Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

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

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manifesting a warm friendship and regard for him. Mrs. McFarlane is
still living, and takes as much interest in Don. as a man as she did
when he was a boy.

At the age of fifteen Mr. Henderson went to Allegan, where he
finished his studies under the tuition of the late Rev. Samuel Newberry
and E. B. Bassett, principals of the Allegan Academy, a branch of
the State University. (Mr. Newberry was the father of Mrs. Gov.
Bagley, and pastor of the Allegan Presbyterian church.) He applied

— 257 —

himself so closely to his studies that at the end of two years his health
failed and he was compelled to lay them aside. At this early age he
manifested an inclination for literary and newspaper work, and in 1842
accepted a situation on the Allegan Record, where he learned typo-
graphy. In 1845 he went to Paw Paw and became connected with
John McKinney in the publication of the Paw Paw Free Press. His
labors here telling severely upon his health he abandoned newspaper
work and was again employed in McFarlane's book store in Detroit.
Here he remained until 1847, when he went to New York, and Horace
Greele}'' made him his private secretary and subsequently assistant
editor of the New York Tribune. This afforded him extended oppor-
tunities to learn the inside of politics and to form the personal acquaint-
ance of the distinguished men of the country. From 1847 to 1855 Mr.
Henderson enjoyed the esteem and confidence of the great journalist,
as well as that of Charles A. Dana, now of the New York Sun. At
the earnest solicitation of friends in Michigan Mr. H., in 1856, left the
Tribune to establish the Allegan Journal, which he has since conducted
as editor in chief, except for a short time, when he became interested
in the Grand Rapids Daily Times (1874-5). The Journal celebrated
the twentieth anniversary of its publication March 13th, 1876. On
appearing it was greeted by letters, complimentary and congratulatory,
from literary and military celebrities and editors and publishers all over
the country, among them from President Grant, Vice-Presidents Ferry
and Colfax, George William Curtis, Governor Croswell, William Reid
and C. W. Dana.

Mr. Henderson never sought public positions, although in 1855 he
was appointed secretary of the Board of Census Marshals for New
York City by General E. W. Leavenworth, Secretary of State. This
was the only one he held while connected with the New York press, and
on his return to Michigan in 1857 he was chosen reporter to the State
Senate, and compiled the legislative manuals for several years. In
1859 Governor Wisner appointed him one of the State swamp land
commissioners. In 1876 he was endorsed by the Legislatures of Michi-
igan and New York for the appointment of United States Public
Printer, but President Hayes, being pledged, gave it to the Hon.
John D. Defrees, of Indiana.

Mr. Henderson has been a devoted friend to public improvements.
His paper was the first to advocate the construction of a ship canal
connecting Lakes Erie and Michigan. While a resident of New York
he was a delegate to, and secretary of, the New York City Industrial

The extensive travels of Mr. H. through the south, just prior to the
war, gave him a correct idea of the magnitude of the impending rebel-
lion, hence his Journal was in advance of even the metropolitan

— 258 —

journals as to the proper means for suppressing and meeting it. In
September, 1863, he volunteered as a private for the three years'
service. As appears from the following extract, he had rendered im-
important service to the army:

Soldier's Home, Washington, June 21, 1889.
This is to certify that D. C. Henderson, of Allegan, Mich., rendered valuable
service at the beginning of the war by volunteering with one or two other persons to
visit Alexandria, Va., just previous to its occupation by our forces, at his own risk,
which service was accepted by me as commanding officer of the column which
entered Alexandria, affording me valuable information of the enemy's strength,
location, etc. O. B. Wilcox,

Brig. Gen. U. S. A.

