or safely invested, to bo held in readi- 
ness as a sacred fund for the erection of new buildings at some future day 
when needed. In the sale of the parsonage, the vestry were influenced by 
the consideration that the house was sutfering for the want of (»xtensive 
repairs, and was neither conviMiicutly located nor occuijied by tlie rector." 
For the years 1845-(>-7-8 I have no sources of information but the ])arochial 
reports, for it is a singular and })ainful fact, that instead of minutes of the 
vestry, there are blank pages left. Some indifferent scribe probably made 
his minutes loosely and was never at the ])ains to transcribe them. 

Mr. Taylor resigned in 1850. and the tone of all his reports is encourag- 
ing, and it is evident that under his ministry the parish had been flourishing. 
Yet it is also evident that, whether by force of circumstances or want of due 
liberality, the jiarish was struggling Avith pecuniary difficulty. Inadequate 
'means is the keynote of the vestry proceedings. This explains the very 
peculiar position in which St. Andrew's was placed on his removal. The 
report to the convention of 185(1 made by ^Ir. John A. Willis states: "Since 
the resignation of the rector, ^[r. Taylor, there has been no settled pastor in 
this parish. In the interim an invitation has been extended l)y the vestry to 
the Rev. George V. Williams of the university. He has faithfully and 
gratuitously performed the services and all the \arious duties appertaining 
to the sacred office, notwithstanding his arduous professional engagements, 
and he has in this way become the largest contributor toward the payment 
of a debt of |460 incurred some years since." This debt of gratitude 
remains to this day Avholly unimpaired. And this is only one of the very 
many acts of kindness and liberality for which this i)arish is indebted to this 
esteemed brother. His residence here has been jiarallel with four rector- 
ships. To his unsparing exertion, to his diligent care I doubt not that it is 
owing that the parish has been sustained in long vacancies. Never formally 
an assistant minister, he has been, I can well believe, to others what assuredly 
he has been to the present incumbent, the truest assistant, in his warm 
sympathy, his generous eft'ort, and his wise counsel. His name is indeed 
brightly inscribed in the annals of your parish. 

The report from which the above extract is taken proceeds : "The par- 
sonage fund, amounting to |720, is safely invested in bonds and mortgages, 
and with the avails of lots valued at .f250, will be applied to the sole purpose 
for which the money was originally given. In addition to the present church 
lot which can hereafter be used for the parsonage, the parish owns an acre of 
ground adjoining, which is designed for a new church." (I itresume this is 
the lot purchased in 1845-6 for |100.) -The subject of l)uilding one worthy 
the place is now beginning to be agitated. Is it not worthy of consideration 



150 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

on the part of the church at large whether we should be assisted to enlarge 
the place to an extent which will accommodate with free sittings such of the 
students of the university as may be inclined to attend the services of our 
church." Thus was the policy we have followed, marked out nearly twenty 
years ago by a wise layman interested in the parish, now^ entered into his 
rest. 

The following year, 1852, finds the late rector, the Rev, C. C. Taylor, 
returned to the flock, and "the parish are contemplating an immediate 
effort for the erection of a new church." Prior to his return, the parish had 
made no less than four unsuccessful attempts to secure a rector. The report 
of the returned rector for 1852-3 is very favorable. Xearly |200 have been 
raised by the ladies of the sewing circle. About |150 have been received by 
the rector and his family, in donations. The Easter report showed that for 
thirteen months preceding, there remained not one cent of repudiated or 
unpaid rents for pews. Every pew was rented — two-thirds of them occupied 
by more than one family. The income of the parish had equaled its expen- 
ditures; it was free from debt; the parsonage fund was |900; the ladies had 
|450, for the purchase of an organ. The rector states that, during his con- 
nection with the parish, nearly as much has been expended in repairs and 
improvements upon the old edifice and organ as could now be realized by the 
sale of them. He also remarks : ''Half enough to build a new church 
might have been expended in enlarging and repairing the present edifice 
had I not ever conscientiously and earnestly disapproved of the measure." 
Notwithstanding the favorable circumstances enumerated, the rector closes 
his report with the mention of his resignation. Probably the cause is to be 
found in this statement: "The greatest, and I might say the only, cause of 
discouragement to me has been the doubtful prospect of the erection of a 
church adequate to the importance of the position and the wants of the 
community." 

Mr. Taylor then gives the statistics of his ministry: Baptisms, 144 (adults, 
41; infants, 103); confirmations, 91; marriages, 21; burials, 80; number 
of communicants, 98; contributions, |2,667.25. Mr. Taylor died at Kala- 
mazoo, February 1, 1855. No doubt a just estimate of his character and 
labors is furnished in the funeral discourse of the late Rev. D. T. Grinnell, 
D. D. In the vacancy following, the parish seems to have been partially 
supplied by the Rev. A. S. Hollister, then without parochial charge. The 
Rev. David S. Lumsden, of Connecticut, was called, and entered on his 
duties, March 12, 1854. In his first report the new rector states, "We have 
taken the preliminary steps towards erecting a new church, and are now 
waiting for the architect to place in our hands his plans and specifications. 



HISTORY OF ST. ANDREWS CHURCH AT ANN ARBOR 151 

The bnildiug is to cost |8.0()0, of which |0.000 is now subscribed, $1,000 is 
promised, and the remainder is in a fair way of being obtained." The pur- 
pose of erecting a new church must have been subsequently changed to that 
of enlarging the present edifice, as we find the vestry, April 9, 1855, taking 
action in these premises, and the church, as enlarged, was consecrated May 
18, 1856. The report of 1855-0 records: "Our liabilities seem to be about 
|4,700 to |5,000, the organ and furniture included. The ladies furnished 
nearly $600 for the organ and |200 for lamps and carpets. The vestry 
records show the organ to have been built by F. G. Merritt, of Detroit, and 
to have cost |1,000. The report of 1856-7 has nothing worthy of mention. 
That for 1857-8 mentions sixty-five persons confirmed. An extraordinary 
religious interest had pervaded the country, in which this place and parish 
had participated. 

I must add, as my own conviction, that it is well that a new church was not 
erected at that time. Doubtless it would have been an improvement upon 
the present edifice in size and architecture, but it could scarcely have been 
equal to the structure now erected. Architecture, even fourteen years ago, 
was far behind what it is now, and the probable result would have been an 
edifice inferior in character, and yet not susceptible of marked improvement. 
Let me add I have heard it remarked that sufiicient had been expended on 
this structure to build a new church. I think that this is a mistake. Of 
course in thirty years there has been a large expenditure in the way of ordi- 
nary repairs, but, as far as I can judge, the several enlargements have not 
exceeded in cost |6,000, and all this has been judiciously expended. Of the 
number of confirmations in 1857-8 less than one-fourth now remain in con- 
nection with the parish. Some of them are among the most earnest 
communicants, yet a review of the list only confirms the impression to which 
I have been led, that while in those so called revivals souls are undoubtedly 
awakened to a jiermaneut interest in eternal realities, they tend to a mere 
excitement which, while it wears the appearance of Divine grace, is often no 
more than animal sensibility. A minister's position is very painful at such 
a time. With the utmost care and wisdom he will fail to discover what is of 
nature and what is of grace, and often he feels compelled to admit to holy 
profession those of whom he stands in doubt. It is not strange that with 
such an addition, many of them from without, the rector should speak— 
"it is now time again that we should enlarge our house of worship.*' Build- 
ing a transept for the students is the plan proposed, and a strong and just 
appeal is made to the church in the diocese and abroad to accomplish the 
measure. The report of 1858-9 mentions the death of Dr. Ticknor. of the 
U. S. Navy, "one whose place will never be filled, a man devoted to the Gos- 



152 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

pel of Christ, full of faith and good works." In the previous twelve months, 
resort was had to a subscription to pay a pressing indebtedness of |430, and 
the erection of a parsonage on the church grounds was agitated. Mortgaging 
the land on which the parsonage should be built and the whole church prop- 
erty, for a loan of $2,000, was proposed, but the plan it seems did not invite 
investment, and the object failed. The vestry records show that gas had 
been put in the church at an expense of about three hundred dollars. 

Mr. ' Lumsden resigned at Easter, 1801. A grand step onward had been 
made in the enlargement of the church, for which he had earnestly labored. 
Probably this was accomplished at no less sacrifice and exertion on the part 
of rector and people than our late enterprise. The Bishop thus notices his 
removal : "Since my visitation the rector, after seven years of laborious and 
active duties, has i^esigned the charge of this parish. To him we are indebted 
for the neat church edifice, and for the many evidences of taste in and around 
the building, and I hope also for the addition of many to the fold of Christ. 
The statistics of Mr. Lumsden's rectorship are : Baptisms, adult, 64 ; infants, 
71; confirmed, 120; married, 47; funerals, 48; communicants increased from 
98 to 119. The contributions are not uniformly furnished. 

My own ministry commenced October 10, 1861. I do not design to speak 
particularly of my relations to the parish. The annual discourses have in- 
formed you minutely of our parish progress, and the personal observations 
of most of you have extended over this period. The church edifice has been 
twice enlarged; first, by the removal of the organ from between the doors, 
thus giving room for ten new pews, and the improvement of the chancel, and 
subsequently by the building of the porch, which, if it has not added to the 
beauty of the structure has afforded an ample vestibule and a very useful 
room over it. The expense of these improvements was about seven hundred 
dollars. Chancel chairs have been purchased for |53.50 and a font by the Sun- 
day school for 161.35; also furnaces for |270. In 1863 a floating debt of 
several years' standing, amounting to |600, was paid. The statistics to the 
date of the last convention, June, 1869, are: Baptisms, adults, 49; infants, 
187, total 236; confirmed, 110; communicants admitted, 120; marriages, 
74; funerals, 141; contributions, exclusive of pew rents and the cost of the 
new church, not yet reported, are |7,769.84. The number of communicants 
has increased from 119 to 181. I trust that it savors more of thankfulness 
than of pride, when I say that under my charge the parish has grown. It 
ought to have grown, the place has increased. I have endeavored to throw 
my whole self into the work, and God has given me health and strength. I 
speak now as a man. And much has been owing to the good common sense, 
gentlemanly Christian tone of the vestry. We have had no bickerings, no 



HISTORY OF ST. ANDREWS CHURCH AT ANN ARBOR 153 

obstinate iudividiial assertion. For myself, ever wont to give my own conn- 
sel witli ticedom which may need tlie ajjology of fervent interest in the 
]iarish, I have ever been listened to Avith the utmost respect. My counsels 
have been allowed weight fully up to my wishes, especially in the erection of 
the church; placed on the building committee with no experience or knowl- 
edge of the task, I have been consulted in all details. I shall ever look back 
with pleasure to my intercourse with the vestry and the building committee. 
Had there been a different spirit in the board of control, any individual or 
clique spirit, I verily believe that this church stood not there to-night. 
And much has been owing to the determination of the rector and congrega- 
tion, each to keep within his own lines. You have recognized me as over 
you in the Lord, as in virtue of office, of experience, of responsibility, com- 
petent and entitled to assume the direction of the parish in all its arrange- 
ments for edification. That my judgment has ahvays been yours, was not 
to be expected, yet you have left me to pursue my path. And so I, on the 
other hand, liave never meant to interfere in what belonged to you. The re- 
sult has been peace, and peace is closely allied with prosperity. 

Thus have I traced the way the Lord has led you on as a parish for more 
than forty years. Many reflections are suggested, especially to those whose 
lives have run parallel with the chnrch's being and progress. To my iqind, 
the history of this parish, while not without its clouds, is by no means a 
dark one. I account it a note of prosperity that the parish has, in general, 
had long rectorships : Rev. S. W. Truman, three years ; Bausman, fourteen 
months; Marks, nineteen months; Cnmming, five years; Taylor (with an 
interval of sixteen months), six years and seven months; Lumsden, seven 
years, and the present incumbent, eight years. One of the great satisfac- 
tions of my own ministerial life is, that 1 have, in general, labored long in 
each spot of the vineyard assigned to me, and I am well persuaded that, 
under ordinary circumstances, those parishes are built on sure foundations, 
and have in them the elements of stability and growth where the shepherd 
has long kept the flock. Frequent clerical changes entail weakness upon 
the parish, and they sadly impair ministerial usefulness. While at times the 
church edifice has been insufficient, enlargement has eventually come. 
There have been no very serious reverses in the parish; the parish has, in 
the usual proportion of our churches, kept pace with the church. 

We are led to reflect on the good this parish has accomplished. In its 
long existence, how many souls have been brought under the influence of 
the church. There have been successive congregations. Consider two 
items, baptisms, nearly 500, and confirmations, nearly 400, I have not the 
data for calculation, but you may conceive how large, how great a nnniber 
20 



154 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

have communed at this altar. The parish, considering the constant incom- 
ing and outgoing of young men, is especially entitled to this reflection. We 
often lose sight of this consideration, and value a parish merely for what it 
is— what is shows to-day. In this review, we are reminded of what is due to 
former pastors. Our present is a consummation attained by their labors, 
their sacrifices, their prayers. The Master would tell him who addresses 
you, "One soweth and another reapeth. Other men labored and ye have 
entered into their labors." I trust that, in this day of rejoicing, we are all 
mindful of the former shepherds of the flock. It is touching to read the 
reports of Bausman and Marks, sliowing their hearts in the day of early 
struggle. The meek Bausman, the untiring Gumming, the erudite Taylor, 
have entered into their rest. We know not but that in spirit they shall be 
with us. But in all our gratification we shall commemorate their work and 
the days when they went in and out among you, when their voices were heard 
within- these walls. 

I can but remark, in closing this sketch, that our satisfaction is unalloyed 
by what is the common experience of a congregation erecting a new church. 
Many of us have very tender memories connected with this spot. A deep 
shade of sadness would pass over our spirits, were we to rise and leave this 
place with a final farewell, were this the last service within these walls, and 
the place was to become as a house of God no more forever. We shall yet 
worship here; we shall often come hither for some of our most tender ser- 
vices, and henceforth this church will be dedicated to the sacred purpose of 
leading the lambs of the flock in the green pastures of God's truth and the 
Church's ways. 

And now, beloved, sufl'er the word of exhortation. We have been engaged 
in a great enterprise. It has had its difficulties; it has tried the hearts and 
wearied the hands of those engaged in it, and it is an enterprise which has 
allowed much difterence of opinion. And as in all such enterprises, all 
views could not be met. Sometimes opinions have come in conflict. There 
may have been some heart burnings, some irritations. But now, the good 
hand of God upon us, our work is done. Let us lay aside as to any wrath or 
anger, or malice, or bitterness, or evil speaking, all prejudice, preference, 
complaint. Let us sink all these in a feeling of pleasure among ourselves 
and gratitude to our God. Could they who early struggled to plant this vine 
look down upon it in its stately proportions, how would they bid us dismiss 
any other thought than of unity, peace and gratitude. Let us go into that 
temple an Israel of God at unity in itself. Let its gates open to receive us, 
a band of earnest Christians; or earnest churchmen, with new thoughts of 
devotion to the church; of service to Jehovah with generous impulses, with 



RECOLLECTIONS OF MINISTERS OF WASHTENAW COUNTY 155 

the deep t'eelinji- that we are candidates for a temple not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens, for which all the ministrations of this house we have 
biiilded is to prepare us. 

"The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers; let Hira not 
leave us, nor forsake us; that He may incline our hearts unto Him, to walk 
in all His ways, and to keep all His commandments and His statutes and His 
judgments, which He commanded our fathers." 



RECOLLECTIOXiS OF EARLY :\[IXISTERS OF WASHTENAW 

COUNTY* 



BY REV. LORENZO DAVIS 



REV. ELIJAH HOLMES PILCHER. D. D.. 

was born in Athens county, in southern Ohio. June 2, 1810, and therefore 
is seventy-six years of age. He professed religion and joined the Methodist 
Episcopal Church when he was ten years of age. He was a student for some 
time in the Ohio University at Athens, and entered the ministry of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, in connection with the Ohio Conference, in August, 
1829. That year he was appointed to Nicholas circuit on the head waters of 
the Big Kanawha, in West Virginia, which was then a new country. At the 
next conference, in September, 1830, he was appointed to the Ann Arbor 
circuit, which then for the first time appears on the records of the church, 
as junior preacher, with Henry Colclazer. This was the only time in an 
active ministry of more than fifty years when he was in a subordinate jiosi- 
tion. Mr. Pilcher has done a good deal of pioneer work. At one time his 
circuit took in all the settlements in the west half of Washtenaw, all of 
Jackson, Calhoun, Branch, Hillsdale, and Lenawee counties. He has 
carried an axe, blazed his own way where there was no road. He swam his 
horse across rivers, wallowed through marshes and swamps, and has slept in 
the woods, being serenaded by the wolves. 



♦This is a continuation of a paper presented at a former meeting, and printed in 
Vol. VIII. of these Collections. 



156 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Mr, Pilcher's first district, as presiding elder, in 1838, extended over 
Hillsdale, Branch, Calhoun, Jackson, Ingham, Eaton, Barry, OttaAva, Kent, 
Ionia, Clinton, Shiawassee, the west half of Genesee and the Avest half of 
Lenawee counties, making thirteen full counties, with no cross roads to 
connect the northern territorial road with the south. The esteem in which 
he has been held is shown in the positions he has occupied. He has been 
stationed at Adrian four years, at Jackson, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Ann 
Arbor five years, and in Detroit First or Woodward avenue, two years. He 
has served as secretary of the conference for nine years and a half; and as 
presiding elder of a district for twenty-one full years, and four fractional 
years, bringing him into the bishop's cabinet for twenty-five years. He 
represented his conference, as delegate to the General Conference, for five 
sessions, and served as one of the book committee of the Western Book Con- 
cern for four years, and might have been appointed another term had he not 
declined in favor of another. 

Dr. Pilcher received the degrees of M. A. and D. D. from the Ohio 
Wesleyan University, and M. D. from the University of Michigan; he was 
admitted to the practice of the law at Adrian in 1846. He identified himself 
with the cause of education at an early day. He, with Dr. B. H. Packard 
and H. Colclazer, as early as 1834, originated the idea of a Methodist insti- 
tution, which has culminated in Albion College, and served as one of the 
trustees of that institution for many years, and drafted its present charter. 
He was appointed a regent of the University of Michigan in 1845, and served 
for six years. He made the first move towards breaking down the old 
^'branch system." 

Dr. Pilcher has been a man of indomitable perseverance and zealous for 
the cause; and a successful evangelist as well as pastor, and a wise adminis- 
trator in the presiding eldership. 

He made the tour of Europe and the Orient in 1868-9, and corresponded 
for the Detroit TriJjunc weekly during the time. His letters were con- 
sidered a valuable contribution to literature. His other articles published 
in various periodicals are voluminous, besides his large volume, entitled 
"Protestantism in Michigan." And now that he is laid aside by paralysis 
of the entire right side, he continues to write, having learned to write a 
beautiful hand with his left hand. 

In many respects Dr. Pilcher has been a remarkable man. For thirty- 
three successive years, prior to being taken down with paralysis, April 5, 
1882, he has lost one Sabbath for the want of health. He has four sons. 
One a book merchant; one an eminent surgeon in the city of Brooklyn; 
another a missionary in China; and the youngest is a surgeon in the United 



RECOLLECTIONS OF MINISTERS OF WASHTENAW COUNTY 157 

States Army. The three last are j-raduates of imiversities. Dr. I'ilcher, by 
his writings, was the ])rincipal instrumeut of securing the constitutional 
provision for the establishment of the Michigan Agricultural College. 

1 will close this sketch of Dr. Pilcher by relating the following incident: 
The writer was stationed at Jackson in 1830. The Doctor was his presiding 
elder. The first quarterly meeting for the year was held in a small brick 
school-house on the east side of the river. At the close of the services on 
Saturday, the presiding elder gave the notices of the Sabbath services, consist- 
ing of lovefeast, public preaching, sacrament, etc. The lovefeast was to 
commence at nine o'clock sharp. He urged the people to be present at the 
hour a])pointed, and stated that the rule of discipline would be carried out, 
and that those who wished to enjoy the meeting must be on hand or the 
doors would be closed, and to emphasize his exhortation, said that he should 
not blame the ])reacher in charge even if the presiding elder should not be 
on time, if the doors should be closed against him. The time came for the 
meeting to commence, but the presiding elder was not in sight or hearing. 
The preacher opened the services promptly at the hour a])pointed. The 
brethren and sisters were all present in obedience to the urgent request of 
the presiding elder. After the preliminary forms had been observed, as was 
the custom, the doors were opened to admit any who were waiting. A few 
came in, but the presiding elder was not among them. We wi'rc of course 
surprised knowing, as we all did, his habits of promptness, and our sur])rise 
was greatly increased in consideration of his affectionate exhortation of Sat- 
urday. The doors were again closed not to be again ojiened even for a bishop. 
The speaking commenced. The meml>ers in relating their christian exjK?ri- 
ence had become somewhat joyful, forgetting apparently that the presiding 
elder was not present. But they were soon apprised of the fact that the pre- 
siding elder was at the door seeking admission, but the preacher in charge 
said he must comply with the rule and he did, and probably for the first time 
in the history of the church a presiding elder was shut out of a lovefeast by 
the enforcement of the law 'of the church. At the close of the lovefeast the 
presiding elder came in with a smile upon his face, and commended the 
preacher for his promptness in enforcing the rule, though the presiding 
elder was a sufferer thereby. 

The reason given for his tardiness was the strange fact that the clock where 
he was staying had put itself upon its dignity and had adopted standard 
time, which was half an hour behind the Lord's time. The Methodists of 
those days in their ignorance supposed that His time was the governing time. 

REV, C. G. CLARK 

Kev. Mr. Clark was one of the most laborious and useful ministers in those 



158 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

early days in this county. Kev. Charles Grandison Clark, one of the pioneer 
ministers of the Presbyterian church in this State, was born in Preston, 
Conn., April 8, 1796. 

He was the only son of Shubael Clark, a sea captain, and Esther Tracy 
Clark. His father died at Charleston, S. C, when the subject of this sketch 
was an infant. At nine years of age he went to live with a farmer in his na- 
tive town, where he remained until he was fourteen years of age, when he 
was apprenticed to learn the carpenter's trade. Working a short time at the 
trade he met with an accident, which nearly deprived him of the sight of 
one of his eyes. Afterward he went to live with his uncle, Edward Clark, 
a retired sea captain, at Plainfield, Conn., where he received a common school 
and an academic education. After he was twenty-one years of age he spent 
some years in "teaching a select school near Fredericksburg, Ya. At the age 
of twenty-five years he was converted, and immediately commenced studying 
for the ministry. He received his college education at Amherst College, 
Mass., where he graduated in 1827, and soon entered the Auburn Theological 
Seminary, and completed his education in 1829. He Avas ordained Sept. 9, 
1829, by the Oneida Presbytery, at Madison, N. Y. He was offered several 
desirable positions in the state of New York, but he preferred a new field of 
labor, and on the fourteenth day of September, 1829, he left Auburn for the 
new Territory of Michigan, arriving in Detroit, Saturday, September 19. 
He preached his first sermon in that place on the following day. From 
Detroit he went to Monroe where he stayed about one month, when he came 
to Ann Arbor. After supplying the Presbyterian pulpit in the little village 
of 400 inhabitants for a few weeks in the absence of the pastor, he located 
in the town of Webster, November 27, 1829, and made his home with S. H. 
Mathews. January 17, 1830, a Presbyterian church was organized in that 
town and he became its pastor. 

On the 30th day of August, 1830, he was married at Ann Arbor to Miss 
Elizabeth Piatt. She was a woman of rare christian attainments, universally 
esteemed by all who knew her, as a model friend, companion, mother, and 
pastor's wife. Much of the success of Mr. Clark as a minister was due to 
her quiet, consistent, earnest and beautiful life, during a period of more than 
twenty-eight years. He continued pastor of the Webster church until Febru- 
ary, 1848, when he tendered his resignation. During the next two yeavs he 
labored at Kensington and New Hudson in Oakland county, residing on his 
farm in Webster. Returning to his home in Webster in the spring of 1852, 
he soon after received a call from his old church to again assume the pastor- 
ate, which he did. remaining with them until the spring of 18.58, when he 
was obliged to resign on account of failing health, and his active ministry 
ceased. 



RECOLLECTIONS OF MINISTERS OF WASHTENAW COUNTY 159 

While pastor at Webster liis labors extended to all the adjacent towns, and 
many of the churches in this and adjoining counties were organized by him. 
When he arrived in the Territory, in 1829, there were but four Presbyterian 
and Congregational ministers within its bounds, and he was fully identified 
with the pioneer work in this vicinity. As a minister he preached the gospel 
he believed with simplicity and earnestness, laboring to give his hearers inire 
doctrine rather than for worldly popularity, and although he was instru- 
mental in bringing a large number into the church, the burden of his lile was 
that he was never able to do more for the Master. From the very first he was 
a leader in the temperance cause and was always ready to do all in his jxiwer 
to forward any good work. He was a man of strong and earnest feelings, 
quiet and uuobstrusive in his manner, and universally estimated and 1ov(h1 by 
those who knew him best. In 1860 he removed to Ann Arbor that he might 
better eujo}- social and religious privileges in his declining years. He died 
October 2, 1871, aged 75 years. 

His dear friend and associate in the ministry, Kev. Ira M. Wead, of whom 
a biographical sketch was given in a former paper, preached his funeral 
sermon. 

HENRY COLCLAZER 

I regret that I have not the material with which to give a more extended 
sketch of Kev. Henry Colclazer, one of the most eloquent and uselul 
ministers among the early Methodist preachers in this county. Of his early 
history I know but little. He was born in Georgetown, D. C, September 1. 
1809. 

In Dr. Pilcher's history I find the following statements: ''At the confer- 
ence in September, 1830, Ann Arbor appears in the list of appointments for 
the first time. Henry Colclazer and Elijah H. Pilcher, the former only 
twenty-one years of age and the latter much younger, were appointed to it. 
The church felt that it was sui)i)lied with boys indeed. lUil though they 
were young they were zealous, and filled the appointments, and had some 
revivals and accessions to the church." In further speaking of these young 
men the Doctor says: "In the first week in October, 1830, two well dressed 
young men, well mounted on horseback, carrying all their wardrobe and 
library [the library consisting of a well-worn and well-read Bible, a Ilvnin 
book, and Discipline, and not much else. — Writer] in their saddlebags, 
might have been seen towards evening riding into the new and scattered 
village of Ypsilanti, inquiring for the house of Eleazer Smith, with whom 
they expected to find entertainment, and from whom, when found, they 
received a cordial welcome. These young men had come, one from central 
Ohio, the other from the mountains of West Virginia, having been appointed 



160 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

together in Ann Arbor circuit, which included Ypsilanti. They were Henrv 
Colclazer and Elijah H. Pilcher. They were the only ministers who ren- 
dered regular services in Ypsilanti at the time. Very soon after Mr. Colclazer 
commenced his ministry in the Territory he took a leading position in the 
church, and among his brethren in the ministry he held and maintained that 
position during his entire connection with the conference." 

Mr. Colclazer had not the advantages of a liberal education, which of 
course was somewhat of a hindrance to his success, but he made the best use 
of his limited attainments in this respect, and in all his public ministrations 
he succeeded in securing the attention of the learned as well as of the less in- 
formed. His language, always pure and well chosen, was clothed with the 
most beautiful rhetoric, and never failed to convey his thoughts in a manner 
to interest and captivate his hearers. In short, as a pulpit orator, he was the 
peer of any preacher in the country, and had he been blest with a liberal 
education, would have become one of the most eloquent preachers of his 
time. 

During his ministry in this State he filled all the offices of the church, 
except that of Bishop. He was a delegate to the general conference at a 
number of its sessions. He was the first librarian of the university, when 
all the books might almost be packed in a traveling trunk. 

He filled the pulpits of all the important places in the conference, and 
during his ministry in Michigan, served the church faithfully and well. I 
will close with the following amusing incident: Mr. Colclazer, as presiding 
elder, held a quarterly meeting some thirty miles north of Ann Arbor. In 
those days the quarterly meetings commenced on Saturday, with a sermon. 
People from all parts of the circuit attended them, and it was the custom 
to entertain the people over Saturday uight, and it often happened that the 
limited dimensions of the houses were not favorable for great comfort and 
convenience. The love feast was held early Sunday morning, making it 
necessary for the friends to be astir quite early. 

Brother Colclazer was to stay with Brother Boutwell. There were also 
many of the brethren and sisters stopping at the same place. When the time 
of retiring arrived. Brother Boutwell took the presiding elder to his room 
for the night, which was at the head of a ladder, in a log house, with sheets 
hung up for partitions. Mr. Colclazer thanked the good man for his go6d bed. 
Mr. Colclazer said good night, said his prayers, took off his wig — for he was 
quite bald — and hung it on the bed-post at the head of his bed, and soon com- 
posed himself to rest. Mr. Boutwell was the first up in the morning, and 
stepped up the ladder to call his daughter, who occupied a room in the cham- 
ber, to get up quickly, for they had so many to get breakfast for. He was so 



FROM BUFFALO TO MICHIGAN IX 1S29 101 

near the top of the hidder that he saw the elder's wi^r on the ])Ost. and it l)eiiig 
the only one he ever saw. he was badly frightened, and thought that the In- 
dians had scalijed the minister. So he halooed, "Oh, the Indians! the In- 
dians!" This aroused the presiding elder, who was also greatly alarmed, and 
rose up quickly in bed, forgetting his bald head in his fright. This was too 
much for Mr. Boutwell. He now was sure that the Indians had been there, 
and, scared almost to death, he screamed murder! murder! at the top of his 
voice, which brought all the family from below, and the guests from above, to 
the scene. When all w^as explained, and the unoffending wig placed in its 
legitimate position, all were merry at Brother Boutwell's expense. Poor man ; 
he was so chagrined that he rushed below, and did not appear at breakfast, 
or at the meeting that day. 

Dr. Pilcher is a member of the Detroit conference, and resides at No. 4, 
Monroe street, Brooklyn, X. Y. Mr. Colclazer died in Philadelphia, Decemljer 
IG, 1884. He was a member of the Wilmington conference at the tim^ of bis 
death. 

The only apology, if one is needed, for the length of these sketches of three 
of our pioneer ministers, is that their labor and usefulness demands it. 



FROM BUFFALO TO MICHIGAN IN 1820 



BY F. A. DEWEY 



When we look back to the scenes of over fifty-seven years ago. although a 
pleasure, it requires deliberation to bring the mind to bear on scenes and in- 
cidents which transpired when the writer was eighteen years of age. Ivong 
shall I remember the bright and beautiful day, the first of September, in 
the year 1829, when I left the pleasant and historic village of Buffalo, 
which had been my home for several years, and took passage on the steam- 
boat "Enterprise," Captain Miles, for the celebrated lands of Michigan. 
The steamer carried about thirty cords of four foot wood to make fire with 
instead of coal, as at the present day. Several landings were made on the 
route to change freight and take on fire-wood. The weather was delightful 
21 



162 ^ ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

on the lake until we neared Sandusky Bay, then the winds appeared to roar 
and howl ; many passengers were sea-sick. Capt. Miles very gracefully said 
to those who were sea-sick, "this change of weather and the loosening of 
bile will save each of you a hundred dollars' doctor bill when you get to the 
low lands of Michigan." The third day we were safely landed at the small 
wharf in Detroit. Thence taking the marked out road, on the line surveyed 
in the year 1824, called the United States military road, between Detroit and 
Chicago, I was led to Ypsilanti, where 1 found very good fare at the log 
tavern kept by Mr. Whitmore, thence west through the Saline Kiver, 
near the salt springs. On the west side of the river were remaining parts of 
the military barracks built by a portion of General Harrison's army in 1814, 
with a square plot of ground of about one acre, cleared from every grub and 
stump for parade. Here, in the winter of 1811 and '15, a regiment was 
stationed to keep the Indians back. From this place I took the Indian trail, 
past the house of Orrin Parsons, through the dense timbered lands, going 
twelve miles without' finding a house, then I came to the admired and fertile 
oak openings of Tecmnseh, where my father, Simon Dewey, two months pre- 
vious, had bought, one mile west of this forest hamlet, six eightj-acre lots of 
land, comprising four hundred and eighty acres of land with a log house and 
ten acres of clearing, but no laid out road within a mile. Here I was to stay 
until October, when my father's family was expected to come. I would here 
say that in 1832 the IT. S. LaPleasance Bay military road was surveyed and 
made the great turnpike, passing through the centre of the lands. It was 
my good privilege here, with dog and gun, to range the woods where game 
was plenty. At the present day what was the wild wood forest fifty-seven 
years ago, now comprises the beautiful, productive, and well managed planta- 
tions of our highly esteemed citizens, Walter Adams, the widow and son of 
the late L. D. Dewey, also of Samuel Bryan, W. K. Waldron, Thomas Boyd, 
and Marvin Howard, men not surpassed in farming, all of whom are pio- 
neers of Lenawee county. 

My boarding place was Avith the family of William H. Hoag, who was after- 
wards one of the side judges of the circuit court, and also had large contracts 
in making military roads. After making my home there until November 
first, and not hearing from my father, I took a seat with Joseph Camburn 
in a lumber wagon, drawn by two yoke of oxen, for Detroit, the third day 
we arrived and stopped at Campbell's tavern. November 10 I took pas- 
sage on the staunch top-sail schooner "Commerce," Captain Simeon Fox, 
for Buffalo, we had a favorable trip of three days to the grand old harbor of 
Buff'alo. and there learned that my folks had been gone two days on the 
"United States," schooner. Captain Whitaker. I will here state, that large 



FROM BUFFALO TO MICHIGAN IN 1829 l(j3 

vessels were tliirtcen da.vs ou the lake without going into hai-boi- nnlil ihcv 
reached Detroit. ^Iv mother said it was a great relief to get on the land 
once more. November 10, Captain Fox, of the "Commerce," said his 
vessel was loaded for Detroit, bnt it being Friday, he would not start until 
after twelve o'clock at night, though the wind and weather Avere favorable. 
I had a good berth in the cabin, and after a sail of over 200 miles on the 
lake, a great gale began at midnight, which swept the decks of the loading, 
smashed in the stern windows, and a deluge of water came into the cabin, 
upset the stove, broke the jolly boat loose from the davits, and seemingly 
made a general wreck, the storm of wind and snow being fearful. The Cap- 
tain did not hesitate to open his mouth in the use of some of the most tre- 
mendous words, that were never learned in the spelling book. The close reefed 
fore-sail was all the vessel could stand up under. After five days in this wild, 
terrific snow storm, bnifeting the big waves, and trying to make a harbor in 
that desolate Canadian region, near Long Point, at night the anchor was 
dropped in Buffalo Creek, The next morning we saw that ice had formed, 
and boys were already skating. It now seemed, as the Captain said, that the 
end of navigation on the lakes, for 1829, had come. Thus do I look back 1o 
those scenes as the perils of the inland seas. Now it seemed to me my only 
chance was to take the land route, so I made up a small bundle of shirts and 
stockings, Avith a good pair of shoes, a pair of boots, and a fair traveling suit, 
not omitting a few dollars in money. Thus equipped, on November 25, 
on foot and alone. I started over the cold and long road, through Pennsyl- 
vania and Ohio for Michigan. The second day I reached a farm house west 
of Dunkirk. In the morning my feet showed signs of enlargement as a re- 
sult of the rough traveling, the fourth day I passed through a forest of chest- 
nut trees, where was a plenty of nuts on the ground. At evening there came 
a fierce snow storm. I called at a log house where they had a splendid fire, 
but where I was very modestly told that there was but one room and one bed 
in the house, but a quarter of a mile west was a house with more room. I 
•reluctantly went on, which seemed a full mile in that fierce evening snow 
storm. That night I slept ou the floor. After a wearisome travel on foot 
of over two hundred miles, I reached the far-famed village of Cleveland, 
December 5. Here the only bridge over the river was of floating logs. 

At Huron there was a large number of wagons and teams on the common, 
resting for the night, loaded for Columbus. They bought twenty bushels of 
corn to feed the horses that night. I took a few days' rest at what was some- 
times called the "Doctor's Cabin.'' One bitter cold midnight there came a 
loud rap on the door. The doctor got up and admitted a man, who came in, 
sat down on the floor before the large, open fireplace, and said that he had a 



164 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

tooth to be examined. A jug was placed by his side and he was told to take 
a drink; the irons were warmed by the fire, and the doctor then placed the 
man's head between his knees, and, by the light of the fire, put the instru- 
ments in his mouth, and suddenly the tooth was out. The doctor put some 
salt in his mouth, and told him to take another drink, then start for home, 
and not to stop until he had got home. My cot was close to the fireplace, 
and I could see and hear all the prescriptions. This was Ohio doctoring. 
At Milan river I took two hours' time to view the large circular embank- 
ments, full fifteen feet high, which are supposed to have been built more 
than a thousand years ago. Thus did the lone traveler pass over the roman- 
tic and secluded forest road, frequently waiting many an hour for a boat to 
cross the river, until the noted and historic village of Monroe was reached. 
Here my sleeping room at the tavern was in a chamber without a window, 
and as a consequence, I remained in bed late in the morning. Starting 
again, I took the River road for Kedzie's Grove. I was somewhat encour- 
aged to know that I was in Michigan, and with a quick step I hastened 
towards home. As evening came^on and the sun went down behind the 
trees, there were still six miles, through a dense forest, witli. a blind trail, 
mostly covered with leaves, until a house could be reached. It was difficult 
to keep the line without stopping every few rods to brush away the leaves. 
Thus I pursued this lonely trail for nearly two hours in the dark, with howl- 
ing wolves on both sides and seemingly but a few steps behind me, when, 
through the glimmering branches of the trees in the distance, I saw the wel- 
come and cheerful light from the large open fireplace of Mrs. Kedzie's log 
house. Here I was cordially entertained. She had a family of four or five 
dutiful and intelligent children. Her husband had died a few months prev- 
ious. Long shall I remember that pleasant evening. After a refreshing 
rest at Mrs. Kedzie's, I resumed my journey for Adrian and Tecumseh, with 
the cherished thoughts of meeting my brothers and sisters, with the ever 
kind mother. About noon I got to Mr. Dean's tavern, in Adrian, which 
was on the ground where the commodious and well furnished Lawrence 
hotel now stands. In the afternoon I stopped Avith my esteemed friend for 
half an hour, Hon. Darius Comstock, at the valley. Mr. Comstock had, 
previous to his coming to Michigan, been employed by the New York State 
Canal Commissioners to superintend a large force of men in blasting the 
Niagara ledge of rocks at Lockport, for the waters of the Erie canal, which 
took four years to accomplish. It proved a great benefit to the State, and 
he received several thousand dollars for his most excellent management. 
At his Pleasant Valley farm he had about six acres enclosed with posts about 
ten feet high to keep the wolves from his cattle and sheep. He was really 



I 



FROM BUFFALO TO MICHIGAN IN 1829 165 

and truly a philanthropist aniong^ the pioneers, and also was the main con- 
tributor toward the building of the first church erected in Tvcnawee county, 
which Avas dedicated to the Friend's Society. A little after sundown, I got 
to the house of Musgrove Evans, in Tecuniseh. He was one of the first set- 
tlers of the county, and was a true friend to all. He said that our family 
was at the log house, and that they were greatly worried as to what had 
l)ecome of '*the stray boy." Several vessels had "gone to Davey's locker" 
in the great gale on the lakes, and they feared that I had gone on one of 
them. With a cheerful step I walked beneath the spreading branches of the 
giant oaks, until within ten rods of my father's house. Here, on this serene 
December evening, nature seemed to smile from the bright starlit sky upon 
the great forest and the little log house, and I sat down for a moment by a 
tree, and calmly reviewed and mused over my long and wearisome journey. 
A few rods distant the candle burned brightly near the four-lighted window. 
I got up with my small bundle, brought by hand from Buffalo, and, with a 
firm step, went to the door and rapped. I was bid, "Come in." I answer- 
ed, "Will you please open the door?" Then, at least four were there to 
welcome me home. 

In conclusion, permit me to say, that I have cherished memories of Mus- 
grove Evans and family. They were the first residents, and built the first 
house in Lenawee county. We fondly retain warm and lasting recollections 
of those who first settled in and around Tecumseh. For general intelli- 
gence and high moral character, no better or more deserving citizens were 
ever found in a new country. A large number here to-day have passed many 
years in Michigan, and have noted the changes in clearing away the forest 
and plowing for plantations. We have seen and harvestetl the bounteous 
fields of grain ; also, in our midst villages and cities have been built, not 
omitting to keep pace with the improvements of the age. We have seen 
large and most excellent families grow up, and, with cheerfulness, we see 
some of them here to-day. (And, for myself, I look forward to the annual 
pioneer meetings with great pleasure — one of the most enjoyable times of 
the whole year.) An eloquent orator said but a few years ago: "I have 
lived longer than Methuselah; for. in his long journey between the cradle and 
grave, he did not see such changes as we have lived to witness." The wil- 
derness has been cleared away by the woodman's ax, and in place of the 
birch bark canoe on our rivers and lakes, there float the beautiful iron 
steamers; also, the marked and lonely trail through the dense forest, which 
was the Indian's path, was quickly obliterated, and in its place magnificent 
railroads have been built, that carry our products to every part of the globe. 
Here also are admired and princely residences, which take the place of the 



166 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

log house, ou many a fertile and productive plantation. Fifty years ago we 
wrote with quill pen to friends, and waited months for an answer. Now 
we can touch the electric wire, and back flashes the reply, even from across 
the broad Atlantic. We welcome, cherish and revere the pioneers of Michi- 
gan; they honor us by the history of their eventful lives. We are glad to 
commemorate them in their prosperity and beautiful homes. From the 
fathers and mothers, whom communities ought to be proud of, they have 
descended, and stamped intelligence, love and faith upon all; they infused 
a spirit of integrity into our public institutions. Our state is worthy of the 
citizens who founded her. The praise we render to those pioneers who 
have gone before is only gratitude for the blessings we now enjoy. 



INCIDENTS OF EARLY DAYS IN MICHIGAN 



BY EPHRAIM WILLIAMS 



In a former article (published in Vol. 8 of Pioneer Collections), I gave a 
sketch of the location of Major Oliver Williams (my father), with his family 
upon the bank of the beautiful lake, which he named Silver Lake. In the 
fall of 1818 he purchased 320 acres of government land at two dollars per 
acre, one-fourth down, the balance in five years. Before the expiration of 
five years the government reduced the payments, so that he had only to pay 
one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. In the fall of 1819, or summer of 
1820, he caused to be framed and raised the first frame building in Oakland 
county, a barn, 40 by 40 feet, and it now stands upon tlie old homestead in 
good condition. The beams of this barn were 40 feet long and 12 by 14 inches 
of pine, which we drew from a small pinery about one and a half miles from 
Silver Lake, at the head of what then was known as Three Mile Lake. We 
drew from this pinery the logs to make the shingles, boards and plank to 
enclose and finish this barn. The shingles were made on the farm by the 
Graham boys (Benjamin and William Graham). Plank and boards were 
sawed on the farm with whip saw by Sykes and Batchelor, two discharged 



INCIDENTS OF EARLY DAYS IN MICHIGAN 167 

U. S. soldiers from the 5tli regiment, stationed at Detroit, in 1815 and 181G. 
Tliey lived with father a number of years. After this time the Pontiae 
Company put a party of men into this pinery and cut and cleared oil" the 
entire pinery, and drew the logs to their saw mill at Pontiae. Thus ended 
Uncle Sam's pinery at the head of Three Mile Lake. The pioneers of those 
days, and for many years, felt at liberty to make free to use what they wanted 
of Uncle Samuel's timber (he being a very clever old gentleman, and no one 
to say "why do you so?" This little pinery created a desire among the few 
first settlers to look about for more pine timber. 

North of Silver Lake (the old homestead) we could see a height of land, 
or a small mountain, that appeared covered with pine ('twas called the "little 
pine knob'"), appearing to be some miles distant. The subject was talked up 
by the family (and by us boys more particularly), that we would take a trip 
to little pine knob and see what it was for pine. Accordingly one of father's 
hired men (David Corbin) and myself, being the oldest of the boys, decided 
to explore pine knob and its surroundings. After due preparations and all 
necessary arrangement for the great exploration, provisions cooked and pro- 
vided by my good mother, one bright morning, with a little snow on the 
ground, Corbin and myself started (this Avas the winter of 1820 or 1821), with 
blankets, provisions, hatchets, pocket compass, etc., we took our course for 
pine knob. About noon we came to a small stream running from east to 
west, and joining Clinton river a few miles below. This creek was afterwards 
called the Shaw-she-bah, after an old Indian by that name. We crossed the 
stream, and in about one or two miles we arrived at i)ine knob. Ascending 
to its summit we found only a clump of small pines covering the entire sur- 
face, perhaps two or three acres of scrub pines. Disappointed, and a little 
fatigued, we struck a fire and took a lunch, and surveying the surrounding 
country from our little knob (which was quite a hill or a young mountain), 
we discovered in an easterly direction, and to the right of our line, wliat 
appeared a long stretch of pine timber running easterly several miles. We 
observed what appeared to be a large, heavy body of pine timl)er. After 
lunch we set our compass and made a bee line for the same. We found it 
located upon the creek we crossed on our way out. and in a valley of beautiful 
heavy timber, intermixed with large and very tine jtine, this valley ranging 
from half to one mile wide. This valley and surrounding country in after 
years became one of the finest farming portions of Oakland county, and is 
now. It was known as the Shaw-she-bah settlement. We examined about 
and found we had struck into a splendid body of ]iine, which proved after- 
wards to be about the best of the long range of splendid pine, which proved 
a very useful element in the improvement of Oakland county, and some 



168 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

others. We marked many of the largest and finest trees with our Totems (as 
the Indian says), and as was the custom to mark bee trees when found, being 
a pre-emption or possession. We were, probably, the first whites ever upon 
these lands except, perhaps, the U. S. surveyors, and they in their field 
notes in the land office, in Detroit, had returned these, and all of Oakland 
county, as barrens and tamarack swamps. 

We now, proud of our success, took our course for home, leaving the tim- 
ber and pine lands. We soon struck the openings rising from the valley, 
upon quite high land, some distance east of our line out. Arriving upon the 
high land we saw two men, who had just come upon this high land, stood 
amazed, looking over this valley of pine, which they also had been led to ex- 
plore pine knol). We found them our neighbors, Col. Calvin Hotchkiss and 
his father. They lived, perhaps, a mile below Pontiac, and were some of the 
earliest settlers of Oakland county. We told them what we had found; they 
were satisfied with our description. We then agreed to keep the matter a 
secret for our mutual benefit. They agreed to come the next day to Silver 
Lake and make such arrangements with father as might be thought best for 
securing what pine we wanted unbeknown to others. 

The colonel and his father came to Silver Lake, and arrangements were 
made to start from Silver Lake and go north across Three Mile Lake at a 
narrow place and put a number of hands immediately to cutting logs, before 
hauling any out of the pinery, as the Pontiac company were on the look out 
for more pine timber. After securing a fine lot of logs, taking only the 
choicest, we commenced drawing on to the openings, in as secret places as 
possible, and convenient for drawing to the saw mill of Williams & Phillips 
at Waterford. About this time the Pontiac company found, or mistrusted 
father's men and teams, and Hotchkiss's men and teams and themselves and 
several laboring men in the neighborhood were missing from home, sent out 
men to search for our road, and in a few days found it, and followed it into 
our camp in the pinery where we were hard at work. It soon became known 
pine had been found; parties from Detroit and other places began to buy up 
the pine lands. AYe got our logs all off their lands, and working day and 
night, having bright moonlight, we soon were all right. Some mornings, 
when we happened not to have worked the night previous, we Avould find 
our logs marked with red chalk the name of a pretended purchaser, and 
with the words ''touch not these logs;" but in twenty-four hours the logs 
would be one or two miles nearer the mill they were destined for, and on 
Uncle Sam's land, which we claimed as much right to as any one until 
purchased. Parties from distant parts of the county, in a few instances, moon- 
light nights, with teams, would load up some of our longest and best logs. 



INCIDENTS OF EARLY DAYS IN MICHIGAN 169 

draw them to Poutiac niill, or to their homes for sliingles. Father found 
two of our best aud longest logs at the Pontiac mill, left to be sawed; he 
made an arrangement with the sawyer that on a certain day he would take 
his men and teams and draw the logs on to the log way, and when sawed, 
load the lumber and take it home, nothing said; the one in itosscssion in 
those days was the owner and best fellow; these transactions made any 
amount of fun and excitement. We had a fine run of sleighing that winter, 
which enabled us to bring about much work. Many's the night we boys and 
hired men and teams worked all night to secure our logs. We. however, 
succeeded in getting a fine number to the Pontiac mill, and to Williams & 
Phillips's mill at Waterford. We had a number of men and teams m hen we 
moved for the mills, often six or eight teams, for it became a little uncertain 
at times who would hold the logs. I recollect one morning we missed two 
very large fine logs for shingles gone from our number; being snow we took 
their track. After two or three miles, we came upon the logs : their sleigh 
had broken down, from being overloaded; they had left them beside the 
road and put for home. We reloaded them and took them home. The fel- 
lows who stole our logs lived near Birmingham, then called Piety Hill (a 
very pious place in those days). Next spring and summer pine lundier was 
in great demand, commanding good paying prices. Our logs had been sawed 
at Williams & Phillips's mill, and prepared for market. Parties came 
from Ann Arbor and purchased all our lumber, jirovided we would deliver 
it on the bank of the Lower Huron river, opposite what was then the old 
Wallrod house (a large log house), on the site of the present village of Com- 
merce, Oakland county. We explored the route, and found an open plain 
from Waterford Mill to the Huron river, except perhaps forty rods of tim- 
bered land between the openings and the bank of the river, which was a 
sand ridge and bank, perhaps ten or fifteen feet high. AVe cut a road 
through this timber land, and cleared a place to pile the lumber. We then 
started two teams — myself and a man by the name of Welch — each a wagon 
and two yoke of oxen, or rather, a good heavy yoke of oxen on the tongue, 
and a yoke of steers on the lead. AVhen we came to the timbered land, we 
took the steers ofif and chained them to a sa])ling, for they were young, and 
troublesome in the timber land. We had drawn several days, piling the 
lumber carefully on the bank of the river; one day, while drawing, was a 
very windy one, and by the time we reached the place of deposit it was blow- 
ing a gale. Of course we were anxious to unload and get out of the tind)er 
and on to the plains as soon as possible. We always took the oxen from the 
wagons and fed them while unloading — Welch at the front and myself at 
the rear of the load, passing the lumber from the wagon on to the jule as fast 



170 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

as we could. All at once my hat was crushed over my eyes and myself pressed 
to the ground, somewhat stunned by something. I got out, and, looking 
around, found a dead tree, a foot or more in diameter, had fallen across 
the load, settling the wheels a foot or more into the sand. After seeing 
what had happened, my thoughts and looks were, ''where is Welch?" he not 
being in sight. I made for the front of the wagon and found a large limb 
had struck him upon his head, and he lay dead, as I supposed, upon the 
ground, blood running from his nose, mouth and ears. I got him out, and 
leaned him beside a large tree near by. I found there was life, and with our 
tin cup I ran to the stream, brought some water, bathed his temples and 
washed the blood from his face, and with bathing and rubbing I soon 
brought him to breathing, but unconscious, putting everything I had under 
his head to make him comfortable as possible, leaning him against a tree. 

I then went to work to clear away the tree and unload the wagon. I was 
so frightened and excited, not a living person within miles of me to assist, 
and fearing poor Welch might breathe his last any moment, I hardly knew 
what to do — wind blowing a gale, trees and limbs falling around me — seeing 
no other alternative, ax in hand, I went to work to clear away, cutting the 
body of the tree into pieces, to get it off the load, and with fear and trem- 
bling, went to unloading the wagons, and I now think they were unloaded in 
a hurry, all the time looking after Welch, who lay unconscious and speechless. 

I got unloaded and the oxen to their places on each wagon ready to leave, 
I hardly knew what I should do with Welch, with limbs and trees falling 
around me. I finally took some boards and laid them on the wagon, making 
a spring bed for him ; after bathing him again I took him up and laid him on 
the boards, with what hay 1 could gather and what else I had, putting it under 
him, then with chains and ropes I bound him so he could not fall off; I started 
for the plains where the steers were left. Now came the trouble; how to get 
the steers before the oxen I could not imagine, for one yoke were young and 
wild, it requiring two to hitch them before the oxen. I went to Welch, he 
appeared comfortable, and I tliought more conscious, but could not speak, 
and seemed hardly to know anything. 

T now felt more at ease, as I was out of the timber land. I took a rest my- 
self, giving Welch all the attention I could. I spoke and said I did not 
know how I should get the steers hitched up. With this, Welch, I thought, 
knew what I said, and made some motion which led me to ask him, if I car- 
ried him to the head of the oxen he could reach the chain and work it into 
the ring of the oxen, he intimated that he could, I had no confidence that 
he could, but I unbound him and carried him and sat him or laid him down 
under the heads of the oxen (they smelt of him, as they recognized their old 



INCIDENTS OF EARLY DAYS IN MICHIGAN 171 

driver). T tlieii got tlio steers around in front of the oxen, holding them by 
their horns, 1 threw the end of the chain within the reach of Welch, and 
said, now Welch hook Ihe chain if you can, at the same time fearing it im- 
])Ossible for him to do it. But to my surprise and great relief, he took the 
hook and hooked it into the ring, and sank back almost lifeless upon his 
back! Oh: what a hap])y moment for me, after the steers were hitched they 
would stand quiet. I then sprung, took up Welch and laid him on his board 
bed again, and secured him so he would ride as comfortable as I could make 
him under the circumstances. You may imagine I made for home as fast as 
an ox team could go. part of the time on a trot. Arriving at the mill, a 
physician was sent for from Pontiac; Dr. William Thompson came and found 
that Welch's skull was injured; it was many days before he was conscious 
and able to speak. Almost the first thing he said was to ask what Ephraim 
(myself) struck him for. It was a long time before he could be made to un- 
derstand what was the cause of his injury. It w^as months before he was able 
to work, in fact, he never, poor fellow, fully recovered his health, and his 
mind was always a little off. He has long since gone to his long home. That 
was a day I never have forgotten and never can forget; such a day I never wish 
to experience again, and probably never shall. I have often thought there was a 
little pioneer life about this. We succeeded in banking all our lumber as 
agreed, and the jiarties came from Ann Arbor and rafted it down the Huron 
to Ann Arbor, i)utting it in small cribs from four to six feet wide. I sup- 
pose some, if not all of that lumber is now, 1885, in buildings in Ann Arbor. 

►Speaking of the Huron river reminds me of the fact that, in the early 
days of Michigan there were three rivers called the Huron, to wit : the Lower 
Huron, the Upper Huron, and the Huron of the North. Lower Huron, the 
present Huron; Upper Huron, the one passing through Pontiac. Rochester, 
and Mount (Memens to Lake St. Clair. Three Hurons caused much confu- 
sion as the country settled, consequently the names of two of them wei-e 
changed. The Upper Huron Avas called Clinton River, after Gov. Clinton, 
of N. Y., and about the time (or at the time) of the Saginaw Treaty of 1819 
by Gov. Cass, the Huron of the North was changed and called the Cass River, 
•in honor of Gov. I.ewis Cass. 

The Indian name of the three rivers Huron was 0-)iot-0-icni/-S<r-h((\ after 
the tribe of Huron Indians, who were the O-not-O-wai/s (Hurons).* Even 
after the changes the Indians about Oakland county and the Saginaw valley, 
referring and speaking of the Clinton and also Cass rivers, always, even to 
this day, say — O-nof-O-trat/Scc-bcc. 

The seasons, so different now. of early days from 181."). for many years. 
we had verv little cold weather, and rarelv got but little snow until March. 



^See appendix 



172 ' ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

After we moved on to the farm we could and did plow and do all kinds of 
farm work throngli January and February, as well as in May and June. We 
then had long and beautiful falls called Indian summer. Xo winters with 
20, 25, and 30° below zero, and freezing the earth from 4 to G feet deep, as 
has been the case the last few winters. I will recite an instance : Two Irish 
laborers, one had been digging- some post holes and found the frost very deep. 
The other says — ''Well Pat, I think the divil a potato bug we'll have next 
summer (this was about the time the bugs were so destructive), for the frost 
must have killed them." "ludade, Jimmy, I think there will be plenty, for 
when I dug through the frost some four feet, I found about an inch or more 
of live bugs that had retreated before the frost, and lay there waiting to 
come to the surface to look after our potatoes next spring.'' 



THE TOWN OF GREEN 



BY C. D. RANDALL 



[Note. — This paper was originally prepared for and read before the Branch County 
Pioneer Society, December 28, 1885, and afterwards read at the annual meeting of the 
State Pioneer and Historical Society.] 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

The following interesting and touching correspondence I present here, after 
mature deliberation, for my preface and apology: 

CoLDWATER, Dec. 17, 1885. 
Hon. C. D. Randall, Coldwater: — 

Dear Sir — Will you have the kindness to give our pioneers about a three minutes' 
talk on "The Town of Green" at our pioneer meeting the 28th inst? 

Yours truly, 

J. G. Parkhurst, Pres. 
Reply. 
Gen. John G. Parlchurst. President: — 

My Dear Sir — Yours of the 17th inst., requesting me to tell in three minutes all I 
know of "The Town of Green," is at hand. The time suits me exactly. I am sure 
I can tell all I know about it in that time, and I will try to do so, relying upon you 
to help me out on the last minute, as I may not have material enough for the allotted 
time. Yours truly, 

C. D. Randall. 

And now, fate, or the President of the society, has placed me on the pro- 



THE TOWN OF GREEN 173 

gram with this dry subject, riglit after tl»e delijilitful nmsie, right after the 
address of the ''Old !Mau Eloquent,"' and the interesting and toucliing trib- 
utes to the memory of our fellow pioneers who have left us during the jiast 
year. I had a vague idea that the town of (Jreen was lying about here some- 
where, or had been here sometime, but just where and when I did not know. 
Consulting encyclop(edias brought no consolation. There was nothing in 
the American, Johnson's. Chambers' or Britannioa about this ancient town. 
Almost as a last resort, I consulted the President's message, but althougli it 
contained everything else, he had, alas, forgotten to speak of the town of 
Green. Then I consulted the statutes of the Michigan Territorial Council, 
and talked with the oldest pioneers, who were in Michigan before I was 
born. We came here in 1835, but when we got here the town of Green had 
liad its brief career and passed into history. We came to the place where 
this old town once was, but it was here no more forever. Yes, Branch 
county was once the town of Green. Not this county alone, but Eaton and 
Calhoun, and "all the country north of Eaton" composed this town. The 
section of this act, organizing this town, was approved November 5. ]S2!I. 
and reads as follows : 

Sec. 5. That the counties of Branch, Calhoun and Eaton, and all the country lying 
north of the county of Eaton, which are attached to and compose a part of the county 
of St. Joseph, shall form a township by the name of Green, and the first township 
meeting shall be held at the house of Jabez Bronson, in said township. 

The house where the meeting to "elect township oflficers was held was in 
Bronson, named after Jabez Bronson. It was a long, low log house, but 
however low, such houses always had a chamber above for a sleeping room. 
I think it stood a little way back from the street, near Avhere the flouring 
mill now stands. These large towns existed in the days when Michigan Ter- 
ritory reached the Mississippi and shortly after to the Missouri, as ^lichi- 
gan has always been a growing State. Counties sometimes were very large. 
T think Brown county once reached across the lake into what is now Wiscon- 
sin. The people were few and could not fill the land, and so the land reached 
out and took in the people. 

There is said to be no record of the first and second meeting of this town. 
But the third meeting is recorded. It was at Pocahontas Mills, near Branch, 
April 2, 1832— over 53 years ago. An interesting feature of this mcH'ting 
was the auditing of the account of John G. Richardson, the town collector 
for 1831-32. The amount presented showed he had collected taxes to the 
amount of |56.82 and had actually paid out $59.32, leaving his due ^2.50. 
What a contrast between 1831-2 and 1885. I think the present assessed 
valuation of Branch county alone, which is not one-third of the old town 
of Green, is something over $17,000,000. This vear our taxes are higher than 



174 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

usual, and if they are one per cent on the valuation, and they approximate 
that probably, then the amount of taxes we pay in 1885 will be about $170,- 
000. Don't we, poor tax-ridden modern citizens, when thinking of these 
halcyon days of low taxes and little property in the days of yore, wish we 
were back again enjoying the "thirties?" There is, however, nothing so 
interesting to me as the consideration of the names and characteristics of the 
town officials of Green. 

I know more about them than I do of the town which they survived. I 
well remember the ancient collector of taxes, John G. Richardson. My 
father bought his farm near Bronson village, and he then moved farther 
east into the woods. He was a strong, healthy hunter — never had the ague — 
killed many a deer — never did much farm work, — spent years in devising a 
perpetual motion, which never moved. But the greater dream of his life, 
in that long ago, was to go far away to the Pacific, to Oregon. But he died 
many years ago on his farm, on the west line of Bethel, near Bronson, and 
never saw his dreams of Oregon or a perpetual motion realized. His widow 
re-married, and I as solicitor, procured a divorce from her second husband 
on the ground of desertion. She was, I think, the first white woman who 
settled in Branch county, and in that part that it would seem was then about 
the most prominent in the county. At that town meeting others were elected 
to office, whose names are very familiar to us, who still survive, beloved and 
honored: William H. Cross, treasurer; Allen Tibbitts, commissioner of 
schools and assessor; and Harvey Warner, overseer of highways for Cold- 
water Prairie. It was voted at this meeting that the next town meeting 
should be held at the house of John Morse, which is the present old Phoenix 
House in Coldwater. 

In 1832, on the re-organization of townships, the name of Green was dropped, 
the west half of Branch county being named Prairie River from a stream 
in the southwestern part, now called Hog Creek, while the east half of the 
county was called Coldwater. For some reason the name of Green had be- 
come unpopular, but why I have not learned. The name of Prairie River 
was soon lost for both town and stream, though the Hon. Wales Adams, who 
owned a saw mill on the creek, where it ran slow and up hill by the marsh 
to turn the wheels, strove to have the name retained, but it soon degenerated 
into ''Hog Creek." I think the town was named for General Green, but I 
do not know. No pioneer I have asked can tell me. They were probably 
not consulted, not the town either, the Territorical Council, in their wisdom 
and discretion, fixing upon this name. In size the town must have had 
something over 1,800 square miles, to say nothing of "all the country lying 
north of Eaton," which unless explained by statute, reached to the north 



ANDREW NOWLAND I75 

polo, and certainly to Mackinac. I have tried to find some good moral hid 
away under the ruins and names of this great ohl town, but, s;ive the lesson 
relative to the brevity of all sublunary things. 1 find nothing fruitful for 
that purpose. 

But after all. I think I do see a good lesson for the young in Ihe names 
and lives of some of the old town officials of Green, who for over fifty years 
have survived their arduous labors. When we see to-day Mr. Cross, the 
treasurer, Mr. Tibbitts, the assessor and school commissioner, and Judge 
Warner, the commissioner of highways, hale and hearty in body and mind, 
enjoying their eighties, all alive to-day, it does seem as though there was 
after all something of advantage in good, honest, temperate lives, that makes 
men respected and gives them fulness and ripeness of years. So to-night 
for myself, and I think I may also in your behalf, extend to these survivors 
of the township officials of Green most hearty congratulations and best wishes 
for yet many years. 

And to the memory of the town of Green, I say: ''Hail and Farewell!" 

Note. — Green township was organized November 5, 1829, Territorial Laws, Vol. 2, 787. 
Branch County was organized into two townships, Coldwater and Prairie River, June 
29, 1832, Territorial Laws, Vol. 3, 949. Prairie River township was changed to Green 
township, April 23, 1833, Territorial Laws, Vol. 3, 12G0. Prairie River township was 
changed to Bronson, March 11, 1837, State Laws, 1837, 14. 



ANDREW NOWLAND: THE OLD PIONEER MAIL CARRIER AND 

TEAMSTER 



BY A. D. P. VAX BUREN 



Andrew Nowland came of an Irish family. He was born and reared to 
manhood in Benton, Yates county, N. Y. He was among the early emi- 
grants to Michigan, for in the year 1828 we find him a resident of the rude 
village of Ann Arbor, and for a while he kept tavern in the lower town. At 
this early period he was the avant courier to the stage coach, mail carrier, 
and express man, for he not only carried the mail and passengers from Ann 
Arbor to Detroit and back, but he also carried baggage, or any goods that he 
could stow away in his wagon. He drove a splendid span of large horses, 



176 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

making three trips in a week to Detroit, going one day and returning tlie 
next. 

