Historical collections. Collections and researches made by the Michigan pioneer and historical society ... Reprinted by authority of the Board of state auditors. Volume 9: a machine-readable transcription. (2024)

%images;]>lhbum-5298bHistorical collections. Collections and researches made by the Michigan pioneer and historical society ... Reprinted by authority of the Board of state auditors. Volume 9: a machine-readable transcription.Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910.Selected and converted.American Memory, Library of Congress.

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Michigan pioneer state and historical society.







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.

D. of D.FEB 2 1915



With renewed confidence in the great value of the work being done by the Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan, the Committee 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 Michigan. Not that these volumes from 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 Michigan.

While, with commendable liberality and enterprise, the legislature provided for the appropriate celebration of this the Fiftieth Year of Michigan 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 papers presented. To the Pioneer Society, therefore, necessarily remains the work of collecting and rescuing from decay and oblivion the many important 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,0004ivof Jackson, Michigan, spent three weeks in Ottawa, examining the archives of Canada. The result of his labor among these collections of bygone 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 documents 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 correspondence 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 au Raisen the settlement of the boundaries, etc.

The above is a brief outline of the manuscripts that are now in the hands of the copyist 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 Archivist, 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, the0005vCommittee of Historians asks a careful examination, believing that it will conclusively show that the Society is earnestly laboring to accomplish 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 8 and 9, 1886, and within which is contained much that will prove of historic value. Next is given the action of the society relative to the Semi-Centennial Celebration of Michigan as a State, and then follow the papers read at the Semi-Centennial 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, townships 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 publication of these papers it will be observed that care has been taken to preserve, as closely as possible, the exact orthography, capitalization, punctuation, etc., of the original copies.

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


Lansing, December 13, 1886.




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 importance, 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,Editor of Second Edition.

State Library, July, 1907.




Preface, first editioniii

Preface, second editionvi


List of Officers of the Society for 1886–7xi

Annual Meeting, June 8 and 9, 1886:

Address of the President1

Report of the Recording Secretary5

Report of the Corresponding Secretary12

Report of the Treasurer14

Report of the Committee of Historians15

Report of the Memorial Committee:

Allegan County17

Berrien County18

Branch County19

Clinton County26

Crawford County29

Eaton County29

Genesse County32

Hillsdale County36

Ingham County41

Ionia County43

Jackson County47

Kalamazoo County54

Kent County54

Lenawee County56

Marquette County59

Oakland County60

Saginaw County64

St. Joseph County75

Tuscola County77

Van Buren County78

Washtenaw County82

Wayne County86

List of Members of the State Pioneer and Historical Society90


Papers Read at the Annual Meeting:

A Quarter-Century of Education in Michigan92

Reminiscences of the Survey of the Northwestern Lakes100

An Old-Time Trip108

Recollections of Pioneer Life in Michigan118

The Diocese of Detroit—What it was—What it is128

Convivial Habits of the Pioneers of Saginaw137

History of St. Andrew's Church at Ann Arbor141

Recollections of Early Ministers of Washtenaw County155

From Buffalo to Michigan in1829 161

Incidents of Early Days in Michigan166

The Town of Green172

Andrew Nowland: The Old Pioneer Mall Carrier and Teamster175

The Goodrich Family Reunion178

Sketch of John Skinner Goodrich180

Sketch of Hon. Charles Upson188

Sketch of Thomas L. L. Brent192

Sketch of Dr. George W. Fish196

Sketch of Linus Cone201

Sketch of William Poppleton205

Last Letter of Col. T. Broadhead208

Uncle Tom's Bond210

Letter regarding the Battle of Cherubusco211

A New Version of an Old Song212

Seventy Second Anniversary of the Marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Odren213

Semi-Centennial Celebration of Michigan as a State:

Action of the Pioneer and Historical Society217

List of Delegates to Represent the Society217

Address of Hon. W. J. Baxter at the Celebration219

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

Historical Discourse222

Early Settlement of Ottawa County234

Rev. W. M. Ferry, Rix Robinson, and Other Early Settlers238

Semi-Centennial Poem246

Organization of Ottawa County and its Towns251

Early Administration of Justice256

Soil and Climate of Ottawa County258

Agriculture of Ottawa County261

Fruit Culture in Ottawa County267

Railroads in Ottawa County270

Commerce and Ship-Building280

Manufactures—Actual and Possible286

Buildings of Ottawa County292

Newspapers in Ottawa County295

The Holland and German Churches301

Churches Worshipping in the English Language315


The Schools of Ottawa County321

The First Schools in Holland326

Historical Sketch of Hope College328

Early Recollections of Grand Haven330

Early Medical History of Ottawa County332

The Burning of Holland in1871 334

The Song of Time—Poem341

The Haldimand Papers:

Letters of Gen. Carleton and Lieut. Gov. Hamilton343

Letters of Gen. Haldimand to Maj. DePeyster at Michilimackinac352

Letters from Maj. DePeyster, Commanding at Michilimackinac365

Letters of Gen. Haldimand to Lieut. Gov. Hamilton398

Letters of Gen. Haldimand to Capt. Lernoult407

Stores, etc., taken upon Lieut. Gov. Hamilton's Expedition409

Letters of Capt. D. Brehm410

Letters of Gen. Haldimand423

Letters of Lieut. Col.. Bolton to Gen. Haldimand427

Letters of Lieut. Gov. Hamilton430

Report of Indian Councils at Detroit442

Account of the Expedition of Lieut. Gov. Hamilton489

Letters of Haldimand, Brehm, and Sinclair516

Letters of Sinclair, DePeyster, and Others580

Papers Concerning Samuel Robertson618

Letters of Gen. Haldimand to Maj. DePeyster, at Detroit633

Description of Michilimackinac in1781 642

Trip to Lake Superior in1784 643

Inventories, Bills of Accounts, and Returns647


General Index659

Index of Names671B






M. H. GOODRICHAnn Arbor.



AlleganDon C. HendersonAllegan.

BarryDavid G. RobinsonHastings.

BayWilliam R. McCormickBay City.

BerrienAlexander B. LeedsBerrien Springs.

BranchC. D. RandallColdwater.

CalhounBenjamin F. HinmanBattle Creek.

ClareHenry WoodruffFarwell.

ClintonSamuel S. WalkerSt. Johns.

CrawfordMelvin D. OsbandFredricville.

EatonDavid B. HaleEaton Rapids.

EmmetIsaac D. TollPetoskey.

GeneseeJosiah W. BegoleFlint.

Grand TraverseJ. G. RamsdellTraverse City.

HoughtonJay A. HubbellHoughton.

InghamC. B. StebbinsLansing.

IoniaHampton RichIonia.

JacksonHiram H. SmithJackson.

KalamazooHenry BishopKalamazoo.

KentWright L. CoffinburyGrand Rapids.

LapeerJohn B. WilsonLapeer.

LenaweeFrancis A. DeweyCambridge.

LivingstonIsaac W. BushHowell.

MacombJohn E. DayArmada.

ManisteeT. J. RamsdeelManistee.

MarquettePeter WhiteMarquette.


MonroeJ. M. SterlingMonroe.

MontcalmJoseph P. ShoemakerAmsden.

MenomineeJames A. CrozierMenominee.

MuskegonHenry H. HoltMuskegon.

OaklandO. PoppletonBirmingham.

OceanaOliver K. WhiteNew Era.


SaginawCharles W. GrantEast Saginaw.

ShiawasseeAlonzo H. OwensVenice.

St. ClairWilliam T. MitchellPort Huron.

St. JosephH. H. RileyConstantine.

TuscolaTownsend NorthVassar.

Van BurenC. J. MonroeSouth Haven.

WashtenawEzra D. LayYpsilanti.

WaynePhilo ParsonsDetroit.








JOHN C. HOLMES, ChairmanDetroit.






HARRIET A. TENNEY, SecretaryLansing.










Ladies and Gentleman; Fathers, Mothers, Sons and Daughters; Pioneers of Michigan:

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 pleasure, where persons are well past middle age as most of us are. the mind loves to revert back and clings with 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 faces, it is mixed with pain to notice the many vacant places made in our ranks by the remorseless sickle of old Time, but such is life. It therefore behooves us00142who 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 wisely started the early history of this now great State, is the knowledge that no generation 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 contribute of his or her knowledge and experience in the early settlement of this Territory and State, including incidents, circ*mstances 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 urgency; the material for the eighth volume is all ready for the printers, and there is sufficient material now early 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 Recording and Corresponding Secretaries 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 and00153cultivating the new lands, organizing new towns, counties, and states, building the necessary and indispensable roads and bridges, farm buildings, school-houses, churches, mills, factories, villages and cities, form and enact proper, wise, and suitable laws for the government of each. Who has greater and better cause for gratulation than the pioneers of this State, in the glorious success of their efforts in establishing a State so great and complete in all the elements that are desirable in a community as the State of Michigan.

We have accomplished in that sense our full duty; it still 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 doubt 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 knowledge 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 by 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 which 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 1876, it was found on examination and comparison by the able judges selected for the purpose,00164that 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 influence of kindred fellowship shed abroad among the nations of the earth, giving 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 sovereigns. 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 walks 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, reformatory, fish and fish culture, and railroad development in the State, with brief biographical sketches of some of the men who have been largely instrumental in various ways in making Michigan what it is, one of the foremost 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 territory of an almost unbroken forest as large as the 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 accommodation 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.”


All this we have seen and in our way helped to accomplish, and we may now retire from active life in full confidence that we leave our work in safe hands, thanking God for all the great blessings bestowed on us and ours, and praying that a Divine Providence may continue his favor and protection on our beloved State and its people in the future as in the past.


Office of thePioneer Society of the State of Michigan,Lansing, June 7, 1886.

In accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan, I herewith present my twelfth annual report, as follows:—


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.


The reports of the recording and corresponding secretaries and the treasurer were read and adopted.

An original poem, written for the occasion by Wm. Lambie, was 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 O. 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; Kalamazoo, by Henry Bishop; Kent, by W. L. Coffinbury 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; Van 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. Comstock.

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 Recollections of Eaton County.”

Remarks were made by Philo Parsons on the contemplated erection of a statue of Gov. Lewis Cass in the National Capitol Hall of Statuary. Remarks 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 therefor 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.


Wednesday Evening

The President called the society to order according to adjournment. The session was opened by the reading of the 101st Psalm and prayer by Rev. B. Franklin.

A quartette, “Spring Time,” was sung by Mrs. Flora Rarrick, Miss Ella Baker, Messrs. Willis Bement and L. A. Baker, Miss Emily Barnard playing the accompaniment.

A memoir of John Mullett was read by John H. 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 were ever used in Oakland 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 circ*mstances 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 Region of Lake Superior,” was read by Hon. Peter White, of Marquette.

A solo, “Who Will Buy My Flowers?” was sung by Miss Flora Rarrick.

The story of the “Indian Chief Tonguish,” by M. 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.”

Thursday Morning

The Society met at 9 o'clock, the President in the chair. Rev. J. S. Valentine 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 Monroe, father of Gen. Custer. Mr. Custer was eighty years old. He expressed his thanks to the society for the courtesy shown to him by the members, and related some of his early experiences in Michigan.

“Reminiscences of Her Early Life in Michigan” was read by Mrs. Richard Dye, of Ionia.

“The Pioneers and Early Ministers of Washtenaw County,” by Rev. Lorenzo Davis, was read by Dr. O. C. Comstock.


T. E. Wing stated that he knew that the first church organized in Michigan, 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. Williams 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 Wings 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 when 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 Rev. 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.


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

A piece of music was then rendered by the Reform School Orchestra.

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

A memoir of Father Winter and family was read by C. B. Stebbins, of Lansing.

A solo, “Home, Sweet Home,” was sung by Miss Ella Baker.

The following telegram was receive from an old pioneer.

Detroit, Mich., June 17, 1885.

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 benediction of Henry Raymond.

“Shadowy Reminiscences of 1847; or Farewell to the Old State Capitol at Detroit,” by Enos Goodrich, was 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 the 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 Lansing, by Isaac N. 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 request, 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. R. B. De Viney and audience.

A paper on “The Probate Judges of Lenawee County,” by 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


“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. Poppleton, 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.


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.


Some very valuable donations have been made to the society during the past 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 Historical Society. In Memoriam: John S. Wright.

Wm. H. Cross, Centreville:Two copies “Centreville Times,” Jan. 2, 1886, containing Pioneer Articles and Chronology of 1885.

Charles W. Darling, Utica, N. Y.:One Pamphlet: Anthropophagy, Historic and Pre-historic.

D. W. C. Edgerton, 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. III, 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 Anniversary 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.


O. A. Jenison, 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.

Kansas State Historical 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. McClurg & Co., Chicago:Memoir of Edwin Channing Larned.

Philadelphia Library Co.:Bulletin for 1886.

C. D. Randall, Coldwater:One copy Coldwater Semi-weekly Republican, Sept. 29, 1885, 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 Industrial Asylums of Poland.” One copy ditto, Feb. 19, 1886, containing Letter from Hon. E. B. Pond. One copy ditto, June 1, 1886, 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 25, 1817.

Mrs. Mary C. Spencer, Lansing:One Pamphlet: Memorial Sermon for Rev. John A. Wilson, D. D.

C. B. Stebbins, Lansing:One copy of “The Beacon,” Aug. 27, 1885.

Unknown:One pamphlet Annual Report of Governor of North Western Branch of National Home for Disabled Volunteers, 1885. Three copies “Detroit Free Press,” Sept. 20, 1885, 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, 1885, containing Reminiscences of Mr. Levi Godfrey. One copy “Grand Rapids Morning Telegram,” Jan. 19, 1886, containing Notice of Meeting of Michigan State Pioneer Society in connection with Legislative Reunion, 1886. Catalogue of Historical and Biographical Works of Mr. Henry Stevens, of Vermont.

United States Department of the Interior, Washington:House and Senate Journal, Second Session, Forty-eighth Congress, 1884–85, 2 vols.

George H. White, Grand Rapids:Memorial of Grand Rapids Valley.

Abel Whitney, Adrian:One pamphlet, Surnames and Coats of Arms of the Williamses. History and Biographical 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 number of valuable manuscript historical papers than usual have been collected by the society, and will soon be published 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, persevering work commenced by the executive committee and rite committe of historians will give the State Pioneer Society of Michigan a recognition equal to that of any other Historical Society in the United States.


We do not hesitate to declare it a great honor to be identified in promoting the welfare of such a society.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

HARRIET A. TENNEY,Recording Secretary.


Lansing, Mich., June 8, 1886.

To the Officers and Members 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 herewith 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 Republican 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 President's 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.


Henry H. North, Delhi, died October 30, 1885, at Delhi.14

Stephen Hill, Watertown, died November 5, 1885, Watertown.

A. L. Williams, Owosso, died January 5, 1886.

Richard Dye, Ionia, died January 28, 1886, at Ionia.

E. H. Thompson, Flint, died February 2, 1886.

George C. Bates, Leadville, Col., died February 11, 1886, at Denver.

Alonzo C. Davis, Detroit, died February 20, 1886, at Detroit.

Henry Pennoyer, Nunica, died April 25, 1886.

Eugene Laible, Detroit, died April 27, 1886, at Detroit.

Joseph Gonior, Monroe, died May 5, 1886, at Monroe.

Mrs. Fanny L. Avery, Grand Rapids, died May 8, 1886, at Grand Rapids.

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

Philo H. Budlong, Harbor Springs, died May 26, 1886, at Harbor Springs.

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

Henry Packer, Jonesville, died November 19, 1881, at 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. Enos 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 Collections, 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 paper here 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 twelve 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,Corresponding Secretary.



Lansing, Mich., June 8, 1886.

To the State Pioneer Society of Michigan:

Your Treasurer submits the following report:

E. Longyear, Treasurer, in account with the Society from June 15, 1885 to June 7, 1886.


To balance on hand June 15, 1885$199 42

Receipts for membership fees$29 00

Pioneer Collections, Vols. 1 and 210 50

Old Folks' Song Book2 15

from appropriation, General Fund, of 1884500 00

Publication Fund of 18831,000 00

18841,000 00

TOTAL$2,542 06

$2,741 48


Paid from General Fund:

for expenses Executive Committee$95 50

Annual Meeting, 188579 30

Postage27 50

Filing and Recording Papers24 99

$227 29

Paid from Publication Fund:

for expenses Committee of Historians464 10

translating and copying651 83

State Printers432 34

Printing paper292 32

Heliotypes37 20

Reading proof on Vol. 7100 00

$1,977 79

Total disbursem*nts$2,205 08

Balance on hand June 7, 1886536 40

$2,741 48

All of which is respectfully submitted.

E. LONGYEAR,Treasurer.



Lansing, Mich., June 8, 1886.

To the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society:

The Committee of Historians would respectfully report that the proceedings of the committee in the past year have been productive of results of great interest. Volume 6 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 to members of the society and other purchasers. It contains 571 pages. The material for Volume 7 was given to the printers immediately after the receipt of Volume 6, 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.

Volume 6 contains the proceedings of the annual meeting of 1883, 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 405 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 covering 76 pages, also most interesting sketches of the early history of Saginaw Valley by Judge Albert Miller, Ephraim S. Williams, and others; these occupy 78 pages. The remaining space is taken up with the reports of counties, memorial reports, the index of names, general index, and index of volumes one to six inclusive.

By the liberal provisions of the law, the seven volumes now published, 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 between six and seven hundred pages, and the price at which they can be purchased 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 application for them. They will be found to be a necessity in every library claiming 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 society, and all others having full sets of “Pioneer Collections,” as it has002816a general index to volumes one to six inclusive. The committee has made, through the kindness of Messrs. Thorp & Godfrey, the State Printers, arrangements 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 government 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 Society 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 matter 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 cannot be over estimated. At a meeting of the joint committees of the Executive 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 Michigan, 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 accomplishing, 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 of002917all authentic documents extant, whether in Canada, Wisconsin, or our own State.

This work has become so important, and is being 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.





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 6, 1885, aged 53 years.

Mrs. Sally Drew, died June 15, 1885, aged 85 years.

Mrs. Catharine A. Town, died June 15, 1885, aged 79 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 years.

Mrs. Almira Proutey, died January 18, 1886, aged 75 years.


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 venerable man, whose residence in our county is coincident with its first settlement 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 mourning3003018friends, who were cognizant for years of the many benevolent deeds of this good man. His pall bearers were selected from his fellow pioneers, who universally regret Mr. Plummer's death.



Mrs. Mary Mack, died June 6, 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.

—Andrew, died August 8, 1885, Pipestone, aged 70 years.

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

Ralph 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 7, 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.

Reuben 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 Babco*ck, 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.


Charles T. Hamlin, died January 17, 1886, Benton Harbor, aged 63 years.

Elias Devoe, died January 30, 1886, Lincoln, aged 63 years.

Jane Van Hoosen, died February 5, 1886, Coloma, aged 81 years.

Philo Sanford, died February 12, 1886, Niles, 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 89 years.

William Garrison, died February 23, 1886, Sodus, aged 75 years.

Newton K. Hyde, died March 10, 1886, Royalton, aged 79 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, Niles, 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 April 2, 1886, Berrien, aged 77 years.

Mary Olives, died April 7, 1886, 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 63 years.

James Barnum, died April 17, 1886, Niles, aged 65 years.

Mrs. Zimmerlee, died April 26, 1886, Lake, aged 78 years.

Nancy Reddick, died April 27, 1886, Niles, aged 83 years.

Thomas C. Bradley, died May 4, 1886, Three Oaks, aged 67 years.

James Hastings, died May 8, 1886, 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, 1886, Royalton, aged 70 years.




The funeral of the late Hon. Roland Root was attended yesterday at his late residence by a large number of family friends, pioneers, members of the G. A. R., and his old Battery comrades. All the members of his own family,003220including his seven grandchildren, were present, except Captain S. A. Johnson, who was detained in Washington, and Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Fielding, who are in California. Rev. W. T. Lowrey officiated, using the beautiful burial service of the Episcopal Church and delivering some very appropriate remarks. The 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 suffering 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 property and report upon its adaptability either for milling purposes or for general 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 hazardous. 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 energetic and was for a long time the leading merchant of Branch county.

After some years he turned his attention to flour milling, and built and003321successfully operated one of the largest mills in the State. This in the end proved disastrous. His mill being totally destroyed by fire, with characteristic energy, he built another on a larger scale. The drain upon his capital consequent upon this, the opening of railroads to the north and south of his location, impairing his source of supplies, and the locking up of his entire flour product one winter, owing to the early freezing of the Erie Canal, financially 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 legislature, 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 responsibility.

At the first call of President Lincoln for troops in 1861, 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 2d lieutenant May 28, 1861, and 1st lieutenant October 6, of the same year. Exposure and hardship brought on rheumatism and other diseases (which finally caused his death) and he reluctantly resigned, November 17, 1862.

He married Harriet Chapin, of Canandaigua, New York, May 9, 1837. Losing his first wife and their only child he married Irene Alden, of Coldwater, January 14, 1841. His wife and eight children survive him.

The above details outline a hard-working, eventful life. It is not necessary to dwell upon or to write an extended analysis of his character. The people of this section of the State, in which he has lived and borne his part in public and in private life, in so many different capacities, for half a century, knew him well. 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 unkindness towards him have been long since forgotten. He harbored none such.

Having made his peace with God, he died with only loving, charitable thoughts towards 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 remember 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.


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.


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 Milwankee 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 be 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 distension with blood which had coagulated; the other organs of the body were all sound. The funeral services were held at the Episcopal church on003523Tuesday afternoon after a short service at the home, Mrs. Upson's aged mother, who was a member of the 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 nephew and his wife 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 present: Judge R. R. Pealer, of Three Rivers; Hon. Witter J. Baxter, of Jonesville; Hon. Cyrus G. Luce, of Gilead; Congressman O'Donnell, of Jackson; and ex-Judge Shipman and ex-Congressman McGowan, of Washington, 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. V. 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. He 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: “What 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 poetic 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 vanishing 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 machinery. 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 worthless. The chronometer in your hand will mark the seconds with almost the sun's exactness, but a broken003624wheel 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 definitions 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 revelation, 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 do 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-fought 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 halls 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.


How much he will be missed from our streets and our social life is beyond my power to tell. Of good citizens no place can have too many; of eminent citizens every place has too few. We need them for their counsel and help. We need them for their example. The young need them for counsel 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 counselor, 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 brotherly 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 your 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 inhabit frail bodies, 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 light 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 house cometh, at even, or at the co*ck crowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

Charles Upson was born at Southington, Conn., March 19, 1821. He received a common school education until his thirteenth year, when he attended 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 Farmington, 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 exceptions, were occupied in assisting his father on his farm. In the spring of 1844 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. Joseph county. In4003826the 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 Coldwater 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 representative 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 amendments 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 was 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 defeated 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 survives 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.



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 a003927young man moved to Geneva, N. Y., and from there to St. Johns in 1855. He was a member of the Congregational Church, and an exemplary man.

Mrs. M. V. Brown died September 8, 1885. Her maiden name was Fannie Hewitt, and she was born in De Witt in 1836, was married in 1853, and moved to St. Johns in 1864. Mrs. Brown was a faithful member of the Methodist Church, a devoted wife, and a highly esteemed member of society.

August 23, 1885, Geo A. Britten, of Essex township, committed suicide by shooting himself. September 6 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 1853, 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 De Witt 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. Plumstead was born in Clinton, Dutchess county, N.Y., in 1808. In 1835 he moved to Detroit; in 1836 to Northville, where he was engaged in the boot and shoe business till 1855, 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 enterprises 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 purchased 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 December 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 year. He came to this county from Monroe county, N. Y.


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 Watertown 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-seven. He was born in Vermont and brought up in New York 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 April 22, 1886. She was born in 1803, moved from Genesee county, N. 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 was one of the charter members 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 Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and of Martin Van Buren, with whom he was personally acquainted. He was an intelligent and honorable citizen.





Martin Valentine, of Marathon, Lapeer county, died in Fredericville, while on a visit to his children, at the residence of his son, Mr. P. Valentine, on Sunday, August 9, 1885, aged seventy-one and a half years. Mr. Valentine was one of Michigan's pioneers. He was a native of New York. He was married to Miss Mary J. Phillips, March 13, 1836, in the town of Sennet, Cayuga county, and with his young wife emigrated to Michigan and purchased a farm in Marathon, during the same year. This constituted his residence till his death. There were but five families within the township when they came. Their oldest son, Dr. A. B. Valentine, of Montmorency county, was the first white child born within the town, which 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 followed that business in connection with farming, until his health failed him in 1861. Since then he has been an invalid. After these many years, wrestling 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 Fredericville. Rev. G. S. Weir officiated at the funeral.



James I. Rogers died in the township of Eaton Rapids, September 26, 1885, aged ninety-three years, ten months, and two days. He was born in the township of Zone, Massachusetts, November 24, 1791. April 11, 1819, he was married to Miss Savina Lowell, reared a family of ten children; seven children are still living. He buried his wife January 24, 1876. Deceased was a pensioner of the war of 1812. He participated in the battle of Fort Erie and witnessed the burning of Buffalo. He came to Michigan in the summer of 1838, and settled in Eaton Rapids, where he resided until his death.


Francis Champlin died in the town of Hamlin, September 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, 1885, 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 1836 or 1837, and settled on section 14, now 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 had 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, 1886, 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. Cushing, 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 reside004331until his death. He was elected clerk and deacon of the Baptist Church at the time of its organization in Charlotte in 1855.

Ira Hitchco*ck died in the township of Carmel, January 11, 1886, aged eighty-one years and six months. He was a resident of the township between thirty and forty years.

James Surene died in Vermontville on the 2d day of October, 1885. He was born in Kent, Putman county, New York, in 1814. In 1837 he was united in marriage to Miss Nancy Hough, who survives him. He moved to Shiawassee county Mich., in 1855, and in 1870 moved to Vermontville, where 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, Erie county New York, July 13, 1815. He came to Michigan when a young man.

Edgar D. Brackett died in the city of Charlotte, January 24, 1886, aged forty-one years. He was born in Eaton county, in which he resided the whole of his lifetime.

Robert Dunn died in Carmel, Eaton county, on the 31st day of May, 1886. 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, 1886, 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 Vermontville in 1836, just half a century ago, and settled on the place where he spent the greater part of his life. He returned to Vermont in 1837, and was married to Miss Abigail Stor Bascom, 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. Mr. Dow was born in Somerset county, New Jersey, in 1804. He moved to Michigan in 1837, and settled in the township of Roxand, being one of the earliest settlers of the township. In 1838 he was elected supervisor, and held the office in that town for thirteen consecutive years, when he moved to Sunfield, and was elected supervisor of that township for thirty years, until old age and declining health compelled004432him to decline farther responsibilities in that field: He removed to Vermontville 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 Vermontville, 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.




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 sufferer 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 positions of president and librarian longer than any other member of the organization.


The remains arrived in Flint Thursday evening, and were 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 followed the hearse to St. Paul's Church, where the funeral services were held. The rector, 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.


