Page images



The history of Jackson city is so peculiarly associated with the history of the county, that a full relation of events characteristic of pioneer days would be considered redundant in this chapter; because, in treating of the county, the story of the city's settlement and growth has been extensively told, and its early industries passed in review. However, there are many events particularly pertinent, which should claim attention. Among them are the churches, schools and great industrial establishments which the enterprise of citizens has brought into existence; the numerous friendly societies, which the exigencies of modern times seem to claim; the organic history of the city, its public men, and the works of utility which they inaugurated. Such a review is due those who made Jackson a home, and raised it from a hamlet to the position of a city, adorned it with manufacturing and commercial establishments of metropolitan character, built its churches and schools, aided in making it the great railroad center of the Peninsula, and in collecting within its confines such banded enterprise as will within a short period utilize its resources, and render it the second city of the State.


Horace Blackman, Capt. Alexander Laverty, and a Pottawatomie Indian guide named Pe-wa-tum, crossed Grand River in the Southeast quarter of section 32, town 2 south, range 1 west, in the vicinity of Trail street bridge, and the first white settlement in the county was made, the night being spent in quiet rest, and the day following in a celebration of the event and of the day. On the morning of the 4th of July, 1829, these three colonists arose at an early hour, and very patriotically resolved to celebrate the day. A national salute was fired from three rifles, and a public dinner, prepared by Capt. Laverty, was eaten. The usual after-dinner speeches and toasts were indulged in, Pe-wa-tum being the audience and the two white nien the orators. For champagne the three took the clearest water that could be found in Grand River. After the celebration the party commenced business immediately by staking out their land. From such a small beginning has arisen the present city of Jackson, the “Central City of Michigan in point of commerce as well as geographically. Thus the city took its start “under the oaks” along the banks of Grand River, and half a century sees it the peer of any Western metropolis of less than 20,000 inhabitants, with over 16,000 souls, and all the benefits of the wonderful advancement that the period has brought forth.


A letter written to Col. Shoemaker, President of the State Pioneer Society, by Edward Clark, a pioneer of Ann Arbor, relates the following particulars :

“I think," says he, “it was Jan. 8, 1830, that the commissioner and surveyor appointed to lay out the Territorial road, having surveyed the same from Sheldons,' on the Chicago road-the eastern end, or starting point—to Ann Arbor, started west from that place. Eight persons, of which party I was a member, started with them, and we opened the road as far as Grand river, as it was then called. On the site of your beautiful city we found the body of a log house with the roof on. We cut a hole in the east end, and camped there two nights. This house belonged to Mr. Blackman. The last night of our stay we named the place

Jacksonburgh,' and the next morning, the volunteers being out of provisions, we started for home.

On the 6th of July, of that year, the Fourth was on Sunday, and it took us all day Monday to ride from here to Jacksonburgh) Independence day was celebrated, and I had the honor of being on the committee of arrangements and marshal of the day. Gideon Wilcoxson was orator. Mr. Edward Torry kept the hotel at that time, and furnished the entertainment.


A reference is made to the dual trails, established through the village in 1830, and to a compromise said to be made between Russel Blackman and the settlers of that year. One of those trails ran south of Main street and parallel with it; the other north where Trail street runs at present, The quarter section through which the path of the aborigines ran belonged to the Blackmans; that through which the new road led was the property of the Bennetts. For a brief time each party exerted all its ingenuity to direct the march of the immigrants via its own special road.

The Blackmans succeeded in doing so, but finally the settlers of 1830 entered into an arrangement with Russel Blackman to place the great highway between their respective sections, and from such a compromise resulted the splendid thoroughfare which now forms the great business street of the present city.


The proclamation of Governor Cass locating the county seat placed it 240 rods east and four rods south of the geographical center of the county. This occasioned some dissatisfaction in later years, so that an effort was made, by the people of new villages, to

set aside the action of the locating commissioners and the governor, and thus establish the seat of justice on the ground holding the center of the county. Their efforts did not succeed, so that for years, until 1855, the first court-house held its peculiar position, where the Bennett Block now stands, and stretching out 44 feet toward the center of Jackson street.


It has been truly said, that “where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise."

At a very early period in the history of the county, one of the Ford family offered his hired man two marshy lots in the vicinity of those now occupied by Webb's drug store and Loomis' bank. The stupid fellow looked at Mr. Ford contemptuously, saying, “ You owe me $15; I want the currency and none of your

dn marshy lots." The money was paid over, the unenterprising wretch discharged, and a most valuable property passed into the hands of men who had just sufficient intelligence to retain it, and ultimately convert the "marshy lots” into hives of industry.


