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Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II)

Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image Naming of the Streets of Ypsilanti (Part II) image
Elizabeth Teabolt
Rights Held By
Ypsilanti Historical Society
OCR Text

This Master's Thesis was published in Ypsilanti Gleanings in three parts. Part I appears in the issue of December 1980 and part III in the issue of April 1981.

Ballantine and Morse Addition

This plat lay in a point with a survey line forming the northwestern boundary. Ballard Street the eastern, Ellis Street the southern and Ann Arbor Road the south-western.

New street names: Emmett, Ballard and Ann Arbor Road.

Emmett Street appeared early, as the plat shows, but the origin of the name has been most difficult to trace. The street at first appeared to end on the east with Hamilton Street, so far as the name was concerned, and from that point continued eastward to Huron as a narrow lane. In the Ypsilanti Commercial, February 1, 1868, a Resolution of Respect by Union Lodge No. 419 I. O. of G. T. (Grand Templars) appeared for a Samuel Emmett, who died the January 1st preceding. It was signed by J. M. Childs, Mrs. H. A. Ballard, Augusta Stillwell and George D. Stevens with L. J. Brown, secretary. This man could have been a young active man as early as the plat was named.

Another suggestion that has been made is that it could have been named for Robert Emmett, famous in Congress in the middle eighteen hundreds, but the date seems rather too late. Still another is that Emmett might have been the middle name of Richard E. Morse one of the platters, but marriage and death statistics fail to give a clue. Some abstracts were reported for property on the street and still no information.

Ballard Street was named for Arden H. Ballard. He is mentioned in Dr. Colburn's “The Story of Ypsilanti” as attending Independence Day celebration in Woodruff's Grove in 1824. He was the last village president previous to the incorporation of the village of Ypsilanti into a city, late in 1858. He was also prominent in business being owner of the Eagle flouring mill in 1839 and 1840. The beautiful old house, at the southwest corner of North Huron, now owned by Judge Breakey, was the Ballard home. It has been added to somewhat since the time of Mr. Ballard.

Ann Arbor Road was the name given to that part of present Washtenaw Avenue mostly on the street beyond the present water tower, or west of the junction with Cross Street, but the name sometimes appeared as far down as the bend in Ellis Street just west of the intersection of Perrin. Ann Arbor Road was then as now a direct route to Ann Arbor.

Showerman and Compton Addition

It was bounded on the north by Cross Street, on the east by River Street, on the south and west by unplatted land.

New street names: An alley.

An alley later to be known as Ninde extended through the plat from north to south, the name being given by the City Council in 1864. It was named for Judge Thomas Ninde who was city attorney when Ypsilanti became incorporated as a city in 1858. He was mayor in 1878. His home adjoined the street.

Hunter's Addition Part I

It extended to East Cross Street on the north, beyond Grove Street on the east, south of South Street on the south and to the river on the west, with the exception of the eastern half of the Original Plat, which it adjoined on the north, east and south.

New street names: Water, an alley.

Water Street appears in this plat extending south from Congress Street, following close to the eastern side of the river for a very short distance. The land is low there and the street probably covered frequently with water in time of high water.

An opening south of the railroad tracks running west to River Street and almost in alignment with High Street to the east was later named Ferrier Street in honor of Philo Ferrier an alderman from the 4th Ward in 1858. He was prominent in business also.

Hunter's Addition Part II

It was bounded on the north by Hunter's Addition Part I, on the east by unplatted land, on the south by Kopp's Addition, on the west by unplatted land, and the river.

New street names: Factory.

Factory Street was once known as Hunter Street, after the platter, but was changed to Factory in 1862 by act of the City Council. Factory Street now runs east to Prospect, on the east end and down to the junction of Race and Spring on the west end.

The Western Addition

It was bounded on the north by Ann Arbor Street, now West Forest, on the east by Hamilton, on the south by Ellis, and on the west by Ballard.

New street names: two surveyed but unnamed streets, north of and parallel to Cross Street (Florence and Olive).

The first street north of Cross and parallel to it was named Florence by the City Council March 12, 1866. I do not know why it was so named, but the following facts might be a clue. Mr. J. Williard Babbitt son of Dr. John W. Babbitt was city clerk in 1868 and 1869. Sometime in 1866 he married, his wife's name being Florence. Attorney Babbitt was later a judge. Since his wife's name was Florence, and he was prominent in civic affairs and since the City Council named it, it seems reasonable to suspect it might have been named for Mrs. Babbitt.

