James J. Hogaboam.

The Bean creek valley online

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box on crotches and poles, they camped under it until a log house could be raised.
This house, like its predecessors, was destitute of floor or chimney. They had no
floor until the 27th of November, when the new saw-mill had commenced operations,,
and enough lumber was obtained to make one.

Mr. Spafford's family continued to live here for many years. Two of his daughters^
Mrs. W. W. Tilton and Mrs. Webster, still reside here, and one son, Sumner F. Spaf-
ford, esq., is a resident of Des Moines, Iowa. Abner Spafford's family lived in thi»
house two years, and then moved upon £. F. Blood's farm.

During the fall of 1824, Mr. Blood built a log house upon his farm, the gable ends
being finished with the first lumber turned out of the new saw-mill. This building
still stands on the bluff of the river, a few rods north of Mr. Blood's present dwelling
house. It is greatly dilapidated and rapidly going to decay, but is allowed to stand as
one of the very few remaining mementoes of the first year's settiement of Tecumseh.
The same fall, an Indian trader, by the name Knaggs, built a small house on the
north side of Chicago street, upon the block east of the East Branch school, and dur*
ing the winter of '24 and '25, that was the only place of business in Tecumseh.

In July or August, Daniel Pitman and his family, consisting of a wife and two chil-
dren, arrived. He put up a small house on tlie present site of Dr. Patterson's resi-
dence, where he lived for several years. The next summer he erected a store on the
same lot and embarked in the mercantile business. A daughter of his,. Mrs. E. A.
Tribou, still lives in Tecumseh, and James E. and Samuel Pitman live in Detroit

Borland, his wife and two children, arrived the same fall, although late in the sea-
son, and took up thehr abode with Mr. Blood, upon his farm, where they lived for two
years, and until Abner Spafford's family moved in. Borland then became the land-
lord of the Brown tavern. •

Horace Wolcott and family came about the same time. He entered two lots north
of the Evans home, in Brownville, which are now divided into several small farms,
and built a small log house there. The family lived tliere for some years. Peter Low
joined the party at Buffalo. He entered a lot on Evans Creek, between Shawnee
street and the present village cemetery. He sold this lot in the fall to Jesse Osbom,-^



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find took up a port of P. JMllg' present f«rm, eMt of the rodd leading to £. F. Blood's-
present residenoe, adjoining Mr. Blood's (arm.

Jesse Osbom and family, consisting of a wife and five or six ehildxen, came in
during that fall and purchased the lot of Peter Low. He set out a large orchard on.
this place, afterwards known as the Hoag orchard. His house was on the bank of the
creek, a few rods nortti of John Whitnack's present residence. A few years after
Mr. Osbom moved to the town of Woodstock, in this county. To hhn belongs the
honor of raising and taking to mill the first wheat that was ground in Tecums^,
The house and the **ohl bam" remained on this place many years, and we remember^
the fact that in our boyhood days a favorite swimming place in the creek was behind
this same **old bam."

In the original party which came with Evans was a Lawyer Rathbone, but as the
pioneers were a peaceable set he had no litigation to attend to. But as there was a
considerable siclmess In the new settlement a physician became a necessity. Dr^
Ormsby arrived in the fall (^ ^24 and continued in practice here two years. Mr. E. F.
Blood had the honor of going to Detroit a^r his medicine chest

Thomas Goodrich, Sr., came that fall foid located the farm now occupied by Mrs*.
H. R. Clark, at Newberg. On the 16th of November his family, consisting of himself,
wife and seven children, Lra and ^George Goodrich, with their families, landed at
Monroe and came direct to Tecumseh. Ira located a farm one mile north of New-
burg.

We have thus enumerated (as far as we have been able to gatlier the dates) all the
persons who came to Tecumseh during 1834 with a view of a permanent settlement.
When that winter set in, the total population of the village, including men, women
and children^nambered about fifty.

We will now take a brief retrospect to relate a few incidents of a general character,.

