Press enter after choosing selection

Early History Of Ann Arbor

Early History Of Ann Arbor image
Parent Issue
Day
14
Month
March
Year
1873
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

'i'ilo l'iku i'f. .-,-, oí 'inmány givcs the procoedings of tho regular monthly weteting of tho " Piunoer Sucioty," of i. iroui W&ioh wc quote tho following as liav ing special looal interest : "-Prof. Duane Doty subniitted an ioturestins; papero the early history of Aun Albor, chiufly in a social point of viuw coudeiiBed firaii oareful anddetailed recoids kept by MisaMaryH. Clark.of tliat city, who, the Professor stated bas oollctte'l raany invaluablo rlatn, of tho eatly tiuies in Ann Arbor and vicinity. SKETCH OF ANN AEEOR. It is almosfc half a oeutilry (in Fcbruary, 1824) since the ürst white sottlers of Ann Arbor pitched camp upon the sito of that boautiful inland city. Mr. "Walker Kumsoy and wifo aud Mr. John Allen composod tho party. These pionnera havo all gono to thoir last restingplace. Mr. liumsey is buried in Ann Arbor, hia wifo dicd of cholera at Lafayette, Indiana, and Mr. Allen, who was among tlio tirst to go to California, died thero. - Araong the pioneers now living is Deacon L. Mills, who says that in 1827 bis six brothers and himsolf r.nmnmnil thn entiro bitnd which furnished tho ruusic for tbc celebra tion of the Fourth of July, E827. The table was spread in a "bower" made of brush, on the south sido of the present court-yard square. Thore were then no trees in tho square ; thoso now thcre have all been plantod sinco. Tho lirst Fourth of July celebratioa was held in 182i, and so rapid had boon tho inHux of settlers since tho preceding Fcbruary that over forty persons sat down to the dinner. This dinner was caten just in front of the present, rosideneoof the Hon. B. F. Granger, on fturon Street. On tho Saturday preccJing a eelubration was held at Woodruff's Grove, the present site of Ypsilanti. The stirring evonts of tüe Urek rovolution, and the horoism of tho young ürook ohief Ypsilanti, at thia time, oaused tho poople to give his aame to the towu. Tho name Scio was ulso given to the township west ot' Ann Arbor üa the north in Livingstóne connty, too, is the towu Byron. Cook's Hotel, .the first built in Ann Arbor, was called tho Lafayette House, as Laiayctte rovisited this country during the year that this town was first settled. Mr. S. O ook, still living, is tho oldest landlord in Michigan. It was rotuvm'ng from a Pourth of JuTf eolebration tha't the fatnily of Col. O. White were thrown iuto gn;at fearon account of tho escapo of their ox team, which conipelled them to walk threo miles to thcir home, listeniug to the howling of the woïvea about them. Wolves wore common then. Mrs. Nathanial Nohlc, who resided at the foot of tho hilk ■wust et' the miil-jiond, says that wolves often carne about her house at night. At the first Fourth of July celebration Judge James Kingsley met Miss Lucy A. Clark, who afterward became his wife. The first piano at Ann Arbor, and the secoud west of Detroit, belonged to this lady ; and seldom did she touch the keys ■without unexpeeted listenerg, for often, bs a fhadow darkenod the window, would she look up to find Pottawattomie Indians and their squaws and pooses hstcnmg to tho musio. Thia old piano still stands as firmly as ever upon its thin loga, a type, amongst the hundreds that have succoedod it, oí' a bygone time. a long titno Mrs. Clark, tho niother of Mrs. Kingsley, was the only couirnunicantof the Episcopal Church t Ann Arbor, and when Bishop McCoskry arrived in the Territory she sent hiiu word to como and see his little parish Judgo Kingsley, alluding to the oarly days of tho tow-n, pleasantly reinarks that he was lay leader for both tho Episoopalians and Presbyterians, inculcating high-tonod Calvinism ia the forenoon and very different doctrine in tho afternoon, frora the sanio desk, as two congregations worshiped in the saine house. Natave had done everything for the Bpot on which Ann Arbor stands. where in the Stato ia thero a'iuoro lovoly layof