Olive was the name given to the next surveyed street to the north of Florence and it was given in the same manner and at the same time by the City Council, March 12, 1866. I do not know for whom it was named. An Olive Gorton was the first teacher to conduct a school the west side of the river. This school was opened about 1825 or 1826. Olive Gorton became Mrs. Lyman Graves, August 1826 and passed away in 1886.

The surveyed but unnamed street next north of Ellis was already named Emmett by the Ballantine and Morse plat of 1839.

Ann Arbor Street appears on at least two early plats for what is now West Forest. I have been unable to find whether it was official or not. The street which it joined at its western extremity was for long called Ann Arbor Road because it led directly to Ann Arbor, so this street may have been officially called Ann Arbor Street for a time and probably because of the confusion of an Ann Arbor Road and an Ann Arbor Street was changed to Forest Street, and later Forest Avenue-March 26, 1866. Forest Avenue was on the edge of Ypsilanti and like most of the land here was forested.

M. Norris, B. Follett, C. Joslin, and E. M. Skinner Addition

This plat was bounded by a Township Road on the north (now East Forest), by a section line on the east (Cemetery then, Prospect now), by the Mark Norris Addition on the south and River Street on the west.

New Street names: Oak.

Oak Street, as I understand was named because of the large number of Oak trees. It extended from east to west across the plat. This street with a little jog to the south appeared as Short Oak west of North River.

Ontcheon's Addition

This plat was bounded on the north by a “Publick Road” later a westward extension of Congress, on the east by unplatted land, on the south-east by the Chicago Turnpike and on the west by unplatted land.

New street names: Locust, Chicago Turnpike.

Land on both sides of the surveyed Locust Street was owned by Jacob Klock. November 28, 1859, an order was given by the City Council to open Locust Street from Congress to Chicago Road. However Locust was not quite in alignment with Normal Street to the north, so an order was given to open Normal Street to Chicago Road and close Locust. The name then disappeared in this area.

Chicago Turnpike, appearing here is just a portion of the early road from Detroit to Chicago, the survey for which passed through Ypsilanti in the summer of 1825. It eventually became a part of Michigan Avenue.

The Cross and Bagley Addition

It was bounded by Ellis Street on the north, unplatted land on the east, Congress Street on the south, and extended a short distance beyond Summit on the west.

New street names: Normal, Summit.

Normal Street has been mentioned in the closing of Locust and earlier, since the Normal School was dedicated October 5, 1852 and it has been often shown surveyed but not named, the reason for the name is obvious.

Summit Street runs along the crest of the valley, occupied now by the comparitively small Huron river. The summit of the valley had been reached. The name is obvious, also.

The H. W. Larzelere Addition

It was bounded on the north by Woodward Street, on the east by Washington, on the south it extended a distance south of what is now Harriet, on the west it extended a short distance west of Hamilton.

New street names: Catherine.

Catherine Tice Larzelere was the wife of Abraham Larzelere. The street is undoubtedly named for her. Abraham Larzelere was the father-in-law of Harriet Larzelere after whom the plat was named.

Cross and Shutts Addition

This plat runs south-east from the cemetery, now Prospect Park. Shutt's Street appeared to bound it on the north-west, northeast and southeast, and Males Street, a through street from the cemetery to Chicago Road, lay to the southwest.

New Street names: Shutts, Miles.

Shutts Street is undoubtedly named for Mr. M. L. Shutts one of the proprietors, and grandfather of Dr. E. S. George. The street no longer appears.

Miles Street is named after the Miles family. Lorin C. Miles was a lawyer here in 1845. He is recorded in the Ypsilanti Village in 1843.

Stuck's Addition

New street names: Stuck.

This plat was bounded on the north by Ellis street, on the east it extended beyond Ballard, on the south by Pearl, and on the west it extended nearly to Normal Street.

It was named after the platters Charles Stuck and wife Hannah Stuck. Stuck Street is named Perrin today, having been named by the City Council June 1863. The origin of the name is not clear. A Reverend Oliver Perrin came from Manchester, Michigan and lived here many years. In the petition to the City Council, June 1860, to change Hill Road to Forest Avenue east of the river, the name H. M. Perrin appears. The same man is also listed as a partner of a Mr. Blackmore handling general merchandise in 1860.

