Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

Chronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County online

. (page 12 of 51)
Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 12 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

— 112 —

He participated with Harrison in the Grand Council with the
Indians at Greenville, and afterwards in conciliating the friendly tribes,
and opposing the hostilities offered by others in the region under his
protection. On the conclusion of peace, he estabhshed his family at
Detroit, and then turned his attention to the settlement and develop-
ment of the territory. His first step was to negotiate with the Indians
for a cession of lands; this he effected in the Indian Council at Fort
Meigs, in the spring of 1817, by a treaty which extinguished the Indian
title to four million acres of land in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, and
the policy of removal fairly adopted by a treaty which was pronounced
by Secretary of War Calhoun, " in its fiscal, moral and political effect,
the most important of any hitherto made with the Indians."

For eighteen years Cass administered the government of Michi-
gan, continuing his negotiations with the Indians, assisting emigration,
and developing the resources of the region under his charge.

In August, 1831, he was appointed Secretary of War by President
Jackson. The Black Hawk War, and the nullification threat of South
Carolina, occurred while he held this position. In 1837 he resigned,
and was appointed Minister to France. The year succeeding this
appointment he made an extended tour through Europe and Egypt.
In September, 1842, he requested to be recalled, and prior to leaving
Paris was entertained at a dinner given by the Americans in that city.
He returned in December, landing at Boston. He proceeded to Wash-
ington, and from thence to Detroit, where a hearty welcome awaited
him. In 1845 he was elected to the United States Senate. He served
as Senator until nominated for the Presidency in 1848, in opposition to
Gen. Taylor, the Whig candidate. He received the vote of 15 States,
and a popular vote of 1,223,795, being 138,447 less than that for Gen.
Taylor. The election being thus decided, he was returned to the
Senate for the remainder of the period for which he was originally
chosen. In 185 1, his senatorial term having expired, he was again
chosen Senator for six years. The following year his name was again
before the Democratic National Convention, and for several days it
seemed probable he would receive the nomination, but after many
ballotings, it was given to Franklin Pierce, of New Hampshire. In
1857 he was appointed Secretary of State by President Buchanan. He
discharged the duties of that position till near the close of the adminis-
tration, when, protesting against the lack of firmness exhibited in treat-
ing with the impending rebellion, and the want of patriotism in the
Cabinet, he resigned in December, i860, demonstrating by the act,
in the words of Senator Baker of California : " That he loved his
country more than he loved either State, or place, or power, or party."
He then returned to his home in Detroit, where he on more than one
occasion gave encouragement by precept and example to the War for

— 113 —

the Union, into which the nation was forced. He died just at its close,
in sight of the restoration of the Constitutional Government, with the
exciting cause of the rebellion wiped out. His death occurred at his
residence, on West Fort Street, Detroit, June 17, 1866.


Invention is the talent of youth, and judgment, of age. — Swift.

" Nothing can be made of nothing ; he who has laid up no material
can produce no combination."

The characteristic of the subject of this sketch is the practical
application of what he has thought out. In other words, he demon-
strates his theory of combinations before adopting them, by employing
judgment and common sense in testing their adaptation.

Patrick Henry McWilliams is a native of Ireland, having been
born on that island on the 12th day of March, 1830, and was brought
to Detroit by his parents, July 12th, 1834.

He did not have the educational advantages enjoyed by the sons
of wealth, but such as were offered he improved. He first learned the
trade of a ship joiner, with J. E. Dixon, prominent in Detroit, mean-
while improving his leisure time in the study of mechanics and natural
philosophy, and thus is recognized for his practical skill as an inventor.
It was this which led to his appointment as President of the Board of
Inspectors of Buildings for the city, and to his knowledge and excellent
judgment the public are indebted for the improvements in its buildings,
for the safety and the lives of its citizens.

Mr. McWilliams, May 5, 185 1, married Miss Louise Lacorce, of
Sault Ste. Marie. The marriage ceremony occurred at Marine City, and
was the first had in the then new Catholic church of that town, at that
time called Newport. Rev. Father L. Kilroy, officiated. Among
those witnessing the marriage ^N^& Henry Schoolcraft, half brother of
the bride, and son of Michigan's historian of the same name, and Miss
M. D. Cottrell, of Cottrellville, who was the bridesmaid.

