Fred. (Frederick) Carlisle.

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

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Theodore Herman, born March i8th, 1829; Truman Thomas, born Jan-
nary 23d, 1831, died August loth, 1861; Louisa Elizabeth, born Sep-
tember 5th, 1833; Mary Ann, born October 5th, 1835.

George, the father, died July 9th, 1875, ^"*^ Elizabeth Becker, the
mother, October 25th, 1865.

— 426 —

The family of Joseph Henry, the subject, is as follows: Joseph
Henri Lesher, born April ist, 1825; Susanna Kortz, his wife, born
October 4th, 1828. Married by the Rev. J. H, Bomberger, at Easton»
Pa., April 20th, 1851. Children born at Easton, Pa.: Geo. H.,
October nth, 1852; Wm. Theodore, Januar}^ 2d, 1855; Howard Joseph,
August 9th, 1856; Elizabeth Kemmerer, April ist, 1859; Fi'eeman
Thomas, August 31st, 1861; Herbert Albert, September 30th, 1863;
born at Detroit: Joseph Henry, August 19th, 1865; Charles Augustus,
December 2d, 1867. The latter died September 27th, 1884.


Every man at his birth becomes subject to the action of three ele-
ments. He comes out of water — passes through air-^and when he
reaches maturity, is under the influence of fire.

The subject of the following sketch, having submitted to the first
two, is now undergoing the third, while endeavoring to capture a fourth
— the earth, or a portion of it, prior to assimilating and becoming a part
of it. Not, however, is he confining his efforts for himself only, but is
also looking to it, that the title of others to their share is perfect.

Clarence M. Burton was born in the State of CaHfornia, November
18, 1853.

His father, Dr. C. S. Burton, and his mother, Anna E. Burton, nee
Monroe, were natives of the State of New York. They came to
Michigan and located at Battle Creek, where, in 1849, Dr. Burton
established the Battle Creek Journal. After conducting it a few years
he removed to California, where the subject of this sketch was born,
remaining there two years. He returned to Michigan, bringing Clar-
ence with him, and established the Hastings Banner, at Hastings,
Barry county, where he now resides. Four children were born to the
Doctor and his wife. Charles F. Burton, a practicing lawyer in Detroit;
Clarence, the subject of this, also a lawyer, and proprietor of the
Wayne County Abstract Office, at No. 11, Lafayette avenue, Detroit;
Mrs. Ellen B. (Burton) Judson, of Lansing, Michigan, and Edward
Burton, practicing law at Chicago.

Clarence was united in marriage to Miss Harriett Nye at Ann
Arbor, Michigan, December 25, 1872. She was the daughter of Mr.
Nelson B. Nye, an old resident, who was for a number of terms Sheriff
of Washtenaw county. Both Mr. Nye and his wife died within a few
days of each othef in the spring of 1888.

Mr. and Mrs. Burton have six children. Mr. Burton attended the
schools of Hastings, and after a preparatory course entered the literary

— 427

department of the Michigan University in 1869, but left before the four
years expired, and began the study of law, and entered the law
department, graduating therefrom in 1874, ^^^ yo^^g to be admitted to
the bar. The day following his majority, November 19, 1874, ^"^^ "^^^
examined and received his certificate to practice as an attorney at

He first associated himself with the well-known law firm of Ward
& Palmer, he making that branch of law relating to land titles a
specialty, and when the firm of Ward & Palmer dissolved, retaining his
relations with Mr. Ward, he purchased of Major Skinner the Wayne
County Abstract Office, which he at present conducts to the great
satisfaction of the owners of real estate in Wayne county. He is
recognized as a man of integrity and enterprise, and is considered an
authority on all questions relating to titles, having devoted much time
and money to investigating and providing facilities and authorities


Before the deluge there was a man named Lameck who had two
wives, one named Adah, the other Zillah. By Adah he had two sons,
Jabell and Juball. By Zillah he had a son, Tubal, and a daughter
called Mahmah. These four children found out the beginning of all
the crafts in the world. Jabell found geometry. He divided flocks of
sheep and lambs and built the first house of stone and timber. Juball
found out music. Tubal found the smith's trade and how to work gold,
silver, iron, copper and steel. Tubal has always held more prominence
in history, because the worker in metals has ever been recognized the
benefactor to humanity, and his trade the most honorable of all.

