Plymouth Township Wayne County, Michigan
In 1824, the United States Government set the ball rolling for the founding of a new community in the wilderness of Michigan, by selling the first piece of property in what would become Plymouth Township. The first purchaser, Alanson Aldrich did not settle on his new property, nor did the second purchaser, Abraham Spears. The third person to purchase property within Plymouth Township city limits, was Erastus Hussey. He did settle on his land, however, not until the year 1826.
The first actual people to settle in Plymouth Township, were Allen and William Tibbets. They had bought 800 acres of land and settled on them, in the latter part of 1824. Other soon joined, but it wasn't until the Spring of 1825, that a sufficient number of settlers formed a real community.
Prior to 1824, very few US citizens even had a desire to migrate to a place they were told was inhabited only by Native American's and fur trappers. Any thoughts of perhaps moving westward, were styfined by an inaccurate goverment survey which states the area was nothing but a vast swamp with very little land worth cultivating.
This changed by a few different events taking place:
Many of the Native American's were moved out of Michigan Territory after 1813, when Lewis Cass became Governor of the Territory, and secured a treaty with ceded all lands south of Grand River Road to the government.
In 1818, the first steamboat in Detroit, called Walk-in-the-Water," made its appearance on the Detroit River. By 1830, there were daily boat services between Buffalo, New York, and Detroit.
In October 1825, the Erie Canal was opened between the city of New York and Buffalo. The canal soon became the chief route for emigrants of the New England and New York areas to the Great Lakes country.
From 1813 to 1831, printing presses were established in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Monroe and Pontiac, serving to make the area much better known.
But perhaps the most important factor that would influence settlers to come, was an act by Congress, passed on April 24, 1820, which made provisions for the sale of public lands. The Land Act of 1820, reduced the purchase price to $1.25 an acre and fixed the minimum acreage to 80 acres. It was at this time, the first 3 parcels of land were purchased.
The first home built in the Village of Plymouth was a shack of young trees and bark, which William Starkweather put together to shelter his wife and infant son. He built the temprary structure on March 11, 1825, on the southwest corner of what is now Main Street and Ann Arbor Trail.
The Starkweather Family
William Starkweather, was of British decent, and born in Preston, New London County, Connecticut in 1796. He was the 9th of 11 children of John Starkweather and Hannah (Leonard) Starkweather. John Starkweather fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill during the Revoluntary War as a Sergeant in Captain Nathan Peters, Company, under Col Davidson at Roxbury, MA. He was honorably discharged in December of 1775. ( John & Hannah are buried in Preston, CT). William farmed in Connecticut until 1823, when he moved to West Bloomfield, NY, from there he migrated to Michigan. He died in Plymouth Township on August 31, 1844.
Keziah (Benjamin) Starkweather the wife of William, was the first white woman to live in the present limits of the city. With the Starkweather's, when they arrived in Plymouth from Detroit, was their 15 month old son, Albert Oscar Starkweather, who was born in West Bloomfield, NY, on January 16, 1824. Albert died in Plymouth on October 19, 1844, a sophomore at the time of his death, at the University of Michigan. He was buried only weeks after his father.
On February 20, 1826, Starkweather bore her second child, the second white child born in the original township. George Starkweather was born in the log cabin which his father built to replace the bark shack he built upon arriving here. He was preceded as the first child in the original township, before Canton and Northville annexed, by Oscar Phillips, the son of David Phillips, who lived in what became Northville Township.
On March 14, 1825, William Starkweather bought 80 acres under the Land Act of 1820. Sometime before August 1828, he sold 4 of those acres of land to John Berdan. (Starkweather Family Contact: Dan Sabo
What Shall We Name This Place?
Would Plymouth be the same today, if it had been called "Joppa"? That was one of it's temporary names prior to 1827, when it adopted it's present name of Plymouth.
The first two years of its existence, the community was often referred to as "town one south, range eight east". The center of activity where Main Street and Ann Arbor Trail met, was called, "Podunk."
The neighborhood near the mill was referred to as "Joppa", probably named after the ancient city of the same name on the east coast of Palestine.