Says A. K. Holcomb, who had known Nowland from a boy : ''He was 
what some people call 'a hard case,' but he was only 'hard' to himself, 
other people were never injured by him. No man in this entire border was 
better known, more trusted, or had a stronger hold on the confidence of the 
early settlers than Andre^y Nowland. He was a big friend to those he liked, 
and as big an enemy to those who sought to injure him." For years he was 
teamster, errand, and express-man between Ann Arbor and Detroit. He 
would take any message, package, or portable goods, and never failed to 
deliver them just as directed. He never seemed to lose patience, or to 
allow his kindly nature to refuse any demand on him. "I have known him," 
says Mr. Holcomb, "to receive money from different persons, wrapping each 
amount in a paper, an old rag, or a wisp of hay, and to keep stowing them 
away in his vest, pantaloon, and coat pockets, each with a slip of directions 
attached, till he looked like a burly Daniel Lambert." And he never made 
a mistake, or forgot to deliver money or message to the persons who were to 
receive them. Let him drink as much as he would he was always true to 
his trust. At one time a land buyer was sent to him. He gave Nowland 
the description of the land he wished to purchase, and, counting out the 
money, asked him for a receipt. "No, sir," said Nowland, "I give no re- 
ceipts, go somewhere else if you can't trust me." The man sought others,, 
but they all sent him back to Nowland. With this universal endorsement, 
he again sought the brusk old teamster, w^ho took the money, and on his 
return presented the man with a certificate for his land. The stranger was 
surprised at his promptness, and threw him down five dollars. Nowland 
refused to take it, but the gentleman went off and left it. 

This eccentric old pioneer was above the medium height, had black hair,, 
blue eyes, and fair complexion. When he heard that A. R. Holcomb, his 
old friend and playmate, was coming to Detroit, on his way to Jackson, he 
made a special trip to that city, hunted up Holcomb, and presented his team 
to carry his family and household goods to Jackson. The latter thanked 
him, saying he had secured conveyance for his goods. But Nowland would 
hear to nothing of the kind. "You have been a big friend to me, Holcomb, 
and I owe it to you." Holcomb, when young in Benton, N. Y., had once 
saved Nowland from getting awfully whipped by three boys older than him- 
self; and the sturdy teamster had never forgotten such a kind and brave 
act. Nowland died many years ago at Ann Arbor. 

Of the many jokes that this old settler has perpetrated on different 
persons, and of the many anecdotes told of him, I can here give but few. 



ANDREW NOWLAND 177 

Says I. X. Hedden of Plynionth : '"One could tell stories about Nowlaud 
from morning until night, and not exhaust one-third of the stock on hand." 

Hearing some politicians one day in Jackson condoling over the scarcity 
of money, he, partly filling a quart cup with half and quarter dollar pieces 
walked along the streets scattering the silver coin about him as he exclaimed. 
''Don't tell me that money is scarce, here it is in abundance; walk u]» 
fellow citizens, walk up, here is plenty and to spare!" 

A couple of young "sprigs" driving by on the road, one of them called 
out to him, ''Turn out there, turn out, a couple of gentlemen are coming!" 
Nowland, leaning over from his high seat in the wagon, looked down u|)()u 
them as he retorted, "Gods, I'm glad you told me. I shouldn't have known 
it!" 

The old cemetery grounds in the ujjper town at Ann Arbor formed ])art 
of Nowland's farm, and as he must always do business in his own way, and 
was nothing unless odd or joking, he would give the committee of ladies a 
deed only on condition that they would come and take tea with him, which 
they did. There lived at Ann Arbor at this time a good and pious deacon 
of the Congregational Church by the name of Branch. Xowland, in handing- 
over the title papers to the cemetery, stipulated that when he (Nowland) 
died he must be buried as far as possible from Deacon Branch's grave, so 
that when the Prince of Darkness came for Deacon Branch there might be 
no mistake made, and he. Nowland, be taken off instead. 

William Hedden met Nowland one bitter cold day in December driving his 
spanking bays into Ann Arbor. Xowland was standing on the topmost 
box of his load, his coat and vest unbuttoned, his bosom bare, his hat in one 
hand with which he was fanning himself, his lines in the other; as Hedden 
came up the old teamster cried out, "Stranger, how far is it to a tavern*?'' 
"Some two miles," was the reply. "Is that so? Well. I'll try and stand it. 
But my God, stranger, I'm just sweltering!" 
23 



178 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



THE GOODRICH FAMILY REUNION 



BY ENOS GOODRICH 



On Thui'sday, the 20tli day of May, 1886, it being the fiftieth anniversary 
of the settlement of the family in Michigan, the surviving members of the 
original Goodrich family, with as many of their descendants and kindred as 
could conveniently attend, gathered at the mansion of the oldest brother, 
Moses, near the village bearing the family name, and on the farm where the 
family had settled fifty years before. Parties were there whose homes are 
now far remote from each other. Kindred met kindred who had never met 
before, and who, in all probability, will never meet again. There were 
heartfelt greetings, there were minglings of pleasure and sadness, of joys and 
sorrows, of smiles and tears, as the recollections of bygone years were called 
up from the oblivion of the past. 

The vicissitudes of pioneer life, the changes of the country from its 
wilderness state to its present condition of advanced improvement, the friends 
and neighbors of former times that have passed away, were among the interest- 
ing themes of discussion. 

Aaron, the second brother, had come from his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, 
bringing fresh intelligence from the wonderful cities of the Upper Mississippi, 
as reverting in his happy manner to his sojourn in Belgium, and his travels 
in Italy, or to his heartfelt and sentimental visit to ''Goodrich Castle," the 
ancient home of the family, on the banks of the river Wye, in the county of 
Herefordshire, England. 

Enos, the next living brother, had come up from his home in Fostoria, to 
tell the story how the towering pines of Tuscola county had vanished and 
given place to grain fields and orchards and meadows, and to prove by the 
grip of his strong, calloused hand that he had not gone there to "play up gen- 
tleman," but to repeat his old time labors of the county of Genesee. 

Reuben, the youngest and the last, had come from his home beside the 
lucid waters of Traverse Bay, to take one more look at his old stamping 
ground, to tell of the gigantic enterprises of Hannah, Lay & Company, and 
of Dexter & Noble, and of his recent pilgrimage among the orange groves, 
the Everglades, and the alligators of Florida. 



10 




14 


9 


a 


9 


10 


- 


oo 



THE GOODRICH FAMILY REUNION 179 

The four grey headed but cheerful hearted brothers met ("perhaps for the 
last time on earth), ohiH^red and consoled by tlie consciousness of having, at 
least, tried to do something for the lienefit of tlie world in which they had 
so long been permitted to live. The ages of the four brothers just met were 
as follows: — 

Moses, born December 5. 1802, age 83 years, .") months, 1.") day.«i. 
Aaron, born July (>. 1807. *• 78 

Enos. born August 11. 1813. *• 72 
Reuben, born June 28, 1819. " 00 
Total age of four brothers 302 years. 

Our devoted parents, who left their eastern home to share our fortunes, 
had long since passed away, in mature old age, with complacent spirits and 
intellectual powers fully preserved to the very last. As their lives were 
passed principally in the eastern states their biographies, perhaps, do not 
properly belong to the pioneers of Michigan. I trust, however, they 'will 
pardon me while I mention the fact that my father, in twelve consecutive 
years' practice as magistrate in Clarence, an important town near Buffalo, 
never had one of his judgments reversed, and it is curious now to mention 
that, among the attorneys who pleaded law before him in his rude log court 
room, was no less personage than Millard Fillmore, afterwards President 
of the United States; and also D. V. Lord, the celebrated divine, who 
started his public life as a lawyer, and came out from Buffalo, somewhat of 
a greenhorn, to try his first cause. 

Of the six sons of my father, all of whom emigrated to Michigan fifty 
years ago. a few words might be said, 

Moses, our oldest brother, the man who now stands patriarch of the 
Goodrich family, has always strenuously resisted the allurements of ambition, 
beyond the business of his farm. This field has not been a narrow one, and 
to this he devoted himself with diligence, perseverance and success, and 
when called hence, as ere long we all must be. he need not be ashamed of the 
reputation he leaves behind. — ""An honest man's the noblest work of God." 

Aaron, the second brother, practised law in Tennesee, to which State he 
removed after a brief residence in Michigan, became a member of the legis- 
lature of that State, and Presidential Elector in 1818, chief justice of 
Minnesota in 1819. and subsequently spent eight years in Belgium, as secre- 
tary of legation. 

Enos. your historian, has passed a life so closely occupied in hard work in 
the woods, in the lumber yard, in the flouring mill and on the farm, that it 
was with difficulty he could find time to help move the Capitol from Detroit 
to Lansing in 1817, and to represent his county in the Senate in 1853, and it 



180 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

was with equal difficulty he left the cares of the farm to meet you here 
to-day. 

John Avas the student and scholar of the Goodrich family. First passing 
through a literary course of studies at Middlebury Academj^, in Western 
New York, he next entered upon the study of law, in the office of the Hon- 
orable John T. Bush, of Buffalo. After removing to Michigan, he entered 
the office of Alfred H. Hanscom, of Pontiac, where, after completing his 
legal studies, he became a trusted partner in the law office of Hanscom & 
Goodrich. It was from this office that the lamented Col. Broadhead, as a 
student at law, went forth to. die immortalized on a southern battle field. On 
the adoption of the revised Constitution of 1850, he was elected to the 
office of judge, but died on the 15th of October, 1851, before entering upon 
the duties of his office. His dust reposes beside that of his parents in the 
Goodrich cemetery. 

Eeuben was the youngest of the family, and came to Michigan in his 
early youth. Here he entered earnestly upon that active life which has 
characterized his later years. As a member of the Senate in 1855, and of 
the House in 1857, he brought to his task the same habits of industry which 
always characterized his action in private life, and, without pretension as a 
public speaker, few men at the time had greater influence in moulding legis- 
lation for the interest of the newer counties of the State. 

Thus may be briefly written the history of a hard working family of Mich- 
igan's early pioneers, whose greatest satisfaction is to know that they have 
been humble instruments in building up the State of their adoption, and 
whose greatest regrets are that they are soon to leave it, without doing more 



JOHN SKINNER GOODRICH 



BY ENOS GOODRICH 



John Skinner Goodrich was the fifth son of Levi Hamilton Goodrich and 
his consort, Eunice Skinner, and was born at Clarence, Erie county. New 



JOHN SKINNER GOODRICH 181 

York, on the Ttli day of Octobei', ISIT). At au early period iu life he devel- 
oped au intense desire for study, coui)led with a memory of the most extra- 
ordinary character. The country Avas i>oor and the family were i)oor. At 
an early period in life, the boys, as was customary at that period, were put 
into the harness, and broken to the rugged and arduous i)ursuits of a new 
and heavily timbered country The subject of this memoir was by nature 
endowed with a healthy and robust constitution, but from the tirst the ]»ow- 
ers of his mind seemed to ])redominate over those of the body. Being an 
obedient son of much resi)ected parents, he submissively bowed to all their 
mandates, and strove to fill his place in the industrious and toiling family, 
but it soon became obvious that his heart was not in the work. As he toiled 
in the field he would be reciting passages of history or classic jioetry. and 
while his comrades paused to rest he would Ix? solving mathematical prob- 
lems on the ground with a stick. His parents having both been school 
teachers, atforded him all the instruction in their power, and all that could 
be obtained in the primitive common schools within their reach. But he soon 
passed beyond their reach of instruction. In the occupations of the farm, 
however, it was obvious to the most casual observer, he was not at home. 
His mind was wandering far away, — consequently he exhibited no tact or 
aptitude for physical labors. Whatever he did was done cheerfully, but it 
was done by main strength, coupled all the while with the intense labors of 
his never resting mind. Uiider this combined physical and mental strain, 
it was obvious that his strong constitution was failing at the age of twelve 
years. His parents now found it necessary to release him from the laboi-s 
of the farm; but turning with greater intensity to the study of books, his 
health did not improve. At this time Middlebury Academy was the principal 
institution of learning in western New York, and he conceived an intense 
desire to go there. His parents, though in limited circumstances, and fear- 
ful as to the effect it might have upon his health, gave way to his persua- 
sions, and mustered the necessary means for his outfit. It is probable that 
from the fifteenth to the seventeenth year of his life was spent at that insti- 
tution. His progress in study was a wonder to his teachers, and a surprise 
to his fellow studentg. But his teachers soon discovered that his health was 
rapidly sinking under the enormous strain of his studies. Finding it im- 
possible to restrain him while in school, they sent him home with sage ad- 
vice and fatherly benedictions. They told him he must lay his books aside, 
and divert his mind from intense thinking. They advised him to walk in 
the open fields, inflate his lungs, and try to interest himself in sports and 
pastimes suited to his years. He tried mechanically to follow their instruc- 
tions ; but the bewitching and fascinating ghost of his studies would return. 



182 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

His health did improve, and he returned with gladness, once more to renew 
his studies at the acadeni}-. He soon passed to where his teachers could give 
him no instructions, and with his books for his only guide, pushed forward 
with speed which was literally incredible. Mathematics was his favorite 
study, and having mastered all his books contained, in Hutton's immense 
edition, together with other customary academic studies, his teachers proposed 
that he wind up with a course of history' , — and I will here record a circum- 
stance illustrative of his extraordinary powers of memory. Having disci- 
plined his mind to the subject, and by degrees increased his lessons, he was 
at length enabled to master forty closely printed pages as his daily lesson, 
and toward the close it only required one careful thorough reading to enable 
him to get up and'recite, in his own language, every important incident. 

His physical constitution now began to re-assert itself, and he returned 
home with improved health. On returning home, some time was spent in 
reviewing his studies, in general reading, and improving his health by gen- 
tle field exercises and amusements. Between the age of eighteen and 
twenty years he entered the oflflce of Hon. John T. Bush, of Buffalo, as a 
student at law. I have no data in regard to the time he spent in his legal 
studies. It is known, however, that, though his mind had no natural affin- 
ity for the stud}' of law, his progress was highly commendable, and he left 
the office with the most kindly feelings between him and his preceptor. In 
the year 1835 his parents sold out their farm on the ''Holland Purchase," 
and in the following spring removed to Michigan, where the family settled 
and engaged earnestly and unitedly in agricultural pursuits, at the spot 
where now stands the quiet town of Goodrich, in the county of Genesee. 
John, the subject of this memoir, soon followed them, and after spending a 
little time with his kindred in the then northern wilds of our State, he deter- 
mined to try his hand at civil engineering, and united himself with a party 
just setting out to survey the original line of the Port Huron & Lake Michi- 
gan railroad, or Northern Michigan, as it was sometimes called. It was thus 
he thought to gratify his mathematical tastes, for the law had never been con- 
genial to him. It was cold wintry weather, and in wading the icy slopes 
and marshes of St. Clair county, he soon contracted a cold, which brought 
him home with inflammation of the lungs, and came very near costing him 
his life. When at last he recovered, he reluctantly abandoned the idea of 
civil engineering, but I have often heard him express his regrets that he 
could not have found some pursuit wherein he could have found scope for 
his mathematical genius. It was Avith reluctance that he returned to the 
study of law. The Honorable Alfred H. Hanscom, of Pontiac, was then 
looming up as one of the brightest stars in the legal horizon of our infant 



JOHN SKINNER GOODRICH 183 

State. Mr. Goodrieli entered his otMce as a student, where he was most 
intimately associated in his studies with Thornton F. Broadhead, or ''Thorn 
Broadhead," as he was tlien called, though afterwards world renowned 
as Colonel Broadhead, who died in the ^^outh, with the immortal 
utterance upon his lips, of ''The old flag Avill triumph yet I" Thorn 
Broadhead was a most inveterate wag — everlastingly full of his jokes 
and his drollery; while Goodrich was quite the reverse, being generally 
sedate, and deeply absorbed in his studies, t^till. the relations between 
them, as fellow students, were ever of the most kindly character. Time 
advanced, and the student became a partner in the firm of Hanscom & 
Goodrich. ]\Ir. Hanscom himself was a rapid student, and endowed with an 
^extraordinary memory, but in both these capacities he soon found himself 
distanced by his young partner. He was highly pleased with this state of 
facts, for his natural forte was that of a talker, and in this capacity Michi- 
gan has produced few men who were the equal of Alfred H. Hanscom. In 
searching the law. making up briefs, and preparing cases for the courts, 
young Goodrich developed extraordinary ability; while in presenting the 
cases to court or jun- in the most plausible and fascinating language, Michi- 
gan had no man at that time who was Hanscom's superior. But about this 
time dissipation, that insidious fiend, which has struck the death blow to so 
many of the brightest geniuses of the State, was getting Mr. Hanscom fairly 
within its power. This circumstance rendered it necessary that young 
Goodrich should do more work in court. This was not congenial to his 
tastes; for he was diffident and awkward in his personal appearance, and no 
one knew it better than himself; and the more he knew it, the more oppres- 
sive it became to him. But not among the least of his characteristics was 
an iron will. I have heard him say that the hardest thing he ever 
attempted to do in his life was to speak in public. And, said he. ''I know 
it is folly; for 1 have not the least fears of my ability to present the law, 
the facts and the argument.'' Still, diffidence rested like a mountain upon 
him; but in course of time, he overcame it. by dint of persevering eftort, 
until he was enabled to stand before a jury and present his cause for five 
hours in succession, without in the least degree losing the thread of his 
argument. 

It was early in October, 1851, when he was employed by his brothers, 
Enos and Reuben, who were transacting business at Goodrich, Genesee 
county, under the partnership name of E. & R. Goodrich, to go to Buffalo 
to adjust a disputed claim of theirs for insurance on a cargo of luml)er they 
had shipped to a firm of that city, and which was burned at the wharf. H" 
was taken sick on board the steamer before reaching Buffalo, but, regardless 



184 -ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

of his personal comfort, persevered to the full and final accomplishment of 
his mission. This was the last business transaction of his life. Returning 
to Detroit, he took lodgings at the Michigan Exchange, and never after left 
his room, until he was carried out in his coffin. At that time a telegraph 
office was kept at our business place at Goodrich, and we were promptly 
advised of his condition, when Reuben, our youngest brother, hastened at 
once to his bedside. How many there are who can bear sad testimony to 
the delusive and insidious symptoms of typhoid fever. For several days his 
Detroit physician did not consider the case dangerous. Finally, when con- 
viction as to the nature of the disease forced itself upon those in attendance 
Dr. Robert D. Lamond of Flint, the family physician, Avas summoned to his 
bedside, and never left till death had placed his patient beyond the reach of 
earthly aid. It was the writer's fortune, after traveling all the previous 
night, to reach his bedside about noon, October 15, 1851. Just two weeks 
previous I had parted with him on board the steamer Atlantic at the Detroit 
wharf, as he was embarking for Buffalo in the full vigor of health. And 
now the unmistakable seal of death was upon his countenance. But his 
presence of mind did not forsake him. His reasoning faculties and his 
wonted cheerfulness were with him till the last moment of his life, and his 
last strength was exerted to its utmost in sending messages of friendship to 
kindred and absent friends. 

His principal attendants were brother Reuben, Drs. Lamond and Eastman, 
and his old friend Judge Whipple. After many farewells and parting bene- 
dictions to present and absent friends, he sank in exhaustion from the 
effort and enjoyed a brief period of tranquil repose. As he aroused he 
inquired for Judge Whipple, who was then out of the room, saying, "I want 
to see the Judge. He has been a firm friend of mine from the beginning." 
The Judge was brought in, when, grasping his hand, he said, "God bless 
you. Judge, you have been a friend to me." Yielding to the solicitations of 
the Judge he consented to the calling of Bishop McCoskry. Presently the 
Bishop arrived. The sick man lent a kindly ear to his exhortations and 
benedictions. When the Bishop had retired he greeted his friends with one 
more last, final and universal farewell. His hour had come. His labored 
breathing became tranquil as that of an infant, and ceased forever. 

Promptly upon intelligence of his death a meeting of the Detroit Bar was 
convened at the United States Court room, the result of which will more 
fully appear by reference to the following article which appeared in the next 
issue of the Detroit Advertiser, and was largely copied by the press of the 
State:— 



JOHN SKINNER GOODRICH 185 

DEATH OF JUDGE GOODRICH 

It is with feelings of deep regret that we announce the death of Hon. John 
S. Goodrich, which took place at the Exchange Hotel, in this city, on Wednes- 
day evening last, at 8 o'clock. Judge Goodrich had been elected in 
April previous to his death, to the office of ]»residing judge of the seventh 
judicial circuit of the State of Michigan, by virtue of which he would have 
assumed a seat upon the supreme bench upon the tirst day of January. 1S.')2. 

Judge Goodrich was born in Erie county, in tlie State of New York, but 
has resided in the State of Michigan since the year 1837. Soon after his ar- 
rival in this State he devoted himself to the study of the law, and was 
admitted to the bar at the spring term of the Genesee circuit, in 1841, before 
his honor, C. W. Whipple. 

Having a clear and legal mind, great assiduity and power of application, 
combined with studious habits, his standing at the bar as a lawyer had been 
highly respectable from the date of his admission : while his strictly frugal 
and temperate habits, aided by a purely moral and irrejiroachable life, assist- 
ed to raise him very high in general estimation. While in pursuit of his 
studies. Judge Goodrich resided alternately at Goodrirh. in the township of 
Atlas, Genesee county, and at Pontiac. in Oakland county, but after being 
admitted, he made the latter place his residence, until about two years since, 
when he returned to Goodrich, at which place his parents and several of his 
brothers reside. 

The writer of this notice was for fourteen years upon terms of familiar 
acquaintance with the deceased, and bears willing witness to his upright 
character iu private and professional life, as well as to the zeal, ability and 
success which marked his professional career. 

The leading traits of his character were candor, earnestness, and a scrupu- 
lous regard for truth; in his heart he was kind and regardful of the feelings 
of those around him, and in his social intercourse was blameless and amiable. 
Few men. it is believed, had a better heart, and fewer still, a clearer head or 
sounder judgment. 

Judge Goodrich, having been a short time absent from the State, return- 
ed on Sunday. October o, to this city, in his usual health, in company 
with his honor. Chief Justice Whipple, and was taken ill on the evening of 
his arrival, with symptoms of intermittent fever, which continued till within 
two days of his death, when it assumed a typhoid or typhus form. His 
senses continued bright until near his end. and iu his last hours the conso- 
lations of religion were administered to him. at his request, bv Bishop 
:Mcroskry. 

Thus falls in the strength of his manhood, at the age of thirty-six years, a 
valuable, active, and highly estimable citizen, whose place as a public ser- 
vant in the capacity for which he was best fitted, and to which he had been 
called, it will be found hard to supply, and one around whom the hopes of 
many friends centered, looking to a long career of honor and usefulness. 

He has gone, but in his early death his friends may not "mourn as those 
without hope" — 

"His youth was innocent: his riper age 
Marked with some act of goodness every day: 
And watched by eyes that loved him calm and sage, 
Faded his early parted breath away. 
Cheerfully he gave his being up and went 
To share the holy rest that waits a life well spent." 

24 



186 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

A meeting of the members of the bar of Detroit took place on Thursday, 
at 3 o'clock p. M.^ at the United States court room, at which, upon motion 
of Hon, G. V. N. Lathrop, his honor, Chief Justice Whipple, Avas called to 
the chair, and their honors, Copeland, Douglass and Witherell, were made 
vice-presidents. 

Upon motion of Alex, Davidson, Rufus Hosmer and Col, John Winder were 
appointed secretaries, 

Ilis honor. Chief Justice Whipple, said: 

I perform a painful duty in announcing to the gentlemen of the bench 
and bar, now assembled, the death of Hon. John S, Goodrich, one of the 
judges elect of the supreme court of this State; he departed this life at the 
Michigan Exchange, in this city, Wednesday evening. My acquaintance 
with the deceased commenced about the period of my accession to the 
bench. He was then prosecuting his legal studies, and was soon after ad- 
mitted to practice, while I presided in the northern circuit. My oflQcial and 
personal relations with Judge Goodrich were constant and intimate, until 
I was called from the more immediate sphere of m\ public duties to the 
western part of the State, 

No person perhaps, possessed a better opportunity of forming a juster esti- 
mate of his character than the individual now addressing you. 

With a mind thoroughly disciplined by habits of laborious study and 
severe reflection, he made himself familiar with the great principles of that 
science, to master which, seemed the great object of his ambition. 

His efforts at the bar always indicated that ample research and patient in- 
vestigation for which he was always distinguished. 

In his intercourse with the court and his professional brethren, he never 
forgot that he was connected with a learned profession, from whose members 
honor, integrity, and the attributes of the true gentleman should at all times 
be exhibited. 

The qualities of mind and heart thus feebly sketched, made their impres- 
sion upon his fellow citizens, and their appreciation of, and confidence in 
his character and abilities, resulted in his election as one of the judges of the 
supreme court of the State, He was, no doubt, looking forward to the period 
when the severe labors of the bar were to give place to the more important 
and responsible duties of the bench, with the profoundest anxiety. In this 
new theatre of action, he would have brought with him a vigorous and acute 
intellect, an honest heart and learning of a high order. But it has pleased 
an all-wise Providence to disappoint his expectations, and instead of permit- 
ting him to gather laurels in the new field, for which he was husbanding all 
his resources, he is stricken down in the maturity of his strength and man- 
hood, and all that is left to us is the remembrance of his many virtues. 

It was permitted to me, with several of his family, to linger around his 
couch, when his spirit was about to take its flight to another, and I have no 
doubt, a better world ; the same gentleness and kindness which characterized 
his intercourse with his fellow men in the busy scenes of life, were manifested 
when Death had placed upon him his cold and icy hand. He bowed with 
submission to the will of God, and in humble trust that he had an interest in 
the blood of his Redeemer, 

On motion of Mr, Lothrop, the chair appointed Messrs, Lothrop, Watson, 
Bishop, Emmons, and Buell, a committee to draft resolutions — who reported 
the following, which were unanimously adopted: 



JOHN SKINNER GOODRICH 187 

Resolved, 1. That the bar of Detroit have heard with deep sorrow of the death of 
Hon. John S. Goodrich, one of the judges elect of the supreme court of this State. 

2. — That in this dispensation of Divine Providence we mourn a professional brother, 
■who was distinguished for wide and varied attainments in literature and science, for the 
most thorough and comprehensive acquirements as a lawyer, for rare modesty of de- 
portment, for a pure and manly character, and for those kind and generous qualities 
of heart, which not only endeared him to a wide circle of friends, but secured him 
universal respect wherever known. 

3. — That our deceased brother possessed those accomplishments and qualities which 
would have enabled him alike to adorn and dignify the eminent position to which he 
had been called by his fellow citizens, and that his death at this juncture is a calamity, 
which not only the legal profession, but the whole State may deeply deplore. 

4. — That as a testimony of our respect and sorrow, the judges and this bar, will in a 
body accomixiny lii.'^ remains to the depot of the Detroit and Pontiac railroad, whence 
they are to be "conveyed to his late home for interment. 

5. — That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family of the deceased, and 
be furnished for publication. 

On motion, chair appointed Messrs. Lotlirop. J. ^I. Howanl and (Joo. K. 
Hand as a committee of arrauoements. 

On motion of Jndge Hand, the attorney general was requested to furnish 
a copy of these resolutions to the supreme court, and to tlie circuit court of 
the United States, and to move tliat they be jdacn^d upon tiie respective records 
of those courts. On motion adjourned. 

RUFUS HOSMKR. 

JoHX Winder. 

Secretaries. 

On learning of the death of Judge Goodrich, the gentlemanly proprietors 
of the Detroit & Pontiac Railroad tendered the services of a si)ecial train 
to convey the remains of the deceased to Pontiac ; where they were met by a 
cortege of friends and kindred, and conveyed to the Goodrich home in the 
county of Gene'^ee. The ]\rethodist church of Goodrich was then in process 
of erection. — enclosed but lacking the inside finish. A floor of loose boards 
was laid down, and the edifice was hastily prepared for its first dedication, 
in the most imposing and most numerously attended funeral ever yet held 
in the township of Atlas. An appropriate sermon was preached by the Rev. 
Mr. Brown; when all that was mortal of John hi. Goodrich was deposited in 
the Goodrich cemeterv. 



188 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 



HON. CHARLES UPSON 



BY HON. THOMAS M. COOLEY 



What a State is can best be known by studying the lives and characters of 
its leading and most influential citizens. And one of these in the State of 
Michigan, for more than a quarter of a century, was Charles Upson. 

He was born at Southington, Conn., on March 19, 1821, and died suddenly 
at his home in ColdAvater, September 5, 1885, from the bursting of a blood 
vessel in the pericardium. Like most of our leading men, he was the son of 
a farmer, and spent his summers on the farm, while in the winters he at- 
tended the public schools, until he acquired a fitness for teaching. For a 
time he took up that employment, alternating it with attendance upon the 
academies of Southington and Meriden. He was a diligent student, and 
when he attained the age of majority, he had a good practical education, and 
was well fitted by mental discipline for a professional career. He had early 
selected the law for his vocation, and in the spring of 1811 he began 
the study in the ofiice of Judge Lowrey, in Southington. The winter fol- 
lowing he spent in the law school of Yale, and in the fall of 1845 he sought 
the land of promise in Michigan. The village of Constantine was then one 
of the most prominent of western Michigan settlements, and had been one 
of the most prosperous, though now others are leaving it far behind. But 
no other town excelled it in intellectual activity, for here lived Gov. John S. 
Barry, at that time, with the exception of Gen. Cass, the leading democratic 
politician in jNIichigan, Joseph R. Williams, prominent among the whigs, 
and an able speaker and writer, H. H. Riley, already known to the country 
as the author of 'Tuddleford Papers" and other writings, and other men 
of strong and vigorous intellect, who, we may be sure, took notice of every 
bright young man who came to cast his fortunes with them, and according 
to their respective natures and methods lent him assistance. Young Upson 
was engaged to teach the village school the winter after his arrival, and 
among the youth who came to him for instruction, was John^ J. Bagley, 
destined one day to be Governor of the State, and to build up a fortune of 
unusual magnitude by his business tact, ability, and integrity. Master and 



HON. CHARLES UPSON 189 

scholar became life long friends, and tlieir mutual influence upon each other 
was always beneficial and helpful. In the fall of 184() young Upson was 
engaged to teach the village school at Centerville, an«l there he took up 
again his law studies, entering for the purpose, as a student under (lurney 
& Hammond, the leading law firm of the place. In the spring of 1S47 he 
w^aa licensed to practice on examination before the supreme court. 

At this time begins his official life, and the list of offices held by him is a 
long one. Deputy county clerk to 1849; county clerk, 1840-51; jtrosecuting 
attorney, 1853-55; 8tate senator, 1855-57; railroad commissioner, 1857-61; 
attorney general, 1861-G3; representative in congress, 1803-00; circuit 
judge. 1800-71. He was also one of the commissioners appointed to 
examine and report upon the compilation of general statistics of the State 
in 1871, and was a member of the commission to revise the constitution in 
1873. In 1870 he was tendered the appointment of commissioner of Indian 
affairs, but declined it. He had been so much in public life that his accu- 
mulations of property had been small, and to break in again upon his 
practice for a four year's term at Washington he probably felt would be more 
of a sacrifice than he could well afford. 

Besides these marks of public favor, Mr. Upson had others which wei-e al- 
most equally flattering; he was several times prominently mentioned for the 
offices of justice of the supreme court and of United States senator, and 
though never chosen to either position it was always to his friends a pleasant 
circumstance that, whenever mentioned, no voice was heard to question his 
fitness or his ability, and his name was always received with kindness, and 
his candidature commented on with respect. 

It is but common justice to say of Mr. Upson's official life that in none of 
the numerous positions held by him did he disappoint the public expectation, 
either in respect to the ability which he brought to the discharge of his 
duties, or the fidelity with which he performed them. He was a sound but 
not a brilliant man; he was a strong but not an eloquent speaker; he did 
not push himself to the front and crowd others back that he might secure 
leadership; but whenever he accepted public office it was a matter of con- 
science with him to perform his duties well, and his mind was upon his 
duties, and he had neither the faculty nor the desire to attract attention to 
himself by the common acts of the demagogue, or to magnify his official 
importance for his personal advantage. Those who were associated with him 
officially soon found that his strong common s<nise was generally enlightened 
by ample preparation for his work, and his fidelity and integrity were such 
that, to use the common expression, he was always ''a safe man to tie to." In 
the two offices of prosecuting attorney and attorney general he was in the 



190 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

true sense the representative of public justice, and while faithful in prose- 
cuting those he believed to be guilty, his desire for professional success 
never betrayed him into the prosecution of anyone. His short judicial 
career was highly honorable; he held the scales of justice Avith perfect poise; 
and though a little impatient at times of anything that appeared like 
occupying the attention of the court with frivolous points and unnecessary 
objections, he always so plainly had right and justice in view that public 
confidence and respect never failed him. 

Mr. Upson entered congress at the very crisis of the national life, when 
the country was hopeful, but not entirely confident, and he remained there 
until the rebellion had been put down, slavery destroyed, and the most 
troublesome stages of reconstruction had been passed. He took a modest 
part with the great men of the day in settling the greatest and most perplex- 
ing questions the nation has ever been called upon to deal with, having for 
colleagues from this State among others, Jacob M. Howard, Zachariah 
Chandler, Austin Blair, and Fernando C. Beaman, all of whom respected 
him highly, gave him their full confidence, and were his trusted friends in 
congress and after he left it. He stood firmly by President Lincoln and his 
general polic^^; he as firmly opposed President Johnson and his leading 
measures; but while as a politician he was grounded on immovable founda- 
tions of principle, he was never a bitter or uncharitable partisan, and party 
feeling never ran so high but that he had warm friends among his political 
opponents who gave him full credit for his iiatriotism and integrity. His 
most important work in congTCSs was on the committees; he did not often 
take the floor, though when he did he spoke with clearness as well as with 
force, giving his attention closely to facts, and making no effort at embellish- 
ment. 

Such, in breif, were the facts of his official life. He had the inestimable 
privilege to form the acquaintance and to be in association with Lincoln and 
Chase, Sumner and Wilson and Fessenden, and other great men of the 
period, when they were winning immortal honor as the champions of free- 
dom and national unity, and he bore himself at all times creditably as their 
supporter. His private life was equally praiseworthy, and perhaps not less 
useful. When he left the State senate, he removed to Coldwater, where he 
engaged in the practice of his profession, having for a time as partner. Lieu- 
tenant Governor George A. Coe. He won his way steadily to the leadership 
of the bar of the county, a leadership which was ungrudgingly conceded to 
him by his associates, and which he retained to the last. As lawyer, he was 
more conspicuous in counsel than in litigation, and more ready by prudent 
advice to save the estates of those who trusted him, than to display his legal 
abilities through the encouragement of their quarrels. Nobody knew better 



HON. CHARLES UPSON 191 

than he did that the most useful record which auy lawyer is likely to uiake, 
is his record as peacemaker in the counsel room — a record, however, which 
it requires no little firmness to make, since, in a large proportion of cases, 
when a party goes for professional assistance, he is in that state of mind 
Avhen he is ready to incur all the risks of litigation, and when nothing will 
be so congenial to his feelings as to be encouraged to do so. The hnvyer \\lio 
can see two sides to a quarrel, and who tries to make his client see both, is very 
likely, under such circumstances, to fall into disfavor. Charles Upson was 
a man of sympathetic nature, and quite sufiiciently inclined to see tlie 
wrongs of his. clients through his client's eyes; but no one had advice fioiii 
him that Avas not dictated by his judgment, and through all his professional 
life he never forgot that law and the courts and their machinery are given 
to the people that right may be done and justice administered, and that the 
only ground on which the privileges of the legal profession can be justified 
is, that the profession is indispensable to the accomplishment of this benefi- 
cent end. Once engaged in litigation, however, few lawyers were more per- 
sistently combative than Mr. Upson, and few were less likely to lose anytliing 
by unguarded concessions. 

Mr. Upson was married August 3, 1852. to Sophia M. Upham, a lady well 
fitted by the endowments of nature, and by her acquirements, to be his com- 
panion and adviser, and to sustain with him the proper dignity of his sev- 
eral ofiicial stations. His married life was therefore eminently a happy one, 
and fortunately for him, it continued to the very last, his wife surviving him. 
Three children were also left — two married daughters and a son — all of 
Avhom lived in Coldwater, and were much attached to him. He was fond of 
being with his children, when he could make it convenient, and of engaging 
in games with them, and his ready and somewhat boisterous mirth and his 
abundant fund of anecdote always made his society welcome — not to his 
children merely, but to old and young of all classes. He did his share in 
the performance of the duties of local ofiice, acting as mayor and member of 
the board of education, and in both positions doing what he might towards 
fostering popular education. He assisted also in founding and conducting 
a national bank, and in his several walks of life he had made himself, long 
before his death, the most conspicuous citizen, not merely of his county, but 
of his section of the State. 

In no conventional sense, but in heart, in principle and in conduct, 
Charles Upson was a good lawyer, a useful citizen, a kind husband and 
father, a man of sterling integrity, and of benevolent disposition. He Avas 
therefore a thoroughly good man. What more can be said for anyone? Of 
his religious feelings or sentiments he made little talk and less display ; but 



192 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

the example of a worthy life is never lost, and he had that true charity which 
led him to respect the opinions and the faith of others, whatever he might 
think of their soundness. The State, therefore, now that he is gone, has 
abundant reason to hold him in grateful remembrance as one of her most 
worthy and most useful sons. 



THOMAS L. L. BRENT 



BY JUDGE ALBERT MILLER 



All the pioneer sketches published in these volumes relate to parties who 
from small beginnings, by industry, economy, and a perseverance in that 
course for years, better their own condition, and leave their families all in 
comfortable, and some in affluent circumstances, with names and positions 
in life that enable them to maintain the high character of honorable and 
respected American citizens. But the writer has in view an instance where 
the whole course of the pioneer, with attendant results, as mentioned above, 
was completely reversed. 

The initials F. F. V., meaning the first families of Virginia, were more 
frequently seen forty or fifty years ago than at the present day, and among 
all who claimed that distinction, in the early years of the present century, 
there were none that held their heads higher than the family of Brent. 

Richard Brent served in the United States senate from May, 1809, to 
December, 1814, when he died at Washington. His nephew, Thomas 
Ludwell Lee Brent, a citizen of Virginia, was appointed a clerk in the de- 
partment of State by Secretary Smith, on the 1st of January, 1811. He re- 
tired from the department, November 11, 1814, having been commissioned secre- 
tary of legation to Spain, October 15, 1814, by President Madison. He 
arrived in Madrid on May 5, and was recognized in his official capacity by 
the special government on the 28th of August, 1815. From that time he 
had charge of the affairs of the legation until August 28, 181C, when Wash- 
ington Irving presented his credentials as minister plenipotentiary. On 
April 19, 1817, Mr. Brent was appointed agent for claims and seamen, an 



THOMAS L. L. BRENT 193 

office added to that of 8ecretai y of Legatiou. When Mr. Irving took leave, 
April 19, 1819, Mr. Brent took charge of the legation as charge d'affairs 
ad interim, and served as such until May 18, 1819, when Mr. Forsyth was 
presented as minister plenipotentiary. He also acted as charge d'affairs 
ad i)iteri)u from November 1(>, 1820. to August 18, 1821. He left Madrid 
August 10. 1822. having been commissioned secretary of legation to Portugal, 
May 22, 1822. by President Monroe. Upon the departure of Minister Dear- 
borne he acted as charge d'affairs a<l interim at Lisbon, from June 30, 1824, 
until June 24, 1825, when he was received as full charge d'affairs, having 
been commissioned by President Adams to this latter office in March, 1825. 

The diplomatic relations between the United States and Portugal having 
been ruptured he requested his passports, November 25, 1834. 

The career of Mr. Brent as related above must have fitted him admirably 
for the diplomatic service, but was not a good preparation for the work of a 
pioneer in the wilds of Michigan. He must have managed his finances judi- 
ciously, for on his return to his native country he must have had a fortune 
of ninety or one hundred thousand dollars. In 1830 he purchased 70,000 
acres of land in Genesee and Saginaw counties, which exhausted his money 
so much that he had but little left to pay taxes and improve his property. 

Mr. Brent must have resided abroad, where he married a young Spanish 
lady of noble birth, previous to the date of his appointment, in 1814, by 
President Madison, as secretary of legation to Spain, for at that time, he was 
residing with his young bride, near the President's mansion, at Washing- 
ton. They seemed greatly attached to each other, she sharing with him the 
privations of a pioneer life without a murmur, always believing her husband 
to be one of the wisest and best of men. 

While stopping at the American hotel, at Detroit, in the summer of 1837, 
the writer was introduced to the family of Mr. Brent, who were staying there 
while preparations were being made for their reception at a home on the banks 
of the Flint river, four or five miles below Flushing, where a large tract of 
Mr. Brent's land was located. 

Being a pioneer, located in the vicinity of Mr. Brent's laud, I formed a 
pleasant acquaintance with ]\Irs. Brent, conversing about pioneer life, their 
prospects in settling in a new country, etc., which acquaintance continued 
during her lifetime. Their family consisted of Charlotte, aged about 14, 
and Henry, then 12 years old. Late in the autumn of 1837, while passing 
from Flint to Saginaw, by way of the river, with the late William F. Mosely 
and his family, we took dinner with Mr. Brent and his family in their log 
house, which was in no wise superior to the residences of their pioneer neigh- 
bors, ;Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis Bailey, late of Flint and Bay City, then a young 



194 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

married conple, had charge of Mr. Brent's affairs out of doors and in the 
house; he had a large number of men employed making preparations for 
building a large saw mill on Flint river, which he never succeeded in finish- 
ing. After spending a large amount of money in the effort it was abandoned, 
and a small mill built on a stream emptying into the Flint, near the first pro- 
jected mill. He caused quite a large tract of this land to be cleared for a 
farm, exhausting all his money in the improvements, so that when the taxes 
were due on this large amount of land, he had no means of paying them. 
But something must be done or the whole would he lost, so he made a con- 
tract with George M. Dewey, of Flint, to pay the taxes on the whole for a cer- 
tain number of years for one-third of the land; previously he had been so 
tenacious of retaining the whole that he would not sell Avhen he had good 
prices offered. 

Mr. Brent built a small frame house, which was a slight improvement on 
his log tenement, and struggled along under all his difficulties for ten or 
twelve years, when he was attacked by the billions diseases of the country, 
his early training not having been such as to prepare his system for such 
severe attacks, so his spirit passed away and left his body, which had stood 
erect before kings and princes, in the loft of his little frame house, in the 
wilds of Michigan, which, in order to get it to its last resting place, had to 
be taken through a window on to a lean-to, and from there lowered to the 
ground, for the reason that the stairway was so narrow and crooked it could 
not find egress in that direction. 

The assiduous care bestowed by Mr. Brent's physician. Dr. I. T. Miller, 
in his last illness, inspired Mrs. Brent's confidence, and she desired him to 
act with her in administering the estate, but his professional duties would 
prevent his giving the business the attention it required, and he recommended 
the Rev. William I. Kent, a local preacher in the Methodist connection, a man 
of sterling integrity and good business qualifications, who was duly appointed 
and worked faithfully several years, to bring order out of chaos and save 
sometliing out of the scattered remnants of the fortune for the family. Mr. 
Kent had many difficulties to encounter in managing the affairs of the estate, 
Mrs. Brent having the same dislike to voluntarily part with any of the real 
estate that her husband had. As an instance — when offered a fair price for 
a tract of grove pine, she refused to sell, and when told that it was all the 
laud was worth, for the trees were all small : "Oh, well," she said, ''we 
will wait, then, till they grow large before we sell the land." On my occa- 
sional visits to the family, while the affairs of the estate were under Mr. 
Kent's management, I found them greatly improving; a new two story house 
had been erected, with a music room finished and furnished in a style that 



THOMAS L. L. BRENT 195 

gave ^[I's. Brent a glimpse of the liixuiy she so much desired. Charlotte had 
developed a taleut for music ajid indulged her taste for it by jjlayiug on the 
elegant piano with which the room was furnished. Henry, although old 
enough to manage all the business of the estate, was usually engaged in some 
frivolous or feminine employment, such as constructing .Eolian harps, mak- 
ing fancy boxes, painting pictures, etc., not seeming to have any idea of 
business whatever. 

The kindness of heart which has been accorded to Mrs. President Madison 
by all who have had occasion to write or speak of her, is illustrated by the 
following circumstauie which was related by Mrs. Brent on the occasion of 
a visit of the writer to her house after she became a widow. Mrs. Brent 
said that when she was a bride of sixteen years of age, having left her home 
and friends in "beautiful Spain," as she always referred to her native 
land, she was a stranger in a strange land, living near the President's man- 
sion in Washington. She Avas very homesick, continually mourning to see 
her mother. Mrs. Madison l)ecame interested in the young bride, and by 
her kind and motherly ways did what she could to mitigate the sorrows of 
her lonely condition. One morning, before she was properly dressed to 
receive company, she saw Mrs. Madison coming across the back yard to her 
house (having taken a short route from the White House). She called a 
servant to bring a shawl to wrap around her, so that she might be present- 
able to the lady of the White House. Mrs. Madison came in and told her 
she had good news for her, that there was a prospect of her soon seeing her 
mother, for Mr. Madison would that morning present Mr. Brent's name to 
the Senate for confirmation as secretary of legation to Spain. Mrs. Brent 
said she was a giggling young girl, and told Mrs. Madison that perhaps the 
senate would not confirm him, "Oh yes,'' said Mrs. Madison, "there is 
no fear of that result, for Mr. Brent is a very fine young man." When the 
nomination was voted upon Mr. Brent's uncle took his hat and left the 
senate chamber, not wishing to act in a public capacity where a near relative 
was interested. There is no such delicacy manifested nowadays. 

Mrs. Brent was not partial to Americaa sovereigns generally, but anything 
that savored of Euroj^ean title or aristocracy was held in great esteem by her. 
In 1851, in passing from Flint to Saginaw by the way of the river, a new 
importation from Germany, called Baron Egremont, started with me with a 
view of going to Saginaw, but when we called to see Mrs. Brent, she being 
fascinated with the title of Baron, ]>revailed on him to remain and make her 
a longer visit. She told me aside that he must be a man of consequence, 
for she ha^ met his mother's cousins in society in Euroj)e. I passed on and 
saw nothing more of Baron Egremont. 



196 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Mr. Kent, after spending several years' time in the service of the estate, 
succeeded in clearing it of debt, and had a nice cleared farm which was 
worked by tenants, when it seemed mutually agreeable to himself and the 
family that he should sever his connection with it. The property, which 
was valued at thirty thousand dollars, was put into Henry's charge, but 
none of the family were shrewd enough to withstand the wiles of designing 
and wicked men. 

A tenant, who was a married man, and occupied a house on the farm near 
the family residence, exerted great influence over each member of the 
family. After a time his wife disappeared suddenly under suspicious cir- 
cumstances, and directly afterwards he married Charlotte under such 
circumstances as shocked her mother so she was prostrated with illness, and 
she soon afterwards died under circumstances that excited strong suspicion 
of foul play on the part of some one or more persons. Arrests were made 
and trials had, but no convictions; soon after which Charlotte, with her 
child and Henry, left to follow the fortunes of the man who had caused 
them so much trouble, who fled to parts unknown upon the first intimation 
that an investigation was to be had as to the cause of Mrs. Brent's death. 

Not a foot of the large domain once owned by Mr. Brent is now possessed 
by one of his descendants, and the name which was so proudly borne fifty years 
ago is now tainted with the suspicion that one or more who had possessed it 
were accessory to the commission of a great crime. 



SKETCH OF DR. GEORGE WHITEFIELD FISH 



BY G. TOWNSEND 



It is befitting to transmit to future generations a permanent record of the 
life and labors of one, who, as a man has been characterized by gentleness, 
as a citizen by devotion to his country, and as a Christian by simple, un- 
wavering faith in the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

George Whitefield Fish, a pioneer of Michigan, and a member of this 



SKETCH OF DR. GEO. W. FISH 197 

Society, was born in Kortriglit, Delaware county, New York, July 16, 1816. 
He was the third of nine children. His parents were from New England, 
and descendants from the first settlers. His father, Keuben Fish, was of a 
feeble constitution, which George inherited, but he was possessed of gi-eat 
moral courage and christian fortitude and integrity. His mother's maiden 
name was Fanny Kobinson. She was a descendant of a hardy and long- 
lived race. (George received a common school education, with perhaps some 
private instruction. 

He then attended medical lectures at Fairfield, Herkimer county, N. Y., 
and at Castleton. Vermont, graduating from the latter place in 1837 in the 
twenty-first year of his age. 

After graduation he commenced the practice of medicine in Dundaff and 
Honesdale, Penn., and in February. 1838, he married Octavia Aldruda 
Mowra, daughter of Dr. George P. Mowra, of Oxford, N. Y. In the spring 
of 1839 he came to Flint, Genesee county, Michigan, then a new and almost 
unbroken wilderness. 

Here he continued the practice of his profession, enduring the hardships 
incident to a new and heavily timbered country, until 1847 or 1818, when 
his health failing him, he moved to Jackson, hoping to find an easier prac- 
tice, but being disappointed in the recovery of his health, he determined to 
go northward, and accordingly in the year 1849 took a trip up the lakes. 
While on the north of Lake Superior he met a messenger sent by the agent of 
the "Hudson Bay Fur Company,'' to procure a physician, and thereupon 
engaged with him to serve them in that capacity for a short time. In the 
spring of 1850 he moved his family from Jackson back to Flint, and then 
went south, visiting Louisiana, Texas, and the Isthmus of Panama. At the 
latter place he engaged as medical officer of the Panama Railway Company, 
and continued in this position till the completion of the road. He was then 
employed as physician in chief of the Aspinwall hospital, and remained until 
the institution was discontinued. 

In 18.59 he embarked from New York on board a sailing vessel, bound for 
Shanghai, China. Avhich destination he reached after a voyage of 111 days, 
doubling the Cape of Good Hope, passing through Sundy Strait, touching at 
Anjar, Java, Hong-Kong, and other places on the route. In 1860, while at 
Shanghai, he was appointed U. S. Consul at Ningpo, to fill the vacancy 
occasioned by the resignation of Consul Bradley. 

He visited Canton, and Foochow, and went as far north as the Pecho River, 
where he was stopping when the English fleet, under Admiral Hope, captured 
the celebrated Taku forts. 

He also witnessed the storming and capture of the city of Ningpo. in 1861, 



198 ' ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

by the Ti-ping rebels, under that noted insurgent General ^yang, and held 
oflScial intercourse with that warlike celestial. 

The breaking out of the civil war in the United States created great excite- 
ment on board foreign ships in the Chinese ports, causing the doctor to 
discontinue his residence in China much sooner than he intended, arriving 
in New York in June, 1862, sailing by way of San Francisco and the Isthmus 
of Panama, thus making the entire circuit of the globe. 

Less than a month after his return he was commissioned surgeon of the 
4th Michigan Cavalry, by Gov. Blair, and with his regiment joined Gen. 
Buell's army at the battle of Chapel Hill, Tenn. 

He thereafter participated actively in the camjiaigns of Eosecrans, Thomas, 
and Sherman, acting most of the time as brigade surgeon of the first brigade, 
first cavalry division, army of the Cumberland. At the battle of Stone River 
he was taken prisoner, but was soon released. 

For nearly three years he was constantly engaged in the field with his com- 
mand, which participated in more than fifty battles and skirmishes. He was 
present with his regiment at the capture of Jefferson Davis, as were also two 
of his sons, Lieut. George F. Fish, and De Laska W. Fish, and saw that official 
in the costume in which he attempted to escape. 

At the close of the war he returned to Michigan, and was engaged for 
some time as editor of the Saginaw Dally Enterprise. He was also collector 
of internal revenue for the sixth district. State of Michigan, for two years. 
In 1874 he was elected State senator for Genesee county, and served his 
constituency with great credit for two years. He was also for a short time 
manager and overseer of the Monitor silver mines of California, being called 
home by sickness in his family, Shortly after his return, his oldest, gifted 
and accomplished daughter, Julia C, who had been educated at the Elmira 
Female Seminary, yielded to that fatal and unrelenting disease, consump- 
tion. In less than a month thereafter, bis oldest son, George F., who had 
been educated at the university, at Ann Arbor, and served through the war, 
fell a victim of the same disease, near Sidney, Nebraska, on his way home 
from California. His beloved companion soon followed, and was laid to rest 
in Glenwood cemetery, Flint, Michigan, by the side of her children. 

In 1878 he was appointed Consul to Tunis, Africa, where he remained 
four years, or until the consulate was discontinvied. Soon after his settle- 
ment at Tunis, his daughter Alda joined him, seeking the recovery of her 
rapidly failing health, and remaining until his return. While at Tunis he 
visited the tomb of John Howard Payne, and had it repaired, afterward 
securing several photographs of the same. He also, in company with the 
British consul and others, went back into the country some forty miles, 



SKETCH OF DR. GEO. W. FISH 199 

and saw the spring of clear cold water gushing out of the mountain 
two thousand feet from the base, falling from beneath a clitf rising a thou- 
sand feet above, from which the Carthaginians, more than two thousand five 
hundred years ago, conveyed the water in an aqueduct, over hills and valleys, 
to their city. A portion of the same aqueduct is utilized to this day in con- 
veying water to the city of Tunis. 

During his leave of absence through the heated term of 1880, accompa- 
nied by his daughter, he visited Malta, Sicily and Italy. From Tunis he 
went to Malta, thence to Syracuse, on the Island of Sicily, thence to Mes- 
sina, going by rail around the base of Mount ^Etna, near the shore of the 
sea. Thence he passed by steamer to Palermo, thence through the Straits 
of Messina, between Scjila and Charybdis — enjoying in the passage an excel- 
lent night view of Stromboli — to Naples, then visiting the buried cities of 
Herculaneum and Pompeii, and the noted volcano, Vesuvius. After a ride 
of twelve miles in carriages, under the care of guides, and accompanied by 
his daughter, he ascended the mountain, two and a half miles, on foot, over 
scoria, ashes and lava, then on chairs a distance of twelve or fifteen hundred 
feet, reaching at last the crater, wherein they all took lunch, amid the roar 
and rumble, the sulphurous smoke and showers of ashes, lava and atones. 

The rocks over which they clambered were uncomfortably hot, and the 
gi'eat cracks over which they stepped were hissing and spitting out angry 
jets of steam and sulphurous smoke, and far below they could distinguish 
the fiery, molten, seething mass in the interior of the earth. 

From Naples he went to Rome, thence to Florence, Leghorn, and the 
leaning tower of Pisa. The next year he visited Paris and London, and 
while in the metropolis of the world, visited the great Ecumenical Council 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was then in session in that city. 
Here he heard the announcement of President Garfield's death to that vast 
body, by the presiding officer, an Englishman, to an English audience; 
while many were in deep emotion under the sad intelligence. 

On the French taking possession of Tunis, the consulate was discontinued, 
and he returned to enjoy the quiet of his i)leasant home at Flint. But his 
daughter Alda's health began to fail more rapidly, and he thought it best to 
send her back to Tunis, whither he accompanied her as far as New York. 
Returning to his home in Flint, sad and lonely, he soon sought and obtained 
the hand of that tajented and accomplished lady, so well known as the author 
of the "Missionary Lesson Leaf," Miss S. A. Rulison, with whom he lived 
in the peaceful enjoyment of home until his death. 

Dr. Fish was an extensive reader as well as traveler, a man of large and 
varied information, averse to display, retiring and unassuming in his habits, 



200 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

but firm and decided in his convictions of right and justice. He was a keen 
observer of men and things, and a clear and vigorous writer. During a part 
of the time that William Cullen Bryant conducted the New York Evening 
Post, he was staff correspondent of that journal. He also contributed quite 
frequently to the columns of TJie New York Advocate, The Michigan Advo- 
cate, the Detroit Free Press, and The Wolverine Citizen of Flint. Dr. Fish 
was a democrat until the formation of the republican part}', since which 
time he has been an ardent supporter of that party. 

In very early life he identified himself with the M. E. Church, of which 
he was an honored and useful member until his death, having held the offices 
of trustee, steward, Sunday school superintendent, and treasurer, in Court 
Street M. E. Church, Flint, of which he was one of the original organizers. 
He was elected by the Detroit conference one of the lay delegates to the 
general conference held in Baltimore, 1876, and in the same year visited the 
Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia. He was appointed by Gov. Crapo 
one of the trustees of the Institution for the deaf and dumb, and the blind, 
at Flint, and held the office for six years. He was also physician to the insti- 
tution for some time. He was also alderman in the city of Flint for one term. 
In his long and varied practice as a physician he came in contact with almost 
all forms of disease. On the Isthmus of Panama and in China he was called 
upon to contend wath small-pox, yellow fever, and cholera. In the civil war, 
while acting in the capacity of surgeon, he dressed all manner of wounds, 
and performed some of the most difficult feats in surgery. 

The climate of Tunis did not prove congenial to Alda the second time, 
and, within a year, she returned in the last stage of consumption. 

Her spirit took its flight September 6, and her body was deposited in the 
receiving vault of Glen wood ceii^etery. On the following Saturday the doc- 
tor visited the cemetery to superintend the preparation of her tomb, and while 
thus engaged, either by exposure or over exertion, he contracted a severe cold, 
which baffled the skill of the physician, and within one short week he too 
had passed to the silent land, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. 

A few days before his death he said to his wife — "Now while my mind is 
clear, I want to say that the plan of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ 
is all right. It is all of His abounding grace that He has cared for me, and 
my hopes are bright for the future," then added — ^'I do not say this think- 
ing that I shall surely die now, but I may die." On the following Saturday 
morning, at four o'clock, peacefully and quietly he passed from under the 
shadow of earthly affliction into the broad sunshine of the other life. As 
the report of his death hurried through the city a sadness fell upon the 



SKETCH OF LINUS CONE 201 

hearts of all who knew him, for each one felt that he had lost a friend, 
"Flint has lost one of her best citizens;" *'I)r. Fish was a good man, Flint 
had no better ;" ''The church has lost one of her best and wisest counselors ;" 
"I loved Dr. Fish as a brother." These and other expressions of love and 
admiration were heard everywhere. 

The immediate relatives who survive Dr. George W. Fish are his beloved 
wife, his two sons, De Laska W., of Genoa, Douglass county, Nev., and 
Frank A., of San Francisco, Cal. One brother, Melancthon W. Fish, M. D., 
of Oakland, Cal., and two sisters, Mrs. Goodenough Townsend, of Davison, 
Genesee county, Mich., and Mrs. James F. Johnson, of Brown's Grove, Pawnee 
county, Kan. 

The funeral services were held in the Court Street M. E. Church on Mon- 
day afternoon, September 21, 1885. His pastor and presiding elder Rev. I. 
N. Elwood, and S. Reed, and others pronounced beautiful and appropriate 
eulogies upon his life. The vestibule of the church was handsomely draped 
in mourning, and the casket placed there where all could look upon the hon- 
ored dead. The floral decorations were profuse and exquisite consisting of 
the emblem of "Gates Ajar," cross and stars, shepherd's sickle, pillows, 
vases, etc. The Gov. Crapo Post G. A. R. attended in a body bringing a 
handsomely designed symbol, surmounted with the legend Clustered out. 
The Flint Academy of Medicine was also present in a body. 

The remains were followed to the cemetery by a very large concourse of 
people, and there by the side of his departed wife and children laid to rest 
until the voice of the Omnipotent One shall call to life the silent dust, and 
make it the indissoluble habitation of his immortal spirit. 



SKETCH OF LINUS CONE 



BY O. POPPLETON 



Linus Cone, the subject of this sketch, was born in the township of Had- 
dam, Connecticut, October 12, 1802. At an early age his father emigrated 
to Bloomfield, Ontario county, New York. In 1819 young Cone, at the age 
26 



202 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

of seventeen, with a trusty rifle and pack upon his shoulders, containing a 
scanty wardrobe and an ax, started alone and on foot for Kettle Creek, 
Canada West, where he arrived, after a long and weary journey, March, 1819, 
footsore, and nearly exhausted, but not discouraged. 

An incident occurred on his journey in Canada worthy of mention here, 
as showing the courage, mettle, energy and determined purpose of the boy 
Cone. Stopping at a tavern, with the intention of remaining there over 
night, he unlashed his pack, which contained his ax; while placing it upon 
the floor, it came down with a thud, indicating that it contained something 
more than wearing apparel. The house had a very questionable reputation; 
the men were uncouth, and villainous looking enough to excite the distrust 
of a less sensitive nature than young Cone's. The}' picked up his pack, 
plainly exhibiting pleasure at its weighty contents, no doubt supposing it 
contained coin, which in those days constituted the principal circulating 
medium of the people. They asked to examine his rifle, reaching for it at the 
same time, which he purposely firmly held in his grasp. He seized his pack, 
and hurriedly left the house, followed by two men, who made forcible dem- 
onstrations to detain him. Deliberately raising his rifle to his face, and con- 
fronting them, he bade them to stand where they were, or he would shoot 
them down, if they moved, and began walking backward until he was out of 
gunshot, while they remained as commanded. It was near evening, a dense 
forest was before him, and the next habitation was about twelve miles dis- 
tant. He determined to go on, arriving there late in the night. In relat- 
ing this to the writer, he said he kept a sharp lookout the whole of the way, 
with his trusty rifle ready for firing should he be ambushed and attacked. 
In the fall of 1821 he came to Michigan, looking for Judge Sprague, of 
Avon,' and others. In 1824 he bought the east half of the southeast quarter 
of section 29, in town 2 north, of range 11 east, in the township of Troy, 
then knoAvn as Bloomfield. In September, 1825, he returned to Bloomfield, 
New York; returned to Michigan in April, 1826, coming from Bufl'alo on the 
steamboat Henry Clay. The same year he exchanged his first purchase for 
the east half of the southwest quarter of section 33, in town 3 north, range 
11 east, now the township of xVvon — at that time called Oakland. He com- 
menced immediately to erect thereon a log house and frame barn, the latter 
being among the first in that part of the country. Mr. Cone married Mary, 
the daughter of David and Eunice Crooks, August 12, 1827. This union 
was blessed by the birth of three sons — Frederick, Riley and Lorenzo. It 
would be unjust to the subject of this sketch, and to his worthy partner in 
life, to whom he was greatly indebted for his success, not to give her ample 
credit in seconding him in every effort to subdue the heavy forests and lay 



SKETCH OF LINUS CONE 203 

tlie foundation for a home, which was the pride of his life, and elicited 
marked commendations from liis brother agriculturists. Mrs. Cone still sur- 
vives her husband, and resides u])on the old homestead, venerable in years, 
a worthy helpmate to her worthy husband, resting upon her well earned repu- 
tation of Well done, good and faithful liousewife, and companion of one of 
;^fichigan's early pioneers. 

Mr. Cone lived upon the farm he settled upon for fifty years, until his 
death, October 17, 1875, and upon which he commenced, ax in hand, to 
carve out of the dense forest a home, a name, and reputation; to stamp his 
indelible impress ui>on his surroundings, the time and people with whom 
he lived, the agricultural interests of his county and State, its literature and 
sciences of his time. He was a vigorous writer, commending such theories 
and practices as met his approval, and condemning those which by observa- 
tion and experiment did not meet his views and judgment. His was a 
vigorous pen, turning neither to the right or left, but going direct to the 
subject matter in hand, sparing nothing which he deemed contrary to the 
best teachings of nature, of questionable practices or theories, but commend- 
ing those that had been tried by practical experience. He took pleasure in 
communicating his farming experiences to his contemporaries in agricultural 
pursuits, and contributed liberally to the literature in that interest through 
the "Country Gentleman,'' "Rural New Yorker," and "Michigan 
Farmer." Rarely has a life been so unselfishly devoted to a single purpose 
with more beneficial results than his. He was a self-made man. In youth 
he had but slight opportunities for an education, but in after life by his 
personal effort, study, and reading, he acquired a liberal education unaided, 
which enabled him to compose and write with facility. 

In the transactions of the State Agricultural Society for 1852 will be 
found an interesting article upon the "Jointer Plow" by him, the invention 
of Aaron Smith, in which he says, " it is not only a valuable implement but 
one of the greatest in the plow line since the cast iron plow" was first 
invented. It is an indispensable tool to any farmer," etc. Also an article 
upon "Thorough Drainage," in which he said, "there is nothing pertain- 
ing to good farming that is so seriously neglected by western agriculturists 
as that of thorough underdraining: it makes wet laud dry, and dry laud 
moist, making the soil more open, light, and friable. It is to be hoped that 
ere long the attention will be given to the subject that its merits demand, 
and that at least those unproductive wet swales, small basins and marshes 
that now disfigure our otherwise beautiful farms, will be reclaimed, made 
productive and valuable." In an article published in the transactions for 
1853, describing his farm, he savs. "the soil is stiff clav loam with gravel 



204 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

intermixed; the best method of improving this soil I have found to con- 
sist in deep plowing, thorough pulverization, care being taken to have the 
soil thoroughly drained by surface or underdrains," etc. 

Mr, Cone was competitor for the first premium for the best cultivated 
farm in the county. I here transcribe the diploma he received: 

"Diploma awarded by the State Agricultural Society of Michigan to 
Linus Cone of Troy, Michigan, for the best cultivated farm in Oakland 
county, reported at the Society's second annual meeting, 1850. Signed, 
J. C. Holmes, secretary ; James B. Hunt, president." 