The subject of this sketch has made himself prominent among his
fellow workmen in iron and steel, as well as with horse owners, by his
skill in the manufacture of a shoe, and fitting it in such a manner as to
give ease and comfort to the horse and satisfaction to its owner. He
has not only secured this confidence and respect through his skill as a
worker in metals, but also by that integrity of character exhibited by
him in all his business transactions.

William McCarthy was born in the parish of Middleton, county of
Cork, Ireland, in 183 1. His parents were in comfortable circumstan-
ces, but William chose the smith's trade at the age of fourteen, and
after serving out his apprenticeship he worked as journeyman until he
had acquired the means when he emigrated to the United States and
settled in Detroit, August 15th, 1856. He was soon able to open a
shop of his own, and speedily established a lucrative business, which he
still continues.

— 428 —

In 1858 he married Miss Mary Barry, who was born in the same
county and parish as her husband in the year 1833. They have seven
children, Elizabeth, Thomas, William, Frank, Kate, Mary and Rose,
to all of whom they have given the best education which the schools
of Detroit furnish.

In politics, Mr. McCarth}' has acted with the Dem.ocrats in the
main, but does not feel bound to support party measures if in his judg-
ment they are wrong. He has never held or sought public office, pre-
ferring to look to his trade for the support of himself and family.

In his daily life the unfortunate alwa3?^s find a friend and he regards
his word better than a bond. He is devoted to his family and has
reared them to put their faith in, and govern their actions by the golden
rule : " Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."


John D. Standish, late of Detroit, who was identified with the
growth of not onty the city, but with numerous enterprises throughout
the State of Michigan, contributing to the development of its natural
resources, was born at Granville, Washington county. State of New
York, October i, 1817.

He was descended from a race that took an active part in the
struggle for American Independence. His grandfather, Samuel Stan-
dish, served with distinction in the Continental Army, was present at
the surrender of Burgoyne, and was a participator and an actor in the
scenes and events of that period. He died at Granville in 1841. His
great-grandfather, another Samuel, was in direct line in the fourth
generation descended from Captain Miles Standish. He was born at
Norwich, Connecticut, in 18 17, and died at the age of one hundred and
three years.

The father of the subject of this sketch was also Samuel Standish,
and was a merchant at Granville for fifty years; was postmaster for
thirty years, and Surrogate for Washington county twelve years. He
was born in 1782, and died in 1862.

John D. Standish inherited many of the characteristics of his
paternal ancestors.

After attending the primary school at Granville, he entered the
academy of Dr. Town, and at the age of nineteen, after a short stay at
Buffalo, landed in Detroit in 1S37.

Making the acquaintance of the Hon. S. V. R. Trowbridge, soon
after his arrival, he was induced to open a select school near Birming-
ham, in Oakland county. Many of his pupils became celebrated in after

— 429 —

times, one holding a Professorship in Yale College; one became a Mis-
sionary of the American Board at Constantinople ; others, members of
Congress, and of the Legislature. It always afforded him much
pleasure to review the days spent in teaching that school. In Septem-
ber, 1841, he married at Pontiac, Emma L. Darrow, of Lynn, Conn.;
they had two sons and two daughters.

After his marriage he engaged in the mercantile business in Oak-
land and Macomb counties, but in 1857, nearly all his property was
destroyed by fire. He then removed to Detroit, and began to operate
in grain, wool and pork, and during the time became identified with
several manufacturing industries. Having purchased large tracts of
pine land in the counties of Bay and Otsego, he built mills and laid out
the town of Standish . He also built the first mill, and was the first to
ship lumber from the county of Otsego. He transferred his provision
business to his son James, and in 1875, accepted the management
of a large commercial agency which he continued for some years. He
was afterwards made Assessor of the city of Detroit, and held this posi-
tion at the time of his death. He was always anti-slavery in his con-
victions, and assisted in the formation of the Republican party in 1854,
and was nominated but defeated for Mayor in 1869.

He became a member of the Baptist church, and was active in
promoting its influence until death. By his business contemporaries he
was ever regarded as prompt, never over-reaching, and as a man of
unquestionable integrity. As a citizen, he was alive to all industrial
enterprises, and all movements to encourage and foster education and
improve the morals of society, and elevate humanity.

He died, leaving to his family a competency, earned by practicing
habits of industry, frugality and integrity.

He was a member of the Pioneer Society.


Those who are wise, exercise the mental powers they possess,
in looking for, and seeking, without a selfish object, to promote the
happiness of their fellows, and those who may come after them. This
does not require that the possessor should be a very learned, but a man
of good common sense.

John W. Johnston, the subject of this sketch, will be remembered
by a large class of the older residents of this county as one who utilized
existing circumstances and surroundings in determining future devel-
opments and securing beneficial results, not only for himself but
for the general public. Hence we find his name appearing frequently

— 430 —

upon our records in connection with lands and their subdivisions in
and adjacent to Detroit. He understood the feeling and desire of even
the poorest of his fellows — to become the possessor of a realty, which
he could call his home, and which he could transmit to his family as

John W. Johnston was born near Toronto, Canada, May loth,
1826. When John was a lad he accompanied his father and family
to Ruthven, near Col burn, where they purchased a tract of fourteen
acres of land known as the east part of lot one, tifth concession town-
ship of Grossfield, Ontario. This was in 1840. He remained with his
father, meanwhile assisting him in looking after the sale of the sub-
divisions of this tract, until 1847, when he obtained a patent from the
Canadian government of the south one-half of lot four, north side of
the middle road, township of Tilbury, containing one hundred acres.
In the fall of that year, leaving his father to look after this land, he
came to Detroit, his capital being just one dollar and one-half in his
pocket. The next day he invested this sum in a hand basket and a
few small articles of merchandise, and began the life of an itinerant
merchant, and at the end of a year succeeded so well, that he decided
to change his condition " from single to double blessedness," practically
demonstrating what his subsequent life and acts showed to be his belief,
that blessings were not enjoyable unless others participated in
them. He, therefore, on the 6th of August, 1848, married Miss Sarah
Wood, at the residence of William Taite, 157 Jefferson avenue. In
the fall of that year he opened a Yankee notion store at 41 Woodward
avenue (adjoining the present store of A. J. Royce) in connection with
his itinerant business. In June, 1851, he was called to Colburn,
Canada, to attend the funeral of his father and was detained there for
some time in closing up his father's estate. Being the only son, he
sold the farm January 25th, 1851, and from the proceeds reahzed suffi-
cient addition to his capital, to start a wholesale and retail jewelr}^
store on Jefferson avenue, adjacent to the old Joseph Campau home-
stead. His principal expert and clerk at this time in the jewelry
department was Charles Latchenson. In 1853, finding himself cramped
for room, owing to the increase of his business, he moved across the
street to the building now occupied by Albert Ives. In July, 1855, he
established the auction rooms for the sale of Yankee notions and jewelry
at 160 Jefferson avenue. He was very successful, and in 1857, decid-
ing to engage in real estate, he sold out his jewelry business to George
Schuler. At this time (July, 1857), he lived at 92 Griswold street, and
opened a real estate office in the rear of 160 Jefferson avenue. His
first purchase was t^e north portion of the Porter farm, which he at
once subdivided. It will be remembered that Lyle, the banker, failed
this year (1857). Mr. Johnston had sold about $30,000 worth of his

— 431 —

lots and taken Lyle's paper in exchange. When Lyle went to Eng-
land Mr. Johnston followed him, and was successful in securing a satis-
factory adjustment on Lyle's paper held by him. On his return from
England, Mr. Johnston purchased another portion of the Porter and
also of the Campau farm which he subdivided and sold.

In 1859 he became interested in Lake Superior mines and also in
mining lands on the north shore, locating some 4,000 acres, and in 1866
organized the North Shore Land and Mining Company. In the
spring of 1872 he purchased the Close farm, near Pontiac, containing
no acres. This he subdivided into 440 lots. His death occurred in
October, 1872.

A synopsis of Mr. Johnston's transactions and his business ven-
tures furnish a test, and exhibit the energy and perseverance, as well as
the humanit}^ of the man.

