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History of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) online

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victims of drink. I'or all were glad to sign the pledge and wear the reil
ribbon in their button hole, iu order to help and eneourage their weaker
brothers, so that, we were told, there were a thousand men enrolled in
that Red Ribbon Club and five hundred women who put on tlie white
ribbon when the W, C. T. U. was first organized in Albion.

The opera house was rented for two years by the Reil Ribbon Club
and the W. C. T. U. During these years there were entertainments of a
high order nearly every night. In spite of the fact that all this time, the
saloons were licensed to sell rum and drag back these reformed men into
their uets of destruction, yet many remained true and have lived lives
of noble usefulness.

The organization of the Woman's Chri.stiau Temperance Union, was
called by Miss Willard, "The sober second thought of the temperance
crusade." The Red Ribbon Club, the Good Templars, Sons of Temper-
ance, and other organizations have tiourished for a time and thereby
saved many, and have done much lasting good, but it is noteworth.y that
the only organization that has endured to the present time in Albion is
the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. For thirty-five years the
Albion W. C. T. U. has held the fort, and in every way possible it "Has
waged its peaceful w-ar, for God and home and native land." The
faithful, elect women who have considered it an honor to be active mem-
bers of this, the largest organization of women in the world, continue to
work on with persistent courage, assured that the "Battle is the Lord's,"
and "He will not be discouraged till righteousness is established in the
earth." At the last state convention, June, 1912, the Albion Union was
declared the largest in the state, .judged by the payment of dues into
the state treasury. They have 234 regular members and 102 honorary
members. During these thirty-five years, the.v have kept up their regular
weekly meetings with programs which are educational and a never
failing source of inspiration. Oftentimes they have held Sunday after-
noon meetings, children's meetings, concerts, banquets, receptions and
lectures, for you know it has been said that "When a woman will, she
W'ill," and one of our crusaders has said, "There is deep meaning in
this old saying, and it means just about this, that women never weary
in good works; that if a thing can be done, if it is w'ithin the range of
human possibilities, they will do it, and the.v have such will in great
moral movements that they cannot be intimidated or discouraged." The
history of the Albion W. C. T. U. building, reads like a romance of faith
and courage. The first attempt to raise money for the W. C. T. U. head-
quarters for which these women had dreamed and prayed was in 1894,
when a gift of fifty dollars came as a dying bequest fi-om Mrs. V. Mather,
and inspired the ladies to believe that they mu.st "Arise and build."
The committee recommended that they build on the subscription plan.
About this time, they arranged for a ma.ss meeting in Opera hall, which
was addressed by the "silver tongued" orator. Col. George W. Bain
of Kentucky, at which time much enthusiasm was aroused and many
generous subscriptions were secured. These subscriptions were made on
the condition that they should not be called for or the building started,
until three thousand dollai-s were secured. But this work was delayed
on account of the heavy debt on the college and the newly buil'



478 HISTORY OP CALHOUN COUiNTY

Methodist church. As the members were all loyal church members,
they did not push the subscriptions for their building but continued
their work iu other ways. In 1904 they again became more active.
Mrs. E. G. Taylor was authorized to canvass the city to collect the old
subscriptions and secure new ones. Be it said to the honor of the Albion
friends who had subscribed ten years before, that a large proportion of
these old subscriptions were collected and many new ones secured bj' the
self-sacrificing labors of this indefatigable 'Slvs. Taylor. The laying of
the cornerstone of the building occurred Monday, August 14, 1905,
with appropriate ceremonies. On Sunday, April 22, 1906, the new
W. C. T. U. building was formerly dedicated. It was called "Dedica-
tion Day" iu Albion, as in the morning, all the churches united in a
mass meeting held in the Methodist church where an eloquent address
was given by Dr. Eaton, of Chicago, and subscriptions were taken for
the building. In the afternoon of the same day, the formal dedicatory
service was held iu the new auditorium. The pastors of the city united
in congratulatory speeches. Dr. Samuel Dickie gave the dedicatory ad-
dress and handed over the keys of the new building to Mrs. Cummings,
president of the W. C. T. U., who responded in a pleasing manner. The
new auditorium was well filled, and about .$1,600 was pledged during the
day.