He was also awarded first premium for the best cultivated farm by the 
Oakland County Agricu,ltural society in 1852, also again by the State 
society in 1853, He was a member of several committees of the State and 
county societies, so long as his health would permit; was president of the 
Oakland County society in 1852, Vice-president of the State society in 1854, 
member of the executive committee in 1856, giving tone and character to 
these societies in their infancy. 

He was captain of an independent military company from Oakland county 
which participated in the Toledo war in 1835, and while posting sentries at 
night. Captain Ingram, of the Farmington Greys, attempted to play a joke 
upon him, which resulted in a severe one upon himself. The captain crept 
slyly upon him in the dark, through the tall vegetation encumbering the 
banks of the sluggish Maumee at that time, and caught the captain by the 
leg. In an instant he drew his sword, striking Ingram on the head, giving 
him a scalp wound, which I have been informed was the only blood spilled 
in the service of that uneventful war. Yet it is true that a son of Major 
Stickney called "Two Stickney," partisans of Ohio, while resisting an 
officer of Monroe county in the service of a lawful civil process of arrest, 
did severely wound the officer with a dirk knife, and the blood ran freely. 

Mr. Cone took but little interest in politics, was independent and liberal 
in his views, giving support to those whom he deemed the most worthy and 
competent. In religion he was also independent, an attentive listener, 
reader and reasoner; very conscientious, exact, scrupulous, moral and hon- 
est, "doing unto others as he would have others do unto him." 



SKETCH OF WILLIAM POPPLETON 205 



SKETCH OF WILLIAM POPPLETON 



BY O. POPPLETON 



William Poppleton, the subject of this sketch, was born in Poultney, Ver- 
mont, June 9, 1795. When seventeen years old he removed with his par- 
ents to Kichmond, Ontario county, New York, where he was united in mar- 
riage to Zada Crooks, October 10, 1814. with whom he lived happily for for- 
ty-eight years, until her death at Birmingham, Mich., December 28, 18(51, 
and in whom he found a most faithful helpmate, seconding him in all his 
efforts to acquire a home, competency, position in society, and enduring the 
inconveniences, privations and burdens incident to the early settlement of 
this State. In June, 1823, he came to Michigan, with the purpose of pur- 
chasing lands for a homestead, and after viewing lands in Farmington, 
Avon, about Romeo and Troy, he entered the west half of the southeast 
quarter, and the east half of the southwest quarter of section 20, town 2 
north, range 11, east, in the latter township. Two years subsequent to this 
purchase he again visited Michigan, not being fully satisfied that the lands 
he had located, as well as those in the county and Territory, were well 
adapted to the raising of grain, particularly wheat, saying that he had eaten 
rye and Indian bread in Vermont until he was seventeen years of age, and 
he would not settle where wheat could not be raised for bread. During his 
prospecting and investigations while in Michigan, on this second trip, he 
became convinced, from actual observation, of the adaptability of the soil 
and climate for grain raising, and with his unerring forecast, predicted the 
great possibilities of the Territory, which, during his lifetime, he saw veri- 
fied. Late in the fall of 1825, he took his departure from Richmond, 
Ontario county. New York, with his wife and two children, with a horse 
team and covered wagon, bidding relatives and friends a long farewell, and 
resolutely pushed westward to the frontier for newer and vaster scenes, for 
larger and grander prospects. Being late in the season, steamboats on 
Lake Erie having laid up for the season, he took the road through Canada, 
which was at that time, for the most of the distance, from the time he left 



206 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

Western New York, an unbroken wilderness, except here and there a settle- 
ment. Early in December, 1825, after a toilsome journey of thirty-two 
days, in a covered emigrant wagon, struggling along over rough and danger- 
ous roads, much of the way half frozen and covered with snow, he arrived 
safely at his future homestead, and at once, with ax in hand, began un- 
flinchingly to fell the giant forest trees, and to carve out of it a home, a 
competence, an honorable pgsition and name among the early pioneers, with 
an intensity of purpose which never for a moment was shaken or wavered. 
Little by little he added to his first purchase, buying much of it from home- 
sick settlers, until 181.5, just twenty years, he had acquired about twelve 
hundred acres of land in a body, much of which was in a good tillable con- 
dition. Upon these lands, which he had reclaimed from a forest, he made 
such improvements from time to time, until these farms were as fair to look 
upon, and were in as high a state of cultivation as any in the famous Gene- 
see valley he had so lately left. 

In 1856 he moved upon one of the farms adjoining the pleasant village of 
Birmingham, almost entirely abandoning any personal supervision of his 
landed estate. Here, in his pleasant village retreat, with his faithful part- 
ner in life, he enjoyed a well earned repose until her death, Dec. 28, 1861. 
After this bereavement, — the greatest sorrow of his life, — he seemed to lose 
much of the vigor of his former years and constitution, which he had pre- 
viously enjoyed, and although the fire in his soul was not one whit abated, 
the earthly tabernacle was slowly but surely going to decay. He always 
possessed a large share of the confidence of the people of his township, which 
was evidenced by his frequent election as commissioner of highways, assessor, 
and supervisor. In all matters affecting the general interests of the people 
of his township, county, and State, he was ever first and foremost. To him 
more than to any one individual, is due to the present day, the excellent and 
superior condition of the j)ublic highways of the township. His early interest 
and example in turnpiking, draining, and graveling them, certainly merits, 
as it has, the commendations of the present and future generations. His 
counsel was regarded as of the highest value, if not in the beginning, at the 
end it was almost invariably acknowledged to be the soundest and best. Al- 
though from circumstances his education was limited, yet, by observation, 
self culture, indomitable energy, and perseverance, he became well informed, 
and his ripe judgment frequently brought him to the front, of which attention 
those of far better advantages might well have been proud. In 1842 he was 
elected a member of the House of representatives from Oakland county; his 
compeers in that body were Sanford M. Green, Kobert McClelland, John S. 
Barry, and many others of prominence.* His political views were moulded in 

•See appendix 



SKETCH OF WILLIAM POPPLETON 207 

the Jeffersoniau school, aud like his principles and purposes in other fields, 
he never deviated trom them. Being the son of a Revolutionary sire, he 
j)laced a just estimate upon the priceless value of his country and its insti- 
tutions. Gauging every measure with tho.se views, he had the satisfaction 
to see it stand second to no nation on the globe. Mr, and Mrs. Poppleton 
had seven children, two of whom died in infancy, two in rii>e womanhood. 
Hannah E., who married R. P. Bateman, died in March, 1854; Carrie J., 
who married Judge George B. Lake, of Omaha, Nebraska, died in February, 
18<!(). The remaining two sons and daughter are yet living. Orrin, the 
eldest, resides at Birmingham, Oakland county, who is well and favorably 
known in prominent business circles in the eastern part of the State, of un- 
blemished business, private, and public character, where he has been engaged 
in a general mercantile business since 1840. He has met with more than 
ordinary success, fully illustrating the invariable rule, that success is due to 
a steady, persistent, and untiring pursuit of any calling. Mrs. D. Hoxsey, 
the only remaining daughter, »ow resides in Birmingham, since retiring 
from their farm. 

The other surviving son, Andrew J., of Omaha, Nebraska, just past the 
meridian of life, is a man of unchanging purpose, to contemplate whose life 
and character would be a just source of pride to the most ambitious parent. 
Having been liberally educated at an institution that has given such men to 
our country as Seward, Dix, Silas Wright, Washington Hunt, and others. 
Having adopted law as his pursuit in life, with Gov. O. D. Richardson, he 
set out, in 1851, upon a pilgrimage westward to the front. They were the 
first to plant the standard of civilization upon the we.st bank of the Missouri 
River at Omaha, an uninviting place indeed at that time to satisfy the high 
hopes, ambition, and lively imaginations of youth, but he had an unfalter- 
ing trust in the ultimate prosperity of his adopted home. The sons, follow- 
ing closely in the footsteps of their sire, have each held responsible and hon- 
orable positions as legislators in their respective States, as well as other pub- 
lic trusts. His family discipline was not tyrannical, but severely just; not 
unparental, but dutiful; not exacting, but keenly alive to the best interests 
of his children. He tried to cut his jewels, a parent's great work, — with a 
master hand, sparing no defect, — wasting no lustre. Far' seeing, earnest, 
cautious, persevering, of uncompromising integrity. — such was this land- 
mark aud pioneer in the history of Oakland county. Whatever his faults, 
he possessed innumerable virtues, of such endearing and sterling quality, 
that they challenged even the admiration of those who differed with him. In 
his sphere he had planned well, and successfully executed them. Where 
countless numbers would have failed, he has triumphed. His indomitable 



208 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

will overturned every obstacle possible in the conflict of life, outriding every 
storm upon its troubled sea. Having gone to rest forever, and passed from 
the busy stage of human activity, let his faults, if any, be covered with the 
mantle of charity, that the history of more than an ordinary active career, 
may stand as an example for the present and future generations. 

"Alas! has stern Death the old house once more Invaded, 
Although garner'd are the buds, the bloom, and the vine, 
Yet the oak which so many long years has shaded 

The hearthstone, — grim monster, must this also be thine? 

O, too true! must the charm of the fireside be broken; 

The dear ones who have met there can linger no more; 
For the last loving word of affection is spoken, — 

The greeting, the blessing, the parting is o'er. 

But away down the future, when time shall have ended. 

And eternity begins its unending: rounds. 
Shall the vase sadly shattered be cunningly mended, 

And the harp, all unstrung then, regain its sweet sounds." 

"C. G. C." 



COL. THORNTON BROADHEAD'S LAST LETTER 



FURNISHED BY E, S. WILLIAMS 



The following are the remarks of the editor of the paper in which this 
letter was published (which I think was the Free Press), which, it seems, 
should be published with the letter: — 

''Many of the friends and acquaintances of the late Colonel Broadhead have 
expressed a great desire to see his last letter, the one which, it is generally 
known, he wrote to his wife from the fatal battlefield. To gratify this- 
desire, we have requested, and have been able to obtain, a copy of the letter, 
and to publish it, with the restriction, however, that the names referred to 
in it should not be mentioned. 

''We cannot but feel that such a letter belongs rather to the nation at large 
than to relatives or friends, and should be chronicled in the nation's annals, 
as showino- forth the calm heroic soul of one of her best and most devoted 



COL. T. BROADHEAD'S LAST LETTER 209 

"In the language of a loving and sorrowing brother: What a noble sjnrit 
he had. And in the last supreme moment liow it towered above moilality. 
He entered eternity like a true christian hero, not boastful nor reckless, but 
without shame and without fear. Death came not to him with gloom and 
darkness, but like a flaming sun, dissipating the mists of human weakness, 
and showing, in a glorious light, his unconquerable devotion to his country 
and his friends. Green be the turf upon his grave, and ever blooming the 
flowers of love and memory that spring fresh from his honored ashes and 
cluster around his name.'" 

My dearest Wife, — I write to you, mortally wounded, from the battlefield. 
We are again defeated, and ere this reaches you your children will be father- 
less. Before I die let me implore that in some way it may be stated that 

Gen. has been outwitted, and that is a traitor. Had they 

done their duty as I did mine, and had led as I led, the dear old flag had 
waved in triumph. I wrote you yesterday morning. To-day is Sunday, 
and to-day I sink to the green couch of our final rest. I have fought well, 
my darling, and I was shot in the endeavor to rally our broken battalions. 
I could have escaped, but I would not till all hope was gone and I was shot 
— about the only one of our forces left on the field. Our cause is just, and 
our generals, not the enemy's have defeated us. In God's good time He 
will give us victory. 

And now goodbye, wife and children. Bring them up, I know you will, 
in the fear of God and love for the Savior. But for you and the dear ones 
dependent I should die happy. I know the blow will fall with crushing 
weight on you. Trust in Him who gave manna in the wilderness. 

Doctor Xash is with me. It is now after midnight, and I have spent 
most of the night in sending messages to you. Two bullets have gone 
through my chest and directly through the lungs. I suffer little now, 
but at first the pain was acute. I have won the soldier's name, and am 
ready to meet now, as I must, the soldier's fate. I hope that from Heaven 
I may see the glorious old flag wave again over the undivided union I have 
loved so well. 

Farewell, dear wife and babes, and friends. We shall meet again. 

Your loving 

Thornton. 
27 



210 ANNUAL MEETING 188B 



UNCLE TOM'S BOND 



PRESEXTED BY EPHRAIM S. WILLIAMS 



As I was well acquainted with the persons mentioned I send the following 
to the State Pioneer and Historical Society for safe keeping : 

Among the assets of Thomas Emmerson, Banker, etc., in Windsor, Ver- 
mont, in 1834, was a bond given by Thomas Palmer, of Detroit, dated away 
back in the days of the oldest bygones, on which there were many indorse- 
ments of payments, as follows : 

Received on this bond, January, 1820, in coon skins. |100.00 

Received on this bond, January, 1821, in shingles, 50.00 

Received of Thomas Palmer, May, 1831, in fish, 100.00 

Received of Thomas Palmer, May, 1832, in lath and boards, 75.00 
and so on ; but in the next two years tliere were no payments. 

In July, 1834, there swept over Vermont, Windsor especially, a wave of 
religion, and Thomas Emmerson was one of the "brands snatched from th6 
burning." Immediately he became one of the most earnest of all in that 
town, and turning his back on the gold and silver of his bank he prayed most 
earnestly, most zealously, and most sincerely. 

It will be remembered that in that same year the cholera broke out in 
Detroit with absolute malignity, and cut up our people root and branch, and 
within thirty days decimated the population. On the 16th August, 1834, 
thirty-seven persons died from this disease, and nearly everybody was horror- 
struck. That evening it happened that Harry Cole and another by-gone met 
in Doctor Rice'« office, just in the rear of where the first national bank now 
stands, to inquire what the news was, when Dr. Rice very empathically re- 
sponded that everybory was dying, and would die; that in 1832 he bled all 
his patients, and cured them all, "but this year," said he, "every patient 
that I have bled has died, and all my patients are dead." Everything was 
very blue, and silence prevailed until Mr. Cole drew from his pocket the fol- 
lowing extraordinary letter addressed to him by the now pious and good 
Thomas Emmerson: 



LETTER FROM COL. S. E. BEACH 211 

Windsor. Vermont, August 1. 1834. 
Ht'iuij »S'. Cole, Esq., Attorney at Law: 

My dear Hal., — I am rejoiced to say to you that the Lord hath been among 
us here in Windsor; that a day of Pentecost is here, and that I have been 
snatched as a brand from the burning. *'I am now laying up all my treasures 
in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not 
break through and steal." Oh, Hall how I wish you and our old friend, Tom 
Palmer, might see the error of your ways. By the by, Mr, Palmer has not 
paid his interest on that bond for nearly two years. Now I learn that the 
''pestilence is stalking at noonday" among you, and we know not how soon 
you may go. Mr. Palmer ought to settle that bond. You and he too ought 
to prepare for death, and he ought certainly to settle that bond at once. Oh, 
Hal. if God would only open your eyes, and Mr. Palmer, surely he will pay 
the interest on that bond now. I pray nightly and daily for you and Mr. 
Palmer, and trust he will pay the interest on this bond. That the Lord will 
guard and keep you. dear Hal, and my friend Palmer, is our constant prayer; 
but do make him pay the interest on the bond. I will take furs, shingles, 
lumber, apples, fish, or anything he has. God bless and preserve you both, 
but please do not let Mr. Palmer forget to pay the interest on that bond. 

Your devoted friend, 

[ASigned) Thomas Emmersox 

With twenty-five cents postage this unique letter came, after a week's voy- 
age, to Detroit. Harry Cole and Thomas Palmer both survived the cholera, 
and Emmerson's bond was all i^aid and cancelled long before Mr. Palmer 
died. 



LETTER FROM COL. S. E. BEACH, OX THE BATTLE OF CHERUBUSCO, 

AUGUST 20, 1847 



(APPENDIX TO •OUTLINE OF MARCH," PAGE 112, VOL. 7.) 



Pontiac, July 10, 1887. 
My Dear Merrifield. Lansing. Mich.: 

In the progress of time you and I naturally recall the more prominent 



212 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

events of our youth, you of the assault at Pueblo, Mexico, where you led 
the Forlorn Hope, I of the terrible fire, and overwhelming odds at Cheru- 
busco, where the Michigan companies, the right Company A, commanded 
by me, and the centre with the colors "E," commanded by Captain Toll, 
gloriously sustained the honor of our State. I must state to you, my old 
comrade, that Captain Toll after he had twice gone back amid the fire, to 
get permission to charge, which was refused, himself ordered it, and re- 
formed the regiment, which then, at that critical time, charged the masses 
of the enemy successfully, and none too soon, for the New York and South 
Carolina volunteers, on our left, had just ^'gone in," in their part of the 
field. I hope justice will be done this opportune and gallant act, and the 
men of the companies "A" and "E," of the 15th regiment of U. S. 
Infantry from our State, have this justice accorded them, which has been 
delayed. The battle of Cherubusco was the deciding battle of the war with 
Mexico, the Infantry did the work there, while all had their share, but on 
this arm all relied. Of the nearly two hundred men of these companies, 
which we helped to form, my dear friend and comrade, how many will answer 
roll call? Perhaps twenty! Eight dollars a month and found, for all this 
empire of the Pacific, and yet how these twenty survivors are remembered. 

Ever sincerely your comrade, 

S. E. Beach. 



A NEW VERSION OF AN OLD SONG 



BY C. CLOSE 



Should old acquaintance be forgot, 

And never brought to mind? 
Should old acquaintance be forgot, 

And days of Old Lang Syne? 

Chorus : 

And days of Old Lang Syne, dear friends, 

By time's unceasing flow; 
Deep graven on our heart of hearts 

Are scenes of long ago. 



THE ODREN ANNIVERSARY 213 

Should thoughts of scenes in those old days, 

When we were young and gay. 
Be blotted out from heart and mind 

And ever pass away? 

Choeus : 

And ever pass away, dear friends, etc. 

No; 'tis not best to let them go, 

But better bid them stay; 
And help to give these faltering steps 

More firmness on the way. 

Chorus : 

More firmness on the way dear friends, etc. 

Yes. to recount those old time scenes, 

Gives pleasure once again; 
And gives us life and strength and hope, 

Almost as good as then. 

Choeus : 

Almost as good as then, dear friends, etc. 

Time flies so fast we hardly know 

Our work is almost done; 
But withered hands and whitened locks 

Tell surely it will come. 

Choeus : 

Aye, surely it will come, dear friends, etc. 

And when it comes, as sure it will. 

To each and every one. 
Let's hope that we may feel at last 

Our work was all well done. 

Choeus : 

And was it not well done, dear friends? etc. 



THE ODREX ANNIVERSARY 



MR. AND MRS. ALEXANDER ODREN. OF CALIFORNIA. BRANCH COUNTY, MICH. 



Note. — The following interesting account has been furnished since the annual meet- 
ing for publication in this volume of Pioneer Collections. Mr. Odren is a member of 
this Society, having united with it in 1877. In volume II. of Pioneer Collections, page 
186, we find that he was born in Detroit. Michigan, October 17, 1791. making him, at 
the time of the anniversary, nearly ninety-five years of age. Mention of him is 
also made on page 191 of the same volume. 

Wednesday, August 11. was one of the manv eventful ones in the history 



214 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

of the worthy pioneers, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Odren of California, 
Branch County — a double anniversary — Mrs. Odren's ninety-second birthday 
and the seventy-second of their marriage. Their daughters, Mrs. Harriet 
Waterhouse, of Kinderhook, and Mrs. Susan Swarthout, of Beading, had 
long entertained the idea of a family reunion at the old homestead, now in 
charge of another daughter. Mrs. Libbie Kirkland and her husband, who 
kindly minister to the wants of the aged pair. As early as 8 o'clock the 
guests began to arrive, including, besides the family relatives, many of the 
oldest settlers of this and several surrounding townships, and at noon 
upwards of two hundred people had met to renew old friendships, and talk 
over the incidents of olden time, many of which rehearsed to the children 
of to-day seem stranger than fiction. Mr. and Mrs. Odren are the parents 
of thirteen children, nine of them still living and seven of whom were 
present on this occasion. Joseph Odren, wife and son, of Knoxville, Neb., 
were here in honor of the important event. He related some stirring events 
in which he was an active participant during the war of the rebellion. He 
was one of the company who captured Jeff Davis, and one of the guards who 
kept watch over him on the trip from Macon, Georgia, to Fortress Monroe. 
David Odren was killed in the battle of the Wilderness; he rests in an 
unknown grave upon southern soil. One of his (David's) sons had charge 
of a wagon train, and was with Gen. Custer at the time of the massacre. 
In the spring of 1836, Mr. Odren sold ten acres of land in Detroit, where 
the City Hall now stands, for |400, and brought his family to this place, 
settling upon Section 1. He relates that in the following spring he walked 
from this place to Lima, Ind., a distance of thirty-two miles, for one bushel 
of potatoes which he carried on his back in returning. Mr. Odren, when a 
young man, was employed as a baker at Maiden, near Detroit. One evening 
on returning from a social party he was seized by a British press-gang and 
taken on board of a British man-of-war. He was kept in the enemy's service 
fourteen months, and was then captured by Commodore Perry at the battle 
of Lake Erie. During this engagement he was second in command of a 
24-pound gun, managed by nine men when the battle begun, at its close Mr. 
Odren and one other man were the only survivors. After helping rig the 
disabled fleet at Putin-Bay, he was taken to Chillicothe, O., with other 
prisoners. He was allowed to leave camp for a few hours one day when he 
sought out Capt. Dryson who knew him when a boy. Together they went 
to the quarters of Gen. McCarty* — the officer in command of the post. After 
having made an aflfldavit as to his nationality he was released. He at once 
enlisted in the Second Rifle Regiment and, until the close of the war, worked 
with a right good will to repay the British for forcing him to fight against 
*See appendix 



THE ODREN ANNIVERSARY 215 

his own people. When the late war broke ont his patriotism was again 
fully tested. Although seventy years of age he offered his services in defense 
of his country's flag — saying that he could handle a gun as well as any 
man. 

It was a pleasant sight to notice the company that gathered around the 
tables arranged beneath the Avidespreading trees surrounding the old home, 
and they were loaded with every variety and an abundance of good things. 
While they were discussing the merits of the same your reporter was busy 
with pencil and paper and noted the following items of interest. A small 
table had been prepared expressly for the aged parents. Near this all the 
children and relatives were seated. Upon this small table we noted some 
very antiquated specimens of table Avare. A friend called our attention in 
particular to a queer little coffee-pot, more than one hundred years old; 
also a china tea-pot and cream pitcher, and a bread tray which had been in 
their possession ever since their first house-keeping days. The number of 
guests, not including relatives, was one hundred and fifty-eight. Their 
total ages were five thousand five hundred and seven years— average ages 
thirty-five years. Of this number, twenty-six were past sixty, and two were 
over eighty — Mrs. Parrish, of Kinderhook, aged eighty-five, and Uncle 
Major Purd:\', of California, aged eighty-nine; the youngest at table, two 
years. The united ages of Mr. and Mrs. Odren is one hundred and eighty- 
eight years; combined ages of the children, four hundred and ninety-four 
years. They have thirty-six grandchildren, and their united ages reach the 
sum of eight hundred and forty-two years. Of the great grandchildren, 
thirty-two in number, two hundred and thirty-nine years; one great great 
grandchild, aged one year. The united ages of the Odren family is one 
thousand, seven hundred and sixty-four years. Mr. Odren offered for our 
inspection some Detroit papers bearing dates of August 31, 1809, and July, 
1817. They were curiosities. After the dinner came music, recitations and 
speech-making. Col, F. F. Fowler, of Reading, noted the important 
changes that had been wrought in the vicinity since he settled in Hillsdale 
county fifty-two years ago, and, in behalf of the company, presented the old 
people with several substantial tokens of regard. Each received a very nice 
easy chair, slippers, and other gifts that should minister to their enjoyment 
in the future. Mr. Samuel Moflitt responded for the old people, and con- 
cluded his remarks with the wish that they might live to celebrate their dia- 
mond wedding, three years hence. Short addresses followed by Elias Par- 
ker, Lee FitzSimmons, of Reading, and Benjamin Holcomb, of Fremont, 
Ind. At this point impromptu speeches seemed to l>e in order. Alexander 



.216 ANNUAL MEETING 1886 

meeting held in California and Algansee was at his father's house." Aunt 
Phebe Bickford added, "And I've got the ballot box yet." The recitations 
by Mrs. Maggie Dufur, Miss Allie Southwick, Myrta Gibson and Flossy 
Murray were very fine. Did time and space permit, we would gladly give a 
more extended notice, but, in fancy, we long ago saw the editorial fingers 
reaching for the scissors, yet beg space for the following song, composed for 
the occasion by Mrs. E. B. Simpkins, and sung with pleasing efifect by Earl 
and Wesley Dufur, Mrs. Simpkins and Miss Southwick, to the tune, "Gath- 
ering up the Shells from the Sea-shore:" 

Long ago, when the tints of life's morning 

Had reached their most roseate hue, 
And in smiles were their plain paths adorning, 

God united the fates of these two. 
Hand in hand they have journeyed together. 

Sometimes where the thorns pierced their feet. 
Though their hands may unclasp soon, and sever, 

In God's numberless throng may they meet. 

Chorus — Numberless as the sands of the sea-shore, 
Numberless as the sands of the shore. 
Oh, what a sight 'twill be when the ransomed ones they see. 
As numberless as the sands of the sea shore. 

There have often been burdens to carry. 

But each stooped to gather a share, 
Ease and comfort were oft prone to tarry, 

But joys, sweet, were blended with care. 
On their faces old age writes his story, 

And their eyes must here dimmed ever be; 
But when they are opened in glory. 

What a wonderful sight they shall see. — Chorus. 

By long years of toil and privation. 

They won for themselves this neat home. 
In response to the kind invitation 

Of children, these friends here have come. 
When they dwell in that beautiful mansion 

That God has prepared for his true. 
Through Him who has died, us to ransom. 

Dear friends, may we enter there, too. — Chorus. 

This narrative would be incomplete did we fail to add that Mr. and Mrs. 
Odren expressed the utmost confidence in Christ as their only refuge and 
hope. For five years Mrs. Odren has been entirely blind. In faithful trust, 
they are waiting the summons to the final home. The old pioneers are 
rapidly passing away. Let us tenderly cherish and perpetuate their mem- 
ory, and cheer the remaining days of those who, by years of patient toil and 
sacrifice, have given us homes of comfort, that there may be no regrets for 
duties unperformed when they have passed beyond the river. 

"They taught our youthful feet to climb 
Upward life's rugged steep; 
Then let us lead them gently down 
To where the weary sleep." 



MICHIGAN SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION AS A 

STATE 



ACTION OF THE MICHIGAN PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



Office of the Pioneer Society,, ) 
Lansing, May 18, 1886. ) 

Sir, — At a joint session of the Executive Committee and Committee of 
Historians of the Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan, a resolution 
was adopted providing for a representation of said society at the Semi-cen- 
tennial celebration of the admission of the State into the union, to be held 
at Lansing, June 15, 1886, by a committee, of which the Hon. Henry Fralick, 
President of the society, is chairman. 

You are hereby notified that you were appointed as one of such committee, 
and it is hoped that you will attend the celebration, and aid in representing 
the society. 

Very respectfully, 

Harriet A. Tenney, 
Recording secretary. 



LIST OF DELEGATES 

Hon. Henry Fralick, President. 
Mrs. Harriet A. Tenney. Recording secretary. 
George H. Greene, Corresponding seo'Ctary. 
Ephriam Longyear, Treasurer. 

Executive Committee: 
Prof. John C. Holmes. 
Judge Albert Miller. 
Hon. Francis A. Dewey. 

28 



218 STATE SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 

Committee of Historians: 

Col. M. Shoemaker, Chairman. 
Dr. O. C. Comstock. 
M. H. Goodrich, Esq. 
Hon. Talcott E. Wing. 
Hon. Witter J. Baxter. 

Delegates: 

Hon. John J. Adams, Tecumseh. 

Dr. I. P. Alger, Coldwater. 

Hon. W. L. Bancroft, Port Huron. 

Hon. O. M. Barnes, Lansing. 

Hon. S. D. Bingham, Lansing. 

Hon. E. Lakin Brown, Schoolcraft. 

Kev. E. C. Crawford, Grand Rapids. 

Hon. Thomas M. Cooley, Ann Arbor. 

Hon. James V. Campbell, Detroit. 

Hon. William H. Cross, Centerville. 

Hon. John H. Forster, Williamston. 

Hon. Alpheus Felch, Ann Arbor. 

Hon. Thomas G. Gilbert, Grand Rapids. 

Hon. Charles T. Gorham, Marshall. 

Hon. E. O. Grosvenor, Jonesville. 

Hon. Peter Loomis, Jackson. 

Hon. O. Poppleton, Birmingham. 

Hon. H. H. Riley, Constantine. 

Hon. C. D. Randall, Coldwater. 

Hon. S. L. Smith, Lansing. 

Hon. C. B. Stebbins, Lansing. 

Hon. Francis R. Stebbins, Adrian. 

Mrs. E. M. Sheldon Stewart, Michigan Center. 

Hon. Smith Tooker, Lansing. 

Mr. A. D. P. Van Buren, Galesburg. 

Hon. C. I. Walker, Detroit. 

Hon. William L. Webber, East Saginaw. 

Hon. E. S. Williams, Flint. 

Hon. Edwin Willits, Agricultural College, Lansing. 

Hon. Peter W^hite, Marquette. 



ADDRESS OF HON. W. J. BAXTER 219 



THE SEMI CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 



At a joint meeting of the executive committee and the committee of 
historians of the Michigan vState Pioneer and Historical Society, held at 
Lansing, June 8. 188G, a resolution was adopted providing for a representa- 
tion of the society at the Semi-Centennial celebration of the admission of 
Michigan into the union, to be held at Lansing, June 15, 1886, and dele- 
gates were named from the membership of the society from all portions of 
the State. At the same meeting the Hon. Witter J. Baxter, of Jonesville, 
was requested to speak in behalf of such representation on the Semi-Centen- 
nial occasion, if an opportunity was given by the committee of arrange- 
ments. 

This action was taken by the Pioneer Society at too late a day for any 
place to be assigned them on the programme for the day, as that had 
been already prepared and printed, and the entire arrangements for the 
occasion completed, with a programme so full as to allow the introduction of 
no new exercise. 

The committee of arrangements for the Semi-Centennial, however, on 
the evening of the 14th, concluded to give the representatives of the State 
Pioneer and Historical Society from three to five minutes, immediately after 
the address of welcome by the Governor of the State, at the front of the 
Capitol. At the close of the Governor's address, Mr. Baxter was introduced 
by the Governor, as representing the Pioneer and Historical Society of 
Michigan, who, speaking without notes, made, in substance, the following 
address : 

ADDRESS OF HOX. WITTER J. BAXTER 

Mr. President ami Fellow Citizens of our heloved IState of Michigan: 

At a gathering like this to celebrate the semi-centennial of our State, it 
was thought not inappropriate by the Pioneer and Historical Society to ap- 
pear by representatives selected from their membership from all sections of 
the commonwealth, and the very pleasant duty has been devolved upon me 
of saying a few words on their behalf. 

Surrounded as I am here by these representatives so chosen, we need no 
introduction as pioneers. Our whitened heads, our halting steps, our bended 
forms, all proclaim in language more forcible than words, that if not in 



220 STATE SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION 

Michigan, at least somewhere on God's green earth, we have already passed 
nearly the entire period allowed to man's terrestial existence. 

Some of us time has touched with gentle hands, leaving us, after our three 
score years and ten or more of earnest work in our several stations, with 
much of vigor, strength, and joyousne.ss, glad participants with you in these 
commemorative exercises. 

Nearly if not quite all of our representative members present with you to- 
day have passed in Michigan more years than have gone by since it became a 
State. And of the scenes and incidents attending the rise, progress and 
development, from small beginnings, to present growth and greatness of our 
Michigan of to-day, have been eye-witnesses, and in securing the grand results, 
busy workers and participants. 

We trust it will not be considered obtrusive, or out of place, to call to your 
attention some of the valuable work already done by our Pioneer and Histori- 
cal Society, though but the beginning of work projected, and which we hope 
to carry forward to full accomplishment. 

While at our annual social gatherings we clasp hands with friends and 
associates in early struggles and successes, and revive recollections of days 
long past, collect and preserve, for future reference and use, the words and 
the works of the fathers, into w^hose rich inheritance their children, and 
their children's children, have entered — we do much more. 

We make careful examination of ancient relics, papers, and records, found 
among family treasures, carefully stowed away, or among the archives of 
historical associations, private. State, and national. Many of these we find 
covered with the dust of many \^ars and undergoing defacement and decay, 
and which, but for the timely action of our society, would soon have been 
lost beyond recovery. 

In the seven volumes of our collections already published will be found 
much of great interest and value to students of history, and while there will 
doubtless be found much of personal narrative, much of merely local inter- 
est, and much that might possibly have been omitted without serious loss, 
still we are fully persuaded that these volumes and others soon to follow will 
prove to the antiquary and historian a mine of inestimable wealth. 

Fifty years constitutes for the individual a large part of his allotted 
period; not so with states and nations. 

For them the hand upon the dial of time moves slowly, and when upon 
the revolving wheel of years its bell shall have tolled out fifty it is still with 
the state or nation early morning. 

With states or nations, however, no less than with individuals, the early 
3'ears, the springtime of existence, are of prime importance. 



ADDRESS OF HON. \V. J. BAXTER 221 

In them are found the germs of which the future is but the development 
and outgrowth. 

It is the province of our society to discover the germs from which our 
institutions have developed, to lift the veil from the long hidden past, and 
by the view thus presented to give strength and encouragement for the pres- 
ent and with the blessing of Almighty God on human efforts full assurance 
for the future of our State. 



OTTAWA COUNTY 



PAPERS READ AT THE SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION OF ITS SETTLE- 
MENT, HELD AT GRAND HAVEN, DEC. 2, 1884 



HISTORICAL DISCOURSE 



BY REV. CHRISTIAN VAN DER VEEN, OF GRAND HAVEN 



Text. — "For who hath despised the day of small things." — Zechariah, iv, 10. 

It seems to me I could find no more appropriate text with which to open 
a historical discourse on the settlement of this county than the passage of 
Scripture, which may literally be said to have been the starting point of this 
county's history. It is just fifty years ago that the first permanent settlers of 
this region landed on the shore of this river, within gunshot from this spot. 
It was the very same day of the week, the Lord's Day. It occurred to the 
head of the party, fresh from missionary labors among the Indians, first of 
all to gather his little band together in a rude log hut which the traders had 
built to give thanks to God for his safe guidance, and to inspire them all 
with courage and hope for the future by speaking to them strengthening 
words. Those words were based on this word of the Lord, which ages ago 
came to Zerubabel, who also was called to begin again the Lord's work from 
the foundation, and under discouraging circumstances. 

I cannot say with just what words Mr. Ferry on that occasion cheered his 
companions in their lonely surroundings. No sketch of that address was 
preserved. But those of us who had the privilege of knowing the man can 
easily imagine. Like so many of the pioneers of that period he had the 
prophetic insight which faith in hard work and perseverance gives. And I 
have no doubt that it was principally an appeal to labor and endure, with 



HISTORICAL DISCOURSE 223 

the assurance that the object would not fail. Nor lacked thej-, I think, the 
assertion of the truth that all work, to be in any sense permanent or valu- 
able, must be consecrated to Jesus Christ; words, without doubt, altogether 
in the spirit of that great pioneer apostle, who in his day went out to con- 
quer the Gentile wilderness for the truth of Christ, "forgetting those things 
which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before." 

I would not have you think when I name Mr. Ferry as the father of this 
county, the pioneer in the development of this lake shore region, that there 
was anything phenomenal or exceptional about him. He was but a sani])le 
of the men who went forth to conquer the wild parts of this continent for a 
better manhood than was indigenous here. Such men there still are, going 
forth into the places from which cowardly, weak men shrink and Hee, 
because there is nothing there; men who have a keener vision, and who 
are, therefore, able to perceive the things which will be as well as the things 
which are; men who know the value of the three graces, faith, hope and 
love, and their applicability to the things of this life as well as to that which 
is to come. I would not wrong the men of my own generation. We have 
our heroes, too, in many fields. But the enginery of civilization is now so 
widespread, its course so undisputed, its touch so immediate and potent ; in 
other words, the aids for the subduing of the world are now so many and so 
easily applicable that it sometimes seems to me as though there were more 
of heroism in times when more was required of the simple endeavor of the 
individual man, and one looks back with admiration upon the men, our fatliers. 
who broke their way on foot and worked out their destiny with their brawny 
arms. 

A look back over fifty years takes us into this period of individual 
endeavor. In our day the railroad breaks the path for the pioneer settler 
more often than the pioneer blazes the way for the railroad. The men 
plodded across these vast stretches of country on foot, considering them- 
selves fortunate if a yoke of patient oxen slowly dragged their few possessions 
over ungraded hills and through unbridged streams. In most cases they 
had to begin literally at the beginning. Their wants needed to be few and 
their hopes large. Their labors were hard and never-ending, and their 
reward was principally in promises. You see they needed courage and faith. 

I would first of all. therefore in this discourse, pay the tribute of our re- 
spect to the generation of men who have left us the legacy of our present 
enjoyments. They obtained it for us by no fictitious means, but by their 
honest toil, their faithfulness to tlie demands of their day, their patience, 
bravery, diligence, and self-denial. Their's was indeed a day of small actu- 
alities, but of large possibilities, which they made into large actualities by 



224 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

their genuine lives. The remembrance of it should be an inspiration to us. 

It is principally this view of the meaning- of this semi-centennial celebra- 
tion, which gave me courage to accept the invitation to be your speaker on 
this occasion. A county is not often of sufficient importance in this great 
land, to have a history of its own. Few of them have what can properly be 
called a history. Towns and cities can have a distinct life and character, and 
so can states, in which a certain type of ideas, represented by a distinct class 
of persons, has obtained predominate influence. But it is difficult to predicate 
this of a geographical division like a county, set apart chiefly for the pur- 
pose of more conveniently applying the powers of government. I look up- 
on it in this case^, simply as a section of country, in which the history of set- 
tlement and development furnishes us certain lessons, which this and sub- 
sequent generations may profitably consider and hold in remembrance. 

Aside from this there is little in the history of this county worth recount- 
ing in a place and on a day like this. Few^ eventful things have taken place. 
There was no room for them. Compared with some parts of our country and 
even of our State, our progress has been slow. Necessarily so. The natural 
resources here were confined to those of the soil the standing forest 
and a few fish in the adjacent waters. Every foot of arable ground had to 
be won from its deep-rooted occupants. Much of its soil is but moderately 
productive. Surrounding rivals, both in commence and manufactures, have 
diverted a large part of the produced wealth from our smaller towns. And it 
may as well be confessed also that our local jealousies have in a measure 
rather retarded than advanced the common prosperity. Into all these things 
I have no desire to enter, nor does it seem necessary, for others will have an 
opportunity to take up all these details of our common experience, and I 
think the field which I have laid out for myself is sufficiently large to occupy 
our attention upon this occasion. 

In the history of the settlement of that section, which is now included 
within the bounds of Ottawa county, it is necessary to mention three dif- 
ferent movements, and three difl'erent times. To take them in their order 
of occurrence, the words. Grand Haven, Port Sheldon, and Holland, will 
recall them to those who are already familiar with the history in the main. 
The dates are 1834, 1836, 1847. 

Grand Haven stands properly for the development of the country along 
the Grand River, and will stand in this discourse for the northern half of 
the county. It was the gateway by which the early pioneers, who located 
along the banks of this river, entered the country. Most of them served 
some kind of an apprenticeship at the mouth of the river, and carried the 
spirit of enterprise which ruled these inland. 



HISTORICAL DISCOURSE 225 

To oiitci- a little into details by towiishijts. Spriiio: Lake was the enter- 
])rise of Ihe Whites. Iti-otliers in-law of Mr. FeiTV. Crockery had as its 
founders, the Hathaways. \Vlio were eiii])l()yed by the (Jrand Haven Lumber 
Company, in 18.''>r». ])r. Eastman, one of the pioneers of Polkton, and the 
father of Eastnutnville, was one of the early companions of Mr. Ferry at 
Grand Haven, and his lifelonj*- fi-iend. So on the other side of the river, 
Kobinson was first entered by the members of the Robinson family, who were 
in close connection from the beoinnin^-. with the parties at the mouth. The 
remainder of the up-country was only afterward settled, and independently 
of the tirst movement. The rich lands in Talmad^e, Chester, and Wright, 
attracted immi<>rants of various nationalities, who souglit land for purely 
agricultural ]»urj)oses. The towns of the south, Allendale, Blendon, George- 
town, and the larger ])art of Kobinson. were worked for many years only for 
their valuable product of timber, and drew settlers but slowly. 

It is not at all necessary to give a rose-colored view of the undertaking at 
this place, or to make the men who were engaged in it pose in a constantly 
heroic attitude. Xo doubt their main motive was earthly, even as their occu- 
pations were intensly secular. I need not hesitate to speak freely about this. 
Mr. Ferry, coming from ^Mackinac, where for twelve years he had labored to 
introduce Christianity and civilization among the Luliaus, and had exhaust- 
ed his temporal resources, came to Grand Haven to better his worldly inter- 
ests. He virtually exchanged his sphere of life as a minister of the gospel 
for that of a dealer in lands and lumber and merchandise, with a view of 
materially pi-otiting thereby. The same motive brought his associates from 
the eastern States. The same motive led the devout Kobert Stuart to fur- 
nish a large amount of the capital which Avas the basis of this enterprise. 
This is an ordinary motive, and by no means distinctively lofty, but it is 
entirely legitimate. The methods employed were the ordinary methods by 
which men seek, first, the supply of daily natural wants; secondly, wealth. 
The history of its success was the ordinary one of small compensation at 
first, for great outlay of thought and muscle. Only slowly did any of them 
gain a competency. The coopei-ation was also subject to the ordinary dangers 
and evils which befall associated enterprises. Ditferences, jealousies, com- 
plaints, partings — the grievances and trials of ordinary mortals l>efell them. 
Many of these men have passed away. Some still remain among us. They 
all averaged about as the rest of us. Some died rich and some died poor. 
Some live in aitTuence and some in care. One came to honor, and another 
to neglect. And, looking at it from this standpoint, one is tempted to say 
no more than this: Pass on, and leave this past buried; for wherever you see 
mortals struggling, whether 'on a large scale or a small, whether handicap- 
29 



226 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

ped by what their predecessors Iwqneathed, or starting out anew, you will 
find them the same, and "what hath a man of all the labor which he per- 
formeth under the sun."' 

But they were uot entirely secular. The spirit of God was with these 
men. With some, more, with some, less; but with all to so great a degree 
that His unmistakable stamp has been upon the growth of enterprise all 
along this river. And especially here, where the tone was given to the com- 
munal life of the region, too great value can hardly be placed on the pres- 
ence of the spirit of God in secular life, by which it is redeemed from "the 
world." The object of these men was lawful, such as God could approve, 
who ordained men to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, to subdue 
the earth, and lay it under tribute for man's comfort. Their methods were 
honest. What they got they obtained by hard and persistent work, by dili- 
gence and frugality. Their reverses and losses, so far as I can learn, they 
shared with one another honorably. Their social intercourse was sincere 
and true and elevating. We know this from personal experience, coming 
here nearly a quarter of a century ago, when the original tone still prevail- 
ed. Strong and lasting friendships were made and cherished among them. 
Sobriety and chastity and public morality from the beginning gave character 
to our population and a good name to this community. The education of 
the children was carefully attended to from the earliest start, and in the wil- 
derness, away frohi books and institutions of learning, means were found to 
train a growing generation, which, in after times, needed uot to fear to have 
its attainments in knowledge compared Avith a generation growing up under 
vastly larger advantages, or even with the men of their own generation, who 
came here trained under the influences of the old settled communities of the 
eastern States. 

The highest claims of men never lacked for attention. From that first Sab- 
bath when Mr. Ferry preached to the congi-egation, which might almost be 
said to have consisted of his household, there have been few Sabbaths in this 
place when the truth of God was not publicly spoken to those who would 
hear. Although for twenty years there was no regTilar pastor here, Mr. Ferry 
always found time to be a preacher of the gospel as well as a man of business. 
The influence of the Word and of true religion never ceased to exert itself 
through this section, and to give tone to its public life. These things have 
always been so. No one of us, whether he came here early or late, can 
remember when these things began to be; we found them so. Without un- 
lawful glorying we claim for our people, throughout these parts, as high 
an appreciation for those things which are of good report, as high a standard 
of public morality in things secular, and as intelligent an interest in things 



HISTORICAL DISCOURSE 227 

spiritual, as for tlio peoi»le of any part of the State, and I take jireat pleasure 
in saying that tliose thveJling among us, who still serve as the surviving links 
to bind us to the pioneers of tifty years ago, are still among our leaders in 
all things honest and true and right. 

I think we may say that as a ronsequenee of this spirit, in which the work 
liere was in the main begun ami ]irosecnted, the results of that work along 
Grand River have also been in the main prosperous and jiermanent. You 
will not require me to go into an invoice of this prosperity. Upon the wbole, 
a kind Providence has abundantly rewarded honest endeavor, and nowhere. I 
dare say, is business safer than right here, commercial integrity more general, 
business failures fewer, debts more honestly paid. As in llie life of a man, 
so in the life of communities, it is in these things that 1he original character 
and the early training come into view. Now it is the inwardness of every 
life which contains its true history. Not in statistics, but in characteristics, 
does an historian find material for a lifelike sketch. 

Port Sheldon comes next, in 18.3G. It was a fiasco. Why then waste time 
upon it? It serves as a contrast to the real work of this section, it is part of 
the history, and failures are quite as instructive as successes. The men wlio 
were engaged in that enterprise had, apparently, much in their favor, and 
if secular elements were supreme in this development of the county it should 
have been the one of the three enterprises which must have succeeded. Those 
men were young, ardent, full of the faith of youth. They were above want. 
To no one of them was a living an object. They came to do great things, 
to make a reputation for commercial enterprise, to wrest wealth rapidly from 
nature's grasp. They controlled abundant means and could order all the 
appliances, which the science and the skill of the day furnished, to aid them. 
So to a large extent they could relieve themselves from the drudgery which 
is the common lot of pioneers, and they could import the comforts and en- 
joyments of civilized life to what extent they pleased. They did so. When 
on the Grand River men lived in log cabins, they erected comfortable houses 
made ready to order in Philadelphia. When those thanked God for a steady 
supply of salt-pork and flour, these entertained their visitors with game 
suppers. When here men were glad, at the end of busy days, to stretch their 
tired limbs on anything that resembled a couch, there the,v were fresh enough 
at the close of their day to spend the night in dance and revelry, and in the 
<ompany of imported beauties. Down to our day came the faded garlands, 
and the empty champagne bottles of their departed glory. While here men 
spent the day in prosaic hard work, there the main occupation was plotting 
more ground into imaginary city lots, drawing the courses of newly projected 



228 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

lines of communication with tlie great world which was just looming into 
view at such points as Deti-oit and Chicago. 

Yet they were not altogether idle. They built the best mill in the West 
at that time. They made a harboi-, and furnished their own lighthouse to 
guide navigators. They made roads at large cost, the only roads of the 
time in all this region. They pushed a railroad bed into the forest for some 
distance, after they had erected a railroad and telegraph office in their city. 
At one time they outstripped Grand Haven in population and number of 
buildings. Suddenly the whole thing' came to an end and left behind it 
only the monuments of folly which many of us have seen. Why so complete 
a failure? A usual and convenient answer has been that at Pigeon Creek it 
was impracticable to have a harbor, an essential in an enterprise of that 
kind. The inadequacy of the location is indeed patent. But there was 
money enough wasted there in pleasure to have built an artificial way for 
commerce. That is a shallow reason. The real reasons are much more 
significant. The very fact that those men could stumble into so unlikely a 
site as they selected proves a lack of the necessary qualifications for the work 
which they undertook, and of whose character they had no conception. The 
real reason for their failure in this : There was no moral element in this 
undertaking. And that is the very first requisite in the development of the 
world and the founding of communities. 

Brute force can strip the earth of its wealth, but cannot develop it. What 
is it then but robbery? The development of the world is not a question 
merely of money and muscle, of steam and push, but of intelligence and 
conscience, of moral aims and the blessing of God. Too little do our 
capitalists generally make of this. Having no higher aim than to use the 
power, which they happen to have, for the enriching of themselves in the 
quickest way, they leave behind them a waste which must be recovered by 
the suffering and self-denial of their poorer brethren who come after them. 
They call themselves benefactors, because incidentally and necessarily, they 
must share a part of their gains with others; but when they are dead, and 
men, who have little forethought, discover what the real and net result was 
of enterprise carried on in the spirit of mammon and not in the spirit of the 
gospel, the same judgment will be passed on them which we pass to-day on 
the men of Port Sheldon. Nay, a heavier. For those men had the benefit 
of finally bearing the loss which was the reward of their folly, while these 
have the danger of gain, for which they must sometime answer before the 
august judgment seat of Him who loves righteousness and who avenges the 
poor. So in the founding of communities, money is the element of least 



I 



HISTORICAL DISCOURSE 22 t 

importance. You can press no life-blood from it for a x>€ople. You can 
easily introduce it as a poisoning element. It will sooner kill than make 
alive. 1 suppose to some of you this sounds quite ridiculous, but it is ncvoi- 
theless true. On the corner stone of all communal life, whether on larger 
or smaller scale, there is engraved by the Divine finger that first and most 
pregnant warning: "The nation and kingdom that shall not serve Thee 
shall perish." I should fail to do justice to the small history which I am 
recounting if I did not call your attention to the fulfilment of that word of 
God in the very midst of this region. The epitaph to be inscribed on Port 
Sheldon is: Died through lack of the Divine element. 

Holland comes last, in 1847. It stands for the development of the south- 
ern i)art of the county, then an unbroken wilderness. With the exception 
of a family or two in the township of Jamestown and the families in charge 
at the Indian settlements, the nearest Avhite men were on the banks of the 
Grand and Kalamazoo rivers when Dr. Van Kaalte first forced his way along 
Indian trails to Black Lake. The history of this enterprise again stands by 
itself. Its agents came from across the ocean, a people of a strange tongue, 
with their own ideas, customs, methods. They brought with them little 
ready material wealth ; little that could add to the intellectual character of 
the region; little that could liel]) in improving the methods of pioneering as 
they found them here. In outward things they found that there was much 
more to adopt than to change, to receive than to give. The previous knowl- 
edge of this fact had indeed brought them here, for they too came, like the 
native ])ioneers from the Eastern States, attracted by the ]»ossibilities of which 
they had received word. They wished to exchange the disadvantages of tlie 
crowded old Avorld for the promises of this young empire. But it would Ik? 
seriously Avronging the men of that time and movement if I should represent 
them as controlled in their ideas and desires and plans by such merely 
worldly considerations. It is simple justice to say, both of the leaders and 
lteo|)le as a whole, that the moral element was strong in them; and if it did 
not absolutely control it largely j)redominated in their comnuinal life. I 
am always sorry to admit that after nearly forty years the moral life of the 
whole region has not been more powerfully affected by the undoubted good 
Avliich was in that movement. We may be able to see some reasons for that 
and draw therefrom a needed lesson. But let no one conclude thence that 
this moral element was really weak through insincerity. It had its weak- 
nesses, but it was in the main genuine, ^^'e can. therefore, truly say that in 
a general way it has also exerted its powers and has given character to that 
part of our county. I feel that I am not presumptuous when I speak with 
some assurance on this matter. ^\y personal recollections go back to the 



230 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

earliest period of tliis movement. The impressions of my cliildhood are 
vivid, and, as you kuoAv, I have been during my whole active life in a position 
to have these impressions refreshed. My life business has been to study this 
people, their capabilities, their calling, their weaknesses, their dangers, their 
prospects, their aims, their duty. It is known that in many of my conclu- 
sions I have arrived at different ideas than the majority of my companions. 
I do not for that reason distrust ni}^ convictions. In these later years I have 
often wondered that their history should not have been better, and again I 
have often been surprised that it was so good. Like other peoples they have 
their peculiarities. Some of these are of great value. The genuine Dutch- 
man loves truth, liberty, independence. He is honest, and expects to give, 
is willing to give, a just equivalent for what he gets. Over against this, you 
understand, he is not obtrusively generous. He expects to get an equivalent 
for what he gives. Of course this has its shady side and its dangers, but 
the main result after all is justice. He comes of a race which was the shut- 
tlecock of tyrants, a nationalty handed about among the empires like a 
crown jewel. They were often owned, but never wore a collar and chain, 
neither of Eoman nor French nor German nor Spanish make. They either 
served freely or broke the attempted bond to pieces. God had cast their lot 
in apparently the worst portion of His wide earth. They had to fight for 
■a living with the mighty sea, where no human power could help them. So 
they became self-reliant and learned to trust in God. The weak side of all 
this is stubbornness, a disagreeable self-sufficiency, a practical dogmatism 
which prevents them from working with other people, contracted views of 
the world and of life, predisposing them to do things on a small scale and in 
a slow way, elannishness and jealousy. 

As a nation they have often suffered severely through these worse traits, 
and large parts of their history are sad reading. All these things have in a 
measure affected the history of that part of our country. But when this has 
foeen said, it still remains to be noted that the progress there has from the 
J)eginning been an evidence of the sterling qualities which this people 
-conti'ibuted to our common history. The material wealth might doubtless 
have been greater, if advantage had been taken of all opportunities, but 
what there is was honestly gotten, and represents real and not fictitious 
value. Their moral influence might have been stronger if they had been 
more united, less exclusive; if they had had a clearer idea of the opportun- 
ities which God gave them to leaven their surroundings; if they had more 
generally valued their singular educational privileges for their children and 
used them; if they had more earnestly studied the obstacles to a wider in- 
fluence, and set to work to remove them, especially the barrier of a foreign 



HISTORICAL DISCOURSE 231 

tongue, still too largely used in the higher relations of life, where men are able 
to influence one another more powerfully. AVith all this, however, their power 
to give to our communal life a moral and spiritual tone is to be gratefully 
iicknowledged. As a whole, they do not in any respect compare unfavorably 
with any other part of the population of this county, and in some respects 
they are so thoroughly the superior of their neighbors, that they inevitably 
-and profitably overcome them. They stand that highest test to be applied 
to such cases, which I have already indicated. They develop and do not 
strip; they enrich and do not impoverish. They have the faculty of mak- 
ing two blades of grass grow where one grew before. That is a moral 
quality. The Lord spake a word which has its pertinency on this field also, 
as it had its supreme meaning in His mission : -The thief cometh not but 
for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have 
life and have it more abundantly.'' They are to-day turning our poorest 
sections into fruitful fields, and converting the continued swamp lands of 
this shore into permanent, i^rosperous homes. They do it by the qualities 
by which God endowed man to be the lord of the earth and to subdue it, — 
by diligence, and carefulness, and long suffering and hope, and trust, and 
contentment. It is the work of peace, which is itself the work of righteous- 
ness, and that has been the history of that section from its beginning. Those 
men in the woods began in the day of small things, but they had a sense of 
God, of a mission, of an object, for which they could pray as well as labor, 
and so they did. There as here, the foundations of the associated life were 
laid in the fear of God. Prayer sanctified their undertakings. The word of 
God directed their aims and shed light upon their plans and methods. The 
institutions of God's service. His day, and house, and word refreshed them 
in their toils, and kept them from becoming mere drudges, slaves to the un- 
ceasing demands which the hardships of pioneer life in the woods constantly 
■enforced. 

Into their detailed history I cannot now go. It is of no account. There 
was nothing grand or especially striking about it. It was chiefly a matter of 
hard work and patient waiting. Foot by foot, rod by rod the forest had to 
be taken, little by little the improvements had to be made. The discourage- 
ments, especially during the first years, were many and hard. Greatly were 
the original numbers diminished by disease and desertion, while hard times 
and failure of crops drove many to the neighboring cities to earn the bread 
which they despaired of getting in the woods. But perseverance conquered 
all obstacles, and that part of our county is as prosperous as any part of the 
State. Besides the northern tier of townships in Allegan county, this ele- 
ment holds almost exclusivelv the towns of- Holland. Zeeland, Olive, and 



232 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

large parts of Blendon, Allendale, and Jamestown, After a little it will 
have these also in entire ocenpaucy. 

The peculiarity of the historj' of this county is in the presence and activity 
of these two elements, the native and the foreign. I judge that as to num- 
bers they are pretty evenly balanced, counting those born of foreign parents 
as belonging with them. The tendency is to the numerical increase of the 
Dutch element. Once rooted they are harder to move than the American, 
in w^hom, for several generations, has been developed the spirit of restless- 
ness. But being further removed from the national life they are not in a 
condition to influence the communal life so strongly. What will be the final 
character of the communal life is, under the circumstances, rather an in- 
teresting problem. In former times Grand river had evidently two outlets^ 
one near here, the other at Black Lake. The tendency to unity fixed its 
permanent course where it now runs, its more natural bed. Quietly and 
gradually God raised up a barrier to cut off one channel, and the stream 
obeyed His injunction. So in this complex communal life of our country, 
the need of simplicity is to be acknowledged, the indications of Providence 
are to be observed, the barriers which God is erecting and has erected are to 
be respected, and we must all do what we can to make it one. I think it is 
matter of regret that this blending process goes on so slowly. The differences 
between two nationalities cannot indeed be abolished by a resolution to do 
so, or by the attempt to ignore them ; and the prejudices arising from these 
differences can not perhaps at once be overcome. But each one of us should 
do what we can to diminish them. I knoAV there is a tendency among men 
to disintegrate, to break up into parties and coteries, but it is not a good 
tendency. We should desire larger relations rather than smaller, and be 
more ready to combine than to divide. In the solving of the questions, 
which proceed from the large variety of races, creeds, tendencies, traditions 
in our national life, it seems to me of the first importance that we all as 
Americans should take special effort to cultivate largeness of spirit, that we 
may subdue all these things and make them subservient to the one national 
destiny, of which we as a people need a clear conception, and not merely a 
blind instinct. I do not fear that this destiny will be endangered, for Divine 
ideas, wherever embodied, are strong and stand a good deal of fretting; but 
it may be hampered, delayed, perhaps even modified ; and I, for one, do not 
think that that would be desirable. I have at times heard a good deal as to 
the duty of retaining what desirable gifts the nationalities bring with them 
to these shores. My observation has taught me that, as a general thing, 
people who emigrate can profitably leave behind them their peculiarities, if 
they know enough to take up those which they find in a new country. The 



HISTORICAL DISCOURSE |233 

less baggajie a travelci- (iurics llic Ix'tlcr \w is otl". The sooner an emigrant 
<-an learn to niak<' liiniseU' at lionie in liis adopted fatherland the better it is 
for him in his new rehitions. 1 do not know what specially valnable idea 
I']urope has sent here dnring the century. It has modified life here in 
various resjtects, but I do not think for the better. 1 for one wish that we 
oould restore the America of half a century ago, excei>ting only the anoma- 
lous bondage' which then o]>pressed the African race. I confess I like the 
America, as T learned about it in my youth, with its ])redominant jtolitical 
ideas, with its social views and customs, with its simplicity and reverence for 
sacred things, and its e(piality as faithfully applied in the town and country, 
better than the America of to-day. I hojie we shall have it back some day, 
the true American sj)irit. in which lived the genius of the Revolution, which 
was the same in the East and in the West, in the middle States and in the 
South. 

So also the more heartily the community to which the stranger comes can 
adQpt him the easier and better it is. I detest with all my heart the clan- 
nishness which makes the Avord "countryman'' a rallying cry in politics or 
in religion, or an advertisement in business, or an exclusive bond in social 
life. ]Jut equally do I despise the spirit which would divide our citizenship 
into classes, and would ai)i»ly other tests to social life than those which 
common consent has established in free nations, the test of intelligence and 
virtue rather than the test of money and vulgar display. 

It seems to me that if a retrospect over the last half century, dui-ing so 
large a i)art of which these two nationalities have here worked side by side, 
in the same spirit, with the same aims and with, in the main, the same 
results, has any lesson for us it is this: we should bring them constantly 
nearer together, so that our history as a ccmntry may l>e in fact as it is in 
theory the history of one people. Certainly these ])eoples can do each other 
good, but only as brethren, not as strangers. 

At a celebration like this, thanks are due to Almighty God for all the 
special and general blessings, which, as a ])ortion of the people, we have en- 
joyed with all the people. We are jiart of a great and greatly favored State, 
of a gi-eater and greatly distinguished nation. During this period Michigan 
has grown from a j)Opulation of eighty-seven thousjind to nearly two millions, 
and the material blessings of l*rovidence have more than kept pace with this 
increase. Social, educational, and religious privileges have been assuied to 
us in the greatest abundance. Peace and quiet have been constant, and 
great calamities have been few. During that time the nation has been greatly 
enlarged and strengthened, its liberties have l>een confirmed, and its unity 
rendered secure. I trust, for all time. Let us have grace to use our increased 
.30 



234 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

and growing opportunities for the glory of God and the good of the people, 
A word for the departed. Many of the founders have gone — Ferry, White;. 
Eastman, Hathaway, Albee, and others of this valley; Van Raalte, Van Der 
Meulen, and others in the southern part. Their graves are with us to this 
day. On the field of their struggles they fell, faithful to their trust. Let 
their memories be green among us and their virtues be cherished. 

Finally, what shall the future be? Under God, what, encouraged and in- 
structed by our past history, we shall make of it. The opportunities may 
not seem large, but our history teaches us, that they who despise not the day 
of small things may accomplish valuable and lasting work. We have reached 
a period when men must calculate more closely, and study more assiduously,, 
the field which God assigns them. Let us be earnest in that, and the plan 
of God will always reveal itself to us. Let us learn from the fathers to be 
diligent, and believing, and hopeful, and to work under God, and we too 
will attain a worthy end — even the everlasting service, with the result of our 
lives, through Christ Jesus, of God, even the Father, of whom, and through, 
whom, and to whom are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 



EARLY SETTLEMENT OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY Z. G. WINSOR 



On the twentieth day of April, 1833, a party of sixty-three men, women 
and children (the writer of this, then eighteen years old, being one of the 
number), left the State of New York for the Grand River Valley, in the 
then Territory of Michigan, reaching what is now the village of Ionia on the 
23d day of May, 1833. They were surrounded by Indians, friendly though 
they were, separated from all intercourse with white settlers by a distance 
from thirty to forty miles on the south, forty to sixty miles on the east and 
west, and an indefinite distance on the north. Notwithstanding all the dis- 
comforts which the party necessarily endured, not one of them, to the 
knowledge of the writer, desired to return to their former homes. Of this 
party, only four are now living. They believed in the possibilities 



EARLY SETTLEMENT OF OTTAWA COUNTY 235 

of the country, and were reasonably happy and contented in the hope that 
I)rosperity and comfort awaited them in the near future. 

This was the nucleus and starting point of the settlement of the Grand 
Kiver Valley, from the mouth of the river up to within a few miles of Jack- 
son. The Grand River country, represented by the counties of Ionia, Kent 
and Ottawa, at the time of which I write, was a wilderness, without white 
inhabitants, save only an Indian mission at Grand Rapids, with 'Mr. Slater,, 
wife, and one female teacher; an Indian trading post, controlled by Mr. 
Louis Campau, at Grand Rapids, and Rix Robinson's trading posts at the 
mouth of the Thornapple river and Grand Haven, which were peopled only 
by Robinson and Campau, with the help of Canadian voyageurs and half- 
breed Indians. Such were the conditions and surroundings of that lirst set- 
tlement. Were they not pioneers, and deserving of the thanks of those that 
followed them? They prepared the way for the present population of not 
less than two hundred thousand in the three counties, and a cultivated acre- 
age of not less than a million. There were no railroads, no telegraphs, no 
gas, few roads, and postal service hardly thought of. What changes since 
the first dawn of that 23d day of May, 1833. Do we appreciate the changes? 
To the full extent, only the first settlers can. Of the county of Ottawa, the 
semi-centennial of the first settlement of which we meet this daj to cele- 
brate, I may be permitted to say a few words, by right of priority, doubtless 
being the only person living who lived at Grand Haven as early as the year 
1833. 

Fifty-one years ago, about the first of September, the writer, a boy of 
eighteen years, came to Grand Haven, to take charge of Mr. Robinson's 
trading post, as his clerk, without any knowledge of the French or Indian 
language. I had as helpers, or aids, four voyageurs and one half-breed 
girl, as my interpreter and housekeeper, who had been educated at a mission 
school at Mackinaw. 