John C. Mathewson died at his home in Mundy, June 6, 1886, in the eighty-second year of his age. Mr. Mathewson was born in Smyrna, Chenango county, N. Y., June 1, 1804. At an early age he removed to Franklinville, Cattaraugus county, where, in 1829, he married the youngest daughter of General Joseph McClure of that place. In 1848 he removed with his family to Michigan, settling in Mundy on the farm which has since been his home, and where he died. He may therefore be 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 1856 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 Chesaning. 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 office in the town. He was a consistent member of the Congregational Church for more than fifty years.


Edward H. Thomson was born June 15, 1810, at Kendal, in Westmoreland county, England. While a small child his parents moved to Boston, Mass. He entered White Plains Academy in New York State and remained there four years. In 1830 he began the study of law in the office of Millard Fillmore, who was subsequently elected President of the United States. At twenty-two years of age he opened a law office at Buffalo, but subsequently 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 this State in '37,5004634and 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 United States Land Office here. The firm of Bartow & Thomson was probably at that time the leading firm of lawyers in northern 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 Tuscola 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.

* See appendix

Governor Ransom, recognizing Mr. Thomson's services in passing a bill for the encouragement of immigration to Michigan, appointed him commissioner of immigration, with headquarters in New York City. Subsequently it was deemed wise to send Mr. Thomson to Germany, and his headquarters were changed to Stuttgart, Wurtemberg, Germany. By his energy and eminent social qualities, he made himself a favorite there, as always elsewhere, 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 representatives 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 work 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 found 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.004735He was a ripe Shakespearian scholar, and his magnificent Shakespearian library, which now graces the University of Michigan, is one of the finest private collections ever made in the United States. His private library, pictures, and souvenirs of public men and distinguished women, forms a most complete and delightful collection.

Col. Thomson died at his spacious mansion on Kearsley and East Streets, February 2, 1886. His only daughter, Mrs. A. B. Witherbee, of Washington, D. C., was with him during his sickness until recalled to her home by the illness of her daughter. In addition to this daughter the Colonel leaves one son, Edward H., and a devoted wife.

He was engaged in the preparation of a new lecture on Shakespeare, to be delivered during the winter, when he was first attacked with what has so sadly proved to be a fatal illness.

Entertaining, generous, 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 failed to secure a large fortune as estimated by commercial standards, be held a place second to none in the hearts of his friends, his neighbors and fellow citizens.


Richard H. Hughes died February 11, 1886. Mr. Hughes was deputy state oil inspector, and had been called to Bay City on official business. He was not well when he left home, and was so ill on reaching his destination 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 number of the members of Governor Crapo Post, G. A. R., were also with him in his last hours.

Mr. Hughes was born in Oakland county in this State in 1840, but 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 23d Michigan Infantry, and fought through the war. In 1869 he married a daughter of Mr. R. W. Dullam, who, with four children, survives him. While residing in Mt. Morris he held several township offices, including treasurer and004836supervisor. 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 & Co's mill. He was a member of the Genesee Commandery Knights Templar, also of the A. O. U. W. and several other societies, including Governor Crapo Post, G. A. R., of which he was past commander. lie 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 Court Street M. E. Church, 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.


Orin Hemphill came from Mt. Morris, New York, to Burton, Genesee county, Mich., in 1837, where 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.



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.


I commence my list June 1, 1884 and bring it down to May 31, 1886.

John C. Robertson, Cambria, died June 7, 1884, aged 82 years.

Mrs. Electa Townsend, Litchfield, 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 60 years.

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

James R. Curtis, Hillsdale, died July 6, 1884, aged 53 years.

Mrs. 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, 1884, aged 49 years.

A Warner, Reading, died August 6, 1884, aged 61 years.

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

Mrs. Rhoda Wright, Jonesville, died August 16, 1884, aged 94 years.

Mrs. Maggie McDougal, Litchfield, died August 16, 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 56 years.

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

Horace Osborn, Wheatland, died September 16, 1884, aged 56 years.

Walter B. Parks, Fayette, died September 19, 1884, aged 82 years.

Anson R. Wisner, Jonesville, died October 3, 1884, aged 66 years.

Mrs. William B. Hawkins, Jonesville, died October 5, 1884, aged 58 years.

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

Mrs. Abagail Lockwood, Hillsdale, died October 28, 1884, aged 64 years.

Thomas Warner, 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 16, 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 9, 1885, aged 69 years.

Ephraim Baker, Ransom, died January 6, 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 76 years.

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

Henry Blount, Allen, died January 28, 1885, aged 61 years.


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 years.

James J. Baker, Ransom, 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.

Lewis 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.

Warner Bunday, Litchfield, died April 20, 1885, aged 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 years.


Mrs. Mary A. Gaige, Jonesville, died July 6, 1885, aged 55 years.

Erastus Hagen, Jonesville, died July 8, 1885, aged 75 years.

Mrs. Eunice Mason, Litchfield, died July 28, 1885, aged 79 years.

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

Mrs. Malinda Cozens, Fayette, died August 23, 1885, aged 79 years.

Daniel Huff, Bankers, died August 26, 1885, aged 61 years.

John Washburn, Allen, died August 27, 1885, aged 60 years.

Mrs. Rachael Scott, Moscow, died August 30, 1885, aged 86 years.

Bishop A. Johnson, Jonesville, died September 2, 1885, aged 65 years.

John W. Ferris, Hillsdale, died September 3, 1885, aged 70 years.

Rachael Bolles, Hillsdale, died September 3, 1885, aged 61 years.

Joseph Hanco*ck, Cambria, died September 8, 1885, aged 75 years.

Mrs. Louisa Eddy, Somerset, died September 20, 1885, aged 64 years.

Mrs. Harriet Crossman, Litchfield, died September 20, 1885, aged 67 years.

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

Mrs. Electa B. Chilson, Osseo, died September 29, 1885, aged 86 years.

Mrs. Mary Rea, 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 84 years.

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

James Anderson, Hillsdale, died December 7, 1885, aged 89 years.

Peter Hughes, 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, 1886, aged 82 years.

Mrs. Matilda Nutten, Moscow, died January 4, 1886, aged 52 years.

Frank M. Culver, Scipio, died January 8, 1886, aged 56 years.

Mrs. Charles Ten Eyck, Litchfield, died January 10, 1886, aged 40 years.

Mary A. Courtright, Jonesville, died January 10, 1886, aged 65 years.

Phoebe Arch, Montgomery, died January 19, 1886, aged 79 years.

Mary Copeland, Montgomery, died January 23, 1886, aged 79 years.

Mrs. Cornelia Tiffany, Jonesville, died January 27, 1886, aged 64 years.

Enoch H. Goodrich, Ransom, died February 2, 1886, aged 74 years.

Ransom Bullard, Litchfield, died February 2, 1886, aged 80 years.

Mrs. Benj. Franklin, Moscow, died February 3, 1886, aged 68 years.


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 12, 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 4, 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—two005341years. Of the whole number but six are named who died under fifty years of age, and these are included because, being children of early settlers, 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 age6

Died between 50 and 60 years of age17

Died between 60 and 70 years of age41

Died between 70 and 80 years of age48

Died between 80 and 90 years of age38

Died between 90 and 100 years of age4

The oldest died in his 99th year. Average age of entire number, 71½ years. Aggregate age of entire number, 10,987 years.

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


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 places 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.



The following are statistics, such as I have been able to gather, of pioneer residents of Ingham county who have passed away since our last meeting:—6


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 Lansing 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 years.

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

Mrs. Barbara Blasius, April —, 1886, aged 69 years; she came from Germany 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.


Mrs. Fidelia A. Howell, Lansing, May 21, 1886, aged 38 years; she was born in Howell, Mich.

Mrs. Eliza Moots, May 22, 1886, aged 84 years; she was born in Germany and resided in Lansing 36 years.

Of these twelve were over 70, ten over 75, one over 80 years of age. But four were under 50 years. Six were natives of foreign countries; but two were born in Michigan.



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


Nathaniel Beattie, who had been confined to his house for the past eight years, died on Friday, January 15, 1886. 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 were attended by a large number of our citizens. The deceased was born in Coldenham, Orange county, N. Y., February 29, 1815. He removed to Bloomfield, Oakland county, in this State, in 1829. He was married April 9, 1839, to Catherine Wallace, who survives him, and removed to Ionia county in 1839. He settled in the township of Keene, where he followed the business of farming until 1853, when he removed to Ionia, where he afterward resided. Mr. Beattie 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 being confined to the house, much of the time in bed, and requiring the constant care of a devoted wife and family. He was for many years a member of the M. E. Church. In politics he was a staunch democrat, and his last visit outside his sick room was to vote his parry ticket.


Ionians were shocked Thursday evening, February 4, 1886, by the announcement of the death of Richard Dye. He left his office, where he had engaged all the afternoon in business matters, about five o'clock, and was in good spirits and apparently in excellent health. Going to his home, he went005644out to fill the coal scuttles, and was discovered by J. W. Baldie a few minutes 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 young 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 walked 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 and 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 Washington 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 withdrew 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 characteristics 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 life005745into the other, without a moment's premonition that the slender link that 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 and whitened heads of scores of old citizens and friends of the deceased were conspicuous. The funeral sermon was by Rev. R. S. Groves, pastor of the church of which Mr. Dye was a member, and for many years a trustee. He was assisted in the service by Rev. D. Van Alstin, D. D., pastor of the Baptist Church, and Rev. Job Pierson, D. D., Rev. L. Master and Rev. W. S. Potter were also present. Ionia Commandery No. 11, sixty-five strong, turned out as an escort.

Brief services were held at the house before going to the church, in accordance 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., 12.

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 procession 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.


It was with a feeling of sorrow and regret that the citizens of Ionia learned of the death, May 8, 1886, at his home, of Hon. Erastus H. Stanton. Erastus H. Stanton was born at Durham, Greene county, N. Y., November 13, 1817. His grandfather moved from Connecticut to New York in 1790. The family is of Welch descent. His mother was a daughter of Henry Niles, 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 reading was gratified by access to a circulating library. At the age of sixteen he005846was placed, at his own request, with a mercantile firm at Rensselaerville, 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 Sanford, who survives him. Owing to the ill health of Mrs. Stanton he removed to Illinois, purchasing a farm near Rockton, only a mile from the Wisconsin line. He remained there engaged in farming, banking and mercantile pursuits 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 three or four years, when he gave up the cares of active business life.

In 1838 Gov. Marcy of New York commissioned Mr. Stanton quartermaster 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 New York and Illinois he was several times elected supervisor, 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 was 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 capable and energetic official.

In politics Mr. Stanton was a staunch republican, severing his political ties with the democratic party as early as 1856. In 1879 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 for renomination, but at the urgent solicitation of numerous friends allowed his name to go before the State convention as a candidate for State treasurer. He was too modest and sensitive to make a personal canvass, and even refused 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 who were intimate with005947Mr. Stanton know how much he was hurt at the 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 proffers of their support, failed him in the convention. He was the soul of political honor himself, as he was an exampler of business integrity. He never failed to carry out his own pledges, or held out false hopes to his friends. But he was perhaps of too confiding a nature, and placed too much stress upon talk, judging others by his own high standard of morals. He was often spoken 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 warmer personal following, based on genuine good will and respect for his high qualities of manhood. But he was modest and retiring in his disposition, and lacked the ability, not to say the disposition, 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 implicit 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 be more kindly remembered or deeply regretted. Farewell, friend. May you rest in peace.


Betsey Fuller Comstock, born in Exeter, Otsego county, New York, August 11, 1800, died in Ronald, Ionia county, June 1, 1886. She came to Michigan in 1842. She was mother of twelve children, nine sons and three daughters.



Mrs. Eliza Dixon, Pulaski, died February 17, 1885, aged 80 years.

Ezra Barnes, Parma, died March 8, 1885, aged 76 years.

John Whittaker, Concord, died March 22, 1885, aged —.

Chas. Atwell, Hanover, died April 15, 1885, aged 65 years.

Mrs. Stephen Miles, Hanover, died April 24, 1885, aged 44 years.

Mrs. E. Burt, Concord, died April —, 1885, aged 44 years.

Marshall Fisher, Concord, died April —, 1885, aged 73 years.

Barnabas Fay, Norvell, died May 15, 1885, aged 68 years.


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 61 years.

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

William W. Wolcott, died October 12, 1885.

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

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

Mrs. Rachel 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. Marlan 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 years.

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 years.


William W. Wolcott, one of the pioneers of Michigan, was stricken with paralysis while walking along the streets of Eaton Rapids, Wednesday,006149October 7, and died Monday, October 12, 1885, at 6:30 P. M., aged seventy-eight years and nine days. Mr. Wolcott was born in Austerlitz, Columbia county, N. Y., October 3, 1807. His family long resided at Weathersfield, Connecticut, and the old building is still standing where his great-grandfather used to do business. In 1825 his father moved to Genesee county, and it was on the famous hunting grounds of the Seneca Indians that Mr. Wolcott acquired his love for hunting, that formed the chief pastime of his life. January 29, 1832, he married Miss Elizabeth Baldwin, who was born November 4, 1808, at Dorset, Bennington county, Vermont. She still survives 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 Jackson, 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 Thompson House, which had Indian blankets for windows. Messrs. Blackman, Hamlin, Bailey, Moody, Durand, Russey and Allen were also residents, and constituted the nucleus of the present prosperous city of Jackson. The surveyors 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 Woodworth, 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 steps to Monroe to visit the land office, they ascertained that the land 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 the 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 Kalamazoo, and Mr. Wolcott 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 for $25 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 furnished many of the present orchards in this section, but the project was not a financial success. He returned to New York for his family in the fall of 1835, but came back in the spring of 1837 to build his house and fix up before7006250moving 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 would, if written out, form an interesting 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 wild 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 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 1836, and had been a member of the Baptist church since its organization here.


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. Knickerbocker and Mrs. Morris Knapp.


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 house006351there. He served in the U. S. army from 1826 to 1837. Thus he breasted the storms of pioneer life and lent an earnest and helpful hand to the development of our State. The mourning husband and children have the sympathy of a large circle of friends.


Woodthorp Harrison, so long known as the hotel-keeper at Napoleon, died October 23, 1885, from a cancerous affection of the face. Mr. Harrison came to this state from England and located at Brooklyn, in this county, some time about 1852, and by his own energy acquired a fair competency. He made many friends, and although he had almost reached the three score and ten years, yet his vigorous constitution would have carried him along some years more had he not been attacked by this fatal malady.


John French died at 1 o'clock on the morning of October 26, 1885, at his residence, in the township of Spring Arbor, of paralysis, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. The funeral took place at the church in Spring Arbor, Tuesday morning at 10:30. Deceased was a pioneer of Jackson county, coming to Spring Arbor from Ontario county, N. Y., more than fifty years ago, where he took up a farm from the government and has lived in the same place for half a century. He leaves a wife and five children, namely Moses J. French, Elizabeth, wife of John Denton, of this city, Maria, wife of John Cogswell of Spring Arbor, Martha French and Joseph A. French, of Spring Arbor.


Elizabeth Waterstreet, wife of Christopher Waterstreet, died 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 Green, of Napoleon, died Monday, November 16, 1885, at his residence, aged ninety-six years. He was one of Jackson county's pioneers, coming here from Oneida county, N. Y., in 1836, and settling in the township of Napoleon, where he resided for almost half a century.


John Putman, of Leoni, died at 2:30 P. M., November 30, 1885, of paralysis of the brain, at the age of eighty-one years and four months. He leaves a006452wife, three sons and a daughter, Mrs. J. W. Solomon, of this city. He had resided in the township forty-five years and came there from Rochester, N. Y.


Jeremiah Marvin died at his residence on Lansing avenue, Dec. 22, 1885, at 7 o'clock, P. M., in the eighty-first year of his age. He came to Jackson at a very early day, from Stafford, Genesee county, 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 wife and one child.


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 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.


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 competitor, 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.006553It was destroyed by fire in 1869, but the block was shortly after rebuilt 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. Gen. Jackson was a firm friend to many struggling young men and helped them to various positions 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, 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 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, 1886, and his remains were taken to Jackson for burial. Mr. Ferris was born in Bennington, 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 lived 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.


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 president 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.




Martin Turner, died June 19, 1885, 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.


To the Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan:

The delegates from The Old Residents' Association of the Grand River Valley respectfully report that Robert Hilton, the President of that Association, 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.



Robert Hilton, our late President, was born in New Hampshire, 1799; his youth on a farm was one of labor and limited school privileges. He was early apprenticed to learn the carpenter trade, and in that day apprenticeship meant hard work, strict discipline and careful instruction.

He pursued this vocation when duly admitted, in Boston, then in Utica, then in Detroit. In the latter city he, in partnership with H. H. LeRoy, took a high position in the trade. In 1836 he came with his family to the little settlement of Grand Rapids, in which place, subsequently a village, and then the present city, and its vicinity he has ever resided. He purchased a tract of land in the now town of Walker and commenced improvements thereon, and the “Hilton Farm,” under his energetic management, soon became a noted point on the “Lower River.” In 1848 he sold out anal returned to Grand Rapids, where, as well as at Grand Haven, he had meanwhile superintended the erection of many buildings, then regarded as of much importance.

For several years he continued engaged in his trade principally, and St. Mary's Church (west side), a purely Gothic structure, is a durable monument of his skill. Vigorous in body and mind, he soon became quite prominent in social positions; in the religious circle, as a New Churchman 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 offices 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 feat or favor of anyone, fulfilled conscientiously 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 associates to him as well as their judgments.

He repeatedly asked to be excused from the cares of the presidency of this body, filled by him many years, as he was bent down more and more under the inevitable burden of age; but this organization really seemed incomplete without that staunch-made, thorough-rigged, live-oak old man in the chair, and he was annually re-elected.


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.




Jane Knight, Blissfield, aged 67 years.

Margaret Holliway, Adrian, aged 60 years.

Clinton Kelly, Macon, aged 56 years.

Jane Sheeler, Cambridge, aged 75 years.


Edward Landon, Tec*mseh, 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, Tec*mseh, aged 65 years.

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

Joshua Kuder, Clinton, aged 74 years.

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


Mrs. Eliza Phillips, Fairfield, aged 74 years.

Mrs. T. T. Kneeland, Tec*mseh, aged 73 years.

Ephraim Willard, Adrain, aged 74 years.

Mrs. Hannah Prettiplace, Madison, aged 92 years.

Mrs. Wm. Britton, Macon, aged 77 years.


Mrs. Phoebe Austin, Addison, aged 75 years.

Mrs. Lydia L. Seelye, Medina, aged 77 years.

Mrs. Alva Holt, Morenci, aged 69 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 Van Fleet, Hudson, aged 86 years.

Reuben I. Bird, Clayton, aged 74 years.


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.


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. Nichols, Tec*mseh, aged 87 years.

Mrs. Elizabeth Quackenbos, Tec*mseh, aged 70 years.

Mrs. Augustus Montgomery, Ridgeway, aged 76 years.

Mrs. Maria P. Lebaron, Tec*mseh, aged 78 years.

Uri Decker, Rome, aged 80 years.

Wm. Word, Rome, aged 80 years.

Edward D. Pearson, Hudson, aged 66 years.8


Isaac D. Miller, Ridgeway, aged 85 years.

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, Rollin, aged 76 years.

Mrs. John Brooks, Rome, aged 51 years.

Mrs. Almira Morse, Tec*mseh, 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, Tec*mseh, aged 81 years.

Amelia Brownell, Rollin, aged 76 years.

Clark Hall, Raisin, aged 77 years.


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 80 years.

Eveline Wilson, Madison, aged 85 years.

Orrin Hisco*ck, Raisin, aged 84 years.

Mr. Hardy, Franklin, aged 80 years.

Shubel Mosher, Tec*mseh, 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.


Mary Lobraige, Tec*mseh, aged 83 years.


Caroline L. Tindall, Tec*mseh, aged 71 years.

Mr. Deane, Adrian, aged 80 years.

Geo. H. Kedzie, Deerfield, aged 66 years.

Catharine Soper, Dover, aged 75 years.

John Kessler, Clayton, aged 64 years.


Mrs. David Coryell, Ridgeway, aged 70 years.

Geo. P. Wood, Blissfield, aged 70 years.

Noah K. Green, Medina, aged 82 years.

Mary Lapham, Rome, aged 96 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 Lenawee county during the 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 who died between eighty and ninety years of age; four over ninety.



Mrs. Mehitable E. Everitt, wife of Philo M. Everitt, was born at Concord, N. H., December 8, 1818, and died at Marquette, December 1, 1883. She came to Michigan in November, 1840, and settled at Jackson, where she lived ten years. She resided at Marquette from 1850 to the time of her death.




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

Names.Place of Birth.Year of Settlement.Town.Date of Death.Age.Alger, Josiah H.Bloomfield, Ont. Co., N. Y.1823TroyDec. 17, 188575Butler, HarveyCovington, N. Y.1844OrionDec. 17, 188557Buckner, S. D.Warren Co., N. Y.1836OrionDec. 17, 188566Bartlett, Dr. RichardGlastonbury, England1839IndependenceMay 28, 188562Cobb, M. G.Manlius, Onon. Co., N. Y.1833IndependenceJuly 19, 188573Crawford, JohnDonegal, Ireland1839MilfordNov., 188578Downey, AlexanderCounty Down, Ireland1836GrovelandNov. 3, 188585Draper, Albert F.Marlborough, Mass1833PontiacApril 3, 188668Deveraux, S. M.Rensselaer Co., N. Y.1847PontiacJune 19, 188583Green, RuthNewark, N. J.1834NoviSept., 188587Green, PollySpringwater, Liv. Co., N. Y.1824FarmingtonFeb. 27, 188683Hardenborg, Helen1822PontiacJune 3, 188669Howard, Horatio N.Pittsfield, Berks. Co., Mass.1828PontiacMay 3, 188680Horton, Henry W.Oswego (May 31, 1797). N. Y.1830GrovelandApril 3, 188688Hunter, James G.Montgomery, Or., Co., N. Y.1837BloomfieldOct., 188575Knight, Mrs. PotterBennington, Vt.1836FarmingtonMar. 3, 188667Lapham, NortonPalmyra, N. Y.1825FarmingtonJan. 1, 188679McKnight, DavidHebron, N. Y.1833OxfordNov. 26, 188576McKinley, John G.New York City1836CommerceApril, 188651Morehouse, MatthewCanada1837HollyNov., 188572Sprague, James M.Seneca Co., N. Y.1831South LyonJuly 6, 188566Stuart, Orlando G.Sherman, Fairfield Co., Con.1834AvonMay 21, 188668Toms, Martin M.East Bloomfield, N. Y.1826TroyOct., 188576Toms, IraGreat Barrington, Mass.1825TroyMay 7, 188692Tyler, NoahChili, N. Y.1845OrionJune 19, 188561Wilcox, Lyman G.Rome, N. Y.1824AvonJuly 31, 188582Armstrong, Theodore C.Tyne Seneca Co., N. Y.1836West BloomfieldSept. 7, 188566Barnum, WilliamUtica (Nov. 20, 1807) N. Y.1836Wayne Co.Nov. 18, 188578Burch, ElectaPomfret, (Feb. 11, 1803) Vt.1832CommerceApril 13, 188683Benedict, Delia E.Albany (1803), N. Y.1851DetroitNov. 14, 188582Cox, Mrs. HarrietOrwell, Vt.1840SouthfieldsJan. 23, 188696Clark, Mrs. EsterMaine1830TroyFeb., 188678Everts, Mrs. MilesBroome Co., N. Y.1826BloomfieldOct. 23, 188581Fosdick, Mrs. AlvinKingsborough, Mon. C., N. Y.1842BloomfieldDec. 31, 188575007361Fosdick, William B.Clinton, duch*ess Co., N.Y.1833OaklandApril 17, 188678Fuller, BenjaminOrwell, Vt.1825SouthfieldsJune, 188580Frink, Mrs. SusanCohoctah, Steuben Co., N. Y.1835TroyAug. 6, 188573Ganong, Rebecca ColeSussex Co., N. J.1835WaterfordMar. 11, 188681Lockwood, John O.Albany, N. Y.1843HighlandAug. 14, 188570Leland, DanielEngland1840WaterfordApril 5, 188682Olmstead, HarleyPillstown, Ren. Co., N.Y.1830White LakeOct. 1, 188582Phipps, Chester M.Rochester, Oakl. Co., Mich.Nov. 27, 188553Merryweather, HoratioYorkshire, England1853SpringfieldSept. 9, 188585Ripley, WhitmanHoosac Falls, N. Y., 18021836Lenawee CoSept. 21, 188583Rice, Benjamin A.Grotton, Allegheny Co., N. Y.1848PontiacNov. 14, 188561Selby, Warren B.18191849FarmingtonNov. 12, 188566Sandbrook, WilliamEngland, April 30, 1807 (killed by R. R. train)1835BloomfieldNov. 17, 188578Sandbrook, Mary AnnEngland, Oct. 26, 18141835BloomfieldNov. 17, 188571Sinclair, Laura H.Vermont, Sept. 16, 18041847LyonJan. 7, 188681Shea, Mrs. Rebecca1799PontiacNov. 22, 188586Whitsell, George B.Warren Co., N.J., Feb. 2, 18051853OrionDec. 21, 188580

I have been enabled to collect the data and report the names of 51 pioneers whose deaths have occurred during the past year in the county. Aggregate number of years, 3,778. Average age, 74 1–13. Oldest, Mrs. Harriet Cox, 96. Next oldest, Ira Toms, 92.


Lyman G. Wilcox was born in Rome, N. Y., 1802, came to Michigan in 1823, returned to New York the same year, and in 1824 returned to Michigan and settled in Rochester, Oakland county. Died July 31, 1885. He 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 19, 1821. Came to Michigan in 1841. Settled in Orion on a farm. Moved to Pontiac in 1868. Was elected secretary of the Oakland County Agricultural Society for fourteen consecutive years. He was an efficient, capable, faithful officer. He died June 19, 1885.

Mrs. Polly Green, widow of Wardell Green, was born in Springwater, Livingston county, N. Y., September 26, 1802. Married in 1820. Settled in Farmington in 1824. Was the second white woman who settled in the township.


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. Removed 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 Mime Crawford, daughter of David Crawford, 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 ½ of the s w ¼, 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 away one after another the very early pioneers of the State.

Henry Wisher Horton, born in Oswego, N. Y., May 31, 1797. Married Ada Jennings, in Pennfield, N. J., January 31, 1819, who 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 stockholders of the Oakland Chronicle; was 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 Pittstown, Rensselaer county, N. Y. He made the first entry of government land in White Lake township, building its first house in 1832. He died October 1, 1885.

Horatio Merryweather was born in Yorkshire, England, August 20, 1800. Came to the United States in 1851, was 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, a well known and much respected physician of northern Oakland, died at his home in the village of Springfield, Friday night, May 28, 1885, of consumption, aged sixty-two years.


The deceased was born in Glastonbury, Somersetshire, England, in 1824. He came to America with his parents in 1829, living in Onondaga and Cayuga counties, N. Y., until 1839, when he came to Michigan, and this county, with the family, settling in the township of Independence, on new land north of Clarkston village. Here the deceased spent his boyhood and 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 College at Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. W. G. Elliott, of this City, belonged to the same class. From this college he received his diploma and began practice in Springfield, Clarkston, and vicinity, where he practised until prostrated by disease. For almost a quarter of a century he had been postmaster, and had been town clerk several terms.

The following ante mortem poem was written by Dr. Bartlett in 1846, and published in the Gazette, to which he was a frequent contributor. While the sentiment as applied to mankind is of universal application, 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 passed to his long home amid the tears and caresses of those he loved most.


“What 'vails it where we barter life.”

“O that I may die with my friends,”Is often expressed with a sigh;But when grim death with his message attends,It will matter not where we die.The place where we barter our lifeTo pay the great debt which we owe,Tho' it even would be in battle's strifeWhere 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 eyeWhen my life shall be drawn near a close,For I'd cheerfully live and as cheerfully dieAs the weary would seek for repose.

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 bedTo shed the deceitful tearWith a cold unfeeling heart.I would rather the stranger alone should be nearWhen this spirit from earth shall depart.


Aye, little, I ween 'twill availWhere 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.




Charles A. Lull, one of the oldest pioneers of the county, died at his residence 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 Roxy Whitney, of Nelson, Madison county, N. Y., who died in January, 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 him. 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 here007765was entertained under the hospitable roof of the late Judge Jewett, at Green Point. There were no roads from here to Flint at that time, nothing but Indian trails. Mrs. Lull made the first cheese and first woolen cloth ever made in this county. After Mr. Lull removed to Bridgeport he built a saw mill, which he operated for a short time, and in 1863 he sunk a salt well. He built the Center House at Bridgeport, which he kept for many years. Mr. Lull was an honest, upright, square dealing, highly respected citizen. In politics he was a republican, and during the war was a member of the Union League.


Wednesday evening, August 26, 1885, about 8 o'clock, George A. Flanders, a well-known lawyer of East Saginaw, died at the house of his father-in-law, Francis Krause, of 107 North Third street. He had been confined to his bed for thirteen weeks by an illness of a complicated nature. Mr. Flanders was born in New Hampshire in 1833, but moved to Michigan when but a boy. Later on he graduated from the Michigan University. When 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 offices, being elected justice of the peace in 1868, which he held until 1871, and prosecuting attorney in 1876, for one term. He was also at one time city attorney. Col. Flanders was a lawyer of marked ability, a genial gentleman 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 whose residence on 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 watcher by the bedside of Col. 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 keep up an incessant pressure 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 weary 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 purity of his language. To any one who listened to him, if even for but a moment, it9007866was evident that he 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 ever listened to. With the garrulousness of a sick man, he told many things which he perhaps under other circ*mstances 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, with 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 family 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 university.

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 to007967gather, acting upon the advice of his brother, he concluded that it would be best to wait until the storm should blow over before proceeding south. In order that the time spent in waiting for the political horizon to clear should not be lost, he entered a law office, and for a year and upwards engaged in the study of mercantile law. This slight incident was the one which determined the profession which tie should follow through life. After a little the storm which had so long been brewing culminated, and before the people of either the north or south realized, the war had actually begun. Almost with the first gun, the Colonel entered the army and soon rose to the rank of captain. After some little service in Virginia, he was ordered with the rest of the regiment to the Gulf, with the expedition under Farragut. His brother, who had been so long a resident of New Orleans, for a long time refused to aid the confederates, although offered high rank in their service. At last, however, as the conflict became more bitter, he consented to set as chief inspecting engineer of the confederate flotilla in and around New Orleans and as such had under his charge the engineers 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 Ponchartrain. A transport was soon found, but the engineer had deserted, and none was to be found. At this juncture Chief inspector 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 landed at the fort a detachment in blue, among whom, in the uniform of captain, 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 fighting to preserve the union.”

“Well, never mind.” said his brother, as with tears rolling down their cheeks they clasped their hands, “we will not talk about that now, let us talk of home.”

And so, in the captured city, these two brothers, and yet enemies, the one008068victor, and the other vanquished, sat them down in the shadow of the Louisiana palms. and talked of the brown farmhouse, nestling amid the granite hills of old New Hampshire, around whose hearthstone they 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 arms 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 was 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, refused to sign his commission.

Learning of this he wrote the governor a caustic letter, resigned his commission, 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 commission as Colonel, signed but two days before, which had been sent her from Concord. He applied to the War Department to be assigned to duty in the army of 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.


Much more he told me that I cannot now relate. And now he is dead; at last he has solved the great conundrum of the ages: “After death, what?” A man of genial presence and a kind heart; a brave soldier, who served his country well; an honest man, he has run his race and has now fallen asleep. May he rest in peace.


Yesterday, September 24, 1885, another of the pioneers of Saginaw City was called to join the majority. Charles C. Miller died at his home on Bates street about 10:30 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 Jefferson and Mason streets. He took a heavy cold that day, which settled on his lungs, and which confined him to his house, though not to his bed. Yesterday 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 years 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 he 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 off. The loss of his mill by fire and the general depression in general business bore heavily on him financially. For the past few years he has been carrying on building on a smaller scale. Politically, Mr. Miller was formerly a republican, but for many years past has identified himself with the green-back party. He was its candidate for sheriff in 1876. He was under sheriff during Henry Miller's last term as sheriff. He was at one time city treasurer. He leaves a family of a wife and seven children—five daughters and two sons. Three of his daughters are married. They are Mrs. George Spindler, Mrs. Fred King and Mrs. J. S. Furgeson.


The older citizens of Saginaw county, as well as many of the younger generation, were shocked on hearing of the death of Dr. M. C. T. Plessner, the venerable German pioneer and widely respected citizen. For years008270deceased 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 minutes 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 United States 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 county, and had taken the thirty-third degree. hew as 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.


Two pioneers of this county were buried from the M. E. Church at Freeland 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, 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. He008371came to Saginaw in the fall of 1843. Two years later he returned to Ohio, returning here in 1847. In that year he was married to Mary E. Sitterding, the daughter of a German resident and a prominent mover in the affairs of Saginaw in its early days. he leaves a wife, one daughter and a son, Stewart Kennedy, the deputy controller, to mourn his demise. in the summers of 1847 and '48 mr. Kennedy sailed the schooner Julia Smith, and was well known upon the lakes as a vessel captain. The Smith sailed upon the lakes, making all the shore points, and going as far as Buffalo. As captain, 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 '60's he held positions under the city government of more or less importance. he served as marshal from 1862 to 1864, 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 deputy sheriff and as constable for many more. During recent years a cancer gathered upon his neck, which steadily and surely shortened his days.


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 made serious inroads of late upon a once strong constitution. The sad news came unexpected, however, as Mr. Roeser had been confined to his bed only about two weeks, and while his condition was worse at times than at others, none thought the end would come so soon.

Judge Roeser was born in Halle, Prussia, November 18, 1823, and was therefore 62 years of age on the day of his death. he graduated from the 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 emigrated to America from Saxon Russia, and arrived in Saginaw in June of the same year, settling on a farm on the Tittabawasee river in the vicinity of Freeland, where he followed 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 appointed deputy register of deeds, which position he held for two years. In 1863 he was elected justice008472of the peace in Saginaw City, and appointed superintendent of the county poor, and in 1864 he was elected to the office of judge of probate, which he continued to hold until a year before his death.

Judge Roeser was a charter member of Germania Lodge, No. 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. 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 was 67 years old, was a good citizen, retired and unostentatious in temperament, and in all the relations of life above reproach.


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 wholesale 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 $100,000, having an extent covering008573the entire northern portion of the State. While his business integrity was above reproach, personally Albert M. Root was a most companionable gentleman, always easy and courteous in his demeanor. He represented the second ward in the common council, and performed the duties of the office with conscientious fidelity, his term expiring last spring, 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 his private life was as quiet and unostentatious as it was spotless. Few citizens in this city had so Wide a circle of warm personal friends, and his death was the source of profound regret. Mr. Root was 48 years old on June 17 last, and was a Master Mason. He leaves a wife and one daughter, Mrs. John Greenway, of Syracuse, N. Y. In his death, which occurred June 22, 1886, the city loses a public spirited, enterprising and generous business man, and his family a model husband and affectionate father.


George Schmidt, a resident of Saginaw City for many years, died at his residence on Webster street, between Jefferson and Madison, Feb. 2, 1886. After months of patient suffering and lying at death's door for hours at a time, he at lasso 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-Maim Germany. He attended the schools in that city up to October, 1840. In May, 1841, he went into the employ of a firm in Regensburg as salesman, in which occupation he continued until May, 1844. He then moved 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 commenced farming near Vassar, Tuscola county. In 1853 he removed to Frankenmuth, where on January 3, 1854, he was married in the German Lutheran Church to Margaretha B. Banker [Banker]. The result of their union was nine children, of whom six are living. In 1858 he removed to this city. He had served as township supervisor for seven years. Soon after removing here he was elected to the office of register of deeds, which he held for two years. At the expiration of his term of office he went back to farming. In 1861 he was elected as county clerk, which office he held for four years. About this time his health commenced failing and gradually grew worse. 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 Germany twice, seeking the restoration of his declining health. He was affected with a complication of diseases, which ultimately were the cause of his death.10



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, De. 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-commissioned officer in the Prussian army. In 1848, when not connected 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 republic 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 Italy, 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 frequently told to many of his friends, and are of a very interesting nature. 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 purchased 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 differences 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. He008775was a member of the Germania society and was buried under its auspices on Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock, The Rev. Conrad Volz officiating. He leaves a wife and four children, two boys and two girls, all gown up, and departs this life at the age of seventy-four, respected and universally liked by all who knew him.



O. W. Wilcox, Centreville, died July 2, 1885, aged 81 years.

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

John Huntington, Leonidas, died July 22, 1885.

Elizabeth McElrath, Mendon, died June 19, 1885, aged 84 years.

Jane Ann Proudfit, Constantine, died August 26, 1885, aged 74 Years.

John Bower, Mendon, 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, Mendon, 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 29, 1885, aged 85 years.

Samuel Bear, White Pigeon, died January 2, 1886, aged 64 years.

Mrs. Chambers, Florence, died January 3, 1886, aged 83 years.

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

Julia A. Doud, Mottville, died January 9, 1886, aged 77 years.

Benjamin Perrin, Parkville, died April 5, 1886, aged 74 years.

John Anderson, Centreville, died April 22, 1886, aged 86 years.

Henry H. Brown, Mendon, died March, 1886.

Captain Frederick Sweetland, Sturgis, died September, 1885.

Mrs. Joseph Code, Sturgis, died February 23, 1886.

Samuel C. Murdoch, Sturgis, died March 3, 1886.

Catherine Briggs, Sturgis.

Mrs. Henry Snook, Colon, died June 17, 1885, aged 56 years.

John Liddle, Colon, died November 11, 1885, aged 83 years.

Mrs. Dr. I. Sides, Colon, died June 27, 1885, aged 67 years.

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

Elisha Hill, Colon, died November 22, 1885, aged 83 years.


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.

Mrs. Henry Grabber, colon, died April 2, 1886, aged 66 years.

Isaac Eberhart, Colon, died April 28, 1886, aged 73 years.

David Shimmel, Centreville, died May 23, 1886, aged 66 years.

Miss Ewings, Constantine, died May 18, 1886, aged 85 years.

Mary A. Shepard, Constantine, 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 Casem*nt, 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 years.

Mrs. C. Rosenhoeser, White Pigeon, died September 23, 1885, aged 49 years.

Mrs. Thomas Catton, White Pigeon, died October 1, 1885.

George Biesel, junior, White Pigeon, died December 29, 1885, aged 42 years.

Mrs. Nettie Clapp Van Fleet, White Pigeon, died March 28, 1886, aged 37 years.

Joseph Theurit, White Pigeon, died April 9, 1886, 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.


Mrs. Nancy Kelley, Burr Oak, died March 18, 1886, aged 90 years.

Mrs. Harriett Young, Three Rivers, died November, 1885, aged 68 years.

Lewis Thomas, Three Rivers, died November, 1885, aged 79 years.

Mrs. Benjamin King, Three Rivers, died March, 1886, aged 75 years.

James Crawford, Lockport, died December, 1885, aged 65 years.

D. S. Hale, Flowerfield.

Francis S. Brown, Sturgis, died October 17, 1885, aged 61 years.

Elisabeth Hibbard, Sturgis, died October 13, 1885, aged 66 years.

Anna Jacobs, Sturgis, died November 23, 1885, aged 70 years.

Bracy Toby, Sturgis, died April 24, 1886, aged 85 years.

Jehial Palmer, Sturgis, died February 19, 1886, aged 57 years.

Malachi Roat, Sturgis, died April 24, 1886, aged 52 years.

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

Mrs. James Adams, Centreville, died November 21, 1885, aged 66 years.

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

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

Hugh Morton, Three Rivers, aged 64 years.

John Hamilton, Mendon, 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.

Barbey Ansook, Colon, died June 2, 1886, aged 56 years.

Mrs. William Scherhorm, Nottawa, died June 8, 1886, aged 70 years.

Jonathan Hoats, Park, died April 17, 1886, aged 81 years.

John Hoats, Park, died June 7, 1886, aged 79 years.

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

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



(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, 1886.

Ira Tappon, died about March 5, 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 56 to 82 years.




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, which 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, when 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 apparently recovered his health, his intimate friends could see that he never recovered his full mental vigor. For the last few years of his life he was continually failing, both mentally and physically, and for some months past tie has required 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,009179social and hospitable Tom has left us. Let us hope he has found a better 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. H. S. Allen died in Lawrence, December 9, 1885. She was born in New York State in 1812, and came to Michigan in 1846. She was the mother of three sons, all of whom survive her.


Mrs. H. C. Wells died in Lawrence, January 24, 1886. She was born in New York State, September 25, 1811, and came to Michigan in 1853. She was the mother of ten children.


The following is the prelude to Pastor Fish's sermon at the funeral of Mrs. Saxton and Mrs. Butler, at the First Baptist Church. on the words found in I Corinthians, xv., 56, 57, 58. Mrs. Margaret Saxton was born in 1807 in the town of Hector, Tompkins county, New York. She was converted in her youth and lived her religion all the remainder of her life. She died February 6, 1886. aged 79 years. She came west with her family about the year 1839, and settled in the town of Sandstone. Jackson county, Michigan. After about four years the family removed to Reading, 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 used it to the best advantage. Seeing things as they exist at a mere glance, her quick 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 impetuosity. 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, and made the same changes 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 Godly conversation. These two mothers in Israel had many virtues and traits of character 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 attachments. so strong that we may well suppose that if009280their 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 assurance 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 carne 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 heaven. Tell them of our triumphs and victories, a.nd how we won them.”


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 shortly thereafter removing to what 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 the next year, was married to Melissa Johnston, who passed from earth in 1882. Mr. Jones was a hard-working man, and by prudence, careful management and honest dealing had accumulated a competency, which will be inherited by his two daughters, Mrs. Celia Eastman and Mrs. Lovisa Tweed.


Orrin Sisson, who died Sunday morning, April 11, 1886, was born June 1, 1809, in the town of Greenfield, Saratoga county, New York. He009381had been a resident of this State forty-two years, of Van Buren county forty years and of the township of Hartford seven years. A number of times he served his township in the capacity of supervisor and justice of the peace, and at an early day he took an active interest in the agricultural affairs of his county. He was a man of great industry and thrift, but was called to suffer heavily from fire a number of times, at one time losing over $6,000 in a single conflagration. Mr. Sisson was twice married, the first time to Roxanna Neygus and the second time, in 1869, to Mrs. Alvira Van Ingen, who survives him. Tuesday morning following his death, in the presence of a large company of the older citizens and pioneers of the township, his 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 Paw Paw, fell into the procession and assisted in laying his remains gently to rest in the old yard north and east of the village of Paw Paw.


Lyman M. Witter died in Lawrence, April 30. 1886. He was born in New York State in 1820, and came to Michigan in 1842. He was a thrifty farmer and a worthy citizen much respected.


Passed to the higher life, May 15, 1886, Mrs. Fannie R. Taylor, aged 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 parents, removed 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 1836 she emigrated with her family to Allegan, Michigan. In the year following they settled on Grand River, in Ottawa county, then a wilderness, principally inhabited 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 Benjamin Randall of Des Moines. Iowa, Maynard Randall of New Tacoma. Washington Ter., Mrs. Sabra Auton 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 spiritual11009482philosophy, 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 afficted.


Joseph Packard died in Hamilton township, Van Buren county, May 31, 1886. He was born in New York State in 1812, and came to Michigan in 1836.



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

Mrs. Lucretia Knickerbocker died June 12, 1885, aged 76 years; 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 years.

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

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

James McMahon, died July 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 Ypisilanti 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 Ypsilanti city 49 years.

Edwin A. Platt, died August 21, 1885, aged 85 years; a resident of Pittsfield 52 years.

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

James Hucks, died September 22, 1885, aged 61 years: a resident of Lodi 55 years.


Mrs. Harriet Crane, died September 20, 1885, aged 53 years; a resident of Saline 53 years.

Hiram McCartney, died September 27, 1885, aged 83 years; a resident of Augusta 47 years.

James O. Thompson, died October 5, 1885, aged 92 years; a resident of Superior town 53 years.

John Switzer, died October 15, 1885, aged 83 years; an old resident of Saline.

Mrs. Hannah Wiard, died November 12, 1885, 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 60 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 76 years; a resident of Dexter 46 years.

Mrs. Maria Temper, died December 9, 1885, aged 83 years: a resident of Scio 53 years.

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

William Densmore, died December 22, 1885, aged 70 years; a resident of Ypsilanti town 60 years.

James B. Arms, died December 17, 1885, aged 85 years; a resident of Webster 51 years.

Miss Martha E. Wellman, died December 9, 1885, aged 69 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 December 31, 1885, aged 69 years; a resident of this county 52 years.

Mrs. Abigail Ewers, died January 5, 1886, aged 90 years, a resident of Augusta 50 years.

Samuel M. Vought, died January 3, 1886, aged 68 years; a resident of Superior and Ypsilanti 51 years.

John Mcintyre, died January 6, 1886, aged 96 years; a resident of Northfield 55 years.


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 of this county.

Mrs. Patty Kenney, 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 years; 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.


Mrs. W. H. Dell, died April 16, 1886, aged 73 years; a resident of Saline 41 years.

Allen Crittenden, died May 10, 1886, aged 76 years; a resident of Pittsfield 55 years.

Mrs. Elizabeth Nichols, died May 10, 1886, aged 69 years; settled in Pontiac in 1822, and had resided in Ann Arbor the past 25 years.

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

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

The average ages of the deceased are as follows:

Over 100 years of age1

Between 95 and 100 years of age1

Between 90 and 95 years of age3

Between 85 and 90 years of age7

Between 80 and 85 years of age11

Between 75 and 80 years of age11

Between 70 and 75 years of age7

Between 65 and 70 years of age11

Between 60 and 65 years of age4

Between 55 and 60 years of age1

Between 50 and 55 years of age1

Average age, 76 1–8 years. Whole number58

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 Washtenaw 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 district 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 or more terms, supervisor several years, circuit court commissioner and other offices in the county, and almost all the time was called to fill some important office in the county.

Alien Crittenden, died May 10, 1886, aged 76 years, resident in Pittsfield 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 Presbyterian Church at the time of his death.





Chauncy Hurlbut 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 when 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 Woodward 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 commissioner, 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 was 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.



Hon. George C. Bates, a Detroit pioneer, and in many respects one of the most prominent men originating here, died Thursday night, Feb. 11, 1886, 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 preserved. He was all his life a successful practicing lawyer, and did a large legal business in Denver. He died however in comparatively poor circ*mstances.

George C. Bates was born in Canandaigua, N. Y., in 1812. He worked on a farm and attended common schools until his twelfth year. He prepared for college in the Canandaigua Academy. He graduated from Hobart College, Geneva, N. Y., August 5, 1831. He studied law in the office of John C. Spencer in New York for some time. He arrived in Detroit May 13, 1833, and that fall entered the office of Cole & Porter. May 5, 1834, he passed an all day examination and was admitted to the bar. One of the 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 years following his retirement he was largely engaged in defending suits brought by the government. He was the Whig candidate for congress in this district in 1848 but was defeated. In 1849 he was again named district attorney. He held this place until 1852 when he resigned. In this year he stumped California for Scott. In the campaign of 1856 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 1861 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 position, 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 Leadville excitement he removed there and thence went to Denver, where he died. He was a brilliant public speaker and a fine and ready writer. Mr. Bales was representative from Michigan to the whig National Convention held at Harrisburg in 1839, at which Harrison and Tyler were nominated, and was the oldest surviving 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 Bates, died here about two years ago.



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 24, 1886. Mr. Walker 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 office of Farnsworth & Bates as a student. In due time he was admitted to practice, 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 reorganized 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 that position collected many valuable manuscripts which are now in possession of the public library. In 1844 Mr. Walker 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 retirement 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 seaboard 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.

Relative 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 experience 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 his010189friends he became the very incarnation of activity and energy. And as he had many friends—as many probably, as were ever vouchsafed to any man—his life up to the time of his retirement from business was a life of ceaseless activity. As a journalist Mr. Walker was earnest, fluent and forcible. He never jumped rashly to conclusions; but when he had traced with the keen eye of the trained lawyer the exact ground to be covered he covered it without any circumlocution or evasion. He strengthened materially during his connection with the Free Press the ties that bound it to the democratic 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, with his own confidence, his own faith and hopes. An ardent believer in the future of Michigan he impressed that belief upon others and greatly aided thereby in building up 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, Mr. Walker steadily maintained 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 atmosphere of a happy home, to whose happiness 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 Europe; had known life in its most alluring aspects, and had earned by zeal, directed 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.12

010290Number.Names.Place of Birth.Date of Birth.Place and Date of First Residence in Michigan.Present Residence.Town or Village.State.Town.County.Date.P. O. Address.County.634Thomas M. WilsonShelburn, Franklin CoMassJan. 6, 1821New BaltimoreMacombJuly, 1855LansingIngham.635Edward W. PeckWest BloomfieldNew YorkMar. 19, 1807TroyOaklandOct. 1, 1851PontiacOakland.636Dr. Henry H. HurdUnion CityMichiganMay 3, 1843Union CityMichiganMay 3, 1843PontiacOakland.637John S. HustonGenevaNew YorkOct. 19, 1823Ann ArborWashtenawAug., 1830WilliamstonIngham.638Alonzo H. OwensSteubenNew YorkDec. 5, 1823Grand BlancGeneseeAug., 1835VeniceShiawassee.639George M. DeweyCanandiaguaNew YorkJan. 1, 1817DetroitWayne1837FlintGenesee.640Ellen C. DeweyBataviaNew YorkJuly 8, 1828FlintGenesee1842FlintGenesee.641Mrs. Clarissa Van EveryEatonNew YorkMar. 15, 1815BruceMacombJune 9, 1832JacksonJackson.642Enos GoodrichSemproniusNew YorkAug. 11, 1813AtlasLapeerMay 20, 1836FostoriaTuscola.643John C. PattersonEckford, Calhoun CoMichiganMar. 27. 1838EckfordCalhounMar. 27, 1838MarshallCalhoun.644Edwin W. KeightleyVan BurenIndianaAug. 7, 1843White PigeonSt. JosephApril 24, 1865ConstantineSt. Joseph.645Benjamin F. HinmanCastletonVermontAug. 27, 1811DetroitWayneSept., 1836Battle CreekCalhoun.646Frank A. O'BrienMonroeMichiganJune 7, 1851MonroeMonroeJune, 1851KalamazooKalamazoo.647George A. SmithDanburyConnMar. 8, 1825SomersetHillsdaleJune, 1839SomersetHillsdale.648L. D. WatkinsKeeneNew HampshireOct. 13, 1828ColumbiaJacksonMay, 1834NorvellJackson.649Henry B. BakerBrattleboroVermontDec. 29, 1837Bunker HillIngham1849LansingIngham.650Wolcott B. WilliamsBrooklynConnAug. 13, 1823CharlotteEatonDec., 1853CharlotteEaton.651F. H. ConantAlbanyNew YorkSept. 19, 1815ColdwaterBranchJune, 1865ColdwaterBranch.652M. K. NorthLansingNew YorkOct. 8, 1826LansingInghamJune 5, 1839AlaiedonIngham.653Martin HudsonEast HempstedEnglandMay 4, 1819LansingIngham1859LansingIngham.010391654Sarah T. MerrifieldPenn YanNew YorkOct. 23, 1832LansingInghamOct. 28, 1848LansingIngham.655Mrs. Jerome WaltonGorhamNew YorkAug. 31, 1827OaklandOaklandMar. 3, 1839YpsilantiWashtenaw.656Alice J. WatsonPlymouthMichiganJune 3, 1845PlymouthWayneJune 3, 1845G'd RapidsKent.657Mrs. H. P. PrattHomerNew YorkMay 10, 1834FlintGeneseeSept., 1837LansingIngham.658David ClarkCastletonVermontJune 13, 1817PontiacOaklandJuly, 1833EagleClinton.659Laura E. BurrPembrokeNew YorkFeb. 29, 1824LansingInghamAug. 11, 1847LansingIngham.660Charles BaldwinNorth CrawfordConnOct. 9, 1803AvonOaklandSept. 20, 1830PontiacOakland.661James GouldDe PeysterNew YorkNov. 24, 1831MoscowHillsdaleJuly 19, 1836JacksonJackson.662William DrakeLyonsNew YorkMar. 22, 1828AmboyHillsdaleDec., 1838AmboyHillsdale.663Cyrus G. LuceWindsorOhioJuly 2, 1824GileadBranchAug., 1849GileadBranch.664Albert G. DorranceBristeNew YorkMay 21, 1827HowellLivingstonOct., 1842LansingIngham.665Frederick FowlerPerryOhioFeb. 5, 1816Adams HillsdaleNov. 10, 1834ReadingHillsdale.666E. M. CutcheonDrydenNew YorkAug. 8, 1845AlbionCalhounMay, 1846OscodaIosco.667J. G. WaitYorkNew YorkNov. 22, 1811SturgisSt. Joseph1833SturgisSt. Joseph.668S. F. BrownLoudon CoVirginiaDec. 31, 1819SchoolcraftKalamazooDec., 1830SchoolcraftKalamazoo.669Ira PeakeStarksboroughVermontOct. 11, 1811RichlandKalamazooNov. 13, 1832RichlandKalamazoo.670Caroline B. PeakeWeathersfieldConnMar. 2, 1818MarshallCalhounApril, 1835RichlandKalamazoo.671Benjamin PiersonNew YorkOct. 4, 1802LivoniaWayneMay, 1836FarmingtonWayne.672William HullYorkNew YorkApril 26, 1823FlorenceSt. JosephDec., 1840CentervilleSt. Joseph.673Charles M. WoodWest BrookfieldMassSept. 29, 1826Ann ArborWashtenawOct., 1835AndersonLivingston.674W. L. BancroftMartinsburgNew YorkAug. 12, 1825Port HuronSt. ClairNov., 1832Port HuronSt. Clair.675J. H. ArnoldGreeceNew YorkMay 28, 1817CantonWayneSept., 1827Eaton R'dsEaton.676S. W. FowlerCooperstownNew YorkApril 29, 1829DetroitWayneJuly, 1841ManisteeManistee.

LIST OF MEMBERS OF MICHIGAN PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY(Continued from Page 119, Pioneer Collections, Vol. 8.)





In the early days of August, 1860, I came to Michigan by the happy accident of acquaintance with the Hon. John M. Oregory, the Superintendent 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, notwithstanding 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 1860, 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, clarum et venerabile 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,010593of the famous family, and perhaps others. Dr. T. C. Abbot was Professor of English Literature, and L. R. Fiske of Chemistry in the Agricultural College, of which the former, still connected with the school, was so long the distinguished head. Dr. J. A. B. Stone and his accomplished wife, who are even yet at work in the higher education, but in quiet, private ways, were in charge of the Kalamazoo College, and among their teachers were Olney, the renowned mathematician, and the young Prof. L. E. Holden, now a Cleveland millionarie. The celebrated Asa Mahan was president of Adrian College, whose buildings had been opened but a few months before. Thomas H. Sinex was in the executive chair of the Wesleyan Seminary and Female College, now Albion College. E. B. Fairfield, then considerably in republican politics, and lieutenant-governor of the State for one term, was president of Hillsdale; M. W. Fairfield at Olivet. Prof. Hosford, since, and for eight years, State superintendent, held, as he still holds, the chair of mathematics at Olivet. Louis McLouth, who came to be a large figure in Michigan education, had just completed his first year in charge of the Lapeer Academy. Burrows, now the eloquent and influential Congressman, ruled the Richland Seminary in Kalamazoo county; Rev. T. J. Poor, the Dickinson Institute in Romeo, from whose building the public schools have but recently been removed; the lamented Rev. E. J. Boyd, the Young Ladies' Seminary and Collegiate Institute at Monroe; Mr. O. Moffat, the Colon Seminary; James Cochran, the Disco Academy; and Herr F. Vireoke, the German-English School 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 ladies 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 grown. The only colleges then in existence in Michigan were the State university and those at Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Olivet, Adrian, and Albion. The Detroit College (Roman Catholic), and the schools of this character at Battle Creek and Holland (Hope College), are of later growth. The theological departments of Kalamazoo, and perhaps of other denominational colleges have, however, disappeared. Naturally, the faculties and the several corps of students have greatly strengthened.

The university in the academic year 1859-60, had but twelve full professors, two assistant professors, three instructors, and 519 students, of whom 90 must010694be 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 worthy 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 competent 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 Peninsula. 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 Crossman, 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 educators in the Empire State, for some years its deputy superintendent of public instruction, and since in 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 Seminary, the fine central school building then new and much admired, and even yet an ornament to that centre of public education. Putnam, an eminent 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, where his next predecessor had been Claudius B. Grant, at present a distinguished judge in the Upper Peninsula. Professor Payne, a young and strong man, had the schools at Three Rivers, where his work is still vividly and affectionately 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 at010795Sturgis; Bellows, now our well-known Normal professor and mathematician, was about to return to the Constantine schools from a year or two of teaching in northern Indiana; Silas Betts was at Niles; McGowan, since a congressman and now a Washington lawyer, was then, or soon after, Principal of the Coldwater high school. Frank G. Russell, a Normal graduate, now a Detroit attorney, had in charge the “Middletown union school” at Lansing. S. M. Cutcheon, also a prominent Detroit lawyer, and for some years United States district attorney, had been at the head of the Ypsilanti high school, but returned in the summer of 1860 to Springfield, Illinois, to begin legal practice. Edwin Willits, who, so fortunately for himself and the State, has returned to educational service, had dropped into law and politics at Monroe, and was about to be elected prosecuting attorney for his county. George Willard, who had been a professor in Kalamazoo college, was a low church Episcopal clergyman in the Burr-oak village. Horace Halbert was principal of the high school there.

A few day after I came to the State the ninth annual meeting of the State Teachers' Association occurred in Ypsilanti, and I was priviledged to attend that meeting. It was presided over by Principal Poor, of Romeo, in the absence of E. J. Boyd, of Monroe, and was attended by an excellent representation of the pedagogic force of the State, and by 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 original and practical views on “The True Order of Studies,” which have since been 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 lecture was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Hogarth, pastor of the Jefferson avenue Presbyterian Church in Detroit, on “The Use of the Affections as a Mental Stimulus.” Papers upon various topics were read by Prof. Olney of Kalamazoo, and Carey of the Normal School, Superintendents Danforth of Grand Rapids, Sadler of Sturgis, and Betts of Niles, and by Miss A. C. Rogers. The address of welcome to the association was given by the late Chauncey Joslin, Esq., 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 establish the proposition that universal education should be maintained by universal taxation. Reports from committees were made on “Text Books” by Prof. Abbot of the Agricultural College, and on “Reforms in School Laws,” by State Superintendent Gregory. An interesting discussion was010896had 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 the 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 “Elementary 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 participation in all transactions were also exceedingly inspiring and helpful to the young auditor.

The roll of officers-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, afterwards 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 Secretary—John Richards of Albion.

Corresponding Secretary—D. Putnam of Kalamazoo.

Treasurer—J. M. B. Sill.

Executive Committee—Messrs. Hosford and Welch.

Writing but sixteen years 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 intermitted. 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, were010997crystallized in legislation. The county superintendency of schools, undoubtedly the most efficient plan of local supervising yet adopted in any State or county, and which was the Michigan plan from 1867 to 1873, had its rise in this State in discussions by and reports to this association, beginning 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 appointed to execute it, various tentative efforts have been made to find a satisfactory system of examination of teachers and inspection of schools, issuing at last in the present 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 Michigan 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 been maintained ever since 1850, the year of our present State constitution, which plainly contemplates a free school system, and of efforts by the State association, dating back at least eleven years, to the Niles meeting of 1858.

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 properly 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 university. 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 resident 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 might13011098have 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 occupation by the original incumbent, Professor W. H. Payne, have been truly efficient 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 years, most of the time in the editorial care of Dr. Gregory. The various arrangements of the State Teacher's 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 or permanence, 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 Professors 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 ungraded011199districts alone last year. Of children of school age 246,684 were enumerated, against 595,752, or a little more than twice as many, in 1885. The enrollment in public schools was but 192,937, against 411,954. The number of men teachers in the schools was 2,599, against 3,876; of women teachers 5,342, against 11,482. The ladies have evidently been forging in force to the front in the pedagogic profession, relatively regarded. The respective totals of public school teachers are 7,941 and 15,358. The aggregate wages of teachers were $467,286.50 in 1860, and $2,785,280.16, showing an increase quite out of proportion to the numerical increase, 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 1860 to 7.6 in 1884, which unaccountably 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 fill. 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 the higher education in our Peninsulas may be regarded as exceedingly fortunate, and the State is to be congratulated, in general, upon its educational men and measures. The university, the colleges, the few old-time seminaries and academies that remain, and the public schools of all grades and no grade, are for the most part competently officered and intelligently conducted 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 Rev. Dr. Nelson we have a superintendent of public instruction, 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.





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 lighthouses 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, sailing 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.


Something like tides have been noticed, but such pulsations have been erratic and not fully explained. Standing upon the shore of Lake Superior, upon a perfectly calm 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 were expected but none came. Again, twenty-four hours before the occurrence of a heavy gale, with the wind off land, I have repeatedly witnessed an inrush of waters against the wind, of great violence driving up into canals, or streams, raising the surface 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 solitary than those northern coasts, which it was the duty of our surveyors to trace.

The surveys were made under orders from the War Department and conducted 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 assigned stations or fields. Then they were hastily dumped ashore in a howling wilderness, and left to the tender mercies of black flies and mosquitoes until 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 and0114102batteaux 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 surveyors were cheerfully dining upon pork and hard tack, before the vessel that brought them had disappeared from sight. Happy, self-reliant surveyors.

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 today, 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 site 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 hights 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 triangulation. 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 grubbed and graded so as to be very carefully measured.


At the termini of the base, two lofty stations, triangulation points, were built for observations. The entire work was laborious; exceeding care is always required in the measurement of base lines. Steel rods were used, held by tripods, aligned by a transit, moved with delicate adjusting screws, plumbed with weights suspended in buckets of water, so that there should be no vibration. 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 multiplication 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 coffee, 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 muffled, 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 young 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 upon a buffalo robe and blankets, his usual bed, pen 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 mending 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 bay were some old French settlements; at the mouth of Fox River0116104we found Fort Howard without a garrison; opposite these were two stragling villages named Navarino and Astoria. Indians were numerous and Indian traders seemed to occupy 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 largest 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, including 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 officers 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 were 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 would 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 topographical 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 West0117105Point, was of commanding presence, not affable, a strict disciplinarian, but warm hearted and generous. In the Mexican war, a few years later, he fell mortally wounded under the walls of Monterey.

The next in command was Lieutenant Gunnison, a native of New Hampshire, a graduate of West Point Academy, and Officer of the corps of topographical 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 party. His young civil assistants, to use a modern expression, thought him too 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 sincere 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, while 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 bands 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 with 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 captain'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 interrupted by the Mexican war, your writer having returned from the survey of the Mexican boundary line, found himself in the spring of 1855 again attached to the survey of the lakes. With Mr. Wm. H. Harding and others he was ordered to make a survey of Beaver Island and the north shore of Lake Michigan in140118106the 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 prophet, 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 different 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, a 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, was 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. We 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.

0119107press, type, etc., and found out that our many-titled friend was also an editor.

In his office Strang was more genial than in the midst of his harem. He was shrewd enough to extend us the freedom of the island, always outside of his house, however. He was much interested in the surveys he assured us, but with a little too much effusion we fancied. We complained that we found the saints, scattered over the island, very reticent, disobliging, if not hostile. They would give us no information. Living upon unpaid for or stolen lands, these saintly people thought, doubtless, that our purpose there was to spy out the land and report the state of affairs to the government. Of course they were mistaken; their suspicions 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 and 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 consolations of poesy. Such was his story. His lawful wife resided in Wisconsin, and was not a believer in plural numbers. As is well known, Strang was afterwards shot to death by one of his own people whom he had 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 robber and murderer. With few exceptions his followers on the island were the lowest kind of white trash, ignorant, superstitious, and licentious.

After we left the island we found among the fisherman and traders on the main land the utmost hostility to the Mormons, and the general expression was that Strang was a proved thief and robber and a very dangerous man. By repeated piratical expeditions, in armed boats, he had robbed 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 role of statesman. It was a bullet well-aimed that removed him from his earthly kingdom.




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 have, 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”0121109of his line 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 party, 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 trip, can easily believe. The few isolated settlements, with their rude wharves, and scattered and cheaply-constructed houses along the St. Clair River, and the land on the south and west shores of Lake Huron, to our eyes gave little promise of their present beauty and population, Port Huron was just beginning to be recognized as a stopping place 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 pioneer, 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 regions 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 scenery nearly two hundred years before. It did not detract from the interest I took in this beautiful island, when I remembered how, in my boyhood, in the old school-house spelling bees, in Vermont, so many of us used to wrestle with the old name “Michilimackinack,” and I am not sure that I 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 Herald, and we were joined at the SauIt 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,0122110did 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, and from the lake to the river, around the rapids, was overland about one mile, by teams, or by a train 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 wonderful pictures of nature's handiwork? And who shall describe the pictures as they appear? Weird, wonderful, beautiful is all we can exclaim. Passing 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 living, 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 sanguine0123111of the enterprising men who even then saw great things for the newly-discovered mineral wealth of the Lake Superior region. Seeing Marquette, as I did then as Carp River, with no wharf, almost no settled population, a mere opening in the wilderness, I was not prepared for the wonderful change I saw when I visited it some thirty years afterwards, in the great ore, docks, and an almost continuous line of cars, discharging into the boats the rich ore from Negaunee and Ishpeming, and the busy, beautiful city, with its brick blocks, costly residences and iron works, and other industries. To no one man, probably, has Marquette more reason to be grateful for her wonderful growth and prosperity, than to a member of this society, and one who has often added to its interest in recitals of accidents connected with the early settlement of the Upper Peninsula, the Hon. Peter White.

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 passengers 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 Cliff 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 seven hundred feet in height. The Cliff mine that year was thought to have 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 parting gun, and we headed direct for La Pointe. Soon after starting, we met and saluted heartily the other steamer on the lake, the propeller Manhattan, little dreaming of the coming events of our next meeting.

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 parts of the little settlement we saw coming towards the landing a few white men, and a motley crowd of Indians, including squaws, and young and older children, all clad in Indian costume, or a mixture of Indian and white men's clothing, 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 near0124112by, 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 wigwams, 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 when we recognized 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 peculiar thump of the “tom-tom,” or Indian drum.

The excitement of the white tourists now became intense. We all knew we were to look upon a genuine war 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 were 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 express 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 American 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 not been informed of the peculiar features of the elaborate ball0125113dress of the Indians, and no sooner had the much-painted warriors come in sight, than the longest-sighted lady, shading her eyes with her hand for 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 house. Nearer came the Indians, and another lady was attacked with the same disorder, and escaped inside. Thump, thump, launder 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 followed 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, the 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 entertainment. 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 unfortunate 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 astonishment to see six distinct female faces instantly dodge back from six window panes, they were plainly and closely pressing. Soon, another fair face appeared, 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 disorder, 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 single 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 scarlet150126114shawl 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 stamped “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 were profuse in grotesque postures and whoopings, barkings, wolf howlings 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 Chippewas. 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. Especially 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 Buffalo 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 times0127115enforced in accordance with the terms of fraudulently obtained treaties with the Indians by the government, which the wronged natives are told “always does right.”

The pipe of peace was then passed 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 suitable 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 Harmon 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 occupied by the red men that we had no time to thoroughly explore the locality where Marquette was located about 1669, when only thirty years of age.

We were obliged to anchor nearly a quarter of a mile from shore, at Ontonagon, 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 way back, and as the last sunset we0128116would 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 glassware, 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 passengers 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, “For 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 water engulf her, some one cried out, “She floats!” And so it proved. The boat was heavily loaded with lumber and wood, and, just sinking to her upper deck 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 disaster, 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 new teeth! I left two new sets in my state room, and I must0129117have them! Do tell somebody to get my teeth before the boat sinks. If I can only get my teeth, I don't care for anything else!” One man came through the cabin; crying out to the passengers, “Get out of the way; she has powder on board, and will explode in a minute!”

As we all knew that powder was, at that time, ten feet under water, he did 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 Rapids, 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 prudently 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 our 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 entertainment, 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 may well believe the satisfaction I felt, at that moment, in the knowledge0130118that 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 evidently 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 before us. On through the coming years we seem to see the unclouded brightness 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.”



While on a vist to my old friend, Judge Albert Miller, of Bay City, in the fall of 1885, we were 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 Michigan, and as I have always taken a deep interest in the pioneer movement, I0131119readily 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 summer he would have to rise at midnight and ride six or eight miles, to milk his cows, as pasture could be obtained better and cheaper 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' sleep, 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 he served twice a day. I was 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 was 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 glowing 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. I have seen it so rough that nearly every one was sea-sick, even the animals, for in those days they always took a cow, sheep, pigs, and poultry. I remember 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 vigilance 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's0132120length 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 delighted 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 purchased 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, occupied 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 information, 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 about six or seven miles from our destination, and a darker night I think I never saw. And what made it worse,0133121it commenced to rain in torrents, accompanied with thunder 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 us. 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 experience, before a rousing fire, such as we had never seen before, and after getting a good supper, instead of making one for the wolves, and drying our clothes, we retired to bed, and made up our minds we bad seen enough on that road and the next morning started back to Detroit rather discouraged. We then became acquainted with 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 privilege of cutting what firewood we needed, and also if we chose to cut cord wood, for which 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, probably fourteen inches in diameter; we cut into it and all around it, without any idea which way it would fall. Mr. Lawson came up while we were 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 Irishman 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 inhabitants, 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,160134122by 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 was 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 occurred 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 our 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 hands. 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 stagnated 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 recover, 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 Detroit, 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,0135123and some more of the Indians in Detroit. In the early part of 1833, 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 my father to do the same. So in the fall of that year he sold out the tavern business and accompanied the Frasers 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) went out first and took a drove of road (it might have been four); I am not certain now where we stopped 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 Frenchman, and got supper, 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 been 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 welcome 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 the dark. My father had purchased the place opposite James Fraser's (now the Paines 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 until we could get a house up on father's 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 good0136124tight roof, and then we had plank floors. I think the Judge has said something 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 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 witnessed 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 staying 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 daylight, 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 account. My brother James was married in that house to the eldest daughter of Captain Malden, 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 howlings. Sometimes there would seem to be fifty or more at once, generally when they were chasing deer. The bears also were troublesome 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 but0137125once saw a real drunken hog (I mean a four-legged one), and that was at the raising of a log barn or shed on Fraser's place; it was customary in those early days to furnish liquor at all gatherings, especially at raisings, as the neighbors 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 imbibed the whole, and it made him quite frisky. He 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 evening 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; we 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.

I used frequently to go from the farm to Saginaw, on Sunday, to the post-office 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 I 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 be 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.0138126I 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 was 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 would0139127pass over to the wild rice fields till towards evening. 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 it). 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 three 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 1839; 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 plenty of business, but there was a great scarcity of money. I finally raised enough to carry me to New York, where I resided until the spring of 1846, when I bought and removed to Williamsburgh, 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 present. I take great pleasure in reading the volumes of “Pioneer Collections.” Many of the names and incidents I am familiar with. And now, wishing the society every success, I must bring this paper 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 remember. 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 remember the trouble we had in swimming the cattle (mentioned by Mr. Busby),0140128across 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 landing 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



Mr. 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 diocese, 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 the0141129establishment of the See of Baltimore in 1789, when it became a department of that See. Then, as the church grew, and new Sees were erected, it became subject in succession to Bardstown, Ky., and finally 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 properly. 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 Diocese 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 examination, found several of its scholars fit for the university. He immediately 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 Rome, 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 university 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 with 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, no170142130doubt, astonished to receive this petition, which was but a repetition of what had come when Cincinnati was erected into a diocese only three years previous. 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 important move. Would Bishop Fenwick and the other bishops be so kind as to send along the number of Catholic churches, priests, and what sources of 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 priests 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 Richard'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 delegating, 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 attorney 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 handwriting.

“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 that0143131parcel of ground conveyed to me by Martin Nadeau, trustee of St. Antony's Church, as comprehended between the road leading to the upper settlement on the north side, and the River Raisin on the south, being one chain 89½ 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 west, 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 D. Fenwick.”

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 with aid for his missions, but his favorite theme, the new Diocese of Detroit, was referred 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 priest, whom we 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 officially 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 collecting 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, paintings, etc., he gathered form the0144132treasure of a number of churches. Among such works is a masterpiece of Van Dyke, “The Crucifixions” 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. Everybody 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 Faiths” 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 $1,000,000 annually, about $250,000 of which went each year to the poor American missions 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 Archduch*ess Leopoldine of Austria, who became its protectress. The Archduke Rudolph and the Archbishop 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 today 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 maintenance 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 government, 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 that0145133region. He was received at each Catholic settlement with great eclat. At L'Arbre Croche a total abstinence society of forty-two members, in regalia, came quite a distance to meet him. The attention of our temperance people 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 Fenwick 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 were duly forwarded, but the answer was a “long while 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 Reze 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 settlement, and attended it for some time, as well as doing the work of Vicar-General during the absence of Bishop Fenwick from his See. The last visit of this venerable prelate 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 Croche, 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 immediately 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 make 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 administrator of the Diocese of Cincinnati, and all the Northwest. While filling this post 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, Mississippi River, and0146134south by a line from the mouth of the Maumee River until said line intersected 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, Indiana, 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 Cincinnati, October 6, 1833, seven days before the consecration of the late Archbishop 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 1833 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 Baltimore, 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 entertained 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 Reze,Bishop of Detroit.”

The council resolved unanimously to recommend the acceptance of his resignation to the Pope, and made provisions, in ease of its acceptance, for a successor. Rome refused to accept the resignation, and ordered Bishop Reze to Rome to stare 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 hardly able to attend to any business till the01471350148136revolution 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. Rev. J. M. Odin was appointed bishop administrator of Detroit in December, 1840, but a position that had crazed a worthy 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 missionary, 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 institutions 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 prosperous 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 kindliest 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 official seal. When Bishop Borgess was consecrated, the remarkable coincident 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 Peninsula 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, and0149137what it is, or rather what the territory it occupied at the start, is, to-day, as far as the growth of. Catholicity, is concerned, may be comprehended better by a few statistics. In 1834 we had in the diocese of Detroit one bishop, 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.



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 sports 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 employés 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 been raised in New England, in a locality where but little attention was paid to Christmas, 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 usually180150138designated), 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 prevent our egress. Jewett, understanding the situation at once, gave us the wink to be ready to escape the moment an opportunity presented. On looking 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 prevent our escape he waded into the water in pursuit till it reached his waist, which, under ordinary circ*mstances, 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 disturbed 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 our 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 witnessed 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 nor entered into so much for the love of drink as for a desire for social enjoyment, and for keeping up the reputation of the place0151139for hospitality and good cheer, which was proverbial. The flow of champagne would soon loosen the tongues for song, anecdote, repartee, and smart speeches, and the conviviality would continue till “the wee sma' hours ayont the twal,” when the company would disperse and spend the next day suffering 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 spent in social enjoyment with a large party at the opening of the Webster House, at Saginaw City, I was awakened by a number 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 shirking 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 where liquor could be obtained. I 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 reigned 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 condition of inebriety, but not more surprised than they were a short time afterwards 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 great 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 1844, I think it was, Father Kundig, of Detroit, came to Saginaw, and instituted a series of temperance meetings among the Catholics. a large number whom took the pledge. and, so far as my observations extended, religiously kept it. I have two notable instances in my mind, Louis Major, a Frenchman, who had been0152140a former employé 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 demon 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 sayings; 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 advised him to sign the pledge so that he might never have a desire for it; be 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 when 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.




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 completed, and the history was given as follows:—

This building is so identified with the history of the parish that it seems 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 convention.*

* The consecration of the new church took place a few days later.

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 by 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 Spirit of Missions, 1837, it is recorded: “At Ann Arbor and other places in that county he found many scattered members of our communion. The stated services of0154142a 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.

* Mr. Clark is still, (November. 1885), living at Ann Arbor.

After the organization lay reading was sustained for six months by a candidate 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 Rev. 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 vicinity, 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, Edward Munday, Matthew F. Gregory, George W. Jewett, George Miles. Robert S. Wilson. Andrew Cornish, W. G. Tuttle, Gideon Wilcoxson, Zenas Nash, Charles Tull, Win. G. Brown, Olney Hawkins, David Cleveland, Samuel Denton, E. Platt, A. Platt, Elisha Belcher, Marcus Lane, Nathaniel Noble.

In May, 1834, Rev. John O'Brien reports to the convention, having spent0155143some Sundays in Ann Arbor. To the same convention Rev. W. N. Lyster reports: “I have preached at Ann Arbor four times and baptised six persons, one of whom was an adult; also administered the holy communion.” To the convention held in Detroit, in 1834, May 3, the following delegates were elected of whom the two first named were present, George W. Jewett, Henry Rumsey, Charles Tull, William G. Brown, and Philip Brigham.

In August, 1834, the Rev. John I. Bausman, of the Diocese of Ohio, became the missionary at Ann Arbor and other places. 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 instrumental 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 period 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 place amounting to $1,300 towards the expense of erecting a church edifice. the cost of which is estimated 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 $267. 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 been 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 provision for students pews.

The Rev. Mr. Bausman died in Baltimore a few months since. When0156144making a collection of photographs of the former rectors in 1862, I addressed him a letter and received one in reply, and in a communication 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 confirmation. His visit was 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. Mcllvaine, Bishop of Ohio, The first and only Visitation the Bishop made was in April, 1834. In his address to the convention 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 parishes 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 Tec*mseh, June, 1835, the Rev. H. J. Whitehouse, D. D., of Rochester, N.Y., was elected Bishop of Michigan. He having declined, 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 diocese), 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 basem*nt 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 before 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 rapidly0157145increasing diocese. Too often the minister of the gospel is left to grapple with poverty, and to groan under the weight and care of an increasing family. Here, to the praise 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 hope and the laity to continue in well doing.” In his subsequent report he thus refers to the commencement of his ministry here: “Until we could procure the basem*nt story of the church we were subjected to much inconvenience, and somewhat retarded in our progress. I found but few attached to the church from an enlightened and conscientious belief that the ministry, doctrine, and discipline were according to the Scriptures and apostolic times. In fact, my prospect 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 prospects 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 circ*mstances 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 village. It gives me great pleasure to say that between the members 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 indoctrinated. Communicants, twenty-six; marriages, six; baptisms, ten; funerals, eleven.”

Mr. Marks resigned in 1838, removing to. Clinton. In 1840 or 1841 he accepted the charge of Christ's Church, Huron, Ohio, and in a parish 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—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 willing, be with us on Wednesday next. In October, A.D. 1838, the parish 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 proportion190158146to 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 institution 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 rejuvenated, 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 basem*nt 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 condition 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 congregation 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 happy0159147traditions of the parish, that this, its only rectory was sold, and the money diverted to other purposes. I venture to say that every subsequent rector, subjected to the inconveniences of the hired house, and perhaps 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 untiring exertions, succeeded in raising money enough, principally by means of the needle, to procure a very handsome silver communion set. The act was certainly 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 generously responded to so that it has been entirely repaired. The organ, too, bad 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 costing $320, probably 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. Cumming 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 properly equipped for service. Other statistics of his ministry are: Baptisms, adult, 13; infants. 38; confirmed, 48; marriages, 20; funerals, 43, contributions, $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 systematized, and he had the happy faculty of enlisting his people in his plans and securing their cordial coöperation 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 cannot0160148soon be repaired.” Upon the resignation of Mr. Cumming the Rev. W. N. 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 1833 from his native land, Mr. Lyster 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 devotion 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 congregations learn the injury to their parishes of long vacancy in the rectorship? Scarcely a parish can bear to be subjected 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, who accepted and entered on his duties July 22, 1844. His first report records the payment of a floating debt of $700. His report for 1845–6, 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 following with His blessings, the solemn fastings and services of Lent. That for 1846–7, improvements on the church, and a parochial singing school, and repeats 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 communicants added during the last four years; the prevalence of an unusual, alarming, and fatal disease, by which some of our most efficient 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 interest 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 been0161149sold and the payments amply secured or safely invested, to be held in readiness 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 suffering for the want of extensive repairs, and was neither conveniently located nor occupied by the rector.” For the years 1845–6–7–8 I have no sources of information but the parochial reports, for it is a singular and painful 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 pains to transcribe them.