In 1861 Mr. Henderson went to Washington to ascertain the mili-
tary movement of our army, and that, if possible, of the Confederates.
Mr. Henderson was detailed with two noted gentlemen, by Gen O. B.
Wilcox, U. S. A. (now on retired list and governor of Soldier's Home,
near Washington, D. C), on May 22, 1861, two days before the capture
of Alexandria, Va., to reconnoiter for information regarding the
movements of the rebels ; consequently these gentlemen were doing
secret service. Their names were Don. C. Henderson, John C.
Underwood, Jr., of Va. (son of United States Judge of that State), and
Zebina Moses, a nephew of K. S. Bingham, United States Senator and
Governor from Michigan. General Wilcox appointed these three
gentlemen at Willard's Hotel in Washington. In starting out they
crossed the long bridge, two miles from Washington, and before their
return had gleaned very valuable information, which was revealed to
the proper officers. Being a staunch Republican, a public spirited
man, and journalist of few equals — politically he took great delight in
acquainting himself with the doings of the nation, hence his advent
into Washington at the outbreak of the rebellion. During his trip to
the front, his companions, as well as himself, were compelled, for fear
of being detected, to raise their hats and hurrah for Jeff. Davis. We
have seen the papers in his (Henderson's) possession, signed by Wash-
ington authorities, authorizing him to procure the movements of the
rebels and thanking him for his valuable information at the beginning
of the war. General Wilcox was military governor of the District of
Columbia and next in command to General Scott, who was next to our
martyred President Lincoln. In September, 1863, Mr. Henderson
enlisted as a private soldier in the Third Michigan Cavalry, in Captain
Pope's company, and while acting as train guard with his regiment,
going to the front, a sudden lurch of the train threw him off and broke
his left hand; he, however, rejoined his regimentin a few weeks. When
he again reached his regiment, he was unable to cope systematically
with his brother soldiers in military tactics, for during Mr. Henderson's
convalescing absence from duty, he was laughed at a little for his
untutored awkwardness in saddling his horse. But Mr. Henderson

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soon learned the "ropes," and proved a good soldier. It seems the
Record has gathered the " funny" part of Mr. Henderson's military
career and gave him credit for it, but says not a word in his favor for
the good he has done his country, both as a soldier and writer. Mr.
Henderson was honorably discharged, and on his papers it reads, "no
objection to his re-enlistment is known to exist," and it was not erased.
Although frequently tendered, he declined to accept promotion.
Near the close of the last year of the war, the commission as a
lieutenant was sent him, which he declined to accept. This is a rare
instance of record where the publisher of a prominent journal enlisted
and served, voluntarily, as a private during the war.

A greater portion of the time during his military experience he
served in the cavalry regiment, under command of Col. H. R. Mizner,
and was on his staff a portion of the time as orderly. He was with the
regiment and accompanied it to the borders of Mexico in 1865, when
General Sheridan was ordered to the Rio Grande to look after Maxi-
milian on the Mexican frontier.

Mr. Henderson, prior to the organization of the Republican party,
was a Whig, and in 1852 was an alternate delegate in the National
Convention, held at Baltimore, which nominated General Winlield
Scott. In i860 he was a delegate to the Chicago convention which
nominated Abraham Lincoln. Horace Greeley represented Oregon in
the same convention. He was one of the founders of the Republican
party, and has attended every National and State convention (when not
in the army) since that period.

His intimate acquaintance with public men has given him a more
perfect knowledge of political matters than are possessed by the
journalists of the present day, hence his articles are deemed more reli-
able by the sagacious of both political parties in this as well as in other
States, giving his paper a larger circulation than that of any outside of
the metropolitan papers of the State.

At the solicitation of some of the early residents, Mr. Henderson,
in 1876, prepared an historical sketch of Detroit, which occupied twenty-
five columns of the Journal, which for its accuracy, and as a literary
production, drew for him letters of encomium from distinguished resi-
dents of the city and State, and was extensively copied by the periodi-
cals in other cities. (Since the above was written, Mr. Henderson has
received the appointment of supervisor of the census for the Fifth
District of Michigan.)

— 260 —


Few names are better known or more respected by the older
inhabitants of Michigan than that borne by the subject of this sketch.
For fifty-five years, when attached to the article worn for the protec-
tion of the intellectual part of man, it has been a sufficient guarantee of
its usefulness.

Frederick Buhl is a native of western Pennsylvania, and was born
November 27, 1806. His parents emigrated from Saxony, and settled
in Butler county, Pennsylvania. Mr. Buhl was the second son of a
family of eleven children.

The advantages for obtaining an education were meagre, not even
as good as are afforded the poorest in any part of Michigan at this
time, hence his education was limited.

