Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

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

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Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 40 of 51)
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August 15th, iSoj. I lis paionls woii- maniiui on iho ijth day of
March, 1S25. 'They had iMt;ht chilih'on, John bi'in<;' the third iluKl.

His father died May ;il, 1S55, ami his mother Oelober 71)1, 1S55,
at Detroit.

John J. l>aL;ley's father was one of the wi'alllu' men of eentral
New ^'ork Cor many years, but linaneial reverses eauie to the family
in a way that so many others ha\e sadly experienced, from endors-
iiii;' the papi-r ol triemls, and the\' fi>und wiial in those days was
eonsidiMed a fortune, sudilenly swept awa\ fiom them. Miehio-an hail
ri-eently been admitted as a Slate, and John's father, hopini;" to regain
what he had lost by eomiui^ ti) this new Stale, moved from Lockport to
St. Joseph county, Michigan. When but thirteen \ears of ai;e, )ohn
enlereil a c«)untr\- stoi"e at C'onsl inlim-, ami on tlu" I'emoval of his
father to Owosso, Michigan, he ai;ain eui^aged as clerk, in a store,
where he contiiuied until iSjy, when he cami" li^ Hetroit, and sccuiihI
emploN inent in the tobacco n\anufactor\ of Isaac N. Miller. lie
remaiiu'd an cmplo\c until 185^, wIumi he comnu-nci'il llu' manufacture
oi lobacci* on his own account, establishing;' tlu' house of John J. Ikij^K'v
»Iv: Co., as well and as fa\-orabl\ known since that periotl, as an\' similai"
manufactuiiuL;' establishment in the I'nitcd States, lie was also inter-
ested in other manufacturiui;" imlustrii>s, anil in insuranci' .md luinini;';
w .IS president ol the DelrtMt Safe, .md of the Michigan
Mutual I -itc Insurance Compan\ , being one of the original incorporators,
lie w .ts .1 ilirector in tlu' Aim-iic.m National Bank from its organi/.atiiMi,
and .1 ilircctor anil stockhoKlcr in \aiious other cmporatitMis. lie
was a mendHM- i>l, and .1 liberal ilonatiir to, all the benevolent and chari-
table institutions in ihc «.'il\. I lis nanu- will also be fomul connected
with all education. d enterprises in the cit\ , .is well as in all refi>rmatory
nu)vements calculateil to ele\ate socii't\ . In his religious \ lews he was
libi'tal, and a regular attend, mt .U the Unitarian chuich. He respi>cted
till' ri'ligious opinions ot .ill, and believeil that no oiu' coidd be injured
b\ 111 iiiU .idheiing to a t.iith or denomination.

In politics he .m .ictixe Republican, was .1 member of the
Hoard (>! luluc.ilioii. one of the tirst commissioners ot the Metro-
polit.m Tolice Bo.ud .iiul scr\ I'd six \ e.iis as such, .md was a meiuber
ol llic C'ominon C'ouncil lor two \ears.

Ill 1S7- he was elected I io\crnor, and ag.iin re-elected in 1S7.J, retir-
ing in 1S77. In .ill the public positions held b\ him he discharged the duties
the\ imposed, upon the jirinciple the\ should t.ike preceilence of all
personal or business interests, otherwisi* he ought not to hold them. This
principle goxerned his actions during his whole publii.- life.

— 371 —

As Governor, he was responsible for the impovement of our edu-
cational system, and the agencies for a more thorough education of the
poor which it pro\'ides. He almost revolutionized the management of
the penal and charitable institutions of the State. He urged the legis-
lation making more liberal appropriations for the State University and
the Agricultural College, in order to give more facilities for the scientilic
and technical studies, securing thereby the good will of the public, and
placing these institutions on a par with those of other States. The sys-
tem for the treatment of juvenile offenders, male and female, is due to
his wise head and kind heart. His forethought secured for the first
time in Michigan, a systematic organization of its militia upon a ser-
viceable footing.

The law providing for the protection of the fish in our inland
waters, by the creation of the Fish Commission, was suggested by
Governor Bagley. Michigan at the Centennial made a remarkably
successful representation and did honor to his administration.

Governor Bagley was a member of the Wayne County Historical
Society, which was merged into the Pioneer Society.

Almost the last act of Governor Bagley was an exhibition of
loving and kind regard for the necessities of the poor, and the public
generally, in providing for the erection of a fountain, where friendless
humanity, as well as brutes, may freely quench their thirst.

He was married at Dubuque, Iowa, January i6th, 1855, to Francis
E., daughter of Rev. Samuel Newbury, a pioneer missionary of Michi-
gan, who took an active part in promoting the early educational system
of this State. She was born at Rutland, Meigs county, Ohio, on the 4th
day of March, 1833.

Governor Bagley took his departure from this life at San Francisco,
Cal., on the 27th day of July, 1881, leaving a loving wife and seven
children to mourn, and the people of his adopted city and State to sor-
row, for his absence from among them.


Robert Downie is probably the only man in Detroit who signed
the first petition for the abolition of slavery. This petition was
addressed to the British Parliament and asked that slavery be abolished
in the West Indies. This act of his in the interest of humanity indi-
cates the character of the man, which his subsequent life has demon-
strated: "That all men are endowed, by their Creator, with certain
inalienable rights, amongst which are life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness." To life, because it is the free gift breathed into him by
the Almighty, elevating him above the brute, that he may work out

— 372 —

the glory of his Creator. To liberty, because without it he cannot
exercise the powers bestowed by God, as his representative on earth,
and therefore is unable to enjoy or pursue that course which will confer
happiness upon himself or his fellows, as designed by the law of his

Robert Downie was born in the celebrated shawl manufacturing
town of Paisley, Scotland, March 21st, 1823. His father was a shawl
manufacturer, and educated Robert for a business life. After reaching
his majority, on the i6th of January, 1848, he was married to Miss
Margaret Curry, of Dumbartonshire, Scotland, where she was born in
September, 1828, and pursuant to previous understanding, a few months
subsequently, they took passage on the American bark, Warren, for
New York. They landed in New York, July 24th, 1848. Remaining
but a short time they started for the west, via the Hudson river, Erie
canal and steamer on Lake Erie, reaching Detroit, August 9th, 1848,
where they have had born to them four sons, John, James, Robert, Jr.,
and William, all of whom are associated in business under the firm
name of Robert Downie & Sons, wholesale and retail dealers in meats,
groceries and provisions at 117 and 119 Michigan avenue, 411 and 413
Woodward avenue and 769 Fort street West. Their two daughters
are Mrs. William Livingston, Jr., and Mrs. Henry Shaw Smith.

From comparatively small beginnings Mr. Downie, by frugality,
industry and the practice of strict integrity, has secured a competency,
and rearing his sons to the observance of the same habits, the firm of
Robert Downie & Sons stand among the first in the city of Detroit for
probity and pecuniary responsibility.

When Mr. Downie landed at Detroit he says he was in debt to his
father $180 (which he afterwards paid). He at once found employ-
ment with Messrs. DeGraff & Kendrick and continued with them and
their successors, (The Detroit Locomotive Works), until he went into
the grocery business in 1862, in which he is now engaged. William
Livingston, Jr., his son-in-law, was for a time associated with him in
the latter business.

As a matter of historical interest, Mr. Downie made the trial trip on
the first iron steamer built on the Clyde, the Fairy Queen, built by
Joseph Neilson, a brother of the inventor of the hot air blast furnace,
by which iron could be smelted with sea or anthracite coal instead of

Mr. Downie is a frank, plain, intelligent Scotchman, independent
in his views, but ready to be convinced when wrong, allowing the
same liberty to others which he demands for his own, never obtrud-
ing his opinions nor 'seeking to enforce them in an arrogant manner.

His political affiliations have always been Republican, he has not
sought nor enjoyed political preferment, but has always been ready to

. —373 —

extend aid for the promotion of party success. He has educated his
sons in the belief that application and the practice of honesty in legi-
timate business is a surer way to wealth and honor than any public
ofJice or political emoluments.


Rev. James Hennessy was a native of Ireland, born in Waterford
county, March 17, 1824, on St. Patrick's day.

His father, William Doocey Hennessy, is said to have been a man
of education, and the coincidence of his son's birth being on the same
day of the same month as that of Ireland's patron saint may have
influenced the dedication of Father Hennessy to the ministry.

Father Hennessy received his education to prepare him for holy
orders at Waterford, and was ordained sub-deacon in that town in his
twenty-second year. He was sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and had
conferred upon him the order of deacon.

He then came to Detroit, and on the 27th of September, 1847, was
ordained a priest, and went to Ann Arbor as assistant to the Rev.
Thomas Cullen. He not only officiated at Ann Arbor, but also at
Marshall, and in 1852 became the settled pastor of St. Mary's church
at the latter place.

He remained in charge of that parish until 1855, when he came to
Detroit and officiated in the cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul as
assistant. The parish of St. Patrick having been established, he imme-
diately began preparations for the construction of the present St.
Patrick's church edifice, which he superintended, collecting and dis-
bursing the money used in its building, and when completed, was for-
mally assigned to its charge, which he retained until called to a higher
and holier one.

For a short time during the period that St. Patrick's church was
in process of construction, he officiated at Dexter, and it was there that
the compiler first made his acquaintance. The many pleasant hours, and
the associations connected therewith, laid the foundation for a personal
friendship which continued during his life.

Father Hennessy was retiring in his manner, exceedingly modest,
but ever kind and full of sympathy for the afflicted. He was devoted
to his parishioners and they to him. His physical disability sometimes
made him seem of gloomy temperament, yet none but strangers would
question his hopefulness.

His death occurred in October, 1875, I'egretted by all who knew
him, and by the Catholic community generally.

— 374 —

Although Father Hennessy was not a member of the Wayne
County Pioneer Society, he was nevertheless a pioneer; and the good
work he did, not only for Detroit, but for all localities in Michigan
where he officiated, makes it desirable that his memory should be pre-
served and cherished with that of others who have contributed in pro-
moting the present prosperous condition of the city and State.


' ' Good nature, or beneficence and candor, is the product of right reason, which
of necessity will give allowance to the feelings of others." — Dry den.

Maintain your own views, and hold them, but do not seek to
obtrude them in an arrogant manner.

The physiognomy often indicates the characteristics of the man.
Those who have met the subject of this sketch will allow that the
sentiment expressed by Dryden is not misapplied as indicative of his

B. Hodgkinson was born in England, May 20, 181 5, removing to
Michigan in the fall of 1837.

His father was a currier and leather dresser, of the town of Pres-
ton, Lancashire, England, and was able to give his son fair educational
advantages; at least he exhibits the fact that his early training was
better than ordinary.

During his service as Secretary of the Wayne County Poor
Asylum, he has so systematized its business as to secure his repeated
reappointment under the different commissions, each board, whether
Democratic or Republican, expressing a desire to retain his services.

Mr. Hodgkinson enjoys the confidence of his fellow citizens
generally, and has held a number of positions of honor and trust, and
has discharged the duties they imposed to the satisfaction of those who
were subjects, or interested in their proper performance.

In June, 1842, Mr. Hodgkinson married his cousin, George Brad-
shaw Cook's widow, (her maiden name was Alice S. Cornell. She
was born in the year 1809 in New York. She belonged to the old
Quaker family of Cornell). They had three children, one daughter
survives, and is the wife of Charles H. Cady, Supervisor of the town
of Nankin, Wayne county. He also has three grandchildren, of whom
he is very proud. Mr. Hodgkinson's wife, Alice S., died in April,
1876, after toiling together some thirty-four years.

Mrs. Hodgkinson's younger sister became a widow about this
time, losing her husband, Thomas Carpenter, a Quaker, of West-
chester county, N. Y., and in the month of July, 1877, he married his

■ — 375 —

wife's sister, and is at the present time residing in the village of
Wayne. He is an Episcopalian, but his wives were of good old
Quaker stock, and he is now almost a Quaker himself. He has been
Master of Wayne Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons a number of


Robert Holmes, of Detroit, is a native of Canada, having been
born at Toronto, December 15th, 181 7.

The father of Mr. Holmes was born in 1776, at Boston, Mass., and
died at Buffalo, N. Y., in 1836.

His mother's maiden name was Hannah McDougaU, and was the
daughter of Major John McDougall, for a long time paymaster in the
British Army. On retiring he became a farmer, and died near Toronto
at the age of ninety-six. She was born in Toronto in 1802, and died
in Detroit in 1852.

Owing to the limited means of his parents, his opportunities for
acquiring an education were meager, and at the early age of fourteen he
apprenticed himself to a tin and copper smith. After completing his
time, he came to Detroit October loth, 1838, and worked at
his trade as a journeyman for ten years, when he engaged in
business for himself. Subsequently he was induced by Du-
charme & Bartholomew, his old employers, to take charge
of that branch of their business. He continued with them for two
years, and then in connection with a Mr. Dudley, bought out this
branch, and continued the business under the firm name of Dudley &
Holmes, until 1857. The financial crash of that year so crippled him that
he was obliged to suspend, and the business passed under the name of
his brother, John Holmes, he becoming its manager, until 1861, when
he again took charge of it, and carried it on alone until 1863, when Mr.
Edwin E. Webster became a partner. The partnership of Holmes &
Webster continued until 1881, when Mr. Holmes sold to the latter and
retired from the firm, removing to Wisconsin to be near his married
daughters. He remained with them four years, and again returned to
his old home in Detroit, where he at present resides.

Mr. Holmes has been married twice, his first wife being Miss
Isabella Erdell, who died in 1855, leaving him the care of three daugh-
ters. He then married Elizabeth Warren.

In politics Mr. Holmes has always acted with the Republicans. As
a citizen he never withheld his support from any enterprise tending to

— 376 —

promote the educational, moral and material growth of the city. In
business matters he has always been recognized as prompt and of
unquestioned integrity.

Although not a member of the Wayne County Pioneer Society, he
is entitled to the consideration due a pioneer, for his contributions
towards the present prosperous condition of the city of his adoption.


John S. Jenness, now of Detroit, presents to us a man who by
patient industry and frugality, combined with an even temperament and
a strict regard for truth and integrity has made himself worthy of the
confidence and respect of his fellow men.

The early years of John S. Jenness were spent on his grand-
father's farm and in acquiring an education such as the district schools
of his native town afforded. At the close of his school days he
engaged in teaching and as clerk in the mercantile business, until at the
age of twenty-two, when he left his native State and removed to the
city of New York. He remained here a short time and then accepted
a situation as salesman in a mercantile house at Newark, N. J., with
which he continued until the spring of 1837, when contracting the
western fever he removed to Michigan, arriving in Detroit, May 29th,
1837, just as the Territory was being merged into a State, and at once
engaged in merchandising. In 1844 he removed to Romeo, Macomb
county, where he continued to sell goods until 1846, from thence going
to Almont, Lapeer county, where he dealt in general merchandise and
in the manufacture of lumber. During his residence here he was
instrumental in starting a new enterprise for Michigan, viz: the manu-
facture of starch from potatoes, but at the end of six years, the rot set in,
and the owners changed the plant into a flour and saw mill. (He, how-
ever, made in one season ninety tons of starch of an excellent quality).
In 1865 he was elected a member of the Legislature, and in 1867 to the
Senate. In the latter body he acted with ex-Governor Jerome and
others in opposing the passage of the bill authorizing town, city or
village corporations to issue bonds in aid of railway construction; bills
for about forty projects of that character having been introduced,
several of which were passed notwithstanding their opposition, but
were vetoed by Governor Crapo, the reaction in the Senate sustaining
his veto. This was considered the most important legislation of the
session, for while other legislative questions were left to three mem-
bers to work out,*five were assigned to these measures, and it was only
through the persistent and sagacious efforts of Mr. Jenness and his
four or five associates that the whole policy was defeated. Mr, Jenness

— 377 —

held the office of president of the village corporation two terms, declin-
ing all further official honors which were tendered. He in 187 1 closed
up his business affairs at Almont and removed to Detroit where he has
since resided.

Mr. Jenness having grown up under the influence of his ancestors
in their belief in the policy of the Democratic party, by the time he
became old enouefh to vote he had interested and informed himself as
to the tenets of the political parties far enough to decide to afKliate
with the policy of Henry Clay's "American system" of protection to
home manufacturers, and cast his first vote with the Whig party, to
which he adhered until the Republican party was organized, and has
continued to act wdth that party up to the present time.

In his religious views he is a Protestant and prefers the polity of
the Congregational church, of which he is a member.

John S. Jenness was born at Newberry, Orange county, Vermont,
April 27th, 1813. On the paternal side he was of English antecedents.
He was the son of Thomas Jenness, who was born at Deerfield, New
Hampshire, in 1775. He was the son of Colonel Thomas Jenness, of
Revolutionary fame, who was also a native of New Hampshire. His
mother was the daughter of Col. John Smith, of Newberry (also a
soldier of the Revolution). Her maiden name was Abigail Smith. She
was born at Newberry, Vt, in 1783.