The next day ilrs. Kennedy was installed as matron of the building,
which opened up immediately and for three j-ears was kept open every
day and evening. The following was printed in the Jackson Citizen
Press, as an unsolicited account of the success of the new enterprise, as
seen by Mr. Barrj^ who was a daily visitor and boarder in the restaurant:

Multitude Fed at W. C. T. U. Ee.st.\ur.\nt

Guests Eegistered From Nineteen St.^tes .\xd Four Foreign L.\nds

Albion, March 14, 1907.— A thousand persons have registered at the W. C. T. U.
building during the past four months. Guests from nearly every city in Michigan,
and from eighteen states outside of Michigan, have taken meals at this popular eat-
ing place since last October. One man who dined at the building gave his residence
as London, another came from Paris; there was a man from India, and one from
Egypt. The reputation of the W. C. T. U. restaurant and dining room has been
spread through Maine, Mississippi and California by guests from those states who
have been delighted with the food and service and welcome at the W. C. T. U. building.
Traveling men frequently drop into the place for a meal, and one of them said, ' ' It
seems like home, and that matron reminds me of my own old mother. She has a
way of making a man feel he is welcome, and I conisder myself lucky that I dropped
in there today. ' '

The building is paying expenses, but when meals are served in hotel style for 23
cents it doesn't leave a large margin of profit. The local union is still in debt, but
people are coming to appreciate the work that is being done, and it is believed that
financial support will he generously provided by a grateful community. Eeading
rooms for men and for women and rest rooms are free to the public and are being
used more as the fact becomes known. It is a credit to the city to have an institu-
tion that calls forth high praise from the people of other states and other countries,
and this being the first W. C. T. U. building in Michigan it gives Albion a sort of
distinction.

Many more than a thousand persons have dined at the place during the past four
months, for during the rush hours a great many get away without registering. The
thousand names on the register are those of a thousand different persons, for no



HISTORY OF CALllorX COINTY 479

one is asked to register a second time. This has been a banner week on account
of so many strangers being in the city to view the damages wrought by the flood. The
patronage of the place is steadily growing and that seems to be conclusive proof that
it is being conducted successfully and along right lines.

However, the ladies foiiud that, in the expense and re.sponsibility of
keeping the buikling open, and paying the iusuranee and interest, they
were not making satisfactory progress in paying off the debt. So in
January, 1910, they thought best to close the restaurant for a time, so
as to put all their efforts into wiping out the mortgage, which at that
time was $2500. During this time the beautiful auditorium has been
rented for lectures, the college basket ball, and for banquets. Five
hundred can be seated at tables in the auditorium and two hundred in
the dining room below. The W. C. T. U. ladies have served the college
banquet several times in this auditorium. The Lincoln Club of Calhoun
county held their 1912 annual banquet there, seating five hundred at
the tables, when Governor Osborn and other guests of honor were present.

The Methodist ladies served their large conniieucement banquet there
for the second time last June. In fact it is the largest and most con-
venient place in Albion for such gatherings. With a competent director
of boys sports, the basement might be given over to our boys. The ladies
parlors are most convenient for the local union to their weekly meet-
ings and for rest rooms for women. If the ladies were not cramped for
money, they would be glad to make many improvements, especially tit-
ting up comfortable rooms for the matron or janitor '.s family, raising
the roof so as to have rooms for rent above. The women have worked long
and faithfully for this project, which when paid for and finished, will
be a credit to Albion. It ought, not only to be freed from debt, but
liberally endowed by the generosity of public spirited citizens. The
W. C. T. U., if it means to have any permancy should own its own head-
quarters in every city in the country. In Detroit there is now an effort
started to raise money for W. C. T. U. headquarters in that city, but
Albion is the first city in ^lichigan to own its own headquarters. While
other cities are just commencing to build. Albion is on the "Home
stretch," and expects to wipe out the debt soon.

"Indifference to the temperance cause is supreme disloyalty to Christ.
Neutrality toward the saloon is treachery to humanity."

Statemext Concerning Our Building Fund

Our building on Erie street has cost, in round numbers $12,000. We
have a fine auditorium, rest rooms, dining room and lunch room. A
number of our citizens have made wills containing bequests to our
organization. The following form of bequest is suggested : "I give
and bequeath to the Woman's Christian Temperance Tnion. of Albion,
ilichigan, a body corporate, the sum of Dollars. ' '

Less than two thousand dollars now, would wipe out the debt on our
W. C. T. U. building, so that these faithful women could open up these
closed doors. We believe there are friends in Albion with money to
consecrate to the Lord for this purpose. Why should the temperance
cause be left as a doubtful benefieiaiy at the end of all other giving?
While the saloons are filling their coffers with "blood money," we
mothers plead for monej' to save our boys from the legalized saloon.



CHAPTER XXVI

MICHIGAN AND CALHOUN COUNTY IN WAR

The Mexican War — The Civil War — First War Fund Subscribers —
First Western Regiment at the Front — Troops Raised in State
and County — Press and Church for the Union — The Grand
Muster-Out — Money for the War — Historical Authorities Re-
lied Upon

From the nature of the case Michigan could not participate in the
War of the Revolution, nor to any appreciable extent did the territory
take part in the second war with Great Britain. The Toledo and the
Black Hawk wars while they served to show the spirit of our people,
were fortunately, as far as Michigan was concerned, bloodless affairs.

In the war with Mexico, in the war for the Union and in the Spanish
American war the state of Michigan bore an honorable and in the latter
two, relatively, a conspicuous part. In all three of these wars Calhoun
county assumed and faithfully carried its full proportionate share of the
burden. To date, no chapter in this or any other history pertaining to
Michigan has, or will have, the abiding interest to so many people as
that pertaining to the Civil war. This, because of the importance of the
issues involved, the permanent and beneficial results achieved, the num-
ber of the participants from the state, the patriotism and the heroism
manifested and the sacrifices made.

No other chapter has caused the editor so much painstaking work as
this. 3Iore than sixty volumes have been carefully consulted. Errors
in previous publications have been run down and corrected and great
care has been exercised to avoid mistakes; still, it will not be surprising
if in the review of so many thousand names there may not be some errors
and omissions.

In so far as Calhoun county 's part in the Civil war is concerned it is
believed to be the most complete of any single publication hitherto
issued. It has been the purpose of the editor not so much to give a history
of the war or even of the Michigan regiments participating therein, as
to give space to Calhoun county and Calhoun county soldiers. In the
years to come any soldier credited to this county can easily be traced
by means of this volume to a more extended personal history and through
that to the regiment, brigade, division, corps and army in which the
soldiers' service was performed. Had space permitted, it would have
been a pleasui-e to present in these pages a more extended record of the

480



HISTORY OF CALIIOrX COIXTY 4H1

many sons of Calhoun whose i;alhuit iliH'ds arc at once the Rlory and
pride of the county.

The war with Spain, like the war for the Union, is so presented that
those who wish, will find in this book a eorreet start with a sign board
pointing the way to further information if desired. In this connection
I wish to acknowledge the services of Captain William .M. Hatch. The
article prepared by him will have permanent value as a part of the
military history of our county.

The .A1exic.\n W.\k

In the war with Mexico, Jliehigan, played a comparatively incon-
spicuous part. Governor Ransom in his message of January 3, 1848,
says: "On the 19th of Jlay, 1846, a requisition was made by the War
Department upon the executive of the state for the enrollment of a regi-
ment of volunteer infantry of ten companies to be held in readiness for.
active service when called for by the president." February 13, 1847,
the legislature by joint resolution appropriated ten thousand dollars to
be applied at the discretion of the governor in fitting out any troops that
might be called for to serve in the war with Mexico.

In October, 1847, a call came from the president for the mustering
of ten companies from Michigan into the United States service. These
companies were mustered into service the latter part of 1847 and during
the mouths of January and February, 1848, and organized into what
was known as the First Regiment Jlichigan Volunteers. The regiment
did faithful service principally on garrison duty at different points in
Mexico.

While not seriously engaged in battle it suffered from disease, and
many resultant deaths, incident to the climate. In this regiment Cal-
houn county had one company recruited largely from IMarshall and
Battle Creek. The company was officered by Captain John Van Armen ;
first lieutenant, James S. Kingsland ; second lieutenant, James D. Pierce,
who was a youth of eighteen when commissioned, contracted disease
while in ^Icxico wiiicli caused his deatli in the following November.