Jarvis Addition

The land extended north and north-east to the extension of Huron Street northward, east nearly to Adams, south to French Claim 691 (Forest) and west to the present city limits, with the exception of the southwest corner.

New street names: Lowell, Ann.

Lowell Street was undoubtedly named for the settlement called Lowell which was located a few miles up the river. It had a paper mill “the most recent and greatest ever established in the county. As late as 1834, there were two stores owned by Clements and Shaw” (page 1073 “History of Washtenaw County, 1881”). Miss Woodard says this was the street usually taken by men going up to work in the mills at Lowell. Mr. L. S. White tells of accompanying Mrs. Kitty Knapp Augustus to the spot where she showed him the remains of the walls of an old tavern or hotel where she was born. It was run by her father.

Ann Street was probably named for Mrs. William Jarvis, Sr., maiden name Ann Watson. Her husband's business ventures date back as far as 1826.

The Davis Addition

It was bounded on the north by Chicago Road, on the east by unplatted land, on the south by present Towner Street and on the west by Prospect Street.

New street names: Center, a surveyed but unnamed street (Towner).

The addition was named after Dr. Parmemo Davis who was an alderman from the fifth ward in 1858 and was a competent physician, and interested citizen. The last home that he built was on the site of the present hospital (old Beyer).

Towner Street was after Mr. Norman Kellogg Towner, father of the Misses Towner and the late Tracy Towner. Mr. Towner did not live in this area, but was a friend of Dr. Davis. Towner Street is the surveyed but unnamed street on the south.

Center Street was so named because it extended from north to south across the center of the plat.

The Follett Addition

It lay south of Chicago Road, west of North Street-not the North Street in the Original Plat. The curve of the river forms the southern and western boundary.

New Street names: Follett, North.

Follett Street extended east from Water Street was named for Nathan Follett one of the platters, father of Benjamin Follett, banker and business man.

North Street extended north from the river. This fact probably accounted for its name. It is now closed. Water Street, appearing in another plat indistinctly is plainly marked here, running from Chicago Road to Follett Street.

Gilbert's Addition

It was bounded on the north by East Cross Street, on the east by a section line or Prospect Street, on the south by the Michigan Central Railroad tracks, on the west by what was then Mill Street, later Park

New street names: High, the alley next south.

This street went from east to west on the north line of the J. Gilbert property on which the “Gilbert House” stands today. The street makes an ascent from the railroad tracks eastward, hence the name.

The alley next south was named Locust Street by the City Council December 17, 1866. I do not know the reason.

The Follett, Vought and Holmes Addition

It was bounded by Mill Road on the north, the Corporation line on the east, East Cross Street on the south, and Cemetery Street on the west.

New street names: Charles, Helen, Cemetery, Mill road, Vought, an unnamed but surveyed street (Holmes).

Charles Street was probably named for one of the platters, Charles Holmes. He bought a large tract of land about 1857 or 1858. In his will, he named his son Theodore as executor and heir. The son is remembered by a few of the older inhabitants. I speak of him because of Holmes Street. Holmes Street was of course named for the Holmes family who bought the property, but probably more particularly for Theodore Holmes.

I have been unable to get any trace of Helen Street.

Cemetery Street was the name that present Prospect was called northward from the Michigan Central Railroad bridge. The City Council changed the name from Cemetery to Prospect December 25, 1874. The new Highland Cemetery was dedicated July 14, 1864, and the removal of the bodies from Prospect Park cemetery was begun.

Mill Road was the name of present East Forest. A mill was built at the western end at the river. The name was changed by the City Council June 30, 1860.

Vought Street was named after Samuel Manning Vought, one of the proprietors.

Norris Eastern Addition

It was bounded on the north by the Michigan Central Railroad tracks on the east of Prospect, on the south by Congress and on the west by Grove Street.

New street names: Prospect Court.

This court opens to all of the streets on the east, south and west, and is named because of the one on the east.

Norris Western Addition

It lay between the Huron River and the Michigan Railroad tracks, southward from what is now Leforge Road to the spot where the railroad spans the river to the south.