Mr. Taylor resigned in 1850, and the tone of all his reports is encouraging, and it is evident that under his ministry the parish had been flourishing. Yet it is also evident that, whether by force of circ*mstances or want of due liberality, the parish was struggling with 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 1850 made by Mr. John A. Willis states: “Since the resignation of the rector, Mr. Taylor, there has been no settled pastor in this parish. In the interim an invitation has been extended by the vestry to the Rev. George P. Williams of the university. He has faithfully and gratuitously performed the services and all the various 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 wholly unimpaired. And this is only one of the very many acts of kindness and liberality for which this parish is indebted to this esteemed brother. His residence here has been parallel with four rectorships. 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 effort, 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 parsonage fund, amounting to $720, is safely invested in bonds and mortgages, and with the avails of lots valued at $250, 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 presume this is the lot purchased in 1845–6 for $400.) “The subject of building one worthy the place is now beginning to be agitated. Is it not worthy of consideration0162150on 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. Nearly $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 expenditures; 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 connection 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 circ*mstances 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 Kalamazoo, 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.0163151The building is to cost $8,000, of which $6,000 is now subscribed, $1,000 is promised, and the remainder is in a fair way of being obtained.” The purpose 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 1855–6 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 sufficient 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 ordinary 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 connection 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 permanent 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.” Building 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 Gospel0164152of 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 property, 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. Luresden resigned at Easter, 1861. 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 resigned 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 informed 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 Sunday school for $61.35; 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, no0165153obstinate individual assertion. For myself, ever wont to give my own counsel with freedom which may need the apology of fervent interest in the parish, I have ever been listened to with 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 knowledge 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 congregation, 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, competent and entitled to assume the direction of the parish in all its arrangements for edification. That my judgment has always been yours, was not to be expected, yet you have left me to pursue my path. And so I, on the other hand, have never meant to interfere in what belonged to you. The result 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 church's being and progress. To my mind, 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; Cumming, 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 satisfactions of my own ministerial life is, that I have, in general, labored long in each spot of the vineyard assigned to me, and I am well persuaded that, under ordinary circ*mstances, 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 number200166154have communed at this altar. The parish, considering the constant incoming 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, showing their hearts in the day of early struggle. The meek Bausman, the untiring Cumming, 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 services, 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, suffer 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 difference 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, with0167155the deep feeling 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 builded is to prepare us.

“The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers; let Him 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.”



* This is a continuation of a paper presented at a former meeting, and printed in Vol. VIII. of these Collections.



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 Methodist 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 position. 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.


Mr. Pilcher's first district, as presiding elder, in 1838, extended over Hillsdale, Branch, Calhoun, Jackson, Ingham, Eaton, Barry, Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Clinton, Shiawassee, the west half of Genesee and the west 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 Concern 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 institution, 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 administrator in the presiding eldership.

He made the tour of Europe and the Orient in 1868–9, and corresponded for the Detroit Tribune weekly during the time. His letters were considered 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 United0169157States Army. The three last are graduates of universities. Dr. Pilcher, by his writings, was the principal instrument of securing the constitutional provision for the establishment of the Michigan Agricultural College.

I will close this sketch of Dr. Pilcher by relating the following incident: The writer was stationed at Jackson in 1839. The Doctor was his presiding elder. The first quarterly meeting for the year was hold 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, consisting 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 appointed, 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 preacher 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 appointed. 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 were of course surprised knowing, as we all did, his habits of promptness, and our surprise was greatly increased in consideration of his affectionate exhortation of Saturday. The doors were again closed not to be again opened even for a bishop. The speaking commenced. The members in relating their christian experience had become somewhat joyful, forgetting apparently that the presiding elder was not present. But they were soon apprised of the fact that the presiding 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. Mr. Clark was one of the most laborious and useful ministers in those0170158early days in this county. Rev. 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 native 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, Va. 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 was 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 Platt. 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 February, 1848, when he tendered his resignation. During the next two years 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 pastorate, which he did, remaining with them until the spring of 1858, when he was obliged to resign on account of failing health, and his active ministry ceased.


While pastor at Webster his 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 pure doctrine rather than for worldly popularity, and although he was instrumental in bringing a large number into the church, the burden of his life 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 power to forward any good work. He was a man of strong and earnest feelings, quiet and unobstrusive in his manner, and universally estimated and loved by those who knew him best. In 1860 he removed to Ann Arbor that he might better enjoy social and religious privileges in his declining years. He died October 2, 1871, aged 75 years.

His dear friend and associate in the ministry, Rev. Ira M. Wead, of whom a biographical sketch was given in a former paper, preached his funeral sermon.


I regret that I have not the material with which to give a more extended sketch of Rev. Henry Colclazer, one of the most eloquent and useful 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 conference 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 supplied with boys indeed. But 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 Hymn 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 appointed0172160together in Ann Arbor circuit, which included Ypsilanti. They were Henry Colclazer and Elijah H. Pilcher. They were the only ministers who rendered 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 informed. 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 night, 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 good 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 composed 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 chamber, to get up quickly, for they had so many to get breakfast for. He was so0173161near the top of the ladder that he saw the elder's wig on the post, and it being the only one he ever saw, he was badly frightened, and thought that the Indians had scalped the minister. So he halooed, “Oh, the Indians! the Indians!” 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 was 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, N. Y. Mr. Colclazer died in Philadelphia, December 16, 1884. He was a member of the Wilmington conference at the time of his 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.



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 incidents which transpired when the writer was eighteen years of age. Long 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 steamboat “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 delightful210174162on 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 I found very good fare at the log tavern kept by Mr. Whitmore, thence west through the Saline River, 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 1814 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 Tec*mseh, where my father, Simon Dewey, two months previous, had bought, one mile west of this forest hamlet, six eighty-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 U. 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 plantations 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 pioneers of Lenawee county.

My boarding place was with the family of William H. Hoag, who was afterwards 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 passage 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 Buffalo, and there learned that my folks had been gone two days on the “United States,” schooner, Captain Whitaker. I will here state, that large0175163vessels were thirteen days on the lake without going into harbor until they reached Detroit. My mother said it was a great relief to get on the land once more. November 19, Captain Fox, of the “Commerce,” said his vessel was loaded for Detroit, but it being Friday, he would not start until after twelve o'clock at night, though the wind and weather were 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 Captain did not hesitate to open his mouth in the use of some of the most tremendous 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, buffeting 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 to 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, with 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 Pennsylvania 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 result of the rough traveling, the fourth day I passed through a forest of chestnut 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 on 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 sometimes 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 a0176164tooth 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 instruments 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 embankments, 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 romantic 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 encouraged 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, with 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 howling 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 welcome 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 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 previous. Long shall I remember that pleasant evening. After a refreshing rest at Mrs. Kedzie's, I resumed my journey for Adrian and Tec*mseh, 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 with 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 really0177165and truly a philanthropist among the pioneers, and also was the main contributor toward the building of the first church erected in Lenawee county, which was dedicated to the Friend's Society. A little after sundown, I got to the house of Musgrove Evans, in Tec*mseh. He was one of the first settlers 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 become 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 answered, “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 Musgrove 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 Tec*mseh. For general intelligence 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 harvested 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 wilderness 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 the0178166log house, on 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 Michigan; 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.



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 the 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 discharged0179167U.S. soldiers from the 5th regiment, stationed at Detroit, in 1815 and 1816. They lived with father a number of years. After this time the Pontiac Company put a party of men into this pinery and cut and cleared off the entire pinery, and drew the logs to their saw mill at Pontiac. Thus ended Uncle Sam's pinery at the head of Three Mite 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 provided by my good mother, one bright morning, with a little snow on the ground. Corbin and myself started (this was 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 pine knob. Ascending to its summit we found only a clump of small pines covering the entire surface, 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, what appeared a long stretch of pine timber running easterly several miles. We observed what appeared to be a large, heavy body of pine timber. 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 fine pine. 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 pine, which proved afterwards 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 some0180168others. 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 preemption 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 timber 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 explore pine knob. 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. We 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 would 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, moonlight nights, with teams, would load up some of our longest and best logs,0181169draw them to Pontiac mill, or to their homes for shingles. Father found two of our best and 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 possession 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 when 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 fellows who stole our logs lived near Birmingham, then called Piety Hill (a very pious place in those days). Next spring and summer pine lumber 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, provided 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 Commerce. Oakland county. We explored the route, and found an open plain from Waterford Mill to the Huron river, except perhaps forty rods of timbered land between the openings and the bank of the river, which was a sand ridge and bank, perhaps ten or fifteen feet high. We 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. When we came to the timbered land, we took the steers off and chained them to a sapling, 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 blowing a gale. Of course we were anxious to unload and get out of the timber 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 pile as fast220182170as 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 trembling, 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 buy I 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 thought more conscious, but could not speak, and seemed hardly to know anything.

I now felt more at ease, as I was out of the timber land. I took a rest myself. 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 carried 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 old0183171driver). I then got the steers around in front of the oxen, holding them by their horns, I threw the end of the chain within the reach of Welch, and said, now Welch hook the chain if you can, at the same time fearing it impossible 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 happy 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 circ*mstances. 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 understand what was the cause of his injury. It was 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 parties came from Ann Arbor and rafted it down the Huron to Ann Arbor, putting it in small cribs from four to six feet wide. I suppose some, if nor 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 Clemens to Lake St. Clair. Three Hurons caused much confusion as the country settled, consequently the names of two of them were changed. The Upper Huron was 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. Lewis Cass.

The Indian name of the three rivers Huron was O-not-O-way-See-bee, after the tribe of Huron Indians, who were the O-not-O-ways (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-not-O-way-See-bee.

* See appendix

The seasons, so different now, of early days from 1815, for many years, we had very little cold weather, and rarely got but little snow until March.0184172After we moved on to the farm we could and did plow and do all kinds of farm work through January and February, as well as in May and June. We then had long and beautiful falls called Indian summer. No winters with 20, 25, and 30° below zero, and freezing the earth from 4 to 6 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.” “Indade, 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.”



[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.


Gen. John G. Parkhurst. 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 program0185173with this dry subject, right after the delightful music, right after the address of the “Old Man Eloquent,” and the interesting and touching tributes to the memory of our fellow pioneers who have left us during the past year. I had a vague idea that the town of Green was lying about here somewhere, or had been here sometime, but just where and when I did not know. Consulting encyclopœdias brought no consolation. There was nothing in the American, Johnson's, Chambers' or Britannica about this ancient town. Almost as a last resort, I consulted the President's message, but although 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 had 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, 1829, 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 officers 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 where the flouring mill now stands. These large towns existed in the days when Michigan Territory reached the Mississippi and shortly after to the Missouri, as Michigan has always been a growing State. Counties sometimes were very large. I think Brown county once reached across the lake into what is now Wisconsin. 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 meeting 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 year our taxes are higher than0186174usual, 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 Coldwater 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 Phœnix 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 become unpopular. but why I have nor 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 north0187175pole, and certainly to Mackinac. I have tried to find some good moral hid away under the ruins and names of this great old town, but, save the lesson relative to the brevity of all sublunary things, I find nothing fruitful for that purpose.

But after all, I think I do see a good lesson for the young in the 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, 1260. Prairie River township was changed to Bronson, March 11, 1837, State Laws, 1837, 44.




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 emigrants 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,0188176making three trips in a week to Detroit, going one day and returning the next.

Says A. R. 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 Andrew 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 receipts, go somewhere else if you can't trust me.” The man sought others, but they all sent him back to Nowland. With this universal endorsem*nt, he again sought the brusk old teamster. who 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 himself; 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.0189177Says I. N. Hedden of Plymouth: “One could tell stories about Nowland 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 up 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 upon them as he retorted, “Gods, I'm glad you told me, I shouldn't have known it!”

The old cemetery grounds in the upper town at Ann Arbor formed part 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. Nowland, 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. Nowland 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




On Thursday, the 20th 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 interesting 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 gentleman,” 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.


The four grey headed but cheerful hearted brothers met (perhaps for the last time on earth), cheered and consoled by the consciousness of having, at least, tried to do something for the benefit of the 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, 5 months, 15 days.

Aaron, born July 6, 1807, " 78 " 10 " 14 "

Enos, born August 11, 1813, " 72 " 9 " 9 "

Reuben, born June 28, 1819, " 66 " 10 " 22 "

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, all 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 legislature of that State, and Presidential Elector in 1848, chief justice of Minnesota in 1849, and subsequently spent eight years in Belgium, as secretary 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 1847, and to represent his county in the Senate in 1853, and it0192180was with equal difficulty he left the cares of the farm to meet you here to-day.

John was the student and scholar of the Goodrich family. First passing through a literary course of studies at Middlebury Academy, in Western New York, he next entered upon the study of law, in the office of the Honorable 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.

Reuben 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 legislation for the interest of the newer counties of the State.

Thus may be briefly written the history of a hard working family of Michigan'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 to enhance its growing greatness.



John Skinner Goodrich was the fifth son of Levi Hamilton Goodrich and his consort, Eunice Skinner, and was born at Clarence, Erie county, New0193181York, on the 7th day of October, 1815. At an early period in life he developed an intense desire for study, coupled with a memory of the most extraordinary character. The country was poor and the family were poor. 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 pursuits 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 first the powers of his mind seemed to predominate over those of the body. Being an obedient son of much respected 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 poetry, and while his comrades paused to rest he would be solving mathematical problems on the ground with a stick. His parents having both been school teachers, afforded 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. Under 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 labors 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 circ*mstances, and fearful as to the effect it might have upon his health. gave way to his persuasions. 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 institution. His progress in study was a wonder to his teachers, and a surprise to his fellow students. But his teachers soon discovered that hie health was rapidly sinking under the enormous strain of his studies. Finding it impossible to restrain him while in school, they sent him home with sage advice 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 instructions; but the bewitching and fascinating ghost of his studies would return.0194182His health did improve, and he returned with gladness, once more to renew his studies at the academy. 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 circ*mstance illustrative of his extraordinary powers of memory. Having disciplined 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 gentle field exercises and amusem*nts. Between the age of eighteen and twenty years he entered the office 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 affinity for the study 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 determined 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 Michigan 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 congenial 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 with reluctance that he returned to the study of law. The Honorable Alfred Hanscom, of Pontiac, was then looming up as one of the brightest stars in the legal horizon of our infant0195183State. Mr. Goodrich entered his office as a student, where he was most intimately associated in his studies with Thornton F. Broadhead, or “Thorn Broadhead,” as he was then called, though afterwards world renowned as Colonel Broadhead, who died in the South, with the immortal utterance upon his lips, of “The old flag will triumph yet!” 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. Still, 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. Mr. 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 Michigan 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 jury in the most plausible and fascinating language, Michigan 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 circ*mstance 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 oppressive 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 I 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 effort, until he was enabled to stand before a jury and present his cause for five hours in succession, without in the least deuce 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 lumber they had shipped to a firm of that city, and which was burned at the wharf. He was taken sick on board the steamer before reaching Buffalo, but, regardless0196184of 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 conviction as to the nature of the disease forced itself upon those in attendance Dr. Robert D. Lamond of Flint, the family physician, was 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 benedictions 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. lie 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 thai 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:—



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 Wednesday evening last, at 8 o'clock. Judge Goodrich had been elected in April previous to his death, to the office of presiding 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 first day of January, 1852.

Judge Goodrich was born in Erie county, in the State of New York, but has resided in the State of Michigan since the year 1837. Soon after his arrival 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 irreproachable life, assisted to raise him very high in general estimation. While in pursuit of his studies, Judge Goodrich resided alternately at Goodrich, 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 in 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 scrupulous 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, returned on Sunday, October 5, 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 in his last hours the consolations of religion were administered to him, at his request, by Bishop McCoskry.

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 servant 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 ageMarked 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 wentTo share the holy rest that waits a life well spent.”24


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, was 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.

His 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 admitted to practice, while I presided in the northern circuit. My official and personal relations with Judge Goodrich were constant and intimate, until I was called from the more immediate sphere of my public duties to the western part of the State.

No person perhaps, possessed a better opportunity of forming a juster estimate 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 investigation 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 impression 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 permitting 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 manhood, 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:


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 deportment, 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 accompany his 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. Lothrop, J. M. Howard and Geo. E. Hand as a committee of arrangements.

On motion of Judge Hand, the attorney general was requested to furnish a copy of these resolutions to the supreme court, and to the circuit court of the United States, and to move that they be placed upon the respective records of those courts. On motion adjourned.

Rufus Hosmer,John Winder,Secretaries.

On learning of the death of Judge Goodrich, the gentlemanly proprietors of the Detroit & Pontiac Railroad tendered the services of a special train re 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 Genesee. The Methodist 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 S. Goodrich was deposited in the Goodrich cemetery.




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 Coldwater, 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 attended 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 1844 he began the study in the office of Judge Lowrey, in Southington. The winter following 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 Michigan, 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 “Puddleford 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 and0201189scholar became life long friends, and their mutual influence upon each other was always beneficial and helpful. In the fall of 1846 young Upson was engaged to teach the village school at Centerville, and there he took up again his law studies, entering for the purpose, as a student under Gurney & Hammond, the leading law firm of the place. In the spring of 1847 he was 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, 1849–51; prosecuting attorney, 1853–55; State senator, 1855–57; railroad commissioner, 1857–61; attorney general, 1861–63; representative in congress, 1863–69; circuit judge, 1869–71. 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 1876 he was tendered the appointment of commissioner of Indian affairs, but declined it; He had been so much in public life that his accumulations 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 were almost 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 circ*mstance 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 nor 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 conscience 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 sense 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 the0202190true sense the representative of public justice, and while faithful in prosecuting 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 with 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 perplexing 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 policy; he as firmly opposed President Johnson and his leading measures; but while as a politician he was grounded on immovable foundations 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 patriotism and integrity. His most important work in congress 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 embellishment.

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 freedom 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. Lieutenant 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 better0203191than he did that the most useful record which any lawyer is likely to make, 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 when 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 lawyer who can see two sides to a quarrel, and who tries to make his client see both, is very likely, under such circ*mstances, to fall into disfavor. Charles Upson was a man of sympathetic nature, and quite sufficiently inclined to see the wrongs of his clients through his Client's eyes; but no one had advice from him that was 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 beneficent cent end. Once engaged in litigation, however, few lawyers were more persistently combative than Mr. Upson, and few were less likely to lose anything 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 companion and adviser, and to sustain with him the proper dignity of his several official 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 whom 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 office, 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 was 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; but0204192the 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.



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 circ*mstances, 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 be died at Washington. His nephew, Thomas Ludwell Lee Brent, a citizen of Virginia, was appointed a clerk in the department of State by Secretary Smith, on the 1st of January, 1811. He retired from the department, November 11, 1814, having been commissioned secretary 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, 1816, when Washington Irving presented his credentials as minister plenipotentiary. On April 19, 1817, Mr. Brent was appointed agent for claims and seamen, an0205193office added to that of Secretary of Legation. 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 interim from November 16, 1820, to August 18, 1821. He left Madrid August 19, 1822, having been commissioned secretary of legation to Portugal, May 22, 1822, by President Monroe. Upon the departure of Minister Dearborne he acted as charge d'affairs ad interim at Lisbon, from June 30, 1821, 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, lie must have managed his finances judiciously, for on his return to his native country he must have had a fortune of ninety or one hundred thousand dollars. In 1836 he purchased 70,000 acres of land in Genesee and Saginaw counties, which exhausted his money so much that be 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 Washington. 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 land, I formed a pleasant acquaintance with Mrs. 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 neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis Bailey, late of Flint and Bay City, then a young250206194married couple, 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 finishing. 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 projected 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 be lost, so he made a contract with George M. Dewey, of Flint, to pay the taxes on the whole for a certain number of years for one-third of the land; previously he had been so tenacious of retaining the whole that he would not sell when 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 something 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 land 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 occasional 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 that0207195gave Mrs. Brent a glimpse of the luxury she so much desired. Charlotte had developed a talent for music and indulged her taste for it by playing 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 Àolian harps, making 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 circ*mstance 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 horns 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 mansion in Washington. She was very homesick, continually mourning to see her mother. Mrs. Madison became 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 presentable 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 American sovereigns generally, but anything that savored of European 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, prevailed on him to remain and make her a longer visit. She told me aside that he must be a man of consequence, for she had met his mother's cousins in society in Europe. I passed on and saw nothing more of Baron Egremont.


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 circ*mstances, and directly afterwards he married Charlotte under such circ*mstances as shocked her mother so she was prostrated with illness, and she soon afterwards died under circ*mstances 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.



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, unwavering faith in the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

George Whitefield Fish, a pioneer of Michigan, and a member of this0209197Society, was born in Kortright, 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, Reuben Fish, was of a feeble constitution, which George inherited, but he was possessed of great moral courage and christian fortitude and integrity. His mother's maiden name was Fanny Robinson. 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 1848, when his health failing him, he moved to Jackson, hoping to find an easier practice, 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 1859 he embarked from New York on board a sailing vessel, bound for Shanghai, China, which 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 1861,0210198by the Ti-ping rebels, under that noted insurgent General Wang, and held official intercourse with that warlike celestial.

The breaking out of the civil war in the United States created great excitement 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 campaigns of Rosecrans, 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 command, 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 Daily 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, consumption. In less than a month thereafter, his 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 discontinued. Soon after his settlement 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,0211199and saw the spring of clear cold water gushing out of the mountain two thousand feet from the base, falling from beneath a cliff rising a thousand 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 conveying water to the city of Tunis.

During his leave of absence through the heated term of 1880, accompanied 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 Messina going by rail around the base of Mount Ætna, near the shore of the sea. Thence he passed by steamer to Palermo, thence through the Straits of Messina, between Scylla and Charybdis—enjoying in the passage an excellent 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 stones.

The rocks over which they clambered were uncomfortably hot, and the great 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 said intelligence.

On the French taking possession of Tunis, the consulate was discontinued, and he returned to enjoy the quiet of his pleasant 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 talented 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,0212200but 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 The New York Advocate, The Michigan Advocate, the Detroit Free Press, and The Wolverine Citizen of Flint. Dr. Fish was a democrat until the formation of the republican party, 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 institution 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 with 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 Glenwood cemetery. On the following Saturday the doctor 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 thinking 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 the0213201hearts of all who knew him, for each one felt that he had lost a friend, “Flint has lost one of her best citizens;” “Dr. 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 Monday 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 honored 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 Mustered 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.



Linus Cone, the subject of this sketch, was born in the township of Haddam, Connecticut, October 12. 1802. At an early age his father emigrated to Bloomfield, Ontario county, New York. In 1819 young Cone, at the age260214202of 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. They 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 demonstrations to detain him. Deliberately raising his rifle to his face, and confronting 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 distant. He determined to go on, arriving there late in the night. In relating 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 known as Bloomfield. In September, 1825, he returned to Bloomfield, New York; returned to Michigan in April, 1826, coming from Buffalo 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 Avon—at that time called Oakland. He commenced 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 lay0215203the foundation for a home, which was the pride of his life, and elicited marked commendations from his brother agriculturists. Mrs. Cone still survives her husband, and resides upon the old homestead, venerable in years, a worthy helpmate to her worthy husband, resting upon her well earned reputation of Well done, good and faithful housewife, and companion of one of Michigan'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 upon 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 observation 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 commending 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 pertaining to good farming that is so seriously neglected by western agriculturists as that of thorough underdraining; it makes wet land dry, and dry land 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 says, “the soil is stiff clay loam with gravel0216204intermixed; the best method of improving this soil I have found to consist 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 Agricultural 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 honest, “doing unto others as he would have others do unto him.”




William Poppleton, the subject of this sketch, was born in Poultney, Vermont, June 9, 1795. When seventeen years old he removed with his parents to Richmond, Ontario county, New York, where he was united in marriage to Zada Crooks, October 10, 1814, with whom he lived happily for forty-eight years, until her death at Birmingham, Mich., December 28, 1861, 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 purchasing 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 verified. 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 raster 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 left0218206Western New York, an unbroken wilderness, except here and there a settlement. Early in December, 1825, after a toilsome journey of thirty-two days, in a covered emigrant wagon, struggling along over rough and dangerous 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 unflinchingly to fell the giant forest trees, and to carve out of it a home, a competence, an honorable position 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 homesick settlers, until 1845, just twenty years, he had acquired about twelve hundred acres of land in a body, much of which was in a good tillable condition. 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 Genesee 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 partner 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 previously enjoyed, and although the fire in his soul was not one whir 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 public 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. Although from circ*mstances 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, Robert McClelland, John S. Barry, and many others of prominence.* His political views were moulded in

* See appendix

0219207the Jeffersonian school, and like his principles and purposes in other fields, he never deviated from them. Being the son of a Revolutionary sire, he placed a just estimate upon the priceless value of his country and its institutions. Gauging every measure with those 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 ripe 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, 1860. 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 unblemished 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, now 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 west 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 unfaltering trust in the ultimate prosperity of his adopted home. The sons, following closely in the footsteps of their sire, have each held responsible and honorable positions as legislators in their respective States. as well as other public 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 landmark and 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 indomitable0220208will 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 shadedThe 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.”



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 showing forth the calm heroic soul of one of her best and most devoted sons.


“In the language of a loving and sorrowing brother: What a noble spirit he had. And in the last supreme moment how it towered above mortality. 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 fatherless. 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 Nash 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 lovingThornton.27




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, Vermont, in 1834, was a bond given by Thomas Palmer, of Detroit, dated away back in the days of the oldest by-gones, on which there were many indorsem*nts 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, and so on; but in the next two years there were no payments.75.00

In July, 1834, there swept over Vermont, Windsor especially, a wave of religion, and Thomas Emmerson was one of the “brands snatched from the 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's office, just in the rear of where the first national bank now stands, to inquire what the news was, when Dr. Rice very empathically responded that everybody 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 following extraordinary letter addressed to him by the now pious and good Thomas Emmerson:


Windsor, Vermont, August 1, 1834.

Henry 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, Hal! 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,(Signed) Thomas Emmerson

With twenty-five cents postage this unique letter came, after a week's voyage, to Detroit. Harry Cole and Thomas Palmer both survived the cholera, and Emmerson's bond was all paid and cancelled long before Mr. Palmer died.


AUGUST 20, 1847


Pontiac, July 10, 1887.

My Dear Merrifield, Lansing, Mich.:

In the progress of time you and I naturally recall the more prominent0224212events 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 Cherubusco, 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 reformed 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.



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 heartsAre scenes of long ago.


Should thoughts of scenes in those old days,When we were young and gay,Be blotted out from heart and mindAnd ever pass away?

Chorus: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 stepsMore 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.

Chorus:Almost as good as then, dear friends, etc.

Time flies so fast we hardly knowOur work is almost done;But withered hands and whitened locksTell surely it will come.

Chorus: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 lastOur work was all well done.

Chorus:And was it not well done, dear friends? etc.