rolling land. A sunny opening 6tretched as far as the oyo could reach ; burr oaks hero and there relieved the loneliness, and gave it the appearance of cultivation ; to the south were thejcharinkig plaina of Lodi ; in Pittsfield, and nuarer, was heavy timber land, and in tho Huron River bottom was plenty of grass tbr hay and pasture-land foroattlo. Every day, in their season, tho Indiaus carne in, briiigiug cranborries and veuison, which thoy were alwaya glad to '■ejvap.' ünfoïtunatoly, beforo the firsi harvest, Oorn and wheat oould not be lutd nearer than Detroit. ïhe roads to Detroit wero iu terrible coadition as a rule, and the BetÜprs, after leachmg :ho city with their ox Teams or pack horsea, were often obliged to wait scveral days for the wind milis to grind tho grain. Much of tho eorn first raised before milla were built ■was coarsely ground by stones worked on ene stamp of a large tree. The old cemetery grounds in tho upper town formod a portion of Andrus Nowland'a farm, and this old gentleman would only givo the Iadie3 a deed to the piroperty on condition they would all oome aud tako tea with him, whioh they did. Nowland is said to have been a profane man, and others of the pioneers, too, have bad similar traits ascribed to them. It is diflicult to believe this in the Vight of the fact that in tho present generation of Ann Arbor men profunity is unknown. There was at this time a good pious man named Deacon Branch residing here. Nowland, in handing over the littlo papers to the cemetory, stipulated that when he, Nowland, died, be must be buried aa far as possible from Deaeon Branch's cvave. so that whpii t.tin nro of darkuess. cainc forBranch there might bo no mistako mudo and he, Nowland, carried off ioai&ad, Thoso who Wfi's in Ann A-bor at ac aarly day say that there bas been a grcat change in tho climute, tba winters now Tieiug longcr and colder. Trustworthy information tells us tlitit plowing was sometióles done in tho monté of Pebruary. Thü wind storms wcre thon moro sevoro than now. Tho night of March 20, 1838, will alwaya bs remerabered for tho torrifio storm which then oocurred, and during which a boy nauiod Tommy Weloh was killed by lightning. The firat postoffioo in Ann Arbor was eitablished in 1821 or 182Ó, and Mr. Jolm Allen was postruaster. At one timo during this period Jmigo James Kingsloy was deputy postjmastor. The mail carne ia. once a weuk, and the Judge says that ■when he wished to shut np the ofii would take tho mail in bis hat and curry Lt around to tho owners. Here seems to be the inception of tho platt of mail delivery hy letter carriers as now practiced in large cities. ' In business Ann Arbor now has tho secoud postónico iii tiio State.. In. i83'2 John Allen resigned and procured the appoiiitment of his brother, Turner Alleu, as a Jaekson man. ■ Iu 1833 Anson Brown was appciuted and moved the office to the lowertown, whore all his business iuterosts wero. This, of course ereated about as ïnuch of a tem pest as would the rcmoval of the Detroit postortico to Windsor. Brown was one of the most activo and capablo business men Ann Arbor has ever had, and iu his time ijt stemed as if the town must bc built on tho north side of the rivcr instead of on the pláin where it now stands. At Erown's death, in 18,'5-i, Col. Charles Thayer became his suocessor and held the office till 1841, the ofïico being removed back to the upper town. Under Harriaon Mark lioward booame postmaster and Leid tho office tvvo years, being succeeded by. George Danforth, f olio wed by F. J. B. Grane, now of Detroit. He held tho offico duriug l'olk's adininistration. Caleb Clark held it under Taylor and Filmoru's administraiion. Mr. Bonnet, Iho present gentleinanly eteward of the Universitj', lield tho office during tho Pierca and ]!uchajian administratiDiis. Mr. .T. Thompson succeoded Mr. Bennett. Capt. Bohan, Col. Grant and Col. Dean, the present postmastor, aro the other men who hare held tho office. To go to tb pogtorHoe was anee regaadsd by tedies s wowe than gbing to town meeting to v"to' A iming, in 