Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

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

. (page 34 of 51)
Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 34 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

1833, resides at Northville, Michigan; Albert J. Chapman, born at
Stephentown, N. Y., August 11, 1835; Edwin Alonzo Chapman, born
at the town of Cooper, Kalamazoo county, Michigan, May 22, 1838,
died at Jackson, Michigan, March i, 1888; Horace Chapman, born in
the township of Livonia, Wayne county, Michigan, April 7, 1841, died
in the same place, June 17, 1842; Oscar David Chapman, born in
Livonia, May 15, 1843; Louisa Augusta, wife of John G. Bennett, born
in Livonia October 3, 1845, resides in Livonia; Lucy Opheha, wife of
Barnabas Mosher, born in Livonia, December 14, 1850, resides at
Byers, Mecosta county, Michigan.

About the 6th of November, 1836, he left Stephentown, N. Y. for
the township of Cooper, Kalamazoo county, Michigan. He was six-
days and nights crossing the State of New York on the Erie canal.
This was before the days of railroads. At Buffalo, he took passage
with his family on the old steamboat Columbus for Detroit, and was
four days crossing Lake Erie, a fierce storm driving the boat back
twice, once to Dunkirk, and once to Erie. He took great pleasure in
recalling this journey, and grew quite enthusiastic in speaking of this
passage of Lake Erie. His family then consisted of his wife and two
children, Rosalthe and Albert. He was literally going into a wilder-
ness, trackless, pathless, and roadless, with brave heart and strong
arm, to hew out a home and fortune.

In Kalamazoo county, his life was a hard one, owing to the priva-
tions incident to pioneer life, and also of sickness, all save his wife being
prostrated for months at a time with fever and ague. He remained
three years in that county, and then moved to the farm in Livonia, in
the county of Wayne, Michigan, where his subsequent life was spent,
and where he died. He reached there March 2, 1840, thus having
lived there forty-three years and six months. This farm is situated
one half mile south of the little village of Elm, on the Detroit, Lansing
and Northern Railroad.

While he lived in Kalamazoo county, a tribe of the Pottawatomie
Indians still occupied their reservation near his dwelling, and his son,
Albert J., recalls as one of his earliest recollections, seeing them defile,
in true Indian style, across his father's fields, as they started on their
long journey to the west of the Mississippi. His attention was called
to them by their chief himself, then in full uniform of feathers and
paint, waiting in his father's dwelling, while Mrs. Chapman, his mother,
was getting him some food.

The farm on wliich he settled in Livonia was, when he reached it,
in 1840, as stated above, but a mere opening in the woods, and the
prospect for the future was forbidding and cheerless. Pioneering in

— 313 —

Wayne count}' in those early days meant the hardest kind of hard
work. His farm lay along what afterwards was the Plymouth plank
road. When this plank road company was organized he was among
the first to give it his active support. He subscribed one hundred
dollars to its stock, and he paid the first installment into its treasury of
ten dollars. The payment was made to Asa H. Otis, who afterwards
built the entire road.

He was always a warm and active supporter of schools, keeping
his sons in school when they could have been of substantial service to
him in carrying on his farm and lightening the burden that always lay
heavy on his shoulders.

Mr. Chapman was a man of strict integrity and of fearless, uncom-
promising fidelity to his convictions of right and duty. He had a high
sense of justice and cared nothing for public opinion or unpopularity
when in his opinion the pathway of duty lay before him. He would
not knowingly be guilty of any dishonest or dishonorable dealing with
his neighbors. He had such an abhorrence of debt that he would not
allow himself, save under very exceptional circumstances, to ask credit
to the extent of a dollar. He was never known to flinch from any
danger or duty in any place.

In politics he was a Democrat, down to the formation of the
Republican party, when he went into that organization, and voted the
Republican ticket until the opening of the campaign of 1876, when he
joined the Independent (Greenback) party and voted for Peter Cooper
and Samuel F. Cary.

The writer remembers being present at the annual school meeting
in his district in the fall of 1850. The threatening outcome of the com-
promise measures then pending in Congress, and which had stirred the
country as it had not been before in many a long year, if ever, reached
with its influence this small gathering of hard-handed, honest farmers
at their school meeting. The regular business was pushed hastily
through, the meeting adjourned, and instantly all present were called
again to order as a political meeting. Here was seen a practical realiz-
ation of the beneficent effect of that wise provision in the first article of
the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which
guaranteed to the people the right to peaceably assemble and discuss
measures and questions which they considered affected the common
welfare of the Republic.