Grand Haven was then the headquarters of the twenty trading posts estab- 
lished by the American Fur Company in 1827, with Mr. Robinson as their 
agent and sole manager. These trading posts, commencing at Kalamazoo 
on the south, extended to Little Traverse on the north. And this being 
the headquarters had been made quite respectable in buildings. We had a 
store, warehouse with pole dock, and a dwelling house with four rooms, 
occupied by Mr. Robinson and his wife (a half-breed woman) and the clerk; 
and in Mr. R.'s absence, which was the" larger portion of the time, by the 
clerk and housekeeper, whoever she might be. It hapi^ened in this case to 
be a very pretty girl, whom ^Irs. Robinson was extremely anxious to marry- 
to the writer, either to live together while agreeable, according to Indian 



236 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

fashion, or permanently, as did Mr. R. and herself, who had lived in the 
Indian style of wedlock for more than ten years before they were married by 
a Catholic priest. Great advantages accrued to the traders who had Indian 
wives, the Indians then regarding them as friends and relatives. The 
Indians, as a rule, were honorable and honest, illustrative of which I will 
instance one scene I witnessed here in the winter of 1833-4. The Indians 
had been consulted as to their willingness to cede the lands north of Grand 
river. The chiefs and head men of the different bands assembled at Grand 
Haven in our store for discussion, the main point of which was as to how 
much of their money was to be set apart to pa}' their debts to the traders (I 
think they had previoush^ decided to sell). In this discussion it was claimed, 
that one of these traders was not honest. While claiming $20,000 they did 
not believe his just claim would exceed half that sum; but that the claim of 
Mr. Robinson, of |48,000, was right and just, and they would consent to 
include it in their estimate. To this one of their number demurred, saying 
that Mr. Robinson had cheated him in his account. Mr. R. produced his 
books and explained his account to this man without effect; on his reiterat- 
ing the charge Mr. R. closed his book, and with it knocked the Indian down 
and threshed him severely. Then appealing to the assembled Indians for 
their approval or condemnation, they with one accord said quiuck, quiuclc, 
"right, right," our nlchkewcuj. ''brother-in-law," is not a cheat, and has 
served him right. I introduce this to show the respect and faith the 
Indians had in Mr. Robinson, who was truly and in every respect one of 
Nature's noblemen. The great influence he had Avith the Indians, exerted 
always in the interests of peace between the Indians and the whites, went 
far to establish good feeling and fair dealing between them at that early 
day. 

One peculiarity of the Indians was their manner of giving names to 
persons, places and objects. To illustrate this I will give the Indian names 
of some of their friends, which names are given from some condition, circum- 
stances or surroundings. To Mr. Robinson they gave the name of TFo-m- 
ohase, or martin, a fine-furred, valuable animal ; to Uncle Louis Campau, 
Wagii-she^ or fox, because, as the Indians say, he was foxy in his dealings 
with them in the early days. They called the late Col. Amos Roberts, of 
Grand Rapids, Paga-mig-a-zisclie, or "big belly," being fat and fleshy. 
To the writer, at his first appearance among them as trader, after furnishing 
them with a gallon of was-Ji-a-hoga-mic, a sort of shrub with possibly a little 
whisky (we had to pay for our names in those days), they gave the name of 
Chc-mo-he-mancsfi, or "young Englishman," because, doubtless, of my young 
and green appearance.* Within a year from that time they changed my 



*See appendix 



EARLY SETTLEMENT OF OTTAWA COUNTY 237 

name to Ko-ha-qiioii. a "vos>>er' or "sliip," because of a transaction they 
supposed me connected with in a cabin of a small vessel then lyinj:;- at our 
pole dock. This change of name cost me two gallons of the lliiid above 
alluded to. 

The French voyageurs, or Derwin men, as they \vei-e cnlled. were a neces- 
sity lo the times and business of that early ])eriod. Their employment was 
to carry j)acks of goods and traps, and occasionally a ten gallon keg of whis- 
ky, for purposes of trade among the Indians. The weight of their packs 
would fre(puMitly exceed one hundred and lifty jiounds, and llu'y carried 
them within a circnit of thirty to forty miles. They were a hardy and 
indomitable class, capable of more endurance than a horse. ]\o\igh and 
uncouth though they were the early trainings of their mothers and the 
Catholic church had left an impress that neither time, jtlace nor circumstance 
could efface. 

In the summer of 1834 immigration to Grand Kapids commenced, and Mr, 
Robinson, thinking the circumstances were favorable for the establishment 
of a general store at that place, persuaded me to erect a building, then gave 
me a letter of introduction to John Jacob Astor, in New York, with au 
order for goods, and I went to that city. The project was not successful, 
and on my return Mr. Robinson raised my salary and I continued in his ser- 
vice during 1834-35. Up to the fall of 1834 Grand Haven contained only 
Indians and traders. From twenty rods back of our store there was contin- 
uous forests south to the St. Joseph River and east to Grandville, without a 
white inhabitant. 

In November. 1834, the Rev. William ^l. Ferry and his family came from 
Mackinaw, accompanied by Pierre C. Duverney and his family, to settle in 
Grand Haven. This opened a new era for the place, and of the subsequent 
settlement of the city and county you will hear from others better than from 
me. 

Fifty years is an era and space of time from youth to old age. Have the 
few of us who are left from that early period in this county much to show 
in property, in experience, in intiuence that is or has been of real benefit to 
those who followed us here? I fear not, and as one of that very few I must 
acknowledge my shortcomings in nnn-h that might have been to myself, to 
the county, and my fellows, had I appreciated as now. my duties, privileges, 
and opportunities to myself as well as others, and now on the verge of seventy 
years can I reasonably hope to retrieve the mistakes of the past? I fear not, 
and must be judged of by my past acts. 



238 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



REV. W. M. FERRY, RIX ROBINSON, AND OTHER EARLY SETTLERS 



BY REV. H. JOHNSON 



Standing in the presence of the fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of 
Crrand Haven, it is fitting that we pay tribute to its founders and early 
pioneei's. Their story is worth the telling. They felled our forests; they 
gave birth to our commerce; and they sowed the seeds of religion and learn- 
ing. Hence it is well that we meet to-day to pay tribute to the living and 
ithe dead. But the story of Grand Haven and its surroundings cannot be 
told without the names of Robinson and Winsor, Ferry and White, Duverney 
and Hathaway, Eastman and Pennoyer, Albee and Griflfiin, Gilbert and Hop- 
i^ius, and others. But let us begin our tribute with the name of Rev. 
William Montague Ferry. Not because he was the first Avho stood upon the 
l)anks of our river, or walked through this then unbroken forest, for upon 
his arrival he found Messrs. Robinson and Winsor, but because he was the 
first who planted here his family. Mr. Ferry was born at Granby, Mass., 
Sept. 8, 1796. Nothing in particular can be said of Granby except that it 
was a New England town. But that meant something in those days, for the 
■reason that New England was more highly favored in the matter of schools 
and churches than any other section of our country. The pilgrims had 
planted in its soil the civilization that they had brought from over the sea, 
and so New England was the garden of the new continent in the refinements 
of cultivated life. 

But while Mr. Ferry was thus highly favored in the matter of his birth 
place, he was poor in the wealth of this world. His father was an industrious 
and worthy farmer, but limited in his means. And so the subject of our 
sketch was early taught the lesson of self reliance. He did his share of the 
■work upon the farm while at home. But being frail in body, it was evident 
that he was not equal to the occupation of a farmer. He had neceived good 
training in the home, and at the age of fifteen he became an earnest Christian. 
He aiow looks a new destiny in the face; he stands in the light of a new 
aniogmang. But what path in life shall he travel. It was his ambition to enter 



REV. W. M. FERRY, RIX ROBINSON, AND OTHERS 239 

the christian ministry. But whence the funds to carry him through his 
preparatory studies? That was a serious question in those days. His father 
€0uhl not furnish them out of his limited means. So it was evident that to 
secure an education he must depend upon tlie resources of his own hand and 
brain. 

Thence with a father's blessings and a mother's praters, he goes out into 
the great world to tight life's battles. But he carried with him industry, 
and an earnest purpose to do something, and to be something, and with such 
ii purpose one must go, sooner or later, from the bottom to the top. 

Nine times in ten poverty is a blessing to a young man. Throw him over- 
board, and if there is anything in him he will reach the shore. Our Amer- 
ican history is rich in examples. From Franklin to Greeley, from Greeley to 
Webster, from Webster to Lincoln, from Lincoln to Garfield, no young man 
of merit has gone to the bottom. Success is sure where there is a will to do 
and to be. This was certainly true in the case of Mr. Ferry. He goes from 
his New England home to central New York to realize by hard work the 
hope of entering college. He becomes a clerk in his brother's store, and 
remains at his post for three years, but during those three years his mind 
was not idle, for he studied diligently and well. He was then competent to 
teach, and becomes a tutor in a female seminary. He saves his earnings, and 
at the expiration of a year he goes to Plainfleld, Mass., to prepare for college. 
But finally the preparatory work is done, and at the age of twenty-one he 
enters the sophomore class of Union College, Schenectady. New York. 

The dream of his youth is now partly realized. He is a college student, 
and begins to climb the heights of learning. But while in college he must 
do double work ; for upon his entrance he has in ready cash but a few cents. 
He finds work during the spare hours, and thus meets the necessary expense. 
At the age of twenty-four he graduates and goes at once to the study of theol- 
ogy in the Seminary at New Brunswick, N. J. There he remains two years, 
and after an additional course of study with the Rev. Dr. Gardiner Spring, 
he is licensed and ordained by the Presbytery of New York. He is now ready 
for work in his chosen calling, and he oifers his services to the United For- 
■eign Missionary Society. He is accepted; but while things are being 
arranged, he is sent to explore among the Indian tribes of the North. 
This exploration results in the establishment of the Mackinaw mission. 
Thus a new gate of missionary work was opened, and everything seemed to 
indicate that this was to be his field of labor. He spends one year at Macki- 
naw, and then returns to Ashfield, Mass., where he was married to Miss 
Amanda White. With Mrs. Ferry he returns to Mackinaw, and again takes 
up his work, and there for twelve years he faithfully labored, Mrs. Ferry 



240] SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

shai'iug- his toils and buideus, his juys aud sorrows. She Avas a woman 
worthy of the toiliiif^; niissioiiary, aud mucli of his success at Mackinaw was 
attributed to her consecrated lite. Theirs was a christian home in the wil- 
derness, a city upon a hill, a fountain in the desert. lUit it is not for 
human pen to write out upon paper the fruits of those twelve years of hard 
work. They educated hundreds of Indian children in their schools and 
were a blessing to all who came within the circle of their influence. In a 
word, they built a house of gold and precious stones, which will stand the 
test of the great day. But after twelve years of hard Avork, Mr. Ferry's 
health was broken, and the fact stares him in the face that he must surren- 
der his work. HoAvever, the purpose for which he had gone to MackinaAV 
had largely been realized. But Avhile recruiting his health, he must at the 
same time provide for his family. He Avould have been received Avith open 
arms by his famil}' in New P^ngland; but that, to him, Avould have seemed a 
surrender of his spirit of self-reliance. But a door is opened. Through a 
business arrangement Avith the late Bobert Stuart, of Detroit, he came to 
Grand Haven Avitli family and friends. He sails into Grand river, Novem- 
ber 2, 1834. His arrival Avas upon Sunday morning, and, remend)ering 
whose servant he was, he leads the ])ilgrim band in divine Avorship. The 
text from Avhich he preached Avas .ipprojtriate and suggestive: "For Avho 
hath despised the days of small things?" This Avas a revelation of the 
man, as well as indicative of the Innuble beginning of Grand Haven. He 
began Aviselj^. He planned and built in the name of God, and thus gave our 
city a religious character. That surely Avas his noblest Avork. Cities and 
states assume largely the character of their founders, be it Avhat it may. 
Yes, he was a man of faith. He had faith in God and faith in the future. 
And so, Avhen he preached his first sermon, he saw, by faith, the city that 
Avas to be. He seemed to realize that in the near future the ships of com- 
merce would crowd our harbor, and that the forest Avould give ]>lace to beau- 
tiful homes; so he planted, and so he built. But Avhat his imagination pic- 
tured he largely saw realized. AMiere once Avas an unbroken forest, he saw 
rise a beautiful city. But his business life also begins upon his arrival in 
Grand Haven. 

The energy that he displayed in receiving an education Avas manifested in 
the neAv path that he Avas to traA^el, But Avhile he made tents he still 
preached the gospel. He Avas a missionary upon ncAV ground. While he 
gave his thoughts largely to business he at the same time sowed the seed of 
the kingdom. Thence he established the First Presbyterian Church of this 
city, and Avas its pastor for nearly twenty years, freely contributing his 
services, and from the time of his resignation till his death he commanded 



REV. W. M. FERRY, RIX ROBINSON, AND OTHERS 241 

the love aDd respect «.»r its jcistois. Their success called I'oith his congiatu- 
lations, and he gave them his hand and his heart. And some of those early 
pastors indicate that he was a man of large independence in tiie interpreta- 
tion of the Scrii)tni<'s. It was* his delight to i-<'ad the Jiible in its original 
tongues, and thus extract the li\iiig truth. Thus drinking at the original 
fountains he became mighty in lli<' Scri]»tures. 

]iut in his business life, loo, he was diligent, and was rewarded with large 
success, lie became wealthy and one of the leading business men of a 
great and growing State. r»ul it was n<»t by accident — he put intelligence 
and industry into his work, and large wealth was the result, lint his muni- 
ficent gifts reveal the fact that he did not value money for its own sake, he 
])lanted some of it where it would do good when he was dead and gone, he 
did liberally for the school and the church, so through the instrumentality 
of money he is still encouraging education, and is preaching the gospel not 
only in ^Michigan b'ut also in distant parts of the globe, hence he made 
permanent contributions to the world. To build thus is to build wisely and 
well. Kut finally life's work was done; the battle is fought; the course is 
finished, and the last hour finds him ready. To die meant with him to go 
home, and so at last he was like the caged eagle that struggled for the 
freedom of the air and the skies. lUit the city that he founded was his 
home from November 2, 1834, till his death Decend)er 30, 1867; here he 
settled; here he lived; here he died; and to-day we pay this humble tribute 
to his memory. 

P.ut we pass to the man Kix IJobinson, whose name is identified with the 
settlement of Ottawa county. In fact, he was its first pioneer. And who- 
ever in the future shall tell the story of Ottawa county, or write its history 
in detail, will give a large chapter to Mr. Kobinson. He was born in the 
State of New York, and during his early years he enjoyed the very best 
educational advantages. From the public schools he entered an academy, 
where he graduated after having completed the full course. While in school 
he was diligent and gave large ])romise for the future. Upon completing 
his course in the academy he began the study of law and continued the study 
until he was nearly ready to enter upon the practice. But some incident 
of a personal nature caused him to abandon the study of law. But they who 
know tell us that had he entered upon the practice of the law he wouhl 
have secured a brilliant success at the bar of his native State. Besides hav- 
ing exceptional intellectual gifts he had industry, without which the most 
gifted genius will fail of success. Hence who knows that his name would 
not have been associated with the great men of the Empire State had he 
continued in his chosen profession? But if the bar of the State of New 
31 



242 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

York lost an able and brilliant advocate the State of Michigan gained a 
tiseful and progressive pioneer. 

In 1814 he left his home near Auburn, N. Y,, to work out his cg^reer in the 
great west. The very fact that he came to the Territory of Michigan when 
it was a forest unbroken reveals to us that he was a man of daring, energy 
and hope. Upon leaving home his father gave him |1,000 with which to 
begin his business life. With that as his capital he begins his journey for 
Detroit. But the distance from Buffalo to Detroit, which can now be 
traveled in a few hours, took him twenty-six days. Having reached Detroit 
he becomes a sutler to the United States troops encamped there. But in 
following the soldiers from post to post he sees a great deal of frontier life. 
Having followed the business of a sutler for two years with little profit to 
liiraself he sells his interest and goes to St. Louis. There he invests his 
small capital in tobacco. The trip and the purchase resulted in his estab- 
lishing several trading posts. Then began his successful trade with the 
Indians. He established two trading posts in the State of Illinois, one 
at the Calumet near the head of Lake Michigan, in 1817, and one on the 
Illinois River, twenty-five miles from its mouth, in 1819; one in Milwaukee, 
Wis., in 1820; one at the mouth of Grand River, Ottawa county, Michigan, 
in 1821, and one during the same year at the mouth of the Thornapple, 
in Kent county. 

Thus when our city was a forest Mr. Robinson's trading vessels made 
their way into our river. Their arrival and departure was the only thing to 
break the monotony of frontier life along the valley from 1831 to 1834. He 
may have realized when sailing up and down our river that in the near future 
his trading post would give way to a city, and that the solitary forests along 
the valley would be converted into rich and valuable farms. But be this as 
it may he was a conspicuous figure in that early day. By his fair dealing he 
commanded the respect and confidence of the Indians, and it is attributable 
largely to his influence over them that they retired so gracefully upon the 
coming of the white man. He spoke their language fluently and so was of 
great service when the treaties were made with the Indians of the North- 
west. And so while he carried on the legitimate business of a trader he was 
preparing the way for the permanent settlements of the white man. The 
service that he rendered was important, and those who have since built 
their homes along our valley owe him a large debt. By his fair dealing he 
made possible their peaceful residence. Thus he was an important factor in 
preparing the way for civilization. Could we have had such men on our 
frontier we should have reached long ago the solution of the Indian problem. 
Hence from his entrance into our State in 1814 till his death he was closely 



REV. W. M. FERRY, RIX ROBINSON, AND OTHERS 243 

identified witli its growth and development. He was a gentleman in the 
truest sense, upright in his life and known as a man of integrity and honor. 
As evidence of his character and standing it should also be recorded that 
he was elected a representative in congress, and served his State with fidel- 
ity and honor. He died at Ada, Kent county, in the year 1875, respect- 
ed and honored by a groat and growing State. 

But in going over the catalogue of pioneers we must not pass by the name 
of Mr. Z. G. Winsor. His name naturally comes after that of Mr. Kobinson, 
whom he served so faithfully and well. Mr. Winsor was born in Skaneateles, 
N. Y., in 1814, the very year that Mr. Robinson came to Michigan. In 1833 
he came west with his father, Darius Winsor, and family, and was one of the 
fifst settlers in Ionia and Grand Rapids. In the same year he came to Grand 
Haven, entering into the service of Mr. Robinson, so he was on the ground 
to welcome Mr. Ferry and his family, in the following jear, to their new 
home upon the banks of Grand River. With the exception of an absence of 
three years in California, he has resided in western Michigan, hence he is 
the oldest pioneer in our midst, and has seen the forest along our valley give 
place to the refinements of cultivated life. He has not been a silent observer, 
but during all these years has contributed to the growth and improvement 
of the Grand River valley. For years he has been one of our leading business 
men, and has commanded the respect and confidence of a large and growing 
community. The energy of his early manhood he largely retains, and his 
hands are still busy. He has been the builder of his own fortune, and his 
industry has been rewarded. Mr. Winsor is a gentleman of whom we all 
think well, and may he long remain among us. 

But we must also mention briefly the names of the others. Pierre C. Duvernay 
was an old pioneer. He came to Grand Haven in 1834 with Mr. Ferry. To 
know him was to respect him. He was identified with the early history of the 
Presbyterian Church of this city, and was its first ruling elder. He was a 
native of Canada and died in this city in 18G2. 

Another name that was associated with Mr. Ferry was Mr. Nathan H. 
W'hite. He w\as born in Ashfield, Mass., in 1811. He came to Grand 
Haven, in company with Mr. Ferry, in September, 1834. He was one of 
the early business men of this section, and his name was more or less asso- 
ciated with that of Mr. Ferry. 

But another name worthy of honorable mention is that of Clark B. Albee. 
He was an enterprising citizen, and contributed largely to the growth of our 
city. He was born in Vermont, July 10, 1811, settled in Grand Haven in 
1836, and died here January 30, 1874. 

We also mention among our early pioneers the name of our respected citi- 



244 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

zen, ex-Slieriff Henry (jriffin. He came to this country in 1837, and has 
filled responsible places of trust. He is widely and favorably known, and 
may he stay long among us. 

Neither must we overlook the name of Dr. Timothy Eastman, who came 
to Grand Haven in 1835. He was a man of ability, and was prominently- 
identified with the growth of our country. His memory is cherished by a 
large circle of friends. 

Mr. Henry Pennoyer will also be remembered by our early settlers. He is^ 
still a resident of our county, and commands the respect of all who know 
him. 

William Hathaway, too, deserves mention. He came in 1836, and was 
highly respected while among us. He filled the office of judge twelve yearS;, 
honorably and well. 

But our early settlers will also remember with pleasure the name of Cap- 
tain Henry Miller. He was a useful and industrious citizen. When sailing' 
upon our lake he was always at the service of those in distress. He was 
brave and true, and could be relied upon in hours of peril upon the sea. 
And his sons, in this regard, have been true to his reputation. He died at 
Spring Lake, May 11, 1876. 

liut in reciting the names of our pioneers, we must give room in our paper 
for the names of Messrs. John W. Hopkins and George Parks. They natur- 
ally come together, because of their friendship and long association. They 
were ^tidely known in western Michigan, and contributed energy and indus- 
try to our growing State. Mr. Hopkins was born near Providence, Rhode 
Island, in 1814. He spent his early years in New England, where he enjoy- 
ed good educational advantages. In 1836 he caught the western spirit and 
came to Grand Haven. When he reached our State, he found it a wilder- 
ness; but the frontier life had for him great attractions. He entered heart- 
ily into the work of converting the forest into homes for the coming civili- 
zation. He endured without a murmur the trials and hardships of pioneer 
life, and always was inclined to look upon the bright rather than upon the 
dark side of things. For many years he was a leading business man of this 
section, and his industry was rewarded. He was a man of strong individu- 
ality, and original in his thought. He had a large mind and big heart. 
He was Avarm in his impulses, and to see him was to know him. The needy 
never went from his presence hungry, and we remember him as a man who 
wished all Avell. 

Mr. George Parks, a warm friend of Mr. Hopkins, was born in Cayuga 
county. New York, October 17, 1817. In 1823 he came with his parents to 
Michigan, so thai nearly his entire life was identified with this State. He 



REV. \V. M. FERRY. RIX ROBINSON, AND OTHERS 245 

Avas a man of lai-.ne iutelligeiice, and industrious and <'n(('iiiiisin<r. Ik* canu' 
to Grand Haven in 1S44: when it was but a villajic From llie lime of liis 
arrival till the day of his death he was a larjic farior in the urowih of Crand 
Haven. He eontrihuted mueh toward makinji ii wliai ii is. llr was 
honored by liis fellow citizens, and filled faithfully jilact-s of tnisi. lie was 
founty treasurer for several terms in succession, and was the tirsi mayor of 
our city. He died in this city, December, 1880. 

But our early settlers who are pi-esent will remeiiiltcr willi i)lcasiii(' Hon. 
Thomas I), (lilbert. He ^^■as prontinently identili<'d \\itli ihe early iiistory 
of our city. ^Ir. (Jilbert was born at Greenfield, .Mass.. 1 )ecenil)ei- 1:5. ISIT). 
He made good tise of the schools of his native town, and so was well ja-e- 
l)ared to begin business life. In early manhood he caught the Avestern 
spirit and so left the refinements of New Englan<l to work out his career 
jimid the trials and excitements of frontier life. He came to Grand Haven 
in June, 18:>.j. Upon his arrival he entered into the service of Kobinson and 
White. Thus beginning as a clerk he pushed his way to a proud place 
among the business men of ^lichigan. After serving Kobinson and White 
for some time he became interested in luml>er. Into the new line of business 
he put intelligence and hard work, and he was rewarded with large success. 
He contributed to the growth and prosperity of our city and county, and for 
years was a leading citizen. ;Mr. Gilbert is a good representative of the 
«arly pioneers of western ^Michigan. They were men of character, and they 
represented the best elements of Eastern life. In 1850 he removed to Grand 
Eapids. He then went to Europe and remained two years. Thus by travel 
in the Old ^^'orld he not only enlarged his knowledge but enjoyed a well 
earned rest. Since his return from Europe (irand Ka])ids has been his i>lace 
of residence, and he owns one of the most beautiful homes of that growing 
city. Mr. Gilbert is a man of integrity and worth, and has an honorable 
reputation throughout the State. Long may he enjoy the fruits of his well- 
earned means. 

Messrs. Thomas W. White and Luke A. While also deserve honorable 
mention. Along with others that have l)een noticed they contributed their 
-share in building of Grand Haven and in the development of Ottawa county. 
They were born in Ashtield, Mass., and came to our city in 183."). There 
they endured the privations of pioneer life without a murmur. They are 
remembered with pleasure by our old settlers. To ^Ir. Thomas W. White 
we owe much for the taste that he displayed in j)lanting of shade trees on 
the streets of our city. Many of the noble maples that ad(n-n our city were 
planted by his hand. 

But last, thoutrh not least, is the honored name of Miss ^Marv A. White. The 



246 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

moral and intellectual history of our city could not be written without giving 
a large chapter to her name. Her light has never been under a bushel, but 
she has been a city upon a hill, a brilliant star in our mental and religious 
sky. For years she has been identified with all that is good and true and 
pure in the progress of this community. We owe her a large debt, and our 
tribute does not equal her deserts. She laid the first stone in our educational 
temple, and so her name will go down as the founder of our public schools. 
She is also the founder of our Sunday schools, and was for years a Sunday 
school superintendent, so she has the honor of starting these two streams of 
influence upon their flow. Miss White was born at Ashfield, Mass., Sept. 18^ 
1813. She enjoyed the best advantages of the schools of New England, and, 
for a time, was a pupil of the celebrated Mary Lyon. She taught with great 
acceptance in leading seminaries of learning in Ohio and Illinois. For years 
she has been the head of the home of her nephew, Ex-Senator T. W. Ferry. 
May she long be spared as a blessing to the community. 



semi-cp:ntennial poem 



BY REV. L. M. SMITH 



In ancient times, when the world was young 

Ere the press was born or books had a tongue, 

A mural tablet registered deeds 

Of daring and valor; and history's meeds 

Were recorded on bricks in Nineveh's walls, 

Or Babylon's tower, or Pharaoh's halls. 

That in ages to come the unwritten mystery 

Champollion and Layard might turn into history. 

But in later days these exploits were sung 

By the world's great poets, who the changes rung 

On the glorious battles of gods and men 

On the mountain top or in hidden glen. 

So Homer sung of the Trojan field. 

And Hesiod wrote of Hercules' shield, 

So Virgil's harp was attuned to sing 

The voyage of ^neas, the Latium king. 

But Homer's a myth, so the critics say, 

And the ten years' siege is a poet's play; 

So Eneas' voyage is a fiction branded, 

And no one knows when the Trojan landed, 

If he landed at all on Italy's coast. 

For no record was kept, and the record is lost! 



SEMI-CENTENNIAL POEM 24T 

But now we are not circumscribed at all 

By the sonp;s of the poets either great or small; 

The world is wiser, we are pleased to say — 

Wiser than in that earlier day. 

We need not the pyramid's hieroglyphs now, 

To the cuniform Persian we need not to bow. 

We fancy we know almost all that is needful. 

And record it all right if posterity's heedful; 

Plain prose all our history now will unfold 

And show all its dross as well as its gold. 

Now if this we admit then surely to-day 

Poetasters or poets have little to say, 

For we've listened on this anniversary time 

To a record not easily traversed by rhyme. 

Figures tally as little with measure poetic 

As rhetorical flowers with signs geometric; 

The muses with fancy's poetical chimes 

Are cramped if in strict mathematical lines. 

Then a truce to the facts, to statistics and figures — 

Our course is at large, with none of their rigors; 

We roam on the wings of a fanciful flight. 

We go back to the time of our primeval night. 

When the dark forest mantled the land in its gloom. 

Nor dreamed of the ax that was coming so soon, ' 

When the red man alone roamed the temple of nature 

Half clad and hungry and swarthy in feature. 

A wild deer one morning came down to the shore 
And saw what he never had seen there before. 
He had come to the water his thirst to assuage. 
As his herd and himself had done for an age; 
But a glance o'er the lake showed a monster in sight. 
It skimmed o'er the waters — it's wings were of white. 
Not a bird! Not a beast! What is it? he thought. 
It moves — it approaches — what has it brought? 
His timid heart fluttered with fear as he stood. 
And he cocked his white tail as he fled to the wood, 
For a beautiful Sabbath had dawned on the lake 
And a white-winged vessel the harbor would make. 
Nor light-house nor pier could the mariner see. 
Nor buoy to show where the channel should be; 
So he slackened his sail anM cautiously sped. 
While a man at the fore feels the wav with his lead. 
And the watchful old captain in pea-jacket clad 
Orders "Starboard!" or -Port!" as occasion is had: 
But the bar overpast they enter the river. 
Safe from the chill winds that caused them to shiver. 
Slowly the breeze drives the vessel up stream. 
While all eyes are strained to behold the wild scene. 
No wharf lias been built whereon they can land. 
So they tie to a post driven deep in the sand. 

r 
But who are these pilgrims who venture their lives 
On the storm-beaten lake under November skies? 
Whence come they? Why seek they a wilderness home? 
What fallacy urges them hither to roam? 
As their ancestors landed on Plymouth's wild shore, 
To found there a home two centuries before. 
So these in the strength of their Father and God 
Come to hew down the forest and turn up the sod; 
Come to open the land that the beautiful light 
May stream down from heaven and scatter the night: 
Come to bring in the Bible, the church and the school, 
And lay a foundation where freedom shall rule. 
Who are these pilgrims? First, a man in his prime. 



248 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

Who has battled with hardships in Mackinaw's clime, 
With a will strong for toil, unflinching and bold — 
God's preacher of truth, like Noah of old. 
Next, a woman, his counterpart, helper and wife. 
Whose gentleriess helped to round out his life. 
Who shared all his plans and his labors begun — 
A Mary and Martha commingled in one. 
Four children the haps of their voyaging share. 
And here for a dark forest home must prepare. 
While a fifth, far away in a New England home. 
Is content with her studies and needs not to roam. 
These sail not alone, but, true to the end. 
Comes "faithful Achates," Duvernay, their friend; 
A most humble Christian he, -and his wife, 
Meek-eyed and lowly, the joy of his life. 
Their household — five children — have with them come 
To share in the fate of their newly found home. 
But now 'tis the Sabbath, the day God had blessed. 
When he ceased from creating and ordained a rest; 
Education and Scripture had firmly instilled 
In the minds of these pilgrims the day to be filled 
With rest for the body and rest for the soul. 
With worship and penitent prayer, and control 
Of our wandering hearts; with religious emotion. 
And the mind fixed on Heaven in earnest devotion; 
With merciful deeds for the welfare of others 
Who, because they're God's creatures, are sisters and brothers. 
Untouched are their goods and continue on board — 
'Tis the day of all days, the day of the Lord. 
T" 

Calm, and assured of His presence who fills 

Eternity's scenes, and controls all our ills 

They land, and with reverent step they now trace 

The footpath that leads to an unwonted place, 

A log cabin rude, a fur trader's station. 

Where the peltry is stored from the Indian nation. 

Where the wild red man comes from roaming the woods 

His furs to exchange for Che-viG-ko-mon's goods. 

Here Robinson reigns and the savage controls 

By his purity, firmness and greatness of soul. 

With Winsor, then young, his friend and his clerk. 

Hale and vigorous he, a man of all work. 

Royally now he his guests entertains 

With the best that the wilderness yields to his pains. 

Then, warmed and refreshed, by instinct they turn 

To the God on whose altar their heart-fires burn. 

Before Him they bow with reverent love. 

And unite in their songs to the Savior above. 

Their leader* discourses with eloquent words 

Of the high hopes and joys which religion affords 

To the rich and the great in the carpeted hall. 

And the poor and the emigrant when the leaves fall, 

In the trials and struggles of pioneer life, 

Or on luxury's couch with enjoyments rife. 

A "day of small things,"! but who shall despise 

A day from which great things shall surely arise? 

Not we who look back from our favored position 

And rejoice in the fruit of our forefather's mission, 

For He, the great Giver who ever restrains 

All the powers of the world, their losses and gains. 

Hold this in reserve — what he blesses shall grow, 

*Rev. Wm. M. Ferry. 

t"Who shall despise the day of small things?" — Zech. iv, 10. Mr. Ferry's text on this 
occasion. 



32 



SEMI-CENTENNIAL POEM 249 

Though the world in its wisdom or wrath shall say "No." 
The small seed they planted shall downward take root, 
And upward shall tlourish, a vigorous shoot. 
That shall cover the land with its excellent fruit. 
On the basis of truth and the Bible they build, 
And churches and schools shall arise and be filled. 

But who shall describe the first winter they passed 

In the new forest home they had come to at last; 

What pen shall depict the discomforts that grew 

In the track of their lives the long summer through? 

Those who've toiled and suffered in similar measure 

May attempt the sad task at their own gracious pleasure. 

Nor song of the poet nor artist's bright dyes 

Can picture these scenes, as they came to the eyes 

And the hearts of the heroes who suffered the strife 

Of the toils and the moils of this pioneer life. 

Social comforts were few, social pleasures were fewer. 

And the hardships seemed harder because they were newer. 

In that single log hut. twenty-two by sixteen. 

One and twenty were fed, and when nights intervene 

Some lodge in the attic, while other resort 

To a vessel the winter winds drove into port: 

No houses for rental the city possessed — 

'Twas a city in posse, in esse, non est. 

But the hardships and trials by first settlers known. 

Though real and endured with many a moan. 

Have often a ludicrous side, as appears 

When rehearsed to their children in long after years. 

The world brighter seems when prosperity comes 

And diffuses its light over emigrant homes. 

We love the improvements our own hands have made. 

We love the green lawn and the cool, verdant shade. 

When the farms are cleared un and the field yields its fruit 

'Tis a curmudgeon's soul that is sullen and mute. 

When, in bright winter evenings, the cheerful grate glows. 

And the lamp o'er the room its ruddy light throws. 

How often drops in a neiijhbor's kind face. 

And the scenes of their earlier struggles they trace; 

They laugh o'er the nerils they once felt so keen 

They passed safely throush — and no perils they seem. 

Their hearts with the joys of the present are filled — 

The sores of the past are all of them healed. 

What now we call comforts then luxuries seem.ed; 
Of luxuries real they only then dreamed. 
It happened one day that some Indians came 
With a birchen-bark vessel, a "mocock" by name. 
With cranberries filled, a delicious wild fruit. 
Appetizing and tart, just their palates to suit. 
"Now for a feast — a luxurious feast- 
Such as our friends would not scorn at the East!" 
At once an extemporized fire was made 
Just at the back door, and a kettle arrayed. 
Perched high upon stones, to receive the glad boon. 
Till 'twas done to a turn— it could not be too soon. 
Alas, for their hopes! for the vis^ilant cook 
Had need for a moment just indoors to look. 
When an unrulv pig spied the morsel delicious. 
And thinking the chances were now most propitious. 
Put his nose to the kettle — the fruit was in ashes! 
So fortune, most fickle, our fondest hope dashes. 



250 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

Once their commons were short and famine impended 

But that food might abound and the scarcity ended, 

A man was dispatched in haste to ride through 

The wilderness dense to Kalamazoo, • 

To purchase live pork for the settlement's need. 

To all this necessity giving good heed 

He hastened, through wintry tempest and storms. 

And with care and success his errand performs. 

With drove well in hand, approaching his goal. 

And thoughtful of home, the generous soul 

Sent a messenger forward with haste, to declare 

The success of his mission, that they might prepare 

For the feast of fat things he homeward was bringing, 

And set all their hearts and their voices singing. 

Paul Revere-like he rode thro' the dense leafless wood, 

And brought the glad news of the incoming good. 

At once rose a shout, with no delicate humming, 

"The hogs! O, the hogs! They're coming! They're coming!' 

Joy fills the hearts that before were oppressed — 

The crisis is past, their fears are at rest. 

(If a critic shall say this is not quite poetic 

He will not deny 'tis at least dietetic.) 

But we turn from the hardships, the toils and the fun 

Of the pioneer life in the place now their home. 

By God's favor planted, the settlement grew 

And a village became, and though very new 

A paper was needed — and then, lo! it came. 

A Crucible, truly, in more than the name. 

But no types were here, and no printer had come; 

Not even type-writers — and press there was -none — 

So a manuscript deft sufficed in its place. 

And a mimic of news was on its fair face. 

One writer discussed the fair fame of the nation. 

And showed what it needs for its earthly salvation. 

While another, impressed with his home duties, shows 

How needful that gentlemen wear their best clothes 

When they visit the ladies, for Cupid's bright banner 

Is not bought and sold with an auctioneer's hammer. 

Still another would puzzle the men and the maids 

With rebuses, riddles, perplexing charades. 

Conundrums and puns, or to trip up the heels 

Of the youngster too big for his clothes as he feels. 

And thus were the long winter evenings beguiled. 

And furnished amusement for parent and child. 

Recitations and speeches by children and youth 

Came on in their turn, inculcating truth. 

The Lyceum came, with forensic debates 

On questions and topics on which all the fates 

Of the world and society hung in suspense. 

And marshalled their forces on each side the fence. 

These sports, intellectual, moral and free. 

Helped to soften life's cares with innocent glee. 

Very little they knew of the world they had seen. 

For their mails were quite few and quite far between. 

The church once established the Sabbath school came— 

A school of the Bible in more than in name — 

And the children were taught 'tis the Savior's command, 

Go, disciple the nations in every broad land. 

Their needles they ply, they contribute their dimes 

To publish the gospel in heathendom climes; 

The blessed results will eternity show — 

They can never be known to the dwellers below. 



SEMI-CENTENNIAL POEM 251 

Time would fail me to name all the brave souls that stand 

Side by side with each other in clearing their land, 

In building their houses, their stores and their mills — 

A brotherly band with hearty good wills. ' 

The Whites and the Gilberts, Pennoyer and Newcomb. 

Who witnessed the settlement morn's early dew come: 

With Albee, and Hopkins, and INIiller, and Throop, 

And a host of others who follow their suit. 

And Eastman, and Griffin, and Roberts, and Norton, 

Who all had their trials and their joys and their part on 

The map and the history of city and county. 

And who leave their successors to share in their bounty 

With Lovell, and Angel, and Maxfield and Parks. 

All of them men who could leave us their marks, 

Hathaway. Davison, Patchin. and more 

Of the early ones here — I could name you a score. 

And Mason, and others whose names do not fade. 

And Barber, whose grave in the ocean was made. 

How many, alasl who enjoyed with a zest 

These pioneer labors have gone to their rest! 

We drop them a tear, but the march of the years 

Bears us onward, too, spite our hopes or our fears 

May I speak, in a whisper, of one who is left. 

By her presence to bless us — of others bereft? 

One who toiled to train up the boys and the girls 

In wisdom's bright ways, who in modesty furls 

Her own sails, contented to shine 

Reflecting the light of her Savior divine. 

Bright be her life with religion's sweet zest, 

And late her return to her haven of rest. 

While we, with reverend head. 

Bow down before the dead, 
And emulate their manly strength and spirit; 

We worship Him who gave 

To them the will to brave 
These hardships for the country we inherit. 

To Him we raise our songs. 

Because to Him belongs 
Our praises for His goodness, grace and glory. 

We'll serve Him in our youth, 

In age we'll love His truth. 
And then in heaven we'll tell the blessed story. 



ORGANIZATION OF OTTAWA COUNTY AND ITt^ TOWNS 



BY S. L. LOWING 



FcUolo Citizens of Ottaica County: 

In compliance with the request of your committee to write up that portion 



252 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

of the history of the early settlement of Ottawa county, that came under 
my knowledge and experience, allow me to say, that my earliest acquaint- 
ance with Ottawa County was in the fall of 183G, and the winter and spring 
following. I was then about eighteen years old, and had left the place of my 
birth and boyhood in Genesee county. New York, for the purpose of seeking 
my fortune ; and like many others of that day supposed it was to be found in 
the far west, and with that purpose in view I found my way to Grand River, 
by the way of Avhat was then known as the Shiawassee trail. I arrived at 
Grandville, Kent county, about the 1st of October of that year, where I 
engaged as a laborer, in a saw mill, then owned by Brown & Britten, but 
operated by Hiram Jenison as their foreman. At this time the title of the 
Indians to the land on the south side of the river had been extinguished, 
and the lands surveyed and put in market at the Ionia land office. 

On December 31, 1837, Ottawa county was organized, and five towns, to 
wit, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Talmadge, Norton and Georgetown. In the 
meantime the lands on the north side of the river had been surveyed and 
brought into the market. And owing to the fact that the lands on the south 
side of the river had been purchased and were held by speculators, the immi- 
gration was largely turned to the north side of the river, and settlements 
were formed rapidly along the river. 

In those days local politics ran very high. The highways having a con- 
troling influence, each man being anxious to secure a well worked and 
traveled highway to his own door, even to the exclusion of his neighbor, 
and the office of highway commissioner was as eagerly sought after then as 
the presidency is at this day, and many roads were partially constructed, 
large sums expended on them, and afterwards abandoned as useless and 
uncalled for. 

The boundaries of townships were also a bone of contention along the river, 
as the river cut in two every surveyed town along its banks, leaving parts of 
the surveyed town on each side of the river. This interfered with the con- 
struction of highways and school districts to such an extent that the legis- 
lature was very often called upon to fix the boundaries of the townships, 
sometimes making the river the boundaries of townships, and sometimes 
repealing those acts and restoring the township to its surveyed limits. 
These frequent changes of the boundaries of townships frequently led to con- 
tention among the settlers, and sometimes to bad blood and trickery, and 
sometimes took a ludicrous turn. I will mention an instance: Georgetown, 
being mostly taken up by speculators, had large sums of money raised for 
highway purposes, Avhile Talmadge was mostly Government lands, or what 
was then known as internal improvement lands, upon which no taxes could 



ORGANIZATION OF OTTAWA COUNTY AND ITS TOWNS .253 

be levied. The settlers were very anxious to liamlle tire liiglnvay and school 
money raised on the non-resident lands of Georgetown, and construct high- 
ways on the north side of the river. This could only be done by annexing 
the two towns and extending the highway district across the river. In 1841 
and 1842, i)etitions and remonstrances were sent to the Legislature to have 
the river made the dividing line. Talmadge remonstrated, because that 
would give them three more inhabitants; while they had more than there 
were offices for, and each man must have an office, and it would cut off all the 
non-resident lands upon A\hich they could raii^e money to l)uild roads on the 
north side of the river. 

The legislature granted the prayer of the petitioner, and made the river 
the dividing line between the townships, but. by a mistake in the newspaper 
report of the act, Talmadge was alleged to be attached to Georgetown, 
the town below (now Polkton) retaining the name of Talmadge; the town 
meeting to be held at Eastmanville. Talmadge outnumbered Georgetown in 
voters four to one, and they rejoiced in the prospect of handling the money 
of Georgetown for one year at least. Georgetown voters made efforts to 
induce Talmadge to remain on their own side, elect their officers, and apply 
to the legislature the next winter to legalize their acts, promising not to 
assess them or exercise any jurisdiction on that side of the river. This offer 
was refused by Talmadge, and a week before the township meeting Talmadge 
held a caucus, nominated a full set of officers on their side of the river, and 
rejoiced in the prospect of having everything lovely. In the meantime 
Georgetown sent to the Secretary of State for a copy of the act, when lo, it 
appeared that the river was made the dividing line. The next question up 
Avas how to retaliate on Talmadge; we were not long in drawing a plan; it 
was to let Talmadge remain in ignorance of the real facts and let them come 
up to the east part of Georgetown, the place of holding our election, and 
detain them there so long as to render it impossible for them to return to 
Eastmanville in time for them to vote there. In the meantime George M. 
Barker, who had been set off from Georgetown to Talmadge by the act, to go 
down to Eastmanville and inform them there and hurry up their township 
meeting and close the polls before Talmadge voters could arrive. This was 
successfully accomplished. Talmadge appeared in full force at the place 
now called Jenisonville and offered their votes; they were challenged of 
course; this led to long nnd laborious arguments, which continued until 
about one o'clock p. m., at which time it was believed that there was 
sufficient time before the close of the polls at Eastmanville to induce 
Talmadge to attempt to get there, but not time enough to reach it in fact; 
they were then shown the certified copy of the secretary, and they at once 



254 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

saw the plot laid for them, and with one accord left for Eastmanville, some 
in canoes with the wind strong against them, two men on one horse in some 
instances, the greater portions on foot with hats and coats off, determined to 
make the distance of fifteen miles before the polls should close at Eastman- 
ville. This was. the most exciting campaign and the closest run for office 
that Ottawa county ever witnessed. Some few arrived at Eastmanville in 
time to vote, while others failed to reach there in time; those voting did sa 
without organization, and the campaign was lost to Talmadge. Eastman- 
ville folks took good care to get set off from Talmadge before the next town 
meeting. 

The judiciary branch of the settlement of Ottawa county was not neglect- 
ed. Four justices of the peace were elected in each township, who each, for 
himself felt that^ the entire responsibility rested upon him to see to it that 
the path of each citizen was made straight, and that he walked therein, and 
there was more litigation per capita then than there ever has been since, 
each justice and constable feeling that he was not elected for ornamental 
purposes only. Many ludicrous scenes in court might be mentioned, but 
time and space will not permit. Conspicuous among the elements of litiga- 
tion was the so-called Church & Dalton mill, at Sand Creek. This proved 
to be a source of revenue to two old attorneys at Grand Rapids, Moore and 
Abel, and a vexation to the settlers around; they being few in number, were 
quite too frequently called from home, as jurors, to decide upon the conten- 
tions of the two owners of the mill. This mill was built at Sand Creek about 
the year 1838 or 1839, by B. Church, a Seventh Day Baptist, who resolved 
that his property should not labor on Saturday, and James Dalton, a Catho- 
lic, who resolved that his property should labor on Saturday, but not on 
Sunday. This was the first bone of contention between them, but led to 
many others. The difficulty was partially compromised after awhile, by an 
arbitration, in which Amos Robinson was the principal arbitrator. He 
determined that each man should use the mill the alternate week; but that 
did not stop the litigation, which continued without abatement until both 
parties were very much impoverished, and was only terminated by a separa- 
tion of the parties. Mr. Dalton abandoned his property and went to Chi- 
cago, where he has since remained. Both parties having cut their pine, the 
mill went into disuse, and was swept away a few years ago by the flood. 
Abel and Moore each lost the pearl of great price, and both abandoned the 
practice of the law soon after. 

At the time that Georgetown was organized, in 1840, it embraced 
four townships, those that are now known as Jamestown, Zeeland, and 
Biendon. Jamestown was organized about 1849. Jamestown took its name 



ORGANIZATION OF OTTAWA COUNTY AND ITS TOWNS 2o5- 

from three James's — James Skeels, the second supervisor, James Brown, 
and James M. Conkwright. The land, although mostly located by specu 
lators, in 1835 was mostly ]iut on the market, and was rapidly settled by 
emigrants largely from Ohio. The first settler in Blendon was Booth Kinney, 
who settled on Dec. 12, about the year 1845, now dead. Afterwards a family 
by the name of Woodruff, — ]\Iilton, and Henry, — who settled on the same sec- 
tion.. This town settled very slow. Stoors & Wyman built a mi!) in southeast 
part of the town somewhere about 1850. The town was organized in 1850. 
First town meeting held at the house of Booth Kinney. Albert A'redenburg 
was the first supervisor. Zeeland was set otf from Georgetown and attached 
to Holland, and was after organized, and one I), Young was the first super- 
visor; this was about 1850. The heads of families of the settlers as early a» 
1840 are now nearly all dead. Henry Griffin, J. V. Harris, Sa'nuel Hart^ 
Thomas Woodbury, Daniel Rieley, and Mrs. H. Hteel are the only survivors 
who first settled Talmadge. 

Hiram Jenison, Lumau and Lucius Jenison, S. Yeomans, L. liurdsly, 
Edward F. Bosworth, and Freeman Burton are the only survi\()rs of the lesi- 
dents of Georgetown, in 1840, at the time of its organization. The settlers- 
of that day endured many trials and privations, such as are incidental to a 
new country. The western portion of the county, and particularly on the south 
side oC the river, was regarded valueless for agricultural puri)oscs, and had 
been a great drawback to the settlers in the eastern i)art of the county, owing 
to the malaria rising from low lands, causing much sickness, from which 
very few, if any, of the older settlers were able to escape. It was not uufre- 
quently the case that whole families were found sick with the ague and 
burning fever at the same time, and no one able to offer a draught of cold 
water, — and frequently these families resided many miles from other settlers. 
The mosquitoes and fleas were intolerable. 

The contrast in the appearance and comforts of this county in 1840 and 
the present day is very great. 



256 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



EARLY ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY T. B, CHURCH 



To speak of the courts and the early administration of justice in the 
county, is to me, at this time a difficult task. My first attendance, pro- 
fessionally, was, if I recollect aright, in the fall of 1842, called to Grand 
Haven in some matter of litigation between William M. Ferry and Clark B. 
Albee. From that time until the year 1875, I transacted much legal busi- 
ness at Grand Haven, and incidentally and occasionally, some political mat- 
ters were discussed. In 1850 Dr. Eastman, Rix Robinson and myself, as 
delegates, represented, in the State constitutional convention, the district 
composed of Ottawa and Kent counties, and in 1851 Thomas W. Ferry and 
myself represented the same district in the State legislature, as Representa- 
tives. 

Again, if I recollect aright. Judge Charles W. Wliipple held the first 
court in which I acted, as before stated, in 1842. Subsequently. Judges 
Ransom, Murdy, Martin, Littlejohn and Giddings held the courts, at which 
I was present. Judge M. Hopkins was for awhile on the bench, and before 
him I tried, for the defendant, I. Doesburg, (and re-tried it), the exciting 
cause of 'The People, on the relation of N. H. White, Jr., vs. Doesburg,' in 
holding the tenure of the offices of county clerk and register. Employed by 
the county, I prosecuted the case of the People vs. Turpin, for murder, and 
in 1852 the case of the People vs. Gardner, for rape, both celebrated 
cases in their time. 

The fire of 1869 (in January), such an important event in the history of 
Grand Rapids that our courts take "judicial notice" of it, destroyed my 
register, all the files of numerous other civil and criminal cases, in which I 
took a part, and my being now, by a lameness which temporarily suspends 
locomotion, so that I cannot draw on Brother Holmes for his recollections. 
These circumstances make my speaking on the topic submitted to me, as I 
said in the beginning, a difficult task. I recall the attorneys, J. C. Abel 
and Lucius Patterson, men of remarkable ability, with whom I contended, 
whose acuteness and persistency (aided, in the person of Abel, by his sten- 



ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN OTTAWA COUNTY 257 

torian voice), put their antagouists to tlieii* utmost mettle, and many other 
lawyers of an early date, wlio figured on that arena of legal contest. 

Soon after the trial of Gardner had begun, a snow storm, with a high 
wind, filled up the school-house so that the session of the court was held, for 
the balance of it, in the Masonic hall — the upper story of the Washington 
House; and under the supervision of our genial host, H. Pennoyer, we slept, 
ate, worried the judge and confounded the jury for a week under one roof. 

If I was standing before you, talking ''free and easy" on this topic, I 
<'Ould narrate many amusing incidents, not, perhaps, worthy of formal 
record. You had a justice of the i^eace once who ordered a recess of his 
court that he might throw a noisy and disorderly litigant out of his office; 
^nd, having done so, calmly resumed his seat and business. 

From the commencement of the courts the cases brought into them were 
often of much importance and legal interest, even when the amounts in- 
Tolved were small, as navigation, lumber contracts, and manufacturing 
operations always originate more such cases than merely agricultural pur- 
suits. The most learned and experienced member of the Chicago bar was 
frequently brought into tlie humble court room of Grand Haven to expound 
on the navigator's liability for collisions, or to determine the rights of the 
riparian proprietors on Muskegon Lake. Up to 1858 judge and lawyer 
from this city embarking, generally at the foot of Monroe street, sometimes 
below that point (we had then a wider and deeper river), used up most of a 
day on the steamboat to get to the court house, and a whole day and some- 
times a good part of the night in returning. The tedium of the voyage was 
relieved in different ways by different passengers; some read, some talked 
and smoked, and some diligently studied the "History of the Four Kings," 
but the good dinner always served on board rendered that mode of travel 
quite endurable. Yet in later days, when time grew more valuable, we were 
glad to avail Ourselves of the swifter transportation of the D. & M. cars. 
But the fun, the real enjoyment, the queer adventures that enlivened the 
days and nights on the steamboats in summer, and the road by Welch 
Robert's tavern in winter, all evaporated on the rails. 

Not apparently at first connected with the topic submitted to me, but yet 
recurring to my recollection by an association with legal matters, will be my 
mention of a meeting of those pioneers and founders of your city — William M. 
Ferry, Robert Stuart, and Rix Robinson. These three men (with Messrs. 
Ferry and Robinson I had become well acquainted, but then I first saw Mr. 
Stuart) were sitting in the "upper chamber," the front room, second story 
of the Ottawa House (on the site of which I believe the Kirby House now 
stands) arranging and settling some details of the winding-up of their joint 
33 



258 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

enterprises in Ottawa county, and called nie in as a scribe to draft a few 
papers which they dictated. I knew their history, their long companionship 
in frontier life, their then high position in the State (as then, both Mr. 
Robinson and Mr. Stuart, the one in Michigan and the other in Illinois, 
were holding most important public trusts), and as they talked business a 
little and then talked over old times more, I sat near them interested in 
their narrations, and Avhilst admiring the elements of their characters, the 
ability, the enterprise, the courage and wisdom they manifested, yet was I 
more moved and afifected by their evidence of qualities of heart, more attrac- 
tive and delightful than the stronger and sterner traits which they ever 
manifested to the outer world. Towards each other, that long evening, they 
seemed like brothers who had been boys together. It was disclosed by 
their talk that several years before Mr. Stuart had been commissioned to 
buy three good gold watches, one for each, and those watches by him pro- 
cured, with like chains, etc., of equal value, were on their persons at this 
time. They sat together, looked them over, praised them, each claiming 
his own as somewhat a better timepiece than the others. All the grander 
features of their nature softened into an amiabilit}' so complete and charm- 
ing that I could hardly recall to my consciousness that those men were 
really the same dignified, reserved, even stern of aspect men they appeared 
to be when moving in the outside business Avorld. I need not say that I 
looked upon them with admiration, respect, yea, reverence, and never 
wondered afterwards that in their families and domestic circles they were 
loved. 

Of such are the founders of States, and benefactors of their fellow men. 



SOIL AND CLIMATE OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY H. PEXXOYER 



A correct topographical map of Ottawa county would show a nearly uni- 
form western slope from the east line of the county, which is from two to 
three hundred feet higher than the surface of Lake Michigan. The only 



I 



SOIL AND CLIMATE OF OTTAWA COUNTY 259 

oxception to that height is loiiud in the valleys of streams, and where the 
streams have changed their course. The soil of the county is and ever has 
been receiving deposits, but never paying out, except on short time and in 
small drafts, conditioned to he paid back by the waves of the lake. Through 
the past centuries accretion has been piled upon accretion by the action of 
1lie waters, until it has given us a soil of great depth and of good quality, 
equal to that of Long Island, the Garden of America, where the ocean is con- 
stantly adding to its plant wealth. On a smaller scale the western half of 
Ottawa county may be likened to the delta of the ^Iississii»pi, that receives 
the deposits of alluvial soils floated 1o it for more than ten thousand miles 
of swift running streams. I believe the alluvial soil here at Grand Haven 
to be over sixty feet in depth, for the reason that boulders have been found 
at that depth. Any person traveling by the common roads through the 
county, from west to east, will look in vain for a stone on the surface of the 
soil until he has traveled more than halfway through the county. Within 
the valley, and near the river, ^ye find boulders that have been laid bare b^' 
the action of the waters. A direct north and south line, running through 
Eastmanville, would show but few stones on the west side of it, while there 
are many on the surface in different localities. East of that line, Nathan 
Throop, in boring for an artesian well, at Grand Haven, in 1S4S. struck a 
boulder at the depth of sixty feet, or thereabouts, which cost two journeys 
to Milwaukee for tools to drill through it. The boulder was imbedded in clay. 
On my own farm, east side of the town of Crockery, in digging wells, we 
struck and have taken out boulders at the depth of twenty feet, that would 
weigh twenty pounds or more. Four miles east of my farm the same kiiul 
of stone appears on the surface. The composition of these boulders is unlike 
that of the soil in which they are imbedded, or upon which they lie; hence 
I believe in the geological theory that this part of the country was once sub- 
merged to a great depth, so deep that the icebergs floated over it, bringing 
their freight of earth and stone from the frozen regions of the north, and 
depositing them in places all over the country. One geologist says that 
those large boulders we find on the high conical hills near Ada, on the line 
of the D., G. H. and M. R. W., were deposited there by icebergs. Some 
of them would weigh tons, and all of them are unlike the soil upon which 
they lie. 

Now, since the glacier period, and on the subsidence of the waters, the 
soil of Ottawa has been receiving additions and accretions and will continue 
to do so as long as water runs down hill. The western part of the county 
is receiving contributions to its soil from the eastern portion, and as time rolls 
on more stone will be laid bare bv the floods and freshets. If anvone doubts 



260 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OP OTTAWA COUNTY 

the depth of the soil let him go into the fields where they are now raising 
those large pine stumps; notice the roots, ten feet long, that grew straight 
down into the ground; and then settle the question in his own mind whether 
it is poor or rich soil that attracted those roots down to such a depth. 

It was my privilege, forty-eight years ago, to see this county in nearly all 
of its pristine beauty, freighted with a more valuable crop than will ever be 
found upon its surface again, as long as men live to despoil the works of 
nature. Although the soil has been stripped of its first crop, if a syndicate 
of wealthy gentlemen (like Gould and Vanderbilt) was formed, with a view 
to buying the county and planting it to timber, it would, in my opinion, pay 
to their posterity more money than any railway that would cost double the 
amount. The growth of timber is greater than many imagine. In fifty 
years, more money would be realized from an investment of that kind, if the 
work was well handled, than by any other investment. Nature and man, 
working together in this direction, could do wonders. It is well known that 
the timber business has been, the past fifty years, the leading business of the 
county to the detriment of agricultural Avork, so that much of this good soil 
is at present uncultivated. Many a good farm, owned by lumbermen, in the 
near vicinity of Grand Haven and Holland, is given the go by, because 
there are pine stumps upon them. But a more hardy race of men is to take 
them in hand, to convert the stumps into fences, which, well made, are not 
so unsightly as a common rail fence. After the stumps have been removed 
and the surface well plowed, they will find all of the requisites for raising 
good cereals incorporated in the soil. The Hollanders settled on the Hud- 
son river in the 17th century. They and their posterity say, if you want 
good land for wheat, take it where the sassafras and wortleberries grow, 
and you will have it a success. The trial has been made on that class of 
lands, in one instance that I know of, and a crop of twenty bushels to the 
acre, in a dry season, was the result; while upon our clay soils the average 
crop was about twelve bushels to the acre. 

Ottawa county lies in a latitude where westerly and southwesterly winds ' 
predominate. Our coldest and hardest wind storms, taking their rise in the 
mountain regions of New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana, blow a thousand 
miles over land with no decrease in the cold of the snow-capped mountains 
until they reach Lake Michigan. There, in the coldest winters, it stirs up 
the waters that have retained the heat garnered in from the long summer's 
sun shining upon the surface of the lake. And as the storms beat upon the 
east shore they bring with them a warmer and more genial atmosphere than 
existed on the west shore. As early as 1836 I began to notice the difference 
between the climate of the west and east shores of Lake Michigan, and to 



AGRICULTURE OF OTTAWA COUNTY 261 

note the difference in favor of Ottawa county and the east shore. The 
thermometer in this county often stood at zero, at Chicago IS"* below the 
same day and hour, the wind blowing from the southwest. At the same time 
it would he from 4° to 10° colder at Grand Rapids, and farther east the 
cold would be still more intense. 

Since the fruit business started in this county every one engaged in it has 
been interested in thermometical observations. When it is known that 12*^ 
below zero will kill the peach bud, and that 24"^ kills the tree, close watch 
will be kept of every passing storm whatever direction it comes from. The 
highest range of the thermometer in my observation is 98" above zero, and 
the lowest, but once, at 30° below, which was in a blizzard from the north- 
west. In the same storm it was reported at 44° below by the spirit ther- 
mometer at Lansing. For forty-eight years that I have resided in the county 
I cannot recall more than three storms that have been severe enough, to kill 
the bud of the peach in all parts of the county. One of these storms was 
I'rom the east in the month of March, the other two from the northwest. 
I have also observed that Ottawa county is more highly favored than the 
south tier of counties of the State. I attribute this to the beneficent effects 
of the breeze from over the lake. If the storm came from the west or 
northwest Berrien county would reap the same benefits that Ottawa would 
from the lake breeze, but from the southwest every peach-bud would be 
killed in Berrien, while Ottawa and Grand Haven would escajie. 



AGRICULTURE OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY EDWIN THAYER 



It is to me a matter of regret that the committee did not select some one 
better qualified than I am to write on the agricultural progress of Ottawa 
county. I think it would be exceedingly desirable that one should under- 
take this task who is familiar with the beginning of agriculture here, and 
who could picture to you, from actual experience, the trials and diflSculties 



262 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

incident to these beginnings. It needs one who was here when the country 
was a wilderness, nnbrolcen by the ax or plow, from the Kalamazoo River 
to the farthest north; one who could relate because he had known and felt 
them, the hardships and toil encountered by the early settlers on their pre- 
emptions (for it should be remembered that no land north of Grand River 
had yet been offered for sale by the government, and that settlers could only 
secure it by pre-emption). 

To properly present this subject it needs one who knew from experience 
how to fell the forest trees, to build the log houses and cover them with 
shakes and floor them with planks split from the basswood trees, and 
planed with a , broad ax ; one who could build a stick chimney and make 
it fire-proof by plastering it with mud ; one who, with his family, has gathered 
round the open fire made of logs in the one room, which at the same time 
was kitchen, parlor, bed room, and dining room; and who has sat down with 
that family at the table loaded with the luxuries of the time — corn bread and 
venison, or occasionally wheat bread and pork for Sunday; sitting in chairs 
upholstered with a deer skin, and sleeping upon bedsteads made of poles, with 
elm bark for springs, and hemlock boughs and marsh hay for feathers. 

The primitive style of agriculture, a style which necessarily prevails in com- 
mencing a settlement in a timbered country, is to cut down the trees, trim 
them up, cut and pile the brush in heaps, leaving it all to dry somewhat 
preparatory to burning. The soil is too full of roots to be ploughed. The 
farmer then takes an old ax, and passing over the charred spots, strikes it 
into the ground at suitable intervals, drops a few grains of corn, or a few 
potato eyes, in the gash thus made, and steps upon it with his foot to press 
the earth together, while he strikes with his ax again for another hill. In 
this way he raises a small crop for his immediate necessities. Meanwhile the 
fallen timber is drying and getting ready for the fire, and the roots in the 
soil began to decay, so that the next season a yoke of oxen and the plow 
will do something toAvards breaking up the soil for a better crop. If he can 
aft'ord it he sometimes seeds the land to grass for a year or two, or more, 
giving more time for the roots to decay, while he clears and fences an addi- 
tional field or two. When he harvested a crop of wheat he improvised a 
threshing floor, threshed it with a flail, and winnowed the grain by tossing 
it in the air with a shovel. It must then be taken to a mill, a trip of from 
eight to thirty miles, in a canoe, or with a hand sleigh in winter, on the ice. 
His hogs were fattened upon mash, and a yoke of oxen or a cow or two grazed 
in the woods in summer, and lived upon marsh hay through the winter; or, 
that failing, browsed upon the fallen tree tops. 

But it was next to impossible for the first settlers to support their families 



] 



AGRICULTTRE OF OTTAWA COUNTY 263 

by a^Ticiiltui-e i'oi I lie first IVw years, and in lliis emei-geiicy the forests fur- 
nished means of snpjtorl. Tine saw lo^s, sliingle bolts, or shingles, cord 
wood, staves, and hemlock bark, assisted in eking out a scanty living. At 
(Jrand Haven the logs were worth fl..')!) to |:{.00 per thousand feet; shingles, 
^IM to |11.2r) ])er thousand ; good maple and hickory wood, 75 cents to |1.00 
l»er cord; white oak staves, |4.()0 to f.l.OO ]»er thousand; and hemlock bark, 
11.50 to 11.75 ])er cord. These seem small ])rices at this day, but labor and 
timber were cheap aiul the market small. And when the hardy settler had, 
in the spring, marketed the products of liis winter's work, he frequently 
found himself still in debt for advances made to enable him to accomplish it. 
But, undismayed by partial failure, heroically he struggled on, with the 
result of wresting real victory from apparent defeats 

In 1840 the United States census shows that the county had a population 
of only 208. How many of these were farmers we have not been able to 
learn, but judging from its i)roducts, we infer that the county was not then 
uoted for its agriculture. There were only four horses, twelve head of cattle, 
and thirteen hogs. The products of the year 1839 were one hundred bushels 
of potatoes, one hundred and ninety-three tons of marsh hay. No wheat, 
corn, oats, or other grains were reported ; no wool or dairy products. 