During the summer of 1824 the principal business of the men in the setttement was
building houses and cutting out roads. No crops of any amount were put in during
the season. As often as a new family arrived all hands would turn in and help put
up a log house. Nearly all their provisions, flour, merchandise, etc., were carted from
Monroe in wagons. Peter Benson, who was in the employ of Mr. Evans as his team-
ster, did most of this work. He spent the whole summer traveling back and forth
between Monroe and Tecumseh. New pieces of road had to be cut every few days,
as the soil was marshy In many places and the road would soon become impassable
by reason of the mud.

The entire stock of sugar, however, was purchased of the Indians. It was maple
sugar, and was put up in a vessel called a '^ocock." This vessel was made of bark
and about the size and shape of a copper boiler. A ^^rnocock" of maple sugar would
last a family several months. The mails came up from Monroe at intervals of a week
or ten days, whenever Peter Benson came over the road with a load of provisions*
During the autumn of 1824 the first saw mill was erected. A dam was Uirown across
the river in Brownville, which dam remains there to this day, and serves as a high-
way across the river at the paper mill. The work upon the.mill was done mostly by '
volunteers, the same as tlie log houses had been raised. Men had but little to do at
home, and they were all waiting for lumber with which to finish their houses for'
winter. The site of the saw mill was east of the bridge across the mill-dam and soutb
of the race leading to the Heck Bros. mill. It was completed in a few weeks, and by
November was in running order. Several logs were sawed up that fall, and thus the*
settlers wore supplied with boards with which to build floors for their houses. This
mill did valiant service for several years, but it finally went to decay, and the last
timber of its foundation floated down the Raisin many years ago.

Before Mr. Evans settled in Tecumseh, and during his stay of a few days in Mon-
roe, in April, 1824, a co-partnership was formed between Austin £. Wing, Musgrove
Evans and Gen. Brown, by the firm name of Wing, Evans & Brown, and very soon
after the arrival of the parties, stops were taken to have the new settlement made a



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188 THE BEAN CREEK VALLEY.

oott&ty seat G«n. Brown stopped at Detroit on this mission when he started East for
his family, paid a personal visit to Gov. Cass, and the Governor ai^inted a commits
tee of two, consisting of G. J. Lanmon and Oiiver Johnson, who visited Teciunseh
and approved the ioeaticm. On the last of June the Legislature was in session. The
committee made.tiieir report, which was accepted and adopted. It was stipiriated in
the enactment that in lajing out the village, t^e company should set apart for the
public benefit four squares, viz., one for a court house and jail, one for a public prom*
enade, one for a cemetery and one for a military parade ground, and that they should
build a bridge across the River Raisin east of the village. These conditions were
ace^ted. In the meantime Wing, Evans & Brown had entered the land, ccuaiprising
the present village east of Railroad street, and extending north to the Brownville
mill. Upon this tract of land the original plat of the village was made.

Musgrove Evans himself, who was a surveyor, laid out the village plat during the
summer of 1824. The original plat embraced the territory bounded east by Wyan-
dotte street, souih by Killbuck street, west by the present railroad and the section
line running directly north from the present depot, and north by a line about ten rods
north of the street leading east from Brownville across tiie river. All of the territory
west of the railroad has been attached to the village by subsequent additions. The
cemetery square was located on the ccnmer of Ottawa and Killbuck streets, the mili-
tary squiure on Shawnee street, \h<b court house and park squares on the west side of
Maumee street, and upon either side of Chicago street. The cemetery square has
long since ceased to be used for that purpose, but the village still improves it as pub-
lic property. The park square has been turned over to the school district, and upon
that the East Branch School now stands. The court house square, opposite, is still
village property, but the building itself has been moved one block further east, and is
now used by S. P. Hosmer as a tool handle factory. Thne upsets all things. The
first court house In the county is deserted by sheriffs, lawyers and judges, and given
over to the manufacture of hickory tool handles.

But this talk is a digression. Returning to our task, let us trace the history of our
viUage through 1825. During that year but few new settlers presented themselves;
but many new buildings were erected and substantial improvements made. Among
the arrivals were Curtis Page and William W. Tilton, two practical carpenters. Mr.
Tilton came in June, 1825, and he was the man who cut the two small fields of wheat
sown by Stetson and Evans, the fall before. Soon after, he and Page hired out to
Daniel Pitman, and were employed several weeks in building his new store upon his
lot at the comer of Chicago and Ottawa streets— Dr. Patterson's present lot. In the
fall Mr. Pitman opened his store, and continued in mercantile business there for sev-
eral years.

Thomas Griswold, wife and four children arrived in July, 1826. He entered two
lots about a mile north of Wolcotte, on the present Clinton road. The family lived
with Evans until November and then moved upon their farm.

In the spring of this year Gen. Brown commenced the erection of a large frame
tavern on the southeast comer of Maumee and Chicago streets, the present site of
George W. Frasier's house. The house was occupied during the summer, and was
kept as a public house for ten or twelve years, when it bumed down. At the time it
hurned, it was known as the "Green Tavern."

On the SOth day of July, a child of Musgrove Evans, little Charley, aged about three
years, was drowned in the river, near his father's house in Brownville.

George Griswold, who lives in this township, was with Charley when the accident
happened. C^rge was four years old. The two boys went down to the river bank
directly east of the present mill cooper shop to play, and while there Charley walked
out on a plank which had been placed to stand on while dipping up water, and ffell
off into the river. George shouted for his mother, but before any one arrived Charley
was drowned.

Col. Hickson and family arrived the same fall, and took up their abode in the build-



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SUPPLEMElSfT. 139



inf owned by the Indian trader, Eim^^ They lived in Teeumseh a few years, and
i^tepwaids moved on a fann Just north of Clinton, where Mrs. HicXson still resides,
in a hale and happy old age. Theodore Bissell arrived the same summer, remained
over one winter, and tlien retomed East. In 1827 he eame back and settled here.

The first religious serviee held here was in the summer of 1826, and was conducted
by Kev. Koah M. Wells, then pastor of the Ffarst Presbyterian Church of Detroit He
formerly resided in New York, and Mrs. Gen. Brown was a member of his church
there. He came over to Tecumseh to pay the Oeneral's family a visit, and as he re-
mained in town one Sabbath, a meeting was held in Brown's tavern, and Mr. Wells
jN!<eaehed the sermon.

In the fall. Rev. Mr. Bachman, a Methodist, commenced preaching here and con-
tinued regularly every two weeks for -three or four years, Tecumseh being the
I^ineipal point in his circuit. He received the magnificent salary of 9100 per year.
These services were held at first in the school house and afterwards in the court
house.

During the season of 1825, the settlers were hard at work breaking up the land,
tilling and harvesting their crops. A large amount of wheat was sown that fall. It
was in the fall and winter of this year that Wing, Evans A Bix)wn started the project
of a new grist mill. The first winter (1824-5) had been a very mild one, but the second
one (1825-^ was colder, and there was some good sleighing. At this time a sleigh
jride was got up to Benjamin's tavern, ten miles this side of Monroe. There were
two loads of seven persons. One load contained Theodore Bissell, Horace Wolcott,
and five young ladies, from fifteen to thirty years old. They were the only single
ladies of a marriageable age then living in Tecumseh.

The other load contained Dr. Ormsby, Cousin €^rge Spaiford, and five married
ladies. As there were but two strings of bells in the county, each load appropriated
one string. The husbands of the married ladies had previously gone to Monroe to
purchase provisions, and after the two sleigh loads arrived at Benjamin's, the five
husbands stopped on their return home, and very unexpectedly found their wives
there. The occurrence produced much merriment, and was the theme of gossip in
the village for some time afterwards.

In the fall of '25 or spring of '26, Borland made a party at his house on the Blood
farm. Gen. Brown hitched up Evans' lumber wagon, put a long board across, and
picked up a load of ladies to take to the party. Going home the wagon reach came
Apart, the board dropped down, and the women were tumbled into the ditch. Mrs.
Daniel Hickson was one of the heroines of this accident.

In the fall of '26 a small frame school house was built on the north side of Chicago
street where the old Michigan House was afterwards erected, the present site of S. B.
Terry's residence; and in the ensuing winter, George Taylor, father of Mrs. James
Pencil, of this village, taught the first regular term of school, in the new building.

The first white male child bom in the county was George W. Goodrich, who now
lives in the township of Clinton. The next diild, or rather children, were twins, and
Mrs. Peter Low was the happy mother. Peter Low was an uncle of Justus Low,
who now lives in Ridgeway.