1839, said thatwiih regret aad mortificación of ig sho had to aeknowledge that sho tlial day besn to the postoffiee. She n-üs obligad to go, and slu; Baid bhu was probably the only lady in towu v, ho had dono _ suck a thing. The opening of a mail in Ann Arbor to-day will convincc any ono that ladiVs there uow do nol shiu-o any of Mrs. Cummiug'i mortificiition at risiting a postoilicc. Tho railroad to Ann Arbor- the Michigan Central Bailroad - w.is oompleted lato in 1839. Somc notion of tho pi ico of village lots at an early day may be had from tho Ibllowing : W. S. Maynard purchased a few acres of land, at about #12 Ú0 per acre, and on telling kis fathor of the {rarohase received tlie eacouraging response that " a fooi and his mouey aio 8oon parted." The land to-day is worth soverul huudred thousand dollars. Lots that are now very v.'iluablo sometimos were exchanged for rifles. Among the evldeoces of tho litorary charaoter of society ia Ann Arbor at nn early day is a book, or tho fragment of a book, of what was known as the T. P. 1'. Society, whoso moinuers- ïacuos- accorüing to tho rulos laid down, wero all under twenty-six yoars of age. This society soeins to havo mot regularly tor iinprovomeut ; thoy gave questions iu history and natural soieucü, which wore answered by eaeh othcr, and papers on different subjects wore also contributed. Yearly meetings were held for the election of officers on the iirst of May. Sonie of their by-laws aro tho folio wing : Rule 9. That tho members of this society considor themsolves under obligation to dolend eaoh othcr's characters, aud counstl and advise cack other, as uircumsiances may require. Article 10 1-oa.ds 'That tho prevailing evil of slarider is beeoining so prevaleut that wo uniteilly will discountenanco and sujjpress it as inuch as possible.' The ouïiuus document is signed Minerva Itumsey, Julia Koot, Ahnira Gr. liird, Marv M. Lane,'L,ucy A. Clurk, Martha Wolch, Mary Welofi (now Mrs. Hawkins), Abbey W. iiu-es, Alaria Maynard. ■ As Abbob, Micii , Dec. 16, 1827. Among the gentlemen, at au early day, clubs lor reading and scientiflc discussion had boon in exiatence, and this before tho University was established. All the custorns of Ann Arbor woro theu moro iu ácordance with a city tlian a village.- In the years that imiuediately succeeded the ' wild cat ' times, grand entertaininents wero given, and tho town had many men who were supposod to bo rieh. ■ eiitertamments werc not only costly, but always put tho ladies who gave tliom to much labor and trouble, tbr each housekeoper, with the assistanoe of her neighbors, liad to preparo every article of food ; thero were no bakories then excopt a very plain one kept by one Daniel Bliss, whero tho sculptor, Eandolph. Hogers, officiated iu the capacity of a small boy and general supemumorary. These olaborato entertaiuments were generally given once a year by thce who could aíFord thom, and by some who could not, and everythiug, including full dress and cards, except oysters, n'gured largely. jrany ana merrily sped the days here forty years ago. Civilities betweenAnn Arbor and Detroit were frcquently oxchangcd. To the gray haired pionoor of to-day theso wero balcyon days. Death and remováis and the increasing population have wrought many changes. In Tim Clark's Ianguage : 'Wo aro all growing oíd and enjoy a crowd loss than fornierly, and, to teil the truth, younger persons aro rapidly coming upon the stage to tako our places ; wo have not the samo sympathy with thcm nor thoy with us thut our cotomporaries ot' the oldon time had. How fondly we delight to dweil upon thoso whom we lovod and those who loved us ; there rises up bcfore us a visión of many who, oue by one, have fallón from our sido to sloep the last sleep beneath the sod. Men and women of' sonso and fceling, yes, of rare mental worth and excoptionally agreoablo social qualities - where are thoy ? Memory echoing through all tho deserted chainbers of tho heart, catches and prolongs the echo, where are they ? ' "

Article

Subjects
Old News
Michigan Argus