The first lands opened for farming purposes were .along Grand River; 
necessarily so, for the river was then the only highway. Among the first 
farmers were Allan Stoddart, David and E. Angell, Ira ^laxfield, Dewey 
Hedges and Harry Steel, at and near Steel's landing, now Lamont; Daniel 
Eealey, in the farm that is now known as the county poor farm; Benjamin 
Hopkins, Dr. Timothy Eastman and Paschal Maxfield at and near Eastman- 
ville. 

David Realey is one of the first, and perhaps the first man in the county 
who sowed and harvested a crop of wheat. In 1838 he sowed about three 
acres, and James Dalton, now known as Captain Dalton, of Chicago, helped 
him harvest it. He threshed it with a tlail, and took it in a canoe, at differ- 
ent times, to Grandville, to mill, a distance, by the river, of about twenty- 
two miles — a trip that required about two days' time. ^Ir. Realey reports 
that the farm was preempted by him from government in 1837, and pur- 
chased and owned jointly by Captain Henry Miller and himself. They only 
raised one crop of wheat, besides the one referred to, until about 1852, for 
the reason that there were no threshing machines in the county, and the 
expense of putting in and working among the roots and stumps, harvesting 
and threshing, was more than the grain could l)e sold for, and they could 
make more in raising hay, riving and shaving shingles, making staves, i>eel- 
ing hemlock bark, getting out cordwood, or a raft of logs. As wheat was 



264 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

only about fifty or sixty cents per bushel, poi-k from $2.50 to |3.00 per cwt.^ 
flour from |2.50 to |3.00 per barrel, it was easier to go out on Uncle Sam's 
land, of which there was at that time a large quantity, cut a pine tree or 
two, get out a few cords of bolts, and in a week's time, if one worked 
hard, he would have from six to eight thousand shingles ready for market. 
These they could market at Grand Haven at such prices as I have already 
described, and thus procure their supplies. 

Up to 1850 there had been but a small portion of the county opened for 
farming purposes, except along the river. Benjamin and Timothy Lillie 
were the first ones that located land for farming in the town of Wright. 
They settled there in 1844, and in 1845 Benjamin raised three-quarters of an 
acre of spring wheat, and Timothy put in a small piece of winter wheat. 
Mr. Lillie reports that they dragged in the first crop of wheat among the 
stumps and roots, seeded the land to grass, and waited four or five years for 
the roots and stumps to rot, so that the land might be plowed. 

In 1846 the township of Polkton embraced also the territory now included 
in Allendale, Blendon, and Zeeland, and its assessment roll for that year- 
shows but thirteen occupied farms, only seven of them showing any improve- 
ments. The whole number of acres improved on the thirteen farms was 
only 105. Dr. Timothy Eastman, Benjamin Hopkins, Daniel Realey, and 
Paschal Maxfield were the only ones that had erected barns. There were 
only seven horses in town, valued at |30 each; twelve cows at |8, and six- 
teen yoke of oxen at |30. The improved land was valued at |4 per acre, in 
addition to the government price of |1.25. 

The total assessed value of the real and personal estate in the four town- 
ships was 119,081, and the board of supervisors, of whom Dr. T. Eastman 
was chairman, equalized the value by reducing this amount to |17,364.75. 
The same territory is now assessed at nearly three million dollars. 

It is worthy of notice that the first person named in that roll, 1846, was 
Mrs. Agnes B. Allen, widow of Captain Hannibal Allen, who was a son of 
Ethan Allen, of Revolutionary fame. Hhe owned 100 acres above the poor 
farm. 

Jamestown and the Holland colony, as it was then called, had but just 
commenced settlement in 1847. The whole southern part of the county 
was then called the Sonth woods, and to one who lived near the river it was 
considered too far back to be worth emigrating to. 

To hear some of the early settlers of these towns relate their experience in 
those first years of privations and hardships, and to pass through these 
towns now and see their well filled barns, their fine and comfortable houses,, 
and all their surroundings denoting a plenty of this world's goods, one can 



AGRICULTURE OF OTTAWA COUNTY 265 

Jitii'dly imagine that tliirtv-live years ago this same teri-itorv was an unbroken 
wilderness, that Avliere we see the tine roads of to-day were then only trails 
through the woods marked by blazing the trees; that in some instances they 
had to carry what few boards they used in the construction <»f their first 
houses from one t<» two miles across swamps or i-avincs on their back, and to 
carry their first bushel of grain on tlieii- backs a much longer distance to 
mill. In many instances the early settlers had no ti'ain foi' several years. 

Their first teams were usually oxen, and their lirst vehicles a rude long- 
sled, made narrow the better to get around between the trees and the stumps. 
Their first market and mill A\as at (Irand Kajtids, and tlu'y would g(> from 
the ''colony" usually in coinj)anies of from IM) to I50 ox teams, and it re<iuired 
two days to go and i-eturn. 

Up to 1850, sixteen years after the first settlement of the county, we find 
by statistics, that the population had increased to 4,835, yet including Mus- 
kegon county. The value of the real estate had increased to $580,81)0; the 
number of occupied farms, only 204 ; the number of acres improved land, 
4,914, showing an average of about twenty-four acres improved land to each 
farm. The number of horses in the county was 00, and the number of oxen, 
837, showing the latter to be the teams principally used. The number of 
cows in the county was 538, or an average of about two to each farm ; 1,349 
hogs and 192 sheep, an average of less than one sheep and of about Gi/o hogs 
to each farm. The produce for the preceding year, 3,814 bushels of wheat; 
24,264 of corn, 3,549 of oats; 202 of rye; 553 of buckwheat; 9,308 of pota- 
toes; 30,000 lbs. butter, and 42,000 lbs. majde sugar, and 1,500 tons of hay. 

The census of 1864 shows a population of 15,156; number of acres of. 
improved land, 46,101. Produce raised preceding year: Wheat, 87,885 
bushels; corn, 103,774 bushels; other grains, 56,207 bushels; potatoes, 69,814 
bushels; hay, 15,923 tons; wool, 25,726 lbs.; pork, 243,640 lbs.; butter, 269,- 
000 lbs.; cheese, 23,000 lbs.; maple sugar, 211.000 lbs. Of live stock Ave 
find 4,552 cows; 1.778 oxen; 2.058 horses; 10,557 sheejt; 4,69S hogs; other 
cattle, 4.767. 

The census of 1880 gives 31.054 acres of wheat, producing 657,750 bush- 
■els, or an average of over twenty bushels to the acre; oats, 10.030 acres, pro- 
ducing 317,935 bushels, or an avei-age of a little over 31 Imshels jier acre; 
corn, 18,830 acres, producing ()10.442 bushels, or an average of 34 bushels 
per acre, showing that the average on wheat and oats Avas greater than the 
average of the whole State. The average on wheat in the State was 18 4-10 
bushels, and oats 29 85-100 bushels per acre. 
34 



266 



SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



The following table of statistics shows the population and progress of the 
county for the years 1850, 1864, 1874 and 1880 : 





1840. 


1850. 


1804. 


1874. 


1880. 


Population 


208 


. 5,587 

3,814 

24,264 

3,549 

90 

538 

192 

1,507 

287 

4,914 


15,156 

87,885 

103,000 

56,000 

2,058 

4,552 

10,557 

15,923 

1,778 

46,101 


26,650 

217,594 

347,692 

336,638 

4,691 

7,878 

16,456 

26,000 


32,340 










610,442- 






317,935^ 


Horses ^ 


4 


5 530 




8,070 






13,899- 




193 


22,ooa 


Oxen 






87,033 


103,041 


1 





Improved farms, 1840, 204; 1884, 2,590. Assessed valuation of land, 1850,. 
1580,000; 1884, |13,000,000. 

If now we take into consideration the fact that two-thirds of "the county, 
an aggregate of 200,000 acres, is still unimproved land, it is safe to conclude 
that the agricultural capabilities of the county have not yet reached their 
maximum. When that point shall be reached, with the improved systems- 
of farming which will then prevail, we may without doubt estimate the 
wheat product at three times that of 1880, or 1,900,000 bushels, with a pro- 
portionate amount of other grains, vegetables, etc. If it be said that a large 
portion of these uncultivated lands are marsh or swamp, and too wet for 
cultivation, I have only to reply that these marshy lands are all susceptible 
of drainage, and when drained are the most productive lands in the county. 
The last statement is abundantly proved by several instances in Allendale 
and Zeeland; some of these lands, when thoroughly cultivated, producing' 
forty bushels of wheat to the acre, and large crops of other grains, hay, etc. 

It is objected, also, that the soil of the towns bordering on Lake Michigan 
is light and sandy, and unfit for raising wheat, corn, etc. But it must be 
remembered that this is the fruit belt, and experience shows that these lands 
yield quite as good a profit as the heavier soils. It is also true that green 
manuring, with a liberal use of plaster and other fertilizers, will bring these 
soils up to a productiveness not excelled for any crop by any othei\ 



FRUIT CULTURE IN OTTAWA COUNTY 267 



FRUIT CULTl'KE IX OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY WAI.TI:R PHILLIPS; 
[President of the West Michigan Fruit Growers' Society.] 



Fruit has ever had a place on the earth since God created man. But 
according to our early records it was not cultivated to any large extent till 
about the time of the Christian era. The first reliable records of fruit 
culture date about the year 300 in the present era. At that time there were 
twenty -two varieties of apples; of pears, thirty-six; peaches, four; quinces, 
three; apricots and almonds, four each; plums, four; cherries, eight; and of 
the olive, four sorts are noted. Strawberries were so abundant in the fields 
they were not cultivated. The number of varieties of grapes at that time is 
not known. The grape and the olive were the only fruit crops grown for 
profit. In Italy two hundred years after the above record was made, the 
peach and cherry had reached twenty varieties each, and the grape was cul- 
tivated largely in the north of Italy. The pear and quince were grown 
to weigh two to three pounds each. Virginia and California may to-day 
equal the product of 1.200 years ago, but they do not surpass it. The 
Romans were the first to introduce and disseminate fruit. To them France 
and England are indebted. France has grown and distributed more fruit 
trees than any other nation. Her nurseries at the present time amount to 
16,000 acres, and her orchard \ gardens to 200,000 acres. p]ngland had no 
fruit of value till the close of tlie tenth century, and then little beside the 
grape. In 1629 was the first record of varieties in cultivation given. At 
that time she had fifty -eight varieties of apples, sixty four of pears, sixty-one 
of plums, twenty-one of peaches, five nectarines, six apricots, thirty-six 
cherrie^!, twenty-three grapes, three figs, besides quinces and walnuts. At 
the present time the orchards, nurseries, and commercial gardens of the 
British Islands nearly equal those of France. North America, including 
Canada and the United States, and even Mexico had juost of its fruits intro- 
duced by the French and Romish missionaries. 

The French may be said to have been strictly the pioneers in apple and 
pear culture. Most of the grapes now grown in Califtnnia were introduced 



268 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

by the Jesuit Fathers, and it may be said wherever the Eomish missionaries 
settled the grape was a specialty with them. The basis of fruit culture in 
this country may be said to date from about the year IGoO. At the present 
time, from the best records obtainable, we give the area of 900,000 acres as 
being devoted to fruit culture in the United States, The varieties at the 
present time are as follows: Apples, 2,360 varieties, pears 1,270, peaches 
300, nectarines 30, apricots 50, cherries 230, strawberries 300, hardy native 
grapes about 300, and currants 30. As early as the seventeenth century 
fruit trees were planted by the French along the eastern borders of our 
State, some of which yet remain to demonstrate the adaptability of Michigan 
to the culture of fruit. From a small beginning fruit culture in this State 
has grown to large results. We now claim the money value of our fruit pro- 
ducts to amount to a yearly average of |3,537,278. The total values of the 
fruits grown yearly in the United States foot up |4G,724,293. The distin- 
guished honor of planting the first fruit trees in Ottawa county belongs to 
our venerable citizen, Henry Griffin, Esq. Forty-eight jears ago, or in the 
year 1836, on the three lots on Franklin street where Mr. Griftln now 
resides, he planted fruit trees of various kinds, which still live and gladden 
the heart of the planter by their magnificent growth and abundant bearing 
qualities. Mr. Grilfin and Mr. Benjamin Hopkins about the same time 
planted orchards at Eastmanville. Shortly after Mr. Burch and Mr. Stod- 
dard planted orchards in Talmadge township. In the year 1839 Ira Max- 
field, also Esic and Daniel Angell, planted orchards near where Lamont is 
now situated. In the year 1841 Henry Steele and Mr. Woodbury planted 
orchards also near Lamont. About this time Mr. Xewcomb and Mr. Lovell 
planted orchards in Spring Lake township. In the year 1844 Col. Norton 
planted an orchard on the site where Xortonville now stands. William Thomp- 
son and William Hathaway planted orchards in Crockery township in the 
year 1849. In 1852 Kev. L. M. S; Smith planted a small orchard of apple and 
peach trees in Spring Lake. In the year 1854 Kev. William M. Ferry planted 
what is now known as the Mansfield orchard, situated on Pennoyer avenue. 
About the same time Col. Ferry planted an orchard at Ferrysburg. About 
the same date John T. Davis planted an orchard on what is now known as 
the Hancock place on Washington street. In the year 1859 Mr. Pennoyer 
set an orchard in Crockery township. 

The same year Mr. Bolt planted an orchard on W^ashington avenue where 
he now resides. In the year 1864 Mr. Spoon set an orchard at Spoonville. 
In the year 1868 Hon. T. E. Gidley set peach orchards, with other varieties 
of fruit, extensively on Peach plain. Two years later A. O. Ewing set a 
peach orchard and also a vineyard on the place now owned by the writer of 



FRUIT CULTURE IN OTTAWA COUNTY 269 

this paper. AVe will now jio l>ack a little in dates and take uj) the fruit 
history of another ]»art of the countv. In the year 1834 the first orchards were 
planted at or near Holland City by the followinj; jiersons. A. (\ Van liaalte, 
D. D., Bernadus Groslanhini, J. A'isseher, A. 1). Weerd, (leorjie llarrino^ton. 
The same year orchards were phmted at ZtH'land liy (\ De INitter. (\ I). Tree, 
and J. O. Van ^Fees. In the rears 1S(;!> and ISTO jK-acli orchards were 
])Ianted at Holland by the foIlo\vin<i- ]>ersons. Delos Dntton, John Visscher, 
;Mrs. J. Heekhins. In isTo peach orchards were planted larjiely near Holland 
by (\ H. Dutton. N. Diekenia, Arrand A^isscher. Georsie Harrington. From 
the year 18G4 to 1870 orchards of the various kinds of native fruits Avere 
planted quite extensively throughout the county, and fruit gi-owing took a 
shar}) impetus forward, and has gradually assumed larger ])roportions until, 
at the present time, Ottawa county may be regarded as one of the leading 
counties in western Michigan as regards the amount of fruit exported- 
About the years 1871 and 1872 fruit began to be shipped out of the county 
to considerable extent. In the year 1872 fruit was shipped as follows: 
barrels of apples, 2,250; baskets of peaches, 8.132; baskets of grapes, 6,143; 
berries of all kinds, 6,820 cases, or 3.410 bushels. From 1872 until the pres- 
ent time there has been a marked increase in the quantity shipped. This 
present year, according to the most reliable information, the quantity of 
fruit exported from Ottawa county is as follows : apples, 9,000 barrels, cash 
value, 113,500; peaches, 14,300 baskets, cash value. ^0.21)5; gi-apes. 20.140 
baskets, or 201.400 lbs., cash value, |8,056 ;' berries, including all kinds. 27.282 
cases, or 13,641 bushels, cash value |38,194.80, I would also notice the fact 
that this present year peaches, as a crop, were almost a failure, last year IxMng 
a much better crop year. Holland City alone shipped 25.000 baskets, or 
5,000 bushels of peaches. The total cash value of the fruit shipped this year 
from Ottawa county amounts to |!69, 045.80. These figures being an estimate 
of exported fruit only, it is but reasonable to assume one-third as much for 
home consumption, which would give as the cash value of the fruit raised in 
Ottawa county this present year the sum total of |92,061.07, truly quite an 
important factor in the producing element of this county. And when we 
take into consideration the large amount of lands that are waiting to be made 
available in fruit raising, and notice also the many tracts of land that are 
being bought up for the purpose of raising fruit, we may have some definite 
idea of what Ottawa county will do in this line in the near future. AA'e claim 
in favorable locations in this county grapes, in the hands of the skillful horti- 
culturist, will give an annual net income of ^250 per acre; raspberries. |150; 
strawberries flOO per acre. Peaches, when we obtain a croj), will give higher 
figures. The above results are obtained from the fact, first, we have a soil 



270 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

well adapted for raising fruit; second, our climate, by reason of the modify- 
ing influence of Lake Michigan, is very favorable for growing fruit; third, 
we have a shipping point at Grand Haven which is second to none in the 
State. Those fruit growers within reasonable distance from this port, can 
pick fruit till 7 p. m.^ and then ship to Detroit, Milwaukee, or Chicago, with- 
out transfer of packages, and have their fruit on sale the next day at 7 a. m. 
If there is any other point in the State of which this can be said in the way 
of shipping I am not aware of the fact. In view of these advantages we look 
forward to a splendid future as regards the fruit interests of Ottawa county. 
We hail with delight the improved methods of fruit culture that are now 
being brought forward by practical fruit men. 

We believe that the day is not far distant when the teeming millions of 
consumers in Chicago, Milwaukee and the great Northwest will create such 
a demand for fruit that orchards and vineyards will spring up, as by magic, 
all along this lake shore, and the many hills that now look so barren will, 
in the springtime of the year, blossom with the flowers of fruit culture, and 
in the fall will yield that golden fruit that is beautiful to the eye and is 
pleasant to the taste of man. Let me say, then, in conclusion, all honor to 
the noble pioneers who first planted fruit in Ottawa county. We rejoice 
that some of them are still living, and, under the blessing of God, are with 
us on this occasion. May they long live to enjoy the fruits of their labors, 
and when they fall by the way, may the work which they have begun, in the 
hands of their successors, go nobly forward, until Ottawa county shall not 
only become an honor to this great fruit producing State, but also rank sec- 
ond to none among the great fruit producing districts of the world. 



KAILROADS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY JOHN T. PERCIVAL 



There is a period at which man arrives when he becomes impressed witji 
the thought that he is growing old ; his vision becomes dim, gray hairs make 



RAILROADS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 271 

their appearance, the firm, ekistic step of youth has disappeared, the trials 
and cares of life have left their impress upon his face, the deep furrowed 
lines upon his brow, and Avrinkles on his cheeks, too plainly remind him 
that, so far as he is concerned, the battles of life are nearly over, and, as he 
approaches the end of his earthly pilgrimage, he lives more on the memories 
of the past than on the hopes of the future, and takes much pleasure in tell- 
ing over and over again the incidents of his early life. He delights to com- 
pare the past with the present, and is generally satisfied with the age in 
which he has lived. 

The brave soldier who left his home and friends and all the comforts of 
civilized life, in exchange for the privations of the camp and the dangers 
of the battlefield, in after years delights to relate his experiences. In imag- 
ination he often fights his battles over again, and the greater the hardships 
lie may have endured, the more wonderful his escapes from death on the 
battlefield, even the horrid privations and terrible sutferings of a prison life, 
seem to furnish him with the best material for reflection. With mixed feel- 
ings of pleasure and pain he recalls to memory all the scenes he was com- 
pelled to witness, and all the trials incident to a soldier's life, which he had 
been called upon to endure. His thoughts revert back to the time when he 
heard the stern voice of duty demanding him to make a sacrifice greater 
than the inexperienced can .ever fully appreciate, and which is seldom, if 
ever, rewarded. We owe an everlasting debt of gratitude to those noble 
Jieroes, the defenders of our homes, our country, our rights and our liber- 
ties, who, when the life of this nation was imperiled, with wonderful alac- 
rity, responded to the call of duty, and by their loyalty to their country and 
their valor in the field, forever, we trust, decided that the union of the 
United States is as indissoluble as the rocks of Gibraltar. But are we not 
also under great obligations to the early pioneer, who gave up the comforts 
of home, wath all its hallowed associations, civilization, with all its privi- 
leges, he voluntarily left behind him, and after weeks, yea, often months, 
of tedious travel through the forests, over the mountains, or across the 
bleak and desolate prairies, and far from home and friends, but with a spirit 
of determination and indomitable perseverance Avorthy of emulation, he 
makes a little clearance in the woods, builds his rude log cabin, and makes a 
home for himself and family amidst the howling of the wild beasts and the 
whoop and yell of the Indian savage; with no means of communication with 
the outside world, except at rare intervals, no morning paper to read, as he 
sipped his coffee at the rough breakfast table, no daily mail to bring him 
words of cheer and encouragement from those who were dear to him, no 
telegraph wire to convey to him messages of joy or tidings of sorrow, with 



272 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

no means of travel, except by the rude bark canoe, or by the zig-zag Indian 
trail? He hears no church bells announcing the return of the sacred Sabbath 
morning; he sees no school-house for the education of his children. AVitli 
nothing but faith in God, a noble 'purpose, and all the privations of a fron- 
tier life, he begins to clear the forest, subdue the Indian, and gradually the 
wild beasts disappear from his presence. He thus opens up a pathway for 
civilization, and future generations reap the benefit of the struggles and the 
sacrifices made by the heroic pioneer, whose valuable services, in the devel- 
opment of this great country, are seldom fully recognized. 

It was under similar circumstances as I have described that tliQ first 
settlers of what is now called Ottawa county began their pioneer life fifty 
3'ears ago. We have assembled on the present occasion to celebrate that 
important event, and thus do honor to the band of brave men and women, 
who, on the 2d day of November, 1834, planted civilization in what is now 
called the county of Ottawa, which resulted in the building of school-houses, 
and the erection of churches, the construction of highways, and the clearing 
of the forests, in transforming the wilderness into fruitful fields, rich 
orchards, and valuable vineyards, to which railroads long ago have stretched 
out to receive their products. 

At the time this county was first settled there were only G33 miles of rail- 
road in the United States, and not a single rail had been laid in what was 
then the Territory of Michigan. It was not until the year 1831 that the 
locomotive engine took the place of horses on the Baltimore and Ohio rail- 
road; this road was then opened as far as Harper's Ferry, a distance of 
eighty-one miles from Baltimore. 

The perfect railroad of the present day is the result of gradual develop- 
ment of what were called tramways in the seventeenth century. At that 
period we find that at the coal pits in England, railroads, or tramways made 
of wood, were used to carry the coal from the pit mouth to the place of 
shipment. In the year 1831 the Liverpool and Manchester railroad was 
opened for traflfic, and just before the completion of this road the company 
offered a prize of £500 for a locomotive engine which should run at least ten 
miles an hour and pull three times its own Aveight. On October 6, 1829, 
three engines competed for the prize, which was awarded to the ^'Rocket."^ 
This engine was constructed by that celebrated engineer, George Stephenson, 
and with twelve and three-quarter tons attached made thirty miles an hour, 
which was a remarkable rate of speed for those days. The success which 
attended the construction of railroads in England attracted much attention 
in this country, and led to the construction of the Granite Railroad, which 
run between the quarries in Quincy, Massachusetts, to the tide water on 
the Neponset river, a distance of three miles. 



RAILROADS IN OTTAAVA COUNTY 273 

This road Avns finished in the year 1827. Then followed the construction 
of short gravity roads in I'ennsylvania. It was on the fourth da.y of Jul}', 
182S. that the work of construction was commenced on the Baltimore and 
Ohio railroad, and three years later only 14 miles were completed and opened 
for the public use. The next year 46 miles were completed, and trains were 
runnin<>- between Baltimore and Frederick. The whole line from Baltimore 
to AYheelinof, AA'est Mrginia. a distance of 380 miles, was not completed until 
the year 1853, or twenty-five years after work was first conmieuced upon it. 
]>y that time 10.720 miles of railroad were in operation in the United States. 
The vigor and energy displayed in the construction of railroads was some- 
thing hitherto unknown. The building of railroads was undertaken in 
every direction, and the work was pushed forward with the most astonishing 
ra]>idity. The State of ^lichigan, which had never been behind in the paths 
of ])rogress, also caught the spirit of the age, and at the present time over 
r).000 miles of railroad are in operation in this State. 

On the seventh day of March, 1834, the legislative council of the Terri- 
tory of Michigan granted a charter to the Detroit and Pontiac Railroad 
Company "to transport property and persons by the power and force of 
steam, of animals, or of any mechanical or other power, or of au}- combination 
of them.'' In the autumn of 1838 this road was opened from Detroit to 
Koyal Oak, a distance of 13 miles ; in the spring of 1841 it was opened to 
Birmingham, lO^/o miles from Detroit, and in the month of September, 1844, 
it was opened to Pontiac, a distance of 26 miles from Detroit. 

The first terminus and depot of the road was where the present Detroit 
Ol>era House now stands in the Campus Martins. The road was constructed 
in a very cheap manner, with fiat iron rails and trestle work instead of earth 
embankments, and for some years it was operated by horse power. In the 
year 18.52 the heavy T rail took the place of the old flat iron rail, and the 
trestle works were filled with earth. 

On the 3d of April, 1848, the legislature of the State of Michigan 
incorporated the Oakland and Ottawa Railroad Company to construct a rail- 
road from the village of Pontiac, in the county of Oakland, to Lake :Michigan, 
in the county of Ottawa, and the entire line was located by the first of 
January, 1855. 

On the 13th February, 1855, the legislature passed an act authorizing the 
consolidation of the Detroit and Pontiac and the Oakland and Ottawa rail- 
roads, the two companies to form a continuous line from Detroit to Lake 
Michigan, under the name of the Detroit and Milwaukee Railway Comi)any, 
and on the 2nd October, 1855, the road was opened to Fentonville, a distance 
of fifty miles from Detroit. On July 1st, 1856, it was oi)ened to Owosso, a 

35 



274 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

distance of seventy-eight miles from Detroit, and on the 1st September, 1836, 
the road was opened to Millpoint (now Spring Lake). At first steamers con- 
nected with the railroad at Millpoint until the track bridges and docks were 
c-ompleted at Grand Haven. On the 22nd day of November, 1858, just 
twenty-six years ago, the road was opened from Detroit to Grand Haven, a 
distance of one hundred and eighty-six miles. The first terminus of the 
road at Grand Haven was on the west side of the river; the passenger depot, 
a massive frame structure, stood across the river from the foot of Washington 
street. The building was two stories in height, and a portion of it was used 
for hotel purposes. The freight sheds stood a little south of the passenger 
depot. A ferry boat transported the passengers, baggage, and freight, across 
the river to and from Grand Haven. The city on one side of the Grand River 
and the railroad on the other was found to be very inconvenient, besides, the 
railroad company were subjected to much annoyance by the sand continually 
drifting upon the track. The company finally decided that the terminus at 
Grand Haven should have been located in a more suitable place. The city 
of Grand Haven was very anxious to have the railroad and terminus on the 
east side of the river, and, in 1868, very generously voted to give the rail- 
road company $52,000, on condition that they would build a track from 
Ferrysburg, on the east side of the river, the terminus of the road to be at 
the foot of Washington street, and there construct a good substantial passen- 
ger depot and good warehouse for freight purposes. The company took 
advantage of this liberal offer, built a track from Ferrysburg to Grand Haven 
on the east side of the river, making the terminus and depot at foot of 
Washington street, where a handsome and commodious passenger depot of 
brick and stone was erected, and an extensive freight warehouse of iron 
constructed. The docks which were built were not surpassed by any in 
the State of Michigan, and on the 1st of January, 1870, passenger trains 
commenced to run to and from the new depot. The freight trains continued 
to run to the depot on the west side until July the same year, when they also 
commenced running to and from the new terminus. The track on the west 
side was entirely abandoned and the rails were taken up. The old passenger 
depot and freight sheds soon began to decay, and now nothing, except an 
old rotten dock, remains to mark the spot where at one time stood the first 
passenger depot on the Detroit and Milwaukee Railway, and the first railroad 
depot in this city. 

When this road was constructed as far as Owosso, the company found 
themselves out of funds. The Great Western Railway of Canada was induc- 
ed to complete the road to Grand Haven, and provide the rolling stock. 
That company advanced |1,250,000, besides placing the first mortgage bonds 



RAILROADS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 275 

of the company in London, England. At that time it was not so easy to 
obtain money lor railroad constrnction as it became at a later jjeriod; there- 
fore, to the Great Western Eailroad of Canada the State of Michigan is 
indebted for the earlier construction of this road to Lake Michigan, and the 
earlier opening up and settlement of the county of Ottawa, through which 
it passes. This road enters Ottawa county from the east at the southeast 
corner of the town of Wright, and runs in a westerly direction through the 
townships of Wright, Polkton, Crockery, Spring Lake and Grand Haven. 
At the latter place the trains connect with steamers for Chicago and Mil- 
waukee. The boats on the Chicago line are owned by the Goodrich Trans- 
portation Company, and run only during the summer season. The steamers 
on the Milwaukee route are owned and managed by the Grand Haven & Mil- 
Avaukee Kailway Company, and consist of the magnificent side wheeled steam- 
er, the City of Milwaukee, which, during the summer season, makes the 
round trip daily (Sundays excepted) between Milwaukee and Grand Haven, 
and the propellers, Michigan and Wisconsin, both fine sea-going steamers, 
which have a carrying capacity of one thousand tons each. These steamers 
run the year round. Of course they are frequently delayed by ice during 
the winter months. In the year 1882 no less than 196,259 tons of freight 
was transferred between the steamboats and cars at Grand Haven, giving 
employment to an average of seventy-five men the year round, at $1.50 per 
day each. The greater portion of this freight was carried across the lake 
during the winter months. In the month of January, that year, no less 
than 25,000 tons of flour, grain, lard, pork and general merchandise were 
carried by those boats between Milwaukee and Grand Haven. 

In the year 1871 the Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad Company, the Engle- 
man Transportation Company and several Detroit parties built an elevator 
at Grand Haven, at a cost of about |35,000, for the purpose of transferring 
grain from the boats to the cars. The storage capacity of the elevator was 
35,000 bushels, and was capable of unloading grain from the boats at the 
rate of 3,000 bushels an hour. In July, 1875, this elevator was entirely 
destroyed by fire. The same year another elevator, with double the storage 
capacity, was built on the site of the old one. The railroad company has a 
very extensive river front, and of late years they have extended their docks 
and largely increased the facilities for handling freight at Grand Haven. 
The Detroit & Milwaukee Railway Company failed to earn enough money 
to pay the interest upon its bonds, consequently a foreclosure and sale took 
place, and on the 24th of October, 1860, the company was reorganized as the 
Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad Company. In November, 1873, the earnings 
of the road again proved to be insuflScient to pay the interest upon its bond- 



276 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

ed debt, and iu 1875, its president, the Honorable C. C. Trowbridge, was, by 
the conrt, appointed receiver of the road, and remained in possession of it 
nntil November, 1878. The road was again sold, and the present companr 
organized nwder the name of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Rail- 
way Company. The road now came under the immediate management of 
the Great Western Railway of Canada, and remained so until February,. 
1883, when the Great Western and Grand Trunk Railway of Canada amal- 
gamated, and since then the road has been operated by the Grand Trunk 
Railway Company. In locating stations on the line of this railway the 
county of Ottawa was very liberally supplied, no fewer than seven stations^ 
being furnished Ottawa county, and all located within a distance of twenty- 
two miles. One and a half miles east of Grand Haven is Ferrysburg, where 
connection is made with the Chicago and West Michigan railroad for Mus- 
kegon, Pentwater, and the north, Holland, Allegan, New Buffalo, Chicago,, 
and all points south and west, and here are located the extensive foundry 
and machine shops known as the Ottawa iron works. Three-quarters of a 
mile further east is the Spring Lake station ; the principal shipments from 
here are lumber and fruit. The Cutler and Savage Lumber Company ship 
ver^^ extensive h' from this station. As far back as 1873 this company made 
application at one time for three hundred cars, to load with lumber, agree- 
ing to load them as fast as furnished. Six and a half miles east of Spring 
Lake, in the town of Crockery, is the village of Nunica ; the shipments 
from here are chiefl}^ farm produce. Four and a half miles further east is 
Dennison's station, in the township of Polkton, and next comes Coopers- 
ville station. Three miles from Dennison's, also in the town of Folk- 
ton, is Coopersyille, the principal station between Grand Haven and Grand 
Rapids, and being surrounded by a fine agricultural country, it has developed 
into a thriving village of nearly 1,000 inhabitants. A large amount of farm 
produce is shipped from this station. Six miles southeast of Coopersville is 
the Berlin station, in the town of Wright; a large amount of grain, apples, 
and other farm products are shipped from here. Shortly after leaving 
Berlin the railroad enters Kent county, about seven miles from Grand 
Rapids. 

At this distance of time we can scarcely realize the wonderful improve- 
ments which have been made in the mode of travel since the Rev. W. M. 
Ferry and Mr. Pierre Duvernay, with their families, arrived at the mouth of 
the Grand River. Then no superb coaches, luxuriant dining cars, palatial 
parlor and magnificent sleeping cars were running all over the country in 
every direction ; the luxuries of modern travel were then unknown. First- 
class hotels and post-ofiices had not commenced to run on wheels at the rate 



RAILROADS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 277 

of forty or fifty miles an hour, as they do upon the railroads of the present 
day. The most common mode of travel then was l»ehiiid a slow ox team in 
;i roujtih wagon, and jolted over roads which nuuU' no pretensions at being 
graded. To-day it takes less time to make a trip from Grand Haven to 
Europe and return than it took fifty years ago to go to Detroit and back. 
Now we can eat an early breakfast with our family and be in Detroit in time 
for an early dinner, have four liours in which to transact business, and reach 
Clrand Haven the same evening. To be in Grand Haven to-day and New 
York city to-morrow is nothing wonderful nowadays, and it is possible for 
the farmer in Ottawa county to have his wheat in the English market 
two weeks after l)eing cut down by the reaper. 

Railroads, telegraph and telephone Avires have so annihilated distance that 
the citizens of Ottawa county have long ago ceased to think that they are 
isolated from the rest of the world. The superior railroad and steamboat 
-advantages which the people in Ottawa county enjoy place them within easy 
reach of any part of the United t^tates. 

Besides the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railway, which passes 
through the county from east to Avest, the Chicago and West Michigan Rail- 
way and branches traverses the county from north to south and east to west. 
The history of this railway only dates back to 1S07. In that year a company 
was formed in Muskegon to construct a railroad between Ferrysburg, in 
Ottawa county, and Muskegon, in Muskegon county, a distance of about 
15 miles. This road was opened for traffic in December, 1869, and was 
the first railroad to enter Muskegon, and was known as the Muskegon and 
Eerrysburg Railroad. February 3, 1SG9, a company was formed, called the 
Orand Rapids and Lake Shore Railroad Company, to build a railroad from 
Grand Rapids to Pentwater, by the way of Muskegon, and during 1870 the 
road was constructed from Nunica to Muskegon. On the 23d of April. 1867, 
■n company was organized to construct a railroad from Xew Buftalo to St. 
Joseph, Michigan. This company was known as the Chicago and Michigan 
Lake Shore Railroad Company. On the 2oth of June, the same year, another 
company was organized to build a road from St. Joseph to Muskegon. This 
was known as the Lake Shore Railroad of West Michigan. 

July 29, the same year, these two corporations consolidated,, and the road 
from New Buffalo to Nunica took the name of the Chicago and Michigan 
Lake Shore Railroad. August 17, 1870, the Grand Rapids and Lake Shore 
railroad became the property of the Chicago and ;Michigan Lake Shore Rail- 
road Company. In the same year the road from New Buffalo was oi)ened 
for traffic to Muskegon. This road entered Ottawa county a few miles south 
of Holland, and ran north through the towns of Holland, Olive, Robin- 



278 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

son and Crockery, and had stations at Holland, Ottawa, Spoouville and 
Nunica. In 1869 a company was organized to construct a railroad from 
Allegan to Grand Haven. This organization took the name of the Michigan 
Lake Shore Railroad Company. The same year the Muskegon and Ferrys- 
burg Railroad consolidated with this road, and the consolidated roads took 
the name of the Michigan Lake Shore Railroad. This road was opened for 
traffic between Allegan and Muskegon in 1870. The Michigan Lake Shore 
Railroad failed to earn money enough to pay the interest on its bonds, and in 
1874 Mr. D. P. Claj^, of Grand Rapids, was appointed receiver by the 
court, and he continued in charge of the road until October 15, 1878, when 
the road was sold under foreclosure of mortgage. It was bid in by the bond- 
holders, the original stockholders getting nothing. The company was 
reorganized as the Grand Haven Railroad Company in 1881. The control of 
the stock passed into the hands of those interested in the Chicago and West 
Michigan Railway, and became a portion of the main road of the Chicago and 
West Michigan system. This road has six stations located in Ottawa county 
within a distance of 20 miles. 

The road enters the county about the middle of the north boundary line 
of the town of Spring Lake, and runs south through the towns of Spring 
Lake, Grand Haven, Olive and Holland. The first station from the north 
is Ferry sburg, in the town of Spring Lake. At this station is the junction 
of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railroad, and close connection is 
made with all jjassenger trains on that road. From Ferrysburg to Grand 
Haven, a distance of one mile, trains of the Chicago & West Michigan Rail- 
way Company run over the track of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee 
Railway Company. All trains stop at Grand Haven station. About six 
miles south of Grand Haven is Jonesville station. The principal shipments 
from here are bark, logs, lumber and ties. Next station reached is West 
Olive, then North Holland, and about six miles further south is Holland 
Station, which is one of the most important stations on the Chicago & West 
Michigan Railway. By honest toil and steady perseverance, the industrious 
Hollanders have effected wonderful changes in thfe town of Holland since the 
year 1846. They have turned the wilderness into fruitful fields, and beau- 
tiful homes adorn the township. Large shipments of grain, hay, flour, but- 
ter, eggs and other farm products are made from this station. The city of 
Holland enjoys rare advantages, being surrounded by a rich agricultural 
country, and has railroad and lake facilities very rarely surpassed. It has 
Lake Michigan on the west, and direct railroad communication with the 
north, south, east and west. . In 1870 a company was organized to build a 
railroad from Grand Rapids, in Kent county, to Holland, in Ottawa county. 



RAILROADS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 27* 

This company was known as the Grand Rapids and Holland Railroad Com- 
pany. October 1, 1871, this road was consolidated with the Chicago and 
Michigan Lake Shore Railroad. 

This road enters Ottawa county about the middle of the east boundary 
line of the town of Georgetown, and traverses the county in a southwesterly 
direction through the towns of Georgetown, Jamestown, Zeeland, and Hol- 
land. The principal shipments from these stations are hay, grain, flour, 
butter, eggs, and other farm produce. 

For the construction of the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad and 
its branches mortgages had been given, and, in November, 1876. a bill was 
filed in the United States court to foreclose the mortgagees, the company 
having failed to pay the interest on its bonds. Mr. George C. Kimball, who 
was general manager of the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad, wa» 
hj the court appointed receiver for the entire property. At the sale of those 
roads, Charles Francis Adams, jr., of Boston, bid them in for the bondhold- 
ers, and on the 1st day of October, 1881, the company was reorganized and 
took the name of the Chicago and West Michigan Railway Company. The 
new organization abandoned the road from Holland to Fruitport, and took 
up the track, much to the injury of the settlers along the line of that por- 
tion of the railroad. In 1873 the Michigan and Ohio Railroad Company 
surveyed and graded the track, from the city of Grand Haven for some dis- 
tance through Ottawa county, but failing to place the bonds of the company 
in London, the further construction of the road was abandoned, leaving^ 
many of the citizens of Grand Haven poorer if not wiser. No doubt but 
this road will be finished some day, just when I do not know. According to 
the oflicial railroad guide, dated July, this year, no fewer than twenty-two 
passenger trains are run daily (Sundays excepted) through the county of 
Ottawa, eight are run over the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railway, 
and fourteen over the Chicago and West Michigan Railway and branches. 
Fourteen of these trains stop at Holland and sixteen at Grand Haven, and the 
Grand Haven postoffice sends out eight mails daily (except Sundays) and 
receives the same number. No invention of the last hundred years has done 
so much for the improvement of the human race as railroads. They are 
generally well managed, and comparatively few accidents occur on them; 
especially is this true of the Michigan railroads. 



280 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



COMMERCP: and ship building of OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY HENRY GRIFFIN 



The commerce of Grand Haven and Ottawa county dates its commence- 
ment from the rear 1825. In that year Rix Robinson, the agent of the 
American Fur Company, came to the mouth of Grand River and established 
a trading post. He brought with him supplies of such merchandise as was 
suited to the wants of the Indians, and commenced a traffic with them, 
exchanging his goods for their furs and skins. 

The first general storehouse and dock was erected at the foot of Franklin 
street by the commercial house, composed of Rix Robinson, Nathan H. 
White, Luke A. White, and Dr. Williams, in the year 1835, and in 1837 the 
writer examined the establishment. The building was about 30x100 feet, 
and the dock in front perhaps twenty feet in the river. The basement was 
HI led with several hundred barrels of Ohio flour, worth $10 per barrel, and 
a poor quality at that, and pork and beef $20 to |30. Tlie first floor, with 
front on W^ater street, was well stored with dry goods, groceries, and Indian 
goods, such as blankets, blue calico, cheap blue broadcloth, etc., purchased 
in New York. The second story had a gi'eat variety of supplies to furnish 
new settlers, composed of hardware, feathers, house and shanty furniture, 
€tc., etc. 

The lands on the north side of the Grand River were not yet in market, and 
the new settlers were all on preemption or squatter's rights. In 1837 every 
pine bluff on the river was occupied by a shingle shanty for making shingles 
i\'ith froe and draw knife. These shingles were practically a legal tender for 
payment of debts or for any kind of traffic. 

Louis Campau erected the first forwarding warehouse below Franklin 
street in the bend of the river, and Tom Louis kept it a few years and run 
:a line of pole boats between that port and Grand Rapids; these boats were 
used as barges after a steamboat was built. 

In 1836 the Gilberts built a large scow to supply the Buffalo steamers 
■calling occasionally at this port with cord wood. The wood was cut where 
spring Lake is situated, and at other places on the river. Gilbert & Co. 



COMMERCE AND SHIP BUILDING OF OTTAWA COUNTY 281 

\vere also forwarding and commission merchants before 1840. David Carver 
came here in 1835, with 0. B. Albee as clerk, and built a warehouse and 
dock, on Water street, and the dwelling on Franklin street, owned and occu- 
pied for years by William Wallace. 

A Mr. Stearns built a warehouse in 18;i(;. purchased afterwards by C. B. 
Albee, who was for many years in the forwarding business with ^Ir. Ebenezer 
Barnes as clerk, and kept a store in the same large warehouse, on the lots 
where now stands the Detroit, Grand Haven and ililwaukee R. R. depots. 

From 1839 to 1819 we had only three general stores in firand Haven, all 
situated on Water street, in the warehouses, viz., first. Rev. ^V. ]\I. Ferry» 
who had a general store in 1810 foot of Franklin street, C. B. Albee, Frank 
B. and Tom D. (Jilbert. All carried on about the same kind of general 
trade in merchandise, lumber, and shingles. 

More than forty years ago Mr. Dwight Cutler emigrated from Massachu- 
setts to Grand Haven. He soon after entered the store of F. B. Gilbert & 
Co. as boy of all work. In March, 1850, in connection with B. F. Hax- 
ton and H. L. Waits, the firm of Haxton, Cutler & Waits was organized and 
bought out the Gilberts, who then removed to Grand Rapids. Haxton after- 
wards withdrew from the firm and Albert Stegeman entered it. and the firm 
became Cutler. Waits & Stegeman. Stegeman left the firm and commenced 
business for himself in the building owned bj^ C. B. Albee. Waits after- 
wards sold his interest to Cutler, who then removed the store to corner of 
AVashington and First streets. About 18G3 Mr. Cutler sold out to t^heldon & 
Slayton. The last named firm dissolved in 1870. 

The first general store on Washington street was built by Henry Grilfin 
in 1849. 

The first regular hardware store was established by George E. Hubbard,, 
corner of Washington and First streets, about thirty years ago, and soon 
after our city organization Mr. Hubbard built the brick block now occupied 
by Rosebom & Faff Bros. One of the early Indian traders who came here 
from Mackinac with Rev. W. M. Ferry in 1834 was Mr. Pierre C. Duvernay,. 
and in 1837 he had a snug little store at the foot of Franklin street, well 
filled with Indian blankets, blue broadcloth and calicos; also barrels of salt 
whitefish and siskowit, mococks of maple sugar and cranberries. 

In 1871 A. M. Dickee and X. B. White had a hardware store corner Wash- 
ington and Second streets. Howlet's block, since built on that corner, is 
now occupied by Hully & Dickinson as a drug and book store, and by Ros- 
well H. Lee, jewelry, etc. More than twenty years ago J. C. Avery kept a 
jewelry store on Washington street, near Oddfellow's Hall, and now engaged 
36 



282 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

in the wholesale aud retail tobacco trade and manufacture of cigars, in 
<?ompany with Mr. George E. Hubbard. 

Jacob Van Der Veen, druggist, and Willian Meras, a grocer and baker, 
■occupy the Oddfellows' Block. 

The first vessel employed regularly in the lumber and passenger business 
Itetween Grand Haven and Chicago was the good schooner '\St. Joseph," 
which arrived here in 1836 from Buffalo with several families, and among 
"them five brothers of the Hon. Kix Robinson, with their families, numbering 
forty-two persons. 

Capt. Harry Miller commanded the ''St. Joseph" several years; also the 
■^'Caroline," built in 1811 and used as a supply vessel to Commodore Perry's 
fleet on Lake Erie, and was rebuilt for the lumber trade by the owner after 
purchasing her from the United States Government. 

Capt. Miller also sailed the propeller "Ottawa," the first lake steamer built 
Iby Major Ferry & Son for the lumber and passenger trade with Chicago. 

Capt. Miller commanded the splendid brig "Enterprise,*' built at Spring 
Lake in 1844 by the Messers. Barber & Mason. It was estimated that at least 
a thousand persons were present on the day she was launched. In December 
of that 3^ear the "Enterprise" loaded with lumber at Barber & Mason's mill 
:and left port for Chicago. Mr. Barber, Silas Hopkins and Mr. Hams were 
among the passengers. The vessel was overtaken with a violent snow storm 
Avhich lasted nearly a week. They were driven to the head of Lake Michi- 
gan. The deck load was deeply covered with ice aud the sails frozen stiff. 
Here they found anchorage. Capt. Harry ("Bluff" as he was called) 
exclaimed, "She rides ! she rides !" Seeing a movement toward letting 
<lown the ship's boat and Hopkins tying his pants to his boots, the captain 
says, ".Sile, what are you going to do?" The reply was, "I am going 
ashore." Mr. Barber says, "Let the vessel go ashore." Raising a hand- 
spike above his head the captain said, "The first one that puts his hand on 
that boat will be a dead man," exclaiming to the owner, "I command this 
vessel while on the lake, when we arrive in Chicago you may do what you 
please with her.'' The wind and weather changed soon after, and sure 
■enought he safely brought the brig and cargo in the harbor of Chicago, and 
«aid, "Now, Mr. Parbor, your brig is safe; do what you like mit her." About 
half the people of the city were on hand to see the vessel. Later the Captain 
■owned and sailed the schooner "Ocean.'' 

The schooner "Victory," a small vessel of perhaps 60 tons burden, owned 
and commanded by Capt. William Mcintosh, arrived here from Toronto 
through the Welland Canal, bringing the material for building the Norton- 
ville saw mill, and subsequently she was emploj'ed in carrying lumber from 



COMMERCE AND SHIP Bl'ILDlXG OF OTTAWA COUNTY 283 

the Butts & Hathaway mill, the first saw-niill built in (liaml Haven, on the 
lots where the 1).. (}. H. & ^r. K. K. depot is now situated. Col. Amos 
Xoi'tou Avent as jiasseuger on the •'Victorv" to Waukejian. Now the 
Colonel was rather famous for telling long stories. He luqipeued on (me of 
them in a barber shop, which was so lengthy thai the vessel sailed without 
him. On that trip she was overtaken with a sudden and terrific storiii. The 
vessel capsized aud the captain aud all on board were lost. 

The schooner New Hampshire, capacity one hundred thousand feet of 
lumber, owned by (/aptain John Warren and Ebene/.er Burns, was a regular 
trader forty years ago. The scow vessel ••Crook," was owned by (\ ]>. Albee 
in 1850; her fiat bottom was built of solid timber and planked over. Your 
writer once went passenger on the ••Crook." bound for Chicago. Coming 
near the land in a gale of wind from the north, the captain (Noyes) hove to 
under jib and foresail, a dense fog prevailing. We rode the tremendous 
waves for hours; taking a berth, I Avas quickly rolled out. After the sea 
went down we made for Chicago without losing a board or a shingle. Subse- 
quently, Mr. Albee and Captain Xoyes built the good schooner "Vermont," 
about one hundred tons, and a regular trader at this point for many years. 
Finally, returning from Chicago, late in the fall, with a cargo of grain and 
provisions, she ran ashore at Little Pigeon and was wrecked. The owner, 
crew and passengers were saved with a basket swinging on a cable. The 
schooner "Illinois." owned by the Gilberts, ran several years from the saw- 
mill owned by Nathan Throop, and sold to the Gilberts, and by them sold to 
Ferry & Son, and by them sold to Wyman & Buswell, and destroyed by fire 
just in time to furnish the ground required by the Detroit, Grand Haven & 
Milwaukee Railroad Company for their depot, foot of Washington street. 
In 1849 the steamer "Champion," Captain McBride, ran from this port to 
Milwaukee, and the ''Detroit," ran to Chicago. Doth these boats were built 
in Detroit by the senior Ward. 

In 1850 the commerce of the country required a larger class of vessels. 
Messrs. Ferry & Son built the "Telegraph." the "Amanda," the ••Magic," 
the '•Emeline," the "Xoah Ferry" and the steam propeller ••Ottawa." 
The "New Era," a steam propeller, was built at Eastmanville, by Galen East- 
man, and is used for towing of barges to Chicago. Of late, the tine large ves- 
sel called the '•Wyman," owned by Charles Wyman. and the three-masted 
schooners called the ••Macy" and '•Hunter Savage," owned by the Cutler & 
lavage Lumber Company, are among our first-class hunber vessels. 

In 1852 the schooner "l*ioneer" was built at Spring Lake by H. (Jriflin, 
and Captain Chaloner placed in command. She was a very strong vessel, 
about 1(K) tons burthen. Bought by Ferry & Son in 185(1. and by them sold to 



284 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

Holland parties, and carried lumber for eighteen years with few repairs. 
The "Michigan Belle" was built about the same time at Spring Lake, by Mr. 
N. H. White and Mr. George Parks. Messrs. A. & G. L. Norton built a 250 
ton brig in 1854, for their mill business at Nortonville. 

The "Olive Eichmond," Captain Munroe, was a large brig owned by Hop- 
kins Brothers 'of Spring Lake, carrying lumber from three mills at Spring 
Lake several years. The brig "Sebastopol" was owned by Charles Pagleson 
and Captain Harry Smith, and did a good business before the day of steam 
tugs and barges. If the wind was not fair, the jolly boat of the vessels. 
with a hawser and all hands, with the captain to steer, pulled the vessel in 
or out of the harbor. The brig "E. B. Morgan," built at Grand Rapids by 
Amos Rathbun and finished here, was a large vessel for the lower lake trade 
and several others built at Chicago for the Grand River lumber trade. The 
class of tugs, ships and steamers, built during the past ten years at our two 
ship yards in the first ward, by Captain Kirby, and by Duncan Robinson, 
are widely and well known for the beauty of their models. The largest, the 
"H. C. Akely," made many trips to Escanaba with over a thousand tons of 
iron ore for the blast furnace on Spring Lake. This vessel left Chicago with 
a load of grain in 1883, was unfortunately injured in her machinery during 
one of the most violent storms on Lake Michigan and foundered ; the crew of 
twelve men were saved by the gallant Miller boys of the schooner "Drover," 
risking their own lives, thus exhibiting the greatest pluck and daring. 
Worthy sons of a noble sire. 

The Litchfield Lumber Company built three fine vessels on the river, one 
of them, the "Major Anderson," loaded here with a cargo of walnut lumber, 
which was sent to Boston through the Welland canal and the St. Lawrence ; 
both cargo and vessel sold to good profit. The propellers "Pocahontas" 
and "Troy," from Buffalo, brought out New York goods here several years^ 
and loaded with Kent and Ionia count}^ wheat before the day of railroads. 
The propeller "Troy" was, subsequently, purchased by Messrs. Cutler and 
Waits, and ran in the Buffalo trade. The magnificent steamers "Detroit" 
and "Milwaukee" ran in connection with the Detroit and Michigan Rail- 
road Company, on the opposite side of the river. They were not as well 
adapted for the winter trade as the iron propellers "Michigan" and "Wis- 
consin." The change to the city side of the river, with the splendid iron 
bridges of Spring Lake and Ferrysburg, the elevator, the large brick pas- 
senger depot, with immense warehouses and docks, all add largely to our 
facilities of commerce. Eleven years ago the propeller "Ironsides" found- 
ered near our harbor, with a loss of nineteen persons. Since then the sad 
fate of the "Alpena" is too well known to be detailed here. These awful 



COMMERCE AND SHIP BUILDING OF OTTAWA COUNTY . 285 

disasters fiilh' justify the great expense of the railroad company in putting 
on the route such splendid propellors as are now running, and also the mag- 
nificent side- wheel steamer ''City of Milwaukee," Captain Smallman. 

The first towing tug was the ''Mary Bell," bought at Buffalo by Robert 
Howlet. The second was the ^'Elisha Bliss," brought to this i)ort by Gros- 
venor Reed. We now have the "Duncan Robinson." owned by d. ^V. 
Miller & Stark, several others owned by Captain Kirby, and half a dozen 
more employed in the lake fishing business. The first river steamboat was 
the "Owastanonk" built here by the firm of Robinson, White, Williams & 
Co., Cai)tain Thomas W. White in command. The ''Governor ^fason" was 
built by the Godfreys at Grand Rapids, your writer being one of her x)^ssen- 
gers on the first trip from Grand Rapids to this port in August, 1837. The 
*'Meshawaukee," "Paragon," "Gazelle," "Humming Bird," "Daniel Ball," 
the "Olive Branch," a large stern-wheel steamer and others, ran on Grand 
River, as many as three or four of them at one time carrying freight and 
passengers from this port to Grand Rapids, and subsequently the steamer 
^'Barrett," built by Mr. Gano, the only one left since the railroad era. 

The steam tug "Tempest" did noble work in past years aiding vessels in 
distress, saving life and property at this port. The tug "Tempest" is now 
enlarged to a lumber propeller, running from White & Fryaut's mill at 
Nortonville. 

In the first ward we have a box, tub, and pail factory, a match factory, and 
in the fourth ward a large corn planter factory and planing mills. In the 
second ward Mr. George Parks & Sons built the first steam shingle and planing 
mill. John W. Hopkins and George Fryant were extensive dealers in lumber 
and shingles more than thirty years ago. J. A. Leggatt ran a grist mill in 
the first ward about twenty years ago. The Storrs' mill in the second ward, 
now owned by Forrest Brothers, does a large trade in flour and feed. 

The first banking and exchange office was established on Water street by 
Ferry & Son, more than thirty years ago, and also by E. L. Fuller. The 
First National Bank of Grand Haven was organized in Ferry & Son's banking 
office, August 1, 1874, and was opened in the Cutler house block April 1, 
1872. The first president, E. P. Ferry; first and present cashier, Mr. George 
Stickney; directors, E. P. Ferry, Hunter Savage, Stephen Munroe. Sherman 
H. Boyce, Robert Howlet, H. C. Akeley, Charles E. Wyman, and T. Stuart 
White. ^ Five of the orignal names are still members of the board. At the 
end of the first year the capital was increased from one to two hundred thou- 
sand dollars. It now has a surplus fund of ninety-six thousand dollars, 
paying its stockholders two hundred and forty-five thousand dollars in divi- 
dends. It has paid over twenty-five thousand dollars to the United States 



286 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

treasury for taxes, and tbirty-fonr tlionsand dollars to the city treasury for 
the same purpose. 



MANUFACTURE^^. ACTUAL AND POSSIBLE 



BY GEORGE STICKNEY 



Put a man in tlie middle of a pine forest to chop his way out or starve^ 
and he will most likely become a manufacturer of lumber. Give him in 
addition, a good harbor on a sea, offering him the whole northwest for a 
market, at the mouth of a river where he had but to whistle and the logs 
came down to him — of late the process has not been quite so simple as that — 
and how can he help but be a successful one? Residents near the mouth of 
Grand River have been lumber manufacturers willing or unwilling. As they 
became wealthy and were able to command greater facilities, the slaughter of 
the innocent pine has been most extensive and magnificent. Grand River 
and its tributaries for a hundred and fifty miles up have borne us a solid 
armor of logs in the spring, and the pine boards have gone across Lake 
Michigan, not simply in vessels, but in long trains of them. I do not know 
where or when the first saw mill in Ottawa county was built or who built it. 
Forgive me if my little essay is not one of retrospection, but rather one of in- 
trospection and speculation as to the future. I have not yet reached that age 
when one is said to think baclovards only, or even with ease. Am still look- 
ing forward and wondering what we shall achieve, and doing so with much 
hope and enthusiasm, based on our superb advantages and capacity. Let 
the older people write the history of our county; I prefer to assist in the mak- 
ing of history a while longer. Goethe wrote : ''Festivities are fit for what is 
happily concluded. At the commencement they but waste the force and zeal 
which should inspire us in the struggle, and support us through a long 
continued labor." I^t this occasion be to the older ones who have accom- 
plished a half century of work in Ottawa county, in clearing the ground and 
making so grand a beginning for us, a celebration. Let it be something else 
to us who have work left in us. 



MANUFACTURES— ACTUAL AND POSSIBLE 287 

We have been very busy liarvestin<>^ this wonderful ciop of pine, the result 
of a iirowth the necessary time for which no man knoweth. We are almost 
at the end of our harvest, and I cannot see how our harvest-home can be cel- 
ebrated with much jollity. The j)€ripatetic laborer who on such an occasion 
knows that when the feast and the dance are ended he must go forth from 
the farmer's comfortable roof and wander until God turns the dial from the 
autumn fruits to the winter frosts, and the buddinji sprin*;, and the growing!: 
summer, and the harvest again, must find some alloy in his employment 
though he knows the harvest and its reward Avill come again. What must be 
the feeling of one Avho goes forth knowing that for him there will l)e no 
more harvest? Not many years more, and our prestige as a shipping point 
for pine will have gone, and the fifteen or twenty saw mills within a radius 
of a few miles of Grand Haven will have become useless. The capital that 
runs them, and the men that work them will find other homes, or else other 
avenues of employment. V^'e must answer the question as to which of these 
exjiedients shall result, and upon its being answered correctly depends to 
some extent our future. It is but natural that those who have spent their 
lives in mastering the intricacies of lumber nmnufacture, shall many, per- 
haps most of them, seek other fields in which to use their already acquired 
experience, and with them will go more or less of the capital acquired here. 
Then will come the time Avhich must decide of what we are made; whether we 
have the natural advantages, the grit, and the enterprise that shall attract 
new interests which shall insure our future prosperity. Even from now 
hence we cannot retain our present wealth depending Avholly on the lumber 
traflSc. t^o absorbed have we been with the lumber harvest, that we have had 
Itut little time for agriculture, and really know but little of the possibilities 
of Ottawa county in this resi^ect. Those who have posed as farmers have 
very many of them spent a good portion of their time in the lumber woods, 
and made the occupation of farming a secondary one. Once rid of saw logs, 
and the temporarily increased remuneration their marketing affords, and our 
labor will be directed to many things which will secure a more permanent 
prosperity, and among these, I reckon a more intelligent and industrious 
cultivation of the soil. And what, do you ask, has this to do with our manu- 
factures? It is a common and truthful remark that with the exception of 
the one item of rent it costs more to live in Grand Haven than in a large 
<ity. This will be true until our farmers are more prosperous, and our bus- 
iness streets are lined daily with their wagons, bringing in their products 
and sj^nding the proceeds with our merchants, and so increasing their ability 
to supply their wares in a variety and at a price to meet our needs. I'ntil 
this is the case, mechanics cannot afford to work at a price paid by our 



288 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

neigliboi'S. We can do something in this direction by removing the unnat- 
ural obstruction of a toll bridge. Then our being so absorbed in lumber pro- 
duction has been a hindrance, almost a positive bar to the encouragement of 
other branches of manufacture. It has offered such a superior profit to the 
proprietor, and wages to the laborer — I say laborer instead of mechanic or 
artisan because comparatively little skilled labor is required in the manu- 
facture of lumber — as to prevent much success in other branches of production 
by its side. One of the most experienced and successful lumbermen in Grand 
Haven said recently in my hearing that he doubted the success of any other 
branch of manufacture in the place until we had done with the lumber. And 
we are getting done with the lumber. What then? The indications are that 
three of our leading mills will not be stocked this winter. What will take 
their place? One trouble in employing the men released from the saw mills 
will be that it is not skilled or intelligent labor yet it has come to command a 
price higher than what we used to call common labor. It is one of the 
phases of the newer mechanical labor, that fewer jDersons are masters of their 
trade, and those who profess its mastery are workers in a more limited depart- 
ment than of old. Cooperation is so applied as to almost make a machine of 
the mechanic. So great an elaboration of the principle of cooperation, is a 
misfortune to a community of limited means both in money and ability, in 
that to successfully compete with older and richer localities, it must organ- 
ize an establishment on an extensive scale. Once a town of this size would 
have required fifty shoemakers to meet the home demand. Xow a piece of 
leather is put in a machine in some monster factory, quite often located 
within the walls of a State prison, and comes out a boot or shoe ; or something 
they call one, for often it does not deserve the name. Once the black- 
smith not only fitted the horse shoe, but made it with his hammer. He sel- 
dom does this now. Was a bolt or a nut wanted? He made them in the 
same manner. Now he who needs them buys at the hardware store, of the 
size and construction he wants, turned out by complicated machinery, at the 
lowest cost. Once the wagon maker was an important factor in the com- 
munity. Now he and the shoemaker and the blacksmith are simply cobblers. 
The only way to get our share in the world's work is to do as the rest are 
doing — unite our money and our skill in some great work. Such experi- 
ments — and an attempt of this kind under the best of circumstances is al- 
ways more or less of an experiment — cost money; lots of it. They cost a 
life time of wear and exertion on the part of those who undertake them, and 
it would astonish those of us who only see the surface facts to know how 
many such enterprises fail, and blast the prospects of many lives. We would 
be surprised to know how many manufacturing establishments in • sis- 



MANUFACTURES— ACTUAL AND POSSIBLE 289 

ter towns which are acquiring- the titles of niauufactui-ing towns, never paid 
a dividend, and are dragging- out a precarious existence. To the uninitiated 
thev seem all prosperity, but a settling time must come with them sooner or 
later. Their only good accomplished — and it is a good — is the employment 
of labor; but j)eople cannot build factories for such jthilanthropic reasons, 
and ought not if they could. And with this condition of things, the laborer, 
more likely than not, regards his employer as his enemy, and pits himself 
against him on every possible occasion, when he is the best, and perhaps the 
only real friend he has in the world. How^ever inappropriate it may be to 
this time and place, I cannot lose it to denounce the unprincipled dema- 
gogues who for purely selfish ends are doing what they can to estrange labor 
and capital. The uncertainty of the labor factor is one of the great hin- 
drances to the investment of money in manufactures to-day. I do not say 
its cost, but its fickleness. Free speech and labor are two of the fundament- 
als of our government. It is an outrage that one should be so much used as 
of late for the destruction of the other. Ko other essential to industrial 
prosperity is so timid as capital, and rightly so, for it is the first and surest 
sufferer from disaster. The Avorker always has his hands and his legs and 
his brains left whatever happens. The wealth that furnishes him employ- 
ment may be here to-day blessing him with its kindly assistance, and to- 
morrow it may be gone. The great risks incident to a manufacturing enter- 
prise, will of course not be undertaken for the sake of philanthropy, or the 
general prosperity. The inducement to do so must be a selfish one, and yet 
it is no more selfishness than if you or I work with our hands for the future 
of ourselves and our families. Offer our men of means a project that seems, to 
those able to judge of such matters, a prospect of returns and back it by the 
skill and business ability, and honesty necessary to success, and their part of 
the capital will come readily. Our people have had experience enough with a 
€lass of peripatetic incompetent beggars with pail factories, basket factories, 
iron works, patent milking stools, etc., who are ready to undertake almost 
any wild experiment, if somebody else will but furnish all the money and take 
all the risk. I could not count on my fingers the number of adventurers 
who have been anxious to build gas works for us if the people would 
furnish the money, and the city give them a fat contract. Finally I believe 
we are to have gas furnished us on business principles. A man has come 
among us who simpl}' says, ''I have gas to sell. Will you buy it at a fair 
rate?" It also looks as though we may get water without having quite to 
mortgage our future existence. Still the burden that is to come on us in the 
shape of increased taxation is more worth considering than some people sus- 
pect. Two years ago the writer had occasion to advertise an investment in 
37 



290 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

several newspapers devoted to milling purposes. In almost every one of the 
numerous letters of inquiry in 'answer to the advertisement a leading ques- 
tion was, "What are jour taxes in Grand Haven?" I was able to answer 
"They have ranged from one to one and one-half per cent; never more 
than one and one-half." This was a rate lower than the average of towns 
of our size, and had a tendency to influence investors in our favor. I doubt 
not that with our water and our gas, our street improvement bonds, and the 
dozen and one similar necessities for which we must pay in the future, such 
a representation can never be made again. For the last two years our tax 
has been at nearly twice the former rate. Still it is much lower than some 
of our neighboring, and in some respects, rival places. If Ave consult our 
interests as a community wishing an accretion of wealth from elsewhere, we 
will oppose with all our powers any attempt to increase the recent rates. 
Listen to the moans of some of our tax ridden neighbors who are paying dou- 
ble Grand Haven rates, and congratulate yourselves that it is no worse. It 
makes a very great difference whether the infant manufactories we have shall 
pay two or five per cent of their investment to the tax gatherer. Whether 
their experiment succeed or not may depend on this. And it Avill make a 
greater difference in our ability to attract new capital. 