1831.—The town meeting catalogue of Jacksonburgh for 1831 contained the following names: Russell Blackman, Wm. Shipman, J. W. Bennett, Daniel Hogan, M. Freeman, Wm. R. Thompson, Orgil Cummins, Geo. C. Pease, Oliver Russ, John Durand, J. Fifield, John Wickham, W. C. Pease, William Curtiss, Abel Daniels, Jos. Case, Lyman Pease, Hiram Thompson, Elias Keyes, Christian Prussia, John Fifield, Silas Loomis, E. S. Billings, 'simothy Williams, Jeremiah Thompson, O. II. Fifield, Isaac Sterling, Samuel Wing, John Wellman, Lemuel Blackman, David Striker, Chester Wall, Martin Flint, Elemis Gillet, Horace Blackman, Ezekiel T. Critchett, John Ritchie and Jesse Baird.

An election was held at the public house of Wm. R. Thompson, July 11, 1831, which resulted in the choice of Samuel W. Dexter as delegate to Congress, who received 21 votes; while his opponent, Austin E Wing, was accorded only six. For members of the Legislative Council, James Kingsley received 27 votes; Geo. Renwick, 22 votes; and E. M. Skinner, 5 votes. The inspectors of election on that occasion were, Ralph Updyke, Christian Prussia, Ezekiel T. Critchett, Isaac Sterling and Horace Blackman.

1833.—An election held at the house of David Keyes on the second Monday of July:

For Delegate to Congress, William Woodbridge had 20 votes; Lucius Lyon, 26 votes. For members of the Legislative Council, George Renwick had 27 votes; Abel Millington, 24 votes; Henry Rumsey, 26 votes; Munnis Kenney, 22 votes. Signed by E. T. Critchet, Wm. D. Thompson, Clerks of Election.

1835.-At a special election at the house of Wm. Bothwell May 25, for the purpose of electing one delegate to represent Jackson


county in convention “now assembled” to form a State Constitution, Rosevelt Davis had 50 votes, and Roswell B. Rexford 46 votes. Signed by Oliver Russ, Samuel Woodworth, Wm. R. DeLand, Town Clerk.

At an election held'Oct. 5 and 6,1835: For Governor, Stevens T. Mason had 51 votes; John Norvell, 1 vote; William E. Perrin, 1

Lieutenant Governor, Edward Mundy had 51 votes; Ross Wilkins, 1 vote; William R. De Land, 1 vote. Representative to Congress, Isaac E. Crary had 59 votes. Representative to the State Legislature, Townsend E. Gidley had 58 votes; Abram F. Bolton, 30 votes; James Franklin, 6 votes. Senators, Fifth district, David Page had 62 votes; Abel Millington, 62 votes; Benjamin T. Mather, 57 votes; Henry Rumsey, 31 votes; Silas Finch, 30 votes; William J. Moody, 31 votes. Adoption of the State Constitution; Yes, 27 votes; No, 5 votes. Samuel Hamlin, Oliver Russ and Jotham Wood, Inspectors of Election.

At an election held April 4, 1835, to elect two delegates to represent Jackson county in convention to form a State constitution, Townsend E. Gidley had 60 votes; Rosevelt Davis, 58 votes; Roswell B. Rexford, 56 votes; Thomas McGee, 51 votes. Signed by Jotham Wood, John Daniels, Curtis Wheelock, Inspectors of Election for the Town of Jacksonburgh.

1836.—At the township meeting April 4, at the house of Paul B. Ring: For Register of Deeds Joseph C. Bailey had 81 votes; William R. De Land, 63 votes. For Supervisor, Jotham Wood had 65 votes; Daniel Coleman, 63 votes; J. Wood, 2 votes. For Township Clerk, Wm. D. Thompson had 66 votes; Wm. R. De Land, 55 votes. For Justice of the Peace, J. W. Dwight had 103 votes; Joseph C. Bailey, 70 votes; James Fifield, 65 votes; Hiram H. Smith, 63 votes; William R. De Land, 63 votes; David Keyes, 61 votes; J. W. Dwight, 16 votes. William R. De Land and Hiram H. Smith had each received an even number of votes, and declared a tie between them. And then the electors again proceeded to vote for one justice of the peace, and William R. De Land had 48 votes; Hiram H. Smith, 48 votes. Whereupon it was declared a tie. The sun being then down, it was declared that no more votes could be polled upon that day. Phineas French was appointed poundmaster. Election returns signed by David Keyes, J. P., J. C. Bailey, J. P., Oliver Russ, Moderator, Township Board.