In the s{»ring of '26, Evans commenced the building of a large frame house on the
oomerof Oneida and Chicago streets, and by the 4th of July, in that year, the frame
was up and roof on, and it was used lor the celebration. This house yet stands aud
is used by Peter R. Adams, Esq., as his residence.

This spring the grist mill, which had been started the previous fall, was completed.
The mill was placed east of the Brownville dam, opposite the river from the saw mill,
about where the paper mill is now located. But the project came near being a failure
for lack of mill stones. Fortune, however, favors the brave. About a mile or so
northeast was found a huge boulder of pure granite. With drill and wedges— for
they had no powder— two large slabs were split off and worked into suitable size to
4ai8wer the purpose. Along in Jme, when the mill was nearly finished, Jesse Osbom



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140 THE BEAN CREEK VALLEY.

and Gen. Brown, in a bantering way, pledged each other, the one to fuinUh new
wheat and the other to frind it on the 4th of July. They kept their word. Jesse
Osbom harvested his wh^t on ground north and east of Judge Stacy's present house^
threshed it with a flail, took a grist to the new mill on the morning of the 4th, aod
from flour made that morning Mrs. Brown made some cake and biscuit, which were
used at the celebration dinner in the afternoon^ Sylvanus Blackmar was the miller
who ground this grist, and to him belongs the honor of having ground the first flour
ever manufactured in Lenawee county.

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INDE

JU>AMS.~SettIers; Town Meeting, 1896; Hill

AMBOY.— Early Setttement; Death; Sennon
Churches; Supervison,

HUDSON.— Hudson; Kidder and Young entei

Pennock enter land,
House built by Hiram Kidder,
Kidder's family arrive, - - -
Ames and party arrive at Kidder's house,
Oliver Purchase and VanGauder arrive,
Lands purchased In 1838,
Anecdotes of early times, ...
Heuben Davis settled on the Creek,
"Work on Kidder's race begun ; The Lanes I
The village of Lenawee platted; Worden

family ; VanAkin and Davenport arrive
Land purchased in 1884,
Silas Katon's obituary, ...
Lane's mill; Sugar making; Cressey's sett

marriHge,

ifrs. Davis; 8tore opened; Religious meetin
Rev. Wolcott ])reached ; Land purchasers, 18
Township meeting; Marriage; Postolfice;

Cobb ; Schooi ; School house ; Wheat hs
David Tucker; Lands purchased,
Original saw mill ; Harvey Anderson,
Internal Improvement Act;« The three n

Road located, - - - -

Hard times ; Banks— Chartered and Wlldca
Anecdotes; Dr. Hall; Anderson & Colvin;
X>. P. Hannah ; J. C. Hogaboam ; Railroad ]

W. H. Johnson; J. M. Osborn; Campaij
^Gloomy times; Railroad appropriations;

building; William Baker opens a store,
Harder times ; Proceeds of road pledged fo
Railroad completed; Station changes ; Lorei
The Old Comer Store ; Exchange Bank; An
Hulburd mill ; Stock store ; Spoke factory,
Tannery; Newspapers, - - -
Crime^W. W. Treadwell,
Bank Robbery, - - - -

Treadwell captured, tried, escaped with Co^
Body found; Cowell arrested, tried, convict<

gationai church, - - - -

Methodist Episcopal, - - -

The Baptists,

Roman Catholic ; Other churches ; Schools,
Benevolent orders; Odd Fellows, -
Free Masons ; Official register,



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INDKX.

rchased In 1883, : - - - . 27

iapp'8 arrival, -'• - - - -45

; Township organized, - , . . 45

p organized; Purchases of 1885, - - - 5i

g to mill, 55

sll; Town meeting; Birth; Death, • • - 106

!s; Hard times, 104

ial register, - - - - • - 105
L8S5; Tlie Comans; Russell Coman makes settlement, 50

- - - 119

on; Meeting to organize; Name; - - - 121

; Churches; Villages; Officers, - - - 133



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Online LibraryJames J. HogaboamThe Bean creek valley → online text (page 22 of 22)