History of Jackson County, Michigan
As local history is more interesting and profitable than general, and as the time has arrived when the publication of county histories can be made self-supporting, the publishers of this volume selected Jackson county as a good field; and they have indeed found it a pleasant one, for the county has had an interesting history, having always been one of the chief counties of the great Peninsular State. In matters of general public interest and progress, Jackson county has ever taken a leading and prominent position. Here have lived men who have taken an important part in the affairs of State and in molding the political sentiments and destiny of the country. This county has been the scene of conflict between some of the most gigantic intellects of the nation, as well as the birthplace of many business, philanthropic and party enterprises.
This history appears none too soon. The pioneers have nearly all passed away. Here and there we see the bended form and whitened head of some of these veterans, but they constitute not more than one in twenty of the early pilgrims. We have faithfully interviewed them, and obtained what facts we could. Accurate history is most difficult to write; many things are differently told by different persons, and if nineteen-twentieths of the five hundred thousand data in this volume are correct, there may still be twenty-five thousand errors.
To obtain a glance at the scope and merits of a volume, it is necessary to study critically the title-page and table of contents. By looking carefully at the latter, one will learn how to use the work, — where to look for any given class of items. In this volume, notice particularly that the townships are arranged alphabetically, and the biographies also alphabetically, in their respective townships. A number of personal sketches will be found under head of Jackson city, as many of the parties reside in or near that place.
As one of the most interesting features of this work, we present the portraits of numerous representative citizens. Many others, just as deserving, of course, we did not select; but those we have given constitute a good representation, and they are all men of high standing in the community.
The task of compiling this history, which has assumed proportions much larger than we had expected, has been a pleasant one, although laborious and expensive; and we desire here to express our hearty thanks to those who have so freely aided us in collecting material. To the county officials, pastors of Churches, officers of societies, pioneers, members of the Pineer Society and especially the editors of the press, we are particularly grateful for the many kindnesses and courtesies shown us while laboring in the county. But most of all we wish to thank those who have so liberally and materially aided the work by becoming subscribers.
Table of Contents.
HISTORY OF MICHIGAN.
HISTORY OF JACKSON COUNTY.
TOPOGRAPHICAL, ETC 117
EARLY SETTLEMENTS 133
EXPLORATION AND FURTHER SETTLEMENT 166
REMINISCENCES OF EARLY SETTLEMENT 192
JACKSON PIONEER SOCIETY 252
TRANSACTIONS OF THE SUPERVISORS 273
THE COURTS OF EARLY TIMES 303
THE WAR FOR THE UNION 340
WAR MEMORIES 397
The Press 420
Jackson Citizen 401
Weekly Patriot 422
Saturday EvenIng Star 423
Other Papers 423
Agricultural Society 432
Jackson Horse-Breeding Association 443
A SERIES OF HISTORICAL TRUTHS 446
THE CITY OF JACKSON 483
TOWNSHIP HISTORIES AND BIOGRAPHIES.
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Historiography is one of the most important arts, even as history itself ranks with the primary sciences. Whether the writer is rough or polished in his style, is a matter to be considered apart from his art or science. Provided an account of the origin and the rise or fall of the people with whom his chronicle connects itself is given impartially and correctly, the excesses of refinement or roughness may be overlooked and the subject studied with pleasure. Experience teaches that history is one of the most effective elements in the promotion of good, and one of the most necessary in building up man to acquire a knowledge of what human power and wisdom really are; and since it is impossible for anyone man to walk in all the paths of life, or receive a true conception of past events from what is legendary or fabulous, the science of history comes forward to his aid, telling him how cities were built up, fortunes made, and battles won. Through this means the past lives in the present, and a careful study of its story cannot fail to endow the mind of the student with a knowledge of men and events.
Chronology and geography are the two eyes of history. Events must be observed through the locality in which they happened, and the time when they occurred, if men would judge justly. The massacres of Glencoe, Island Magee and St. Barthlomew were justifiable in the minds of the ruffian actors, with whom Christianity had as little to do as the fallen Lucifer has now with heaven. The rude policy of the time directed those human sacrifices. If the massacre of Wyoming were to be repeated today by a troop of disguised Britishers, what a howl of scorn would arise from the centers of civilization! Yet, during the Revolution, the enemy seemed to be convinced of their justification, and the royal and loyal (?) citizens gloried in the success of military strategy.
Now history brings forth all such events; it inquires into them, criticizes, paints the barbarity of the agents in such transactions, holds them up to obloquy, and thus leads on the mind to holier deeds, worthy of our civilization. History contributed its share in making a soldier such as Washington, or a philosopher such as Franklin. Its work is silent and slow, but sure and perfect. Nothing on this broad earth is so solemnly interesting as an impartial historical work. It admonishes as well as directs. It relates the fate of brilliant enterprises, and shows where the cause of failure existed. It directs other actions of great moment, approves of them, and points out where the capital may be placed on success. It places examples before statesmen which, if examined closely, may have a tendency to lead them away from a vicious policy, and so benefit the people whose destinies are in their hands. History, pure and simple, enters the paths of peace, and snatches a hidden name from its hiding place. The American people of today are, and generations to come will be, more concerned about the war of the Revolution than were the colonists of that period. So is it in other cases; the inheritors of these beautiful farms and dwellings which decorate the county will search for an account of their forefathers, and find it only in history. The science is the Alpha and Omega of all valuable information regarding men and events, and should always take a prominent place in the bookcase or on the table of every man who holds not his manhood cheap.
In this history of Jackson county much space is devoted to the philosophical and descriptive papers prepared by Jackson citizens. This was made incumbent on the writer, since many of these articles are of rare excellence, while others possess a commendable peculiarity. Each contribution is intimately connected with the county, and is on that account, also, of great value and interest. Combined, they will form for the historian of the future a great subject, and one that will remind him of men who did their duty to themselves, to posterity and to their Republic.