Mr. Chapman was made chairman, and then followed a discussion
of the questions then pending, particularly the repeal of the compro-
mise measures of 1820, and the re-enactment of the fugitive slave law,
with very stringent and degrading provisions, which the writer never
saw or heard excelled for manly earnestness and honest indigna-
tion. Among those who took part were Alexander Blue, afterwards

— 314 —

County Auditor of Wayne county, and Cyrus Ashcroft, both of them
residents of the neighborhood. Ashcroft had been a student in the
Norwich University, of Vermont, and a member of the Legislature of
that State, and was an exceedingly interesting man. He had a manly,
independent way of thinking, and was thoroughly aroused in his oppo-
sition to, and bitter in his denunciations of the slave power and its
aggressions in re-enacting the fugitive slave law. None present, how-
ever, were more thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the meeting, or
entered more heartily into its sentiments and the discussion than Mr.
Chapman .

This was one of those spontaneous indications of the drift of
popular thought and sentiment, that are significant as showing that here
among the masses at least rests that solid foundation of popular patriot-
ism which will be the sure, unfailing safeguard to the Republic in its
hour of danger.

He was a great reader, and always took particular delight in read-
ing the story of the Revolutionary War. To him the glorious old story
was always fresh and new.

When a young man he joined a company of the New York militia,
and served his time with a hearty zest and love for the service in carry-
ing a musket, and as one of the musicians playing the fife. It was the
good old days of the fife and drum music, which he was not alone of the
opinion has never been excelled for stirring power by any other mar-
tial music that has since been devised. There are those still living in
Livonia, who listened nightly to the music of his old fife with which he
in later years made the woods ring around his dwelling after a hard
days' work on his farm. Any allusion to his old training days in the
militia always aroused his old time fire and enthusiasm.

There was a custom prevalent among the rank and file of the
militia in Rensselaer county, N. Y., a rollicking, boisterous, merry cus-
tum, of starting out before break of day to wake up the officers. This
was done by going quietly up to their houses to the nearest room or
window where the officer slept, and suddenly, and without any noise or
note of warning, discharging heavily loaded muskets. He always
insisted, with a merry laugh, that one salute was effectual. He was not
behind in this sport. On one occasion he loaded his musket much
more heavily than usual, and going quietly up to the window of the
room where the officer to be awakened slept, raised the musket over
his head and fired. The musket burst, and a piece of the gun struck
his lower jaw and passed entirely through his face, leaving a wound,
whose large ugly scar, he bore to his grave. It always troubled him
when he shaved.

In his earlier years in Livonia, his principal market was the village
of Plymouth, where he bartered his farm products with the merchants

— 315 —

there for such things as he needed in the plain, homespun life he then
lived. Among these merchants were the brothers Henry and Peter
Fralick, Thomas P. May, John S. Scattergood, and Daniel Myers, men
whose names will long be remembered in that village as high-minded,
honorable, upright, public spirited citizens and merchants. Occasion-
ally journeys were made to Detroit. The route for all that section in
those early days lay along the old Ann Arbor road from Wallaceville,
by the old TenEyck place, near Dearborn, along what is now the
southern border of Wood mere Cemetery, by Delray, then consisting
solely of the log tavern of the widow McGregor, thence by Fort
Wayne and the old river road to Detroit.

Mr. Chapman was the sole survivor of all the men who lived in all
that section of Livonia and Redford, when he moved there. He had a
superb constitution which was never impaired by any bad habits, and
he enjoyed robust health. He was temperate in all his habits, and his
life closed as naturally, quietly and peacefully as the ripe apple drops
from its stem. He had no disease. He had simply lived out the full
measure of his days.

In personal appearance he was about five feet ten inches in height,
average weight about one hundred and sixty pounds when in his prime,
a penetrating blue eye, high forehead, auburn hair, which turned gray
early. He never wore a beard. He walked erect and with a resolute
mein and look. His was not a smooth face, but had the rugged out-
lines of a man born for action. He had beetling brows, one of those
faces of hill and valley that indicate the positive, reliable man.