John Tibbets's land grant was located in the northeast corner of Section 28. It was here, a small group of citizens met on February 26, 1827, to select an official name of the community, which would be submitted to Governor Cass for approval. The names Pekin, LeRoy, and Plymouth were all submitted, as recorded by A. B. Markham, who was secretary at the meeting.
Plymouth was proposed by William Bartow, a member of the Territorial Legislative Council, and later the first Supervior of the Township. Bartow declared that Plymouth served a "much more historical and patriotic" symbol than others proposed, and he added that many of the first settlers had come from famiies who had lived near Plymouth Rock in Massachusettts.
Governor Cass approved the name in April 1827. The original size of the township conprised what are now Plymouth, Canton and Northville Townships. The southern portion of the area, township 2 south, was called "South Plymouth". It became a separate township, Canton in 1834.
The Northern portion of the orginal Plymouth Township became a separate entity when Northville Township was spun off in 1898.
In 1828, the first postmaster, Gideon Benton, was said to have been able to carry all the mail in his hat, for the entire area. An 1840 map shows that the north end of what is now the city of Plymouth was called "Plymouthville."
Had the new township been called "Joppa", or "LeRoy", what would Plymouth be like today? That can only be theorized, but it has been long known for its New England style architecture, which would fit our little Plymouth community.
A.B. Markham arrived in Plymouth in 1825, when he was 28 years old, the proud owner of 80 acres of land. Markham had migrated from East Bloomfield, NY by way of Buffalo, and Canada. In Farmington, he located his uncle, Arthur Powers, who directed him to a new settlement one south, range eight east.
Neighbors David Phillips and Gideon P. Benton, helped Markham raise his log cabin, as was customery during this time, to hold "raising bees". An occasion when the hospitable neighbors helped their newest neighbor to raise their homestead, and usually ended the day with food and games.
Markham had arrived here, with no money, but he did know how to handle an axe, and was a strong and willing worker. He was said to have chopped one and one-half acres of timber to pay a sawmill for 700 feet of boards to finish his house. He cleared 7 acres of his heavily-timbered land for cultivation, and at the same time, split one thousand six hundred rails to neighbor, H.B. Smith, in exchange for 8 bushels of potatoes.
One and one-half years after his arrival in Plymouth, Markham had on hand, 600 bushels of ears of corn, 80 bushels of potatoes, and a quantity of corn salks, turnips, and pumpkins. He in turn sold his produce for over $125.
Markham also helped to build the town's first mill, in 1826, a primitive but capable grinding mill. He fashioned a wheel from the butt end of a log which he used to make a 70-foot trench, ten inches deep. He projected an axel through this "log wheel", and two men ran the wheel over a half-bushel of corn, for twinty minutes, producing a fine cornmeal.
After the first year, Markham's live stock included one cow, a calf, half a dozen hens, a yoke of steers, several pigs, and one sow.
He also held several offices in this budding community. He was secretary of the meeting in February, 1827, at which the town's name was selected. He was elected clerk of the township. He drafted the organizational papers for a military company formed at a meeting, at the Tibbet's home, in early 1827, where Ira M. Hough was chosen captain. He also served as tax collector for the village.
Potawatomi Native American's
The Native American Tribe, the Potawatomi roamed Plymouth's area when the settlers arrived. They had been described as hostile and thievish, or friendly and honorable. It would depend on which reports an individual chooses to believe.
Henry Munson Utley, born in Plymouth in 1836, wrote "there were but few Indians in the neighborhood, and they were mostly of the seedy vagabond variety who never dreamed of taking a scalp, and cared for nothing but enought to eat and plenty of fire water."
Fairfax Downey, declared that the Potawatomi "were as savage as they were filthy, a tribe so lice-ridden that the French called them Les Poux-The Fleas."
Henry Holbrook another Plymouth settler, wrote "It has been my observation that the Indians in the vicinity of Plymouth were friendly, kindly, neghborly, and helpful so far as it was possible for them to be with the little means they had."
