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Ann Arbor's Name

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Mrs. Mary E. Lathrop died at the home of her daugbter, Mrs. Jobn Gibhins, at Stockbridge, December 29th, in her 89th year. Tbe deceasd was fn old resident of tbis city. Upou her marriage to George L. Lathrop in 1828, she accompanied him to the then territory of Michigan, the couple locating on eighty acres of land two and a half miles east of the city, on tte Dixboro road. They hewed ont their home In the wilderness. Wagons bronght their goods from their former home uear Batavia, N. Y., to Bnffalo, and there they took the boat for Detroit. On tbe voyage they were robbed of $500. At Detroit they paid $40 for a team and proceeded on with their housebold goods packedaway in a lumber wagon, until theyreached this city. There was no city then of learning. Iustead the wolves howled where the university now stands and there was nothing in the nniversity portion of the oi ty. Where Ypasilanti is there stood bnt four houses theu. In connection with her death it might be mentioned here that Mrs. Lathrop never mentioned the Dorrmer family, nor did she know - or at least never mentioned - Ann Allen, who Donmer claims was conflned in a natural arbor, from which fact this city was called "Ann Arbor," or "Hann's Arbor," as Dorrmer claims the original name was. Mrs. Lathrop's dangbters believe that had any snch f act been connected with the early history of Ann Acbor that their mother would have spoken about it, as she talked nmch of the early days and Feb. 9, 1893, had printed in the Stockbridge Sun an extended recoüection of the oioneer times in wnich this was not me.utioned. She remembered, however, Anti, wife of Judge Rnmsey, and conoerning Aun Arbor's name she, in her paper mentioned above, said : "That city derived its Dame on account of the nobiö aspects of the original site of the village, which was a bnrr oak opening resembling an arbor, laid out and cultivated by the hand of nature. For the prefix 'Ann' it wasindebted accordiug to uudeniable tradition to the first white woman that cooked the first meal there, Aan Sprague, then Mrs. Ruinsey of our town, East Betbany. She tuo'k me down to a little brook or run, as they called it, where some stones were piled together; here, she did her cooking. Though it has been some 60 years it seems as though I conld lócate it now were there. " ' Mrs. Lathrop claimed to be the pioneer teacher in the Ann Arbor vicinity, having opened a school in her home soon after settling here. Furcher on in the paper Mr. Lathrop gvae the following interesting history: 'Tbe first celebration ever heldin Ann Arbor was so different in m?ny respects. The seasons being earlier, they had new wheat, corn and in fact all garden prodnce. A Virginia man by the name of Allen, an experimental gardener furnished them. His garden was on the ground where the university now stand-. I forgot to say that previous to the whites coming here, it was the Indiau's dancing ground. So you see it was in a fine condition, beiug well cleared. "The Indians were not troublesome at thac time, yet occasionally when they found women alone, ai d they had been using fire water (whiskey) too freely, they would trouble them. I remember one instance. They had been to Detroit for their presents and were on their wayhome. Near Plymouth, thechief's son went into a settler's house and demanded bread. The woman told iiim she had none, hestill insisted, they had none, and he killed her. The news spread, they raised a company in Detroit, having Dr. Nichols for captain. They overtook them on the jilains near Piymouth. They gave the ohief to understand that if he would deliver np his son, they would not molest them, but if not, they would shoot hiin. He made motion for them to do so, and they did so. It was called Togus Plaius, after the chief and there was no m re trouble at that time. Dr. Nichols afterwards tooated in Dexter, and was leadmg physioian there for years. " Mrs. Lathrop survived her husband fonr years, after sixty years of wedder! life She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal ohurcli at Stockbridge and the funeral was held fioui it New Yea'S day, and intermeut was made in Dansville cemetery.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News