Six farmers, his neighbors and friends, who had known him long-
est of the second generation from the pioneers, acting as pall bearers,
bore his lifeless remains on September 20, 1883, out from his old home
and under the magnificent evergreens and maples he loved so well, to
the hearse which bore them to their last resting place.

He has gone to his fathers, been gathered to his rest.


Edward Lyon was born at Shelburn, Vermont, in 1805, and served
on board of steamboats as steward and clerk in early youth. In 1833
leased the Franklin House at Cleveland, which he kept three years;
came to Detroit in the spring of 1836, and from thence, after spending
a short time in business at Ionia, in 1840 purchased the National Hotel,
on the site now occupied by the Russell House. This he ran six years,
when he purchased the Michigan Exchange, which he owned at
the time of his death.

Mr. Lyon demonstrated what pluck, combined with industry and

— 316 —

good habits, can accomplish in accumulating an independent fortune,
and died possessing the confidence and esteem of a large circle of
acquaintances and friends in the State.

He was a member of the City Council one term; at his death was
senior warden of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.


In the year 1832 Andrew Jackson was President of the United
States, George B. Porter was governor, Stevens Thompson Mason
was secretary and acting governor of the Territory of Michigan, and
Levi Cook was mayor of Detroit, then a city with a population of two
thousand five hundred inhabitants, who were mainly interested in the
successful prosecution of the Black Hawk War. During the same
year thts cholera appeared in Detroit, having been brought here by a
detachment of General Scott's army on its way to the seat of war. It
spread so rapidly that of the two thousand five hundred inhabitants
only one thousand five hundred remained, the rest having died or fled
to the country. The stores were closed and all business was suspended.
All was gloom in the city, and in the country bridges over streams
were destroyed and guards stationed on all roads to prevent the panic
stricken people from the city passing to the country towns. It was at
this period that the subject of this sketch landed in Detroit.

Francis Raymond was born in the city of New York, December
15th, 1816. His education was such as the common schools of the city
afforded, and at the age of sixteen a brother-in-law (the venerable
Horace Hallock, then a merchant of Detroit), induced him to come
west and take a position in his store. He landed at Detroit in May,
1832, and immediately entered upon his duties with Mr. Hallock. In
1840 he became a partner and under the firm name of Hallock & Ray-
mond continued the business until 1848, when Mr. Raymond went into
the book trade, which he conducted for a great number of years, during
which he absorbed the firms of Morse & Sellick, Thomas Cook &
Company, Kerr, Morley & Company and had as partner at one time
the late T. K. Adams. The firms of Hallock & Raymond, clothiers,
and Francis Raymond & Company, booksellers, were extensively
and favorably known in Detroit and throughout the State. Mr. Hal-
lock is still in business and is the oldest living merchant in Detroit.

Mr. Raymond has been identified with all the benevolent, edu-
cational and moral enterprises in Detroit since 1832. He was one of a
number of boys and young men who, in the winter of 1832-3, associated
in the movement which led to the organization of the Detroit Young
Mens' Society, and for eight years was its secretary. It was

— 317 —

incorporated in 1837 and his name is found in the act of incorporation.
Himself and wife were two of the thirteen original members of the
First Congregational church. It was organized December 25th, 1844.
He was then elected clerk of the church and has retained that relation
to it up to the present time. He was chosen a deacon March 2nd, 1854,
and is at this writing the oldest in time of service of the present Board
of Deacons.

As a business man, as a public citizen and as a church member he
has maintained the character of a man, losing sight of self interest in
promoting what he thought was right.

On the 6th day of January, 1842, he married Miss Ruth Rice.
She was the daughter of Dr. Justice Rice, a physician of eminence,
who came to Detroit in 1826, and died in 1850. She was born in Car-
hsle, Schoharie county, New York, January 22nd, 1822, and was
brought by her parents to Detroit in 1826. Mr. and Mrs. Ray-
mond have had eight children, two of whom died in infancy. They
have two sons and four daughters living. One of his sons (Francis,
Jr.,) entered the army July 24, 1862, as commissary sergeant of the
Twenty-fourth Regiment of Michigan Infantry; April ist, 1864,
was commissioned lieutenant and appointed adjutant of the First Michi-
gan Infantry; May 5th, 1864, w;is wounded at the battle of the Wilder-
ness, was promoted to a captaincy July 15th, 1865, and mustered out the
same month. He now resides and is engaged in a successful business
at St. Louis, Missouri.