As you can see, there are various versions of the type of people the Potawatomi were. Leaving one to probably research and decide on their own, what type of peoples, they were.
The chief of a tribe of Native Americans that Markham had met near the Huron River was a graduate of Hamilton College. His name was Blue Jacket. Described as a fine-looking Indian and very social.
Neither Markham nor Holbrook mention Tonquish, the Potawatomi after whom the creek, wich rises in Plymouth was named. Tonquish was not alive when the settlers arrived in Plymouth; he had been killed by a white man near the border line between Nankin and Livonia six years before Plymouth was founded.
Tonquish (Tonguish, Toga) was chief of the Native American tribe that lived in the "Toguish's Village" located near the River Rouge. An account of the death of Tonquish was written by Melvin D. Osband in 1886, in the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collection. Osband was told by pioneers that in 1819, Tonquish's son, in a dispute of over bread, had shot and killed a settler named Sergeant who lived near the Rouge. Whites, lead by Major MaComb, caught the young man and his father at Tonquish Creek, near Nankin Mills. Tonquish then attacked Macomb with a knife, but was driven off by another white man. Macomb shot and killed him as he ran away. It was also noted that approximately twinty miles west of Detroit on Dimmick farm, was the burial ground with the Natives erected. After the year 1837, some boys opened the graves and took from them the chief's gun, and some personal ornaments.
Descendants of the Potawatomi were sent to a reserve on Walpole Island on the east side of Lake Saint Clair. There is little left in Plymouth to remind us that the forebarers once hunted here.
Although the Potawatomis often passed trough Plymouth there is no existance of a Native American village here. Perhaps they lived east toward the Detroit River or west near Orchard Lake.
Although there was no permanent settlement here, they often visited a hill in Plymouth, apparently an ancient burial site, where they performed religious ceremonies. Holbrook believed the spot had been used as a place of worship. In 1837, when he platted the village, he selected the site for use as a white cemetery stating, "that it should be kept for the future, as it had been in the past, sacred to the memory of those past."
Holbrook never indicated which exact hill , but The Old Presbyterian Cemetery, which was in existence in 1838, was placed upon a hill, now the location of Church Street
An Abundance of Wild Animals
The arrival of the settlers marked the beginning the end of some animals and birds which once thrived here. John Tibbits, who came in 1825, about the same time as William Starkweather, Roswell Root, John Van Sickle and others, wrote that bear, wolf, lynx, deer, fox, badger, wildcat, raccoon, woodchuck, porcupine, mink, weasel, and rabbit were all abundant.
The settlers considered bear and wolves to be destructive, as they were largely a vegetarian animal but developd a tast for sheep and hogs, thats the pioneer broght with them. The set traps and deadfalls to catch bear and would later kill and use their meat. Bear, wolves, lynx, badgers, and porcupines have been long gone from this area.
William Starkweather and John Kellogg
Starkweather the first settler, took role as major landowner here in 1825. His homestead extended 240 acres recatangular. It encompassed all of what is now the main business district and much of the surrounding residential area.
John Kellogg who arrived in Plymouth from New York, in 1832, acquired most of Starkweather's original tract in 1835. Prior to that, there were three other owners of this original property: John Beaden, who owned 4 acres of the land, Timothy Lyon who owned 236 acres, and Benajah Holbrook Jr also owned a portion of the property.
By the time John Kellogg acquired it in May 1835, it consisted of 212 acres.
Like Starkweather, Kellogg was a native of New England. Ten years older than Starkweather, he survived him by 27 years. Born in Westfield, MA in 1786, Kellogg married Eleanor Faurtoe and migrated to Plymouth in 1832. He was 46 years old when he arrived with his wife, five sons, and two daughters.
He proceeded to sell business and residential lots from his newly-acquired acreage. Among the buyers was another one of Plymouth's community leaders, Ebenezer J. Penniman.
As Plymouth began to grow, Kellogg built the Plymouth Hotel . He also built a potash and soap factory east of Main Street.
By July 1836, the owners of the business lots totalled nine, including Kellogg.