New street names: a surveyed, unnamed street (Railroad Street).

A roadway was opened up just east of the tracks. I do not know the date of naming but that is its present name.

Gilbert's Eastern Addition

This plat changed the Cross Shutt addition previously mentioned. Shutt Street being taken out and more lots being surveyed.

Jarvis Re-survey

It was bounded on the north-east by the Michigan Central Railroad tracks, on the east by Lowell Street, on the south by St. John Street and on the west by a wide alley or road.

New street names: St. John, the alley mentioned.

St. John was so named because it led westward to a Catholic cemetery named St. John which was also the name of the Catholic church here.

By this resurvey, the first Ann Street disappeared. The alley mentioned along the western side eventually became Ann, as it is today, a much longer street than the one previously named for Mrs. Jarvis.

Howard's Addition (this was the Public square)

It was bounded on the north by a wide alley, on the east by Adams, on the south it extended just south of a narrow alley, and on the west it extended to Hamilton Street. Congress extended through the center from west to east.

New street names: Alley on the north (Pearson Street)

Pearson Street was the name bestowed upon this alley, March 17, 1873, by the City Council, in honor of Albert H. Pearson who had a residence at number 8 on this street.

Hawkin's Addition

This property was bounded on the northwest and northeast by unplatted acreage, on the south-east by Harriet Street and on the west by First Avenue.

New street names: Frederick, Harriet, First Avenue.

Frederick Street is probably after Frederick Hawkins. Abiel Hawkins, the father, had a number of children but at the time of the writing of the 1881 edition of the “History of Washtenaw County” only two were living, Frederick and Walter. F. T. Hawkins, probably Frederick, is listed as having other property on the plat, besides that made into streets and lots.

The name Harriet was given to the eastward extension of that street. As recently as 1894 the Harriet Street bridge was the name of the bridge at the intersection of Harriet Street, Race Street and Factory Street. Today this street below and eastward is called Spring Street. Springs are said to have been common along the bank.

Harriet Street is for Harriet W. Larzelere, widow of John Y. Larzelere. No children are mentioned in the will of Mr. Larzelere and Harriet inherited the property. The street has appeared before as having been surveyed, but no name has appeared. Frederick Hawkins lost a daughter Harriet at about twelve years of age, but I believe the date rather too recent for Harriet Street.

First Avenue was so named because it was the first long street, the one reached in going up the Harriet Street hill.

Gilbert Park Addition

It was bounded on the north by an alley, on the east by Park Street, on the south by an alley, on the west by an alley part of the way and River Street the remainder of the distance.

New street names: Park, a wide alley on the north, an alley running north from Congress, midway between east and west on the plat.

Park Street was formerly called Mill Street. It was named Park by the City Council December 3, 1864, but this plat is first to show the name. It passed just east of the city park known as Gilbert Park.

The wide alley mentioned on the northern boundary, was named Babbitt Street by the Council June 1, 1866 in honor of Dr. Babbitt, father of Judge Babbitt, previously mentioned in connection with Florence Street.

The alley running from north to south through the northern half of the plat was named Lincoln Street by the Council, December 17, 1866, for the late president.

Kopp's Addition

This plat is bounded by Steward Street on the northwest, Grove Street on the north east, unplatted land on the south, and Clark Street on the southwest.

New Street names: Clark, Stewart.

Clark Street, I believe, was named after Benjamin Clark, Village Treasurer in 1858 from the 5th ward, where this addition lay.

Stewart Street, perhaps is named for the old Stewart family of early pioneer days, to replace the name Stewart or Steward which appeared on the Original Plat and then was discontinued. This is only a guess however.

Morse Addition Part I

This lay west of and parallel to the Bartholomew Addition.

New street names: Morse.

This street appeared where Second Avenue now is. The name Morse was for the platter Stephen B. Morse. It was changed to Second Avenue to conform to First Avenue, lying to the east.

Morse's Addition Part II

This plat is in the southern end of the Morse Addition Part I.

New street names: Division.

This street is not in this plat but in the Bartholomew plat which adjoined it. The surveyed opening across the plat appeared in the Bartholomew plat but was unnamed. Here it appears as Division Street. It divided the plat into two nearly equal parts.

Continue reading in Part III.