William R. De Land was elected justice by "lot,” April 16, for one year, deciding the tie vote between H. H. Smith and himself. At a special election May 2, 1836, William R. DeLand had 38 votes for justice of the peace; Hiram H. Smith 34 votes for justice of the peace, thus finally deciding the contest in favor of De Land.

At a special election at the house of Paul B. Ring, March 11 and 12,1836: For representative to the State Legislature in place of Townsend E. Gidley, resigned, Phineas Farrand had 80 votes; Abram F. Bolton, 37 votes; John N. Dwight, 1 vote.

At a special election May 3,1836: For representative to the State Legislature, Abram F. Bolton had 41 votes; Phineas Farrand, 1 vote; Oliver Russ, 3 votes; Josephus Case, 1 vote; D. F. Dwight, 1


At an election held Sept. 12, 1836: For a delegate to the State convention, Jerry G. Cornell had 52 votes; Ethan Allen, 53 votes.

At the election Nov. 7 and 8, 1836: For Presidential Electors, William H. Welch, Woolcott Lawrence and William Draper had 105 votes; David McKinstry, Daniel LeRoy and William H. Hoeg, 80 votes. For Senators, Fifth District, Geo. B. Cooper had 109 votes (elected); William Moon, 110 votes (elected); Marcus Land, 90 votes; Abram F. Bolton, 86 votes. Representative in State Legislature, Jerry G. Cornell had 88 votes (elected); Phineas Farrand, 109 votes. For Sheriff, Amasa B. Gibson had' 128 votes (elected); George W. Gorham, 75 votes. County Clerk, William R. De Land, 108 votes; William D. Thompson, 101 votes (elected). County Clerk (to_fill vacancy) William D. Thompson had 96 votes (elected). Judge of Probate, Leander Chapman had 82 votes (elected); Benjamin Copeland, 97 votes. Judge of Probate (to fill vacancy), Leander Chapman had 87 votes (elected). ciate Judges, David Adams 123 votes (elected); Ethan Allen, 107 votes (elected); Joab Page, 37 votes; John Hall, 38 votes. County Treasurer, Oliver Russ had 82 votes elected); Samuel Hamlin, 128 votes. County Surveyor, John Ì. Durand had 142 votes (elected); Anson H. Delamater, 49 votes. Register of Deeds, John N. Dwight had 132 votes; Joseph C. Bailey, 87 votes (elected).

1837.–At the November election, Nov. 6 and 7: For Governor, Stevens T. Mason had 168 votes; Charles C. Trowbridge, 186

For Lieutenant Governor, Edward Mundy had 165 votes; Daniel S. Bacon, 185 votes. For Senator, James Kingsley had 164 votes; Dwight Kellogg 171 votes (elected). For Representative, Jerry G. Cornell had 160 votes; Townsend E. Gidley, 181 votes elected). For County Loan, Yea, 70; No, 2. Returns signed by James Ganson, Aaron Swain, Oliver Russ, James Fifield, W. D. Thompson, Inspectors of Election.

1838.-At the township meeting April 2: For Supervisor, Jotham Wood had 16 votes; James Ganson, 99 votes. For Town Clerk, Norman Allen had 130 votes; William D. Thompson 99

For Justice of the Peace, John N. Dwight had 128 votes; John C. Burnell, 107 votes; James Fifield, 88 votes; Lewis Collamer, 99 votes. For Treasurer, William D. Thompson had 105




1839.—At the township meeting, April 1: For Supervisor, James Ganson had 230 votes; David F. Dwight, 194 votes. For Township Clerk, Joseph C. Bailey had 275 votes; Fairchild Farrand, 114 votes; Norman Allen, 46 votes. For Justice of the Peace, William J. Moody had 230 votes; John C. Burnell, 104 votes; De Witt C. Chapin, 64 votes. For Township Treasurer, Edward Higby had 208 votes; Fairchild Farrand, 116 votes. For Collector, Lewis D. Willing had 320 votes; John P. Sawyer, 94 votes. At

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »