History of Oakland County, Michigan

VOLUME I

We present this history with pleasure, because it deals with a pleasant subject Oakland county. There is another reason for this attitude toward our subject: the cooperation of contributors and of citizens has been so general and hearty that the historical work required has been transformed from a task into a labor of love.

Oakland county is peculiarly fortunate in the variety of her charms and riches, to which truth these pages bear witness. With her landscape beauties and sunny lakes, she is drawing thousands to her who seek restful homes and profitable investments. At the same time, her soil is fertile and invites the practical farmer, dairyman and horticulturist, while in the urban centers, the industrial and commercial interests have obtained a firm foothold and assure livelihood and profit to the citizen. No county in the state has better schools, and, as will be made plain in the progress of this history, in no section has woman had a more extended or elevating influence. In a word, Oakland is unexcelled as a home county; no more need he said to the good American, whether of native or foreign blood.

As to the collaborators on the history, too much cannot be said of the quantity and quality of the assistance rendered by Hon. Aaron Perry. In those homely words which so truly express our feeling toward him "what could we have done without him!" Also as to Miss Martha Baldwin and Mrs. Lilian Drake Avery "what could we have done without them,"' especially in setting forth the scope of woman's work, and the splendid part taken by the pioneers of the county in laying the foundation upon which the later generations ha\e builded their comfort and prosperity. Thanks are rendered all our associate editors Fred M. Warner, Thomas L. Patterson, Harry S. Gardner and Samuel W. Smith, for their willing and effective cooperation. The county an

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I
THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION... 1

CHAPTER II
GENERAL PHYSICAL FEATURES... 9

CHAPTER III
INDIAN AND PRIMITIVE RECORD... 19

CHAPTER IV
FIRST SETTLERS AND LAND OWNERS... 27
CHAPTER V
PICTURES OF THE PAST... 37

CHAPTER VI
REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIERS AND "DAUGHTERS"... 72

CHAPTER VII
PIONEER RECORDS... 99

CHAPTER VIII
DEVELOPMENT OF JUDICIARY... 110

CHAPTER IX
THE BENCH OF OAKLAND COUNTY... 117

CHAPTER X
THE BAR OF OAKLAND COUNTY... 126

CHAPTER XI
BACKWARD GLANCES AT BENCH AND BAR... 158

CHAPTER XII
CIVIL AFFAIRS OF THE COUNTY... 188

CHAPTER XIII
OAKLAND COUNTY IN STATE POLITICS... 214

CHAPTER XIV
THE COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM... 227

CHAPTER XV
MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION... 234

CHAPTER XVI
BANKS AND BANKING... 242

CHAPTER XVII
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION... 249

CHAPTER XVIII
WOMEN'S INFLUENCE IN THE COUNTY... 259

CHAPTER XIX
MILITARY MATTERS... 271

CHAPTER XX
VILLAGE OF PONTIAC... 286

CHAPTER XXI
CITY OF PONTIAC... 296

CHAPTER XXII
INDUSTRIAL AND BUSINESS PONTIAC... 320

CHAPTER XXIII
PONTIAC SCHOOLS... 333

CHAPTER XXIV
PONTIAC CHURCHES... 340

CHAPTER XXV
PONTIAC'S FRATERNAL SOCIETIES... 362

CHAPTER XXVI
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP... 271

CHAPTER XXVII
HOLLY TOWNSHIP... 388

CHAPTER XXVIII
AVON TOWNSHIP... 401

CHAPTER XXIX
OXFORD TOWNSHIP... 418

CHAPTER XXX
ROYAL OAK TOWNSHIP... 428

CHAPTER XXXI
ORION AND MILFORD TOWNSHIPS... 440

CHAPTER XXXII
LYON AND FARMINGTON TOWNSHIPS... 449

CHAPTER XXXIII
ADDISON AND BRANDON TOWNSHIPS... 461

CHAPTER XXXIV
INDEPENDENCE AND COMMERCE... 466

CHAPTER XXXV
SPRINGFIELD AND HIGHLAND... 471

CHAPTER XXXVI
ROSE AND WEST BLOOMFIELD... 476

CHAPTER XXXVII
NOVI AND WATERFORD TOWNSHIPS... 482

CHAPTER XXXVIII
TROY AND OAKLAND... 487

CHAPTER XXXIX
SOUTHFIELD, GROVELAND AND WHITE LAKE... 491

 

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The average number of lakes in each township of Oakland county is eighteen, though Troy, Royal Oak, Southfield, Farmington and Lyon are very deficient in comparison with other sections of the county. The largest of the lakes and the most generously supplied of the townships lie west and southwest of Pontiac. Orion, toward the northeast, is also the center of one of the most important development of resorts and homes in the county, as it is the nucleus of some of its most charming lakes, the largest of which is the body of water which gives the place its name. In the Pontiac group are Cass, Orchard, Elizabeth, Sylvan, and Pine. Walled lake to the southwest, lying in both Commerce and Novi townships, is also one of the larger bodies, all of which are over three hundred and fifty acres in extent. The largest is Cass, covering about twelve hundred acres, or nearly two square miles. It was named after Governor Cass, and lies mostly in West Boomfield township, with two of its arms extending into Waterford. Its extreme length from south- west to northeast is about two and three quarter miles and its extreme breadth, not measuring its arm, is a trifle over a mile.