Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

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

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family on the Mahoning river near Pittsburg. They built mills and

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made other improvements, but after remaining there until 1807 he
removed to^Northumberland, where he resided until 181 2. When war
was declared between England and the United States, he accepted a
commission from President Jefferson and again went to the front. He
served during the Canadian campaign, was promoted to the command
of the 2 2d Regiment of Infantry and was so severely wounded at the
battle of Lundy's Lane as to disable him from further service in
the field during the remainder of the war. In 18 19, by the reduction
of the army, he was assigned to the colonelcy of the 2d Infantry, then
stationed at Sackett's Harbor, New York, where he remained for
several years, and in 1825 was placed in command of the Northwestern
Territory, with headquarters at Detroit, and from this time until his
death was identified with Michigan and its interests.

In October, 1805, General Brady married Miss Sarah Wallis. The
late Samuel Brady, whose sketch will be found in this work, was a son
of this marriage-
General Brady, on the 15th of April, 1851, was riding out, and on
nearing the head of Monroe Avenue, his horse took fright and, run-
ning away, threw him out of his carriage, injuring him so that he
expired almost immediately. The venerable Col. James W. Knaggs
says of General Brady: "It was his practice, on the day before holi-
days, to quietly visit all the poor families in Detroit and present them
with provisions, clothing and other necessaries."


" This is my solemn injunction to the son to whom I bequeath the saber carried
by me in the Mexican war : That whenever his country is engaged in war, either with
foreign or domestic foes, he is to use the best efforts which God may give him in
the miUtary service of his country."— Extract from the will of Colonel William D.
Wilkins, dated April 28, 1861.

He was a man, genial, courteous, possessed of ready wit, a fund of
general knowledge almost wonderful, an imagination, tender, poetic
and rich, a humor sunny but free from cynicism, a fine command of
language and a logical mind.

Colonel William D. Wilkins was born in Pittsburg, Pa., in 1827.
When but five years of age his parents brought him to Detroit, which
was his home from that period till his death. He laid the foundation
of an education here. On completing it he began the study of law but
never practiced it. His tastes were military. He was one of the
founders of the Detroit Light Guards and when war was declared
with Mexico he volunteered his services and became a member of the
regiment commanded by the late Alpheus S. Williams, under whom he

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won the reputation of a brave and gallant soldier. In 1850 he became
clerk of the United States District Court, which position he held until
1870. April 24th, 1861, he was made Brigade Lispector of State Troops
at Fort Wayne, which position he held during the first summer of the
civil war, and in August was appointed Assistant Adjutant-General
on the staff of the late Gen. A. S. Williams. At the battle of Cedar
Mountain, August 9th, 1862, he was taken prisoner, sent to Libby
prison and was paroled a month later. On the 2d of May, 1863, at
the battle of Chancelorsville, he was again taken prisoner and the
second time sent to Libby prison and was liberated on parole June 2d,
1863. August 29th, on account of disability, he was compelled to
resign. Subsequently he was breveted Lieutenant-Colonel and Colonel
of Volunteers for gallant and meritorious services during the war. He
always took a deep interest in educational matters and for a long time
was a member of the Detroit School Board, and for a number of terms
its president. He will be long remembered for his devotion to popular
education. One of the public schools bears his name. Latterly he had
taken some interest in politics and was a popular speaker with the
Democracy. His old commander, Gen. A. S. Williams, was greatly
indebted to Col. Wilkins for his first election to Congress. He visited
Europe three separate times, and his letters published in the " Detroit
Free Press," detailing his travels, proved exceedingly interesting as
well as instructive.

As an evidence of the estimation in which he was held, and as a
token of their appreciation, the teachers of the public schools of
Detroit, on the eve of his departure for the seat of war, June 20th, 1861,
presented him with an elegant sword. In a memorandum attached to
his will he requests that this sword be substituted for the saber which
he carried in the Mexican war and which was taken from him when
captured at the battle of Cedar Mountain.

No better diagnosis of the characteristics of the man and the love
and regard for him and his noble qualities of head and heart can be given
than that expressed in the following resolutions, adopted at a regular
monthly meeting of the Detroit Light Guard : " The last assembly is
again sounded ; brave Wilkins, the last to hear and obey. A comrade
has fallen from our ranks. Yet the soldier never dies. Wilkins is
assigned to another command. He is now dressing to the right in the
columns of comrades and heroes who have left us. He is with Fairbanks,
Whittelsey, LeFavour, Roberts, Speed, Elliot, the brave Williams and
the generous Bagley, and a host of honored dead. In life none loved
the Light Guard more than he whom we now mourn and to whose
memory our brightest recollections will ever cling.

" Colonel William D. Wilkins was among the first to sign the
original call for the organization of this company. He was elected its

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secretary and First Lieutenant, serving under the lamented Williams,
our first Captain. Even then (1855) he had achieved military honor
and won special distinction for brave conduct in the Mexican war. An
active member of the company until the first call for troops in 1861,
when he was the second man in Michigan to offer his services — served
again in his country's cause, and to the laurels of a Mexican campaign
he added those of a rebelHon. Cerro Gordo to Chancellorsville !
Bright jewels in a hero's crown. In later years Colonel Wilkins took
an active interest in the company, and until death was a true friend and
father to us.

"We mourn his loss with profound sorrow. Brave, generous,
kind hearted, chivalrous and noble. With an admiring people we
honor his record of valor and worth, yet he seemed nearer and dearer
to us."

Colonel William D. Wilkins died at his residence in Detroit March
31st, 1882, leaving a widow, the daughter of the late Hon. C. C.
Trowbridge, and four children. Mrs. Otto Tillman, Ross Wilkins,
who is a graduate of Heidelberg University, Germany, Charles Trow-
bridge Wilkins, a graduate of the Michigan University, now one of
the law firm of Black, Moran & Wilkins, and present assistant United
States District Attorney, and Mary T. Wilkins. His remains were
borne to the grave and buried in Elmwood cemetery by the Detroit
Light Guard, with mihtary honors.


The subject of this sketch, John Roberts, was born in Wales,
November, 1790. In 1800 his parents emigrated, bringing him with
them, and first located in Philadelphia, and in 1801 moved to Utica, N.
Y. In 1820, after receiving a fair English education, he proceeded to
Buffalo and took passage on the steamer " Walk-in-the-Water " for
Detroit. For several years he carried on a soap and candle factory on
the bank of the river, where he had constructed a wharf on Atwater,
between Bates and Randolph streets, and soon after connected with it
a grocery store. In 1834 ^^ enlarged his store and took as a partner
his brother, R. E. Roberts. The fire of 1837 burned them out. Then
the firm took a store in a block built by Trowbridge and Farnsworth,
opposite the Michigan Exchange. In 1839 ^'^^Y moved to the Eldred
block on the north side of Jefferson avenue, between Griswold and
Woodward. In 1841 the firm dissolved, John buying his brother's
interest, and continued business, and also the soap chandlery on the
dock, until 1846, when he sold out to Mr. N. Tomlinson, who converted
it into a dock and tannery, and retired from business. In the cholera

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year of 1832 he was chairman of the committee to prevent its spread
and mitigate its evils, rendering important service. He was also
colonel of the first Michigan regular State militia. He was a stock-
holder and one of the directors of the Old Michigan Insurance Com-
pany's Bank, one of the founders of St. John's Episcopal Church, and
the oldest Mason in the city, being one of the first members of Zion
Lodge No. I, the oldest Lodge in the State or city. He was an early
member of this Society.

In 1825 he married Miss Sanderson, daughter of Captain Sander-
son, of Detroit. They had two girls and one boy. The son, Mr. D.
W. Roberts, of San Francisco, and Mrs. Jeremiah Vernor, of Detroit,
are living. He died April 13th, 1881. A widow, his second wife, and
his brother, Robert E. Roberts, survived him.


Hon. Robert McClellan was born August ist, 1807, at Green-
castle, Franklin county. Pa. He was descended from the heroes of
the War of Independence, several of his ancestors having been officers
of rank in that, and subsequently in the War of 181 2. They were
among the first settlers of Franklin county, and founders of Green-
castle. His father was a distinguished physician, and a student of the
celebrated Dr. Benjamin Rush, and practised with great success until
six months before his death, which occurred at the age of eighty-four

Mr. McClellan graduated at Dickenson College, in 1829, among
the first in his class. He was admitted to the bar at Chambersburg in
183 1. He then went to Pittsburg, where he practised for a time, and
in 1833 removed to Monroe, Michigan Territory. In 1835 he was
elected a Member of the Convention for the proposed State of Michi-
gan. He was the first Bank Commissioner appointed in the State by
Governor Mason, and was offered the Attorney-Generalship of the
State. Both of these offices he declined to accept. In 1838 he was
elected a member of the State Legislature. He was elected Speaker
of the House of Representatives in 1843, and the same year a Member
of Congress. He was re-elected to the 29th Congress, and in 1847 for
a third term. Mr. McClellan was a member of the convention which
nominated General Cass for the Presidency, and also in that of 1852,
which nominated Franklin Pierce. He was also member of the State
Constitutional Convention of 1850. In 185 1 he was elected Governor,
and re-elected in 1858. At the organization of the Cabinet by Presi-
dent Pierce, he was invited to take the position of Secretary of the
Interior, whereupon he resigned as Governor, and filled this position

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for four years most creditably. He was again a member of the Consti-
tutional Convention of his State in 1867.

For a number of years prior to this he had held the position of
Solicitor for the Grand Trunk Railway, but the duties becoming too
burdensome for his health he resigned, and retired from active practice.
. As a lawyer Mr. McClellan was terse and pointed in argument,
candid and forcible in his addresses to juries, with whom he carried
great weight. In his political addresses to the people he was especially
happy as well as forcible. In private life a genial companion, and an
earnest, faithful friend. His whole record as a public officer, a private
citizen, and his domestic life is a good one, worthy of imitation, com-
phmentary to himself, alike creditable to his native and adopted State .

In 1837, Mr. McClellan married Miss Sarah E. Sabine, of Williams-
town, Mass. They had six children, two of whom survive him, Mrs.
George N. Brady and Mrs. Benjamin D. Green, who, with his widow,
mourn his loss. His death occurred August 30, 1880.


Charles Merrill, distinguished for his uprightness of character and
business enterprise, as well as for his industry and perseverence, was
the son of General James Merrill, of Falmouth, Maine, was brought up
on a farm, and improved his time when the labors of the farm per-
mitted, in acquiring a knowledge of books and the advantages which
the schools of his native town afforded.

On reaching his majority he left the farm, and engaged in trade
with his brother and a Mr. Scott at Portland, Maine, the firm name
being "S. & C. Merrill & Co." Their business proved unsuccessful.
He removed to the State of Virginia, and taking a contract to build a
railroad out of Petersburg, was able to make enough money to pay his
mercantile obligations at Portland. Soon after returning to Portland
he took a contract to build a military road from Lincoln to Holton,
which brought him profits enough to enable him to purchase lands in
Maine, the sales of a portion realizing for him a moderate fortune. In
1836 he came to Michigan in company with ex-Governor Coburn, and
entered large tracts of land in the vicinity of Port Huron and returned
to Portland. In 1837 came the financial crash, and his partners in the
Maine lands still unsold, becoming demoralized, proposed to quit-claim
to him provided he would assume all the liens upon them. Mr. Merrill
accepted the proposal, fulfilled the conditions, and thus became the
owner of large tracts of land in that State. He then engaged in lum-
bering in Maine and Michigan, and in 1848 took up his permanent
residence in Michigan, made more extensive purchases of pine lands in

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various parts of the State, and built mills at Saginaw and Muskegon, and
continued the lumbering business up to the period of his death. In 1858,
he biiilt the block on the corner of Jefferson and Woodward avenues,
known as the " Merrill Block," one of the finest in the city of Detroit.

In religious belief, Mr. Merrill was Unitarian ; in politics, an old
Whig, during its existence ; and at the organization of the Republican
party, united with it. He, however, never sought political prominence,
but was zealous in promoting the success of his party. He was
generous, and the demands of distress, physical or financial, appealed
to his sympathies and received practical relief. He was one of the
founders of the Unitarian Society organized in Detroit in 1850, and
gave liberally towards the erection of its church edifice, which was
dedicated in 1852.

While Mr. Merrill was successful in business and left a vast
fortune, he was not grasping or parsimonious, and in many of his
ventures he was known to furnish capital for his associates.

Mr. Merrill was born in Falmouth, Maine, January 3, 1792. In
1836 he married Miss Frances Pitts, daughter of Major Thomas Pitts,
of Cambridgeport, Mass. She died in 1870, two years before the death
of Mr. Merrill, which occurred December 28, 1872. One daughter,
Mrs. Thomas W. Palmer, of Detroit, survives.


N. B. Rowley, long and well known in Detroit as a manufacturer
of locks, bells, tools and other implements for the house and shop, was
born in the town of Ogden, Monroe county, N. Y., November 17, 1813.
After acquiring a common school education, at the age of eighteen
years, he determined to go west, and cutting loose from boyhood asso-
ciations, came to Michigan, landing at Detroit in the fall of 1831. From
Detroit he proceeded to the town of Ypsilanti, where he married Miss
Eudette L. Miller, in 1836. She was a native of Geneva, Genesee
county, N. Y. She died February 22, 1890, leaving her husband and
two children to survive her, Mr. M. N. Rowley, of Detroit, and Mrs.
Mary Caroline Ney, of Indianapolis.

Mr. Rowley has ever been an ardent and active supporter of
Republican institutions, and has ever taken pride in maintaining the
dignity and interests of his adopted State. At the call for volunteers
by Governor Porter, in 1832, during the Black Hawk War, so called,
he was one of the first to respond. In 1835, when Governor Mason
decided that a resort to arms could only settle and maintain the honor
of Michigan, in her contest over the line between it and Ohio, he
tendered his services, and again when war was declared with Mexico,

— 145 —

he volunteered and accompanied General A. S. Williams through the
entire continuance of the war. It is to such men that we owe the
preservation of those principles which actuated the fathers of American
liberties, to peril life, property and family to defend and perpetuate
them. During the recent civil war, age only prevented him from enter-
ing the army in defence of the Union, nevertheless he contributed time
and means without stint, and in this way demonstrated his devotion to
the Constitutional Government of his country. Mr. Rowley, although an
ardent Republican, has never been ambitious for political emoluments,
has never sought or held a public office. He is the honored secretary
of the State Association of Veterans of the Mexican War, of which
Gen. Andrew T. McReynolds, is President, and is active in his efforts
to preserve the reminiscences of that war. Among the business men
of Detroit his integrity is unquestioned, and he enjoys the confidence
and respect of all who know him. His recent affliction by the death of
his wife was a severe blow, and has broken up those pleasant domestic
relations which he has always loved, and which were a source of joy
and comfort to him in the journey of Hfe.


Hiram Millard was born in Wayne county, N. Y., in 1825, came to
Michigan in 1835 ^"^ engaged in farming and cleared up two
farms. He recently retired from farming and has taken up a permanent
residence in Detroit. Mr. Millard bears upon his face the impress of
an energetic, firm but kind-hearted man, and one possessing integrity
and strong sense of personal responsibility.


George Morehouse was born in the State of New York, and
came to Detroit with his parents in 1835. ^" his early life he worked
on a farm with his father, between Wayne and Dearborn. He then
learned the carpenter's trade, came to Detroit, and for a number of
years was a member of a firm of builders known as Morehouse,
Mitchell & Co., and did a large and profitable business. He has now
retired from active business.


Zachariah Chandler, late United States Senator, was born in
Bedford, New Hampshire, December loth, 1813. He received his
education at the schools and the academy of his native town, and in

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1833 moved to Detroit and engaged in the dry goods trade, which
proved successful and led the way to the accumulation of a large

Mr. Chandler was a bold and enterprising man in whatever under-
taking he engaged. He entertained no thought of failure. His plans
were well considered and digested in advance. His judgment of men
was remarkable, and that, undoubtedly, was one reason why he seldom
failed in realizing the success of his plans. Had Mr, Chandler chosen
the army he would have made himself as distinguished a name in
military annals as that gained in the conduct of civil affairs. His rare
executive ability, power of combination, and fearlessness would have
placed him in the front rank of the generals of the age.

In 1 85 1 Mr. Chandler was elected mayor of Detroit. In 1852 he
was the nominee of the Whig party for Governor of Michigan and,
though defeated, ran far ahead of his ticket. In January, 1857, he was
elected to succeed General Cass in the United States Senate. He was
re-elected in 1863, and again in 1869. In 1875 ^^ was defeated by
Judge Christiancy, but on the resignation of the latter in 1877 was
elected by the legislature to serve out the remainder of Judge
Christiancy's term, but unfortunately died before the term had
expired. Prior to his last election as Senator, he held the position of
Secretary of the Interior, under President Grant, which he held until
the inauguration of President Hayes.

The public life of Mr. Chandler was one of eminent service to the
people and the government during the recent war of the rebellion.
He never questioned the result, and when, at times, the government
and people were depressed, he was full of hope and courage. While
in the Senate he was chairman of the Committee on Commerce and
the working member of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the
War. Mr. Chandler's most noted speech in the United States Senate
was delivered July i6th, 1862, on "The Conduct of the War," the
effect of which hastened the transfer of Grant from the west to take
command of the army of the Potomac, although Hooker, Burnside and
Meade had respectively been in command of it during the interim.

Mr. Chandler died at Chicago November ist, 1879, leaving a
widow and one daughter, Mrs. Hale, wife of Senator Hale of Maine.


Among the first writers upon the laws which are adapted to the
form of the Republican Government was Judge Henry Chipman, the
subject of this sketch. He was born July 25, 1784, in Tinmouth, Rut-
land county, Vermont, and was the son of Nathaniel Chipman, United

— 147 —

States Judge and Senator from Vermont. It was the good fortune of
Mr. Chipman that opportunities were afforded him to acquire a
classical education. After a preliminary course he entered Middlebury
college, from which he graduated in 1803, before reaching his majority.
It was a sad reflection for him that he was the last member of his class
who survived to attend the commencement exercises of that institution
in 1866, on which occasion the degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred
upon him. On his graduation, the close application given his studies,
had so impaired his health as to make recreation and rest as well as a
change of climate necessary, he therefore made a journey to Jamaica,
West Indies, where he remained four years. On returning to the U. S.
he settled at Charleston, South CaroHna, where he formed the acquaint-
ance of such leading men of that period as Huger, Pettigrew, and
others of note in that city. The friendships formed then continued
during the lives of each. From Charleston Mr. Chipman removed
to the town of Walterborough, South Carolina, where he formed the
acquaintance of and married Miss Martha Mary Logan. She was the
daughter of John Logan, a wealthy planter, and a revolutionary soldier,
and was a woman remarkable for energy, personal dignity of manner,
intellectual acquirements, and a moral superiority which made her
respected and influential. She was benevolent, of generous sympathies
and strong attachments, and was versed and well read in all the public,
political, and literary topics of the day, hence was a ready writer and a
brilliant conversationalist. She was a kind and indulgent parent, win-
ning the love and respect of her children. She died at a good old age
in possession of all her faculties, beloved and lamented by a large circle
of friends and acquaintances. The first visit of Mr. Chipman to
Michigan was in 1823. Detroit had then a population of about 1,500.
Its business, however, was large, being the center of a large trade in
the furs of the Northwest. So well pleased was Mr. Chipman with the
present and prospective of Detroit, that he decided to make it his per-
manent residence, and in 1824 brought on his family. Soon after his
arrival he associated with Mr. Seymour in the conduct of the " Morning
Herald," then the most popular journal in the West. This he gave up
on being appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Wayne County. In
1827, on the death of Judge John Hunt, he was appointed Judge of the
Supreme Territorial Court, to fill the vacancy, and on the expiration of
the term was re-appointed by President Adams. His colleagues on
the bench were Solomon Sibley and William Woodbridge. At the
close of his judicial term he devoted himself to his private practice, and
and in writing for the press. On the organization of the Whig Party,
he united with it and remained a Whig until the formation of the
Republican party in 1854, thereafter acting with the Democratic party,
or the Bell and Everett branch, and was one of the few in Michigan
who cast their votes for these candidates.

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Judge Chipman was not a fluent speaker, but wrote with great
ease, and with great accuracy. It is said that his papers would stand
the most profound and rigid criticism.* "Laws of the United States"
obtained for him an extended reputation as a jurist. This work, enriched
with annotations and treatises, was regarded and used as a text book by
the legal fraternity throughout the whole country. Judge Chipman
became identified with the Episcopal church at an early day, and was a

Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 15 of 51)