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Athens Of The West

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Ann Arbor, 'tls of thee we sing, From thee our choicest blessings spring ; Accept the tribute of our sone, O. Alma Mater, wise and strong. We love thy classic shades and shrlnes, We love thy murmuring elms and pines; Where'er our future homes shall be, Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee. And when our college course has ruu, And life's dark voyage has begun, When waves of sorrow and distress Our wearv, panting souls oppress. How bright shall beam thy beacon light To guide the wnd rer tbro' the night; And as weeateh its gleaming rays We'U sing again Ann Arbor's iiraise. ■Yell has the college poet described the beauties of Ann Arbor. No student, visitor or business man can fail to be toucbed by the romance which surrounds the place. It is suggested by the very name itself , which, indeed, had a distinctly romantic origin. One of the earliest settlers of the village, so the story runs, had a wife whose name was Ann. A tent and a leafy arbor constituted their first home. To it her chivalric husband attached the name of Ann's Arbor. A village Boon grew up around them, and what could they better cali that than Ann Arbor? Today therO is not another village or city in the world which bears this pretty name. LOCATION AND ( I.IM.M K. Ann Arbor stands upon several long, sloping bilis, lt is 824 feet above the sea level anti from tifty to seventy feet above the Hurón river, a pretty winding stream which enters the city at the north and leaves at the southeast. The soil is a drift consisting of a sand and gravel bed from fifty to seventy feet in thickness. It is quite porous, which fact, together with the descent to the river, renders surface drainage a matter of little difficulty. The average annual temperatureis about forty-seven degrees fahrenheit. The average annual rainfall is something over thirty-one inches, and is, as a general rule, well distributed. The climate is equable, the summers being cooler and the winters warmer than in many other places having the same latitude. A LITTLE HISTORY. It was in February, 1824, that the flrst settlement was made in Ann Arbor. John Allen, of Virginia, and Elisha W. Rumsey, of Genesee County, New York, were the pioneers. What they found was a burr oak plain dotted hero and there with openings. They pitched their tents on the east side of Allen's creek, near the present corner of Huron and First-sts. A cotïee tavern was the first building. Otliers followed, and in 1828 there was a rillage of 150 inhabitants, witli throe stores and three taverns. A steady growth continued. Ann Arbor was incorporated as a village in 1834, and three years later the University oí Michigan was looated at this point. The Michigan Central railroad made its entrarme in 1839. A city oharter grantcd in L861. Of Ann Arbor's subsequent history it is not nocessary to speak, for all the world knows it. roi'ULATION. The population of the city, according to the census of 1890, was 9,431, divided among the six wards as follows: First. 2,462; second. 1,(576; third, L503; fourth, 1,G19; fifth, 719; sixth, 1,452. At the present there are probably not less than 10,000 residente, not inoluding over 3,0tK) students who are with us threefourths of the year. The cliaracter of the population is ooBmopolitan, yet homogeneous. This is largely due to the great educational advantages of the city wliirh invariably tone down differences and spread a general culture. ANN ABBOB'S WKAI.TU. Ann Arbor is a wealthy city, but it is not wealthy in the sense that the word is applied to New York City. If we mistake not, there is not one millionaire in the Athens of the west. Paupers are equally few in number. The good things of this life are distributed in Ann Arbor about as equally as is possible under present conditions. Most all of the people are in at least comfortable circumstances. There are but two cities in Michigan worth more per capita than Ann Arbor. These are Detroit and Coldwater. For the sake of comparison, we publish the following table, taken from the reports of the various municipal boards of review for 1891: Total „ EqualTer Citv i ?,p ed capita. -" lation. Valuation. tion. Qrand Rápida 60.278 120.637,500 342 37 8aglnaw..:..._ ,322117.048.488 3IW IB Kav City 27.839 1 10,601,446 377 22 Mliskegbll 22.702 5,918.339 280 09 JackSOn 20,798 8,583.333 412 71 Külamazoo 17.835 7,359,025 412 20 Fort Hurón 13,543 5.082.000 375 25 BattleCreek 13,197 4,500,000 420 17 Lanilng 13,102 5,027.000 383 so Wet Hay City 12,981 2,943,050 220 72 Manlstee 12,812 2.382,519 184 20 Alpena 11,283 3,631813 32188 Isbpeming 11.197 5.850000 522 46 Mrnoininee 10,630 2,475.904 232 1)2 Flint il.80 4,581,215 467 33 Ann Arbor 9.431 5,463,360 579 29 Marquette 9,098 3.000,000 329 92 Adrián 8,756 3,763 203 441 L'I OWOMO 6,584 1,470,000 228 90 Cbebovgan 6,235 í 288 09 Pontlac 6,200 2,549.300 411 ÍS Ypsllantl 6,129 2.626,400 428 52 Detroit 205,876 142.200,000 690 71 Of course, some allowance must be made for the different derees of honesty and the different systems of the various cities. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt but that Ann Arbor stands in the front rank as regards not only the amount but the distribution of its wealth. UO ARBOR A HEALTHY CITY. The reputation which Ann Arbor bears as a healthy city is widespread. Said the health oflicer, in his last annual report, rendered in May: "I am pleased to say that, at this date, the city is free from contagious or communicable dis eases. I have no reports of the existence of euch cases now, and the nutnber reported during the year is verymuch less than for oash of the two or three years past, excepting the prevalence of influenza, vvhich has been somewhat epidemie, and complications of pneumonía and bronchitis, the genera] health of the city is verygood." The number of deaths dunng the year then passed waa 148, v.liich, in a population of 10,000, indicated a death rate of less than lifteen in a thousand. Tlie board of health is extremely vigilaat, and an offensive water closet or slaughter house is very soon ferreted out by the inspector. The streets and yards are kept remarkably clean. With the establishment of sewerage, which is sure to come about in a very short time, the sanitary condition of Ann Arbor will be well nigh perfect. A I.OW KA'I'K OP IAXATION. Although Ann Arbor is a rich and, withal, a progresa ve city, it has never been extravagant. The most rigid economy has always been practiced. As a result Ann Arbor is almost clear of debt and would be entirely so, were it not for the issuanco of 8-5,000 bonds, two yenrs ago, for the purpose of aidingin the oonstruction of the University hospital. Of this amount4,(HX) lias alrëady been jiaid. The disbursements for the year onding February 1. 1801, were 45,82a37, of which 89,425.40 were for streets; SÖ.S.'iS.lT for the fire department; 81,957.79 for pólice; $1,971.25 for poor relief; 15,119.25 for public lighting; 54,000 for hospital bond. The remainder of the sum was spent in salaries and incidental expenses. It will be seen that the expense of running this city of 10,000 people is wonderfully small. As a result Ann Arbor has about the lowest rate of taxation of any city in the northwest. The assessed valuation in 1890 was 84,771,000, and the following rates per cent. of taxes were paid: State, .130; county, .60; city, .010; school, .550; total, 1.35. Are there many cities of 10,000 in the country that can equal this.? ANN ARBOR THE COCNTÏ SEAT. Ann Arbor is the county seat of Washtenaw county. It was well selected, being centrally located. Here the officers and courts of 42,210 people raake their headquarters. Hon. E. D. Kinne, whose picture will be found in another column, is the judge of the tvventy-second circuit, which includes Washtenaw and Monroe counties. J. Willard Babbitt, of Ypsilanti, is probate judge, and William G. Doty, of this city, serves as probate register. The remaining county officers are: Charles Dwyer, sheriff; Arthur Brown, clerk; Michael Seery, register of deeds; Gustave Brehin, treasurer; Michael J. Lehman, prosecuting attorney; Patrick McKernan and Tracy L. Towner, circuit court commissioners: Charles S. Woodward, surveyor; Martin Clark and Edward Batwell, coroners. The court house is a magnificent building, standing upon an entire square of land in the very heart of the city. The structure was finished in 1878, and its total cost, exclusive of furniture, was about 870,000, of which amount Ann Arbor contributed 820,000. The property, including furniture and site, is uow valued at not less than 8125,000. The court house is SOx 127 in size, and about 54 feet in height. In the center rises a tower 152 feet above the basement. It contains a large clock, which can be seen miles away. There are fifteen large rooms in the building. One of these is used by the Ann Arbor city council as a place of meeting. The couuty jail, which stands within a block of the o .nrt house, is afine brick structure costing 820,000. The sheriff's residence constitutes the front part. The cages stand on two floors and are separated trom tñe outside walls by corridors. A solid cement ñoor, three feet thiok, effectually prevente exoavation. No prisoner has ever succeeded in escaping from Washtenaw's county jail. The average number of inmates is smal], thus testifying to the peaceable character of the residents of the county. A stoneyard across the street strikes terror into the hearts of all tramps and disorderlies. Most of them are inclined to giye Ann Arbor a wide berth. Three terms of the circuit court are held at Ann Arbor each year, and the docket is usually well filled. There are no less than thirty-five attorneys at law who reside at Ann Arbor, and some of them have even more than a state reputation. These, together with the deputy-sheriffs and other county officers, constitute quite a legal colony. The board of supervisors.who stitute a sort of legislatura for the county, meot twice a year to audit bilis and equalize taxes. Six of these supervisors represent the city of Ann Arbor. All the county eonventions of the several partios meet at the court house, thus raaking Ann Arbor not only the legal and business center of the county, but the political center as well. KAILWAY CON'N-ECTIONS. There is no great difticulty in reaching Ann Arbor by rail. On the great throueh line of the Michigan Central seven daily trains are run each way. The passenger business of Ann Arbor is larger than that of anv other city between Detroit and Chicago. The depot building is a fine Btructure, built of boulder stones, and valuod at more than 835,000. It is iunded by beautiful lawns and terraces. Few cities in the country can boast of depot grounds equal to these. The freight house is a strueture 300 feet long and well fitted for the large business done at this poiut. Pitteen men, all under the supervisión of the agent, H. W, I layes, are employed by the company at Ann Arbor. The Toledo, Ann Arbor & North Michigan railroad was commenced about tliirtoen years ago. It now runs from Toledo to Cadilac, and operates 274 miles. It crosses every east and west raihvayin thestate. It has been from the beginning largely an Ann Arbor enterprise. It transacts at this city a business of over $100,000 a year, surpassing every other station on the line except Toledo. The road, connecting as it does, with the south trunk lines at Toledo and striking the rich pine lands of Northern Michigan, has been of great advantage to Ann Arbor. At this point ten men, exclusive of trainmen and uwitchmen are employed. R. S. Greenwood is freight and ticket agent.


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Ann Arbor Register