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Is An Old Land Mark

Is An Old Land Mark image
Parent Issue
Day
9
Month
June
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Tbe ñame hovisa being torn down atibe southwest coruer of W. Hnron and Ashley sts. by is owner Kobert V. Benz, is one of the old landruarks of the city. ' It is more generally known as the former residence of Oen. Edward Clark. It was probably built in 1828by Asa L. Smitb, who was bornin Boston, Mass., May 12, 1792, and wbo with his vvife and danghter Lettice settled in Ann Arbor May 29, 1824. Mrs. Smith was the second wnite womau in the settleinent and Lettice tbe flrst white child. They fonnd Ann Arbor a ' erness, with only two families John Allen and Walker Rumsey as neighbors. ! Mr. Allen camped on the rising ground north of Allen's Creek, between Washington and Hnron sts., near wbere the old John Gott homestead stands. The j flrst shelter Mr. Smith built was constructed by snpporting an inverted wagon bos on poles diïven into the ground, and suspending blankets from its edges. Tbis rnde covering protected the family partially from the chilly night air, though it did not shut ont tKe music of the wolves that frequently serenaded tbe settlers with notes that filled thetn with terror. This kind of shelter soon gave way to a hut constructed of poles, and covered with bark pealed from the foresfc trees, which in turn w as exchanged about the lst of October fora log home erected on Main st. north of the courc house square. This house was soon sold to a newcomer, and another built wnich was soon disposed of in the same way. Thns within seven years the family ex changed one home foranother 13 times. Among the homes erected by Mr. Smith was this house on W. Huorn st. which is supposed to be the first framehouse ever built in Ann Arbor. Mr. Smith built the first school house on the site now occnpied by Zion's Lutheran chnrch on E. Washington st. This school house was the place where the first public religious assemblies convened, acü was the eradle of the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches. In 1832 Mr. Smith moved to the Fifth ward then known aslower town, where he built the flrst block eastof the Hnron river. He died Feb. 13, 1844, at his home, corner ot Brown and Traver sts. Mrs. Simth nntil a few years ago was still living with her youngest daughter Mrs. Martha Ann Hiokman, Battie Creek, Mich. Respecting Mr. Smith'aemigration to Ann Arbor, the following facts are said to be well authenticated. On the 8th day of May, 1824, the day Lettice his oldest daughter was one year old, he left Rochester, N. Y., with his family for Michigan, at that time the objective point of northwestern emigration, not knowing definitly where he would lócate. A man whose legitímate business was smuggling goods from Canada into the states fnrnished thera means of transportaron from Rocheser to Buffalo. From Buffalo he made the passage up Lake Erie on a sail boat, whose name is forgotten, and which had been down the lake with a cargo of flsh. After a few days delay at Detroit where they feil in with Messrs. Rumsey & Allen, the fouuders of the settlement of Aun Arbor, persuaded by their glowing descriptions of its advantages and prospects, they shipped their goods on a flat boat up the Hurón and left Detroit on foot, abont 2 o'clock p. in., May 27. That night was spent at Ten SycKs. The uext day brought thern to Ypsilanti and the third, May 29, to Aun Arbor.