The fruit of this marriage was eleven boys and three girls, all
living. In 187 1, his wife, Louise Lacorce, died, and in 1873 he was
married the second time, to Miss B. McEnhill, of Detroit, on the day of
the defeat of Horace Greeley for President. By this union he has
three daughters and two sons, making nineteen children. Therefore
he feels rich in the blessings allotted the poor, but desires more, as all
his children have proved (thanks to the care he has exercised over
them) worthy of their parentage, and bid fair to do it honor in the

In 1854 Mr. McWilliams accepted a position as car constructor on

— 114 —

the Illinois Central, and then on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy;
and in 1859, accepted the charge of the construction of bridges on the
Memphis & Charleston R. R., remaining until the surrender of Fort
Sumpter, in 1861, when he returned to Illinois, where he raised a com-
pany for three months' service, as called for by the proclamation of
President Lincoln, in which he held the position of first lieutenant.
but meanwhile, owing to the quota having been filled under the call,
his company disbanded, never having been mustered into the service.
This ended his war experience. He was then elected supervisor, and
represented the city of Aurora. His principal duties during the two
years was to provide for the protection of the families of volunteers,
and the care of their property, and in superintending the building of a
city hall and post office for the city of Aurora. At the end of his term
he accepted the appointment of superintendent of roads and bridges
from the county. This position he held until the close of the war,
when he returned to Detroit, and superintended the construction of the
Pullman Palace Car Shops, the Peninsular Stove Works, the Riverside
Company's Warehouse, and other large buildings. He then was
employed to superintend the building of the Kealy Stove Works at
Columbus, Pa., and returning to Detroit, began the utilization of the
several patents he had obtained for several useful inventions, in which
he has been partially successful. At the same time he supervised the
construction of numerous large structures for manufacturing, until
appointed Inspector of Buildings for the city. On his retirement from
that office, he was, and is now, engaged as Designer and Superintendent
in the building of structures in the interest of the city and its manufac-


This eminent and distinguished pioneer of Michigan, was born at
Woodstock, Vermont, February 2nd, 1799. His ancestry were nobles,
in that they preserved and transmitted to their descendents indubit-
able evidences, as exhibited by the subject of this sketch, of independ-
ence of character, integrity of purpose and acts, enterprise in their
encouragement of aU that makes men and women, patriotism in their
devotion to the maintenance of civil and religious liberty. Elon Farns-
worth left his native State and located in Detroit in the year 1822, and
hence was a contemporary of that other nature's nobleman, Charles C.
Trowbridge. In 1834, Mr. Farns worth was a member of the Terri-
torial Council. In 1843 he was appointed Chancellor. In connection
with this office, Chancellor Kent thus speaks : "The administration of
Justice in Equity ih Michigan under Chancellor Farnsworth was
enlightened and correct, and does distinguished honor to the State."
In 1844 (he having resigned this office on account of ill health in 1843)

— 115 —

Governor Barry appointed him Attorney General. This office he
filled acceptably two years. It should be mentioned that in the fall of
1839 ^^ '^^^^ ^^^ Democratic candidate for Governor against William
Woodbridge, Whig, but was defeated by a vote of 1,100, against him.
He was ex officio Regent of the Michigan University from 1836 to 1843,
and by reappointment from 1846 to 1852, when he became regent by
popular election. It was through his instrumentality that Dr. Tappan
w^as called to the Presidency of the University. He was Resident
Director of the Michigan Central Railway in 1846, and President of
the Detroit Savings Bank in 1849.

In 1876, while attending the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia
he took a severe cold from which he did not recover, and died soon
after his return to Detroit. On the announcement of his decease, the
Detroit bar, at a special meeting, appointed the following as a com-
mittee on resolutions : Levi Bishop, Theodore Romeyn, Alfred
Russell, R. P. Toms and A. B. Maynard.

Elon Farnsworth possessed the love, esteem and respect of a large
circle of personal acquaintances, drawn to him by the genial atmos-
phere which ever surrounded his personal presence. In the domestic
circle, it is said of him, that in every room of his house, he had erected
an altar — his household gods — whom he admired with love amounting
to adoration.

He was an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal church from the
time of its organization. In 1830, he married Miss Blake, of Vermont.
She survived his death but a few years. Two daughters were the
fruit of their union. Mrs. General O. B. Wilcox, whose death pre-
ceded his, and Mrs. William F. Harrison, who survived him.


For many years the subject of this sketch was the " Nestor "
of the Detroit Bar. He was a native of Scotland, and born near Inver-
ness, the capital of the Highlands, January 20th, 1796. He acquired
the rudiments of an education at the parish schools, and some knowl-
edge of higher branches at Inverness academy. In the spring of 1813,
at his own request, his father placed him in the office of a law solicitor,
with whom he remained until 1814, when he went to Edinburgh, and
in January, 1815, he entered the office of an attorney of the Supreme
Court of Scodand as a student. During the same year he attended
lectures on the Scot Law, delivered by Professor Hume, a nephew of
the historian. He continued his studies at Edinburgh until 1819, when
he took passage for America, landing at Savannah, Georgia, June 19;
from thence he went to Alabama where he had relatives, was admitted
to the bar and began the practice of law in that State Nov. 10, 1819.

— 116 —

After a residence of two years he left Alabama and proceeding north
settled at Vincennes, Indiana, desiring to practice in Illinois as weU as
Indiana. He was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Illinois,
March 24, 182 1, and in June following was admitted to the bar at Vin-
cennes. The fever and ague being too severe upon his constitution, in
June, 1823, he decided to move to a locality where it did not prevail,
and started on horseback for Detroit, where he arrived early in August,
1823. As the laws of the territory did not permit aliens to practice in
the territorial courts, some time elapsed before he was admitted to the
bar of Detroit. The courts of this period was Supreme Court of three
Judges, and of County Courts where the counties were organized. The
Supreme Judges were A. B. Woodward, James Witherell and John
Griffin. The most important case in which he ever was engaged was
that known as the " Railroad Conspiracy Case," in which he was
retained by the prosecution. From that time he occupied a prominent
position as a lawyer, and soon acquired a lucrative practice. He
continued in active practice until 1856, when, while engaged in an
important case before the Supreme Court, he instantaneously lost the
sight of the right eye, after which he did no business. In the year
1829, he married Caroline May, the youngest daughter of the Hon.
James May, the first Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. Mr.
Frazer had six children, all of whom died young, except Alexander, Jr.,
who died soon after his marriage to a young lady of New York, so
that he had no descendants at his death, which occurred in 1877.


For 56 years the subject of this sketch has dwelt in Detroit, pursu-
ing in an unostentatious manner his avocation in life, recognizing his
obligation to his Maker, his family, and the general rights of his fellow
men, and practising honesty, frugality and industry, has accumulated
a competency for his family, gained the respect and confidence of the
pubHc, and possesses the conscious satisfaction of having kept his faith
with God. Michael Henderson is a native of Ireland, and was born in
Queen's County, in 1823. When he was but two years of age, his
father, John Henderson, and Catharine Henderson, nee Bray, emigrated
to America, bringing Michael with them. They settled first in Troy,
New York, from whence they removed to Rochester, New York.
They died while he was little more than 10 years of age. In 1834 ^^
came to Detroit, beginning life for himself at the early age of 11 years.
Detroit has been his home continuously from that to the present time.
September 19, 1841, *he married Elizabeth Kalnbach. She was born
in the State of New Jersey, in 1826, and is of German descent. They
have had eight children : Mary, William H., Harriette, Georgia, Clara,

— 117 —

Fred., Kitty and Harry, only three of whom are living. Mr. Hender-
son, during the last 20 years has been engaged in the construction of
city sewers, as contractor. Among the sewers built by him are the
Riopelle street, Hastings, Russell, Cass avenue, which was recently
rebuilt. Fourteenth, Eighteenth and outlet of Eleventh, Twenty-fourth
and outlet, also the extensions; Lincoln ave., McKinstry ave., besides
many lateral sewers. Mr. Henderson's son, William Henderson, is
associated with him, and he now has the contracts for extending the
outlet of McKinstry sewer 250 feet into the river. When it is con-
sidered that in order to retain the confidence of the city authorities,
which he seems to have done for so long a period, he must have
done his work honestly, and to their satisfaction, no further com-
ments are necessary to establish his integrity and ability to perform
what he undertakes. Mr. Henderson is a member of the Presbyterian
church, and has ever maintained a consistent Christian life ; has been a
generous and active supporter of all reforms, charitable and educational,
which have done so much to elevate and promote the moral growth of
his adopted city. In politics, he is Republican, acting with that party
earnestly and effectively, but has never sought or held a public office.
Asa citizen, he enjoys the confidence and esteem of all who know him.
While he has not accumulated a large fortune, he possesses a compet-


The subject of this sketch is a lineal descendent of Abner Hosmer,
who was one of the two first who fell in the raid made by the British
on Concord and Lexington from Boston. History records, that of
the party stationed at the bridge near Lexington, two men were killed,
one of whom was Abner Hosmer. Judge Hosmer, of Detroit, is also a

William S. Hosmer, the present subject, was born in the township
of Monguagon, October ist, 1822. So there can be no question as to
his being recognized as a pioneer.

His father lived on the Army Trail, opened by Gen. Hull, and
kept a public house. Also engaged in opening the Limestone Quarry,
then owned by Mack & Sibley, being the first to ship stone and lime
from that quarry to Detroit; was so engaged from 1819 to April, 1834.
He also furnished stone and lime for the Dearborn U. S. Arsenal, 1832.
During the panic on first appearance of the cholera in Detroit in 1832,
a volunteer crew took a boat load of lime to Detroit for the sanitary

April, 1834, ^h^ subject of this sketch settled on the farm in Huron,
still occupied by him, attended the district school, partly supported by

— 118 —

the rent of the school section i6. Such rent was the first income of the
primary school fund in the territory. In 1841, taught his first district
school, and engaged almost continuously teaching the winter terms
until 1889. Taking an active part in the development of the county,
socially and morally, and in education. Especiall}' active in securing
the Flint &. P. M. R. R. line through Wayne county.

The father of Mr. Hosmer (Artemus Hosmer) was a native of
Massachusetts, and was bom at Concord in 1788. On his paternal side,
his family dates back to 50 years prior to the War of the Revolution,
when they settled in the Province of Massachusetts and New Hamp-

Artemus Hosmer came to Michigan July, 1818, and prospected
on the Huron river in view of the first sales of land in October,
1818, when he entered the N. E. fr. y^ section 7, T. 4, S. R. 9 E.,
which he improved in 1823, moving on the farm in 1834. ^^^ family
still occupy the homestead (1890). He occupied and worked the
Sibley quarry from 1819 to 1834 ; was a contractor on the Maumee
Turnpike in 1828, and on the Gratiot road, near Fort Gratiot, in
1832. In 1837 was engaged clearing right of way for the Michi-
gan Central Railroad ; assisted to organize the township of Mon-
guagon, in 1827; moved to the township of Huron in 1834, having
built the first frame barn, raised April 5, 1832, which called together
forty pioneers along the river from Flat Rock to Rawsonville. Here,
with his usual energy, he helped open up highways, build bridges,
establish a high grade of district schools, which yet remain, showing
the results of an active pioneer. He died in 1844, leaving a large
family with his widow, who was spared for 27 years to counsel and
advise them. In 1819, he married Mary Dunn, daughter of James Dunn.
She was born at Black Rock, N. Y., in 1800. The fruit of the mar-
riage was the subject of this sketch, and four brothers and five sisters.
The father, Artemus Hosmer, died in 1844, and the mother, Mary
Dunn, died in 187 1. Wm. S. Hosmer married Miss Helen Bloomer in
1844, at the town of Romulus, Michigan. She was the daughter of John
Bloomer, and was born in Lyons, N. Y. The fruit of the marriage
was six sons and two daughters. Four sons and the daughters survive
(1890). The oldest, Artemus Hosmer, enlisted at the age of 17 in the
24th Michigan Infantry, and died in 1868.


John J. Garrison, one of the early pioneers, long engaged in the
wholesale grocery business, a man of frank, generous and independent
character, whom the business community and the citizens generally
held in high estimation for integrity and fair dealing, was born in

— 119 —

Cayuga county, N. Y,, August ii, 1808. When but nine years of age
he came with his parents to Detroit, where he completed his education,
engaged in business, succeeded in accumulating a fair competency, and
died May 14, 1876, respected by all who knew him. His son Charles
is a prominent citizen, and has held several important public positions,
viz. : President Detroit Board of Trade, City Assessor, Alderman, and


Independence in his opinion and views, and with courage to main-
tain them ; integrity of purpose, aims and objects; abhorrence of all
chicanery in their accomplishment, are some of the characteristics of
the subject of this sketch.

William C. Hoyte was born in Montgomery County, N. Y., in
1816. His ancestry were of the old New England stock, distinguished
for their loyalty to the Government established in 1776. His father
was a man of culture and became eminent in Eastern New York, and
was connected with a number of public and private enterprises tending
to promote the development of that portion of the State.

Wm. C. Hoyte, the subject of this sketch, received a classical edu-
cation, and read law in Buffalo, N. Y, ; was admitted to the bar in that
city, and in 1836 or 1837, came to Michigan, and engaged in the prac-
tice of his profession at Milford, Oakland County. He remained there
until 1853, when he removed to Detroit. While in Oakland County
he was elected Judge of Probate, from which he derives his title of
Judge. Immediately on reaching Detroit he opened an office, and soon
acquired a lucrative practice. He also made some profitable invest-
ments in real estate. In the fall of 1870 he was elected to the State
Legislature, and was a member of the Judiciary and other important
committees in the House.

For several years Judge Hoyte had been an invalid, and he
removed to Birmingham, devoting himself to quiet work in his- garden
and the society of his friends. Returning to Detroit in 1887, he still
found his health would not permit him to resume the practice of law,
and upon the solicitation of friends he returned to his native State,
where he now resides.

Judge Hoyte has a brother who became eminent as a medical
practitioner, and prominent as a Democratic Legislator, having been a
member of that body a number of sessions. He resides near Walled
Lake, Oakland County. The doctor has a son who is a leading physi-
cian, practising in Detroit. He resides on Hubbard street. Judge
Hoyte differs with his brother in politics, having been always a Repub-

— 120 —

lican, for which he has the strongest regard. His rehgious convictions
are of the Congregational order, of which church he is a regular
attendant. He is a member of this Society, and we are indebted to him
for the sketch of the Hon. Levi Bishop, and that on the " Early French
of Detroit," both of which appear elsewhere in this compilation.


Frankness, as a characteristic, is the opposite of selfishness,
cowardice, arrogance, egotism and hypocrisy, and indicates, in the man
possessing and practicing it, liberality, courage, plainness in speech and
manner, the recognition of equal rights, and the free utterance of
opinion and sentiment. Who that knew the subject of this sketch, but
will consent that by his words and acts he exemplified his title to the
appellation of a " frank man " ? Not onl}^ did he manifest this charac-
teristic in a distinguished manner in his intercourse with men and the
world, but he also exhibited his contempt for dishonesty in any form,
and his regard for truthfulness and integrity.

Nathaniel W. Brooks was born at Castine, in the State of Maine,
on the 27th day of August, 1808. He was the son of John Brooks,
born at the same place, June 13th, 1785. His ancestors were English,
and Cromwellian in sentiment. The maiden name of his mother was
Phoebe Perkins. She was born at Castine April 12th, 1787, and was
of Huguenot descent. The parents of Mr. Brooks were married at
Castine, State of Maine. They had six sons and eight daughters.
They died at Columbus, in the State of Ohio, the former on Febru-
ary 19th, 1869, and the latter on December 17th, 1864.

Nathaniel, the second son, and the subject of this sketch, must
have had fair educational opportunities, as he gave evidence of familar-
ity with literary subjects, and at one time conducted a newspaper as
proprietor and editor. In boyhood he was the companion of the late
Edward M. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War, and while in adult
life they differed politically, they ever cherished a warm friendship for
each other, and when the War of the Rebellion began, they were both
of one mind, their regard for each other becoming strongly cemented,
and of the most intimate character. (The compiler has spent many
pleasant hours in listening to their exchange of early reminiscences).
Mr. Brooks came to Michigan in 1836, first locating at Detroit, where
he engaged in the grocery business in company with his brother-in-law,
William M. St. Clair, and at one time as a member of the firm of Brooke
& St. Clair, occupied one of the old Campau stores, foot of Randolph
street. He removed to St. Clair in 1843, and associating with him
William M. St. Clair, established the business of manufacturing lumber

Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 12 of 51)