During the War of the Rebellion Mr. Raymond was an official
member of the Christian Commission for Michigan. His store was
made the depot for stores and contributions, and it was his duty to
receive and forward them to such points as the movement of our troops


Earnestness was the distinguishing characteristic of the subject of
this sketch.

All enterprises that he attempted he prosecuted with energy and
pertinacity, permitting no ordinary obstacle to swerve him from the
objective or to dampen his zeal, so long as there remained a hope of
their successful accomplishment. Col. Wm. Phelps was born in Scipio
Cayuga county, New York, November 19th, 1816. His father was a
farmer. Up to the age of 14 he assisted on the farm, then entered a
country store in Scipio as clerk. He remained there and at Lavanna
until 1835; then catching the western fever, induced by a visit to his
uncle the fall previous, he with his brother Ralph came to Detroit, and

— 318 —

at once engaged in the dry goods trade as one of the firm of Lyon &
Phelps. This relation continued but a brief period, and he then taught
a district school until the public funds becoming exhausted, when in
company with his brother Ralph, he opened a grocery store at No. 35
Woodward avenue. His stock of goods inventoried about $80, beside
a soda fountain, which was the first ever introduced in Detroit. In 1840
Ralph withdrew, leaving William to conduct the business, which by
careful management developed into the wholesale grocery house of
Phelps & Brace, which grew to be one of the largest of the kind in

Col. Phelps was an active Republican, and during the late civil
war visited the camps of the soldiers, carrying with him supplies, look-
ing after the sick and wounded. In the spring of 1862, President
Lincoln appointed him Allotment Commissioner, which took him to the
front, where he rendered good service to the soldiers of the State and
their families. In 1863 he was appointed paymaster, with the rank of
major, in which capacity he served during the remainder of the war;
when, at his own request, he was mustered out of the service with the
rank of lieutenant-colonel.

Col. Phelps in his religious convictions was a Methodist and a
member of the Central M. E. church. As in all matters with which he
was connected, he was as active in promoting the influence of his church
and aiding with his purse and time its establishment and growth.

As a citizen he was prominent in furthering aU measures and means
tending to secure for his adopted city public schools for the masses,
homes for the unfortunate and sanitary improvements for the benefit of
all. He stood high with the Masonic fraternity, was a working mem-
ber of a number of benevolent associations and largely interested in
several important industrial enterprises of the city.

Col. Wm. Phelps died at his residence on Washington avenue,
July 24th, 1879. ^^^ leaves a wife, who still survives him, and four

He was an early member of this Society and contributed a very
interesting paper, entitled " Early Recollections of Detroit," to its


Alexander H. Adams was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 181 3. Came
to Detroit in 1836.

Mr. Adams was connected with the Cincinnati branch of the
United States Bank prior to his coming to Detroit. On his arrival here
he was appointed a member of the Board of Commissioners of Internal

— 319 —

Improvements, which he held for five years, and in 1845 was appointed
cashier of the Michigan State Bank. At the expiration of its charter
he became connected with the Detroit Savings Fund Institute, which
in 187 1 was reorganized under the name of the Detroit Savings Bank.
Mr. Adams was made cashier, and was its president at the time of his

He was much esteemed and gained the confidence and respect of
the business men as well as the citizens generally.

He died on the ist day of December, 1883, at Detroit.


Every man is said to possess certain characteristics which individu-
alize him. This is a wdse provision of our Creator, and He has
extended it to inanimate as well as animated nature, thus relieving the
world from monotony.

Dryden says : " True wit consists in the resemblance of ideas. *
* * But every resemblance of ideas is not what we call wit, * *
because likenesses are obvious, they create no surprise, but are mere
facts. Thus when a poet tells us the bosom of his mistress is as white as
snow, there is no wit in the comparison — but when he adds, it is as cold,
too, it then grows into wit.

Those well acquainted with the subject of this sketch will agree
that he possesses a happy faculty of distinguishing between true wit
and tame facts, or comparisons.

Albert G. Boynton was born March 31st, 1837, in Bangor, Maine.
His father, Gorham L. Boynton, was also born in Bangor, and on the
paternal side was of English antecedents. The mother of Mr. Boynton
was a lineal descendant of John Alden and Priscilla MuUins. Her
maiden name was Basford, and she was born at Dixmont, Maine, in
181 5. Gorham L. Boynton was married to her at Dixmont, Maine in
1835. He died at Bangor, Maine, in 1888, leaving a widow and four
children, three sons and one daughter, the subject of this paper being
the second son.

On the advent of Albert G. Boynton into this world, his great-
great grandfather on the maternal side was living at the age of 93 years.
His great grandmother on his father's side at the age of 85 years was also
living, so that we may infer there are yet left to him a number of years
of usefulness.

Mr. Boynton's early life began as to his education in the primary
schools of Bangor, passing thence to the high school, then taught by
David Worcester, brother of the lexicographer, who prepared him for

— 320 —

Bowdoin College, but in 1854 after passing through the requisite
ordeal of examination for the sophomore class, ill-health compelled him
to abandon study, and he engaged in the manufacturing business in
Montreal, utilizing his leisure hours in the study of law. In 1857, he
came to Detroit and entered the law office of E. N. and O. B. Wilcox.
At the end of two years he was admitted to the bar (1859), after pass-
ing examination before a committee appointed by the Supreme Court
of Michigan, then in session in old Oddfellow's building at Detroit.

In 1861 he formed a partnership with E. N. Wilcox, which contin-
ued until 1 866, and on the return of Gen. O. B. Wilcox from the war,
became associated with him in the practice of law. Meantime, owing
to the illness of the City Attorney (T. H. Hart well) he was appointed
to the position, and after discharging the duties for a year, was in 1869,
without opposition, elected Police Justice, to succeed Julius StoU, enter-
ing upon the duties of the office July 4th, 1870. He served the city
in this capacity for two years to the satisfaction of the convicted and
unconvicted citizens of Detroit, when its duties becoming distasteful, he
purchased Col. Norvell's interests in, and became the political editor of
the Detroit Free Press, which position he occupies to-day. In 1870-71,
he was president of the Detroit Young Men's Society.

As a man and citizen the Judge holds the respect and confidence of
all, irrespective of church or party affiliations. His wit and wisdom is
of the character defined by Dryden. He is an earnest promoter of all
means, methods and measures tending »to elevate humanity, and the
material growth and prosperity of his adopted State and city.
He is kind, courteous, but independent. In politics he is a
Democrat, but while sharp and shrewd, his partisanship is not offensive.
He is an active member of the Unitarian church, but does not obtrude
his religious views upon others, except to defend them when attacked.

In 1862 he determined that man was not made to live alone, and
accordingly was united to Miss Frances G. Patten in the spring of that
year. She was a descendent on the maternal side, from an old loyalist
family (the Stymests) who emigrated from New York on the evacua-
tion of the British, taking up a residence in the Province of New Bruns-
wick. Her father was a native of Maine, and removed from thence to
Michigan in 1848, in which State he died in 1883. Mrs. Boynton was
born at Kouchiboguac in New Brunswick.

Four children, three daughters and one son, were born to them,
the oldest of whom, like her father before her, was at birth the fifth in
living generations.

— 321 —

The frugal and industrious are commonly friendly to the government they
live under. — Tillotson.

None who have known the subject of this sketch will fail to recog-
nize the fact that his life and acts have practically demonstrated the
sentiment of the above quotation.

Samuel Zug was born opposite Harrisburg, on the Susquehanna
river, in Cumberland county, Pa., March 15th, 1816. His ancestors
were from the Palatinate of the Rhine, and emigrated from thence to
America in 1727, under the patronage of Queen Anne and William
Penn, first locating in Philadelphia, where they remained a brief time,
when they removed to Lancaster, which they made their home for
many years.

When Samuel Zug was two years of age his parents settled
in CarHsle, Pa., where Samuel was educated and remained until 1836,
when he determined to seek his fortune in the west, and landed at
Detroit on the 15th of October of that year. He first engaged as book-

Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 34 of 51)