At the age of sixteen he visited Pittsburg for the purpose of learn-
ing the jeweler's trade, but ill health compelled his seeking some other
occupation, and in 1833 he came to Detroit, and with his brother,
established the wholesale and retail house for the sale of furs, hats and
caps. For twenty years his brother and himself continued together
under the name and firm of F. & C. H. Buhl. His brother then retired,
and he carried on the business alone, until Mr. Henry Newland was
admitted, when the house became Buhl, Newland & Co. Subsequently,
on the withdrawal of Mr. Newland, his sons became partners, and the
firm was known as F. Buhl & Sons. The house is at present known
as Walter Buhl & Co., Mr. Buhl, owing to increased age, desiring to
retire from active business.

Mr. Buhl, while not aspiring to public position, has held several
offices of trust and responsibility; has been a member of the City Coun-
cil, was elected Mayor in 1848, has been Director of the State Bank of
Michigan, President of the Ft.Wayne & Elmwood Street Railway Co.,
President of the Michigan Department of the American Life Associa-
tion, Director of the Second National Bank of Detroit, and Trustee
and President of the Board of Trustees of Harper Hospital.

Mr. Buhl, notwithstanding the cares of his large business, has
found time to visit Europe, and has traveled extensively in the United
States. He is a regular attendant of Fort Street Presbyterian church,
and is active in efforts to further all objects for the improvement of the
community in education and morals.

Mr. Buhl was married to Miss Beatty, of Butler county. Pa., in
1836. They have had six children, four sons and two daughters. Cap-
tain F. A. Buhl, the ^eldest son, entered the army in the early part of
the late civil war, and died from wounds at AnnapoHs, Maryland, in
September, 1864. Mr. Buhl's wife died March, 1884, leaving four
children and a kind husband to survive and mourn her departure.

— 261 —


James Burns was born November lo, 1810. His ancestry on the
paternal side were Scotch-Irish, and he bore many of the characteristics
of that nationality. At the early age of nine he was compelled to pro-
vide for himself; when sixteen, he apprenticed himself to a carpenter
at Turin, N. Y., working at his trade during the summer, and attend-
ing the Lowville Academy during the winter, thus acquiring a fair
English education. He left the State of New York and arrived in
Detroit in 1834. -^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ year he worked at his trade; the following
year was spent in traversing the wilderness of Michigan, locating for
himself and others available lands.

In the directory for 1836-7, we find his name entered as "James
R. Burns, clerk in the store of Olney Cook." Evidently the introduc-
tion of the "R." was an error of the publisher, for we find that in 1837
he became a partner of Olney Cook, and the style of the firm was
"Cook & Burns," and that they continued to do business as dealers in
dry goods and groceries for seven years thereafter, where the old
Masonic Hall now stands on Jefferson avenue.

Subsequently, Mr. Cook having retired, Mr. T. L. Partridge was
taken into the partnership, and the firm became James Burns & Co.,
and continued the business in the same locality until 1850, when it was
removed to Woodward avenue, where for twenty years the firm did a
large and profitable business. In 1866 Mr. Partridge withdrew, and
Mr. Lucien A. Smith was admitted as a partner, when, under the
name of Bums & Smith, the business was carried on until 1874; ■^^^•
Burns then sold to Mr. Smith, having been in the dry goods business
for nearly forty years.

Mr. Burns, although not an aspirant for public or political honors,
nevertheless accepted them when tendered, from a sense of duty to
his friends and fellow citizens. In 1861 C. H. Buhl, Mayor, appointed
him a member of the First Board of Review ; as such he served for
twelve years. In 1873 ^e was elected to the State Legislature, and
was a member of the Committee of Ways and Means; in 1876
Governor John J. Bagley, appointed him a member of the Board of
Control of the State Public School, located at Coldwater, of which he
was elected President.

In 1873 he erected the Burns Block on Griswold street ; in 1877,
the Buhl and Burns Block on Woodward avenue, and in 1882 joined
Mr. Owen in the erection of a fine block of stores on Jefferson
avenue. In the improvement of his property in the way of building
he consulted the interests of the public as well as his own, sparing no
money to make them useful as well as ornamental.

As a business man, he was esteemed for his industry, energy and

— 262 —

integrity. As a citizen, he was alive to all enterprises tending to pro-
mote benevolence, morality and education.

Mr. Burns and his wife became members of the Central Methodist
Episcopal church, when the edifice stood on Woodward avenue, near
Congress street, for over forty years.

His personal characteristic was extreme frankness in speech, and
an unassuming manner.