He had $1.50 when he landed at Detroit in 1847, and no friends or
acquaintances. The following morning he invested a portion in a small
basket and a few trinkets, which he sold on the streets, renewing his
stock day by day from the proceeds and profits. He at the end of one
year opens a small store for the sale of Yankee notions, and takes as
partner for life Miss Sarah Woods. While she attends to the store, he
pursues the itinerant trade with a stock of goods, going as far as Louis-
ville, Ky. On his return from his second tour in the spring of 1850,
he established a wholesale Yankee notion and jewelry store. In ten
years from his entrance into Detroit, he disposes of the mercantile busi-
ness and engages in that of real estate. His first purchase being
April 23d, 1857, of one hundred and fifty acres of the Geo. W. Porter
farm, which he subdivided into five hundred and eighty lots, and seventy
acres of the C. C. Campau farm, which he subdivided into four hun-
dred and forty-six lots. In October of the same year he bought of J. J.
Wells the La Fountain farm of eighty-eight acres, which he subdivided
into six hundred and sixty-seven lots, and opened up Fifteenth and Six-
teenth streets. The entire number of lots which are now occupied by
poor men as homes, and which he sold them on easy terms, is 1,701.
He also gave land for two parks, and to the Sixteenth street Methodist
church its site, and contributed the greater portion of the money
which it cost to build. As stated, he purchased the farm near Pontiac,
which he subdivided just prior to his death. The foregoing is an evi-
dence of only a portion of what he accomplished in twenty-five years on a
cash capital of $1.50, by the exercise of a strong will, a sagacious judg-
ment and public spirit, stimulated by a desire to benefit others as well
as himself.

Mr. Johnson was a humane man and gave liberally to the worthy
and unfortunate, and all the various moral, benevolent and educational
associations received his active support and material aid. In religious

— 432 —

matters he was a Methodist, in politics a Republican, but never
sought or held office. His business integrity was unquestioned, and
as a citizen he was respected by all classes, poor and rich. His death
deprived the former of a true friend and the latter of a large-hearted
and enterprising co-operator.

Mr. Johnson's widow {nee Sarah Wood) who is still living, was
born in Dumfries, Scotland. Her parents were natives of the north of
Ireland, from whence they removed to Dumfries, Scotland, where her
father carried on the hatter's business and also a small farm adjacent
to the town. When Mrs. Johnson was a babe in her mother's arms,
her parents emigrated to America and settled near Ogdensburg, N. Y.

Of the children left by Mr, Johnston nine are living, and married.
They are: W. F., born June i8th, 1850; Cyrus, born February 15th,
1851; Sarah, born July 29th, 1854; Mar}^ A., born September 13th,
1857; Collins H., born August 29th, 1859; Melinda, born May 6th,
1863; Talitha Cummi, born July 28th, 1865; Martha and Geo. W.
(twins), born November 16, 1867. Mrs. Johnston is a remarkable
woman; notwithstanding she has had fourteen children, she adopted
three more, and is still enjoying good health, and is full of benevo-
lent acts.

Cyrus, the second son, succeeds his father in looking after his
mother and the estate. He possesses much of the enterprise and
many of the characteristics of John W. Johnston. He purchased from
the heirs their interest in the Pontiac property, and has succeeded in
disposing of it, according to the original intention of his father, and with
profit to himself.

December 24th, 1876, Cyrus married Miss Susan Dreury, who is
a native of Lincolnshire, London, Eng., and was born April 13th, 1850.
They have two children, Harry and Ethel Gertrude.


While gold and silver are regarded as the precious metals by a
large majority of mankind, iron and its product is conceded as being
the most useful in contributing to the demands of all the industrial
needs of humanity. Hence the manipulator or worker in iron must be
regarded as coming nearer the object and purpose of his creation, than
he who simply hoards and accumulates, but does not produce results
beneficial to the general good of his fellows.

" Happy," is the cognomen by which the subject of this sketch is
called. As there is a reason for all things, we must conclude that this
form of address (when applied to an individual) indicates some peculiar

— 433 —

trait or characteristic, significant and demonstrative of qualities of mind
and habit, suggestive of its application. If a man is happy with him
self, he infuses happiness to others, making the atmosphere surrounding
him, grateful and pleasant. Such would seem to be the temperament,
aside from his skill in the trade which he practices, of Thomas Egan, a
native of the Emerald Isle, born in the county of Kilkenny, May i8,

He must have been born of good parentage, because he exhibits
evidences of culture, and a sensible appreciation of what is due to him-
self, to society, and the intelligence of the age and country in which he

The early liking for the noblest animal, outside of man, induced
him to choose the trade of a worker in iron, and to so manipulate it,
that it should become a means of happiness and comfort, as well as a
product of usefulness to humanity; for he who is kind to the beast, is a
benefactor to humanity.

Thomas Egan, after the completion of his apprenticeship, decided to
seek his fortune in America, and located in the cit}^ of Detroit, October
I, 1871.

Soon after, he established the business he has since successfully
prosecuted, and has acquired therein, a competency for his family, the
confidence of horse owners, and the friendship of all who have made his

In April, 1872, he married Miss Mary Brennan. She was also
born in Kilkenny, Ireland, in the year 1844. They have four children,
William Joseph, John Martin, Margaret May and Mary Jane, to whom
they have given all the advantages in the way of education, which the
schools of Detroit afford.

Mr. Egan, in his manner and address, inspires confidence as to his
mechanical skill, and his desire to benefit the horse, his master, or
owner, and while as to politics, he allied himself to the Democratic
party, he is not a bigot. He neither asks nor expects public office, but
votes for the men whom, in his judgment, will best administer their offi-
cial duties, honestly, and for the best interests of his adopted country.


Harvey S. Reed, a native of the Empire State, was born in the
town of Hillsdale, Columbia county. New York, March 8th, 1821.

In April, 1854, ■'^^' R^^d moved to Detroit as the master of trans-
portation for the American Express Company. He has had general
oversight of i^eceiving and shipment of freights at Detroit since, and

— 434 —

still continues to look after the interests of that company. That his
services have been acceptable and faithfully performed, is evident from
his long retention in this responsible position.

Personally, Mr. Reed is kind and courteous to all, but firm in the
maintainance of his views and opinions exacting no more from others
than he is willing to give in return.

February 3d, 185 1, he married Miss Sarah Ann Fargo, of
Manilus, N. Y. Mrs. Reed was a sister of William G. and Charles
Fargo. They have one son, Charles F., agent of the American and
Canadian Express Companies at Detroit.


Hon. David Preston was born in Harmon}', Chautauqua county,
N. Y., September 20th, 1826, and came to Detroit in 1848, and entered
the banking office of Gleason F. Lewis, with whom he remained up to
1852, when he decided to open an office on his own account, and was
successful. He also established a branch in Chicago. He continued
in the banking business up to the dav of his death, which occurred sud-
denly at Detroit, Sunday morning, April 24th, 1887.

It may be said of David Preston, that he made his business subor-
dinate to his religion. He demonstrated this during the panic of 1873.
This was a trying period; confidence was weakened in all financial
institutions, man}^ suspending never to resume. Mr. Preston, who had
invested in pine lands, found that he could not make them available to
meet the claims of his depositors unless time was given him, and issued
a circular letter, frankly stating his financial condition, and his confidence
in being able to pay all liabilities, providing his friends would give him
time, closing his letter as follows: "I have such faith in God, that I am
certain you will grant me the time asked."

His friends did grant his request, and every dollar of his indebted-
ness was cancelled within the time specified.

While this incident exposed him to the scoffing of thoughtless
men, the mass of financiers appreciated his integrity and the Christian
simplicity with which he maintained it in life and until death.

May 5th, 1852, Mr. Preston married Miss Jane B. Hauk, of
Conneaut, Ohio. They have had fourteen children, seven of whom
are living, Mrs. Helen E. Hayes, Minnie E., William D., Francis B.
Ellery D., Mabel and Bessie.

Mr. Preston »never sought political preferment. He was elected
Alderman of the city one term. He became a candidate for Governor
on the Prohibition ticket in 1884, purely from his desire to promote the
temperance cause.

— 435 —

Mr. Preston was personally identified with many enterprises
tending to promote the growth, beauty and wealth of Detroit. Among
them was the purchase of a large tract of vacant land, which he sub-
divided and sold at such a low price as enabled the poor man to own a
home; the erection of the Central M. E. church building on Woodward
avenue and the Simpson church on Grand River avenue; the establish-
ment of the Preston National Bank and the Fidelity Safe Vauks.

His contributions to churches and other benevolent enterprises
aggregated $200,000 and over. He leaves to posterity the evidence of
a successful business life, based upon the application of Christian prin-
ciples in its conduct.


W. K. Muir, born at Kilmarnock, Scotland, after acquiring a rail-
way education in Scotland, accepted a railway position in England,
March 20, 1829, and at the age of 23, was appointed to the Superin-

Online LibraryFred. (Frederick) CarlisleChronography of notable events in the history of the Northwest territory and Wayne County → online text (page 46 of 51)