The Civil War

The shots that echoed across the waters of Charleston harbor in the
gray dawn of the morning of April 12, 1861, awoke the nation from the
repose of peace to the perils of war, and when at high noon on the 14th
the flag of our country was lowered over the walls of Fort Sumter at
the behest of those whose avowed pui-pose was to sever the Union of tiie
states and destroy the government founded by Washington and his com-
patriots, the blood of patriotic men and women was stirred as it had not
been within the memory of men. In that momentous hour one supreme
question challenged every loyal American, "The Federal Union, shall
it be preserved?" Upon the issue involved in that cpiestion Lincoln
made his appeal to the country. IIow well the people responded, the
history of our restored Union will forever make answer, and will be
read with interest and pride by patriotic Americans so long as the re-
public endures.



482 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

The part the state of Michigan took in that war, the sustained pa-
triotism of her people at home and the heroism and sacrifice of her sons
in the field attests her unfaltering devotion to the Federal Union.

It is not our purpose in these pages to do more than attempt to show
the spirit of our people as revealed by their declarations and acts and to
make record, imperfect and incomplete though it must necessarily be, of
the part Calhoun county played in the memorable conflict.

The impression is sometimes erroneously made that war is simply a
matter of campaigns and battles, of courage and of heroism on the field of
(Combat. It should not be overlooked that soldiers must be enlisted, and
rendezvoused ; they must be fed and clothed and drilled and disciplined
and equipped ; they must be transported to the supposed theater of ac-
tion, they must be sustained while in the service and be paid their sti-
pend, small though it be, that those at home dependent upon them, may,
in part at least, be eared for while they are absent. When men become
soldiers they cease to be producers and become expensive consumers, hence
it is, that money plays not only an increasingly important but an indis-
pensable part in modern warfare.

Fort Sumter surrendered on Sunday the 14th day of April. Presi-
dent Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 troops on IMonday the 15th and
Governor Austin Blair on Tuesday, the 16th, called for ten companies,
making a full regiment, as I\Iichigan's quota of the 75,000. It was
estimated that .-j^KlO.OOO would be at once required for this purpose, but
the state treasury was comparatively empty and therefore unable to
meet the immediate and pressing necessity for money. At a largely
attended meeting of patriotic citizens in Detroit whither Governor Blair
had gone on the 16th, it was decided to ask the citizens of the state to
advance a loan of $100,000 by popular subscription, that the financial
emergency might be tided over.

First War P^'rxD Subscribers

It was at this time and under these circumstances that the financial
side of the patriotic men of Calhoun county was first manifested. The
following is the honorable list of those who responded to this call for
money which came simultaneousl.y with the call for troops. From Battle
Creek subscriptions were made by : Charles S. Gray, B. F. Graves, John
F. Hinman, W. H. Raymond, T.'b. Skinner, L. C." Kellogg, C. Buckley,
William Andres, Barrett and Wakelee, Coob and Pettie, Sutton and
Company, Stone and Hyall, L. B. Clapp, V. P. Collier, T. W. Hall,
Thomas Hart. James D. LaBar, William Wallace. M. Neal & Company,
W. C. Hamlin, S. Reed. W. H. Skinner, Erastus Hussev, T. B, Sand-
erson, J. P. Buckley, 0. S. ]Morton. G. W. Wakefield, R. F. Titus, B. F.
Hinman, H. F. Hinman, E. W. Pendill, C. M. Rash, John Barbour, Alonzo
Noble, Charles Coy, J. P. aiarkhani, K. AVhiteomb, Ed. Packer, William
JMeeritt, Alex Rowley, W. and F. W. Brooks, and A. L. Clark.

Fi'oni JIai-shall the following named persons came forward with su'b-
scriptioiis: J. C. Frink, G. B. Murray, W. PI. Brown, S. A. Tyler, E. L.
Crockir. M. 1). Strong, Ira Nash, S. \v. Dodge, Charles Killam, 51. Har-
rigan, Setli Lewis, D. S. Beach, C. II. Cook, C. P. Dibble, A. Y. Vary,



HISTORY OF CALIlorX COUNTY 483

Philo Dibble, J. D. Wooley, S. S. La.y, M. II. ('inm, K. h. Hadger,
Samuel Thomas, Josiah Lepper, S. V. R. Lt-jiinT. Z. M. Lester, (ieorge
H. Barber, E. Carning and Company, A. HiDsic, I'. .Mitihcll. .1. L,
Evans, and II. J. Perrin.

It seems that Battle Creek and Marshall were the only towns in the
country whose citizens contributed to this fund. It is probable the others
were not called upon. By means of the generous contributions made by
the citizens of the state the first three months' regiment from ^Michigan
was well equipped and left the state on the 13th of May under command
of Colonel Orlando B. Wilcox. It stirs the pride of every loyal son of
the state to read the encomiums pronounced upon this our first regiment
enroute to and after its arrival in Washington.

The Cleveland Plaiiidealer said: "A great many of our citizens
visited the Michigan troops and expressed admiration of the men and
the very admirable manner in which they had been armed and e((uipped
for service by their state. ' '

First Western Regiment at the Front

The Baltimore American said: "The Michigan regiment attracted
general attention and commendation by their soldierly appearance and
well disciplined movements, a la Hardee. It was composed almost entirely
of young, steady and intelligent looking men, and it appeared to be capi-
tally officered. They were exceedingly well equipped, thanks to the
liberality of the state of ^Michigan, which had furnished them with an
entire outfit from head to foot, and were armed with new minute guns."

A correspondent of the New York Post, writing from Washington
under the date of ^lay 17th, said : ' " The Michigan rifle regiment came
into town about ten o'clock last night, marching from the depot up the
avenue to Eleventh street. They were preceded by a splendid band of
music which soon aroused our citizens and long before they had reached
the quarters assigned them, hundreds of people were out to give them
welcome. The enthusiasm of the crowd was irrepressible for this was.
the first western regiment which had arrived at the capital."

Calhoun county furnished oik company (1) in this historic regiment,
officered by Captain DeVille Hubbard; first lieutenant, Seldon H. Gor-
ham, and second lieutenant, Hiram S. Warner. All of whom were from
Marshall as were most of the men who composed the militia company of
that city, known as the "Marshall Light Guard."

This was but the beginning of preparation for a conflict which few
foresaw would continue and grow in intensity for four years, and be
fraught with consequences, unanticipated by the contestants on either
side. It is a source of great satisfaction that Michigan never faltered
in her devotion to the Union. The state was fortunate in having a man
like Austin Blair for its governor. An ardent patriot, an elo(|uent
orator and withal a man of good practical sense and excellent judgment.
He gave to the service of his state and the country four years of his life,
in the prime manhood and with intense zeal, almost without money and
without price — for the state at that time paid its governor but one thou-
sand dollars a year. He retired fi-oin office a poor man. but witli clean



484 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

hands and stainless honor, bearing with him to private life the esteem
of the people at home and the love and gratitude of the soldiers in the
field.

In his first message to the legislature on the first day of January,
1861, he gave utterance to these ringing words which sent a thriU of
delight through every loyal heart: "I recommend that at an early day
you make manifest that Michigan is loyal to the Union, the constitution
and the laws and will defend them to the uttermost : and to proffer to the
President of the United States the whole military power of the state for
that purpose."

On the second of February the legislature responded to the governor's
appeal in these words: "Resolved. That Michigan adheres to the govern-
ment as ordained by the constitution and for sustaining it .intact hereby
pledges and tenders to the general government all its military power and
material resources."

The people of the state were soon called upon to make good the patri-
otic declarations and pledges of Governor Blair for on Ma.v 3, 1861.
President Lincoln issued another call for troops which was confirmed
by act of Congress, approved August 6, 1861. Under this second call
for 500,000 men Michigan's quota was 21,357. The temper and deter-
mination of the people were revealed in the fact that under this call
26,499 sons of the commonwealth volunteered for three years or during
the war. Again in July, 1862, there was a call for 300,000 more, of
which the state's quota was 11,686 and it furnished 17,656. October 17,
1863, and February 1, 1864, calls were made which aggregated 500,000
men; of these Michigan's quota wa.s 19,553 and she furnished 19,330.
March 14, 1864, there was a call for 200,000 men for three years service.
Under this call Jlichigan furnished 7,667 or M'ithin 144 of the full num-
ber required. July 18, 1864, 500,000 additional men were called for, but
credit being given for excess in previous calls, Michigan's (|Uota was but
12,098, and she furnished 12,532, The last call made by President Lin-



Online LibraryWashington GardnerHistory of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) → online text (page 58 of 74)