Thomas Jenness and Abigail Smith were married at Newberry,
December 26th, 1802. They had two sons and one daughter, the
subject of this sketch being the second son. Thomas Jenness, the
father, died suddenly while absent from home in 181 3, and his mother
at East Corinth, Vt., in 1873.

In September, 1842, Mr. Jenness married Miss Lucy M., the
daughter of S. D. Jenness, of Topsham, Vt. They have two daugh-
ters living, Mrs. Ronald Kelly and Mrs. James S. Goodrich, both resi-
dents of Detroit.


Robert W. King, a native of Pennsylvania, was born in the city of
Pittsburg, October 10, 182 1.

His paternal grandfather, John King, was born in County Down,
Ireland, in 1737, and emigrated with his parents to Pennsylvania in
1745. He served creditably as a captain in the Revolutionary War,
and in other ways served his country in a public capacity. He was the
first white settler in Erie county, Pa., where he died, December 20,
1826, at the ripe old age of eighty-nine.


— 378 —

His maternal grandfather was born in 1745, in Charlotte county,
Virginia. His ancestors were among the earliest settlers in Virginia.
He also served in the Revolutionary Army. After the war he emi-
grated to western Pennsylvania, settling in the borough of Washing-
ton, twenty-five miles from the city of Pittsburgh, where he died. May,


Both of his grandmothers were Pennsylvanians, their ancestors
being among the very earliest settlers.

His father, Robert King, was of Irish descent, and was born in
Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, in November, 1775. The
maiden name of his mother was Charlotte Lytle. She was of American
descent, and was born in Baltimore, Md., on the 30th day of May, 1786.

His parents were married at Washington, Pa., June 6, 1809. They
had five sons and two daughters, of whom none except himself are now
Hving. His father died at Detroit, October 18, 1852, and his mother at
Pittsburgh, in 1840.

In boyhood, at the age of ten years, he commenced to work. Mr.
King attended the various common schools of Pittsburgh, and Jefferson
College, Cannonsburgh, Pa., for two years, and obtained a good business
education. At the age of twenty-two he left Jefferson College, intend-
ing to return and finish his course, but circumstances caused him to
change his mind. He came west and settled in Detroit in the spring of
1843, and from that time he has resided continuously in this city.

From his first arrival up to the fall of 1848, he was engaged in the
crockery trade with the late Frederick Wetmore, with whom he was
acquainted prior to his coming to Detroit. Deciding to engage in busi-
ness for himself, he located on the corner of Wayne street and Jeffer-
son avenue, and continued the crockery and glassware business in that
store until 1877, when he removed to 103 Woodward avenue, and
associated his son with him under the firm name of R. W. King &Son.

Being afflicted with sciatica, in 1887, he retired from business, and
his son, Louis B., took Mr. Lewis E. Klugh as a partner. The firm is
at this date known as King, Klugh & Co., wholesale and retail dealers
in china, glass and queensware, 103 Woodward avenue.

During the years intervening between 1843 and 1887, while apply-
ing closely to his business, he has still found time to gratify his taste for
reading, and there are few topics treated upon by the current literature
of the past or present, but are familiar to him. Mr. King has been a
member of the First Congregational church for over forty years, and
has been active in promoting its influence over the younger members
and attendants, as superintendent for a number of years of the Sabbath
school. He was President of the Young Men's Christian Association
in i860 and 1861, and President of the Young Men's Literary Society,

— 379 —

in 1862. He succeeded Rev. Dr. George Duffield, as Trustee of Harper
Hospital in 186S, which position he still holds; was Secretary of the
Board from 1868 to 1880, and Treasurer from 1872 to 18S6.

Was a member of the Board of Education eleven years, one of
which he served as its President.

Has served as a member of the Board of Estimates nine years; of
the Board of Aldermen three years; was a member of the old Fire
Department from 1844 until its affairs were finally closed, three years
of which time he served as Secretary; and was Secretary and Trea-
surer of the Board of Trade from i860 to and including 1863.

Comment is unnecessary as to the manner of his life, as in the dis-
charge of the duties and responsibilities connected with the various
religious, moral, educational and business positions held by him, he
must have gained the confidence of the public, and won their recogni-
tion as being a Christian gentleman, an upright public servant, and an
honest man.

In April 22, 1846, he married Miss Eliza Buhl, sister of Frederick
and Christian H. Buhl, two well known citizens of Detroit. Of six
children by this marriage, two only are now living: Louis B., and

Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 40 of 51)