Neither Kellogg nor William Starkweather were office seekers. Starkweather was a School Inspector in 1838, and Kellogg was a Poor Director in 1842; that was the extent of their participation of civil duties.
Starkweather, who was 29 years old when he homesteaded here, was only 48 years old when he died. The succumbed to measles, continued to work, and died from complications in 1844. During the last 16 years he lived on the acreage he bought. His oldest son, Albert followed him the the grave, only two months later, and his wife, Keziah only two years after that.
John Kellogg sold 50 acres of his property to his son, Cassius in 1859, for $2,000. In 1867, he and his wife transferred the remaining 23 acres of land to another son, Joel R. Kellogg for $800. Kellogg died in 1871 at the age of 85.
The First White Child
Among imporant landmarks in Plymouth is a large house at 711 Starkweather Avenue. Over a century ago, it was built by the man who was the first white child born in what is now the city of Plymouth.
George Anson Starkweather, whose parents, William and Keziah Starkweather established the first home in the village in 1825. George was born here on February 29, 1826. He attended the University of Michigan for a short time in 1844, leaving to study law in New York.
He returned to Plymouth to become the village lawyer and to farm a part of the 80 acres left by his parents. In 1864, he was reported to be one the largest stockholder in the Detroit and Howell Railroad.
He married in 1865, to a girl eighteen years younger then himself, Amelia Heywood, the adopted daughter of Mary Davis. During that same year, he purchased from Joshua Scattergood a general store. Shortly after, he joined with R.G. Hall to form the general store Hall and Starkweather. This partnership desolved in 1870, and Starkweather continued as lawyer and storekeeper.
George and Amelia had two children, Mary Keziah born in 1866, and Blanche born in 1868. IN 1875, George moved their home directly across from his store.
Davis B. Hillmer, grandson of George, son of Mary Keziah and Louis Hillmer stated his brother, Karl had been born in that home December 25, 1889. Another son, Max Hillmer had a successful career in automotive manufacturing, fising from a draftsman to President and General Manager of General Motor's Saginaw Steering Division. Davis a fourth son, was a well-known commercial photographer in Detroit. There were also two daughters to this marriage, Gertrude and Rose.
George Anson Starkweather died in Plymouth at the age of 81, on February 17, 1907.
He was a prominent civic leader in both the township and the village. He was Township Superviosr, Village President, and led a small group of residents to a meeting in Northville in 1898, in an unsuccessful attempt to dissuade them from annexing from Plymouth.
Karl Hillmer, brother of George and the son of Mary and Louis Hillmer, was so proud of his heritage, that in 1924, he went to Probate Court and had his name legally changed to Karl Starkweather.
Theodatus Timothy Lyon
In 1828, sixteen-year-old Theodatus Timothy Lyon arrived in Plymouth. His work on a far in Plymouth made him one the nineteenth century's most successful self-taught authorities in the science and practice of fruit growing.
Lyon, the son of Timothy and Mary (Davis) Lyon, came here when his father, an apprentice architect and millwright, moved the family to Plymouth from Lima, New York. They sailed from Buffalo to Detroit on the schooner "United States." Than forged from Detroit to Plymouth by way of the Bucklin and Nankin woods.
The father, a descendant of Richard Lyon, who settled in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1649, set up a store in a log building at what was soon to be called "Plymouth Corners". Laer he established a saw and grist mill.
Theo returned to Lima in 1834, and attended school, then later taught there until 1836. He returned to Plymouth to engage in milling, farming, and fruit growing. He married Marilla Gregory, the daughter of William S. Gregory, of Plymouth in 1838.
In 1842, Lyon was keeper of the Wayne County Poor House, which had inhabitants of 80 people. From 1861 to 1865, he was a board member of the Poor Farm of Wayne County.
About 1844, he taught school and established a tree nursery on his father-in-law's farm. He had watched a neighbor in Lima inserting buds into branches, and began grafting trees in the orchard on the Gregory farm.
Lyon collected specimens of all known varieties of apple, pear, and other fruit trees from surrounding orchards. He wrote articles that were published in the Michigan Farmer, and other regional publications.