And it is upon the prosperity of these little enterprises now struggling for 
an existence that our future as a manufacturing community mostly depends. 
Their failure will discourage the coming of others. Their prosperity will 
advertise our advantages, and will necessitate an increase of their capacity, 
and their consequent usefulness. Of modest manufactories we have many. 
W^e have a flour mill whose sales average nearly five hundred dollars a day. 
We have iron works employing many skilled mechanics, and whose business 
is only limited by its means. We have two ship yards which have built 
many vessels comparing favorably with the production of older and richer 
builders all around the lakes. The cheapness and ease of procuring 
material here makes me confident of an immense increase of this industry. 
We have two cigar manufactories constantly extending their business. A 
tub and fish pail factory has struggled through many trials and is building 
up an extensive and profitable trade. A manufactory of stretcher stock 
and other artists' material, and of many other wooden utensils is retaining 
most of their patronage laid down by the loss of the Stearns factory by fire a 
year ago. Something more than a year ago a man came here and started a 
match factory in rented quarters. It has been advertised that that monster 
monopoly, the Diamond Match Company, would crush out every concern 
not working in its interest. Croakers, and I Avas one of them, said he 
could not succeed. He has succeeded. A partial loss of his rented quarters 



MANUFACTURES— ACTUAL AND POSSIBLE 291 

by fire, has emboldened him to biiihl hirger, and safer, on hi« own ground. 
1 look for match making to become one of the .staple industries of Grand 
Haven. .V few years ago a company was formed here for tlie manufacture 
of a corn i)lanter. It spent its capital in perfecting its patents, and in ad- 
vertising and introducing its machine, and so built u]> a protital)le business^ 
in the meantime buying much dear exi)crience. A year ago the coui[iany 
v.as reorganized, and fresh capital used to put its matters on a sound basis. 
It is about commencing the manufacture of some other agricultural imple- 
ments in addition to its planter, and looks forward to almost certain pros- 
l)erity, and a large in<'rease to its labor employing power. At the head of 
Spring Lake, and just across the line, in Muskegon county, but trii)ularr 
to us, and not Muskegon county, has been established a large iron ore 
smelting furnace. Our superior shipping facilities have enabled it to suc- 
ceed, notwithstanding the depression in the iron trade, while many others,- 
and notably one located inland in an adjoining county, has been comitclled 
to suspend work and liquidate. It disburses about ten thousand dollars a 
month in this vicinity for freight, labor and fuel. 

The town of Holland with about half our population has about as mucli 
invested in manufactures outside of lumber as Grand Haven, The more 
j)roniinent of its investments are two large flour mills, two tanneries, a tub 
factory, and a stave factory. 

I have enumerated some of the leading enterprises to which Ottawa county 
owes its prosperity other than that of the lumber manufacture. A word 
about our facilities for future and increased prosperity and I am done. We 
have without exception, unless it be Traverse Bay, away down north, and 
which God built and man has not improved, the best harbor on Lake ^lichi- 
gan, at the mouth of the grandest river in the west. We have the best of 
railroad advantages north, east and south. Our forests are full of woods suit- 
able for almost every commodity to be made from them. We are midway be- 
tween the iron fields of the Upper Peninsula, and the coal fields of Ohio and 
Pennsylvania, on what may be made a great thoroughfare between them. Lake 
Michigan may bring us one. and the new direct road to Toledo the other, tt> 
be manufactured here and distributed to the markets of the West with an 
ease exceeded by no other point. Xo other commodity is now so sick as iron. 
In addition to the general depression that is being felt so severely in all de- 
])artments, iron is the pampered, coddled, over-fed and dyspeptic baby of our 
would-be maternal government. It may be many years before any intelli- 
gent business man or set of men will dare to make further investment in 
iron manufacture. When its over indulgent parent shall realize that iron is 
of age and ought to be stripped of its swaddling clothes and nmde to take 



292 , SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

care of itself, and it shall thereby become the healthy adult it ought long 
ago to have been the American market for it will have become almost doubled 
thereby, and I look to see rolling mills and their adjuncts in Grand Haven, 
and see them prosperous. 

One of our citizens has invented and patented some valuable improve- 
ments of the ordinary brass clock, and is already in receipt of considerable 
offers for them. There is not a clock factory in the west. There are sev- 
eral prosperous watch factories. Why may not Grand Haven be a pioneer in 
the manufacture of clocks? I am assured by one in a position to know, the 
business is not overdone, but in a healthy condition. 

If iron is king, wood is queen, and we may revel in her smiles if we will. 
We must not wait for her to call us. She is too much courted, and 
too coy withal for that. We must woo her with all our might; do it intelli- 
gently and manfully, and she will come. There is almost no end to the 
good things in the way of wood working that may be had if we strive for 
them. 

I^t us bear in mind that capital will not be at our service unless we 
have something plainly to its advantage to offer, and then it may be had for 
the asking; that a three month's experience in a commercial college, so called, 
does not make a business man — I wish boys understood better that it does 
not even make an accountant; that labor, even skilled labor, may not dictate 
to capital, that it must always be its servant — not slave — or starve. These 
three conditions better understood and acted upon, and I believe we may 
come through the certain trial in store for us, during the transition from 
being slaughterers of pine trees to a community of mechanics and artisans, 
victorious. 



BUILDINGS OF OTTAWA COUNTY; PAST, PRESENT AND 
FUTURE 



BY B. F. CURTIS 



When Ottawa county was organized in 1838, it included in its boundaries 
not only what is now Ottawa but also Muskegon county. It Avas then com- 






; BUILDINGS OF OTTAWA COUNTY 293 

paratively oue dense wildenioss. with a few faniilios settled in Grand Haven, 
and a very sparse Avhite jxipnlation scattered tlironj^liout its territory. 

Grand Haven was then a small hamlet consistin«j^ of but a few faniilit^s, 
and there were no ]»ublic buildings, except a scliool-house of about twenly- 
four by thirty feet, Avhieh still stands on Second street. 

]\[odern civilization teaches that aniong the first wants of every new com- 
munity are the church, to reclaim the sinful; the school-house, to educate 
the children; the court-house, to try the violators of the law and settle the 
disputed rights between man and man; and the jail to confine and punish the 
criminal violators of the law. 

The country being new and the county poor, it was not able to provide for 
all these wants at once. But experience early taught them that a jail was 
absolutely necessary. So the first public building erected in the county was 
a small block jail on First street, somewhere in the vicinity of the present 
residence of F. Bechtel. This was used until about the year 1847, when the 
growth of population and the increase of crime rendered it necessary to have 
a larger and safer place to confine criminals. In that year a jail was built, 
under the supervision of Mr. John W. Barnes, I believe, on the public square 
a little northwest of where the present jail now stands. This is known as 
the old jail. 

It was a modest one and a half story building, sufficiently large for the 
residence of the sheriff or jailer, with a small family. The portion of the 
building allotted to the confinement of ])risoners was built of hewn white 
oak timber, matched at the ends, and bolted together with iron bolts. This 
was a convenient and safe place of confinement, and sufficiently large for 
the wants of the county, Avhich then contained a population of 8,000 or 
10,000. 

But as time went on and the population increased, criminals increased 
with it, and it Avas found too small, as well as unsafe and unhealthy. The 
question of erecting a new jail was agitated a number of years, Avhen finally, 
in 1870, it was determined to build one, and the present jail is the result. 
The residence portion of it is a very handsome two story building, and very 
conveniently arranged for the residence of the sheriff or jailer. The prison 
proper is in the rear, or south, of the dwelling, and is twenty-four by twen- 
ty-seven feet. Adjoining the dwelling in the second story is a room for the 
confinement of the less dangerous characters and for female prisoners, 
when there are any; but, to the credit of the sex, very few havie found 
a lodgment there. Connected with the jail is the city lock-up, and the jail 
proper has a floor of three-inch plank, and the whole, bottom, top and sides, 
is lined with boiler iron, spiked on. It has also six iron cells, in which pris- 



294 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

oners are confined for the night. The arrangement for heating and venti- 
lation are good, and it Avas intended to make it a perfectly safe prison. It 
lias proved not to be so; for prisoners, by one device or another, have from 
time to time escaped. Various repairs have been made for safety, and in the 
fall of 1844 the space beneath the floor was filled with cemented gravel, so 
that Tunneling is now well nigh impossible. 

But the jail is not large enough. There should be but one prisoner in a 
cell; and the six cells are not sufficient, when, as is sometimes the case, there 
have been from twelve to sixteen prisoners in jail at once. Additional room 
and cells, as the years advance, will be indispensable. 

The old school-house on Second street was for many years not only a 
school-house, but a town house, a church and a court-house, for which last 
purpose it continued to be used until 1857. But its capacity was entirely 
inadequate. The county officers were compelled to occupy such rooms as 
could be procured about town, and i-ecords and papers were unsafe. Unavail- 
ing efforts were made from time to time to induce the Board of Supervisors 
to provide for building a new court-house. But there were interests rival to 
Grand Haven in different parts of the county w^hich hoped to secure the 
removal of the county seat. These rival interests, while they could not 
agree upon any single point to which the county seat should be removed, were 
sufficiently strong to prevent any county appropriation of money tending to 
make the present location permanent. 

To remedy this difficulty, and provide suitable accommodations for the 
■courts and county officers, the citizens of Grand Haven, prominently the Rev. 
William M. Ferry and Clark B. Albee, raised by subscription the needful 
funds and built the present court-house, which was completed and occupied 
In 1857, and is now the property of the county. This building, though a 
great advance, was never sufficient for the wants of the county. The plan is 
faulty, and the court-room and county offices all too small to accommodate 
(the business to be done in them. 

But the most serious objection to the structure is the want of large fire 
proof vaults for the preservation of the records and archives of the county. 
The i^«cords of the title deeds in the register's office, the records of the wills 
and of the settlement of estates in the probate office, the court records and 
files in the clerk's office, and the records and books of the treasurer's office 
are of inestimable value to the people of the county, and their loss could not 
"be supplied, and the title to property', in many instances, would be jeopard- 
ized, if not destroyed by their loss. 

It is true a small vault was built, which has since been enlarged, but it is 
entirely inadequate to the wants of the county, and is now absolutely full 



NEWSPAPERS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 295 

and crowded. The increase of Imsincss and ]Kipulati(>n. and llie transfer of 
property, increase tlie accunnilation ol' record books ^\itIl <ii-eat rapidity and 
require a vei-y lar^e conniiodious room. 

Besides, it is very doubtlul whether the jiresent vault is sufficient to pro- 
tect and preserve the records from tire, situated, as it is on the easterly side 
of this large wooden and tinder-box structuie; Avhile our prevailing lake 
winds are from the westward. Should a tire (mcui- and the court-house burn 
during the westerly Avind. the \ault would be heated Avith a seven fold heat, 
and the consecjuences Avould undoubtedly Ik^ the fatal mutilation, if not 
entire destruction, of all this accumulation of invaluable matter. 

All these considerations have grent force, and should secure, at an early 
day, the erection of a neAV court-house, with all the conveniences and office 
necessary, and a suitable tire ]»roof vault. That the county oAves it to itself 
and is abundantly able to make these improvements, is shoAvn by a glance at 
its statistics. In 1S57, Avhen the present court-house was erected, the county 
contained less than ten thousand inhabitants. Noav, at the end of 1884, 
that population has nearly quadrupled, and the business to be done in the 
courts and county offices has increased in like ]noportion. imperatively call- 
ing for additional room. At that time the total valuation of the real and 
]>ersonal property of the county Avas less than three million dollars 
(|2,SG9,170). In 1884 that valuation Avas nearly thirteen and a half millions 
( 13,4GG,400), an increase of nearly fiAe hundred i^er cent. To claim, then, 
that the county is too poor to provide for itself, and take care of its oAvn 
property, is almost equal to a subterfuge. It certainly demonstrates an old 
proverb which fitly characterizes it as "Penny wise and pound foolish." 



NEWSPAPERS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY A. S. KEDZIE 



The newspaper is a result of an agency of modern civilization. So is 
«oap; so are a thousand other things. But the newspaper in a A-ery marked 
licgree is a ])roduct and instruniont of the Avorld's richest and ripest civili- 



■296 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

zation. Withotit the newspaper modern civilization could come to no full 
development, nor have the means of wielding its normal forces. 

The ancient civilization, helped by orator, academician, and pedagogue;, 
and mediaeval civilization, helped by troubadour, balladist, and story-teller; 
were such civilizations as the}^ could be without the newspaper. But ancient 
and mediaeval civilizations had no such imperious forces at work, nor any 
such imperative work to do, as mark these later ages. 

As might therefore be expected, when the homes of civilized men in the 
settlement of Ottawa county supplanted the huts of savages, the newspaper 
was sure to follow. 

And yet not immediately. It was not till September, 1850, sixteen years 
after the settlement of the county, that the first newspaper was published in 
this county. There were houses to be built, farms to be cleared, towns to 
be founded, and all the material agencies of business set at work, as the 
first condition of all better things. Then, in the fulness of time, came the 
newspaper. 

1. The credit of establishing the first belongs to our enterprising sister 
city, Holland. In September, 1850, Dg Hollander was published by Hawks 
and Bassett. In 1852 Doesburg & Sons became its publishers. They in 
1863 sold to M. Binnehant, with H. Van Eyck editor. He sold to Harm 
Slag with the same editor. In 1868 M. D. Howard, G. Van Schelven, D. 
Lideboer and others formed a stock compan}^ and bought De Hollarider. 
Its files were lost in the great fire of October, 1871. In December of that 
year William Benjamin became, and yet remains, its publisher, and has 
carried it into the thirty-fourth volume. Through all its changes it has 
been Democratic in politics. 

2. In Jul}', 1851, ten months after the issue of De Hollander^ the Grand 
River Times was published in Grand Haven by Barns & Angel, with H. 
Pennoyer as editor. Like De Hollander it was democratic. After a few 
changes in ownership it was sold to James and John W. Barns, and pub- 
lished by them till December, 1856, when it was sold to Galen Eastman and 
removed to Eastmanville, then struggling to become the county seat. After 
a few years it was absorbed by De Qrondwet at Holland. 

3. Five years after the first issue of the Grand River Times Henry S. Clubb 
began the Ottawa Clarion, the first Republican paper in the county. It was 
first published in 1857, three j^ears after the organization of that party. It 
met with some changes in ownership, and was published till the fall of 1862,., 
when the original publisher and some of his printers went into the army^ 
carrying a more forceful sort of "shooting sticks."* 



*See Records of Old Settlers, p. 81. 



NEWSPAPERS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 297 

4. In 1857, and for two years longer. DcPaarl, a religfious newspaper, was 
]>ul)lisliea at Holland by .^leyei- & Vorst. 

T). I)c \Vikk«r was a small monthly paper published in Holland for two 
years, beginnin<>' in ]857. conducted by the Holland Colony Teachers' 
Association, in the interest of reli<;ious, educational, and missionary work. 

6. The next ]»ap<'r in liistoric order was Ihe (irand Haven Seics, Demo- 
cratic, founded by J. >\'. l>arns and Mr. Tosha in February, 1858. Twice, 
in 1859 and 18(50. its ottic<' was entirely destroyed by lire, yet it survived both 
conflagrations. Its files being lost, its history is only a matter of recollec- 
tion. It was leased one year to De Long and Mills, after which, in 18G7, it 
was sold to J. H. ^Mitchell, and was soon after consolidated with the ^ews 
■Journal of Grand Haven. 

7. Next in order came the Ottawa Countij Register, in 1859, published at 
Holland, by Doesburg & Sons, with Henry D. Post as editor. Democratic. 
After a brief life of two years, it was discontinued. 

8. Dc Grondiref, at Holland, in June, 1800, was issued by John Roost, M. 
Hoogesteger, editor. In Februar}-, 1809, Mr. Roost sold to L. Mulder. He 
and Hoogesteger became publishers. The latter died in 1879, and till 
March, 1880, P. Shravensande was acting editor. In 1880 L. Mulder bought 
the right of the Hoogesteger estate in the paper, and has since published it, 
Avith Isaac Yerney as editor. De Grondicet has been Republican from first 
to last. It was the first paper in the county printed by a steam press, and 
housed in its own brick building, remodeled for its use. It claims to have a 
larger circulation than any other two papers in the United States printed in 
the Dutch language. By the great fire in October, 1871, its files, type, 
presses and entire property were destroyed ; yet it made its regular appear- 
ance, though reduced in size. 

9. De Verzamelaar, a religious paper, was published in Holland, by J. 
Binnekant, from 1802 to 1805, when it was merged into De Hope. 

10. In 1803 the Grand Haven Union was edited and published by Rev. L. 
M. S. Smith, with H. (\ Akely as a silent partner. Mr. Smith subse- 
quently became sole owner. It was Republican till sold in June, 1872. to 
Nathan Church, who ran it as a Democratic paper in the Greeley campaign 
of 1872, after which the Union was discontinued, and the material of its 
office taken to Grand Rapids. 

11. The Seareher was a religious monthly, published only during 1804, at 
Holland, by Rev. P. Pheli)s, President of Hope College. 

12. De Ho'pe, in Holland, was founded in 1800, by the Council of Hope 
College, in the interest of liberal education and of the Reformed Churches. 



38 



298 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

E. C. Oggel; in 1871 from Kev. C. Yan Der Veen; and after 1872, from sl 
committee of the council of Hope College. Prof. C. Doesburg has been 
connected with the paper for nearly a score of years. Since July, 1884, Rev. 
J. H. Karsters has been editor and manager. De Hope circulates in nearly 
all the western States and among Hollanders at the east. Its surplus funds 
are for Hope College. 

13. De Wachter began publication at Holland in 1867, under the conduct 
of C. Vorst. About 1871 he transferred it to the Holland Christian Reformed 
Church. It now remains in the management of that church as its organ. 
Revs. G. E. Boer, G. Heniker, and L. G. Hulst, conducting it. 

14. The Grand Haven Herald, the oldest American newspaper in the^ 
county, began publication in August, 1869, by Henry S. Clubb. Through 
all its history it has advocated republican politics, fruit culture, agricultural 
and manufacturing interests, and the observance of law and order. From 
June 7 to December 7, 1872, it was issued as a daily, the only one ever pub- 
lished in the county during the first half century of its history. In December, 
1872, it met with a reverse, and passed into the control of C. M. Dickinson, 
who sold it to S. L. Morris, in March, 1863. In August, 1874, he sold a half 
interest to C. H. Du Bois, now of the Minneapolis Spectator, who, in 1875, 
had full ownership. He sold to W. S. Benham, June 30, 1877, who continued 
its publication until he was lost on the ill fated "Alpena," October, 1880. 
The Herald was then published by M. H. Creazer, representing the Benham 
estate, till* March, 1881, when it was sold to Kedzie & Kedzie, its present 
owners. In May, 1881, they purchased the Spring Lake Republican and con- 
solidated it with the Herald. 

15. The Spring Lake Independent was established in 1869 by Lee & Donald. 
The latter sold his interest to the former in December, 1869. In 1875, H. 
H, Gibson purchased a half interest, but sold out again in December, 1875, 
to Lee, who removed the paper to Grand Haven and changed its name. 

16. The Gazetteer, An American newspaper, was, in the spring of 1871, 
published at Holland by Dunlap & Hadsell. It was independent in politic* 
and came to an untimely end in the fire of October, 1871. 

17. The Holland City News was established February 4, 1872, by S. L... 
Morris, Republican. In January, 1874, G. S. Doesburg assumed control, 
with G. Van Schelven as editor. It then became and has since remained 
independent in politics. In July, 1875, G. Van Schelven became proprietor 
as well as editor. From May, 1876, O. J. Doesburg was in management till 
February, 1872, when W. H. Rogers became and still remains editor and 
proprietor. 

18. The Courier Journal was first published at Nunica in August, 1875.- 



. NEWSPAPERS IN OTTAWA COUNTY 299 

At the end of two months it was removed to Coopersville. In the spring of 
1870 it was removed to Spring Lake, and in Jul}-, 1880, to Grand Haven. 
From its beginning H, Potts has been its editor and proprietor. Independ- 
ent Democratic till 1884, and since Kepublican. 

19. In July, 187G, the yens Journal was started at Grand Haven by a 
union of the Grand Haven Ncius, under the control of Mr. Hitchcock, and 
the Spring Lake Independent, under the control of J. G. Lee. By both it 
was published till January, 1877, when Mr. Hitchcock retired. 

20. The Spring Lake Repuhlican was published in that village from May, 
1879, to May, 1881, by Aloys Bilz, Kepublican. In May, 1881, it was pur- 
chased by Kedzie & Kedzie, and merged into the Grand Haven Herald. 

21. The Times was started at Coopersville in the spring of 1880, by Ed, 
Smith. For some reason it hardly survived a month. 

22. The Observer began publication at Coopersville in November, 1880, by 
M. G. Barns, and still continues under the same management. Independ- 
ent in politics. 

The Spring Lake Message was published by C. E. Wassou, from September^ 
1881, to September, 1883, those dates marking the beginning and end of it» 
life. 

This is not a 'very healthy county for newspapers. According to the rec* 
ord, twenty-three have been published in this county during the last fifty 
years. Of these, fourteen have died, and only nine survive. The average 
age of the dead, omitting fractions, is four years, and of the living, sixteen 
years, just the age of the Grand Haven Herald. Counting fractions as full 
years, the ages of the surviving papers stand in this order : 

De Hollander 31 years. 

De Grondwet 24 '' 

De Hope 19 " 

De Wachter IS 

Grand Haven Herald IG 

Holland City News 13 

Courier Journal 10 

Xews Journal 9 " 

Observer 5 " 

The aggregate age of newspaper life in this county has been, in round 
numbers, two hundred years. 

In her utterances, attempted and accomplished. Ottawa county has not 
been backward in giving the world to understand what she thinks. The 
10,400 editions of newspapers which she has sent forth, which are mostly 



300 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

taken within ber borders, bave also, in part, been sent to every State in the 
union, and to many foreign countries, proclaiming the advantages of this 
county for settlement, and announcing its enterprises. 

This is no time or place to make a plea for giving newspapers a liberal 
support; yet their feeble life, as seen in the record, shows that they have a 
very inadequate support. There is not, however, a family in the county 
whose condition is not bettered by the atmosphere of intelligence and thrift 
created by the newspapers of the county. Still, here are families in the 
county Avhose dull and dreary life is not stirred by the weekly visits of such 
a paper. And business men there are whose business success, without the 
newspapers, would be shortened in, jet they do nothing more for their home 
newspaper than to pay its subscription price. 

Of our six Dutch papers, three have died and three lived; while of 
the seventeen American papers, eleven have died and six survive. The lives 
of the living Dutch papers average twenty-three years; while the living 
American papers average only ten years. 

The Dutch papers seem to have a more vigorous vitality. The Dutch are 
marked for their intelligence,- as well as for their probity and industry ; yet 
they are not a more reading people than the Americans, though having of 
reading matter fewer sources of supply. 

Mam^ of them are content with the Bible, Psalm-book and one newspaper, 
the latter thus becoming quite an essential- in the family. But few papers, 
however, are published in that language — only eleven in the United States. 
Of these, six are published in Michigan, and half of them in Ottawa county. 
This accounts for the sturdy life of our Hollandisli newspapers. 

On the other hand, the papers published in the American lg:nguage in our 
county, furnish only a small part of the literary food of their readers, and 
are published in competition with the larger papers of surrounding cities, 
coming in daily supply. These county papers, therefore, have to struggle 
for existence. Yet in this, as in other growing counties of this State, the 
newspaper will struggle for life, if need be, and will work according to its 
strength, guiding and stimulating the industries of the county, toning its 
social life, elevating its morals and shaping its political destiny. And by 
such a course it keeps open the question, as to which is the greatest force, 
the pulpit or the press. 



HOLLAND AND GERMAN CHURCHES OF OTTAWA COUNTY 301 



THE HOLLAND AND GERMAN CHURCHES OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY REV. IIEXRY E. DOSKER 



'•The Holland and German Churches of Ottawa County." Such wa.s the 
topic assigned to me by the committee of arrangements for this semi-centen- 
nial jubilee. Allow me to invert the order, and to briefly treat of the 
German churches before I sketch in outlines the Dutch ecclesiastical life 
within our borders. In so doing I come from the smaller to the greater. 

Ottawa county numbers comparatively but few Germans. They did not 
colonize in these parts. They did not immigrate to this State ch masse as 
they did to others. The story of their church life is therefore a brief one. 
Grand Haven is the Teutonic stronghold of this county. This is preemi- 
nently a city of churches. It has two German ecclesiastical organizations. 
The older of the two, the St. John's Church, belongs to the German Evan- 
gelical Lutheran denomination. 

Early in 18G3 Rev. W. Achenbach of Grand Rapids commenced to preach 
to the Germans of this place, and his successor, Rev. J. L, Dail. organized 
a church among them on the Sth day of April, 186G, himself becoming the 
'first pastor. In 1871 a number of the members joined themselves into a 
separate organization, adopting the title, "Reformed Evangelical Lutheran 
Immanuel's Church of Grand Haven township."' In 1883 this church 
turned into a "Union Church," joining itself to its younger but stronger 
sister. The successors, in the old church, of Rev. Dail were: Rev. A. M. 
W. Kachler, who was soon compelled to resign through ill-health; Rev. F. 
W. Spendler, 1871-1880, who was compelled to resign; and the present 
pastor, Rev. W. Biirmeister, who has officiated there since September. 1880. 

Their day-school affords no mean advantages for the education of their 
children, and serves to retain them within the church, undoubtedly, how- 
ever, tending to the detriment of a true American spirit, and a thorough 
sympathy with American institutions. Their culture and organization is of 
the true and loyal Lutheran type. 

In 1882 a rupture occurred among the members of that church, attribut- 



302 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

iible to many causes and circumstances, which considerably weakened the 
old church and resulted in the organization of the ^'Evangelical St. Paul's 
Church," with its attractive house of worship and considerable numerical 
strength. It was organized on the lOtli of April, 1882. Its pastor, Rev. 
Christoph Zimmerman, was installed on the 22d of October following, and 
serves therje yet. It severed its connection with the old Missouri Synod, 
representing a more liberal tendency of life and doctrine. 

Both the above named pastors perform outside labor, the one having charge 
of a small church at Blendon, the other preaching every alterDate Sunday 
■afternoon at the above named ImmanuePs Church and keeping school there 
twice weekly, and also at Crockery, where meetings are held in a school- 
tiouse and monthly preaching services are conducted. Besides these there is 
a German Lutheran Church in the township of Chester, whose pastor. Rev. 
^O. H. Smith, keeps a day school, besides attending to his other ministerial 
''duties. The aggregate value of their church property is about |10,000, 
anore or less. The life of these German pastors is a laborious one, their 
salaries being apparently inadequate to the amount of labor performed. The 
German love of the JieimatJi is very pronounced, and their conservatism 
is even more intense than that of their cousins, the Dutchmen. 

To them I come in the second place to tell a longer story, for in them the 
Church of Christ, in the county of Ottawa, finds its greatest embodiment. 
The field before me is a wide one and my task congenial. When I come to 
the Dutch ecclesiastical life in our midst I find a path beaten and well known. 
The Dutch threads in our social fabric are many, so many indeed as to im- 
part a perceptible line to the whole. And so strong the Dutch hold on our 
surroundings appears to be, that it will, undoubtedly, give cast to the future 
of the county, indelibly stamping itself upon the life of the community, and 
giving it a character equally ineffaceable as that of the early Dutch pilgrims, 
which stares one in the face almost everywhere in the great metropolis of the 
country. New York has well preserved the footprints of its early settlers. 
Ottawa county will never lose, nor lose by the pilgrims of '46 and subsequent 
jears. 

Who are these plodders, lying close as an advancing army, on the two 
lower tiers of townships in Ottawa, and the two upper tiers of townships in 
Allegan county, and in many other localities besides? They well bear scru- 
tiny. There are many questions to be answered with regard to them. They 
are but little known yet; slowly, as is their historic habit, asserting them- 
«elTes, but then steadily growing. Wherever Hollanders come they come to 
stay- Their political and ecclesiastical histories are so intricately entangled, 
that they are almost inseparable. You may follow, if you list, the frivolous 



HOLLAND AND GERMAN CHURCHES OF OTTAWA COUNTY 30!? 

'^•^cniuple of Washinglon Irviug, who made them his ''butt" in one of his 
raciest sketches, but then you will never know them. Or you may sink down, 
with John L. ^Motley, beneath the placid waters, and study their deep secrets, 
and then, I am sure, you will rise even as he did, with profoundest esteem, 
and find them a race strong and true, meeting pride with pride, and afifec- 
tion with love; loving their God and their liberty above all things; never on 
the tyrant's side, nor long under his yoke; a nation small and weak, yet in- 
Yincible in its weakness, having at its back a history grander than which no 
country can boast, full of thrilling episodes, which reads rather like fanciful 
romance than stern reality. 

:Motley's pen has glorified the Netherlands, and its true and loyal sons 
may proudly lift their heads among the nations of the world. 

There are in this county no less than twenty-four Holland churches, 
equally divided between rival denominations. You desire to know the why 
and how of this split between people of one language and common habits of 
life and thought. No more than the briefest possible historical sketch of 
their numerous churches can be given. For the information of such as 
desire it, a statistical table will be appended to the printed paper. 

You may be curious to know the underlying principles of the historv of 
our colonization in America and in this county. In endeavoring to gratify 
this desire, meeting at the same time the demands of my topic, I will briefly 
discuss : 

T. The causes of the movement. 

II. The ecclesiastical development of the Hollanders in Ottawa county. 

III. The causes of disruption. 

I. Causes of Emigration. — The Hollanders are peculiar. For long centur- 
ies they have been soaked in theology. Since the days of the Eeformation, 
nay, even for long periods before, they displayed a peculiar zest for dog- 
matic disputes. The cloisters and convents of the Netherlands yielded some 
of the deep foundation rocks of the Eeformation. "The brethren of the 
common life" there cradled into being their tenets, which were even as the 
shuddering dawn of the reform, looming up in the distance. Thomas a, 
Kempis and scores of others labored and wrote in the low countries. The 
sunrise of the Eeformation found them prepared. What they suffered in 
the cause of Christ you know. My fatherland is one great cemetery and 
charnel-house of martyrs for Christ's sake. We have bought our liberty, 
political and religious, with our choicest blood. The struggle left the 
Netherlanders free, but full of self-assertion. And this hereditary trait — the 
desire not only for common, but also for individual independence — became 
the great source of our numerous sharp religious contests. The Synod of 



304 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

Dordt| decided but little. Whole provinces rejected its authority. If the 
State's overAvhelming favor was on the side of the followers of Gomarus, it 
did not entirely wipe out the doctrines of Armenius. How could it in a 
country of free thought? Almost immediately after that period, Maresius 
and Alting, professors at the Uuiversit}' of Groningen, waged a bitter war 
about the true province of exegetical theology. Each had his determined 
partisans. 

Later on, Aysbertus Voetius, professor at Utrecht, dogmatic, strict, almost 
an ascetic; and Joh. Coccejus, professor at Leiden, genial, more liberal, but 
equally faithful, with his antagonist divided the entire church into parties, 
bitterly opposed to each other. Then came the wave of intidelty. English 
deistic and French revolutionary principles flooded the low countries. 
Their dykes could not restrain that kind of a flood. The masses were per- 
meated. Irreligiousness prevailed. Religion became an empty form. The 
house of Orange was overthrown. Napoleon ruled, and for a time stamped 
out the spirit of liberty. He fell. William of Orange returned; and, as 
William L, was crowned king of the Netherlands — a title which the Great 
William had steadfastly declined — on the 1st day of December, 1813. The 
church had suft"ered terribly meanwhile. It was one with the State. The 
States-General, and Napoleon and Louis alike had tyrannized over it. And 
William followed in the old rut. By the law of the 17th of June, 181-5, the 
Presbyterian government of the State church of the Netherlands was 
virtually abolished; the Synodical and lower bodies had become creatures 
of the throne. And so the wheel kept moving, Avhilst the spirit of revolu- 
tion was 3'et in the air. 

Meanwhile a tidal-wave of revival had swept the greater part of Europe. 
It reached the Netherlands. I*eople desired the plain gospel. They rejected 
songs for the sanctuary which were thrust upon the congregations and their 
pastors by an act of the crown. Even there they desired liberty, to sing or 
not to sing, as they listed. Fierce and fiercer the agitation grew. It cul- 
minated in the secession of hundreds of members of the State church. 
Henry the Cock of Ulrum, in the province of Groningen, was its father. 
Its semi-centennial and that of this county coincide. What of it? Were 
they not free in a free country? Oh, no! In this enlightened nineteenth 
century, in a christian country. Christians were mobbed, and persecuted 
and imprisoned; their meetings disturbed and scattered with armed violence, 
their propert}^ confiscated, themselves hounded and buffeted with cruelty 
untold. And win? Because they differed in religious convictions from the 
rest of the nation. All the ancient religious intolerance was revived, only 
vitiated through its present dangerous surroundings. From 1836 to 1852 



HOLLAND AND GERMAN CHURCHES OF OTTAWA COUNTY 30.S 

tliis condition continued, till the eyes of Europe were directed to it, and 
mighty kinjis bej^^an to shiit uneasily on their thrones. Then it ceased, but 
not till IMTd were these seceders formally recognized by the State. That 
is the foul blot on the fair name of Holland — its stigma among the nations. 
So liberty, bought at a price, was always wont to degenerate into fierce 
tyranny. 

To that despised sect mostly belonged the early Dutch settlers of Ottawa 
county. Rememl)er it well; it will throw light on many things under your 
own eyes. True, they were poor. True, the potato-rot had darkened the 
horizon of their ]irospects. liut I tell you the mainspring of this innnigra- 
tion was religious intolerance and love of liberty. These Dutchmen loved 
exile, with liberty, rather than the fatherland, without it. They sought 
here in the forests what they loved, but had lost there. They are our ])il- 
grini fathers. The "Southerner," which arrived at New York on the 4th 
of November, 1840, is our "May Flower.'' The old camp at Holland is our 
Plymouth Rock. Look at this movement my way and tell me, does it not 
magnify these quaint, plain people, who have lived among you these last 
Ihirty-seveu years? Does it not redeem much of what you judged heretofore 
objectionable in them? 

II. The story of the HoJhnxl Churches of Ottaica County. — It is not neces- 
sary here to enter into details. A few touches will suffice. The Holland 
pioneer, the man who stamped himself more than anyone else on the history 
of the Holland townships, is Rev. Dr. A. C. Van Raalte. Born on the 11th 
day of August, 1811, at Wanneperveen, in the jirovince of Overisel, in the 
Netherlands, of parents in easy circumstances in life — -his father being a 
minister in the State church of no mean reputation— a man of liberal edu- 
cation; driven almost against his will into the camp of the seceders; but a 
formidable champion, aye, a hero, for the cause, when led into it by Divine 
Providence, bearing the marks of persecution on his own body. He is, ''par 
excellence," a man worthy of close and deep study. The picture reveals the 
man. Short of stature, with a forehead indicating unusual brain power, 
deep lines of thought furrowing it; bright eagle eyes, glowing with enthusi- 
asm or sparkling with ominous tire when he was deeply agitated ; his smile 
a revelation, benign at times, and again full of siitire, his tirm lips indica- 
tive of decision and tenacity of purpose. He was a man, always demanding 
respect, not rarely deeply impressive — a power everywhere. He was an ora- 
tor of the first rank, when warmed to his task; a man of strong convictions. 
Some of his discourses are stamjied indelibly on the memory of his hearers. 
His sermon, in memory of our boys lost in the late war, will never be forgot- 
ten. He had his faults, was not generally understood by his own j»eople, 
39 



306 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

was unreasonably sanguine at times, made grievous mistakes; yet in spite of 
all, he was the leading spirit, the very soul of the colony. His loss in its 
early days would have involved the entire collapse of the enterprise. With 
a handful of pilgrims, following an old Indian trail; he arrived in the for- 
ests, near Black Lake, for the first time, in the latter days of December, 
1846. 

The next spring Van Raalte brought his family and remaining followers 
from Allegan, where they had been most hospitably entertained, to their new 
home. He preached his first regular sermon in an old Indian log church, 
two and a half miles south of camp, on the 30th March, 1847. All that 
summer they worshiped under the shady trees, west of his log cabin. In 
the ensuing fall the pioneers had built and partly finished a log church, 35 
by 60 feet; the west end of which was used as a school-house. So early the 
education of their children was considered to be of prime importance by these 
Hollanders. Around that church, in regular old Dutch style, were the 
graves of those Avho fell asleep in Christ. The anguish of those early years, 
the dreadful disappointments they met with, the devouring homesickness, the 
care and comfort and support and consolation of the lonely pioneers ; melting 
away like snow before the spring sun, under the fever heat of malarious dis- 
eases and the grating of unwonted labor, and the consequences of unwholesome 
food, — all these things were laid as a load of terrors on that one man. And 
a true father he was to his people. His pastoral work, his school, his college, 
form the grand mausoleum over his grave, where he, too early for the good 
of the colony, sleeps in Christ, since the 7th day of November, 1876. His 
grave is among us until this day. 

The First Church of Holland, Van Raalte's church, has, until late years, 
kept a leading position. The greatest number of communicants was 486. 
The total of its contributions since 1858, when first a special column was 
given in our statistics, to the amounts contributed by the various churches, 
is 187,358.78. Its pastors, after Dr. Van Raalte, were Rev. R. Pieters, 1868- 
79, a man demanding universal respect; and the Rev. N. M. Steffens since the 
7th January, 1883, who is about to leave it for a chair of Didactic and Pole- 
mic Theology, in a seminary in connection with Hope College. Ever since 
February 27, 1882, it is split in two parties, a small minority clinging to the 
old name and keeping up the historic thread, whilst the great majority has 
seceded from the Reformed Church of America, and is now merging, by an 
act of November 6, last, into the rival denomination, the Holland Christian 
Reformed Church. The Rev. E. Bos ministers to them, and, not having 
forgotten their first teacher of Christian beneficence, they raised |8,357 since 
their exodus. One vear before the resignation of Rev. Dr. Van Raalte the 



HOLLAND AND GERMAN CHURCHES OF OTTAWA COUNTY 307 

«?hurcli had become unwieldy. Some of his people clamored for, and the 
Doctor favored, the organization of a new church. Avhich took jilace on the 
i)th day of September, 1807. 

The third chnreh of Holland numbered then ninety-seven communicants. 
A liouse of worship was built and solemnly dedicated February 14, 1868. A 
brick parsonage was erected. All appeared smiling. Suddenly a ''change came 
o'er the vision of their dreams." The great fire of October 9, 1871, by which 
seventy-six })laces of business and 243 homes were destroyed, wiped it all 
away. The third church was the first building to catch fire: from it the bel- 
lowing flames sped headlong and laid low, in a few hours, the labor of many 
years. Yet they were not disheartened. A new building, just up in the 
frame, was leveled by the strong gale of January 2, 187.3. Again they started, 
and this time their new church, was dedicated November 2.5, 1874. That 
congregation has been baptised in trouble. Its successive pastors were Rev. 
J. Van der Meulen. now of Muskegon, from 1868 to 1871; Rev. H. Uiternyk, 
from 1872 to 1880; Rev. D. Broek since November, 1880. Their property is 
valued at |15.000. The number of communicants is 197. They have a chapel 
in id occasional services at Ventura, on the lake shore. 

Some years before, in 1865, some thirteen discontented memljers left the 
first church and organized in Holland a Free Dutch Reformed Church. They 
liave prospered. To-day they number 227 members in full communion. 
Their property is valued at $5,000. They have been served by five pastors 
until now— Rev. D. de Beer, 1867 to 1868; Rev. T. Hulst, 1868 to 1871; 
Rev. J. Noordewier, 1873 to 1788; Rev. G. Hochsema, 1880 to 1881, and 
TxQv. J. A. de Bruyn since 1883. About a year ago the latter renounced his 
(ecclesiastical connection, but almost immediately afterwards recanted and 
returned to his old allegiance. 

North of Holland there are two more churches. The one belonging to our 
denomination, that of North Holland, is in a thriving condition. Hardly as 
much can be said of that of Noordeloos, belonging to the Holland Christian 
Reformed Church. Originally they were one, but petty jealousies and 
fierce antagonisms tore them asunder. 

Of that of Noordeloos, I have been unable to obtain any reliable statistics. 
It has a church property of attractive appearance. It numbers some one 
hundred and fifty communicants, but appears to be devoured by internal 
Avrangles. That of North Holland was organized in 18.53, by Dr. A. C. Van 
Raalte. The people in that region were in a dreadful condition at the time. 
Tliey needed religion preeminently. Dr. Van Raalte forced them almost to 
organize. Slowly ingredients of inferior type had become mixed with, the 
current of immigration. Later comers often lacked entirely the high 



308 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

motives of the pioneers. The original settlers of North Holland appear to 
have been iii part of that class. The church numbered originally but thir- 
teen members. Everj^thing was in a chaotic condition in its early years. 
Only in 18G3 did things take permanent shape. 

Noordeloos had, meanwhile, separated itself from North Holland. From 
1805 dates its steady growth. Rev. Christian Oggel preached there from 
186G to 1870, to be succeeded by Rev. B. Van Erf, who only recently depart 
ed thence, after a very successful pastorate of fourteen years. To-day the 
church numbers one hundred and eighty-nine communicants. It has raised 
an aggregate of $28,301.65. Its present church property is valued at |o,000. 

And another of the pioneer churches is that of Zeeland, alw^ays a leading 
church of the Reformed denomination in this county, and to-day the largest. 
Its old archives are unfortunately lost. Under the lead of Rev. C. Van der 
Meulen, it fell almost immediatel}' into line. Its tabular records show great 
punctuality almost from the beginning. Five years after their arrival in 
the wilderness these pioneers raised hundreds of dollars per annum for 
the church and its needs. The aggregate of their contributions since 1858, 
amount to |G<j,131.44 — no mean sum, indeed, if one takes into consideration 
that in 1847 they lacked, almost to a man, the scant necessities of life. Its 
first pastor, the Rev. Cornelius Van der Meulen, was born at Middleharnis, 
in the province of Zeeland, in the Netherlands, in the year 1800. In early 
life he had no thought of the ministry, but followed business pursuits. The 
wave of revival struck him and carried him along. He became a changed 
man. He now experienced a devouring desire to preach the gospel, and pre- 
pared himself for it, as the necessities of the time appeared to demand. 
Joining the seceders, he shared their toils and woes and persecutions, and 
catching the American fever, he migrated hither with four hundred souls, 
and settled, in July, 1847, on the spot where now the attractive village of 
Zeeland is situated. He came a year after Van Raalte, and, with him, 
became a leader of the colonist. He was preeminently a man of men, read- 
ing a man's mind with unwonted keenness, jovial and sincere in his associa- 
tions with men, a man of decision and power, of strong principles and 
healthy views. He rests in the Lord, in the midst of those who shared with 
him the heat and burden of the day. His pastorate over the Zeeland 
church extended from 1847 to 1859. His successor. Rev, J. Stobbelaar, 
from 1860 to 1865, whose ministry there was a stormy one, was followed by 
Rev. 8. Bolks, 1865 to 1872. Rev. W. Moerdyk, from 1873 to 1877, under 
whom the church was flourishing, was succeeded by Rev. N. M. Stefifens, 
1878 to 1882, whose ability and power steered the vessel through the dread- 
ful storm of the anti-masonic agitation, not, however, without serious injury 



HOLLAND AND GERMAN CHURCHES OF OTTAWA COUNTY 309 

to the chuirli. It lost heavily in those days. Tlie i)i-esent ])astoi-. Rev. J. 
Kremer, oltioiates there since April 2G, 1883. 

The church of Zeeland maintains a station at New (lr()ninj»en, and its [troji- 
erty is valued at f 10.000. Under the ministry of Kev. J. Stobbelaar secession 
tirst lifted up its head there in 1802. Fifteen mend)ers severed their connec- 
tion and formed a "True church." In 18()8 they were considerably strenjithened 
l)y an accession of Holland Presbyterians. In 1878 they erected their i)resent 
attractive house of worship. They number to-day 230 communicants. Their 
jiastors were Rev. J. Hoez, 1870-72; Rev. C. Crelinjih, 1874-77; Rev. G. 
Hochsema, 1877-71); and Rev. L. Rietdyk, one of the ablest pastors of that 
■denomination, since December 10. 1882. They value their church property 
at |5,000. From the agitation, above referred to, another church resulted. 

It was wrenched from the mother church, in those days when the reformed 
church in these parts appeared to be rocking to its very foundations; when 
things were in a continuous state of eruption; when all was unsettled, and 
the very existence of our reformed ecclesiastical life appeared a complicated 
question by no means easily settled. On the 17th March, 1882, forty-four 
members of the Zeeland church organized themselves into an iudei)endent 
<?hurch. Later on they joined the old seceders. They now number 100 com- 
municants, and have property valued at |3,200. They are ministered unto 
since May, 1883, by Rev. J. J. Isles, formerly of the Presbyterian Church. 

Again, there is a pioneer church at Vriesland, a little hamlet in the town- 
ship of Zeeland. On the 19th November, 184G, a meeting was held at 
Leenwarden, in the province of Vriesland, Netherlands, by several men who 
belonged to that race of people in the lowlands who trace their descent, in 
lines almost unbroken, to the original masters of the country. They belonged 
mostly to those Avho had separated from the state church. They resolved to 
<?migrate to America, and the Rev. Martin A. Ypma was called to be their 
leader and pastor. You recognize the i>eculiar bent of all the original 
settlers, to move under the leadership of some pastor. On the 7th April, 
1847, they sailed from Rotterdam and arrived in Michigan, after an eventful 
passage, in the month of June following. Settling on a very rich tract of 
land they soon began to prosjier. The old church has, of late years, given 
place to a new one which, together with the parsonage, is valued at |10,000. 
Its pastors were Rev. M. A. Ypma 1847-52; A. Zwemer. 1858-68; Henry 
Uiternyk, 69-72; Peter de Pree, 1872-82. After an extended vacancy they 
obtained, in June last, the services of the Rev. George Niemyer. That church, 
^ven as the others, saw its dark days. Since 1857 a True church had emanated 
from it, which kept on a continuous warfare. It has now a membership of 
over 150 members. I was, however, unable to obtain any particulars in 



310 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

regard to it. Its attractivQ church property, of average value, is situated 
about a mile south of the mother church. 

Two miles south of that church another arises, one of the neatest in the 
settlements. It belonged to the Reformed denomination until it was devi- 
ated from its original purpose in the late masonic agitation in 1882. Its 
pastor, Rev. Hodwerp, succeeds some very able Reformed ministers, among 
whom were Rev. R. Pieters, Rev. William Moerdyk and Rev. Ch. Van der 
Veen. Its property is valued at |2,000. Within a stone's throw of it is an 
old Holland Presbyterian Church, whether living or dead at this day I know 
not. In its palmier days it was an affair of some dimensions; but the major- 
ity of its members united years ago with the Holland Christian Reformed 
Church at Zeeland. 

In the opposite corner of the township of Zeeland there is still another trio 
of Holland churches. The Reformed Church of Beaver Dam was organized 
on the 14th day of March, 1870, with thirty-one communicants. Rev. John 
Broek ministered unto it with great faithfulness from February 15, 1872, till 
November 2, 1881. In 1875 they built an imposing house of worship. The 
masonic agitation broke over that church with dreadful violence. Twenty- 
four families left it on that account in 1881 and 1882. These, joining with 
others settling in the vicinity, were organized soon after as the Holland 
Christian Reformed Church of Zutphen. To-day they have enrolled sixty- 
eight members and have considerable property. That of Beaver Dam is 
valued at $3,000. 

Just across the line north there is a Reformed Church, a child of the above. 
It was organized as the Reformed Church of South Blendon on the 17th of 
April, 1883, with thirty-five members. It is a station of some vigor, and 
promises well for the future. 

Looking north you will find another cluster of churches in Jamestown. 
The Reformed Church of that name was organized in 1869 with eighteen 
communicants. It has grown till its record shows 101 members. Its first 
and hitherto its only pastor. Rev. John Van der Meulen, a son of the pioneer 
of Zeeland, was installed there May 30, 1875, and has served that church 
with singular devotion and great acceptability ever since. Its property is. 
estimated at |4,000. They raised about |10,214. 

Not for removed from it is the Holland Christian Reformed Church, of 
Jamestown, organized during the masonic agitation on the 26th day of May,, 
1880, with forty-eight members. Rev. G. Broene is its devoted pastor since 
October last. They are a growing church, fully alive to the situation, and 
number to-day 162 communicants. They value their property at |5,500. 
Their share of the financial burdens thev have noblv borne. 



HOLLAND AND GERMAN CHURCHES OF OTTAWA COUNTY 311 

Northeast of these there is aiiotlier seceder church, that of Jenisonville 
in Georgetown, organized in July, 1875, with only eight members. To-day 
it has forty-seven. Its property has an estimated value of |1,000. Being 
without a pastor its growth is necessarily slower than that of other churches. 

Coming nearer home, you find in this county still a few more Holland 
churches. I am almost afraid to mention them, because I know this recital 
cannot be but a severe tax on your patience and forbearance. 

Yet you must hear the list to the end in order that you may have an ade- 
quate idea of the magnitude of the HoUaud movements in this country. In 
Grand Haven ]iro])er you have no fewer than four Holland churches. The 
mother of them all is the First Keformed Churcli — the old Dutch Church, as 
it is sometimes called. It has seen dark days and deep waters; yet it out- 
lived all its troubles. As early as 1847, whilst Van Raalte and his companions 
were struggling in the southern townships, Hollanders began to settle in 
Grand Haven. Not a few of them were disappointed colonists, who saw a 
better opening there than yonder in the forests. 

In 1851 Rev. K. Van den Schmer organized some fifteen members into a 
Reformed Church. It grew apace. The old church gave place in 1869 to 
its present house of worship. Its property is valued at .fl5.(MM). For various 
purposes it raised since 1858 |70,329.41. The successive pastors were: Rev. 
i:?i. Bolks, the pioneer of Overisel, from 1852-1855; Rev. P. J. Oggel. called 
from Utrecht in the Netherlands, later a professor at the college in Holland 
from 1850-1859; Rev. Chr. Van der Xveu from 1801-18(38; Rev. H. C. 
Kleyn, as stated, supply from 1868-18G9 ; Rev. J. de Beer, from 18G9 to 1872, 
whose pastorate was productive of great trouble to the church ; Rev. E. C. 
Oggel, from 1872 to 1878, who now preaches the gospel in the great ocean, 
at Honolulu; Rev. R. Drukker, from 1878 to 1881, and finally the present 
pastor since January, 1882. During the pastorate of Rev. Cli. Van der 
Veen the hive sent out its first swarm on the 25th of October, 18G5. 

!r?ixteen members organized a True Reformed Church. It has grown till 
it numbers, to-day, one hundred and twelve communicants. Its property 
has an estimated value of $4,500. Its successive pastors were Rev. K. Van dei" 
Bosch, from 1809 to 1878; Rev. E. Van der Vries, 1879 to 1883. They have 
built their second church, and although a protracted vacancy of their pulpit 
seriously harms them, they are, as a body, in a fiourishing condition.. 
Through that church, the First, of Grand Haven, has lH?come a stately grand- 
mother. 

The Christian Reformed Church, of Spring Lake, emanated from it in 
May, 1882, with fifty-five members. To-day they number eighty-two com- 



312 ^ SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY . 

inunicants. They have a property of equal value with the mother church, 
and are acceptably served since September, 1883, by Rev. P. Ebster, 

The First Church sent out a second swarm five years after the organiza- 
tion of a True Church, of this place. At Mill Point, south of Spring Lake, 
a Keform Church was organized on the 3d of March, 187G, with seventeen 
members. The roll now numbers one hundred and twenty-one. Its cosy 
<-hurch, but lately enlarged and beautified, and its pleasant parsonage, are 
valued at |4,000. Its pastors were: Rev. J. De Pree, 1870 to 1880; Re,v. J. 
T. Zwemer, 1880 to 1883, and Rev. R. T. Holdeisma, since July, 1884. Its 
•contributions foot up to |16,147.05. 

The third swarm followed soon after. Its egress, to my mind, was a 
deplorable thing. It was entirely premature. Grand Haven should long 
since have had an American worshiping Reformed Church, The second 
Church should have filled that exigency. Its organization was the fruit of 
J)itter contention and misunderstandings, and a dreadful lack of leadership. 

The Second Reformed Church of Grand Haven was organized on the 22d 
day of November, 1871, with twenty-seven members. It has passed, with 
the mother church, through deep shades. Its property is valued at |6,000. 
The aggregate of contributions is |19,564..54. Its pastors were: Rev. E. 
Van der Hart, with a short intermission, from 1872 to 1879; and Rev. Chris- 
tian Van der Veen, since April, 1880. He is to-day the oldest residing pas- 
tor of Grand Haven. 

The great trial of the First Church came over it in the aforesaid anti- 
Masonic agitation, when it was brought to the very verge of destruction. In 
the fall of 1881, almost the entire Consistory, under the leadership of the 
Xjastor, Rev. R. Drukker, with the greater part of its members, left the 
church. It was the last swarm, and it almost emptied the hive. 

They organized an independent church, but soon after joined the earlier 
■seceders. To-day they number 150 members, and have a property valued at 
■f 5,500. The first church has so far outgrown its trouble as to number to-day 
again 176 communicants. 

Finally, there are two more Holland churches in Polkton township. The 
Reformed Church of Polkton was organized in 1855. It was successively 
ministered unto by Revs. J. Van der Meulen, 1863-65; A. Huissaar, 65-69; 
A. Bruersma, 1869-73; H. Kickintveld, 1873-76; D. Broek, 1877-80; and H. 
Rorgers, 1881-83, since when its pulpit was vacant. They are now expecting 
a pastor from New York State, Rev. D. de Bey, of Clymer. They have 
lately shown great activity, having built a most attractive house of worship 
in tlKj village of Coopersville, valued at $5,000, the nave of which, during its 



HOLLAND AND GERMAN CHURCHES OF OTTAWA COUNTY 315 

erectiou, was entirely desti-oyed by fire, as is supposed through incendiarism. 

At Laniont there is a Christian Reformed Church, organized in 1879, with 
9 members. Tliey number now 50 communicants. Since August, 1883, they 
are served in the ministry, to great mutual satisfaction, by Eev. R. Drukker. 
Their property is valued at $3,000. 

What a change since 1847. Thousands of Hollanders crowded into many- 
townships of this county, some living in all. Their church life decidely 
the most active of any in the county. Their rolls of membership numbering: 
hundreds upon hundreds. The Reformed Church, through its regular sta- 
tistics, gives easy access to aggregate figures. Its congregations number- 
twelve. Their total of communicants, in this county, is 1,446; of Sunday 
School scholars. 1.841. The aggregate of their contributions, since 1858, is^ 
$425,140.34. The aggregate value of their church property is $91,500. 

The Christian Reformed Church gives only partial statistics. Its number 
of congregations, in this county, is 12, possibly 13. The total of their com- 
municants is 1,438; of Sunday School scholars, 1,075. The aggregate of 
their contributions cannot be given, as but few of "their churches appear to- 
have kept accounts. Their collective property is valued at $41,700. The 
aggregate of all church property, described in this paper, is $143,700. 

III. Causes of rupture. — You see these denominations are quite equally 
divided. They are both governed according to the pure Presbyterian system. 
They have the very same symbols: the canons of the Synod of Dordt, the 
Heidelberg Catechism, and the five articles against the Remonstrants. The 
orthodoxy of doctrine of both is equally above suspicion. Whence then this 
separation? It is a remarkable fact that the older leaders, to a man, stood 
by the Reformed Church of America. The seceders originally adopted the 
title of '•True Refoa-med Church of Amlerica,'' thereby stigmatizing the 
other churches as disloyal to the standards. 

In 1881, by a rare stroke of policy, they changed that title into '"Holland 
Christian Reformed Church of America/' This move had a twofold effect : — - 

1. It affiliated these churches, in a conspicuous manner, with the churck 
of the seceders in the fatherland, which, by this time, has assumed magnifi- 
cent dimensions. 

2. It marked out, for the future of the church, a conservative policy,, 
assuaging the fears of those who dreaded early Americanizing movements. 

That change has assured the growth of the rival church, catering, as it 
does, to the strong prejudices of the masses of the immigrants. 

To find the deeper ground of this schism, between the two parties you 
must go away beyond the sea, to the early days of the Holland ecclesiastical 
struggle in the early part of this century. There were various tendencies in 
40 



314 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

that separation. Van Raalte was one of the chief exponents of one of these; 
l)ut among- the earl}^ settlers, among his own folloAvers, were his antagonists. 
As long as suffering- and toil abounded the old roots appeared lifeless, but 
no sooner began the sun of prosperity to shine but these dry roots sprouted 
tind grew into twigs and strong trees, and the break of 1852 resulted. Van 
Raalte came with an aim to this country. To forget what was behind and 
to grow up into the closest sympathy with the land of his adoption was his 
ideal He ceased to be a Netherlander as soon as he became an American. 
America was to him more than a place of exile, a country of refuge. It was 
the land of his adoption. He desired to cut off old traditions as fast as 
Providence opened the way. They wanted to retain the past and gloat over 
it with childish affection. They felt themselves exiled ; always looking back 
at Palestine, yet ever ready to acknowledge the undesirableness and unfeas- 
ibility of ever returning thither. Their favorite aim — to reconstruct a little 
Holland in the forests of Michigan, a colony after the model of that at the 
Cape of Good Hope. Religiously they clashed. His a system of free grace, 
but of infinite mercy and abounding love; their's one too often of cast- 
iron justice and loveless decrees. His a gospel of pardon ; their's one of 
judgment. And so they parted, and it was well they did. Not in the pres- 
•ent but in the far future lie the possibilities of a reunion ; when with com- 
mon pride the thoroughly Americanized Hollanders shall look into the 
records of the past and shall have outgrown all clannishness, and, clinging to 
the true faith, shall have obtained a clearer vision of a larger horizon. The 
anti-masonic plea, so largely entering into the former as well as into the latter 
secession, is easily explained. 

The Christian Netherlander appears, by nature, to be anti-masonic. It is 
a tradition among them. Its reason: In the days when the flood-gates of 
Infidelity and revolution were opened upon the lowlands, Freemasonry, 
hitherto but little known in the Netherlands, grew with astonishing rapidity. 
Its supporters were bold and defiant in its defense, and belonged not always 
to the choicest elements of society. And so, to the Holland religious mind, 
i^hrough many believing generations. Freemasonry became identified with 
infidelity and revolution. It stands so branded to-day across the sea-. The 
vast majority of Hollanders are its avowed enemies, or at least look upon it 
with keen suspicion. Their character is an open one, and so they dislike, as 
I)y nature, what is dark and hidden. 

"When, therefore, the claim was made that numerous church members 
iind even pastors in the Reformed Church of America were at the same time 
members of secret, oath-bound societies, they began to agitate the matter. 
The fanatics on the subject placed before the General Synod the ultimatum 



CHURCHES WORSHIPING IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 315 

to expel all Masons from the community of the church or at least to declare 
juembership in oath-hound secret societies a ])unishahle sin — whicli is virtnaliy 
the same — or to see them rupture their connection. 

You see how such an ajiitation in the hands of uiiromiKMent leaders h'd 
into wrong channels ap])ealing to a strong national prejudice, could ro<k 
the western part of the Keformed Church in America, consisting mostly of 
Hollanders, to its very foundations. And the wonder is only that it worked 
«o little harm as it did. Jt has j)assed by. hut yet the tire is smoldering. 
<\nd may burst out anew at some future ])eriod. 

Once and again grand revivals have swept over these churches. s])urring them 
on to greater activity and better work. 

You will do ^\-ell to stud}' this Holland (piestion of development. Do 
these Hollanders, living among you, Americanize too slowly to suit many? 
Are they too backward in adopting the language of this country in their 
devotions? ])o not judge them hastily. Give them time. Remember: 
(1) The flow of immigration has not yet stopped. (2) The present older 
generation could not use the lOnglish in their worship to edification. 
(3) It is the liardest thing conceivable to jerk a man's tongue out by the 
roots. One does not easily discard his mother-tongue, or even cease to love 
it. It w^as therein that his mother first taught him to lisp his evening prayer, 
iind to sing the sweet songs of childhood. Again I say, give them time. For 
the change is coming, and when the metamorphosis is complete I am sure you 
will recognize, in these Hollanders, some of the very best elements of the 
growth and pride of Ottawa county. 



CHURCHES WORSHIPING IX THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 



BY REV. E. V. GIBBS 



In tracing the history of the religious movement of the English speaking 
l)eople of Ottaw\i county, during the fifty years now past, the commence- 
ment will be found in the settlement of Rev. William M. Ferry with his family 
i\nd friends on the Grand River where the citv of Grand Haven now stands. 



316 . SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

In November 1834, these few people landed here and established their home 
where before them had been only the trader, the Indian, and a wilderness. 
Their welcome was the ripple of the river, as it moved slowly to the lake, the 
sigh of the magnificent forests, the glitter of the sunlight through the pines, 
the chill of an autumn morning, and the greeting of the post trader — this 
and probably no more. 

This family, who thus took their fortunes with them to a wilderness home 
were English speaking, thinking and acting people. As this was to be their 
home, and they were a religious people, the husband, father, and protector, 
a missionary of the Presbyterian Church, the first act, after landing, seems 
in harmony with their ancestry and their faith. They held a religious ser- 
vice, erected their altar, offered their sacrifice, made their vow, and recon- 
secrated themselves to the service of God under new and strange conditions. 

In this first settlement within the confines of Ottawa county, it is easy to 
trace the spirit of 1620, and note the bond of sympathy between the Plymouth 
settlers of that period, and those guided by Mr. Ferry in 1834. 

Each settlement was founded upon a basis of profound religious belief. 
In both, the home, the church and the school were prime factors in the 
inception of their movement, and failure rarely follows such a beginning; 
success is usually its gratifying reward. 

It is probable that after that first Sunday service held in the trader's log 
house — for it was on Sunday morning this party sailed into Grand River — 
no Sunday was allowed to pass without a public service. 

During the ensuing two years, quite a number joined the little colony, and 
in October, 183G, a Presbyterian Church was organized with twelve members. 

The first frame building erected in the settlement was used for a meeting 
house, school-house, court-house, and other general public purposes. It is 
still standing, on Second street, between Washington and Franklin streets^ 
and should be carefully guarded as a relic of former days. 

From this simple beginning, this germ of religious thought and deed, have 
gradually evolved the English si^eaking churches of this part of Ottawa 
county. 

Into these new homes, the habits fostered in older states were, with slight 
modifications, introduced. Each new settler came in obedience to the aggTes- 
sive spirit of the age, to the new field, ready to work out the problem of life 
by the light best known. Many brought with them fixed religious convictions 
and habits. Others left behind them the traditions and faith of former homes, 
and went into the wilderness relying upon individual strength of will and 
hand, as a guarantee of desired success. 

All this variety of thought and purpose entered into the formative period 



CHURCHES WORSHIPING IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 317 

of the religious atmosphere of Ottawa county, and is easily traced in the his- 
tory of its English speaking religious organizations. 

But for this marked diversity of motive, we should look for and expect to 
find a large and controlling Presbyterian influence throughout the churches 
composed of English sjteaking people in this county. For that Avas the 
earliest influence in matters of religion. It has to-day but three churches in 
the county; one in Grand Haven, one in Spring Lake, organized in 1853, 
iinother in Ferrysburg, organized in 1882. 

But it will be well to remember that Ottawa county is now very much 
smaller than when first settled, and that many of the Presbyterian churches 
In the counties of Muskegon and Oceana may be justly said to be traceable 
to the seed planting of 183(3 — children of the parent church. The surprise 
consists in not finding any organizations of this body elsewhere in the 
county. 

We should also remember that many changes, often abrupt but forceful, 
that have influenced the religious world in the last fifty years — an influence 
finding congenial ground in the vigorous life of the United States, and most 
marked results in the organized worship of the English speaking people of 
the west. Without further philosophizing upon the matter, the fact is 
plain that the English speaking people of Ottawa county have planted and 
fostered a wide diversity of faith and practice since that little band held its 
first service on the banks of (irand Kiver. But each separate church is but 
the reproduction of a similar church in the older states. Not many new 
names are found, not many new or strange ideas surprise us, as we trace the 
formative period in its effect upon religious societies in this county. 

The people here are of the same nerve and brain as those of older climes. 
The growth of the soul here is conditioned upon similar laws controlling 
elsewhere. Here were the likes and dislikes — memories dear and powerful — 
preventing the exclusive establishment of any single church, rather assuring 
the crystalization in much weakness of those who thought, believed or wor- 
shiped in sympathy with established methods, or who would carve for them- 
selves a new name in the wilderness. 

Most marked the influence of man or woman who came from a distant home, 
and finding not the church of childhood, have thought and prayed until the 
hope of their life culminates in a church where two or three were gathered 
in the Master's name. 

It is probable the larger number of the thirty-eight English speaking 
churches in this county could trace their birth to some earnest one alone in 
the wilderness or not at home in some organized worship, who went in 



318 



SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



search of a promised laud, and foimd it in the formation of a new society 
and the erection of a church. 

The folloAving table exhibits the statistics of the English speaking churches- 
of the county as complete as we have been able to secure them : 







First Organi- 
zation. 


Churches Re- 
porting. 


Value 

of 

Church 

Property. 




Denominations. 


Date. 


No. of 
Mem- 
bers. 


Num- 
ber. 


Pres. No. 
of Mem- 
bers. 


Remarks. 




4 
3 
4 

8 

1 

3 
3 

1 
3 

1 














Baptist 


1866 
1858 
1849 


14 


4 


170 
900 
243 


83,200 00 
14,000 00 
19,910 00 




Catholic 




Congregational 

Frpe Methodist 


No Report 




1840 
1866 
1836 
1862 


9 

5 

12 

12 


4 
3 

1 

1 
1 


295 
111 
204 
92 
16 
75 


14,850 00 
10,6.50 00 
27,100 00 
15,000 00 




Protestant Episcopal 




Presbyterian 








Wesieyan Metliodist 




Unitarian 


1875 




12,000 00 








Totals ss 






23 


2,106 


S116.710 00 















It is to be regretted that so many of the churches, whose record is essen- 
tial to the completeness of this history have failed to respond with the facts 
of their organization and growth. It Avill be seen that there are 15 of the 
churches thus delinquent, viz., 4 Adventist, 1 Baptist, 3 Congregational, 1 
Free Methodist, 3 Methodist Episcopal, 1 Presbyterian and 2 Wesieyan 
Methodist; in all 15. 

The 38 churches holding services in the English language are distributed 
as follows, viz : 

Allendale 3 — Wesieyan Methodist, Congregational, Adventist. 

Blendon, 1 — Adventist. 

Chester, with a population of 1,703, has no English speaking church. 

Crockery, 1 — Congregational. 

Oeorgetown, 2 — Congregational, Baptist. 

Grand Haven, — Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal;^ Methodist Episcopal^ 
Presbyterian, Tlnitarian. 

Holland, 4 — Methodist Episcopal, two Keformed, Wesieyan Methodist. 

Jamestown, none. Population 2,066. 

Olive, 1 — Congregational. 



CHURCHES WORSHIPING IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 319 

Polkton, 7 — Catliolic. Con^TOj^atioiial, Protestant Pvpiseopal, two Method- 
ist E]iiseopal, W'eslcvaii Melliodist, Adventist. 

Kobiusoii, J — ( N»ii,i>i'egati()nal. 

SpriiijEj l.ake. 5 — Baptist, Catholic, Methodist JOpiscopal, two I'resliy- 
terian. 

Talinadjie, '.\ — (\)n«ire<jiatioiial, Metliodist Episcopal, liaptist. 

\\"i-ijL'lit, 4— IJaptist, Catholic, .Methodist Episcopal, Adventist. 

Zetdaiid, none. I'opnlation IMIT). 

Tt should not be for<2,otten that this paper is lesiiicted to a consideration 
of the chnrehes holdin,;.' their services in the English lan.nnai;e, and that the 
town.s in which there are no such churches, are very largely i)opulated by 
jtersons of foreign birth and the children of such. The })opulation of the 
county was, in 1840, 208; in 1845, 1,200; in 1850. 5,587; in 18(;o, 1:5.215; 
in 1870, 26,651; in 1880, 32,310; in 1884, 36,308. 

The tirst church (n-ganizations were of course composed of snuill numbers, 
and the majority of these were women. It is probable the latter is true of 
these churches to-day. It is significant hint, also, of the small nundier 
living in a town, when only five are found to organize a church; not less 
significent when three of the five are women. As the county has steadily 
increased in population and wealth, -the English si)eaking churches have 
maintained a sure and healthy growth. Twenty-three churches ha\(' rcpoi-i- 
ed a membershii* of 2,106, an average of over ninety-one members each. If 
the fiftfK^n churches who have not reported liavi' an ('(pial average, the 
number of mendjers of the English speaking churclics in the county in 1884 
will be 3,471. The actual average of the non-rei>orting churches is probably 
less than this estimate. 

In a historical sketch of this character, our work would be iucomi>lete 
without some plain reference to the different men who have starved as 
missionaries, preachers, or priests, in the gathering and establishment of 
these churches. Could we know these men, and come into the privacy of their 
lives, we should obtain a clearer view of the cost, in nerve, and even life, 
incidental to religious enterprise in Ottawa county. But we have only the 
cold fact that such work has been done; the least tribute we can render to 
undoubted worth is to leave, upon the record of this half century memorial, 
a testimonial of our appreciation of the service of these pioneers of the moral 
welfare of Ottawa county : 

How much or how little they received for their services, wo do not know. 
How many toiled in tears, through years of unappreciated, often thankless 
labor, and. like l*aul, earning their bread, iha( they might be under obliga- 
tions to none, who can sav? That there must have lieen noble, conscientious 



320 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OP OTTAWA COUNTY 

work done In' both ministers and laity is proven hj the fact that the humble 
frame house on Third street, Grand Haven, where the Presbyterian Church 
worshiped so long, represents one factor, and the church property of the 
<-ounty, now valued at |116,710, the other factor. All this has been erected 
iind dedicated to the service of God and humanity by a people who were 
Ijusy clearing forests, grubbing the soil, wearily toiling for the necessities of 
life— at times suffering for want of them — and rarely having any luxuries, 
for long years a steady, hard tug for existence. Yet these gave land, lum- 
Ijer, money, when they had it, all for an opinion, a belief, a deep, all-con- 
trolling conviction that a home in the new land would not be home-like 
without the church of their choice, where they, with their children, could 
worship God according to the dictates of their consciences. Thus standing 
upon the middle ground of a passing century, we may, from this fiftieth 
jinniversary, look backward for a moment and trace what has been accom- 
plished, read its story, feel its pain, taste its sorrows — not its joys — and 
gladly award full measure of praise for so much done under the stern pres- 
sure of most adverse circumstances. Here is a grouping of religious influ- 
ence, so wide in its scope, all who seek an English speaking, religious home 
can enter such and labor, or rest in peace. 

The Catholic can enjoy his venerable faith and worship in the atmosphere 
of sainted forms near his home in a recently settled land. The Evangelical 
Protestant can surely find the path to a desired church and feel that, though 
separated by many leagues from early home and kindred, that in hymn and 
prayer, in the labor and love of the Master's service, one spirit unites them 
forever. 

Still another part of the toiling life of Ottawa county, can find in this 
backward look the promise of an ever widening movement, based upon the 
Bible, upon rational thought and the increasing demands of growing 
humanity, that tends toward a tenderer love, firmer sympathy and more 
earnest helpfulness, and fruit of clearer convictions of life and more active 
obedience to the Spirit that g-uides the race iipward and onward. 

As we look forward from this fiftieth anniversai'y, it will be well to re- 
member the established services and erected altars, maintaining them while 
there is need of their influence — for none shall crumble in ruins, but out of 
its dust must arise a new and holier service for the race. Is it not true the 
ferment of diff^erence that made it possible for these eleven different 
organizations to be, shall continue its work until, in the ''survival of the 
fittest," we find all coming, toward the close of another half century, into 
the cooperative labors in philanthropy — in the higher morals of social life, 
and deeper amenities of common daily being — where all shall see eye to eye 



SCHOOLS OF OTTAWA COUNTY 321 

and walk hand in hand ; to advance this wonld seem to be our duty — to re- 
tard it our shame. 

As this first half century is the formative period, the test period, and in 
it so much has been accomplished in establishing churches, what shall be 
the outcome of another half century? There is still unoccupied ground and 
a number of prosperous villages and towns where are no services held in 
English. 

In solving our future much will depend upon the purpose that inspires 
those now active in these churches, and somewhat upon the position taken 
by their children when the burdens fall from the shoulders of parents and 
are taken up by youthful hands. And not a little depends upon the business 
future of Ottawa county — while that infringes upon the prosperity of its 
chief centres — and most of all upon the city of Grand Haven. Let us hope 
the student of church history may find far nobler results than those recorded 
in this sketch, as in 1934 Ottawa county shall celebrate its one hundredth 
anniversary. One practical suggestion, if followed, will give a marked value 
to the work to be done and assist all future students of these church move- 
ments, viz. : to keep a carefully written history of each society, and to do 
this as a sacred duty to humanity, gathering the fragments of isolated bodies 
that nothing be lost. 



THE SCHOOLS OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY E. B. FAIRFIELD, JR. 



Having no personal acquaintance with the growth and development of 
this county, and no reminiscences connected with its educational progress, 
no experience with its diflQculties, and being unable to find any official 
records in the county archives, I must be content to leave its early experi- 
ences to be recorded by the early settlers in their personal sketches, and 
confine myself to a summary of the statistics published in the volumes of 
reports sent out from year to year by the State sui)erintendent of public 
Instruction. 
41 



322 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

Previous to 1852 the entire history of the educational system of Michigan, 
the suggestions contained in each annual report of the State superintendent 
of public instruction* "were contained in disjointed documents which 
were partially scattered about by members of the legislature during sessions, 
and then lost or destroyed as an accumulation of mere pamphlets, not neces- 
sary for information or future reference." Consequently I am unable to 
secure access to records previous to 1852. I am also unable to secure reports 
for the school years 1853 and 1854. 

A few statistics for 1852 and for every second year from 1855 to 1883, 
inclusive, are to be found in the accompanying table, and will prove an 
interesting study to those who are apt at reading between the lines, and can 
fill up the record, through their own conceptions, with those disappoint- 
ments, surmounting of difficulties, replacing forests with beautiful homes 
and well-tilled farms, reclaiming swamps, and converting quagmires into 
fertile meadows and green pasture lands ; with those advancements of civiliza- 
tion which gradually transform the rough log schoolhouses, with their floors 
of split logs, their seats of rough split planks without back or desk, to the 
modern neat frame or brick buildings with their handsome furniture, maps, 
charts, books, and other conveniences which our present civilization regards 
as necessaries. 

The thirty-two school districts reporting in 1852 returned $1,191.13 as 
the amount raised for the support of schools, including the pay of teachers, 
and 11,089.53 expended on school buildings and repairs. 

The system of taxation at that time for the support of the common 
schools consisted (1) of a tax of two mills on each dollar of valuation of the 
taxable property: (2) an annual district tax, voted at the school meeting, 
not to exceed one dollar for every scholar in the district between the ages of 
four and eighteen years; (3) and a rate bill against the person or persons 
sending children to school, for the amount of tuition and fuel for which he 
was liable. This rate bill could be collected, if necessary, by distress and 
sale of goods and chattels. 

The primary school interest fund apportioned to Ottawa county in 1855, 
upon a school census of 2,502, was |1,395.75, and in 1880, upon a school census 
of 11,440, $5,140.76. The fund did not keep pace with the increase of children, 
the falling off being nearly one-fifth. 

A decision of the State supreme court, in 1880, that the State debt had, 
in the intent of the law, been extinguished, since that portion of the specific 
taxes pledged to this purpose had outgrown the State indebtedness, added 
to the primary school fund the specific taxes received by the State from the 

*Report Superintendent Public Instruction, 1853. 



SCHOOLS OF OTTAWA COUNTY 323 

miniug companies of the Upper I'eninsiila, aiuouutiuj^ for 1881 to $305,395.27. 
This increased the apportionment to Ottawa county more than $G,000, or to 
a total in 1881 of |11.T14.17, being more than double the amount of 
1880, though the school census had increased only about one-twentieth. In 
1883 the county received from this source nearly |17,000 (|10.851.31). upon 
a school census of nearly 13,000 (12.923). 

The thirty-two districts of 1852 enrolled as jjujuIs 1,050; the one hundred 
and twenty districts of 1883, 9.354 pupils. 

The valuation of school ])roperty in 1859 at |9.1-13, had increased in 1883 
to 1183,030. 

In 1869 fourteen of the ninety-one school-houses were built of logs, while 
in 1883 all but one of the log buildings had disappeared, though the whole 
number had increased to one hundred and twenty-two, fifteen of them being 
of brick. Teachers' wages in 1852 amounted to |1, 717.25. The increase in 
number of teachers employed, the large increase in number of pupils attend- 
ing school, the longer terms, with some increase in the rate of wages, increased 
the total paid teachers in 1883 to nearly fifty thousand (|49,242.38) dollars. 

The total cost of schools in 1852 was a little more than three thousand 
dollars (|3,240.41), while in 1883 it was |84,598.62. 

That the material development of the county has more than kept pace 
with the school exjtenditures is shown by the fact, that the two-mill tax of 
1852, was only |644.77. while the one-mill tax of 1883 was $11,468.68. In 
other words, while the schools cost twenty-six times as much as they did 
thirty-two years ago, the valuation of the taxable property is thirty-five times 
as great. 

The number of children attending school forms about the same portion of 
the whole number in the county as it did thirty-two years ago, but the aver- 
age length of time that the children are in school has about doubled. 

Disregarding the primary interest fund, as that comes from outside the 
county entirely, the people of this county still pay at about the same rate for 
their children's education as in those early days, viz., about one dollar per 
month for each pupil while he is in school, the State at large practically 
paying for the improved educational facilities which we enjoy. 

In the early reports the school sittings are not given, but at present the 
school buildings have a seating capacity of 10,689 pupils. 

The rate bill figured quite prominently in school matters until 1869. In 
1852, the assessment in this way was $520.67; 1867, $2,510.87; in 1869, the 
last that appears, $1,886.85. 

State Superintendent Oramel Hosford, in his report for 1868, refers to its 
pernicious influence, stating that "the general practice is to send children 



324 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

to school until the public money is expended, and then keep them at home. 
So long as the schools are free tliej^ are well filled and prosperous. But as 
soon as the tax begins to bear upoi-i it, the school wanes and. dies." 

TJie number of teachers actually employed in the county, in 1855, was 
seventy -eight ; in 1883, two hundred and sixty-two. That is, while the school 
attendance is five times as great, and the average length of school one and 
one half times as great as in 1852, the number of teachers employed is only 
three and one half times as great, showing a much greater permanency in 
•teachers' position. In those early days it was a common custom to change 
teachers every term, while now the tendency is, even in the smaller schools, 
to engage the teacher by the year, thus greatly increasing the efficiency of his 
work. 

Graded schools appear only with considerable growth in population and 
financial resources. At the present time Grand Haven has twenty-four 
teachers; Holland twelve; Spring Lak«, nine; Coopersville and Zeeland, 
four each; Ferrysburg, three. The last report of the secretary of the county 
board of examiners states the following named eight places have two teachers 
each, viz., Berlin, Drenthe, Groningen, Lamont, Lisbon, North Holland, 
Nunica, and Vriesland. 

In this connection it would give me ^reat pleasure, had I the necessary 
data, to present the history of the early educational movements as seen by 
the pioneer teachers of the county, as participated in by them, and trace the 
development and growth of the germ planted in many a fertile spot, to its 
full fruitage in the strong and noble individual character. 

Undoubtedly many such will appear in the biographical sketches and per- 
sonal reminiscences. 

In the earlier days,* "each township had three school inspectors, whose 
duty it was to organize districts, apportion the school moneys to the dis- 
tricts, examine teachers and grant certificates and visit schools." In the 
main, these provisions remained unchanged till 1867, when the county 
superintendency was established. The first county superintendent for Ottawa, 
elected under the new law, was Rev. Christian Van der Yeen. Mr. Van der 
Veen, however, soon resigned the office, and A, W. Taylor served the remain- 
der of the term, being, at its close, elected for a full term. Mr. Taylor served 
as county superintendent nearly four years, Charles S. Fassett being elected 
to succeed him in the spring of 1871. Mr. Fassett was elected his own suc- 
cessor in 1873, and held the oflQce until the repeal of the county superinten- 
dency in 1875. The township system of school supervision and examination 
of teachers followed the county plan, but proved so unsatisfactory in its 



*For a full history, see "Historical Sketches," by W. L. Smith, in Report of Public 
Instruction for 1880. 



SCHOOLS OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



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326 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

results that in 1881 a compromise measure, combining township supervis- 
ion with county examinations, was adopted, and went into effect in August 
of the same year. It is too early yet to say that the present system is pro- 
ductive of better results than were secured under the county superinten- 
dency. 

The reports relating to the public libraries are so indefinite that I have 
been unable to formulate many valuable statements regarding this important 
feature of our educational system, Mr. A. W. Taylor, in his report as 
county superintendent, for 1870, uses the following language: ''In Ottawa 
county we have scarcely a district library worthy the name. The division 
of the township library- among the several school districts, generally adopted 
by the townships of our county, was a sad mistake, and has resulted, in most 
instances, in the total obliteration of all traces of a public library of any 
kind." 

The report for 1883 shows that three townships used the library money 
for general purposes; that three townships forfeited their library money; 
that nine townships maintain township libraries, having an aggregate of 
2,102 volumes; that thirty districts support district libraries, having an 
aggregate of 3,376 volumes; that the township paid for books and care of 
libraries, |573.67, raising by direct tax for this purpose, |80.30, and receiv- 
ing 1271.13 in fines, from the county treasurer; that the districts paid for 
books and care of libraries, |795.56, of which sum |523.45 was received from 
county fines. 



THE FIRST SCHOOLS IN HOLLAND, OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY REV. CHRISTIAN VAN DER VEEN 



The settlement of the Holland colony really dates from the summer of 
1847, though a few families reached the ground in the spring of that year. 
Among the very first objects to be provided for was the education of the chil- 
dren. Totally unacquainted with the educational provisions of the State, and 
in no position to take advantage of them if they had been known, tliey devdsed 



FIRST SCHOOLS IN HOLLAND, OTTAWA COUNTY 327 

means to secure a teacher. The first funds were raised by monthly voluntary 
contributions on a subscription list. Mr. Jacob A'an der A'eeu, my father, 
had this matter in charge. By October the plan was carried out. and the 
services of the first teacher secured. He was an American, Ira Hoyt, and 
taught, as nearly as I can recollect, during the whole of the following year. 
First in a part of a private house in the village, still standing, now Mr. Wat- 
kins,' next to Hampton's store; then during the winter in the front part of 
a house, also still standing, on the northwest corner of section 34. In the 
spring we moved to the old log church then half finished. In June of 1848 
the school district was organized. Mr. Hoyt was succeeded in the spring of 
1849 by the first female teacher. Miss E. H. Langdon ; as I remember her, a 
quite superior woman, and under whose instruction we children made great 
progress. At her leaving the public school was vacant for quite a while. 
The interests of such children as would pay tuition were, however, attended 
to by Mr. H. Doesburg, who kept a peripatetic private school, sometimes 
attended pretty well and sometimes but poorly. I can remember going to no 
less than seven places for instruction under his wandering guidance. Dur- 
ing the vacancy the old school building was put up on the lot which still 
serves for public school purposes. 

In the fall of 1851 Mr. Walter T. Taylor, the teacher of a classical school 
in Geneva. X. Y., came out under an arrangement with some influential 
christian gentlemen in the Dutch Keformed Church of America, in the 
eastern States, to start a preparatory school to fit young men for college. 
This was four years after the first settlement of the place. The school, out 
of which Hope College has grown, was opened in October, 1851, in the new 
building built for district school purposes, and was at first carried on in con- 
junction with the district school, in which two daughters and one son of Mr. 
Taylor were employed as teachers. This double arrangement came to an end 
in 1853, when the preparatory school was removed to the so-called orphan 
house, while the district school was continued by itself under the teaching 
of Mr. E. P. Pitcher. The school became a graded school in 1860. 

The preparatory school continued under the direction of Mr. Taylor until 
the close of the school year in 1854. He was succeeded by Rev. F. P. Beid- 
ler. who taught one year. Rev. John Van Vleck assumed charge in 1855. 
Under him the school became known as Holland Academy. Rev. P. Phelps 
succeeded him in 1855, and under his administration the institution was char- 
tered as Hope College in 1860. 

In other parts of the colony the schools retained a semi-parochial charac- 
ter for some time, but all, as soon as the circumstances allowed, were placed 
under the provisions of the general school law. It is at present impossible 



328 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OE' OTTAWA COUNTY 

to give dates. In Zeeland the first teacher employed was Elias G. Young, 
afterwards clerk of the county, who taught in 1849, and was succeeded by Mr. 
R. M. De Bruyn. 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF HOPE COLLEGE 



For many years a desire had existed, to have a school of the Reformed 
Church established in the valley of the Mississippi. The way, however, did 
not seem to be open, until, in 1847 and 1848, a Holland Colony was plant-ed 
in Ottawa and the adjoining counties of Michigan, mainly through the 
agency of Rev, A. C. Van Raalte, D. D,, who devoted himself assiduously 
to the moral and material interests of the enterprise. This was an event 
which God used as the origin of what is now Hope College. 

Rev. Philip Phelps, Jr., of Hastings, N. Y., was appointed by the Board 
of Education to succeed Mr. Van Vleck, and entered on his work in the fall 
of 1859. He found thirty-three pupils in attendance. The regular organi- 
zation of the school into classes and some more formal and eflScient plan of 
superintendency by the church, became his first care. Success crowned his 
efforts, in both respects, and the progress of the Academy became more 
marked. In 1862, the number of students was forty-five, divided into ^'Class- 
ical and Primary," and in the following jear the General Synod approved of 
and appointed the "Board of Superintendents." 

In the fall of 1862 another decided step was taken. By the approval of the 
Western Classes and the Synod of Chicago, a collegiate department was 
introduced, and a freshman class of ten members was formed. From 
this time date the efforts to have a regular college incorporated, under the 
laws of Michigan, and these efforts culminated in the institution as we have 
it to-day. The Board of Superintendents continued; the four academic 
classes entered in order upon their course; the General Synod recommended 
the college in 1864, and its endowment in the sum of $100,000; the collec- 
tion of the funds was prosecuted with success east and west; needed steps 
were taken, and just before the graduation of the first class, in 1866, were 
organized the "council," presidencj^, faculty, and departments of Hope 
College. In the seven years, since 1859, the number of students had increased 



HISTORICAL SKETCH OF HOPE COLLEGE 329 

from thirty-three to fifty, viz.: in the academic classes, 23; and in those of 
the grammar school, 27. The graduating senior class contained eight mem- 
bers. 

In 18G9 the "Theological Department" was formally constituted and recog- 
nized as the General Synod's "Theological Seminary in the West." The super- 
intendence of the same committed to the council. A gift of $10,000 by Elder 
James Suydam; one-half in payment of debts, and one-half for completing 
the purchase of Point Superior. For this reason, the tract, for some time 
was called "Suydam Park." Prof. P. J. Oggel died December 13. Another 
structure was erected, which afterwards, having added to it a second story 
and a wing, became known as the "Grammar School Building." 

In 1878 the General Synod determined to re-organize Hope College, and, 
sent a committee for that purpose, to meet with the council. The debt of 
the institution was found to be over $27,000, besides |4,100, due from the 
General Synod to the theological teachers. Dr. Phelps resigned the 
})residency, and Dr. Crispell his college professorship, to take effect July 1. 
A new constitution of the college was drafted. Rev. Giles H. Mandeville, 
D. D., of New York city, was elected provisional president, and Prof. 
Charles Scott, D. D. vice-president, to administer the college, while Dr. 
Mandeville collected funds in the east. Women were admitted to all the de- 
partments. Henry Boers, A. B., and John H. Kleinheksel, A. B., were 
appointed tutors in the grammar school. The number of students had 
graduall}- increased; the fifty of 1865 became sixty-four in 1872, (not 
including the theological,) and ninety-eight in 1878. 

In 1884, Rev. John A, DeBaun. D. D., of Fonda, X. Y., was elected perma- 
nent president in May, and confirmed by the General Synod. He declined 
the appointment. Prof. Scott continued as provisional president. General 
Synod met in Grand Rapids and made a visit to Hope College and the city 
of Holland, June 7; |3,100 donated by members of Synod for a president's 
house. A successful effort to increase the "professorship of didactic and 
polemic theologj'," to the full amount of |30,000 in cash, whereupon the 
Synod elected Rev. N. M. Steffens, D. D., to the chair. He was duly inaugu- 
rated Dec. 4, and on the next day the theological department was 
formally re-opened with five students. 

During the last four years all the streets around the college cam- 
pus have been graded and graveled, the expenses thereof falling upon the 
college, without any aid from the city; and for seven years the expenses 
have regularly been met without deficit or debt. The number of students 
from April, 1884, to April, 1885, are, in the academic department, thirty- 
42 



330 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

three; and in the preparatory, one hundred and thirty-six, a total of one 
hundred and sixty-nine; and nearly all pursue the full classical course. 

It will be seen that this school, in almost all respects, has been steadily 
progressing. Before her is a fair prospect, if ker alumni stand by her 
good name, if her friends are attached to and not alienated from her 
interests, and if the council do their duty as christian men and faithful 
guardians of the Lord. She needs and prays for more ample endowments. 
May the future show more and more clearl}' that this is indeed a "college 
of hope." 



EARLY RECOLLECTIONS OF GRAND HAVEN 



BY MISS MARY A. WHITE 



To the Committee for the 8em.i-Centennial of Ottawa County: 

I thank you for your invitation to contribute to the entertainment of the 
day. There is little left for me to add; but it is fitting that I, too, pay my 
tribute of respect to those who have toiled and are now entered into their 
rest. 

The history of Ottawa county and Grand Haven has been given, as far as 
dates and facts can give it, but the history that is in my own mind, the story 
of the pleasures and the privations, the joys and sorrows, the sacrifices and 
the successes of pioneer life, cannot Avell be written or spoken. 

There is an enthusiasm in looking forward with eager expectation to 
watching and aiding the growth and progress of a new country, a mingling 
of scenes both amusing and tragic, that cannot be represented without sur- 
roundings and circumstances to give vividness to the picture. 

It is fifty years, next June, since I reached Grand Haven, in response to 
an api^eal from my sister, who found herself in this wilderness, with four 
children to be educated — one I left safely sheltered in my father's house, to 
grow up to fill my place — and from that time my home has been here; my 
life and work must speak for itself. 

A peculiar interest always clusters about the beginnings of life, anywhere. 



EARLY RECOLLECTIONS OF GRAND HAVEN 331 

<:oiHiii<i into llie first, iiiifiiiislu'd I'laiiu' lionse, 1 was here to welcome to our 
home the tii-st white ihildren born in Ottawa county — a boy and a girl; was 
present at the first baptism and funeral service, and followed, through the 
forest, to that spot now in the heart of the city, where we laid our first dead. 

It was my j)rivilege to lay the rough stone in the foundation of the 
polished, educational structure that is now the pride of our town. It has 
been my jirivilege. from being for many years the only teacher in Ottawa 
county, to see hundreds rise to take my place, and from the little group that 
gathered in my room, to see over a thousand children tiocking at the sound 
of the school bell. Any who chose to come were, from the first, admitted 
to share my instruction, sharing, too, in the love and interest which, from 
first to last, has gone out to and still clings around all those whom I have 
called my scholars, often receiving from them welcome tokens of gratitude 
and appreciation. 

Among the number were sometimes to be found those older than mysel-f; 
it was a motley group — delicate children and rough men — and when, in 
conformity to the State law, my school came under the supervision of the 
town, one who had been from boyhood my pupil was on the examining com- 
mittee — to test my qualification for future service. 

I count it, too, an honor that I organized and for sixteen years had charge 
of the first Sunday school in the place, and when circumstances called me 
away, for a time, two who had been my pupils became, in succession, suj)er- 
intendents. 

Of the little band who formed the first church of Christ in this town, I 
am the only one now connected with it; of the family circle of which I then 
became a member I am the only one with you to-day. Whatever our work 
has done for this town it is done — "others have lal>ored and ye have entered 
into their labors." 

When the faces of those I have known and loved rise before me — two 
generations of brave, strong men, who have given the vigor of their man- 
hood to the building up of this town and the interests of this people, felling 
the ti*ees. fording the rivers, battling with every obstacle by sea and by land, 
to open up a path in this wilderness — two generations, too. of faithful, loving 
wives and mothers, who have patiently kept alive the altar fire, and helped 
by bright looks, words, and acts, to cheer on the sometimes discouraged 
workers; all giving liberally, from the first, of their time, energies and sub- 
stance, to the support of religious, educational, and social interests — as all 
this labor of years passes in review before me I can only say — our reward 
and our inheritance are not here. 



332 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



EARLY MEDICAL HISTORY OF OTTAWA COUNTY 



BY DR. J. B. MC NETT 



In the fall of 1857 I came to Nortonville on the steamer ^'Pontiac," where 
I met Dr. Monroe in consultation. At this time Dr. Monroe was the only 
physician in this part of the country. In December following I was 
requested by Dr. Monroe to come to Grand Haven and take his patients 
while he went east with his invalid wife. My first patient was Mrs. C. B. 
Albee, deceased. I soon began to have a practice that extended to Mill 
Point, where I came in contact with Dr. Van Duzen, who was surgeon-in- 
chief of that post. By degrees I gained a practice reaching to the remote 
parts of Ottawa county, as f^r south as Port Sheldon, West Olive, around to 
the mouth of Bass river and all points of settlement, north to Muskegon via 
Black Lake, east to Fruitport, Nunica, and Spoonville, where I always 
found my friend John Spoon, who has converted the howling wilderness 
into smiling fields. I also had patients at Ottawa Center and all important 
points along the shore. As Dr. Monroe was anxious to retire and was 
always willing to give me his patients, especially those that could not pay, I 
soon gained a large practice. 

A person living here now can form but a faint idea of the difficulties in 
travelling about the country at that time. There were no railroads, no 
bridges, very poor roads and in many places no roads at all. At that time 
I was ambitious for office, as many are at present. I wanted to be path- 
master, but was defeated. My friend John Bolt was elected, who always 
filled the bill. 

On my first visit to Robinson via Rosamound, I had occasion to inquire 
the way to the residence of Mr. Hiram Robinson; so I called at the house 
of Chris. Phlegel and asked if he could tell me where Mr. Hiram Robin- 
son lived. He said he didn't know anybody by that name. As I started 
away, his wife called out "yes, you do know Hi Robinson." He ran after 
me saying "Oh, Hi/' and very politely showed me the way. 

In 1858, Dr. North located in Grand Haven. He did not remain very 
long, as the climate did not agree with his health. Dr. Barnes, who resided 



EARLY MEDICAL HISTORY OF OTTAWA COUNTY ■ 333 

with his nephew. Mr. Jame.s Barnes, was a man of medical aliility, who gave 
me miicli good advice. 

Shortly after this an epidemic of spinal-meningitis broke out. It origi- 
nated at Rosamoiind; the second case was at Capt. Miller's at the light- 
house. There were seven cases; all terminated fatally except the first. 

At the close of the war Dr. Van der Teen came to Grand Haven and still 
remains. He has always been a competent and faithful servant of the 
people. About this time a malignant type of confluent small-pox appeared 
in our midst, which occasioned so much sickness and so many deaths, as to 
close all the churches, and put the town into quarantine. This is the most 
serious epidemic that has ever visited the city. 

Dr. Reynolds, the pioneer of Homeopathy in Grand Haven, has won him- 
self many friends. Dr. Marston settled in the city for a short time and is 
still pleasantly remembered. Dr. Styles remained but a short time. Dr. 
Biggs has also practiced medicine for several years. As the village grew in- 
to a city and the surrounding country became more densely populated, 
other physicians came. Mill Point became Spring Lake and Dr. Van 
Duzen was succeeded by Drs. Comfort and' Baldwin, followed by Drs. Bates 
and Brown, who are still there. Dr. Walkley shared the honor and profits 
for a time. In December 1879, Dr. Smart came to make Grand Haven his 
home and still finds it to his interest to remain. Dr. Palmer came about 
the same time, and continues to heal the afflicted in this city and surround- 
ing country. 

The Mineral Springs at Spring Lake and Grand Haven have attracted 
people from all over the country. At the former place Drs. Hunter and 
Brown have had charge. Dr. Leeland presided at the Springs in Grand 
Haven, succeeded by Dr. Payne, who came with a great flourish of trumpets, 
but failed to relieve pain so signally, that he left the sanitarium in better 
hands after his second season. 

Dr. Monroe was the pioneer in the practice of medicine in Ottawa county. 
He traveled up and down the lake shore on foot, on horseback or in a canoe, 
suffering hunger and fatigue in his long, tedious trips. A shrewd, energetic 
man. He has been successful, such as he will be. He was always able to 
paddle his own canoe. Then Dr. Monroe was the old doctor and I was the 
new. You all know that the new doctor is a great fellow, and performs 
many wonderful cures, so did I ; and even raised the dead, which I can prove 
by Joe Lemon. One rainy afternoon I was called to see a sick man living in 
a lumber shanty, on one of the bayous. The man was very sick, and I went 
again the next morning. I was met at the door by Joe who said, "Doctor, 
you are too late, the man is dying." I called for a mustard plaster and a jug 



334 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

of hot water. When the plaster was ready, Joe said the man was dead, his 
eyes were set and his jaw had fallen. I put on the plaster and told Joe to 
rub him. The patient rallied and made a good recovery. Joe would always 
swear the man was dead. Joe was a good nurse and had great confidence 
in me, until I threatened to spoil a mud hole in front of his gate, for his 
pigs to bathe in. He then lost it. 

Looking back to the early days of my practice in Grand Haven, I cannot 
forget what passed through my mind, at a meeting of the citizens at the old 
school-house, now the residence of the late John Furlong. Looking over the 
people I thought of the future and wondered how many of those before me I 
would have to see die. Alas! too many. Mr. Duvernay, Rev. W. M. Ferry, C. 
B. Albee, N. H. White, Timothy Fletcher, George Parks, John W. Hopkins 
and many others. There has been many changes, the railroad has been re- 
moved, and the village where little Johnny Kilean was born has been trans- 
ferred to this side. Happy Hollow is nearly desolate. 

No one can know the trials of the early physicians. We are often told how 
to treat scarlet fever. That the patient should be isolated from the family and 
put in a large room having plenty of sun and air. Everything to be removed 
save a few pictures to amuse the patient, etc. I have had on the sawdust, in 
a room just large enough to contain a cook stove and two beds, five patients 
sick with scarlet fever of a malignant t^pe. Surrounded by filth and bad 
water, they made a good recovery, in spite of all drawbacks. 

It is impossible in the limits of an article like this to mention all of 
the prominent practitioners of the county who have been an honor to their 
profession. The labors and anxieties of the true physician are many and 
the consciousness of well doing is often his sole reward. 



THE BURNING OF HOLLAND, OCTOBER 9, 1871 



BY G. VAN SCHELVEN 



The southern tier of townships in Ottawa county, constituting, with a 
part of Allegan county, the Holland County, with the city of Holland as its 



THE BURNING OF HOLLAND 335 

commercial, social and e<iiicational center, were on the eve of celebrating 
the first quarter-centennial of their settlement. 

During a period of nearly twenty -five years they had enjoyed compara- 
tiveh% a continuous prosperity, marked not so much by the accumulation of 
capital or wealth, as by a steady and healthy growth of both the agricultural 
districts and Holland city as its natural market. A variety of resources, a 
diversity of soil, a growing manufacturing interest, with shipping facilities 
by both water and rail, had combined in making Holland a prosperous and 
flourishing little city of about 2.400 inhabitants. 

The purport of this paper is to make brief historical mention of the fire of 
October 9, 1871, whereby in a short space of two hours the labors of a gener- 
ation were destroyed, hundreds of families rendered houseless and homeless, 
and many a worthy old settler, upon the evening of a w^ell-si)ent life, left in 
straitened circumstances, from which he has never been able to recover. 

For weeks preceding this eventful October night we had experienced an 
uninterrupted drought. In most every direction from the city the woods 
were on fire and had been for several days. By hard labor the southeastern 
part of the city was saved from these forest fires during the week preced- 
ing the conflagration, the locality immediately south of Hope College and 
the old Orphan House being at that time particularly exposed. 

During the afternoon of Sunday. October 8, the atmosphere was unusually 
warm for that season of the year. At intervals tine ashes were showered 
over and into the city. The very skies seemed to betoken the advent of the 
impending calamity. These proved afterwards to be the first messengers of 
the burning of Chicago on that same Sunday, as was subsequently explained. 

The efifect of this long drought and of the atmosphere at this time, seem- 
ed as it were, to prepare all the combustible material in and around the city 
for that awful fate which was awaiting it. 

The greater part of the southwest addition, but recently platted and 
sparsely settled, Avas nothing less than a wooded wilderness, and the ravine 
alon^'g Thirteenth street was filled with logs and timber. 

At 2 o'clock in the afternoon the wind turned southwesterly and began 
gradually to increase. The fire alarm was rung, and from this time on the 
fighting of the fire all along the timbered tracts south and southwest of the 
city, was kept up uninterruptedly. As night advanced the wind increased 
in force, until at midnight it blew a hurricane, spreading the fire and the 
flames with an alarming velocity toward the doomed city. The huge bark 
piles at the Cappen & Bertch tannery in the western and the Third Reformed 
Church in the southern part of the city, were among the first points attacked ; 
from thence on, the devastating fire fiend had a full and unmolested sway. 



336 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

The burning shingles and siding of this new and large church edifice and 
the flaming fragments of bark were blown towards the center of the town, 
sweeping everything in their northward course. At this fatal moment the 
wind turned more westerly and thus forced the fire toward the center and 
more eastern parts of the city — this sealed the fate of Holland. 

Within the short space of two hours, between one and three o'clock, of 
Monday morning, October 9, 1871, this entire devastation was accomplished. 
No one unless he has been an eye-witness of such a scene, can conceive its 
terror or its awfulness. We shall not attempt to describe it. The entire 
territory covered by the fire was mowed as clean as with a reaper; there was 
not a fencepost or a sidewalk plank and hardly the stump of a shade tree left 
to designate the old lines. 

The grounds at Hope College, somewhat isolated as they were, seemed to 
be the only spot where one could escape with his life. Many took to the 
waters of Black Lake, escaping in small boats. 

The fierceness of the wind and the rapidity with which the fire spread, 
may be inferred from the fact that over two hundred and fifty dead horses, 
cattle and swine were found in the burned district, and that a canceled bank 
check, partly burned, drawn by the firm of De Jong, Van Schelven and 
Oggel, upon Nathan Kenyon, banker, was picked up on one of the farms 
in section four of the township of Tallmadge in this county, a distance of 
twenty-five miles. 

The break of day on that Monday morning presented a scene, the memory 
of which will outlive all other recollections in the minds of its victims, and 
a faint idea can only be given in this sketch by furnishing a few statistical 
incidents. 

The loss of human life was limited to one aged widow woman, Mrs. J. Tolk. 

Over three hundred families were left without shelter. 

The number of buildings destroyed are about as follows: dwellings, 210; 
stores, shops and offices, 75; manufactories, 15; churches, 5; hotels, 3; mis- 
cellaneous buildings, 45; docks and warehouses, 5; one tug and several other 
boats. 

Amount of property destroyed, $900,000. Amount of insurance, |35,000. 
Of this insurance only a small part was recovered, inasmuch as many com- 
panies had been rendered insolvent by the Chicago fire. 

Neither was the calamity limited to the city. The damage and devasta- 
tion in the surrounding township of Holland, as well as in the townships of 
Fillmore and Laketown, in Allegan county, were great. The recollection of 
the writer is that in these localities seventy families were burned out, and 
the relief work performed during the winter that followed, includes alsO' 



THE BURNING OF HOLLAND 337 

the care of that number of families, besides feed and shelter for their stock. 
No mention is made of the thousands of rods of fencing destroyed all 
through this localit}', or the damage done to standing timber. 

A minute description of the fire district is not expected in this sketch. 
SuflSce it to say that the heart of the city, including the entire business por- 
tion thereof was destroyed. A better idea of the general ruin might per- 
haps be obtained by stating what remained of the once thriving and prosper- 
ous city. A strip of houses along the extreme western and southern parts 
of the city, all south of Tenth and east of Market and nearly the entire 
first ward. In addition to this and in the order of their relative importance, 
we might also make particular mention of Hope College, Plugger Mills, Heald's 
Planing Mill, Union School, First Reformed and True Reformed churches, 
both our railroad depots and the town-house. Insignificant as this array may 
appear now, it created at the time a sort of nucleus around which clustered the 
faint hopes for the future of Holland. And especially was this' so in the 
case of Hope College, not so much for the money value of the buildings but 
for what these buildings represeuted historically, and for the connecting 
link it had left between the Holland colonists and their true and most 
faithful friend who had stood by them from the very hour of their arrival 
upon American soil, under whose fostering care they had gradually developed 
from the emigrant into the American, and to whom this calamity was to 
furnish a new field, for them to again demonstrate that same generosity and 
attachment — I refer to the Reformed Church of America. 

Hunger and the want of shelter, drove most of the people into the coun- 
try, to the extent that the flames and smoke from the surrounding fires per- 
mitted them to do so. In their flight they were not handicapped with many 
cares, for whatever had not been buried in the ground had been consumed by 
the fire. All day long the roads leading east out of the city were lined with 
refugees. 

But we must hurry on. We feel a longing to quit these scenes of destruc- 
tion. There is something in store, in connection with this calamity, which 
to a certain extent alleviates much that is painful in contemplating so much 
misery. 

The general conflagrations of the Sth and 9th of October embraced not 
only Holland and Chicago, but also Peshtigo, Manistee, the Port Huron 
district and several other localities, and that it is a matter of histon* that co- 
extensive with this Avidespread ruin, were also the sympathies and charities 
of our fellows-men. 

It will undoubtedly be remembered, when the news of the burning of Chi- 
cago had reached New York, how James Fisk in his novel but effective way 
43 



338 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

at once gathered in a traiuload of jjrovisions and supplies, and how with 
lightning speed he sent them on to relieve the thousands of Chicago's refugees, 
scattered over the open prairies. So it was here. 

Hardly had the people of Holland, on the following Tuesday morning, 
awakened from their first slumbers after so much anxiety and despair, and 
while they were yet casting around for a relic or a landmark to designate the 
spot where once had been their home, and with no indication of what the suc- 
ceeding morrow was to bring — but that the generosity of their neighbors 
was already seen and felt in their desolate home. 

The surrounding fires had cut off all railroad communications. The bridge- 
on the line of the M. L. S. R. R. had been destroyed so that no trains could 
enter the city. Penetrating as far as they could toward the northern 
banks of Black River the friends from the neighboring city of Grand Haven 
had unloaded a timely supply of provisions and other stores, the variety of 
which was not the least striking feature. These stores consisted, not only 
in what the grocery and the bakery could supply, but the kitchen and the 
pantry had also been emptied — a loaf of bread partly cut, a solitary biscuit, 
doughnuts; a remnant of a roast, a part of a ham, etc., etc., — creating in the 
minds of the hungry recipients the indelible impression that this contribu- 
tion — so timely forwarded — ^was the spontaneous act of sympathising friends 
and generous hearted neighbors. 

These supplies as they were spread out before that hungry population, spoke 
more eloquent than words, and proved more forcible than any oral message 
which accompanied them, that our neighbors felt for us and appreciated our 
condition, and so feeling and appreciating did 'not hesitate or delay to act. 

At the same time it should be stated here that few of the many incidents, 
following in the trail of this catastrophe, afl'ected the burned out people of 
Holland more deeply than the receipt of these first supplies. It was relief 
mingled with so much that was painful; and in order to understand this 
we should imagine these people, regardless of their prior condition or home 
comforts, and clad in the garments of destitution and misery, standing in line 
each awaiting his or her turn to receive supplies according to the number in 
his or her family. It was this which brought home to them a realizing sense 
of their true condition, and how, for the present, they were thrown upon the 
charities of their fellow men. 

On the afternoon of the next day, a meeting of the citizens was called to 
discuss the general situation. Among those present was Dr. Van Raalte. 
Those of you who were acquainted wath this great leader of the Holland 
emigration, may form an idea of what was said by him on that occasion, and 
of the inspiring effect it had upon the people. One of his closing senti- 



THE BURNING OF HOLLAND 339 

iiients was expressed in the following language : "AVitli our Dutch tenacity 
and our American experience, Holland will l>e rebuilt.'' And mark the co- 
incident, how a similar sentiment was expressed on that same day, by 
Joseph Medill of the Chicago Trlhunv, in the tirst issue after the fire, when 
he wrote: "With christian faith and western grit, Chicago shall be re- 
built." 

As the news of our destruction became generally known among our im- 
mediate neighbors and surrounding places, aid and relief was liberally for- 
warded. The Board of Supervisors of Ottawa County, just then in session, 
visited us, and made ample provisions for a destitution which was to be 
feared during the approaching winter, but which aid, thanks to a generous 
public, was never needed. A new assessment roll of Holland City was 
ordered by the board, to make the valuations correspond with the new order 
of things. 

A local relief committee was appointed by the citizens, consisting of the 
following persons as near as we can recollect them : Dr. B. Ledeboer, Chair- 
man, H. D. Post, t?ecretary, K. ir^chaddelee, Treasurer, Rev. Drs. A, C. Van 
Raalte, Philip Phelps, C. Scott and A. T. Steward, R. K. Heald, Dr. S. L. 
Morris. H. Meengs, J. O. Doesburg, G. Wakker, E. Herald and G. Van 
Schelven. 

The township of Holland appointed as their relief committee Messrs. W. 
Diekema, J. H. Boone and D. Miedema, and a similar committee was also 
appointed for the burned district in Allegan county. 

At Grand Rapids a general relief committee was appointed by Gov. Bald- 
win to distribute aid through the western part of the State. This committee 
consisted of Messrs. T. D. Gilbert, William A. Howard. N. L. Avery. H. Fra- 
lick and R. M. Collins. 

An address was published by Dr. Van Raalte and others to the people of 
this State, setting forth the extent of their calamity. Also another address 
was issued by the secretary of the Holland Relief Committee refuting the 
slanderous reports that ''the Hollanders refused to aid in extinguishing the 
fire for the, reason that it was Sunday, and that the churches would not 
permit their bells to be rung, fearing that it woud disturb the congrega- 
tion." 

Gov. Baldwin made a tour of inspection of the several burned districts in 
tliis State, including Holland, to satisfy himself as to the necessity of fur- 
nishing State, aid. The abundance of voluntary relief, however, rendered 
this unnecessary. In his message to the legislature, at the extra session in 
March, 1872, he made mention of the aid distributed through the Grand 



340 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

Kapids relief committee, and a similar committee appointed by him for the 
eastern part of the State in the Port Huron district. 

The labors connected with the receiving and distributing of supplies were 
kept up during the greater part of the winter. Lumber and building ma- 
terial, hardware, provisions, clothing, household goods and furniture, were 
shipped in large quantities. The liberality of the railroad companies in 
furnishing free transportation was an important item. It is a source of 
regret to the writer of this sketch that the short notice given to prepare the 
same did not allow him to furnish an approximate statement of the amount 
and kind of aid received. It would have been so appropriate to do so at 
this time. Through the instrumentality of Rev. John L. See, of New York, 
treasurer of the board of education and the Reformed Church, a cash fund 
of about 140,000 was collected, mainly from among the friends of the 
Holland Colony in the east. The sister colony in Pella, Iowa, was not 
among the last to contribute. Our kin across the sea also responded. But 
it is impossible and it would be manifestly unjust to the others, to further 
single out individuals or localities in this general outburst of good will and 
charity. 

The distribution of all this bounty, devolved upon the local committee at 
Holland. To do this in the spirit of its donors and with fairness and equity 
was a task requiring all the ability and discrimination they could muster, 
and more too. It was a noble, though thankless labor. 

The work of re-building Holland once begun, was kept up uninterruptedly. 
The rebuilding Chicago, however, created a large demand for all kinds of 
building material and a corresponding increase of prices. The effect of this 
upon Holland proved very disastrous. It added materially to the cost of 
every new building and enterprise, thereby creating, in nearly every instance, 
an indebtedness beyond the extent of the first estimate. Close upon this 
period came the general shrinkage in values, caused by the panic of 1873, 
reducing the assets and valuation of the rebuilt city fully fifty per cent., 
without lessening in the least the liabilities and incumbrances. 

The result of this was — and it is among the most painful reminiscences in 
the history of the "Burning of Holland" — that the men of push and of 
enterprise, who had been instrumental in making Holland City what it was, 
up to October 9, 1871, and who had again placed their shoulders to the wheel, 
and who, in doing so, had assumed large financial responsibilities, were un- 
able to face the distressing period that followed the panic of 1873. The 
tide of events crippled them seriously, and caused a general depression to 
the newly rebuilt but poverty stricken place, which depression lasted for 
years. It was a cruel but unavoidable fate that awaited these men, and it 



THE SONG OF TIME 341 

seemed as thongli the new growth and prosperity of the town were made to 
hinge upon the completion of their downfall. It has since been accomplished; 
and Holland City of to-day has fairly begun to assume her old-time position ; 
but many of the men who in the past had contributed to her fair name and 
prestige, have not been permitted to share in the new work. 

As we commemorate this evening the semi-centennial settlement of 
Ottawa county, we delight in paying tribute to the memory of the men who 
sowed that others might reap. So in contributing this sketch of the "Burn- 
ing of Holland,'' we bespeak a kind word for these resolute men, who at an 
advanced age were made to suffer that others might profit. Brave as they 
were they could not outweather the storm, but ultimately were wrecked upon 
the shores of an honest and honorable ambition. 



THE SONG OF TIME 



BY MRS. R. C. BARXS 



There is ever a song in the march of time; 

The echoes come up from the long ago — 
A musical sound-wave — and the rhythm and rhyme 

Go on through the ages with ceaseless flow. 

It chanted aloft in the grand old pine. 

Like a muffled drum so mournful and low: 

It swept through their ranks, along the line, 
But the woodman's ax has laid them low. 

Their wind-harps are broken, and sad and slow 
Their music died out in the long ago. 

Now we hear it again in a livelier strain. 

In the sharp, shrill whistle that breaks our sleep: 
In the rush and whirr of the railway train: 

In the many steamers that ply the deep: 
In the mowing machines that garher our grain: 

In the flouring mills that grind our wheat: 
In "the still, small voice" of the falling rain: 

In the howling winds and the driving sleet. 
It growls in the cyclone across the plain. 

And rumbles in the earthquake beneath our feet; 
It pipes a death-knell on the trackless main, 

And sings a dirge where sailors sleep. 



342 SEMI-CENTENNIAL OF OTTAWA COUNTY 

The loud-swelling chorus will ever remain 
Where surges roll and cataracts leap 
And the deep maketh answer unto the deep. 

It sometimes sinks to a low refrain 
Where grief holds sway and mourners weep; 

It moans and sobs in a cry of pain 
Where sorrow and anguish the heart-strings sweep. 

It laughs and shouts in joy again 
Where childhood and youth in pleasure meet, 
And manhood comes old age to greet 
At the festive board or in crowded street. 

Time plays on a harp of endless strings 
And his step keeps the measure wherever he sings. 
^ Be the movement quick or be it slow. 

It is perfect still in its ceaseless flow 
On through the ages that are numbered by years, 
With never a discord to pain our ears. 
Could we listen aright to the song sublime 
We would find it perfect in rhythm and rhyme. 



THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 



COPIES OF PAPERS ON FILE IN THE DOMINION ARCHIVES AT 
OTTAWA, CANADA 



Note. — Care has been taken, in publishing the following papers, to follow the original 
copies as closely as possible, including orthography, punctuation, capitalization, etc. 
The references in brackets, at the close of each paper, are to the filings in the Dominion 
Archives at Ottawa. 



LETTERS OF GEN. GUY CARLETON AND LIEUT. GOV. HENRY 

HAMILTON 



EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM GENERAL CARLETON 

Chambly 9th September 1776. 
Lt. Gov. Hamilton: 

Sir — Mr. Hay came here too late for any of the olficers about the army, 
but as it might probably be more agreeable to him to be employed in the 
country near his Family. I should have no objection to his being appointed 
Assistant in the Indian Department, provided you find the Service require 
it. (Signed) Guy Carleton.* 

[B 121, p. 2.] 



orders : CIRCULAR 

Chambly 14th September 1776. 
To Lt. Gov. HamiUon: 

The Commander in Chief orders that a return of the Military Stores and 
quantity of Provisions in all the Posts to be made him; like wise that a 



♦See appendix 



344 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

state be sent him of the Fortifications &c. with what Lodging or Barrack 
Eoom for Troops there is in each place. A particular account is also requir- 
ed of all the Vessels upon the Lakes, their names, and those of their Masters 
or Commanders, the number of Guns & men they carry distinguishing those 
in the Kings Service from the others, and specifying how the former are 
commissioned paid and victualled. These returns to be made twice a year 
viz. by the first opportunity which may offer in the Spring, and the last in 
the Autumn. (Signed) E. Foy, 

[B 121, p. 2.] Dep. Adjt. Gen. 



EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM ON BOARD THE MARIA 

off Point au Fer. Octr. 6th 1776. 
To Lt Gov Hamilton, 

What I mentioned to you on the subject of Expenses, was in consequence 
of Instructions from the Treasury, but it was not intended to limit you with 
regard to such as are absolutely necessary for putting your Post in a proper 
state of defence, and for keeping the Indians in readiness for, and a dispo- 
sition to act as circumstances shall require. 

I beg you will send me any intelligence of importance which you may pro- 
cure from time to time. I am, &c., 

(Signed) G. C. 

P. S. You must keep the Savages in readiness to joyn me in the Spring, or 
march elsewhere as they may be most wanted. 

[B 121, p. 3.] G. C. 



extract of a letter 

Crown Poixt^ [without date, supposed in October.] 
Lt (rOiT Hamilton* 

Sir — I have received your letter of the 8th instant, and approve the 
steps which you inform me you have taken relative to the intelligence 
you received from Mr. KT)chblave, means should undoubtedly be used for 
intercepting and preventing a correspondence which may prove so detrimental 
to His Majesty's Affairs as that which you inform me is carrying on between 
the Colonists and the Spanish Governor, but care should be taken that nothing 
be pursued w^hich may have a tendency to create a breach between the two 
Nations. The Spanish side of the Mississippi must be respected upon all 
occasions. 



*See appendix 



LETTERS OF GEN. CARLETON AND LIEUT. GOV. HAMILTON 345 

Another vessel is ordered to be built in lieu of that which was wrecked 
and Colonel Caldwell, or you, will ajjpoint a person to command it in case I 
should not send other directions in that particular. 

P.S. Since writing the above I have nominated Mr. David Beaton to com- 
mand the new vessell which is to be called the Ottawa. 

[B 121. p. 4.] (Signed) ' G. C. 



orders: circular 

To Lt Goer. Hamilton or Officer Commanding at Detroit. 

Sir — It being necessary for His Majesty's service during the present 
rebellion that all possible attention be paid to the navigation of the lakes, 
I am commanded to acquaint you on no account suffer boats, those of 
Indians excepted, or vessels to pass upon the lakes without proper passports 
under the hand of the commanding officer of some one of His Majesty's 
posts thereupon, or the Governor and Commander-in-chief of the Province; 
nor shall you permit an vessel of greater dimensions than a common boat to 
be built except such as may be thought requisite for the King's service ; and 
His Ex,cellency further commands that you do your utmost to seize all 
suspected persons passing upon or near the lakes, and all persons attempting 
to sow sedition or to stir up insurrections among the people of that Pai't of 
the Country, and that you send the same with proper proofs by the first safe 
opportunity to the person in Montreal, making at the same time a report 
thereof. (Signed) 

[B 121, p. 5.] E. FoY. 



extract from a letter 

Quebec, 2d February, 1777. 
Lt Gov Hamilton. 

I am persuaded you will exert your best endeavors for the King's service, 
to your own prudence and judgment, at this distance much must be left. 

The Legislative Council is met, but the times will not at present admit of 
any regulations being made for distant or remote situations while the 
commotions continue, the power of the sword is chiefly and indeed only to 
be trusted to. The keeping the Indians firm to the King's interest ought 
to be your first and gi'eat object when the troubles are composed, tho' 
not till then your presence here may be necessary towards putting your 
settlement into some sort of order, and I shall be glad to see you; in the 
44 



346 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

meantime I hope you will tliluk of, and prepare materials for that purpose. 
One or two points that I wished to mention had very near escaped me. 
Whenever you hold a council with the savages upon any matter of import- 
ance, a copy of the minutes, or at least the substance, ought to be trans- 
mitted here, at the same time it is very proper you communicate to the 
King's servants co-operating with you, whether in the military or Indian 
departments at the neighboring posts, everything that may affect their par- 
ticular or the general interests of the State; it is of consequence to the 
King's Service, that one general and uniform Plan of Policy be adopted 
for the numerous Tribes inhabiting the present extensive Limits of this 
Province. 

As nothing better could be done at the time, you was included in a Com- 
mission of the Peace for the Province at large and in that capacity you have 
a right to issue your Warrants for apprehending and sending down any 
Persons guilty of Criminal offences in the District, at least such as are of 
consequence enough to deserve, taking that journey, but these must be 
signed by you, and not by Mr. Dejean, whose authority is unknown here, 
and at the same time that you acquaint the officer commanding at Montreal, 
with your Reasons for so doing, you will likewise report the same to me, or 
w^hoever presides for the time being. (Signed) 

[B 121, p 6.] ' Guy Carleton. 



LETTER ACCOMPANYING COPY OF ONE FROM LORD GERMAIN 

Quebec 21st May 1777. 
Lt. Gov. Hamilton: 

Sir — You have herewith inclosed the Copy 'of a Letter from Lord George 
Germain, which is sent you at full Length, for your Instruction and guid- 
ance; I have only to add that Lt Colonel St Leger has similar orders for 
the savages of the five nations &c. 

You will therefore be careful not to attempt to draw off any destined for 
his command. 

Let me know what Provisions you may want, in the mean time some shall 
be sent you at a venture. I am &c. 

[B 121, p. 8.] (Signed) Guy Carleton. 

Letter from Lord George Germmn 

Whitehall 26th March 1777. 
Sir — In the consideration of the measures proper to be pursued in the 
next campaign, the making a Diversion on the Frontiers of Virginia and 



LETTERS OF GEN. CARLETON AND LIEUT. GOV. HAMILTON. 347 

Peiiusylvaiiia, by parties ol' liidiaus conducted by pi-oijer Leaders as propos- 
ed by Lt. Gov. Hamilton has been maturely weighed. 

That officer in liis Letter to the Earl of Dartmouth dated at Detroit the 
Und of hieptember last, that he had then with him Deputies from the Otta- 
was, Chippewas. Wyandotts, Shawnese, t?enecas. Delawares, Cherokees and 
l*ouattouattamies. That their inclination was for War and that it was 
with much difficulty he had restrained them from Hostilities, which he 
thought it his duty to do, finding by a letter from you dated the 19th of 
July, that you had sent back some Ottawas, who had offered their Services 
desiring them to hold themselves in readiness next Spring. 

There can be little doubt that the Indians are still in the same disposition 
and that they will readily and eagerly engage in any Euterprize in which it 
may be thought tit to employ them under the direction of the King's offi- 
cers, and as it is His Majesty's resolution that the most vigorous Efforts 
should be made, and every means employed that Providence has put into 
His Majesty's Hands, for crushing the Rebellion & restoring the Constitu- 
tion it is the King's Command that you should direct Lieut. Governor Ham- 
ilton to assemble as many of the Indians of his District as he conveniently 
can, and placing proper persons at their Head, to whom he is to make suit- 
able allowances, to conduct their Parties, and restrain them from commit- 
ting violence on the well affected and inoffensive Inhabitants, employ them 
in making a Diversion and exciting an alarm upon the frontiers of Virginia 
and Pennsylvania. And as there is good ground to believe there are consid- 
erable numbers of loyal subjects in those Parts who would gladly embrace an 
opportunity of delivering themselves from the Tyranny and oppression of 
the Rebel Committees; it is His Majesty's pleasure that you do authorize 
and direct Lieut Govr Hamilton to invite all such loyal subjects to join him 
& to assure them of the same pay and allowances as are given to His Majes- 
ty's Corps raised in America and that such of them as shall continue to 
serve His Majesty until the Rebellion is suppressed and peace restored shall 
each receive His Majesty's P>ounty of 200 Acres of Land. 

These offers it is to be hoped will induce many Persons to engage in the 
Kings Service; which may enable Lt. Gov. Hamilton to extend his opera- 
tions, so as to divide the attention of the Rebels, and oblige them to collect 
a considerable Force to oppose him, which cannot fail of weakening their 
main army & facilitating the operations directed to be carried on against 
them in other Quarters, and thus bring the War to a more Speedy Issue and 
restore those deluded People to their former State of Happiness and |)ros- 
perity. which are the favorite wishes of the Royal Breast and the great 
object of all His Majesty's measures. 



348 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

A supply of presents for the Indians & other necessaries will be wanted 
for this Service, and you will of course send Lieut. Gov. Hamilton what is 
proper and sufficient. 

Inclosed is a List of the Names of several Persons, residing on the Fron- 
tiers of Virginia, recommended by Lord Dunmore for their Loyalty and 
attachment to Government, and who His Lordship thinks will be able to 
give great assistance to Lieut. Gov. Hamilton through their extensive Influ- 
ence among the Inhabitants. 

(B 121, p. 8.) (Signed) G. <C. 



Quebec 22nd May 1777. 

Sir — You will please to inform the Commanders of the Kings Vessels 
upon the Upper Lakes, that from the 10th of August last, to which time the 
contractors have been paid, upon whose certificates I know not, the Pay of 
the officers and men, as well as every other Expense attending those Vessels, 
are to be borne by the Crown, in consequence the oaths of allegiance will be 
administered to them by you, and you will transmit me their names, ages, 
and the country they belong to. No Vessels are to navigate those Lakes 
except such as are armed and manned by the Crown, the Arms and Ammu- 
nitions of the Trade to be put on board these armed Vessels, and no Military 
Stores whether public or private property, to be suffered to go in open 
Batteaux. With regard to their other effects, the Traders may be accomo- 
dated with a passage on Board of these Vessels, provided the same can be 
done without the least inconvenience to the King's Service, this indulgence 
is only for the prest. and in case they cannot provide for the conveyance of 
them otherwise. — Let me have your opinion with regard to the Traders at 
your settlement by a safe hand, distinguishing such as you consider to be 
firmly attached to Government from those well affected to the American 
cause, the Colonies they came from, and whence before these troubles broke 
out, they were furnished with Goods. I am &c. 

[B 121, p. 14.] (Signed) Guy Carleton. 



Circular 

Quebec 2nd July 1777. 
Sir — It has already been signified to you, that the exigencies of the times 
required, that all the Vessels navigating the Lakes, should be reserved for 



LETTERS OF GEN. CARLETON AND LIEUT. GOV. HAMILTON 349 

the King's Service, but to remedy as much as possible, all inconvenience to 
the Merchants from this measure, whenever it shall happen that there is not 
full employment for them in, and that any of them can be spared from His 
Majesty's immediate business, you are hereby empowered, to direct from 
time to time, as you shall see occasion, that such Vessel or Vessels, at your 
Posts, so unemployed, shall assist in transporting the trade of the Merchants 
across the Lakes, observing however that no payment be made for goods so 
transported: but the officers commanding such Vessels may take Receipts 
for the quantities ship'd on board them, to be settled hereafter according to 
a regulation, which, upon due consideration, may be made general and fixed, 
and you are to make this order known to all the Parties concerned. I am «S:c. 
[B 121, p. IG.] (Signed) Guy Carleton. 



Quebec loth September 1777. 

Sir — Mr. Gray not thinking himself sufficiently authorized, to confine 
Mr. James Sterling, jjermitted him to come down here, and the Papers you 
had transmitted respecting his Detention, as soon as received, were put into 
the hands of the Chief Justice and Attorney General, to be by them exam- 
ined and proceeded upon, as the Law directed, the Result I shall not trouble 
you with, as Mr. Livins has promised to write to you fully upon the subject, 
and to furnish you with some advice for your conduct in future exigencies 
of the like nature. 

After Mr. Sterling had given security for his good behaviour, in such a 
sum as the crown lawyers thought proper to take, he applied for my leave to 
return to Detroit, which I declined till I should hear further from you, but 
making a fresh application to go up to bring down his Family, and settle 
his afl'airs, I could not think of withholding such an Indulgence and a Per- 
mission has been granted him accordingly, expressly stipulating those 
conditions. 

Notwithstanding as you are on the spot, and are responsible for tti^ 
safety of the district, over which you preside, this Pass is not intended to 
preclude you from extending or contracting the Permission thereby granted, 
as you may find it necessary for the King's Interests, and the safety of the 
settlement, which are to be the first objects of your attention. — You will 
send me down by a safe hand, as soon as you conveniently can, the papers 
and Commissions belonging to Mr. Sterling, that have been delivered to 
Mr. I^ejean. 

As neither the Civil or Militia officers of your settlement, can be properly 



350 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

authorized to act in their several capacities, without Commissions from the 
Governor or Commander in Chief of the Province, you will take the first 
opportunity of transmitting here their Names, that they may be furnished 
with the same as soon as possible, and hereafter when vacancies happen, 
Avhich the King's Service may require not to remain open, you will report 
the same and the Persons you have granted temporary appointments to, that 
no time may be lost in duly authorizing such, as it may be deemed right to 
confirm ; this is to be understood of the Militia, which is immediately under 
your command and I hope you will endeavor to keep in good order; 1 am 
not authorized to delegate the power of appointing Civil officers to any 
persons whatever— His Majesty having been pleased to allow upon the 
Establishment of the Province. Salaries of one hundred, fifty and twenty 
Pounds Sterling per Annum, for a Judge, Assessor and Sheriff for your 
District, 3'ou will please to recommend such persons as you think most fit to 
fill those offices, that Commissions may be made out for them accordingly. 
It is hoped that in the next Session of the Legislative Council something 
may be done towards regulating the course of Civil proceedings in these 
remote Parts. 

Mr. Rochblave has advised Mr. Dunn of his Drafts for £156 15s. lOd. and 
£34 4s. 2d. Sterling, his appointments for a year, of which one has already 
been discharged, and the other, will when presented; The Troops were with- 
drawn from the Illinois, to avoid unnecessary expence, and this salary 
granted this gentleman, to have an eye to King's Interests in these Parts, 
and to advise Government of whatever might be carrying on there against 
them, this is all the service required of him; as you are nearer and may be 
sooner informed whether he continues to deserve encouragement, you will 
give him notice hereafter to draw upon you for the appointment only, which 
for his and your better information is deemed to have commenced the 1st 
May 1776; you will likewise pay any expresses he has occasion to send you 
and recommend his avoiding to dispatch any without essential reasons for so 
doing. 

Besides that Reports from distant Parts, and through the Channels, they 
must of course proceed, are ever to be attended to, with gTeat caution and 
circumspection, it would be highly improper in me or any of the King's 
Servants upon this side of the Water, whether the designs of the Spaniards 
are or may be, at any, and much more, in such critical Times as these, to act 
offensively against them, or any other Foreign Power, should these be daring 
enough to entertain hostile intentions, and carry them into execution, upon 
any part of His Majesty's Territories, every one of his officers, will in such 
case be justifiable in opposing them by all the means in their power. 



LETTERS OF GEN. CARLETON AND LIEUT. GOV. HAMILTON 351 

I have daily expeotatious of the arrival of a successor, or of leave to go 
home. ( (Signed) 

[B 121, p. 17.] Guy Carleton. 



St. John's 26th September, 1777. 

Sir — The conduct of the War has been taken entirely out of my hands, 
and the management of it, upon your Frontier has been assigned to you, as 
you have seen by a Letter from Lord George, a copy of which I sent you; I 
can therefore only refer you to that. 

As to the Naval Department, it was never my intention to supercede Mr. 
Grant, and I design to make his allowance and Mr. Andrew's, of both of 
whom I have a very high opinion, such as shall satisfy them: and I shall 
have the same consideration towards the other officers. I have sent Captain 
Thompson to examine into the state and condition of the Vessels on that 
service, and I wait his report to enable me to settle the regulation of them. 

I have given Lieut Colonel Bolton orders respecting the disposition of the 
Vessels and to allow nothing to navigate the Lakes, that is not manned and 
armed completely, and in the King's Service, and I should be glad you 
would confer with him, at your return upon these subjects. 

In respect to freight, I directed that, when the King's Service would admit, 
the Vessels might assist the Trade as much as possible and that proper 
receipts or certificates for such goods as might be transported should be taken 
by the officers, in order that it might be paid hereafter, according to such 
regulation as His Majesty's Ministers should think proper to make for the 
purpose. The unfortunate turn with which we are threatened upon the 
Frontier of this Province has obliged me to hasten your return to your Post 
and which I have thought the more necessary, as the direction of the War 
on that side has been put into your hands by the Minister. 

I should be glad you conferred with the Commissary General on the Sub- 
ject of the Supply of Provisions for the upper Posts before your departure 
from Montreal. Wishing you a good journey, &c. 

[B 121, p. 21.] (Signed) ' Guy Carleton. 



Montreal March 14 1778. 
Lt. Gov. Hamilton: 

Sir — Your letter giving me information of the State of Fort Pitt, and 
desiring my concurrence in an expedition against it, I received the 4th 
Instant, the Instructions sent out last summer by Lord George Germain 



352 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

were so pointed, taking the management of the War on all sides out of my 
hands, that I cannot give you any directions, relative to the offensive meas- 
ures you agitate. 

The orders from the Minister were sent up to you last year, as they were 
received. I did not deviate one tittle from them, on General Haldimand's 
arrival, I shall lay your plan before him and likewise the differences about 
the Commonage of Hog Island. You may however in the mean time collect 
what materials you can concerning this contest, and transmit them down, 
that the Crown Lawyers may be able to examine into the nature of the pre- 
tentions. I do not think it would be prudent to give grants of land to 
Prisoners or Refugees from the Colonies whose characters cannot possibly 
be known. If portions of Land were to be given, the families of old settlers, 
whose good conduct might entitle them to this attention, would most cer- 
tainly claim a preference. But this the Governor & Council of the Province 
can alone determine. 

No Return of the Artillery or Engineer's Stores you want, having been 
sent, I am at a loss to guess the quantity and quality you require. 

[B. 121, p. 22.] I am &c. 

(Signed) Guy Carleton 



LETTERS FROM GENERAL HALDIMAND* TO MAJOR DE PEYSTER, 
COMMANDANT AT MICHILIMACKINAC. 



Montreal, the 10th August, 1778. 
Sir — ^Your last letters to Sir Guy Carleton to which no answer had been 
returned have been laid before me, and I have Just now received your let- 
ter of the 20th July last giving me advice of Bills which you have drawn for 
different expences incurred at your Post, the amount of which being con- 
siderable I cannot omit recommending to you the greatest attention to avoid 
all expences, the necessity thereof is not very clear and manifest, at the same 
time I would have you understand, that I have no intention to limit you in 
anything which the good and advantage of His Majesty's Service shall ren- 
der necessary for you to provide for, of which at that distance you must be 
alone the judges. 



*See appendix 



LETTERS FROM GEN. HALDIMAND TO MAJ. DE PEYSTER 353 

I have wrote to Col. Bolton to transmit one copies of all standing orders, 
which have been given by former Commanders in Chief, and the Governors 
General of this province for the management and Government of this Post 
you will accordingly furnish Colonel Bolton, with such as are preserved at 
the Post of Michilimackinac, in order to enable him to comply with my 
directions and in order that 1 may consider of such rules and regulations as 
may be still wanting to establish at the Posts for making them of the great- 
est advantage possible to his Majesty's service, and as little burthensome as 
possible. 

In the mean time I have thought tit to establish for the present the fol- 
lowing rule to be observed by all the officers commanding at the Posts where 
they shall have occasion to draw money for discharging the accounts of the 
ditferent Expences incurred under their direction or by their orders vizt. 
that the Bills to be drawn by the printed copies herewith enclosed filled up 
(more of Avhich shall be furnished from hence from time to time upon the 
Officers giving notice of their being wanted) observing at the time at which 
they draw must be at sixty days, that the money be in New* York Currency 
that at the end of the words His Majesty's Service, and in the space where 
in the Copy herewith inclosed tilled up for the officers more particular direc- 
tions. The words in the Indian Department are written, it be always 
expressed what particular service the money drawn be for, and that as it is ex- 
pressed in the Bills, a letter of advice always accompany them together with 
an account of the expences or Disbursements which the sum of money then 
drawn is intended to satisfy or discharge. Sending copies of all Vouchers to 
Mr. Dunn the paymaster of this Department to be filed in his office the several 
officers keeping the originals of such said vouchers in their own possession to 
serve them when they shall be called upon to settle their Accounts at the 
Treasury or as it shall hereafter be directed, (Signed) F. H. 

[B 9G 1, p. 78.] 



Montreal 30th August, 1778. 
Sir — This dispatch was intended to have been sent you by a Mr. St. Hubert 
a ^Missionary going to the Illinois, but the unfortunate change which has 
taken place in the affairs of that country for the present puts a stop to his 
Journey, the gentleman Mr. J. B. de Grosselier with whom Mr. St. Hubert 
was to have gone up. proceeding nevertheless, and being a man who is well 
acquainted with that country and very well spoken of, I entrust my letters 
to his care and recommend him to you, both as a man who deserves to have 
favour shewn him in his private concerns, and as one that is capable of fur- 
45 



354 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

nishing you with advice that may be iisefull to follow in those of the Publick, 
upon the present situation of the Illinois, 

I enclose you a copy of a letter which I have wrote to Lieut. Governor 
Hamilton as necessary for your information, and desiring that you will cor- 
respond with him upon the occasion, and assist him as far as you may have 
opportunities in whatever he shall undertake in this emergency. 

In the mean time I must desire 3"ou will communicate to me as expedi- 
tiously as possible, and by the safest conveyance your sentiments, whether 
from the confidence to be placed in the Indians the inhabitants and the re- 
sources and difficulties of the country, you think there are any means to be 
employed with a probability of success to recover that country and what those 
means are if your opinion on this subject be in the affirmative. 

In the Copy of Mr. Hamilton's letter, transmitted to you you will take 
notice of directions which I have given concerning the Powder Ball and Fusils 
of the Merchants, which directions are meant to be general at the Posts and 
therefore I must request that you will accordingly observe them at that you 
command in. Louison the son of Chevalier of St. Joseph has been down 
here and behaved very well. I have sent a letter by him to his father who I 
understand has great influence among the nations of that place. I have 
marked to him my surprise that none of them had been down here this spring, 
and the son has 'promised to come down here the next in order to acquaint 
me with the reason of their absence. I recommended to you to write to Mr. 
Chevalier also upon the same subject and in the most earnest terms to endea- 
vour to engage him heartily in the King's Service. 

[B 96 1, p. 82.] . (Signed) F. H. 



Montreal the 2nd of September 1778 

Sir — Since writing my letter of the 30th August I have had some conver- 
sation with Mr. Grosellier who thinks it will be practicable to send some 
Trusty Indians into the Illinois with letters or Messages to the Missionary, 
and by that means to learn the true state of the country, which Mr. de Gros- 
ellier tells me might be conveyed to me during the winter, I have therefore 
thought it necessary to recommend this matter to your Attention. 

[Signed] F. H. 

[B 96 1, p. 84.] 



LETTERS FROM GEN. HALDIMAND TO MAJ. DE PEYSTER 355 

Quebec^ 25tli December, 187S. 

giR — Having occasiou to send an express to Niagara, I take the oppor- 
tunity to acknoMledge vour Letters of the lath & 31st August the 16th 
& the 21st September 7th 14th and 27th of October. 

Your letter of the IGth of September informs me of orders you had rec'd 
to furnish an othcer & party to the grand portage and of the manner in 
which you had executed the order, with the expense attending it, and 
you desire to be instructed whetlier the Crown or Trader is to defray it in 
future. In answer to which I must observe that as circumstances are at 
present it might most probably be highly improper to send parties of Troops 
to such distances when they might possibly be cut off, and it is very bad 
policy at all times to allow the merchants to establish places of trade all 
over, and wherever they please in such an extensive country where proper 
rules to observe and the Authority of Government to enforce cannot keep 
pace with their projects. However this may be. The party at the grand 
portage was ordered at the instruction of the Merchants for their benefit, 
and it is unreasonable in them to expect Goverment to bear any part of the 
Expense attending it. I therefore must desire if to satisfy the Traders you 
still think it would be proper, to continue sending an officer and a party, 
that still it be granted on condition of its being without bringing any ex- 
pense whatever upon Government except in the single article of Gun 
Powder if you should judge it requisite to allow any as you did before for 
salutes. This instance of expence as well as the astonishing expences on all 
heads incurred at the Posts lays me indispensably under the necessity of 
suggesting to you how much it is expected of every officer entrusted with a 
command to pay the strictest attention that no disbursements be undertaken 
by him or under his Authority lightly and upon all occasions, or on any 
occasion without sufficiently considering how it will be justified to and ap- 
proved of by His Majesty's ^Ministers, to whom particular accounts of all 
Transactions must be given. The mention you make of provisions which 
30U furnished the party with, to receive the visits of the Indians, makes it 
necessary for me also to observe that nothing less than the greatest possible 
Occonomy of this difficult to be transported and so expensive an article is 
excusable, but on the contrary every expedient that can be found out is 
expected to be tried to save it, and to make it if possible unnecessary to be 
sent up from Canada to the Posts at all. And if any means can be falleo 
upon by the use of the Deer flesh dried by the Indians and the great quan- 
tity of fish the Lakes supply, and in general all such means as the Indians 
use the soldiers at the Posts could be brought to subsist wholly or in part 
they should receive for every days provisions so saved the price of the 



356 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

Rations they are entitled to. to be paid to them monthly, or as would be 
most for their benefit to receive it, & I beg you will communicate to me your 
idea upon the possibility of reducing such plan or any part of it, or other 
for that purpose into actual practice. 

I have already desired Colonel Bolton to signify to you my approbation of 
the expedient which you mention in your letter of the 21st vSeptember. 
You have have tried to keep the savages from forming connections with the 
Rebels, and I shall certainly be mindful of it. in all pass-ports I may grant 
for the ensuing year. 

As you urge the necessity of having an armed Vessel at your Post for 
carrying dispatches, and other purposes I shall approve of your fitting out 
such an one as you think requisite, subject however to the command of the 
superior oflicer of the Naval Department, and to such regulations as shall be 
established for the Governance of the whole, by Mr. ^>chanks the commis- 
sioner whom I shall send up as early as possible in the Spring to see put in 
execution. 

The representations you make of the state of your health and private 
affairs jon maj be assured makes a proper impression on me, and disposes 
me to take the earliest opportunity of relieving you from a situation which 
I consider your having supported so long with patience as very meritorious 
in you and as entitling you to all the marks of favor which can possibly be 
shewn you in return, and if I am longer in complying with your re- 
quests for being removed and for leave of absence than you could wish, be 
assured that I shall be very sorry and that it must be occasioned only by 
such circumstances of the Service as I shall not have in my power to control. 

[B 96 1, p. 84.] (Signed) F. H. 



Quebec^ 8th April 1779. 
You have herewith enclosed the Petition of the Merchants and Traders to 
the North West Parts of the upper Country, to which my answer has been 
that you had already mentioned the subject thereof to me when you was of 
opinion- it would be out of your power to comply with their request this 
year, and that it was not in mine to determine, whether such a measure, in 
the present state of things, would be proper or practicable that if you could 
possibly spare Mr. Benet, any other officer, or person in whose prudence or 
discretion you might safely rely. I would have no objection on their fur- 
nishing him with an Indemnification, to your impowering such person to go 
there for the time required and to settle the little differences, that might 



LETTERS FROM GEN. HALDIMAND TO MAJ. DE PEYSTER 357 

arise aiiioiiji them, as well as to contine and send down auy ill effected or 
susjjeeted jiersons resorting there, all this however to be done without auy 
additional expeuee to the Crown. 

The ditliculties attending the sending up so large a quantity of Provisions 
to the Upper Posts, the Demand for which daily increases from the number 
of Indians Loyalists c^c collected there, and the immense expence attended 
thereupon, engage me to press your serious atitention to this object, the 
saving upon that article as much as possibly you can, and the thinking of 
every practicable method for providing or substituting all such supplies, as 
can be procured upon the spot. 

I have sent Capt. Brehm my Aid de Camp to visit the Posts of Niagara 
and Detroit, and upon a view of things in those parts, and such information 
as he will be able to procure upon the spot, to correspond with and advise 
you of what he thinks most eligible to be done by you at Michilimackinac 
for the Kings Service to which 1 am to desire, you will pay due attention. 

I have wrote to England for a large quantity of Indian goods to be sent 
here early in the spring, but as they generally arrive too late for your Posts 
I have ordered Lt Col Campbell to send you a supply well assorted and a 
sufficient quantity of Rum as soon as the Navigation opens. 

[B 96 1, p. 88.] (i^igned) F. H. 



Quebec 18th April 1779 

Sir — I have received your letter of the 20th January by which I observe 
the steps you have taken to favor and assist Lieut Govr Hamilton's Expedi- 
tion which I wish he was in the way of receiving, but the ill fortune he has 
met with, by being taken prisoner at Post Vincennes with his small garrison, 
deprives him of the use of the succour you intended him.* 

The uncertain situation of atfairs in the upper Country obliges me to defer 
granting passports for those posts untill I am better informed of the position 
and intentions of the Rebels, Provisions and goods will nevertheless be sent 
up to you as soon as possible. 

Capn Brehm my aid de camp having received my directions to correspond 
with you in Detroit, I must refer you to him for some particulars he has 
ordered to communicate to you. (Signed) F. H. 

[B 96 1, p. 90.] 



Quebec 6th May 1779 
Sir — Having judged it necessary to delay the departure of the Batteaux 



"See appendix 



358 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

and Canoes to the Upper Country for a few days Mr. Joseph Howard has been 
pleased to set oif without any license it is supposed to Michilimackinac and 
the great Portage and I must desire that you will as authorised by my ord- 
nance of the Provence for that purpose passed in March 1777. Seize all such 
goods and canoes of his or of any other Trader taking the same liberty and 
do in regard to them all that is directed by said ordinance. 

The shortest way will be if Detroit is in a state of security to send his 
goods and Cannoes there where there will be I hope very soon a sufficient 
number of Commissioners of the peace, to proceed agreeable to said Ordi- 
nance, be pleased carefully to peruse it, and to be as exact as possible in 
observing all that is required in such cases that Infringers of public regula 
tions may not pass unnoticed or escape the punishment they deserve. 

[B 961, p. 90.] (Signed) F. H. 



Quebec 20th May 1779 

Sir — In my letter of this morning I informed you of the principal 
object I had in view in regulating the Merchandize for the Upper posts not- 
withstanding this be delivered to you by Mr C. Paterson whom I have per- 
mitted to go Express to your Post or neighbourhood would assist Govern- 
ment, in securing the Indians and at the same time run no risk of falling 
into the hands of the enemy you will immediately write me the particulars by 
Express. I wish just to mention to you, that Governor Hamilton a few days 
before he was taken sent about 300 Corve^ men, for some provisions and 
presents, Avhich he had left at Miamis and which consequently fell into the 
hands of the Rebels, and would be very usefull to them in any expedition 
they may form by the river Chickagou against your Posts. 

In one of your former letters you reported some merchants having past • 
Michilimackinac contrary to your orders, with goods, which they probably 
arrived to the Rebels I beg you will inform me of their names, by whom 
employed, or with whom connected, also the time this happened, that I may 
use my endeavours, to furnish [punish] all who are concerned in such 
villainous practices and should anything of the sort happen in future, I beg 
to have the earliest and the most minute information concerning it. 

As it is possible my letter of the 6th Inst may not yet have reached you 
I repeat here, that if any merchant whatever arrives at or near your post 
with any kind of goods without my particular passport, that you immediately 
seize all such goods, and either detain them at Michilimackinac or send 
them to Detroit, as you may judge best for His Majesty's Service. 

I have had repeated application from Lt Col Campbell Superintendant of 



•LETTERS FROM GEN. HALDIMAND TO MAJ. DE PEYSTER 359 

Indian Atiairs, to grant a Fassport for the Sieui- Calvert to carry Merchan- 
dize into your Neighborhood, which I could not coniidy with consistantly 
with the Impartiallity I am determined always to observe resi)ecting Traders 
nevertheless if you find the Sieur Calvert, to be the steady friend to govern- 
ment with the inlluence Lt Col Campbell reports Him to have amongst the 
savages, I should be glad, you found out some line to employ him in, that 
might reward his Fidelity. 

Notwithstanding I have granted no pass for Michilimackinac, I have 
enclosed for your information. Copy of my answer to the merchants trading 
to the North West of the upper Country. 

(Signed) F. H. 

[B 9G 1, p. 92.] 



Quebec, 20th May 1779. 
Sir— Having no occasion to doubt but my several letters of April 8th and 
18th also of May 6th will be with you before you receive, this. I have only 
now to inform you, that no ships are yet arrived from England and that the 
various accounts, I have received from different parts respecting the Maga- 
zines of Provisions which the rebels are forming in the Upper Country, 
together with the many artfuU and designing letters, which they have found 
means to distribute in several of the Indian Villages, calls upon you to use 
every Exertion, to preserve the Savages in our Interest, and effectuall}" 
secure the post of Michilimackinac, from any insult, which the Rebels may 
meditate against it. In this situation of affairs I have thought proper to 
prohibit Merchants from carrying their goods, to your parts allowing them 
only, to take such Provisions, and Cloathes as may be suflficient to support 
their Servants during the year, and to prevent the Trade from being lost to 
the Province. I shall continue to pay every attention in my power to the 
support of the Upper Posts, and whenever Indian presents arrive, they shall 
be forwarded without delay, an assortment of which is now on their way to 
Michilimackinac and I hope will -arrive within a few days of this letter. In 
the meantime I am pushing forward provisions and Rum, with all possible 
dispatch by the way of Lake Ontario, and when I inform you that I would 
reinforce most of the upper Posts. If I imagined I could send provisions 
for their support I am sure you will conceive the anxiety I must feel to have 
that article distributed with Justice and Economy and how much pleasure 
it would afford me, to hear that the industry of the Troops made the natural 
produce and resources of the place and situation where they are help to 
maintain them, and to reserve the other provisions for cases of emergency. 
[B 96 1, p. 94.] (Signed) F. H. 



360 " THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

Quebec 12tli June 1779. 

Sir — I take the opportunity of an express going to Niagara to answer a 
paragraph of your letter of the 2d May expressing an inclination to be 
removed from present command, to that of Detroit. Nothing affords me 
greater pleasure than to have it in my power to oblige officers under my 
command, when 1 can do it consistently with the good of the service. 

But in the present critical situation of affairs particularly at the Upper 
posts where our existence almost entirely depends upon the dispositions of 
the Indians. 

T cannot view such a removal without anexing to it a brobability of every 
bad consequences considering you from every report that has been made to 
me, to have acquired the affections of the different nations around you, to 
have a perfect knowledge of the Management of these people, and of the 
Characters of the Traders and Motley crew who have it in their power to 
tamper with and debauch the minds. Governor Sinclair accompanied 
Major Holland from Halifax but I mean to detain him here until the ships 
arrive from England after which should circumstances alter and that we 
have a prospect of tranquility I shall readily fulfil my former promise to 
you in the meantime I must depend upon you for the exertion of your 
utmost abilities in preserving the friendship of the Indians. 

I have given Capn. Shank orders to have the vessel you have pitched upon 
properly fitted up and named for the purpose of your communicating fre- 
quently with Detroit. I have likewise expressed my desire to Colonel 
Bolton that other small vessels belonging to Detroit may, as occasion 
requires, be employed in the same manner. (Signed) 

[B 96 1, p. 96.] F. H. 



Quebec 14th June 1779. 

Sir — I had His Excellency the Commander in chiefs Commands to add a 
P. S. to his letter of the 12th inst to you which from my hurry in making up 
dispatches for the Express to Niagara, escaped my enemy [memory?]. I 
now beg leave to communicate it to you. 

Notwithstanding His Excellency's determination to prevent Traders in 
general from sending Cargoes up to the Posts, for the present he has thought 
fit to grant passes to some individuals to convey their goods up the grand 
river. 

He desires that notwithstanding they are provided with passes from him 
you will, should the good of his Majesty's service require it,' stop their 
further progress or lay them under such restrictions as you may find necessary. 

[B96 1, p. 97.] (Signed) R. M. 



LETTERS FROM GEN. HALDIMAND TO MAJ. DE PEYSTER 3G1 

Quebec Srd July, 177!). 

In answer to your letter of the 14tli inst ex[)i'essino- your wish to be re- 
moved from Michilimackiuao, it is with pleasure I aciiuaint you that 1 liave 
now a prospect of havinj'- it iu my power I hope without prejudice to His 
Majesty's ^>ervice to comply with your request by the arrival of Lt. (iovr. 
Hamilton whose abilities as an otficer, and knowledge of the Indian nations 
and atfairs of that Communication, I am informed, qualify him for that 
Command, 1 cannot herewith help regretting the loss of an officer, at so im- 
portant a Post, whose conduct during a long command, has given general 
satisfaction, and has justly merited, and obtained my approbation. 

I wait for the arrival of the Fleet to give my orders to Capn. Sinclair but 
I cannot possibly determine whether it will be in my power to jiermit you to 
go to York this season the Upper Posts appearing in so critical a situation. 

[B. 9(3 1, p. 08.] (Signed) F. H. 



Quebec July 3rd 177!) 

Sir— I have rec'd both your letters of the 14tk past the necessity which 
you represent, that goods should be sent to your Post, and to Lake Super- 
iour, and the safety with which you say, it may be done to His Majesty's 
Service, has induced me to grant passes for the number of Canoes you have 
specified in your letter. I shall depend upon your judgment and exi^erience 
in the distribution of them, laying the Traders under such restrictions as 
will most conduce to the Interest of the Public Service. 

You judged right in not employing the Indians against the Illinois, since 
it is your opinion that Cruelties alone would be the result, I would not how- 
ever absolutely discourage their Incursions into that settlement, as their 
appearing firm in our interest may have a good eftect, not only in the eyes 
of the Rebels, but of the inhabitants who are so disaffected to us, besides it 
may be the means of procuring useful intelligence, which you will strongly 
recommend to, and endeavour to efifect by means of these parties — Every 
caution necessary against cruelty, I am persuaded you will observe. 

Walashas proposal is a very uncommon one from an Indian and tho' it 
would, as you justly observe, be very imprudent to adopt it Yet the zeal he 
has manifested merits our attention. 

Y'ou will naturally prevent as much as in your power, the breach 
expected between the Chippewas and Sioux which might deprive us of the 
Service of many warriors, should we have occasion for them, but perhaps 
be turned to some account against us, by the Rebels. 
46 



362 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

Agreeable to your recommendation of the Sieur Cahee, I have ordered 
that he may have a dollar and a Kation pr day & to be employed as you have 
proposed. 

Messrs Langlade and Gautier have high pay. I must think of raising it, 
but you may as you judge necessary reimburse them in any little matter of 
Provision, they may occasionally find indispensibly necessary to furnish to 
Indians. 

I am sorry your provision has turned out so bad, for the present, the evil 
must be made the best of, and for the future I have taken such means as, I 
trust will secure a better supply. As the Flour already sent up for the use 
of your Post was owing to the failure of supplies from England procured, 
and patched up in a hurry, it is possible it may receive some injury on the 
passage. 

It should be inspected into and made use of the first if not likely to keep. 

I am informed that Considerable quantities of Indian Corn may be pur- 
chased at your post from Indians, I must request that you will do all in your 
power to collect a large stock of it in order to assist Detroit or even Niagara, 
should circumstances make such a recourse necessary, the armed vessels 
which I have ordered for you will make the transport of it commodious. 
You will communicate with Capn Lernoult upon this subject. 

(Signed) F. H. 

P. S. — In order to convince some Reynards and others of your Indians, 
who wintered at Montreal, of the falsity of a report propagated by the disaf- 
fected Canadians that a French fleet would certainly arrive this Spring to 
retake the Country, I ordered them down here to be present at the arrival of 
our Fleet. They are come, and I enclose to you my speech to them which 
you will deliver to their Nations, making such Additions as you may from 
local circumstances judge necessary. I shall keep them untill the Fleet ar- 
rives and on their return they will I hope, have it in their power amply to 
confirm what is set forth therein. 

In consequence of your recommendation of Mr. Aird, I have permitted 
him to send up a Canoe exclusive of the Forty for Michilimackinac and Lake 
Superior but Messrs Todd and McGill have not thought proper to include 
the five Canoes, said by them to be for the use of the Officers of the Garrison 
in the above number and as you in your letter proposed, but after the dis- 
tribution has been finally settled, they bring me in upon the above pretext, 
an account of Loading for four Canoes the articles amounting to £1000 value 
requesting that they may be added, which requests I have declined comply- 
ing with. If you or the officers of your Garrison want any stores etc., for 
your particular use I make no doubt they will be carefully sent, as I have 



LETTERS FROM GEN. HALDIMAND TO MAJ. DE PEYSTER 363 

told Mr. Lister to acquaint Messrs Todd and McGill that if they neglect 
commissions of that nature, they are but little entitled to the Indulgences 
shewn them, the same Rapacity has actuated them to prevent including Mr. 
Campinis Batteau in the number stipulated I am sorry for it but being 
determined not to break the regulations I have made, I cannot at present 
permit another Canoe to be sent up. 
[B 96 1. p. 1)9.] 



Quebec 8th July 1779. 

Sir — I have at present no more than time to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 27th past with the several Bills enclosed which shall be 
accepted, and likewise to signify to you my approbation of your having ad- 
hered to the ordinances of the Province for the year 1771 respecting the 
affairs of Mr. Howard, I have wrote to Mr. Grey at Montreal to procure 
the necessary security, and I send him this letter open desiring that he may 
certify to you at the foot of it his having obtained the Security required 
on receipt of which you will have Mr. Howards Effects delivered to him. 

[B 96 1, p. 102.] (Signed) F. H. 



Quebec 13th July 1779. 

Sir — By the bearer Mr. Calve I have an opportunity of more answering 
your letter of the 27th of June, the receipt of which, I acknowledged by 
yesterday's Post. 

I am obliged to you for Intelligence from the Illinois. I am pleased to 
find it so favorable, and that your Post is in such security, you will no 
doubt continue whatever work you may think necessary to preserve it in 
that state. 

I much approve of your destroying Fort Poy [Pey] and I hope Mr. Gautier 
will be able to effect all the purposes of his charge From the poverty of the 
Relwls in that Quarter I think there is little to apprehend. Intercepting 
their supplies should be the chief object of our attention, it is a service 
which the Indians, I should think, would cheerfully undertake in their 
hopes of plunder. 

Mr. CalvǤ has presented to me a claim on Government amounting to 3,- 
699 Livers, besides a Sallary from the year 1776 inclusive, I have never heard 
that the former was due or the latter promised to him, but I find from 
Colonel Campbell and Mr. Gautier that the man has been usefull and that 
it is still in his power to be very serviceable to Government in either or both 



364 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

cases, I should be sorry not to reward his merit, I therefore must desire you 
will give me every information in your power relative to him — and in the 
mean-time as it is represented that you sent them and that his interest 
suffered much by his coming down, I have paid him a dollar per day as 
Interpreter for one year only, and have given him a Licence for one Canoe, 
exclusive of his share of the Trade. He declined my offer, recommended 
by you of a dollar per day, as Interpreter, saying that it would interfere 
with his Commerical Mews. 

I have forwarded Bum for the General Consumption of the Upper Posts, 
and am under the necessity of repeating my requests to the officers Com- 
manding to observe the greatest oeconomy in the distribution of it, seeing 
the amazing price charged by the traders for that article. 

I likewise wish to refer you to a letter upon the subject of flour which I 
find from all quarters, there is the greatest necessity to attend to this year, 
it having been put up warm and is consequently subject to damage. Some 
large room should be found to spread and air it on, in two or three days, and 
then to be repacked. As soon as the Fleet arrives I shall despatch Lt. Gov'r 
Sinclair to relieve you. 

[B 96 1, p. 103.] (Signed) F. H. 



Quebec August 17th 1779. 

Sir — I enclose to you a copy of instructions I have given to Capn. Sin- 
clair as Lieut. Governor and Superintendant of the Posts of Michilimackinac 
which you will peruse, and afterwards deliver to the officer who will succeed 
you in the Military Commands. (Signed) 

[B 96 1, p. 105.] F. H. 



Quebec August 28th 1779. 
Sir — This letter will be delivered to you by Capn. Sinclair to whom you 
will give up the command of Michilimackinac as Lt Govr. and Superinten- 
dant of the Post. From a letter of Lord George Germain to Capn, Sinclair, 
wherein he stiles him. Commandant of the Posts, he conceives he is 
entitled to the Military Command, which is not expressed in his commission 
it being exactly similar to that of Lt. Govr. Hamilton's he therefore goes to 
his Government, vested with the same powers, and which are specified in my 
instructions to him, of which you have a copy. I shall write upon this 
subject to Lord George Germain, and hope soon to have the line of those 
commands finally determined. In the meantime the utmost Harmony and 



LETTERS FROM MAJOR DE PEYSTER 365 

mutual Acquiescence is ueeessai-y to carry on His Majesty's Service wilii that 
spirit which I am convinced Capn. Sinchiii-'s zeal lor it and that of the 
officer you will leave with him will dictate for nothing- can more conduce to 
the Kejditation ot Officers than to relinquish little personal considerations 
when necessary to ]»romote the public service. 

[B (>0 1. p 105.] (Signed) - F. H. 



Quebec 20th August 1779 
Sir — -After having given Lt Govr Sinclair every information your power 
relative to the Tost of Michilimackinac agreeable to my letter of the 28th 
Inst you will repair to Detroit without loss of time, and take upon you the 
command of that Tost Captain Lernoult having my orders to give it up to 
you and to give every necessary information relative to it. 

[B 96 1, p. lOG.] (Signed) F. H. 



LETTEKS FROM MAJOR DE TEYSTER, COMMANDING AT 
MICHILIMACKINAC 



TO GENERAL CARLETON 

MiCHALi MACKINAC 30th May 1778. 

Sir — I have just received a letter from Mr. Langlade acquainting that his 
affairs goes on very slow at La Kaye. The Menomenies having lost two 
chiefs & the Chippawas of the plains have made war upon that nation I have 
therefore come to the resolution of sending down such of the Indians as are 
ready (one hundred and ten forms this first Division) & I shall make the 
Outawas follow in a day or two right glad to get rid of them It can scarce 
be credited to what iuconveniency I am put to carry on this service. No ves- 
sels being yet arrived from Detroit or Canoe from Montreal to give me the 
least assistance. 

The Traders inform me that Lieut Govr. Hamilton will not allow their 
Rum to come to this Post except a small quantity for the North trade. On 
this report the little here raised to Twelve pounds ten shillings Halifax per 
keg. 



366 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

As nothing has arrived here for the King except about half canoe load of 
drj goods by Gautier last fall- 1 have made a merchant purchase me all the 
Rum in this place which has gone but a little way towards contenting, I 
have endeavored to sweeten their tempers with sugar and water & have com- 
plimented the chiefs with the remains of my private stock of Liquors. If no 
vessells arrive with Rum soon I cannot answer for the bad etfects it will 
produce. 

I have dispatched the Sloop Welcome to Detroit, and I have found it 
absolutely necessary to employ her in the Kings Service. I have wrote to 
Acquaint Lt. Col Boltons therewith. 

It is dangerous to leave this post any longer without a vessel to winter at 
it & there is constant employment for one all the summer besides that the 
appearance of an armed vessel awes the Savages who are encamped where 
they can annoy the Fort without our being able to bring' a gun to bear upon 
them unless it be from the water. I hope therefore my having armed and 
put soldiers on board this Sloop will meet with your approbation. 

I am &c At. S. De Peyster. 

IB 9& 1, p. 1.] 



TO GENERAL CARLETON 

MiCHiLiMAKiNAc 29 Juuc 1778 
Sir — I have the honor to acquaint you that on the 24th Instant I sent off 
the last of the Indians destined for Montreal this Season amounting to 550 
warriors Messrs Calved & Roque are going as Interpreters to the Lachis 
Schiong &c Calved has been of Service in the Mississipy for several jears past 
and particularly this last winter. 

I lately wrote to Lt Col Bolton begging of him to apply to your Excellency 
for leave of absence for me my health being so much impaired by the con- 
stant attendance I am obliged to give to Indians that at times I suffer the 
greatest torture Since my application I have got accounts that the Labay 
[Green Bay] Indians and the Chippawas are at war and otherwise very rest- 
less which if not settled may be of great detriment to the Service & dis- 
advantage to trade. This is a point I shall endeavor to settle before I avail 
myself of my leave you may please to grant me & I shall settle every other 
matter in the best order for whoever I may leave to command. The matter 
of pleasing the Indians without any \*ery extraordinary expence to Govern- 
ment may be easily acquired by a person possessed of any degree of patience 
and activity Hitherto I have entrusted no one thing to others which the 



LETTERS FROM MAJOR D"E PEYSTER 367 

abscence of the Superintendent and his train liave facilitated. I should there- 
fore be sorry that for want of my usual activity I should leave the Indians 
any room for complaining Avhich will be the ease if the Commanding officer 
does not see things with his own eyes I mean at this post where I have always 
been sure to see every individual satisfied I have not received a line from 
your Excellency nor from any one in office this year lio vessels as yet being 
arrived from Niagara, every other year they had made their second trip Ijefore 
now. 

No canoe has yet arrived for the King, not even the one which Mr Lang- 
lade left at the Lake of the Two Mountains last fall. 

The weakness of this Garrison (as the men from Niagara were not 
arrived) prevented my sending more than five men with Lieutenant Bennet 
to which I added seven Canadians. I hear that they were cast on the rocks 
on Lake Superior but lost nothing but ammunition and provisions. I have 
sent oft' a fresh supply, 

I have the honor &c 

[B 9G 1, p. 3.] (Signed) At. S. De Peyster 



TO GEN. HALDIMAND 

MiCHiLiMACKiNAC 24th July 1778. 

Sir — Upon the req\iest of the Inhabitants & Traders to second their Ap- 
plication to Your ExceJleftcy that you will be pleased to allow them a Priest 
resident at this Post. 

I promised them that I would write to you upon the subject. 

For my part I see no Inconveniency that can attend their having a Priest 
unless in case of a French War It should be thought dangerous to allow so 
many Ignorant Canoe men and Savages to have free access to the Church as 
it at present stands within the Fort. Were it removed into the Village, 
which is now become a Considerable place, it would obviate all objections I 
can possibly have. I should however be sorry for political reasons that the 
Indians & Traders knew that the above objection was started by the Com- 
manding Officer here. 

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect, Your Excellency's most 
liumble obed't Servant. 

A. S. De Peyster. 

His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief &c.. &c. 

[B 97 1, p. 33.] 



368 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

TO GEN. HALDIMAND 

MiCHILI MACKINAC 15 Aiigust 1778. 

Sir — The endorsed letter from Mr. Maearty a Trader from this Post to 
the Illinois, and one from St. Josephs, will give your Excellency some insight 
into what is doing or likely to be done in that Quarter. Mr. Macarty's 
account is confirmed by several People just arrived from the Illinois. I am 
also informed that reports are spread in all the Illinois Vilages that the 
french are soon to take possession of that country as there are no troops to 
prevent the Virginians from going there, they have it in their power to 
spread reports and poison the minds of the Indians so as at least to make it 
very dangerous to Traders. Mr. Louis Chevalier at St. Josephs holds the 
pass to Detroit and can also give the first intelligence to the enemy's motion 
on the Wabash. This gentleman is so connected with the Potawatamies that 
he can now do anything with them having lived upwards of thirty. years at 
that Place. 

A young Indian named Aimable at present at Montreal is his son. Some 
Mark of distinction given to this young man and he with a few of his com- 
rade Potawatamies persuaded to remain another year at Montreal would be 
of great service as those at St. Joseph would never Misbehave whilst any of 
their friends are down the Country. 

In the year 63 when St Josephs was cut off Mr. Chevalier two days before 
it happened informed M. Schlosser of the Indians having bad Intentions 
which he did not believe to his cost. 

Chevalier happening to be present it gave some designing people a handle 
against him as his innocence was not generally known. I have since my 
arrival here inquired particularly into all those matters, and finding that 
affair no ways to his disadvantage and seeing the great attention paid to him 
by the Indians I thought it necessary to render him useful by giving him 
some authority at St. Joseph's which he has hitherto exerted with the great- 
est discretion. I have the honor &c. 

(Signed) A. S. De Peyster. 

A letter prior to this: Concerning an application made by the merchants 
Trader and Inhabitants of Michilimackinac to His Excellency the Commr in 
chief for a Missionary at that post : 

[B 96 1, p. 6.] 

Copy of a Letter from Richard McCarty to Joliii AsJciti 

At St. Urseuls at the Illinois the 7th June 1778. 

To Mr. John Askin at Michilimackinac: 

I beg you will be so good as inform Major de Peyster that Mackinac the 



LETTERS FROM MAJOR DE PEYSTER 369 

man, I delivered liim a speech fro]ii Jast year, died before my arrival here, 
but that Pondiac Son to the great Fondiac is gone to Detroit with some other 
Indians that came here this spring, they seem well pleased with his Invitation 
and would have gone to Michilimackinac, had the others been living, they 
seem well inclined to the English on all accounts. Young Pondiac hopes for 
a medal, they are so much my protection as an English man, that Indians 
daily steal Horses, from the Village, and none from me, tho' mine are loose 
in the open field, the Convoy is arrived, that in two Boats, one with a 
Governor, for the Spanish side, the other under his cover for the American 
with Liquor & 150 Bails of Broad Cloth, blue, white, and red, they are to 
be lodged at St. Louis, opposite my place untill they come for it. 

Was there a few troops here to encourage the good, put heart in the weak 
& intimidate the bad this Country might be preserved & the communication 
cut off, but as it has been, they have with about forty men going down the 
Ohio to Manchac last Fall taken about 500 Packs from English Subjects, 680 
negroes, much dollars from the I^wer Inhabitants, and a Brig of 14 Guns at 
Manitack with 40 men on board, and that taken by 14 men belonging to 
Willing the American Commander, he intimidated the People going before 
Spanish Boats and making the Inhabitants believe the Boats coming after 
were all armed & of his party, it is said that Moyan was to be here with GOO 
men last winter, but very likely he has something else to do. 

There is no news of an disturbance in Europe this way, God send us soon 
the much to be wished for news of an union with England and her colonies, 
pray send us what news you can your way, the Spaniards it seems are in a 
bad condition for having seized the English Vessels at Orleans last year. & 
do encourage the English to come all in their powder, having no Indian Goods 
at all. I am dear Sir 

Your most obedt very humble Servt 

[B 07 1. p. G.] (Signed) Richard McCarty. 



TO GEX. HALDIMAXD 

Michilimackinac 31st August 177H 
Sir — I have this moment received a letter from Monsr. Chevalier of St. 
Josephs informing that the rebels are in possession of all the Illinois, that 
the party at the Kaskaskias consisting of two hundred and fifty commanded 
by one Willing is a part of 700 on their way for that country. Willing has 
put Mr. De Rochelave* the Commandant and one Mr. Crie in Irons for 

♦See appendix 

47 



370 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

having refused the oaths of Allegiance to the King of Spain, the French 
King and the Congress. The Traders in that Country and many from this 
Post are plundered and the whole country in the greatest confusion being at 
a loss to know which route the rebels will take next. 

I am &c (Signed) 

[B 96 1, p 8.] A. S. De Peyster. 



TO GENERAL HALOniAXD 

MiCHiLiMAKiNAC 16th Sept. 1778. 

Sir — Since my last Letter to your Excellency by the hands of Mr. Orillat 
acquainting you with the Rebels being in possession of the Illinois I have 
heard nothing from that country. I have sent off a person wlio is well 
acquainted there with a Speech and a large belt which is to grasp [pass?] 
through the different Illinois vilages insisting that they shall not suffer His 
Majesty's enemies to keep possession of their Country. This I hope will have 
better effect than if I had an Expedition ready to send against the rebels as 
the Illinois Indians are in constant dread of the Ottawas and other nations 
dependent on this Post as they sometime ago earnestly entreated I would 
make a peace for them which I effected to their great satisfaction. 

I sometime in July last received a Letter from D A General dated the 
9th April inclosing a memorandum respecting the trade of the grand 
Portage at the West end of Lake Superior which by Sir Guy Carleton's 
orders was submitted to my consideration ordering me to transmit to your 
Excellency such observation as should occur to me together with any the 
officer might make on the spot. 

No observations have occured to me nor the the officers worth mentioning 
more than what is fully contained in the memorandum presented to Sir Guy 
Carleton by the Traders. I gave the officer Similar Instruction before he 
set out for the Portage in June by which he conducted himself to the general 
satisfaction of all present. If they differed in anything it was obliging the 
Traders to enter into a Dedit that they would not go from the awerd of any 
Court of Arbitrators setting upon their own cause also that all trading there 
should sign a bond of forfeiture not to enlist any canoe man without a 
regular Discharge in writing from his Former Master as is practised at this 
post. The order I received of the 6th October barely mentioned the sending 
an officer and twelve men to the intent of keeping up good order. 

I waited a long time in hopes of a reinforcement for the purpose, the 
Garrison being then as it at present too Weak to allow a Detachment and 



LETTERS FROM MAJOR DE PEYSTER 371 

carry on the necessary duty liere where I expected so great a resort of 
Indians. At length as no men arrived I sent oil' an officer one t^ergt. and 5 
men, the traders furnished seven Canoe men to carry them to the Portage 
and back to this post. I took upon me to supply the officer with two Bales 
of dry goods a Bale of Tobacco one hundred gallons of Rum and some Pork 
and Flour to enable him to receive the visits from the Indians. 

I also sent two swivels mounted upon carriages with two Barrels of Powder 
for tr^aluting and tools for erecting a Fort. The goods I sent were soon 
expended and the Traders furnished what was more wanting for the next 
season. In which case I shall be glad to have your Excellency's orders 
whether the crown or the trader is to furnish or in what proportion, as they 
seem already to complain of the expence at least some of them do. 

During the short stay of the party at the Portage the officer caused the 
Canoe men to erect a small fort which, was half furnished before they left 
the place. The remainder is to be finished the next season with the 
Barracks for which purpose board will be sawed this winter all which is at 
th expence of the Traders. 

I have the honor to be &c (Signed) 

[B 96 1, p 9.] A. S. De Peyster. 



TO GENL. HALDIMAXD 

MicHiLiMACKixAC 21st Scpr 1778. 

Sir — I did myself the honor to write to your Excellency on the 16th 
Instant [Sept. 9?] by Charles Reaume when I informed you that I had 
sent a belt and Speech on the 10th Instant to St. Josephs to be forwarded t© 
the Illinois to which dispatch of yesterday received the enclosed answer. 

It appears by Mr. Chevaliers letters that the rebels are too firmly fixed in 
that important post to hazard my Belt with any prospects of success. I fear 
however that if they are not routed by some means that the whole Missis- 
sippi Trade is knocked up. 

The Indians of the little Detroit of Labay The Manomeuia Sabris Oumis- 
sigoes & Secoux being arrived and on the point of their departure I present 
them with a large Belt which I desire may go through the different Villages 
of the Nations which have been employed by Government and who have 
been so long protected by His Majesty. Telling them that it is my earnest 
request that they have not the least connection with the Rebels but keep 
themselves quietly at home till I can have your answer to this letter which 1 



372 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

tell them I expect this fall or so early in the winter and to send amongst 
them before the rivers are open in the Spring. That shonld I hear of their 
having done anything prejudicial to the Traders or of their having entered 
into any alliance with the enemy I have in such case taken the precautions 
to request of you that the passes for the ensuing season may require of every 
Canoe to wait at the mouth of the French river in Lake Huryon for my fur- 
ther instructions so that should they misbehave during the winter they may 
expect I will send to order every Canoe loads of goods back to Montreal. 
This threat seems to have great force with the Indians present and with 
submission I could wish your Excellency would think fit to order it so It 
will detain Canoes no longer than is absolutely necessary and it will be the 
means of their coming up with gTeat confidence that far so as to be ready to 
furnish the nations with their wants as usual to prevent the trade taking 
another turn Provided the traders can be allowed to proceed with prosperity. 

I have as much as possible instilled into the Indians the Idea that altho 
the Rebels may perhaps be able to make a shew of presents at first that they 
can by no means be able to furnish the different nations with their necessary 
wants. It now remains for me to send the several nations home pleased, 
this will require much rum and Tobacco, those gentry the Seroux excepted 
having continued to employ their Kegs before they arrived here, they must 
be also provided of good many Canoes as many of theirs are unfit for further 
Service. 

This letter I dispatch by a light Canoe, which will take Mr Reaume up on 
the way & proceed with my other letters to your Excellency, provided the 
Crew be not detained on Lake Huryon by hard contrary winds it will arrive 
at Montreal in eleven days or supposing it to be fourteen days there will be 
time for a light Bateau Canoe man'd with an active guide & eight men to 
arrive at the mouth of the French river by the 1st of November & at this 
place by the 10th to which time the weather will permit and even longer. 

Should your Excellency judge proper to send Mr Gautier to proceed to the 
Mississipi he will hurry this Canoe much without him it will scarce be in my 
power to put any orders you may send for the movement of the Labay 
Indians into Execution. Mr Langdale the zealous will by no means be able 
to undertake so active an Enterprise. 

The Indians have already declared that were Gautier here to lead them 
they would penetrate the Illinois Country this winter. As I suppose you 
will also send orders at Detroit in the winter I shall send off an express to be 
ready there as my Indians will know the road & as I shall be able to depend 
upon them & the person I shall send with them. 

I have taken the liberty to enclose two returns & of assuring your Excel- 



LETTERS FROM MAJOR DE PEYSTER ' 373 

leiuy that this is but a patilied picketed lort at best iiiueh incumbered with 
wooden houses & commanded even by small arms all which has been repeat- 
edly reported before your arrival in Canada our strength here consisting in 
the good understanding kept up with the Indians made it not so necessary 
to fortify, but had it beeu ever so necessary it could not be done in the place 
the Fort is now situated it being an iutire loose sand. The friendships with 
the Indians may be dei)ended upon till a greater force appear against us, and 
I fear no longer some few excepted. 

I have the honor to be &c 

(Signed) A. >5. De Peyster. 

[B 90 1. p. 1.5.] 



TO GEXL. HALDIMAND 

MiCHiLiMAKixAC 7 October 1778. 

Sir— I am just honoured with your Letter of the 10th of August last. 
Your Excellency may depend on me that I shall do all in my power to keep 
within bounds as nuich as the present situation of affairs will ])ermit. I am 
sorry to inform you that the Indians who had been so well provided at :\Ion- 
treal had made away with almost everything before they reached this (their 
tine cloaths excepted Avhich they carefully preserved) & as the cold weather 
must pinch them before they reach their houses I could not refuse them 
some clothing. I likewise furnished them with Canoes as many of their 
Canoes were rendered unfit to proceed. Half of their guns either wanted 
repairing or exchanging. 

Demands were made upon me for payment of their own Canoes which they 
said were not paid them according to promise at Montreal. They made a 
claim for provisions taken the second Campaign. In this I however put 
them off till I have an opportunity of seeing their Leaders. Some of tiiem 
brought me orders for Kegs of Rum &c and I have been obliged to cover 
their dead afresh. The Rum they got at Montreal to take to their Vilages 
they drank coming up the Country & they also used their Tobacco & expended 
their ammunition so that I have had all those articles to furnish over or run 
the risk of forfeiting all we have ever done. 

At length I have sent the Labay [La Baye des Puants, Green Bay] Indians 
off pleased with promises — on their parts not to listen to the rebels at the 
Illinois from which quarter I have not heard anything since my last letter. 
1 am in hopes the Traders have received orders to turn up the Mississipy in 
time so as to avoid fallina- iuto their hands. 



374 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

Such standing orders as have been preserved at this Post I send off to Lt. 
Col. Bolton. They are very few. 

It gives me pleasure to hear that my last letter to Sir Guy Carleton to 
which no answer had been given have been laid before your Excellency as a 
paragraph in that of the 29 June will show you how ill I was at the time & 
I am sorry to say I have continued so every since. Should the regiment not be 
relieved next Spring I hope your Excellency will take my situation into 
consideration which is althogether a very disagreeable one. 

The last year I received a letter from Sir Guy Carleton telling me that 
notwithstanding my appointment to the Majority of the regiment it was his 
pleasure that I should remain at this post. I then wrote to Sir Guy repre- 
senting the distressed situation of my affairs at N. York requesting leave of 
absence when it should be convenient to which I received no answer. I can- 
not help observing that neither my health nor affairs have mended since those 
representations, & as a change of air may be had at the same time that I look 
a little after my affairs before it be too late. I am still in hopes that your 
Excellency will be more favorable to my application. 

Those who are any w^ays acquainted with my connextion at New York can 
inform your Excellency that few people in the army have greater reason to 
wish themselves there (exclusive of the above reasons) than myself. I hare 
the honor &c 

[B 96 1, p. 12.] (Signed) A. S. De Peyster. 



TO GEXL. HALDIMAND 

MiCHiLiMACKiNAc 24th Octobcr 1778. 

Sir — Your Excellency's Letters of the 30th August and 2nd of September 
I received the 21st instant by De Groselier. I received about the same 
time a Letter from Lt. Govr. Hamilton which he left to be foi'warded from 
Detroit. As the Indians not been gone to their several homes before I 
received Mr. Hamiltons Letters it would have been in my power to have sec- 
onded his attempt which he tells me he directs in person to dispossess the 
rebels at the Illinois and as it may be in my power to dispose the Indians 
here to cooperate by going down the Illinois River he gives me this notice. 

The Indians at present are too much dispersed for me to assembly them 
in a body Sufficiently strong to go down that river and I am persuaded they 
would not leave their wives and children in their wintering grounds there 
having been no previous provision made for them I shall how^ever send 



L 



LETTERS FROM MAJOR DE PEYSTER 375 

Express to the grand river & on the borders of Lake Michigan to endeavour 
to spirit up the young men to join Mr. Hamilton by the most expeditious 
route ordering them to call at i^t. Josephs for further infornuition of his 
situation. 

I shall also write to Mr. Chevalier to give Mr. Plamilton every assistance 
in his poAver which I fear cannot be much, as the Indians mostly are gone to 
their meeting grounds. 

I have long since by civil treatment apparently secured that gentleman to 
His Majesty's Interests foreseeing that he would become useful before those 
troubles could be at an end, the different representation of him by Mr. 
Hamilton and myself must appear extraordinary. I can assure your Excel- 
lency that I never heard anything that could be proven to his disadvantage 
on the contrary whilst at this Post, he with a becoming decency set his 
enemies at defiance should he however prove faithless the disadvantages 
arising from my credulity will be greatly overbalanced by advantages that 
may occur by putting some confidence in him. This much I am obliged to 
say in vindication of my judgment as Mr. Hamilton notwithstanding my 
representation to him writes me that he has represented him to your Excel- 
lency in a very unfavorable li^ht. I shall take every possible method to pro- 
cure intelligence of the present state of the Illinois and transmit (if I receive 
any) by way of Detroit during the course of the winter. I have now to offer 
my sentiments agreeable to your Excellency's request whether anything can 
be done for the recovery of the Illinois. 

Provided your Excellency's Instructions relative to stopping the commu- 
nication of the Ohio &c be vigorously put in execution. I am persuaded 
that Mr. Gautier or some other active person may assemble a body of Indians 
in his direct road from Labay to the Prarie de chiern and in the river St. 
Pierre to go down the Mississipi early in the spring which may be per- 
formed from the mouth of the Oresconsign in seven or eight days. That 
country is full of resources but the Indians must have presents whenever we 
fall off from that article they are no more to be depended upon. The past 
is soon forgot by them except when they do us a favour. Give the Indians 
of this country a present and they will immediately strive to make some 
trifling return, which we must however give them four times the value for. 
To second the above mentioned Indians the Pottewatamien must be also 
ordered to move down the Illinois river followed by the Ottawas and Chip- 
pawas those latter will be rather late but by sending belts before them to 
assure the Illinois Indians that they came in friendship to them provided 
they join in driving out the rebels it will have great effect even the brent of 
their intended march will settle them. The inhabitants of that country are 



376 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

not to be depended upon sliould the french offer to interfere otherwise 
should they join the rebels it would be thro fear of being plundered by the 
Stranger Indians. I some time ago represented a small armed vessel neces- 
sary to be under the direction of the commanding officer of this post as a 
Porte respect to the Indians and to reconoitre the different Bays and Creeks 
in Lake Michigan also to be ready to send to Detroit on immergency, and 
finding I could not carry on the service without one I armed the Welcome 
to send to Labay St. Josephs Milwakee &c as the winds are generally so 
strong that canoes cannot move even in a fair Avind, which makes their 
passage very tedious on the Lakes. But finding no favorable answer indeed 
none at all to nn^self, I dismissed her. I can send such a vessell at St. 
Josephs and get answer to my letters in eight days or sooner whereas I must 
not expect it in less than a month if so soon by a Canoe or small boat. The 
above representation was long before Your Excellency took the command. 

I hope your Excellenc}' is acquainted with the reasons why Sir Guy Carle- 
ton ordered me to remain at this post with an handful of men and no other 
Command to a Captain of the Regiment and remaining guide removed from 
what will in all probability soon become the scene of action if the Rebels 
are not routed from the Illinois. 

I have the honor &c - (Signed) 

[B 96 1, p 19.] A. S. De Peyster. 



TO GEN. HALDIMAND 

MiCHiLiMACKiNAC 27th Octr 1778. 
Sir — Soon after my Letter of the 24th Inst, was despatched by a light 
Canoe Messrs. Langdale & Gautier arrived here and informed me they were 
sent up to attend my orders. I am surprised they brought me no Letters, 
but they tell me that your Excellency was at Chamblac6, & that Lt. Col. 
Camfile sent them off least the weather should get in so as to prevent their 
getting up. I have come to the resolution to send those gentlemen off to 
give every assistance in their power to Lt. Gov'r Hamilton. I have pro- 
vided them with some goods which I believe with their presents amongst the 
Indians will do more good than I could have expected by sending dry belts 
by the hands of Indians. Mr. Langlade is to undertake the grand river 
near which the Ottawas & Chippawas from this place winter & Mr. Gautier 
is to proceed straight to St. Joseph when he will give orders for the Indians 
in that neighborhood to assemble which he endeavors to get intelligence 
of the route Mr. Hamilton has taken so as to be able to join him with all ex- 



LETTERS FROM MAJOR DE PEYSTER 377 

pedition. Mi-. II;niiill(in li.v this means will not meet with any Impediment 
for want of sueh assistanee as in my ]»()wei- to jiive him. 

Should they find that he is i-etni-ned to Detroit they then lutve orders 
to cross the Country to their old Station, to keej) the Labay & Mississipi 
Indians in temper & there wait further orders. I also send off my inter- 
l»reter to St. Joseph's to brino- back necessary information. 

At this Present Juncture 1 should have found the benefit of having the 
Sloop Welcome, as I have been obliged to press from some of the inhabi- 
tants their only servants to enable me to make out a Canoe to transport 
them to St. Joseph's & the winds are rather high. 

Mr. Goddard writes me that twenty puncheons of Kum have been sent ui>. 
for this Post by General Carleton's orders. I liave received only fourteen & 
tlie quantity therein contained would not have filled niitcli more than that 
iiuml)er of Tierces, nor did they arrive till after I had purchased rum. 
The goods also are sent off rather late from Montreal So that if I get them 
tlie fall they are sent it is not till after I have been obliged to purchase 
which is very disagreeable. I have the name of those things without the use 
of them in the season most wanted. 

The reports I have of the little Water in the French river for loaded 
Canoe & of the Canoes being gi'eatly damaged in getting up makes me fear 
least they should not arrive at all. I have the honor &c. 

[B 96 1. p 23.] (Signed) A. S. De Peyster. 



TO GEX. HALPIMAXD 

MicHiLiMAKiNAc 29th Jauuy 1779 
Sir — I did myself the honor to write to your Excellency on the 27th of 
October acquainting you with the steps I had taken towards giving assistance 
to Lt. Govr Hamilton having sent Messrs Langlade Gautier & Ains is return- 
ed with the following report viz that they were detained on their way by 
contrary winds, so that they did not reach the mouth of grand river till the 
thirteenth day of Novembre. where Mr. Laugdale landed agreeable to his 
Intenction. That on their way to St Joseph's they spoke with tlie Ottawa 
chiefs who declined the expedition for want of previous notice but declared 
themselves ready in the Spring. That detained by a continuation of bad 
weather he Ains & Gautier did not arrive at St Joseph's untill the second 
day of Decemlier where they found Mr Louis Chevalier who had been twenty 
two days from Mr Hamiltous little army which near passed the pays plat 
48 



378 THE HALDIMAND PAPERS 

before he left it that he le Chevalier was informed there that Gebease* the 
Priest had been at the Post Vincent & at the Quia with a party of rebels & 
obliged 600 inhabitants to swear Allegiance to the CougTess &c & that by 
the best accounts he could get the rebels at the Illinois did not exceed three 
hundred men who were ill provided. 

The above news of Mr Hamiltons having got so far the start being told to 
the Indians at the gi'and river, where Langdale had raised about eighty they 
declined to follow at so great a distance on which Mr Langdale set out for 
his post at La Baye & Gautier finding that Mr Chevalier had already taken 
the few Pottawatamia which could be raised at that advanced season to Mr. 
Hamilton, set out for his post on the Mississipi carrying with them Belts & 
Speeches to exhort the Indians to be ready in the Spring if called upon Your 
Excellencys answer to my letter of the 21st Sept. (thro Lt. Col Bolton) is just 
come to hand. I have the honor &c 

(Signed) A. S. DePeyster. 

P. S. — I should be glad to know if your Excellency will please to allow the 
officer any pay for his laying out and directing the route at the Portage 

[B 96 1, p 25.] 



TO GEN. HALDIMAND 

MiCHiLiMAKiNAc 29th March, 1779. 

Sir — I did myself the honor to write to your Excellency the 29th January 
when I informed you that Langdale had failed in his attempt to move the 
Indians from their hunting grounds as they heard that Lt Govr Hamilton 
had got so much the start of them. Since which I received a letter from 
Mr. Louis Chevalier of St. Joseph's informing that the Pottawatamie were 
returned home to pass the winter that they brought him a Letter from the 
Lieut Governor informing him that he intended not to leave Post Vincent 
[Vincennes] till the Spring. I should have been glad to have had a line at the 
same time. However in complyance with your Excellency's orders to give 
every assistance in my power I again ordered the Ottawas & Chippawas to 
march & send off express to Mr. Gautier requiring him to move down with a 
body of Sabres Toyes & Wernippigoes & he by this time should be on the 
March joined by some active Canadians. 

A few days ago arrived an Express from Capn. Lernoult which gives me 
reason to imagine that an attempt will be made upon Detroit this Spring. 

I have therefore thought it most prudent to send to stop the Ottawas & 
Chippawas least I should be left without either to assist here or to send to 



"See appendix 



I 



LETTERS FROM MAJOR DE PEYSTER 379 

Detroit if occasion should lequiie it, and I am confident that it would be 
attended with very bad consequences if I suffered the Indians to go so far in 
search of the enemy when I hear that so formidable a body is advancing 
towards Detroit. Besides from the repeated messages sent to Lt. Govr. 
Hamilton, I have reason to supose he will return to take of his Government. 
J^hould it not be the case he will still have as many Indians as he can manage 
Gautier is to proceed at all events Avho will be sufficiently strong to harrass 
the Rebels should they attempt to follow Mr, Hamilton in his retreat. 

The Indians properly called Grand River Indians, I have advised to go 
directly to Detroit as it is but a short cut across the country, & I send the 
chief Matcliiguis with his band from Thunderbay also to hearten the Indians 
about Detroit as the eyes of most nations are upon him, he will serve as an 
Earnest of further assistance from this quarter when the Indians arrive if 
required. 

Thus Sir I have endeavoured to act as appeared to me would be most con- 
ducive to the good of His Majesty's Service which I hope will meet with your 
approbation. I have the honor &c. 

(Signed) A. S. De Pey.ster. 

P. S. I hope your Excellency will excuse the liberty I take in requesting 
of you to forward the enclosed in your Packet to Xew York where my affairs 
are greatly suffering, & I fear my letter never got there. 

[B 96 1, p. 27.] 



TO GEX, HALDIMAND 

MiCHiLiMACKixAC, 2d May 1779. 

Sir — I am sorry to acquaint your Excellency that on the 24:th of April I 
received a letter from Capn Lernoult dated the 21st of March informing me 
that Lt. Govr Hamilton & his whole 2'arty had fallen into the hands of the 
Virginians, 

Since the arrival of this trading Bateau I have waited with the greatest 
anxiety for further Intelligen