April 30, 1838, he was united in marriage to Miss Aurilla A.
Bacon. They had three daughters, neither of whom survived him.
The eldest daughter, Emily A., married Mr. Henry A. Newland, and
died June i8th, 1871; the second, Eliza, married Rev. Dr. James M.
Buckley, and died February 27, 1876, and the third, Frances M., was
married to Mr. Albert M. Henry, and died February i, 1879.

Mr. Burns died December 7, 1883, leaving a record of acts and
deeds worthy of imitation by all who may come after him.


The celebrated Dean Swift draws a comparison between the man
who uses the talents God has endowed him with by adding to them
in a manner that shall benefit humanity, and one who employs them to
gratif}^ personal ambition and selfish desires, at the sacrifice of truth and
integrity. " The man who can make two ears of corn grow where but
one grew before, deserves better of mankind, and renders more essen-
tial service to his country than the whole race of politicians put
together." In the sense he intended his stricture on politicians, the
context serves to illustrate the practical business life of the subject of
this sketch.

Christian H. Buhl, a native of the State of Pennsylvania, of Ger-
man antecedents, was born in Butler county, May 9, 1810. His father
was a merchant, was also engaged in farming, and was one of the
leading business men of that portion of the State where he resided.

After obtaining such an education as the schools of that section
afforded, he learned the hatter's trade, and at the age of twenty-one
started west to seek his fortune, and located in Detroit in 1833.
Associated with his brother, they engaged in the hat and cap trade, to
some extent manufacturing their own goods; subsequently they com-
bined the fur trade. Their transactions in the latter grew largely, and
extended over the entire Northwest. This branch was mainly con-
ducted by C. H. Buhl, his brother taking charge of the hat depart-

In 1842, the trading posts of the American Fur Company falling
into the hands of Messrs. P. Chouteau & Company, of St. Louis and

— 263 —

New York, Messrs. Buhl entered into an arrangement with them to pur-
chase furs on joint account in the States of Ohio, Indiana, northern
Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, including a portion of Upper Canada.
This continued until 1853, when the brothers divided, F. Buhl taking the
hat department and C. H. Buhl the fur business, which he conducted
on his own account for two years; then, turning it over to his brother,
he formed a partnership with Charles Ducharme, and engaged in hard-
ware and iron trade, meanwhile purchasing the wholesale stocks of
Alexander H. Newbold and Ducharme & Bartholomew, consolidating
the two firms, making the wholesale house of Buhl & Ducharme, at
that time the largest in the Northwest. Mr. Charles Ducharme dying
in 1873, ^^^- Buhl purchased the interest represented by Mr. Ducharme,
and admitted his eldest son, Theodore, as a partner. Since, and up to
the present, the business of Buhl & Son has been prosperous. In 1863
Mr. Buhl purchased the interest of the Westerman Iron Company in
Sharon, Pennsylvania, which has since been successfully conducted.
He is now the owner, having bought the interest of two former part-
ners. About the same time he purchased the controlling interest of
the Detroit Locomotive Works, infusing new life and energy into it,
and continued to do a profitable business until the term of incorporation
expired by limitation. He was one of the incorporators of the Second
National Bank of Detroit, and also of its successor, the Detroit
National. Was Vice-President of the first, until reorganized as the
latter, of which he was also the Vice-President, until chosen President,
on the retirement of Governor Baldwin.

Mr. Buhl was largely instrumental in the construction of the Hills-
dale and Indiana, the Detroit and Eel River, and the Detroit and Butler
railroads, and while the investments did not prove profitable for him,
they have been of great benefit to Detroit, to the farmers, and the busi-
ness of the towns through which they run.

During the fifty-five years in Detroit, his business career has been
characterized by integrity, energy and industry. The magnificent
business blocks erected by him, the many manufacturing industries in
which his name appears as a stockholder, is an evidence of his public
spirit and interest for the material welfare of his adopted city.
Although a Republican since the party was organized, he is not a strict
partisan; never sought nor held but one political office. He was
elected Mayor of Detroit in 1859, serving during i860 and 1861.

He is not a politician, except that as an intelligent citizen of a
Republic he believes it his duty to keep himself informed as to the con-
duct of public affairs, municipal, state and national, and the conduct
and contention of political parties — basing his action upon that policy
which he conceives will best promote the general business of the
country, and protect the people against wrong.

— 264 —

In all movements of a benevolent and educational character he
applies his business rules, and is earnest in promoting their success.

In 1843 Mr. Buhl married Miss Caroline DeLong, of Utica, N. Y.
They have had five children, two sons and three daughters; one
daughter died in infancy, one in girlhood, and one in womanhood. The
sons, Theodore and Frank H., are associated with him in business.


Theodore H. Hinchman, a native of the State of New Jersey, was
born in Morris county, March 6th, 181 8.

The immediate ancestors of Mr. Hinchman were born in the same
State as the subject of this sketch, and were largely engaged in mining
and smelting specular iron ore of that portion of New Jersey, but after
the close of the war of 181 2 iron became depressed and the business
was discontinued by them.

His father, John R. Hinchman, moved to the city of New York
and engaged in the grocery business in that city in 1825. The mother
of Mr. Hinchman was Mary DeCamp, who was educated at the.
Academy of Samuel Whelpley (author of Whelpley's Moral Philosophy
which, for a time, was a text book at Princeton College).

Samuel L. Southard, who later was member of the United States
Senate from New Jersey, was a tutor in Whelpley's Academy.

John R. Hinchman and Mary DeCamp were married at Newton,
N. J., on January 19th, 1809, and celebrated their golden wedding
January 9th, 1859.

John R. Hinchman died at Brooklyn, N. Y., November i6th,
1859. Mary DeCamp, wife of John R. Hinchman, died at Brooklyn,
N. Y., on July i6th, i860. They had four sons and six daughters, all
living in 1889.

Theodore was the eldest of the four sons, and was seven years of
age when his parents removed to New York, and the most notable
event which impressed itself upon his recollection was the opening of
the Erie canal, on which occasion there was a display of canal boats
and other vessels on the Hudson.

He attended the public schools of New York until reaching the
age of thirteen, when he was placed in a retail drug store. After
remaining a year, on the recommendation of Guy M. Hinchman, he
obtained a situation in the wholesale grocery house of Johnson & Sons,
which at that time did the most extensive business, in that line, of any
in the United States. His principal duties in the situation were in the
office, collecting and banking, at the same time obtaining a general

— 265 -

knowledge of the business. He remained with this firm four years,
and during that time was a member of the Mercantile Library Asso-
ciation of New York, and improved his leisure time acquiring a know-
ledge of books, thus laying a foundation for general intelligence.

About this period John Owen, in his semi-annual business trip to
New York, having transactions with the house of Johnson & Sons,
conceived a friendship for Mr. Hinchman and made him a formal offer
to come west and take a clerkship in the drug store of Chapin &
Owen. This proposition was accepted, and in the spring of 1836 he
came to Detroit. He continued to serve in that capacity until March,
1842, when he became a partner, and the firm of John Owen & Com-
pany soon became extensively and favorably known throughout Michi-
gan and the west.

September 8th, 1842, he married Miss Louisa Chapin, daughter of
Dr. Marshall Chapin, former partner of Mr. John Owen, a brief sketch
of whose life will be found elsewhere in this volume.

In 1853 Mr. Hinchman purchased the interest of Mr. Owen, and
also entered into the ship chandlery business at the foot of Wood-
ward avenue (burned out and discontinued 1875). The drug and
grocery business is continued in the name of T. H. Hinchman & Sons.
The sons so associated are John M., the eldest, admitted in 186S; the
second, Ford DeCamp, admitted in 1869, and the third, Charles Chapin,
was admitted in 1874. -^^^ ^""^ active partners and are the peers of any
of the young business men of the State.

In his early business life Mr. Hinchman resolved to save one-half
of his yearly income and adhered to that rule until 1870, when com-
mercial travelers lessened the profits of the business.

He became president of the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Bank
(now Merchants' & Manufacturers' National) from its organization in
1869, and is still its president (1889.)

The following are among the number of his public services: Was
a member of the fire department from 1839 to 1862, of the Board of
Fire Commissioners from 1867 to 1879, when, having received the
nomination for State Senator, he resigned. He was commissioner of
sewers from 1855 to i860; in 1876 was elected to the State Senate and
was recognized on the several important committees as a " working
member." The most honorable and congenial position held by him
was as president of the Merchants' and Manufacturers' Exchange, to

Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 28 of 51)