Note.—The following interesting account has been furnished since the annual meeting 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 many eventful ones in the history0226214of 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 Reading, 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 Malden, 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 Put-in-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 affidavit 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

0227215his own people. When the late war broke out 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 widespreading 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 ware. 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 Purdy, 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 Moffitt responded for the old people, and concluded his remarks with the wish that they might live to celebrate their diamond wedding, three years hence. Short addresses followed by Elias Parker, Lee FitzSimmons, of Reading, and Benjamin Holcomb, of Fremont, Ind. At this point impromptu speeches seemed to be in order. Alexander Purdy mounted a buggy seat and informed the audience that “the first town0228216meeting 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 effect by Earl and Wesley Dufur, Mrs. Simpkins and Miss Southwick, to the tune, “Gathering up the Shells from the Sea-shore:”

Long ago, when the tints of life's morningHad 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 invitationOf children, these friends here have come.When they dwell in that beautiful mansionThat 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 memory, 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 climbUpward life's rugged steep;Then let us lead them gently downTo where the weary sleep.”





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-centennial 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.


Hon. Henry Fralick, President.

Mrs. Harriet A. Tenney, Recording secretary.

George H. Greene, Corresponding secretary.

Ephriam Longyear, Treasurer.

Executive Committee:

Prof. John C. Holmes.

Judge Albert Miller.

Hon. Francis A. Dewey.28


Committee of Historians:

Col. M. Shoemaker, Chairman.

Dr. O. C. Comstock.

M. H. Goodrich, Esq.

Hon. Talcott E. Wing.

Hon. Witter J. Baxter.


Hon. John J. Adams, Tec*mseh.

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.

Rev. R. 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 White, Marquette.



At a joint meeting of the executive committee and the committee of historians of the Michigan State Pioneer and Historical Society, held at Lansing, June 8, 1886, a resolution was adopted providing for a representation of the society at the Semi-Centennial celebration of the admission of Michigan into the union, to be held at Lansing, June 15, 1880, and delegates 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-Centennial occasion, if an opportunity was given by the committee of arrangements.

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:


Mr. President arid Fellow Citizens of our beloved State 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 appear 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 in0232220Michigan, 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 joyousness, 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-witness, 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 Historical 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 whose rich inheritance their children, and their children's children, have entered—we do much more.

We make careful examination of ancient 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 years 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 interest, 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 years, the springtime of existence, are of prime importance.


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 oar 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 present and with the blessing of Almighty God on human efforts full assurance for the future of our State.






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 circ*mstances.

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, with0235223the assurance that the object would not fail. Nor lacked they, I think, the assertion of the truth that all work, to be in any sense permanent or valuable, 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 conquer 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 sample 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 flee, 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 fathers, 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 themselves 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 respect 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 the demands of their day, their patience, bravery, diligence, and self-denial. Their's was indeed a day of small actualities, but of large possibilities, which they made into large actualities by0236224their genuine lives. The remembrance of it should be an inspiration to us.

It is principally this view of the meaning of this semi-centennial celebration, 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 purpose of more conveniently applying the powers of government. I look upon it in this case, simply as a section of country, in which the history of settlement and development furnishes us certain lessons, which this and subsequent generations may profitably consider and hold in remembrance.

Aside from this there is little in the history of this county worth recounting 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 different movements, and three different 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.


To enter a little into details by townships. Spring Lake was the enterprise of the Whites, brothers-in-law of Mr. Ferry. Crockery had as its founders, the Hathaways, who were employed by the Grand Haven Lumber Company, in 1835. Dr. Eastman, one of the pioneers of Polkton, and the father of Eastmanville, was one of the early companions of Mr. Ferry at Grand Haven, and his lifelong friend. So on the other side of the river, Robinson was first entered by the members of the Robinson family, who were in close connection from the beginning, with the parties at the mouth. The remainder of the up-country was only afterward settled, and independently of the first movement. The rich lands in Talmadge, Chester, and Wright, attracted immigrants of various nationalities, who sought land for purely agricultural purposes. The towns of the south, Allendale, Blendon, Georgetown, and the larger part of Robinson, 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. No doubt their main motive was earthly, even as their occupations were intensely 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 Indians, and had exhausted his temporal resources, came to Grand Haven to better his worldly interests. 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 profiting thereby. The same motive brought his associates from the eastern States. The same motive led the devout Robert Stuart to furnish a large amount of the capital which was 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 coöperation was also subject to the ordinary dangers and evils which befall associated enterprises. Differences, jealousies, complaints, partings—the grievances and trials of ordinary mortals befell 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 affluence 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 handicapped290238226by what their predecessors bequeathed, or starting out anew, you will find them the same, and “what hath a man of all the labor which he performeth under the sun.”

But they were not 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 communal life of the region; too great value can hardly lie placed on the presence 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 swear 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 diligence 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 prevailed. 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 wilderness, away from books and institutions of learning, means were found to train a growing generation, which, in after times, needed nor to fear to have its attainments in knowledge compared with 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 Sabbath when Mr. Ferry preached to the congregation, 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 regular 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 unlawful 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 things0239227spiritual, as for the people of any part of the State, and I take great pleasure in saying that those dwelling among us, who still serve as the surviving links to bind us to the pioneers of fifty years ago, are still among our leaders in all things honest and true and right.

I think we may say that as a consequence of this spirit, in which the work here was in the main begun and prosecuted, the results of that work along Grand River have also been in the main prosperous and permanent. You will not require me to go into an invoice of this prosperity. Upon the whole, 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 the life of a man, so in the life of communities, it is in these things that the 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 1836. 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 who 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 enjoyments 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 they were fresh enough at the close of their day to spend the night in dance and revelry, and in the company 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 projected0240228lines of communication with the great world which was just looming into view at such points as Detroit and Chicago.

Yet they were not altogether idle. They built the best mill in the West at that time. They made a harbor, 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 least0241229importance. You can press no life-blood from it for a people. You can easily introduce it as a poisoning element. It will sooner kill than make alive. I suppose to some of you this sounds quite ridiculous, but it is nevertheless 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 southern part 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 white men were on the banks of the Grand and Kalamazoo rivers when Dr. Van Raalte 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 help 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 knowledge of this fact had indeed brought them here, for they too came, like the native pioneers from the Eastern States, attracted by the possibilities of which they had received word. They wished to exchange the disadvantages of the crowded old world for the promises of this young empire. But it would be seriously wronging 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 people as a whole, that the moral element was strong in them; and if it did not absolutely control it largely predominated in their communal 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 which 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 weaknesses, but it was in the main genuine. We 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. My personal recollections go back to the0242230earliest period of this movement. The impressions of my childhood are vivid, and, as you know, 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 conclusions I have arrived at different ideas than the majority of my companions. I do not for that reason distrust my convictions. In these later years I have often wondered that their history should not have been better, and again I often been surprised that it was so good. Like other peoples they have their peculiarities. Some of these are of great value. The genuine, Dutchman 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 shuttleco*ck of tyrants, a nationality handed about among the empires like a crown jewel. They were often owned, but never wore a collar and chain, neither of Roman 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, clannishness 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 been said, it still remains to be noted that the progress there has from the beginning been an evidence of the sterling qualities which this people contributed 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 opportunities 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 influence, and set to work to remove them, especially the barrier of a foreign0243231tongue, still too largely used in the higher relations of life, where men are able to influence one another more powerfully. With all this, however, their power to give to our communal life a moral and spiritual tone is to be gratefully acknowledged. 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 making 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, prosperous 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 righteousness, 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 unceasing 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 discouragements, 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 element holds almost exclusively the towns of Holland, Zeeland, Olive, and0244232large parts of Blendon, Allendale, and Jamestown. After a little it will have these also in entire occupancy.

The peculiarity of the history of this county is in the presence and activity of these two elements, the native and the foreign. I judge that as to numbers 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 whom, for several generations, has been developed the spirit of restlessness. 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 circ*mstances, rather an interesting 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 know 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. The0245233less baggage a traveler carries the better he is off. The sooner an emigrant can learn to make himself at home in his adopted fatherland the better it is for him in his new relations. I do not know what specially valuable idea Europe has sent here during the century. It has modified life here in various respects, but I do not think for the better. I for one wish that we could restore the America of half a century ago, excepting only the anomalous bondage which then oppressed the African race. I confess I like the America, as I learned about it in my youth, with its predominant political ideas, with its social views and customs, with its simplicity and reverence for sacred things, and its equality as faithfully applied in the town and country, better than the America of to-day. I hope we shall have it back some day, the true American spirit, 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 adopt him the easier and better it is. I detest with all my heart the clannishness which makes the word “countryman” a rallying cry in politics or in religion, or an advertisem*nt in business, or an exclusive bond in social life. But equally do I despise the spirit which would divide our citizenship into classes, and would apply 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, during so large a part 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 country may be in fact as it is in theory the history of one people. Certainly these peoples 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 portion of the people, we have enjoyed with all the people. We are part of a great and greatly favored State, of a greater and greatly distinguished nation. During this period Michigan has grown from a population of eighty-seven thousand to nearly two millions, and the material blessings of Providence have more than kept pace with this increase. Social, educational, and religious privileges have been assured 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 been confirmed, and its unity rendered secure, I trust, for all time. Let us have grace to use our increased300246234and 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 instructed 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.



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 discomforts 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 possibilities0247235of the country, and were reasonably happy and contented in the hope that prosperity and comfort awaited them in the near future.

This was the nucleus and starting point of the settlement of the Grand River Valley, from the mouth of the river up to within a few miles of Jackson. 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 first settlement. 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 acreage 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 day to celebrate, 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 established 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 happened in this case to be a very pretty girl, whom Mrs. Robinson was extremely anxious to marry to the writer, either to live together while agreeable, according to Indian0248236fashion, 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 pay their debts to the traders (I think they had previously 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 reiterating 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, quiuck, “right, right,” our nichkeway, “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 with 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, circ*mstances or surroundings. To Mr. Robinson they gave the name of Wa-va-ohase, or martin, a fine-furred, valuable animal; to Uncle Louis Campau, Wagu-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-nug-a-zische, 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-ka-boga-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 Che-mo-ke-maness, or “young Englishman,” because, doubtless, of my young and green appearance.* Within a year from that time they changed my

* See appendix

0249237name to No-ba-quon, a “vessel” or “ship,” because of a transaction they supposed me connected with in a cabin of a small vessel then lying at our pole dock. This change of name cost me two gallons of the fluid above alluded to.

The French voyageurs, or Derwin men, as they were called, were a necessity to the times and business of that early period. Their employment was to carry packs of goods and traps, and occasionally a ten gallon keg of whisky, for purposes of trade among the Indians. The Weight of their packs would frequently exceed one hundred and fifty pounds, and they carried them within a circuit of thirty to forty miles. They were a hardy and indomitable class, capable of more endurance than a horse. Rough and uncouth though they were the early trainings of their mothers and the Catholic church had left an impress that neither time, place nor circ*mstance could efface.

In the summer of 1834 immigration to Grand Rapids commenced, and Mr. Robinson, thinking the circ*mstances 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 an 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 service 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 continuous forests south to the St. Joseph River and east to Grandville, without a white inhabitant.

In November, 1834, the Rev. William M. 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 influence 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 much 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.




Standing in the presence of the fiftieth anniversary of the settlement of Grand Haven, it is fitting that we pay tribute to its founders and early pioneers. Their story is worth the telling. They felled Our forests; they gave birth to our commerce: and they sowed the seeds of religion and learning. Hence it is well that we meet to-day to pay tribute to the living and the 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 Griffiin, Gilbert and Hopkins, and others. But let us begin our tribute with the name of Rev. William Montague Ferry. Not because he was the first who stood upon the banks 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 received good training in the home, and at the age of fifteen he became an earnest Christian. He now looks a new destiny in the face; he stands in the light of a new morning. But what path in life shall he travel. It was his ambition to enter0251239the christian ministry. But whence the funds to carry him through his preparatory studies? That was a serious question in those days. His father could not furnish them out of his limited means. So it was evident that to secure an education he must depend upon the resources of his own hand and brain.

Thence with a father's blessings and a mother's prayers, he goes out into the great world to fight life's battles. But he carried with him industry, and an earnest purpose to do something, and to be something, and with such a 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 overboard, and if there is anything in him he will reach the shore. Our American 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 Plainfield, Mass., to prepare for college. But finally the preparatory work is done, and at the age of twenty-one he enters the sophom*ore 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 theology 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 offers his services to the United Foreign 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 Mackinaw, 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. Ferry0252240sharing his toils and burdens, his joys and sorrows. She was a woman worthy of the toiling missionary, and much of his success at Mackinaw was attributed to her consecrated life. Theirs was a christian home in the wilderness, a city upon a hill, a fountain in the desert. But 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 work, Mr. Ferry's health was broken, and the fact stares him in the face that he must surrender his work. However, the purpose for which he had gone to Mackinaw had largely been realized. But while recruiting his health, he must at the same time provide for his family. He would have been received with open arms by his family in New England; but that, to him, would have seemed a surrender of his spirit of self-reliance. But a door is opened. Through a business arrangement with the late Robert Stuart, of Detroit, he came to Grand Haven with family and friends. He sails into Grand river, November 2, 1834. His arrival was upon Sunday morning, and, remembering whose servant he was, he leads the pilgrim band in divine worship. The text from which he preached was appropriate and suggestive: “For who hath despised the days of small things?” This was a revelation of the man, as well as indicative of the humble beginning of Grand Haven. He began wisely. He planned and built in the name of God, and thus gave our city a religious character. That surely was his noblest work. Cities and states assume largely the character of their founders, be it what it may. Yes, he was a man of faith. He had faith in God and faith in the future. And so, when he preached his first sermon, he saw, by faith, the city that was to be. He seemed to realize that in the near future the ships of commerce would crowd our harbor, and that the forest would give place to beautiful homes; so he planted, and so he built. But what his imagination pictured he largely saw realized. Where once was 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 was manifested in the new path that he was to travel. But while he made tents he still preached the gospel. He was a missionary upon new 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 was its pastor for nearly twenty years, freely contributing his services, and from the time of his resignation till his death he commanded0253241the love and respect of its pastors. Their success called forth his congratulations, 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 the interpretation of the Scriptures. It was his delight to read the Bible in its original tongues, and thus extract the living truth. Thus drinking at the original fountains he became mighty in the Scriptures.

But in his business life, too, he was diligent, and was rewarded with large success. He became wealthy and one of the leading business men of a great and growing State. But it was not by accident—he put intelligence and industry into his work, and large wealth was the result. But his munificent gifts reveal the fact that he did not value money for its own sake, he planted 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 but also in distant parts of the globe, hence he made permanent contributions to the world. To build thus is to build wisely and well. But 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. But the city that he founded was his home from November 2, 1834, till his death December 30, 1867; here he settled; here he lived; here he died; and to-day we pay this humble tribute to his memory.

But we pass to the man Rix Robinson, whose name is identified with the settlement of Ottawa county. In fact, he was its first pioneer. And whoever in the future shall tell the story of Ottawa county, or write its history in detail, will give a large chapter to Mr. Robinson. 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 promise 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 would have secured a brilliant success at the bar of his native State. Besides having 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 New310254242York lost an able and brilliant advocate the State of Michigan gained a useful and progressive pioneer.

In 1814 he left his home near Auburn, N.Y., to work out his career 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 himself 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 establishing 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 1821 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 Northwest. 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 closely0255243identified with 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 fidelity and honor. He died at Ada, Kent county, in the year 1875, respected and honored by a great 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. Robinson, 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 first 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 year, 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 1862.

Another name that was associated with Mr. Ferry was Mr. Nathan H. White. He was 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 associated 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 citizen,0256244ex-Sheriff Henry Griffin. 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 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 Captain 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.

But 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 naturally come together, because of their friendship and long association. They were widely known in western Michigan, and contributed energy and industry to our growing State. Mr. Hopkins was born near Providence, Rhode Island, in 1814. He spent his early years in New England, where he enjoyed good educational advantages. In 1836 he caught the western spirit and came to Grand Haven. When he reached our State, he found it a wilderness; but the frontier life had for him great attractions. He entered heartily into the work of converting the forest into homes for the coming civilization. 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 individuality, and original in his thought. He had a large mind and big heart. He was warm 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 1well.

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 that nearly his entire life was identified with this State. He0257245was a man of large intelligence, and industrious and enterprising. He came to Grand Haven in 1844 when it was but a village. From the time of his arrival till the day of his death he was a large factor in the growth of Grand Haven. He contributed much toward making it what it is. He was honored by his fellow citizens, and filled faithfully places of trust. He was county treasurer for several terms in succession, and was the first mayor of our city. He died in this city, December, 1880.

But our early settlers who are present will remember with pleasure Hon. Thomas D. Gilbert. He was prominently identified with the early history of our city. Mr. Gilbert was born at Greenfield, Mass., December 13, 1815. He made good use of the schools of his native town, and so was well prepared to begin business life. In early manhood he caught the western spirit and so left the refinements of New England to work out his career amid the trials and excitements of frontier life. He came to Grand Haven in June, 1835. Upon his arrival he entered into the service of Robinson and White. Thus beginning as a clerk he pushed his way to a proud place among the business men of Michigan. After serving Robinson and White for some time he became interested in lumber. 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 early pioneers of western Michigan. They were men of character, and they represented the best elements of Eastern life. In 1856 he removed to Grand Rapids. He then went to Europe and remained two years. Thus by travel in the Old World he not only enlarged his knowledge but enjoyed a well earned rest. Since his return from Europe Grand Rapids has been his place 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. White also deserve honorable mention. Along with others that have been noticed they contributed their share in building of Grand Haven and in the development of Ottawa county. They were born in Ashfield, Mass., and came to our city in 1835. There they endured the privations of pioneer life without a murmur. They are remembered with pleasure by our old settlers. To Mr. Thomas W. White we owe much for the taste that he displayed in planting of shade trees on the streets of our city. Many of the noble maples that adorn our city were planted by his hand.

But last, though not least, is the honored name of Miss Mary A. White. The0258246moral 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.



In ancient times, when the world was youngEre the press was born or books had a tongue,A mural tablet registered deedsOf daring and valor: and history's meedsWere recorded on bricks in Nineveh's walls,Or Babylon's tower, or Pharaoh's halls,That in ages to come the unwritten mysteryChampollion and Layard might turn into history.But in later days these exploits were sungBy the world's great poets, who the changes rungOn the glorious battles of gods and menOn 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 singThe voyage of Æneas, the Latium king.But Homer's a myth, so the critics say,And the ten years' siege is a poet's play;So Æneas' 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!


But now we are not circ*mscribed at allBy the songs 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 unfoldAnd show all its dross as well as its gold.Now if this we admit then surely to-dayPoetasters or poets have little to say,For we've listened on this anniversary timeTo a record not easily traversed by rhyme.Figures tally as little with measure poeticAs rhetorical flowers with signs geometric;The muses with fancy's poetical chimesAre 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 natureHalf clad and hungry and swarthy in feature.

A wild deer one morning came down to the shoreAnd 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 co*cked his white tail as he fled to the wood,For a beautiful Sabbath had dawned on the lakeAnd 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 and cautiously sped,While a man at the fore feels the way with his lead,And the watchful old captain in pea-Jacket cladOrders “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 has been built whereon they can land,So they tie to a post driven deep in the sand.

But who are these pilgrims who venture their livesOn 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 GodCome to hew down the forest and turn up the sod;Come to open the land that the beautiful lightMay 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,


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 gentleness 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 comeTo 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 instilledIn the minds of these pilgrims the day to be filledWith rest for the body and rest for the soul,With worship and penitent prayer, and controlOf our wandering hearts; with religious emotion,And the mind fixed on Heaven in earnest devotion;With merciful deeds for the welfare of othersWho, 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.

Calm, and assured of His presence who fillsEternity's scenes, and controls all our illsThey land, and with reverent step they now traceThe 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 woodsHis furs to exchange for Che-mo-ko-mon's goods.Here Robinson reigns and the savage controlsBy 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 entertainsWith the best that the wilderness yields to his pains.

Then, warmed and refreshed, by instinct they turnTo 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 wordsOf the high hopes and joys which religion affordsTo 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 despiseA day from which great things shall surely arise?Not we who look back from our favored positionAnd rejoice in the fruit of our forefather's mission,For He, the great Giver who ever restrainsAll the powers of the world, their losses and gains,Hold this in reserve—what he blesses shall grow,

* Rev. Wm. M. Ferry.

† “Who shall despise the day of small things?”—Zech. iv, 10. Mr. Ferry's text on this occasion.


Though the world in its wisdom or wrath shall say “No.”The small seed they planted shall downward take root,And upward shall flourish, 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 passedIn the new forest home they had come to at, last;What pen shall depict the discomforts that grewIn the track of their lives the long summer through?Those who've toiled and suffered in similar measureMay attempt the sad task at their own gracious pleasure.Nor song of the poet nor artist's bright dyesCan picture these scenes, as they came to the eyesAnd the hearts of the heroes who suffered the strifeOf 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 interveneSome lodge in the attic, while other resortTo 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 appearsWhen rehearsed to their children in long after years.The world brighter seems when prosperity comesAnd 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 up 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 neighbor's kind face.And the scenes of their earlier struggles they trace;They laugh o'er the perils they once felt so keenThey passed safely through—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 seemed;Of luxuries real they only then dreamed.It happened one day that some Indians cameWith a birchen-bark vessel, a “moco*ck” 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 madeJust 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 vigilant cookHad need for a moment just indoors to look.When an unruly 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.32


Once their commons were short and famine impendedBut that food might abound and the scarcity ended,A man was dispatched in haste to ride throughThe wilderness dense to Kalamazoo,To purchase live pork for the settlement's need.To all this necessity giving good heedHe 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 soulSent a messenger forward with haste, to declareThe success of his mission, that they might prepareFor 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 poeticHe will not deny 'tis at least dietetic.)But we turn from the hardships, the toils and the funOf the pioneer life in the place now their home.

By God's favor planted, the settlement grewAnd a village became, and though very newA 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, showsHow needful that gentlemen wear their best clothesWhen they visit the ladies, for Cupid's bright bannerIs not bought and sold with an auctioneer's hammer.Still another would puzzle the men and the maidsWith rebuses, riddles, perplexing charades,Conundrums and puns, or to trip up the heelsOf the youngster too big for his clothes as he feels.And thus were the long winter evenings beguiled,And furnished amusem*nt for parent and child.Recitations and speeches by children and youthCame on in their turn, inculcating truth.The Lyceum came, with forensic debatesOn questions and topics on which all the fatesOf 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 dimesTo publish the gospel in heathendom climes;The blessed results will eternity show—They can never be known to the dwellers below.


Time would fail me to name all the brave souls that standSide 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 Miller, 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 onThe map and the history of city and county,And who leave their successors to share in their bountyWith Lovell, and Angel, and Maxfield and Parks,All of them men who could leave us their marks,Hathaway, Davison, Patchin, and moreOf 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, alas! who enjoyed with a zestThese pioneer labors have gone to their rest!We drop them a tear, but the march of the yearsBears us onward, too, spite our hopes or our fearsMay 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 girlsIn wisdom's bright ways, who in modesty furlsHer own sails, contented to shineReflecting 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 gaveTo them the will to braveThese hardships for the country we inherit.To Him we raise our songs,Because to Him belongsOur 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.



Fellow Citizens of Ottawa County:

In compliance with the request of your committee to write up that portion0264252of the history of the early settlement of Ottawa county, that came under my knowledge and experience, allow me to say, that my earliest acquaintance with Ottawa County was in the fall of 1836, 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 what 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 immigration 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 controlling 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 construction of highways and school districts to such an extent that the legislature 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 contention 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, while Talmadge was mostly Government lands, or what was then known as internal improvement lands, upon which no taxes could0265253be levied. The settlers Were very anxious to handle the highway and school money raised on the non-resident lands of Georgetown, and construct highways 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, petitions 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 which they could raise money to build 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 was 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 and 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 once0266254saw 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 Eastmanville. 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 so without organization, and the campaign was lost to Talmadge. Eastmanville 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 neglected. 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 litigation 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 contentions 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 Catholic 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 separation of the parties. Mr. Dalton abandoned his property and went to Chicago, 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 Blendon. Jamestown was organized about 1849. Jamestown took its name0267255from three James's—James Skeels, the second supervisor, James Brown, and James M. Conkwright. The land, although mostly located by speculators, in 1835 was mostly put on the market, and was rapidly settled by emigrants largely from Ohio. The first settler in Bleudon Was Booth Kinney, who settled on Dec. 12, about the year 1845, now dead. Afterwards a family by the name of Woodruff,—Milton, and Henry,—who settled on the same section. This town settled very slow. Stoors & Wyman built a mill in southeast part of the town somewhere about 1850. The town was organized in 1856. First town meeting held at the house of Booth Kinney. Albert Vredenburg was the first supervisor. Zeeland was set off from Georgetown and attached to Holland, and was after organized, and one D. Young was the first supervisor; this was about 1850. The heads of families of the settlers as early as 1840 are now nearly all dead. Henry Griffin, J. V. Harris, Samuel Hart, Thomas Woodbury, Daniel Rieley, and Mrs. H. Steel are the only survivors who first settled Talmadge.

Hiram Jenison, Luman and Lucius Jenison, S. Yeomans, L. Burdsly, Edward F. Bosworth, and Freeman Burton are the only survivors of the residents 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 of the river, was regarded valueless for agricultural purposes, and had been a great drawback to the settlers in the eastern part 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 unfrequently 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.




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, professionally, 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 business at Grand Haven, and incidentally and occasionally, some political matters 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 Representatives.

Again, if I recollect aright, Judge Charles W. Whipple 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 circ*mstances 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 stentorian0269257voice), put their antagonists to their utmost mettle, and many other lawyers of an early date, who 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 could narrate many amusing incidents, not, perhaps, worthy of formal record. You had a justice of the peace once who ordered a recess of his court that he might throw a noisy and disorderly litigant out of his office; and, 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 involved were small, as navigation, lumber contracts, and manufacturing operations always originate more such cases than merely agricultural pursuits. The most learned and experienced member of the Chicago bar was frequently brought into the 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 sometimes 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 joint330270258enterprises in Ottawa county, and called me 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 whilst admiring the elements of their characters, the ability, the enterprise, the courage and wisdom they manifested, yet was I more moved and affected by their evidence of qualities of heart, more attractive 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 procured, 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 amiability so complete and charming 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 world. 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.



A correct topographical map of Ottawa county would show a nearly uniform 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 only0271259exception to that height is found 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 be paid back by the waves of the lake. Through the past centuries accretion has been piled upon accretion by the action of the 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 constantly adding to its plant wealth. On a smaller scale the western half of Ottawa county may be likened to the delta of the Mississippi, that receives the deposits of alluvial soils floated to 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, we find boulders that have been laid bare by 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 1848, 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 kind 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 submerged 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 Add, 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 by the floods and freshets. If anyone doubts0272260the 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 work, 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 Hudson 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 to0273261note the difference in favor of Ottawa county and the east shore. The thermometer in this county often stood at zero, at Chicago 18° below the same day and hour, the wind blowing from the southwest. At the same time it would be 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 northwest. In the same storm it was reported at 44° below by the spirit thermometer 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 from the east in the month of March, the other two from the northwest. I have also observed thai 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 escape.



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 undertake this task who is familiar with the beginning of agriculture here, and who could picture to you, from actual experience, the trials and difficulties0274262incident to these beginnings. It needs one who was here when the country was a wilderness, unbroken 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 commencing 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 towards breaking up the soil for a better crop. If he can afford 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 additional 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 families0275263by agriculture for the first few years, and in this emergency the forests furnished means of support. Pine saw logs, shingle bolts, or shingles, cord wood, staves, and hemlock bark, assisted in eking out a scanty living. At Grand Haven the logs were worth $1.50 to $3.00 per thousand feet; shingles, $1.00 to $1.25 per thousand; good maple and hickory wood, 75 cents to $1.00 per cord; white oak staves, $4.00 to $5.00 per thousand; and hemlock bark, $1.50 to $1.75 per cord. These seem small prices at this day, but labor and timber were cheap and the market small. And when the hardy settler had, in the spring, marketed the products of his 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 defeat.

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 products, we infer that the county was not then noted 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 Maxfield, Dewey Hedges and Harry Steel, at and near Steel's landing, now Lamont; Daniel Realey, in the farm that is now known as the county poor farm; Benjamin Hopkins, Dr. Timothy Eastman and Paschal Maxfield at and near Eastmanville.

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 flail, and took it in a canoe, at different times, to Grandville, to mill, a distance, by the river, of about twenty-two miles—a trip that required about two days' time. Mr. Realey reports that the farm was preëmpted by him from government in 1837, and purchased 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 be sold for, and they could make more in raising hay, riving and shaving shingles, making staves, peeling hemlock bark, getting out cordwood, or a raft of logs. As wheat was0276264only about fifty or sixty cents per bushel, pork 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 improvements. 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 sixteen 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 townships was $19,081, 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. She 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 South 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 can0277265hardly imagine that thirty-five years ago this same territory was an unbroken wilderness, that where we see the fine 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 of their first houses from one to two miles across swamps or ravines on their back, and to carry their first bushel of grain on their backs a much longer distance to mill. In many instances the early settlers had no team for several years.

Their first teams were usually oxen, and their first vehicles a rude long sled, made narrow the better to get around between the trees and the stumps. Their first market and mill was at Grand Rapids, and they would go from the “colony” usually in companies of from 20 to 30 ox teams, and it required two days to go and return.

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 Muskegon county. The value of the real estate had increased to $580,890; 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 90, 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 6½ hogs to each farm. The produce for the preceding year, 3,814 bushels of wheat; 24,264 of corn, 3,549 of oats; 262 of rye; 553 of buckwheat; 9,308 of potatoes; 30,000 lbs. butter, and 42,000 lbs. maple 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 we find 4,552 cows; 1,778 oxen; 2,058 horses; 10,557 sheep; 4,698 hogs; other cattle, 4,767.

The census of 1880 gives 31,054 acres of wheat, producing 657,750 bushels, or an average of over twenty bushels to the acre; oats, 10,030 acres, producing 317,935 bushels, or an average of a little over 31 bushels per acre; corn, 18,830 acres, producing 610,442 bushels. or an average of 34 bushels per acre, showing that the average on wheat and oats was 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


The following table of Statistics shows the population and progress of the county for the years 1850, 1864, 1874 and 1880:

1840.1850.1864.1874.1880.Population2085,58715,15626,65032,340Bushels wheat3,81487,885217,594657,750Corn24,264103,000347,692610,442Oats and other grains3,54956,000336,638317,935Horses4902,0584,6915,530Cows5384,5527,8788,070Sheep19210,55716,45613,899Tons of hay1931,50715,92326,00022,000Oxen2871,778Acres improved4,91446,10187,033103,041

Improved farms, 1840, 204; 1884, 2,596. Assessed valuation of land, 1850, $580,000; 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 proportionate 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 other.




[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 cultivated 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. England had no fruit of value till the close of the 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 cherries, 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 United States, and even Mexico had most of its fruits introduced 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 California were introduced0280268by the Jesuit Fathers, and it may be said wherever the Romish 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 1650. 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 products to amount to a yearly average of $3,537,278. The total values of the fruits grown yearly in the United States foot up $46,724,293. The distinguished honor of planting the first fruit trees in Ottawa county belongs to our venerable citizen, Henry Griffin, Esq. Forty-eight years ago, or in the year 1836, on the three lots on Franklin street where Mr. Griffin 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. Griffin and Mr. Benjamin Hopkins about the same time planted orchards at Eastmanville. Shortly after Mr. Burch and Mr. Stoddard planted orchards in Talmadge township. In the year 1839 Ira Maxfield, 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. Newcomb and Mr. Lovell planted orchards in Spring Lake township. In the year 1844 Col. Norton planted an orchard on the site where Nortonville now stands. William Thompson and William Hathaway planted orchards in Crockery township in the year 1849. In 1852 Rev. L. M. S. Smith planted a small orchard of apple and peach trees in Spring Lake. In the year 1854 Rev. 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 Hanco*ck 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 Washington 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 of0281269this paper. We will now go back a little in dates and take up the fruit history of another part of the county. In the year 1854 the first orchards were planted at or near Holland City by the following persons, A. C. Van Raalte, D. D., Bernadus Grostanhim, J. Visscher, A. D. Weerd, George Harrington. The same year orchards were planted at Zeeland by C. De Putter, C. D. Pree, and J. G. Van Mees. In the years 1869 and 1870 peach orchards were planted at Holland by the following persons, Delos Dutton, John Visscher, Mrs. J. Heckhins. In 1875 peach orchards were planted largely near Holland by C. H. Dutton, N. Diekema, Arrand Visscher, George Harrington. From the year 1864 to 1870 orchards of the various kinds of native fruits were planted quite extensively throughout the county, and fruit growing took a sharp impetus forward, and has gradually assumed larger proportions 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, 8,432; baskets of grapes, 6,443; berries of all kinds, 6,820 cases, or 3,410 bushels. From 1872 until the present 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, $13,500; peaches, 14,300 baskets, cash value, $9,295; grapes, 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 being 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. We claim in favorable locations in this county grapes, in the hands of the skillful horticulturist, will give an annual net income of $250 per acre; raspberries, $150; strawberries $100 per acre. Peaches, when we obtain a crop, will give higher figures. The above results are obtained from the fact, first, we have a soil0282270well adapted for raising fruit; second, our climate, by reason of the modifying 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, without 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 second to none among the great fruit producing districts of the world.



There is a period at which man arrives when he becomes impressed with the thought that he is growing old; his vision becomes dim, gray hairs make0283271their appearance, the firm, elastic 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 wrinkles 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 telling over and over again the incidents of his early life. He delights to compare 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 imagination he often fights his battles over again, and the greater the hardships he may have endured, the more wonderful his escapes from death on the battlefield, even the horrid privations and terrible sufferings of a prison life, seem to furnish him with the best material for reflection. With mixed feelings of pleasure and pain he recalls to memory all the scenes he was compelled 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 heroes, the defenders of our homes, our country, our rights and our liberties, who, when the life of this nation was imperiled, with wonderful alacrity, 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, with all its hallowed associations, civilization, with all its privileges, 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 worthy of emulation, he makes a little clearance in the woods, builds his rude log cabin, arid 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, with0284272no 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. With nothing but faith in God, a noble purpose, and all the privations of a frontier 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 development of this great country, are seldom fully recognized.

It was under similar circ*mstances as I have described that the first settlers of what is now called Ottawa county began their pioneer life fifty years 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 633 miles of railroad 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 railroad; 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 development 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 traffic, 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 weight. 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.


This road was finished in the year 1827. Then followed the construction of short gravity roads in Pennsylvania. It was on the fourth day of July, 1828, 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 running between Baltimore and Frederick. The whole line from Baltimore to Wheeling, West Virginia, a distance of 380 miles, was not completed until the year 1853, or twenty-five years after work was first commenced upon it. By that time 16,720 miles of railroad were in operation in the United States. The vigor and energy displayed in the construction of railroads was something hitherto unknown. The building of railroads was undertaken in every direction, and the work was pushed forward with the most astonishing rapidity. The State of Michigan, which had never been behind in the paths of progress, also caught the spirit of the age, and at the present time over 5,000 miles of railroad are in operation in this State.

On the seventh day of March, 1834, the legislative council of the Territory 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 any combination of them.” In the autumn of 1838 this road was opened from Detroit to Royal Oak, a distance of 13 miles; in the spring of 1841 it was opened to Birmingham, 19½ 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 Opera House now stands in the Campus Martius. The road was constructed in a very cheap manner, with flat iron rails and trestle work instead of earth embankments, and for some years it was operated by horse power. In the year 1852 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 railroad 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 railroads, the two companies to form a continuous line from Detroit to Lake Michigan, under the name of the Detroit and Milwaukee Railway Company, 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 opened to Owosso, a350286274distance of seventy-eight miles from Detroit, and on the 1st September, 1856, the road was opened to Millpoint (now Spring Lake). At first steamers connected with the railroad at Millpoint until the track bridges and docks were completed 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 railroad 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 passenger' 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 rivet, 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 induced to complete the road to Grand Haven, and provide the rolling stock. That company advanced $1,250,000, besides placing the first mortgage bonds0287275of the company in London, England. At that time it was not so easy to obtain money for railroad construction as it became at a later period; therefore, to the Great Western Railroad 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 Milwaukee. The boats on the Chicago line are owned by the Goodrich Transportation Company, and run only during the summer season. The steamers on the Milwaukee route are owned and managed by the Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railway Company, and consist of the magnificent side wheeled steamer, 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 Engleman 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 reörganized as the Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad Company. In November, 1873, the earnings of the road again proved to be insufficient to pay the interest upon its bonded0288276debt, and in 1875, its president, the Honorable C. C. Trowbridge, was, by the court, appointed receiver of the road, and remained in possession of it until November, 1878. The road was again sold, and the present company organized under the name of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railway 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 amalgamated, 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 Muskegon, 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 Ottawas 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 very extensively from this station. As far back as 1873 this company made application at one time for three hundred cars, to load with lumber, agreeing 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 chiefly farm produce. Four and a half miles further east is Dennison's station. in the township of Polkton. and next comes Coopersville station. Three miles from Dennison's, also in the town of Polkton. is Coopersville, 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 improvement 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-offices had not commenced to run on wheels at the rate0289277of forty or fifty miles an hour, as they do upon the railroads of the present day. The most common mode of travel then was behind a slow ox team in a rough wagon, and jolted over roads which made 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 hours in which to transact business, and reach Grand 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 being cut down by the reaper.

Railroads, telegraph and telephone wires 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 States.

Besides the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railway, which passes through the county from east to west, the Chicago and West Michigan Railway and branches traverses the county from north to south and east to west. The history of this railway only dates back to 1867. 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 Ferrysburg Railroad. February 3, 1869, a company was formed, called the Grand 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, a company was organized to construct a railroad from New Buffalo to St. Joseph, Michigan. This company was known as the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad Company. On the 25th 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 Railroad road Company. In the same year the road from New Buffalo was opened for traffic to Muskegon. This road entered Ottawa county a few miles south of Holland, and ran north through the towns of Holland, Olive, Robinson0290278and Crockery, and had stations at Holland, Ottawa, Spoonville 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 Ferrysburg 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. Clay, 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 bondholders, the original stockholders getting nothing. The company was reörganized 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 Ferrysburg, 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 passenger trains on that road. From Ferrysburg to Grand Haven, a distance of one mile, trains of the Chicago & West Michigan Railway 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 the town of Holland since the year 1846. They have turned the wilderness into fruitful fields, and beautiful homes adorn the township. Large shipments of grain, hay, flour, butter, 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.0291279This company was known as the Grand Rapids and Holland Railroad Company. 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 Holland. 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 mortgages, 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, was by 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 bondholders, and on the 1st day of October, 1881, the company was reörganized 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 portion of the railroad. In 1873 the Michigan and Ohio Railroad Company surveyed and graded the track, from the city of Grand Haven for some distance 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 official 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.




The commerce of Grand Haven and Ottawa county dates its commencement from the year 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 basem*nt was filled with several hundred barrels of Ohio flour, worth $10 per barrel, and a poor quality at that, and pork and beef $20 to $30. The first floor, with front on Water 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 great variety of supplies to furnish new settlers, composed of hardware, feathers, house and shanty furniture, etc., 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 with 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 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.0293281were also forwarding and commission merchants before 1840. David Carver came here in 1835, with C. B. Albee as clerk, and built a warehouse and dock, on Water street, and the dwelling on Franklin street, owned and occupied for years by William Wallace.

A Mr. Stearns built a warehouse in 1836, purchased afterwards by C. B. Albee, who was for many years in the forwarding business with Mr. Ebenezer Barnes as clerk, and kept a store in the same large warehouse, on the lots where now stands the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee R. R. depots.

From 1839 to 1849 we had only three general stores in Grand Haven, all situated on Water street, in the warehouses, viz., first, Rev. W. M. Ferry, who had a general store in 1840 foot of Franklin street, C. B, Albee, Frank B. and Tom D. Gilbert. 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 Massachusetts, 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. Haxton and H. L. Waits, the firm of Haxton, Cutler & Waits was organized and bought out the Gilberts, who then removed to Grand Rapids. Haxton afterwards 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 by O. B. Albee. Waits afterwards sold his interest to Cutler, who then removed the store to corner of Washington and First streets. About 1863 Mr. Cutler sold out to Sheldon & Slayton. The last named firm dissolved in 1870.

The first general store on Washington street was built by Henry Griffin 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 & Paff 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, moco*cks of maple sugar and cranberries.

In 1871 A. M. Dickee and N. B. White had a hardware store corner Washington 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 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 engaged360294282in the wholesale and retail tobacco trade and manufacture of cigars, in company 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 between 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. Rix 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 al 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 by 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 year 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 which lasted nearly a week. They were driven to the head of Lake Michigan. The deck load was deeply covered with ice and 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 down 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 said, “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 Nortonville saw mill, and subsequently she was employed in carrying lumber from0295283the Butts & Hathaway mill, the first saw-mill built in Grand Haven, on the lots where the D., G. H. & M. R. R. depot is now situated. Col. Amos Norton went as passenger on the “Victory” to Waukegan. Now the Colonel was rather famous for telling long stories. He happened on one of them in a barber shop, which was so lengthy that the vessel sailed without him. On that trip she was overtaken with a sudden and terrific storm. The vessel capsized and the captain and all on board were lost.

The schooner New Hampshire, capacity one hundred thousand feet of lumber, owned by Captain John Warren and Ebenezer Burns, was a regular trader forty years ago. The scow vessel “Crook,” was owned by C. B. 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 was quickly rolled out. After the sea went down we made for Chicago without losing a board or a shingle. Subsequently, Mr. Albee and Captain Noyes 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 sawmill 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 boars 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 “Noah Ferry” and the steam propeller “Ottawa.” The “New Era,” a steam propeller, was built at Eastmanville, by Galen Eastman, and is used for towing of barges to Chicago. Of late, the fine large vessel called the “Wyman,” owned by Charles Wyman, and the three-masted schooners called the “Macy” and “Hunter Savage,” owned by the 222 Cutler & Savage Lumber Company, are among our first-class lumber vessels.

In 1852 the schooner “Pioneer” was built at Spring Lake by H. Griffin, and Captain Chaloner placed in command. She was a very strong vessel, about 100 tons burthen. Bought by Ferry & Son in 1850, and by them sold to0296284Holland 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 Richmond,” Captain Munroe, was a large brig owned by Hopkins 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 county 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 Railroad 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 “Wisconsin.” The change to the city side of the river, with the splendid iron bridges of Spring Lake and Ferrysburg, the elevator, the large brick passenger depot, with immense warehouses and docks, all add largely to our facilities of commerce. Eleven years ago the propeller “Ironsides” foundered 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 awful0297285disasters fully justify the great expense of the railroad company in putting on the route such splendid propellors as are now running, and also the magnificent 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 port by Grosvenor Reed. We now have the “Duncan Robinson,” owned by G. W. 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., Captain Thomas W. White in command. The “Governor Mason” was built by the Godfreys at Grand Rapids, your writer being one of her passengers 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 & Fryant'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 thousand dollars. It now has a surplus fund of ninety-six thousand dollars, paying its stockholders two hundred and forty-five thousand dollars in dividends. It has paid over twenty-five thousand dollars to the United States0298286treasury for taxes, and thirty-four thousand dollars to the city treasury for the same purpose.



Put a man in the 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 introspection and speculation as to the future. I have not yet reached that age when one is said to think backwards only, or even with ease. Am still looking 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 making 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.” Let this occasion be to the older ones who have accomplished 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.


We have been very busy harvesting this wonderful crop of pine, the result of a growth 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 celebrated with much jollity. The peripatetic 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 budding spring, and the growing summer, and the harvest again, must find some alloy in his employment though he knows the harvest and its reward will come again. What must be the feeling of one who goes forth knowing that for him there will be 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. We must answer the question as to which of these expedients 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 manufacture, shall many, perhaps 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 which 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 wholly on the lumber traffic. So absorbed have we been with the lumber harvest, that we have had but little time for agriculture, and really know but little of the possibilities, of Ottawa county in this respect. 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 manufactures? 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 city. This will be true until our farmers are more prosperous, and our business streets are lined daily with their wagons, bringing in their products and spending 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. Until this is the case, mechanics cannot afford to work at a price paid by our0300288neighbors. We can do something in this direction by removing the unnatural obstruction of a toll bridge. Then our being so absorbed in lumber production 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 manufacture 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 persons are masters of their trade, and those who profess its mastery are workers in a more limited department than of old. Coöperation is so applied as to almost make a machine of the mechanic. So great an elaboration of the principle of coöperation, 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 organize an establishment on an extensive scale. Once a town of this size would have required fifty shoemakers to meet the home demand. Now 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 blacksmith not only fitted the horse shoe, but made it with his hammer. He seldom 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 community. 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 experiments—and an attempt of this kind under the best of circ*mstances is always 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 sister0301289towns which are acquiring the titles of manufacturing towns, never paid a dividend, and are dragging out a precarious existence. To the uninitiated they 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 people cannot build factories for such philanthropic 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. However inappropriate it may be to this time and place, I cannot lose it to denounce the unprincipled demagogues 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 hindrances 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 fundamentals of our government. It is an outrage that one should be so much used as of late for the destruction of the other. No other essential to industrial prosperity is so timid as capital, and rightly so, for it is the first and surest sufferer from disaster. The worker always has his hands and his legs and his brains left whatever happens. The wealth that furnishes him employment 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 enterprise, 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 class 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 simply 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 suspect. Two years ago the writer had occasion to advertise an investment in370302290several newspapers devoted to milling purposes. In almost every one of the numerous letters of inquiry in answer to the advertisem*nt a leading question was, “What are your 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 we 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 double 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 will 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. We 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 have 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 factor 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 that a year ago a man came here and started a match factory in rented quarters. It has been advertised that the that monster monopoly, the. The Diamond Match Company, would crush out every concern not working in its interest. Croakers, and I was one of them, said he could not succeed. He has succeeded. A partial loss of his rented quarters0303291by fire, has emboldened him to build larger, and safer, on his own ground,. I look for match making to become one of the staple industries of Grant Grand Haven. A few years ago a company was formed here for the manufacture of a corn planter. It spent its capital in perfecting its patients patents, and in advertising and introducing its machine, and so built up a profitable business, in the meantime buying much dear experience. A year ago the company was reorganized, and fresh capital used to put its matters on a sound basis. It is about commencing the manufacture of some order other agricultural implements in addition to its planter, and looks forward to almost certain prosperity, and a large increase to its labor employing power. At the head of Spring Lake, and just across the line, in Muskegon county, but tributary to us, and not Muskegon county, has been established a large iron ore smelting furnace. Our superior shipping facilities have enabled it to succeed, notwithstanding the depression in the iron trade, while many others, and notably one located inland in an adjoining county, has been compelled 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 much invested in manufactures outside of lumber as Grand Haven. The more prominent 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 manufacturer 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 Lakie Michigan, 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 suitable for almost every commodity to be made from them. We are midway between 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 brings us one, and the new direct road to Toledo the other, to be manufactured here and distributed to the markets of the West with an air ease exceeded by no other point. No other commodity is now so sick as iron. In addition to the general depression that is being feels felt so severely in all departments, iron is the pampered, coddled, over-fed and dyspeptic baby of our would-be maternal government. It may be many years before any intelligent 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 made to take owners0304292care 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 improvements 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 several 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 intelligently 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.

Let us bear in mind that capital will nor 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 anal 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.




When Ottawa county was organized in 1838, it included in its boundaries not only what is now Ottawa but also Muskegon county. It was then comparatively0305293one dense wilderness, with a few families settled in Grand Haven, and a very sparse white population scattered throughout its territory.

Grand Haven was then a small hamlet consisting of but a few families, and there were no public buildings, except a school-house of about twenty-four by thirty feet, which still stands on Second street.

Modern civilization teaches that among the first wants of every new community 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 prisoners 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, which 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 was found too small, as well as unsafe and unhealthy. The question of erecting a new jail was agitated a number of years, when 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 twenty-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 have 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 prisoners0306294are confined for the night. The arrangement for heating and ventilation are good, and it was intended to make it a perfectly safe prison. It has 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 high 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 records and papers were unsafe. Unavailing 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 which 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 records of the title tiled 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 country county, and their loss could not be supplied, and the title to property, in many instances, would be jeopardized, 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 full0307295and crowded. The increase of business and population, and the transfer of property, increase the accumulation of record books with great rapidity and require a very large commodious room.

Besides, it is very doubtful whether the present vault is sufficient to protect and preserve the records from fire, situated, as it is on the easterly side of this large wooden and tinder-box structure; while our prevailing lake winds are from the westward. Should a fire occur and the court-house burn during the westerly wind, the vault would be heated with a seven fold heat, and the consequences would undoubtedly be the fatal mutilation, if not entire destruction, of all this accumulation of invaluable matter.

All these considerations have great force, and should secure, at an early day, the erection of a new court-house, with all the conveniences and office necessary, and a suitable fire proof vault. That the county owes it to itself and is abundantly able to make these improvements, is shown by a glance at its statistics. In 1857, when the present court-house was erected, the county contained less than ten thousand inhabitants. Now, 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 proportion, imperatively calling for additional room. At that time the total valuation of the real and personal property of the county was less then than three million dollars ($2,869,170). In 1884 that valuation was nearly thirteen and a half millions (13,466,400), an increase of nearly five hundred per cent. To claim, them, then, that the country county is too poor to provide for itself, and take care of its own property, is almost equal to a subterfuge. It certainly demonstrates an old proverb which fitly characterizes it as “Penny wise and pound foolish.”



The newspapers newspaper is a result of an agency of modern civilization. So is soap; so are a thousand other things. But the newspaper in a very marked degree is a product and instrument of the world's richest and ripest ripest civilization.0308296Without 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 mediæeval civilization, helped by troubadour, balladist, and story-teller; were such civilizations as they could be without the newspaper. But ancient and meadiæval 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 fullness of time, came the newspaper.

1. The credit of establishing the first belongs to our enterprising sister city, Holland. In September, 1850, De 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 company and bought De Hollander. 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 July, 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 published 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 Grondwet 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 years 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.


4. In 1857, and for two years longer, DePaarl, a religious newspaper, was published at Holland by Meyer & Vorst.

5. De Wekker was a small monthly paper published in Holland for two years, beginning in 1857, conducted by the Holland Colony Teachers' Association, in the interest of religious, educational, and missionary work.

6. The next paper in historic order was the Grand Haven News, Democratic, founded by J. W. Barns and Mr. Tosha in February, 1858. Twice, in 1859 and 1866, its office was entirely destroyed by fire, yet it survived both conflagrations. Its files being lost, its history is only a matter of recollection. It was leased one year to De Long and Mills, after which, in 1867, it was sold to J. H. Mitchell, and was soon after consolidated with the News Journal of Grand Haven.

7. Next in order came the Ottawa County 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. De Grondwet, at Holland, in June, 1860, was issued by John Roost, M. Hoogesteger, editor. In February, 1869, 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, with Isaac Verney as editor. De Grondwet 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 appearance, though reduced in size.

9. De Verzamelaar, a religious paper, was published in Holland, by J. Binnekant, from 1862 to 1865, when it was merged into De Hope.

10. In 1863 the Grand Haven Union was edited and published by Rev. L. M. S. Smith, with H. C. Akely as a silent partner. Mr. Smith subsequently 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 Searcher was a religious monthly, published only during 1864, at Holland, by Rev. P. Phelps, President of Hope College.

12. De Hope, in Holland, was founded in 1866, by the Council of Hope College, in the interest of liberal education and of the Reformed Churches. It had editorial service at first from Prof. P. J. Oggel; in 1869, from Rev.380310298E. C. Oggel; in 1871 from Rev. C. Van Der Veen; and after 1872, from a 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 published 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, when it was sold to Kedzie & Kedzie, its present owners. In May, 1881, they purchased the Spring Lake Republican and consolidated 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 politics 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, 1875.0311299At the end of two months it was removed to Coopersville. In the spring of 1876 it was removed to Spring Lake, and in July, 1880, to Grand Haven. From its beginning H. Potts has been its editor and proprietor. Independent Democratic till 1884, and since Republican.

19. In July, 1876, the News Journal was started at Grand Haven by a union of the Grand Haven News, under the control of Mr. Hitchco*ck, and the Spring Lake Independent, under the control of J. G. Lee. By both it was published till January, 1877, when Mr. Hitchco*ck retired.

20. The Spring Lake Republican was published in that village from May, 1879, to May, 1881, by Aloys Bilz, Republican. In May, 1881, it was purchased 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. Independent in politics.

The Spring Lake Message was published by C. E. Wasson, from September, 1881, to September, 1883, those dates marking the beginning and end of its life.

This is not a very healthy county for newspapers. According to the record, 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 Hollander34 years.

De Grondwet24 "

De Hope19 "

De Wachter18 "

Grand Haven Herald16 "

Holland City Nears13 "

Courier Journal10 "

News Journal9 "

Observer5 "

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 mostly0312300taken within her borders, have 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 whose 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, yet 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.

Many 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 Hollandish newspapers.

On the other hand, the papers published in the American language 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.




“The Holland and German Churches of Ottawa County.” Such was the topic assigned to me by the committee of arrangements for this semi-centennial 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 en 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 preeminently a city of churches. It has two German ecclesiastical organizations. The older of the two, the St. John's Church, belongs to the German Evangelical Lutheran denomination.

Early in 1863 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 8th day of April, 1866, 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. Bürmeister, 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, however, 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, attributable0314302to many causes and circ*mstances, 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 10th of April, 1882. Its pastor, Rev. Christoph Zimmerman, was installed on the 22d of October following, and serves there 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 alternate Sunday afternoon at the above named Immanuel's Church and keeping school there twice weekly, and also at Crockery, where meetings are held in a school-house 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, more 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 heimath 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 impart 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 years.

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 scrutiny. There are many questions to be answered with regard to them. They are but little known yet; slowly, as is their historic habit, asserting themselves, 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 frivolous0315303example of Washington Irving, 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 affection 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 invincible 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 history 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:

I. 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 centuries they have been soaked in theology. Since the days of the Reformation, nay, even for long periods before, they displayed a peculiar zest for dogmatic disputes. The cloisters and convents of the Netherlands yielded some of the deep foundation rocks of the Reformation. “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 à Kempis and scores of others labored and wrote in the low countries. The sunrise of the Reformation 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 of0316304Dordt decided but little. Whole provinces rejected its authority. If the State's overwhelming 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 University 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 infidelity. English deistic and French revolutionary principles flooded the low countries. Their dykes could not restrain that kind of a flood. The masses were permeated. 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 I., 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 suffered 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, 1815, 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, whilst the spirit of revolution was yet in the air.

Meanwhile a tidal-wave of revival had swept the greater part of Europe. It reached the Netherlands. People 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 culminated in the secession of hundreds of members of the State church. Henry the co*ck 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 property confiscated, themselves hounded and buffeted with cruelty untold. And why? 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 18520317305this condition continued, till the eyes of Europe were directed to it, and mighty kings began to shift uneasily on their thrones. Then it ceased, but not till 1870 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. Remember 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 prospects. But I tell you the mainspring of this immigration was religions 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 pilgrim fathers. The “Southerner,” which arrived at New York on the 4th of November, 1846, 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 thirty-seven years? Does it not redeem much of what you judged heretofore objectionable in them?

II. The story of the Holland Churches of Ottawa County.—It is not necessary 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 province of Overisel, in the Netherlands, of parents in easy circ*mstances in life—his father being a minister in the State church of no mean reputation—a man of liberal education; 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 enthusiasm or sparkling with ominous fire when he was deeply agitated; his smile a revelation, benign at times, and again full of satire, his firm lips indicative of decision and tenacity of purpose. He was a man, always demanding respect, not rarely deeply impressive—a power everywhere. He was an orator of the first rank, when warmed to his task; a man of strong convictions. Some of his discourses are stamped indelibly on the memory of his hearers. His sermon, in memory of our boys lost in the late war, will never be forgotten. He had his faults, was not generally understood by his own people,390318306was 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 forests, 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 who 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 diseases and the grating of unwonted labor, and the consequences of unwholesome food,—all these things were laid as a lead 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 $87,358.78. 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 Polemic 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 year before the resignation of Rev. Dr. Van Raalte the0319307church had become unwieldy. Some of his people clamored for, and the Doctor favored, the organization of a new church, which took place on the 9th day of September, 1867.

The third church of Holland numbered then ninety-seven communicants. A house 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 places of business and 243 homes were destroyed, wiped it all away. The third church was the first building to catch fire; from it the bellowing 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, 1873. Again they started, and this time their new church was dedicated November 25, 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 and occasional services at Ventura, on the lake shore.

Some years before, in 1865, some thirteen discontented members left the first church and organized in Holland a Free Dutch Reformed Church. They have 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 Rev. 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 stoma one hundred and fifty communicants, but appears to be devoured by internal wrangles. That of North Holland was organized in 1853, by Dr. A. C. Van Raalte. The people in that region were in a dreadful condition at the time. They needed religion preëminently. 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 high0320308motives of the pioneers. The original settlers of North Holland appear to have been in part of that class. The church numbered originally but thirteen members. Everything was in a chaotic condition in its early years. Only in 1863 did things take permanent shape.

Noordeloos had, meanwhile, separated itself from North Holland. From 1865 dates its steady growth. Rev. Christian Oggel preached there from 1866 to 1870, to be succeeded by Rev. B. Van Erf, who only recently departed 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 $5,000.

And another of the pioneer churches is that of Zeeland, always 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 immediately 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 $66,131.44—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 prepared 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 preëminently a man of men, reading a man's mind with unwonted keenness, jovial and sincere in his associations 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. S. Bolks, 1865 to 1872. Rev. W. Moerdyk, from 1873 to 1877, under whom the church was flourishing, was succeeded by Rev. N. M. Steffens, 1878 to 1882, whose ability and power steered the vessel through the dreadful storm of the anti-masonic agitation, not, however, without serious injury0321309to the church. It lost heavily in those days. The present pastor, Rev. J. Kremer, officiates there since April 26, 1883.

The church of Zeeland maintains a station at New Groningen, and its property is valued at $10,000. Under the ministry of Rev. J. Stobbelaar secession first lifted up its head there in 1862. Fifteen members severed their connection and formed a “True church.” In 1868 they were considerably strengthened by an accession of Holland Presbyterians. In 1878 they erected their present attractive house of worship. They number to-day 230 communicants. Their pastors were Rev. J. Hoez, 1870–72; Rev. C. Crelingh, 1874–77; Rev. G. Hochsema, 1877–79; 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 independent church. Later on they joined the old seceders. They now number 100 communicants, 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 township of Zeeland. On the 19th November, 1846, 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 who had separated from the state church. They resolved to emigrate to America, and the Rev. Martin A. Ypma was called to be their leader and pastor. You recognize the peculiar 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 prosper. 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, even 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 in0322310regard to it. Its attractive 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 deviated 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 majority 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, 1884. 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 they have nobly borne.


Northeast of these there is another 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 adequate idea of the magnitude of the Holland movements in this country. In Grand Haven proper you have no fewer than four Holland churches. The mother of them all is the First Reformed Church—the old Dutch Church, as it is sometimes called. It has seen dark days and deep waters; yet it outlived 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 $15,000. For various purposes it raised since 1858 $70,329.41. The successive pastors were: Rev. S. 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 1856–1859; Rev. Chr. Van der Veen from 1861–1868; Rev. H. C. Kleyn, as stated, supply from 1868–1869; Rev. J. de Beer, from 1869 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. Ch. Van der Veen the hive sent out its first swarm on the 25th of October, 1865.

Sixteen 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 der Bosch, from 1869 to 1873; 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 flourishing condition. Through that church, the First, of Grand Haven, has become a stately grandmother.

The Christian Reformed Church, of Spring Lake, emanated from it in May, 1882, with fifty-five members. To-day they number eighty-two communicants.0324312They 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 organization of a True Church, of this place. At Mill Point, south of Spring Lake, a Reform Church was organized on the 3d of March, 1876, with seventeen members. The roll now numbers one hundred and twenty-one. Its cosy church, but lately enlarged and beautified, and its pleasant parsonage, are valued at $4,000. Its pastors were: Rev. J. De Pree, 1870 to 1880; Rev. 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 bitter 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. Christian Van der Veen, since April, 1880. He is to-day the oldest residing pastor 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 pastor, 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 $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. Borgers, 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 the village of Coopersville, valued at $5,000, the nave of which, during its0325313erection, was entirely destroyed by fire, as is supposed through incendiarism.

At Lamont there is a Christian Reformed Church, organized in 1879, with 9 members. They number now 50 communicants. Since August, 1883, they are served in the ministry, to great mutual satisfaction, by Rev. 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 statistics, 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 $425,146.34. 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 communicants 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 Reformed Church of America,” 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 church of the seceders in the fatherland, which, by this time, has assumed magnificent 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 in400326314that separation. Van Raalte was one of the chief exponents of one of these; but among the early settlers, among his own followers, 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 and 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 unfeasibility 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 present but in the far future lie the possibilities of a reunion; when with common 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, through 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 by nature, what is dark and hidden.

“When, therefore, the claim was made that numerous church members and 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 ultimatum0327315to expel all Masons from the community of the church or at least to declare membership in oath-bound secret societies a punishable sin—which is virtually the same—or to see them rupture their connection.

You see how such an agitation in the hands of uncompetent leaders led into wrong channels appealing to a strong national prejudice, could rock the western part of the Reformed Church in America, consisting mostly of Hollanders, to its very foundations. And the wonder is only that it worked so little harm as it did. It has passed by, but yet the fire is smoldering, and may burst out anew at some future period.

Once and again grand revivals have swept over these churches, spurring them on to greater activity and better work.

You will do well to study this Holland question 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? Do 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 English in their worship to edification. (3) It is the hardest 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 was therein that his mother first taught him to lisp his evening prayer, and 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.



In tracing the history of the religious movement of the English speaking people of Ottawa county, during the fifty years now past, the commencement will be found in the settlement of Rev. William M. Ferry with his family and friends on the Grand River where the city of Grand Haven now stands.0328316In 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 service, erected their altar, offered their sacrifice, made their vow, and reconsecrated 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, 1836, 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 speaking 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 aggressive 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 period0329317of the religious atmosphere of Ottawa county, and is easily traced in the history 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 speaking people in this county. For that was 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, another 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 1836—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 Grand River. 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 worshiped in sympathy with established methods, or who would carve for themselves 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 in0330318search of a promised land, and found it in the formation of a new society and the erection of a church.

The following table exhibits the statistics of the English speaking churches of the county as complete as we have been able to secure them:

DenominationsPresent Number of ChurchesFirst OrganizationChurches ReportingValue of Church PropertyRemarks.Date.No. of Members.Number.Pres. No. of Members.Adventist4No Report.Baptist31866142170$3,200 00Catholic41858490014,000 00Congregational81849524319,910 00Free Methodist1No Report.Methodist Episcopal718409429514,850 00Protestant Episcopal318665311110,650 00Presbyterian3183612220427,100 00Reformed118621219215,000 00Wesleyan Methodist3116Unitarian1187517512,000 00Totals38232,106$116,710 00

It is to be regretted that so many of the churches, whose record is essential to the completeness of this history have failed to respond with the facts of their organization and growth. It will 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 Wesleyan Methodist; in all 15.

The 38 churches holding services in the English language are distributed as follows, viz:

Allendale 3—Wesleyan Methodist, Congregational, Adventist.

Blendon, 1—Adventist.

Chester, with a population of 1,703, has no English speaking church.

Crockery, 1—Congregational.

Georgetown, 2—Congregational, Baptist.

Grand Haven, 6—Catholic, Congregational, Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian, Unitarian.

Holland, 4—Methodist Episcopal, two Reformed, Wesleyan Methodist.

Jamestown, none. Population 2,066.

Olive, 1—Congregational.


Polkton, 7—Catholic, Congregational, Protestant Episcopal, two Methodist Episcopal, Wesleyan Methodist, Adventist.

Robinson, 1—Congregational.

Spring Lake, 5—Baptist, Catholic, Methodist Episcopal, two Presbyterian.

Talmadge, 3—Congregational, Methodist Episcopal, Baptist.

Wright, 4—Baptist, Catholic, Methodist Episcopal, Adventist.

Zeeland, none. Population 2,715.

It should not be forgotten that this paper is restricted to a consideration of the churches holding their services in the English language, and that the towns in which there are no such churches, are very largely populated by persons of foreign birth and the children of such. The population of the county was, in 1840, 208; in 1845, 1,200; in 1850, 5,587; in 1860, 13,215; in 1870, 26,651; in 1880, 32,340; in 1884, 36,308.

The first church organizations were of course composed of small 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 number living in a town, when only five are found to organize a church; not less significant when three of the five are women. As the county has steadily increased in population and wealth, the English speaking churches have maintained a sure and healthy growth. Twenty-three churches have reported a membership of 2,106, an average of over ninety-one members each. If the fifteen churches who have not reported have an equal average, the number of members of the English speaking churches in the county in 1884 will be 3,471. The actual average of the non-reporting churches is probably less than this estimate.

In a historical sketch of this character, our work would be incomplete without some plain reference to the different men who have served 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, we do not know. How many toiled in tears, through years of unappreciated, often thankless labor, and, like Paul, earning their bread, that they might be under obligations to none, who can say? That there must have been noble, conscientious0332320work done by both ministers and laity is proven by 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 county, now valued at $116,710, the other factor. All this has been erected and dedicated to the service of God and humanity by a people who were busy 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, lumber, money, when they had it, all for an opinion, a belief, a deep, all-controlling 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 anniversary, look backward for a moment and trace what has been accomplished, 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 pressure of most adverse circ*mstances. Here is a grouping of religious influence, 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 guides the race upward and onward.

As we look forward from this fiftieth anniversary, it will be well to remember 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 difference 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 coöperative labors in philanthropy—in the higher morals of social life, and deeper amenities of common daily being—where all shall see eye to eye0333321and walk hand in hand; to advance this would seem to be our duty—to retard 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 movements, 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.



Having no personal acquaintance with the growth and development of this county, and no reminiscences connected with its educational progress, no experience with its difficulties, and being unable to find any official records in the county archives, I must be content to leave its early experiences 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 superintendent of public instruction.41


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 necessary 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.

* Report Superintendent Public Instruction, 1853.

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 disappointments, 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 civilization 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 near 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 $1,194.13 as the amount raised for the support of schools, including the pay of teachers, and $1,089.53 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 the0335323mining companies of the Upper Peninsula, amounting for 1881 to $305,395.27. This increased the apportionment to Ottawa county more than $6,000, or to a total in 1881 of $11,714.17, 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 ($16,851.31), upon a school census of nearly 13,000 (12,923).

The thirty-two districts of 1852 enrolled as pupils 1,056; the one hundred and twenty districts of 1883, 9,354 pupils.

The valuation of school property in 1859 at $9,143, had increased in 1883 to $183,030.

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 attending 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 expenditures 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 average 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 children0336324to school until the public money is expended, and then keep them at home. So long as the schools are free they are well filled and prosperous. But as soon as the tax begins to bear upon it, the school wanes and dies.”

The 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 Lake, 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 great 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 personal reminiscences.

In the earlier days,* “each township had three school inspectors, whose duty it was to organize districts, apportion the school moneys to the districts, 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 Veen. Mr. Van der Veen, however, soon resigned the office, and A. W. Taylor served the remainder 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 successor in 1873, and held the office until the repeal of the county superintendency 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.



Year.Primary Interest Fund.School Census.School Districts.Children Attending School.Av. No. Months School.No. of School Houses.School Sittings.Value of School Property.No. of Teachers Employed.Total Teachers' Wages.No. Qualified Teachers.No. Graded Schools.Total Expended on Schools.Two Mill Tax.Expended on School.Rated Bill.13521,426*481,717 25$3,240 41$644 77$1,089 53$520 671855$1,395 752,502521,8465.3784,477 83869 093,172 321,335 5218571,649 893,113662,4885.6956,324 061,435 302,427 552,302 8418591,127 803,666672,4716.4$9,143 001126,995 822,117 361,055 8718611,625 404,165793,1866.319,316 001228,514 293,785 8918632,281 504,8128739496.723,227 001489,665 35311,892 673,594 691,356 85945 6318652,540 985,835 934,6646.326,000 0016814,698 1219,379 053,357 742,214 792,238 1618672,799 927,638 955,5936.714 log 9150,212 0020,224 95183533,765 053,311 90Includ'g debts. 9,500 752,510 8718693,708 368,7631036,5557.114 log 10671,419 0023,832 28213746,161 813,903 94Includ'g debts. 12,934 111,886 8518714,284 479,4641117,1477.79,173146,327 0036,701 582341084,210 833,489 3533,170 4518734,691 4710,2307,6807.69 log 1159,396149,765 0045,313 81969,927 078,228 727,058 2118754,951 8010,9341148,6108.15 log. 1189,923157,776 6048, 304 602481081,775 259,073 608,210 8018775,127 4611,1641159,3358.33 log 12010,101158,965 0042, 737 912511269,688 628,160 836,312 4318795,323 0311,3851177,8978.12 log 1199,724116,185 0024338,458 661365,223 518,768 697,645 37188111,714 1711,9771178,74681 log. 12110,132161,376 0025141,399 591470,028 36(1 Mill.) 5,834 738,550 66188316,851 3112,9231209,3547.91 log. 12210,689183,030 0026249,242 381584,598 6211,468 068,997 91

* 32 Reporting.


results that in 1881 a compromise measure, combining township supervision 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 productive of better results than were secured under the county superintendency.

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 receiving $271.13 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 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 children. Totally unacquainted with the educational provisions of the State, and in no position to take advantage of them if they had been known, they devised0339327means to secure a teacher. The first funds were raised by monthly voluntary contributions on a subscription list. Mr. Jacob Van der Veen, 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. Watkins,' 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. During 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, N. Y., came out under an arrangement with some influential christian gentlemen in the Dutch Reformed 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 conjunction 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. Beidler, 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 chartered as Hope College in 1866.

In other parts of the colony the schools retained a semi-parochial character for some time, but all, as soon as the circ*mstances allowed, were placed under the provisions of the general school law. It is at present impossible0340328to 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.


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 planted 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 organization of the school into classes and some more formal and efficient 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 “Classical and Primary,” and in the following year 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 collection 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,” presidency, faculty, and departments of Hope College. In the seven years, since 1859, the number of students had increased0341329from thirty-three to fifty, viz.: in the academic classes, 23; and in those of the grammar school, 27. The graduating senior class contained eight members.

In 1869 the “Theological Department” was formally constituted and recognized as the General Synod's “ Theological Seminary in the West.” The superintendence 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 presidency, 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 departments. Henry Boers, A. B., and John H. Kleinheksel, A. B., were appointed tutors in the grammar school. The number of students had gradually 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, N. Y., was elected permanent 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 theology,” 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 inaugurated 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 campus 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-three;420342330and 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 her 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 clearly that this is indeed a “college of hope.”



To the Committee for the Semi-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 well 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 surroundings and circ*mstances to give vividness to the picture.

It is fifty years, next June, since I reached Grand Haven, in response to an appeal 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.


Coming into the first, unfinished frame house, I was here to welcome to our home the first white children 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 privilege 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 privilege, 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 flocking 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 myself; 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 committee—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 circ*mstances called me away, for a time, two who had been my pupils became, in succession, superintendents.

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 labored 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 manhood to the building up of this town and the interests of this people, felling the trees, 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 substance, 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.




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 far 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 pathmaster, 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 Robinson 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 resided0345333with his nephew, Mr. James Barnes, was a man of medical ability, who gave me much good advice.

Shortly after this an epidemic of spinal-meningitis broke out. It originated at Rosamound; 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 Veen 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 himself 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 into 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 surrounding 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 jug0346334of 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 removed, and the village where little Johnny Kilean was born has been transferred 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 type. 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 southern tier of townships in Ottawa county, constituting, with a part of Allegan county, the Holland County, with the city of Holland as its0347335commercial, social and educational 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 comparatively, 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 generation were destroyed, hundreds of families rendered houseless and homeless, and many a worthy old settler, upon the evening of a well-spent life, left in straitened circ*mstances, 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 preceding 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 fine 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 effect of this long drought-and of the atmosphere at this time, seemed 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, was nothing less than a wooded wilderness, and the ravine along 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.0348336The 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. So 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; miscellaneous buildings, 45; docks and warehouses, 5; one tug and several other boats.

Amount of property destroyed, $900,000. Amount of insurance, 835,000. Of this insurance only a small part was recovered, inasmuch as many companies had been rendered insolvent by the Chicago fire.

Neither was the calamity limited to the city. The damage and devastation 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 also0349337the 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 locality, or the damage done to standing timber.

A minute description of the fire district is not expected in this sketch. Suffice it to say that the heart of the city, including the entire business portion thereof was destroyed. A better idea of the general ruin might perhaps be obtained by stating what remained of the once thriving and prosperous 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 represented 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 country, to the extent that the flames and smoke from the surrounding fires permitted 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 destruction. 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 8th and 9th of October embraced not only Holland and Chicago, but also Peshtigo, Manistee, the Poet Huron district and several other localities, and that it is a matter of history that co-extensive with this widespread ruin, were also the sympathies and charities of our fellow-men.

It will undoubtedly be remembered, when the news of the burning of Chicago had reached New York, how James Fisk in his novel but effective way430350338at once gathered in a trainload of provisions 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 succeeding 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 out, 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 contribution—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, affected 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 with 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 sentiments0351339merits was expressed in the following language: “With our Dutch tenacity and our American experience, Holland will be rebuilt.” And mark the co-incident, how a similar sentiment was expressed on thai same day, by Joseph Medill of the Chicago Tribune, in the first issue after the fire, when he wrote: “With christian faith and western grit, Chicago shall be rebuilt.”

As the news of our destruction became generally known among our immediate neighbors and surrounding places, aid and relief was liberally forwarded. 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, Chairman, H. D. Post, Secretary, K. Schaddelee, 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. Baldwin 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. Fralick 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 nor permit their bells to be rung, fearing that it woud disturb the congregation.”

Gov. Baldwin made a tour of inspection of the several burned districts in this State, including Holland, to satisfy himself as to the necessity of furnishing 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 Grand0352340Rapids 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 material, 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 $40,000 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 unable 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 it0353341seemed as though 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 “Burning 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.



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 rhymeGo 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 slowTheir music died out in the long ago.

Now we hear it again in a livelier strainIn 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 gather 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.0354342The-loud-swelling chorus will ever remainWhere surges roll and cataracts leapAnd the deep maketh answer unto the deep.

It sometimes sinks to a low refrainWhere grief holds sway and mourners weep;It moans and sobs in a cry of painWhere sorrow and anguish the heart-strings sweep.It laughs and shouts in joy againWhere childhood and youth in pleasure meet,And manhood comes old age to greetAt the festive board or in crowded street.

Time plays on a harp of endless stringsAnd his step keeps the measure wherever he sings.Be the movement quick or be it slow,It is perfect still in its ceaseless flowOn through the ages that are numbered by years,With never a discord to pain our ears.Could we listen aright to the song sublimeWe would find it perfect in rhythm and rhyme.




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.




Chambly 9th September 1776.

Lt. Gov. Hamilton:

Sir—Mr. Hay came here too late for any of the officers 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.*

* See appendix

[B 121, p. 2.]


Chambly 14th September 1776.

To Lt. Gov. Hamilton:

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 a0356344state be sent him of the Fortifications &c. with what Lodging or Barrack Room for Troops there is in each place. A particular account is also required 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,Dep. Adjt. Gen.

[B 121, p. 2.]


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 disposition to act as circ*mstances shall require.

I beg you will send me any intelligence of importance which you may procure 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.


Crown Point, [without date, supposed in October.]

Lt Govr Hamilton,*

* See appendix

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. Rochblave, 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 which may have a tendency to create a breach between the two Nations. The Spanish side of the Mississippi must be respected upon all occasions.


Another vessel is ordered to be built in lieu of that which was wrecked and Colonel Caldwell, or you, will appoint 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 command the new vessell which is to be called the Ottawa.

[B 121, p. 4.] (Signed) G. C.


To Lt Govr. 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 Excellency 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 Part 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)E. Foy.

[B 121, p. 5.]


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 great 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 the440358346meantime I hope you will think 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 importance, a copy of the minutes, or at least the substance, ought to be transmitted 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 particular 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 Commission 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 whoever presides for the time being. (Signed)Guy Carleton.

[B 121, p 6.]


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 guidance; 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 Germain

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 and0359347Pennsylvania, by parties of Indians conducted by proper Leaders as proposed by Lt. Gov. Hamilton has been maturely weighed.

That officer in his Letter to the Earl of Dartmouth dated at Detroit the 2nd of September last, that he had then with him Deputies from the Ottawas, Chippewas, Wyandotts, Shawnese, Senecas, Delawares, Cherokees and Pouattouattamies. 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 Enterprize in which it may be thought fit to employ them under the direction of the King's officers, 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 Constitution it is the King's Command that you should direct Lieut. Governor Hamilton 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 suitable allowances, to conduct their Parties, and restrain them from committing 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 considerable 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 Gov. Hamilton to invite all such loyal subjects to join him & to assure them of the same pay and allowances as are given to His Majesty'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 Bounty 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 operations, 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 prosperity, which are the favorite wishes of the Royal Breast and the great object of all His Majesty's measures.


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 Frontiers 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 Influence 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 Ammunitions 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 accomodated 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.


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 for0361349the 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 &c.

[B 121, p. 16.] (Signed) Guy Carleton.

Quebec 15th September 1777.

Sir—Mr. Gray not thinking himself sufficiently authorized, to confine Mr. James Sterling, permitted 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 examined 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 affairs, I could not think of withholding such an Indulgence and a Permission has been granted him accordingly, expressly stipulating those conditions.

Notwithstanding as you are on the spot, and are responsible for the 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. Dejean.

As neither the Civil or Militia officers of your settlement, can be properly0362350authorized 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, which the King's Service may require not to remain open, you will report the saute 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; I 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, you 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. 10d. 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 withdrawn 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 great caution and circ*mspection, 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.


I have daily expectations 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 Subject 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 Germain0364352were 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 measures 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 pretentions. 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 certainly 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





* See appendix

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 letter 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 considerable 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 render necessary for you to provide for, of which at that distance you must be alone the judges.


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 I may consider of such rules and regulations as may be still wanting to establish at the Posts for making them of the greatest advantage possible to his Majesty's service, and as little burthensome as possible.

In the mean time I have thought fit to establish for the present the following 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 different 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 which 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 filled up for the officers more particular directions. 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 expresses in the Bills, a letter of advice always accompany them together with an account of the expences or Disbursem*nts 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 96 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 favuour shewn him in his private concerns, and as one that is capable of furnishing450366354you with advice that may be usefull 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 correspond 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 you will communicate to me as expeditiously as possible, and by the safest conveyance your sentiments, whether from the confidence to be placed in the Indians the inhabitants and the resources 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 endeavour 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 conversation 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 Grosellier 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.]


Quebec, 25th December, 1878.

Sir—Having occasion to send an express to Niagara, I take the opportunity to acknowledge your Letters of the 15th & 31st August the 16th & the 21st September 7th 14th and 27th of October.

Your letter of the 16th of September informs me of orders you had rec'd to furnish an officer & 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 whether the Crown or Trader is to defray it in future. In answer to which I must observe that as circ*mstances 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 expense 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 disbursem*nts 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 approved of by His Majesty's Ministers, to whom particular accounts of all Transactions must be given. The mention you make of provisions which you 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 fallen upon by the use of the Deer-flesh dried by the Indians and the great quantity 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 the0368356Rations 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 September. 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 officer of the Naval Department, and to such regulations as shall be established for the Governance of the whole, by Mr. Schanks the commissioner 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 you may 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 requests 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 circ*mstances 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 furnishing him with an Indemnification, to your impowering such person to go there for the time required and to settle the little differences, that might0369357arise among them, as well as to confine and send down any ill effected or suspected persons resorting there, all this however to be done without any additional expence to the Crown.

The difficulties 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 collected there, and the immense expence attended thereupon, engage me to press your serious attention 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 I 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.] (Signed) 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 Expedition 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.*

* See appendix

The uncertain situation of affairs in the upper Country obliges me to defer granting passports for those posts until 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 Batteaux0370358and Canoes to the Upper Country for a few days Mr. Joseph Howard has been pleased to set off without any license it is supposed to Michilimackinac and the great Portage and I must desire that you will as authorised by my ordnance 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 Ordinance, 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 regulations 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 notwithstanding this be delivered to you by Mr C. Paterson whom I have permitted to go Express to your Post or neighbourhood would assist Government, 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 h