He drew additional attention to the orchards of Michigan, when he exhibited 120 varieties of apples at expositions in Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York City. He recieved awards of gold, silver, and bronze medals by the American Institute.
In 1874, Lyon moved to South Haven so his ailing wife could live on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1876 the Michigan Pomological Society, later named the Michigan Horticultural Society, elected him President. He served as chairman and as an agent for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In addition to his work in horticulture, Lyon also was a pioneer in railroad construction. In the 1860's he planned, worked out the details, and became President of two railroad lines which eventually became a portion of the Pere Marquette Railway System (later the Chesapeake and Ohio).
His interests in mechanics and his desire to learn continued as long as he lived. When he was past the age of 80 years old, he learned to operate a typewriter, a device not well known at that time.
Lyon apparently had the ability to apply theory to practice. He possessed vision and a thirst for knowledge. He died at the age of 87, in 1900, respected in his field for the accurate description and honest appraisal of varieties of fruit.
The Berdan Family
Among the first children born in Plymouth, was Hiram Berden, inventor, top rifle marksman, and Major General in the Civil War.
The date of Berdan's birth, and how he happened to be born here, are not clear. Although it is recorded that he was born in Plymouth, Michigan in 1823, his parents must have migrated back East shortly after his birth. His father was an extensive landowner and stock raiser near Rochester, New York.
Hiram Berdan's parents may not have stayed in Plymouth long, however, other Berdan family members did. From 1833 to 1835 a Berdan was township tax collector. In 1860, a Berdan was on of the constables. And in the 1880's a Berdan was associated with the Hotel Plymouth.
Hiram Berdan attended Hobart College in Geneva, New York, where he excelled in mathematics and ingenious machinery. While in his twenties, he roughly drafted out an idea which led to the invention of the reaping machine. During this same time period he invented a mechanical bakery, put into operation in five cities.
A mechanical engineer in New York City when the Civil War started, Berdan proceeded to invent the Berdan rifle, which was used by the U.S. Government, and a cap to the metal cartridge which was used throughout the world.
Berdan had been the top rifle shot in the U.S. for 15 years, prior to the Civil War. When the hostilities started, he conceived the idea of forming special regiments of outstanding marksmen to serve in the Union Army. In 1861, he organized the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters and was commissioned the regiment's colonel. Berdan's regiment, the most famous of the Civil War sharpshooting units, werved with distinction in the campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. Among its units, companies C, I, and K were from Michigan.
Berdan elevated to Major-General, retired from the service in 1864. He went to Russia to over see the production of his sharpshooting rifles for use by the Russian Army. In 1888, he returned to the United States.
Berdan also invented a torpedo, a torpedo boat, a long distance range finder, and a "twin-screw armored, semi-sumarine gunboat". He died in 1893, but there is no record he ever returned to his homeplace of birth.
In 1836, 40 year-old, Jonathan Shearer moved his family to Plymouth from Coleraine, Massachusetts. The year after he arrived Shearer was elcted Township Supervisor, a position he also held in 1847 and 1848.
Born the 7th son, of Revoluntionary War veteran, Shearer was a successful farmer who took prizes at county and state fairs. He was one of the organizers of the Michigan Agricultural Society and one of the founders of the State Pioneer Society, of which he was president in 1876 and 1877.
From 1838 to 1841, Shearer was chairman of the Wayne County Commission. In 1841, he was elected to the State senate, serving three sessions. As a state senator, he showed continuing interest in Michigan's school system, and helped secure the establishment of the State Normal School ( now Eastern Michigan University) in Ypsilanti.
He died in his home in Plymouth, in 1881.
Penniman - Sherwood - Utley
Ebenezer Jenckes Penniman, the only Plymouth resident ever elected to the U.S. Congress, was among those who founded the Republican Party, at Jackson. Penniman, whose career as land developer, merchant, banker, and politican included a term in the 32nd Congress in 1851-1853.
He came to Plymouth in 1840, at the age of 36 years-old. