Northwest Ordinance by Congress establishing Northwest Territory, the area which today includes Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.
October 5. Gen. Arthur St. Clair appointed first Governor of the Northwest Territory.
Territory of Michigan organized (lower peninsular) with Gen. William Hull the first Governor of the Territory and Detroit as the seat of Government. Two thirds of Detroit's inhabitants were French. Fire destroyed most of the log structure of the village the day Gen. Hull arrived to begin his administration.
River Huron, easily navigable for most of the 25 miles inland from Lake Erie, brought three exploring Frenchmen who established a Trading Post on the west bank of the River Huron. This log structure was the first building built in what is now Washtenaw County. A plaque on the entrance of the Detroit Edison office building commemorates the 1809 Trading Post. The Frenchmen were: Col. Gabriel Godfroy, Romaine LaChambre and Francois Pepin.
June 11, deeding of 2,63 acres running west from the Huron, to the three French explorers and known thereafter as the French Claims. F.C. 690 to Gabriel Godfroy, 612 acres; F.C. 691 to Romaine LaChambre, 622 acres; F.C. 680 to Godfroy's children, 556 acres; F.C. 681 to Francois Pepin, 562 acres.
June 18. Congress by a small majority, voted a Declaration of War against Great Britain. William Webb Harwood from Palmyra, New York, came to what is now Washtenaw County and Ypsilanti but did not stay. The Godfroy Trading Post was the only structure in the area.
September. Gen. Lewis Cass, second Governor of the Michigan Territory, concluded a treaty at Saginas with the Indians, whereby most of the land in the present south-eastern Michigan, passed to the United States Government. U.S. Survey began and thousands of acres of land were put up for Public Sale by Act of Congress in 1820.
Boundries of Washtenaw County defined. July 1, Eli Kellog bought “…a portion of Section 9 & 10, Town 3 South, Range 7 East.” containing 132 acres and on the east side of the River Huron. William Webb bought the 132 acres from Kellog and also some adjoining acres from Hiram Jones in 1822. Ezra Lay visited the area, prospecting for land in May of that year. In June, Eldridge Gee, age 21, visited the area with his father-in-law, Epaphras Matteson, Joseph Young and Giles Downer.
February, Eldridge Gee “squated” on land in Section 13.
April 22, Benjamin Woodruff, John Thayer, Robert M. Stitts, David Beverly, and Titus Bronson arrived on the high banks of the Huron where Benjamin J. Woodruff took registered title to 114 acres in Section 15 and 22. He established Woodruff's Grove on his land, the location being a mile below the present Michigan Avenue. There is a memorial boulder at the present intersection of South Grove and South Prospect. Hiram Tuttle settled further south and on the south bank of the river. Titus Bronson bought two fractions in 1823, and May 24, 1824, bought 160 acres in Section 32 in Ann Arbor Township. Thomas Sackridge was a purchaser of land and built a house in 1824, later moving to Lenawee County. Orante Grant bought land and bought his family to the area in April 1824.
October 23, John Bryan and family arrived at Woodruff's Grove, bought land and built a house. Bryan was a carpenter and in the fall of 1827, built the first bridge across the River Huron, about where the 1825 US Survey placed the Detroit to Chicago Military Road.
There were 14 purchasers of land in our area during this year. Hiram Jones was the 7th purchaser, locating on the east side of the Huron adjoining what had been the land of Eli Kellog. David McCord and Robert Fleming bought land and Robert Fleming built a sawmill in Section 25, Ann Arbor Township, in the summer, on what is now Fleming's Creek. He soon removed to lands west of Washtenaw County. Harvey H. Snow was the 10th buyer and owned Snow's landing, now Rawsonville. A year later he sold out to Abel Millington. Erastus Guilford was the 11th purchaser; David Cross the 12th and he sold out in 1825 and moved to Saline, then Manchester and back to Ypsilanti where he died February 15, 1875. George Noyes was the 13th purchaser but soon moved to Ann Arbor. February, Alpha Washtenaw Bryan born at Woodruff's Grove, son of John Bryan. First white child born in County of Washtenaw.
July 4. First Independence Day celebration at the Grove.
September 9. John Stewart bought French Claim #691 from LaChambre, a total of 622 acres.
October 22. Walter Oakman died at the Grove. First death in the settlement.
John Stewart bought all of French Claim 691, May 29th 1824. Judge A.B. Woodward bought French Claim #690 containing 612 acres. Each Claim 1/2 mile wide and two miles long from the bed of the Huron west to the present Hewitt Road.
May. Rev. Elias Potter of Ohio Conference of the Methodist Church, a Circuit Rider, visited Woodruff's Grove.
May 31. Election held at the site of the old Godfroy Trading Post to elect a delegate to Congress.
June. Lyman Graves bought 320 acres in Section #28 (South of Textile, east of Hitchingham, north of Merritt Rd.) on both sides of the old Monroe Road, Whittaker. John P. Kelly and son son, Christian age 16, came to the area with Graves. Kelly was a blacksmith from Berne, Switzerland, and had emigrated to America in 1818. He had the first blacksmith's shop in Washtenaw County.
Spring-United States surveyors placed the Detroit-Chicago Road across the Huron where the present Michigan Avenue is; nearly a mile up the river from Woodruff's Grove.
July. Village platted on each side of the Huron where the Survey placed the new road. It was recorded in Detroit by three men: Judge A.B. Woodward; John Stewart and William W. Harwood. The Judge named the Village “Ypsilanti”, honoring the Greek Patriot, Demetrius Ypsilanti. Settlers, now arriving overland on the new road, bought village lots and nearby land, causing the decline of the Grove. John Stewart planned the West Public Square and gave the land for it. It was bounded by Adams to Hamilton on both sides of Congress with Pearson Street as boundary on the north and Michigan Street on the south. (Michigan Street in now Ferris.) William Webb Harwood gave the land for the East Public Square, bounded by Lincoln, Babbitt, Park and Parsons Streets. William Wilson, age 30, bought 160 acres from his Uncle, John Shaw: NW 1/4 Section 22 (south side of Huron River, 3/4 mile west of Tuttle Hill Road-“about a mile south of Woodruff's Grove.”
August 29. Judge A.B. Woodward sold 526 acres to Lucius Lyon.
October 26. Erie Canal opened, establishing a complete water route from New York to Detroit and Michigan Territory.
September 12. Deed for Lot 110 in Original Plat of Ypsilanti to Jonathan G. Morton. Consideration of $5.00. Morton had first store in Village of Ypsilanti at NW corner Huron and Pearl Streets on Lot 110.
December 7. “Wednesday, the schoolhouse in Woodruff's Grove entirely burned.” (“Detroit Gazette”, December 13, 1825).
December 3. Convention held in Ann Arbor to nominate County Officers-Delegates: “B.J. Woodruff and Thomas Sackrider from Woodruff's Grove; Dr. Rufus Pomeroy from Ypsilanti Village: Oliver Whitmore, Mulletts Creek: Roswell Britton, Cyrus Beckwith, Dr. Cyril Nichols and David E. Lord from Ann Arbor: Sylvanus Noble, Mill Creek: Anthony Case from Simes Settlement: Capt. John Dix, Dixborough. Nominees were: S.W. Dexter, 1st Judge: Oliver Whitmore, 2nd Judge; Henry Rumsey, 3rd Judge: Anthony Case, Judge of Pro= bate: B.J. Woodruff, Sheriff: David E. Lord, Register and Recorder.” (“Detroit Gazette”, Decrember 13, 1825.)
January. Party of young people from Ypsilanti visited Rumsey's Tavern in Ann Arbor. 1st Post Office established at Dixborough, Major John Dix first Postmaster.
April. Meeting held at Woodruff's Grove to discuss military organization and request for such was sent to proper authorities.
May. Military Company organized with Andrew McKinstry, Capt.; Jonathan Kirt, Lt.; Alvin Cross, Ensign.
May 17. Messers Ely and McKinstry killed an enormous bear at the Grove that weighed 350 pounds.
August. Lyman Graves and Olive Gorton married. John Stewart established the first sawmill, west bank of the Huron River at Forest.
August 26. Bethuel Farrand, one of the original members of the Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor “…Noble Character, and enterprising business man worthy of notice served as Elder of the Church for 21 years…” (from the Reminiscenes of Lorrin Mills) “Deacon Bethuel Farrand drove the stage (a lumber wagon) from Detroit to Ann Arbor and also brought the mail…” Bethuel Farrand bought acreage in Section 33, Ann Arbor Township, East 1/2 of SW located 2 miles East of Ann Arbor on Dixboro Road. He was made Judge of Probate for Washtenaw County and his portrait is in the Ypsilanti Historical Archives.
November. Michigan Legislative Council establishes Washtenaw County. Prior to this time, Washtenaw was part of Wayne County for administrative purposes.
January 2. Lucius Lyon sold his land holdings to Jacob Larzalere. June. Mark Norris arrived, having walked from Detroit to Ypsilanti. Michigan Legislative Council set off original Township of Ypsilanti, comprised of Town 1,2, 3 & 4 South of Range 7 East, and Sections 23, 24, 25, 26 5 and 36, and South 1/2 of Sections 13 & 14 in Town 3, South of Range 6, East (part of Pittsfield Township). This covered Salem, Superior, Ypsilanti, Augusta Townships, and Southeast corner of Pittsfield Township. The first Hawkins House-the nucleus of this Hotel, known as Tolland's Trading House, was built by Tolland, son-in-law of John Stewart, about 1827. Abiel Hawkins bought the site and the structure in 1834. Old Colby House-two miles east of Ypsilanti, erected by Zolva Bowen-became “most pretentious building between Detroit and Ypsilanti. Wm. Colby later conducted the business and sold to E.D.Lay who in turn sold to Wiard. Isaac Powers appointed Post Master by President John Quincy Adams. Ypsilanti's first Post Master.
Pioneer Historical Society established by Governor Cass. The Historical Society of Michigan ranks in the first 9 Historical Societies formed in the Colonies, Territories and States and was the first Historical Society in the Middle West. Loyal Sprague, in 1901, said that in 1828, William Hornbeck kept on of 3 stores in Ypsilanti. Ypsilanti Mill built by Harding and Reading, east side of River Huron and North of East Cross at the end of the Mill Race. A 3rd Flouring Mill was built on the east bank of the river and south of Congress Street bridge. The mill was built by William W. Harwood. J Kimball arrived in Ypsilanti and worked for Philander Stevens in the grocery store on the south side of Congress and west of Huron. June 30. The Michigan Legislative Council set off Towns 1 & 2 South of Range 7 East, as a separate Township known as “Panama”. “That from and after the passage of this act, all that part of the Township of Ypsilanti, North, including Township numbered 1 and 2 South…shall be known by the name of Panama… and that the first Township meeting be held at the house of John McCormick”. This new Township of Panama comprised the present Townships of Salem and Superior, in 1831, the southern part of Panama organized the Township of Superior, a name selected by Henry Kimmel. July. First Methodist Sunday School established in a log structure on North Huron Street.
July. Presbyterian Church organized by Rev. William Page of Ann Arbor (Foster-pg 22) October 20. Mark Norris succeeded Isaac Powers as Post Master. December 18. Presbyterian Temperance Society formed by Rev. William Jones (Foster pg 12).
January 3. Meeting at Oliver Whitmore Hotel to adopt measures to select candidate for Delegate to Congress. Solmon Champion, Jr, Chairman; Marcus Lane, Secretary. (“Emigrant” 1-19-1830) Judge Jacob L. Larzelere built first brick house in Ypsilanti. (Present address 202 S. Huron)-SW corner of South Huron and Woodward Street. June. Rev. Ira M. Wead became 2nd Pastor of Presbyterian Church but was not formally installed until October 1834 October 4. The First Congregational Society (Foster pg 2 of Ypsilanti formed for Church government. Jacob Larzelere had a race dug and a sawmill erected near the later site of the Cornwell mill. Larzelere continued his sawmill until 1842 when it was converted to a paper mill, after a felt-woolen mill was operated there. April 6. Joseph Smith organized the Mormon Church in Fayette, Seneca County, New York. Anti-Masonic groups were strong in the County. “The Western Emigrant”, published in Ann Arbor, led the attack on the Masonic Order. December 25. First regularly scheduled passenger train service in the United States, using steam power, opened at Charleston on the South Carolina Railroad with a 3 1/2 ton U.S. built locomotive. Stackhouse built a Hotel on East Congress (Michigan) beyond the river and on the north side of the street. A log structure was put up by one Tolland on the NW corner of Congress (Michigan) and Washington Street prior to 1830. It was sold to one Foster who made the building into a crude hotel. In 1830, Foster built a story frame building west of the log building. These buildings were sold to a Coy and then to Dr. Millington. Abiel Hawkins bought the property in 1834. First Cemetery owned by the village of Ypsilanti. It was located at the corner of Summit Street and Chicago Road (Michigan Avenue). W.W. Harwood built a small single story brick building on the north edge of the East Public Square of the original Plat, midway between River Street and Mill (Park) Street. This building became the first School House. It was a girl's school.
In the election for candidate for Territorial Congress, the Masonic candidate won, but there was a large antivote cast. By 1835 the Masonic issue was forgotten. Edwin Jerome, with a party of Surveyors on their way to survey the Northwest Territory west from Lake Michigan, wrote: “The first day's march, on a graded road, with a French pony team and a buffalo wagon to carry our tent, blankets, and equipment, bought us to Ypsilanti where we found good fare and a choice of the softest boards in the barroom floor for our beds during the night…”. John Stewart sold his holdings to Jason Cross and moved west. September 8. An ad. in the “Detroit Free Press” states: “Two Stage Lines are now running from Detroit to Ann Arbor, Jacksonburg and Tecumseh, via Ypsilanti”. The Michigan Legislative Council set off the South Half of Panama Township and named it Superior.
April-September. Black Hawk War pushing the Indians across the Mississippi. First Public Schoolhouse was known as the White School-house on the west side. A one room structure was on the lot now numbered 137 North Washington Street. Chauncey Joslin taught there in 1837 and continued to 1845. Salmon Champion erected a building near the SW corner of South Adams and Congress Streets on the South edge of the West Public Square.
August 13. Public Meeting held to open navigation on the River Huron. August 27. Construction of flat bottom freight boat started by Hiram and James Ashe, to be called “The Enterprise”. October 5. Seventeen members of the Ypsilanti Presbyterian Church seceeded to form the PRESBYTERIAN Church of Stoney Creek. April 1. Michigan Legislative Council set off the north half of Panama Township and named it “Salem”. April. William R. Post came to the Village from Stephentown, New York and located 3 1/2 miles south of town. Abiel Hawkins arrived with his son Walter. Miss Emily Wead became the teacher in the school, then married Salmon Champion. She was followed in 1834 by Miss A.G. Nichols.
John Bryan moved to Ann Arbor-built the County Court House that year-then moved to Constantine and died in 1871. House built by Arden Ballard on North Huron the SW corner of present Washtenaw. May 10. Timothy Showerman and family arrived in Ypsilanti. September. Miss Ruth Parker opened “Young Ladies Select School” in a room over the shop of Mr. Vanderbilt. (Miss Parker later became the wife of Rev. Worthington). October. Rev. Ira M. Wead formally installed as Pastor of Presbyterian Church. July 6. Gov. George B. Porter dies in Detroit as 2nd Cholera epidemic begins. Isaac Kimball and Harry Gilbert discovered a mysterious underground room about 20 rods south of the Chicago Road on Prospect Street, 10 feet square and 8 feet high. Supposed to have been made and used by counterfiters in the early days of the Godfroy Trading Post. Toledo War over boundary between Ohio and Michigan. (Toledo is shown as being in Michigan on the 1834 maps). Michigan was not admitted to the Union because she would surrender the Toledo Strip. The area was finally surrendered in exchange for the western section of the Upper Peninsular.
March. Troop of Calvary from Ypsilanti mobilized by Capt. Forsythe to fight in “Toledo War”. Went to Toledo and came back home in a few days. April 6. 2nd Town Meeting of Pittsfield Township held at school house near McCrachen's Inn. October 25. John Scott Horner, unpopular Secretary and Acting Governor of Michigan Territory, appointed by President Andrew Jackson, stopped overnight in Ypsilanti. During the night, his lodging place was pelted with stones and other missiles and treating the distinguished guest to the indignity of an old time chariviri. (see “Life and Times of St.T. Mason” by Lawton T. Hemans). Road between Detroit anmd Chicago opened. It was known as the Sauk Trail. Dr. Parminio Davis arrived and also James Hutchinson, father of Shelley B. The Tax Roll was made up by William R. Post and the list named 121 Tax payers in the village, the largest tax was $86.50 and for A. Lagullum. December. “Ypsilanti Sentinel” newspaper established by Gen. John VanFossen.
Benjamin and Freelove Sanford Woodruff came from New York State and settled on 80 acres at Carpenter's Corners, Pittsfield Township. This family included their son Charles Woodruff who had a tremendous influence on higher education in the State of Michigan as well as in the local schools. Rev. John D. Pierce became first Superintendent of Public Instruction. He lived in Marshall, Michigan at that time-and is buried there. Dr. Fairchild lived in the 2nd house south of the Starkweather-Ladies' Library. The Doctor had built this frame structure. First Bank, Legislation passed chartering the Bank of Ypsilanti. Incorporators were: Henry Champion, Arden H. Ballard, Marcus Lane, Mark Norris, Silas French, Grove Spencer, Timothy Treadwell and Donald Ballentine. The bank operated for three years but the management changed and bankruptcy followed the next year. June 15. Congress accepts Michigan's Constitution; agrees to admit Michigan as a State upon condition that Michigan accept Ohio's boundary. September 26. At Convention of Assent held in Ann Arbor, Ohio's claims are refused. October 1. Michigan Southern (Erie & Kalamazoo) Rail road is first to operate in Michigan. Horse-power train travels between Toledo and Adrian. First locomotive in State is put in operation on this line the following year. First meeting of the Baptist Church Society held in school house on east side. Elder S. Twiss from Ann Arbor presiding. (“Ypsilanti Press” 2-19-1937). November 23. Presbyterian Church on Pearson Street dedicated (Colburn-pg 99). December. Quaker preacher ‘employs underground rail road’ to bring Slaves into Cass County, and movement of fugitive and freed slaves into State begins.
Michigan is admitted to the Union as a free State. United States Government orders removal of the Indians from the States west of the Appalacians and also Michigan. The next Addition was by Post and Larzelere. It was south of the original plat and on both sides of South Huron Street. George King came from England to Ypsilanti. Other prominent names arriving in 1837: Walter A. Buckbee, lawyer, John Van Cleve and Chauncey Joslin who are mentioned elsewhere, Francis K. Rexford, M.D. who formed a partnership with Richard F. Morse, M.D. and it lasted until 1850. The Village of Ypsilanti had 121 houses with a population of about 600. February 22. Michigan flag first introduced. Originated by Gov. Lewis Cass before Michigan became a State. April 3. Journeymen Carpenters go on strike and parade in Detroit Streets. The beginning of the economic depression. October 4. Dr. Richard Morse succeeded Mark Norris as Postmaster and continued for 4 years. October 18. Benjamin Woodruff died. Post & Larzelere Addition, south from Catherine on both sides of Huron, added to the Village.
February 8. Railroad from Detroit reaches Ypsilanti. April. Detroit elects first School Board in Michigan under State Law. July 3. St Luke's Episcopal Church dedicated (Spire and pews finished 1842). First newspaper “Ypsilanti Republican” started by John W. Wallace. December 15. Ypsilanti Vigilante Society organized at home of Abiel Hawkins. James R. Gillis, President, James M. Edmunds, Secretary, M.V. Hall, Treasurer, Chauncey Joslin, Mark Norris, Abraham Sage, Marcus Lane, D.C. McKinstry, Arden Ballard and W.B. Hewitt, Executive Committee. Colonel D.C. McKinstry contracted to built the railroad from Detroit to Ypsilanti and moved to Ypsilanti that year. He bought the Champion house, SE corner Congress and South Adams. Mark Norris built the Western Hotel anticipating the railroad, located on the triangle formed by Maple (old Mill Street), River Street and the rail road right of way, and north of East Cross Street. The early railroad station was on the west side of the track and north of East Cross Street. Platted real estate additions increased the size of Village and were as follows: Case & Perry Addition, SW of Forest and Hamilton. The Norris Addition which included land between East Cross and Maple Streets, and from River Street to PROSPECT: Larzelere added land between Race (Catherine) and Spring Streets, east of South Huron; the Clarkville Addition was south of the Larzelere Addition.
The Morse and Ballentine Addition included land west of Ballard between Cross and Ellis (Washtenaw) Streets. Arden Ballard opened the Eagle Flouring Mill near Forest.
The State population was listed 212, 267 and with 500 sawmills operating in the State. Rev. H.P. Powers came as Rector of St Luke's Church. George King built a frame structure for his grocery store on the SW corner of Congress and South Huron, having been located for a short time on East Congress Street. A Plank Road was planned from Ypsilanti to York. William R. Post was offering to buy; butter, eggs and other farm produce, S. Ostrander advertised as a blacksmith and wagon maker. Francis Griffin established a school. He used the meeting room of the Presbyterian Church on Pearson St. and later located in the “Nunnery” on Congress Street. Griffin was followed by a man named Landreth who established an academic school in the Larzelere block. Both Griffin and Landreth advertised the teaching of Latin and Greek, but they were not successful, and Charles Woodruff undertook carrying on the academic school in the Larzelere block.
April 17. Memorial funeral services for President W. H. Harrison. The Invocation was given by Rev. I.M. Wead; prayer by Rev. Simmons; sermon by Rev. H.P. Powers; benediction by Rev. Alvin Billings. A crowd of several hundred men, women and children, headed by a band, para ded from the Hawkins House to the Methodist Church on on River Street, and back to the Episcopal Church and then to the Presbyterian Church. May 3. William R. Martin became Postmaster. October 24. Dr. Parmenio Davis married Carlistra Showerman, daughter of Timothy Showerman.
Dr. T.M. Town built his brick home at 102 South Washington. “The winter was very severe. Started November 17th and stayed until April, except for a slight thaw in January. There was good sleighing on Election Day, the first Monday in April”. (“Ypsilanti Commercial” April 12, 1893) Detroit opened the first free, tax supported school in the State. First black families moved to Ypsilanti and included Robert Morton, Henry Johnson and possibly George McCoy. Prominent people in the Village during this decade: Loveridge & Camp in a general store; D.F. Tompkins, tailor; Samson offering fine brandy, port and Madiera wines, Holland gin and other items for medicinal purposes.
March “…the floor gave way at a Methodist Revival meeting, injured some.” Rev. G.L. Poster locates the building as “now the South Schoolhouse on east side.” March 28. Construction of Methodist Church commenced. September. New Methodist Church completed. Dec. 20. 1st issue of “Ypsilanti Sentinel” John Van Fossen, publisher.
Feb. 5. Charles Woodruff opened an “Academical School” in the Larzelere block (SW corner Michigan and Washington) opposite the Hawkins Hotel (WW corner Michigan and Washington). Feb. 26. Lots in Ypsilanti Cemetery offered for sale at public auction. April. Miss Jane Willard opened a school for children in common branches of English in a building near the depo. (“Sentinel” 4-25-1844) April 26. Bishop Peter LaFevre of Detroit, purchased the lot on which the Catholic Church now stands, from Charles W. Lane. In 1845 the first Catholic Church, small frame building was built on it. April 27. Second 11 week term of “Academical School” opened in Larzelere block. July 4. The Superintendents, teachers and scholars of all Sabbath Schools in the vicinity met at the Methodist Church at 9:30 A.M. and marched to the Grove where where refreshments were served and several addresses were enjoyed. August 14. Ypsilanti Seminary opened. The academic year is divided into two terms of 22 weeks commencing 1st Monday of September and 2nd Monday in February. Tuition $3 to $8. Board and room $14 per quarter of 11 weeks. William L. Eaton and Mary B.F. Brown, Principals; L.H. Moore and Wm. A. Moore, Proprietors. (“Sentinel” 4-30-1845).
April 7. Annual Ypsilanti Township Meeting held in the “White Schoolhouse” on west side of Nuron River in the Village of Ypsilanti. X“Sentinel” 4-2-1845). May 19. The 4th term of the Ypsilanti Seminary will commence on May 19th. May 27. Abiel Hawkins became Postmaster. June 26. Dr.Francis Rexford succeeded Hawkins as Postmaster. July 4. “Independence Island” christened by Rev. H.P. Powers. July 12. A meeting was held to consider a canal or navigation Ypsilanti to Gibraltar. Walter Buckbee, Edmunds and Van Fossen to investigate. August 27. (From the “Sentinel”) Last week two skeletons were exhumed by workmen excavating the road west end of the new bridge. One was full grown, the other smaller. Buried about 3 feet below the surface, the large one horizontal position enclosed in a coffin, without trinkets, which indicated it was not an Indian. Sept. 17. Wyandotte Lodge #10 LOOF was formed in Ypsilanti. Oct.22. A General Election for Ypsilanti Township will be held in the house of John W. Putnam on Tuesday, November 4. November 5. Meeting will be held in the office of C.W. Lane to form an Association of Teachers in Ypsilanti Township, auxiliary to County Association if any exists. November 10. At 11 p.m. a barn on the east side, owned by Jacob Emerick and used by A.A.Hunter as a storehouse for empty barrels, burned. Four dwellings also burned, 3000 barrels burned. Medad Curtis stayed on top of his house with pails of water and put out sparks as they fell. November 13. Meeting to be held in the Chapel room of the Seminary, Thursday 13th, to discuss establishment of Primary Department in the school and a Literary Association. November 24. Dr. Inglis of Detroit, lectures this evening at the Seminary. The Ypsilanti Literary Asso. will meet in the Chapel room at the Seminary, Monday November 24. One or two short addresses will be given. M.A. Parks advertises that he has established himself in clock and watch repair business in the part of the Book and Drug store of E. Samson. Dec. 1. Prof. Ten Brock of the University of Michigan will lecture before the Ypsilanti Literary Asso. at the Seminary, and his subject will be: “Proper Choice of Miscellaneous Reading”. Dec. 8. The Ypsilanti Literary Society met, “No lecturer but a pleasant hour was spent in conversation. Dec. 12. The house of Loyal Tuttle burned.
May 13. United States declared war on Mexico/ August 16. Charles Kellogg married Lucina Showerman, daughter of Timothy. September 17. Cornerstone for a new Baptist Church was laid, SE corner of Washington & Cross Streets. Rev. H.P. Powers resigned as rector of St Luke's Church.
Baptist Church-dedicated-NE Forest and North Huron. July 11. Rev. John A. Williams became Rector of St Luke's Church. November. First Telegraph message sent from Detroit to Ypsilanti. Exact date not known. “The Advertiser” Detroit-says: “The telegraph from this toward the setting sun began yesterday forenoon between this point and Ypsilanti. We were unavoidably absent but we hear the lightning passed smoothly and that there were some flashes of wit as well as electricity sent to and fro. Several congratulations and best wishes were sent to our neighbor Harmon on his patriotic self devotion in the Mexican War. Mr. Haviland is the operation here and he discharges his duties with skill and alacrity. The whole line to Chicago will be in operation in a short time.” The State Legislature voted to locate the State Capitol in “The township of Lansing, in the County of Ingham”.
Cicero Millington married Dorlisca Showerman, daughter of Timothy Showerman. January 24. Gold discovered near Coloma, California.
March 28. The Legislature approved an Act that a Teacher Training School be established in or near some Village in the State. The Act was amplified March 25, 1850, placing the authority for such a school under the direction of the State Board of Education. The State provided 25 Sections of swamp land to be sold to raise funds. The expense of the buildings and equipment was to be borne by the community where the school located. Several communities, Jackson, Marshall, Niles and Ypsilanti offered sites for the school. Ypsilanti offered the gently rising land on the north side of Cross Street from Brower Street west. Ypsilanti also pledged the money to construct a building and pay the salary of the Principal for five years. At this time, Mr. & Mrs. John Starkweather, close personal friends of John D. Pierce, gave generous support and influence to have the school located in Ypsilanti. March 29. A Special Act of the Legislature increased the number of School District Board members to 6 to serve for six years. The Act gave the Board the authorty to adopt any educational system that would not be contrary to State Law. The District Board began immediately to make changes in the interior of the Tecumseh Hotel building and the Model School opened in October.
Bernard C. Whittemore became Treasurer for the State of Michigan. (In 1856, Mr. whittemore bought lots from Mark Norris and built the brick mansion now standing at 223 River Street). Construction began on the new Presbyterian Church in the new location on North Washington Street. John Ferrir was the builder and died before the work was completed. June. Friends Church organized and located in Ypsilanti Township. September 4. New Baptist Church dedicated. Dr. Rexford retired from medical practice and became a partner with Benjamin Follett in a general store. Hiram Batchelder, age 23, came from Orange County, Vt., the Granite State, and established a marble and monument business with his brother Don C. Batchelder. Daniel B. Greene opened a law office. Dr. A. F. Kinne began medical practice. Normal School Addition platted and added to Ypsilanti, the area between Forest and Cross and Ballard to Brower.
March 28. A great fire destroyed 14 stores, the lumber yard of Gilman Davis, a wagon shop, the brick store buildings of Van Cleve and Vorheis, W.B. Hewitt's two stores on the NE corner of Congress and Washington, the Nunnery and Dr. Millington's house on North Huron. Most of the buildings were wood construction. The Ashley Minor residence, a blacksmith's shop and a house at the corner of Pearl and Huron were un= touched as was the “Ark” even though it was threatened. March 27. Elijah Grant had died at his home, SE corner of Congress and Washington. The fire the following day was so fierce the Grant house seemed to be in danger and volunteers removed the coffin to the Towner house on the west side of South Washington St.
June. The first class graduated from the Seminary, said to be the seconded graded High School in the State. (“The Evening Times” 3-11-1899). October 5. The first building for the Normal School was dedicated with A.S. Welch as Principal. Harriet Beecher Stowe's “Uncle Tom's Cabin” published.
March 29. First term of 17 weeks opened at Normal School. George Moorman came from Rawsonville and conducted a grocery business in Ypsilanti until 1878. May 3. Walter II. Hawkins became Postmaster. Brick addition constructed at the Seminary, and in April, Rev. Joseph Estabrook became Principal with Miss Harriet McCutcheon (sic.) as his first assistant.
A Department of Music established at the Normal School with Albert Miller as the Instructor. Dr. Francis Rexford bought the business of Buck and Beach on the NS of Congress St. in the 100 block. He was joined in the venture by his 3 sons. One son, Edgar became prominent in local business and political affairs and also served on the State Board of Education Benjamin Follett, Isaac N. Conklin and Samuel Y. Denton operated a bank known as “Follett, Conklin and Company” near the railroad station. In 1854, Charles H. Tisdale replaced Samuel Denton in the organization and the bank moved to the second floor of the new Hewitt building, NE corner Congress and Washington. African Methodist Episcopal Church organized with 12 members including Jesse Stewart and wife, Isa, Eliza Johnson and Washington York.
Elder W. P. Pattison became Pastor of the Baptist Church. Dec. 24. The railroad bought the land where Mark Norris had built the Great Western Hotel.
The first Fire Department was organized on the East side. October. The Egle Mills burned (Eagle)
Seven graduated from the Seminary. Ypsilanti Home Association organized. September 23. New Presbyterian Church with single tower dedicated. Rev. Gustavus L. Foster installed as Pastor. Eliza Ann Gorton first Clerk of Friends Church. November 13. East Ypsilanti established on the east side of Huron River. Frank Smith having graduated from Dartmouth College, came to Ypsilanti to join his brother-in-law, Dr. A. F. Kinne, in a business venture, a drug store in the 100 block of Congress Street.
February 2. The State Legislature approved a City Charter for both Villages, Ypsilanti and East Ypsilanti, providing they became one city. There was considerable debate by both units and then the two villages united and became the City of Ypsilanti. First Mayor, Chauncey Joslin who estimated that the total population of the new united city, to be at least 5000. A City Hall was built on the north side of Cross St. at the west end of the river bridge. January 22. General John Van Fossen died. January 20. The Ypsilanti Gas Light was organized under a Legislative Act. The organizers were, Chauncey Joslin, M.A. Parks, E. Samson, Benjamin Follett, Isaac Conklin and Delos Showerman. June 2. A Woolen Mill was erected at Rawsonville. (County Clerk's Misc. records, Vol 1. pg 9.). New Episcopal Church completed in June. August 17. New Seminary building ready for use. Dr. Francis Rexford, President of the School Board. The new Gas plant was put into operation. Ezra Meade Foote succeeded Miller as head of the Music at Normal School and organized the first Normal Choir. Foote's daughter became Mrs. T.C. Owen. The African Methodist Episcopal Church was built at SE corner of South Adams and Buffalo Streets.
January 7. Horace Greeley lectured at the Seminary: Subject; “Great Men”. Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church organized. Construction started on the Gilbert Home, on the west side of North Grove and north of the railroad. (From the memory of Gertrude Woodard.) March 29. Seminary burned. October 28. The original Normal School building burned. During this decade, a schoolhouse stood on the SW corner of Washington and Woodard Streets. During the 1858-59, there were 76 pupils enrolled. In the 1850's, the Cross Street bridge was built thru the efforts of Mark Norris and the decade saw 12 platted real estate additions made to the City. July 4. The Follett House Hotel on East Cross Street opened for business with John Davis as Manager and an “Independence Ball” was held in the new hotel. Honery ary Managers: Horace Welch, Samuel Casey, Billy Wilson, L.D. Norris, David Edwards, W. H. Hawkins, J. H. Phillips John Starkweather, Jason Cross and J.W. Babbitt. Special Committee: George Wanless, G. J. Cross, R. H. Smith, C.B. Bush, A. M. Noble, Julius W. Smith, H. H. Tisdale, J. M. Crane and J. M. Forsythe.
Daniel Lace Quirk came from Belleville to live in Ypsilanti. Edgar and F. P. Bogardus organized a banking firm. The black school children were transfered from the Seminary to a school at the NE corner of Adams Street and Michigan Avenue. The first teacher was John Hall. Washtenaw County gave Lincoln a majority of six hundred and fifty-six.
The secession of eleven States from the Union. The firing on Fort Sumter. Lincoln's first call for seventy-five volunteers was read from the pulpits of some of the churches. Ypsilanti's organization of citizen soldiers, known as the Ypsilanti Light Guards, was one of the first companies of the State to offer itself for Federal Service.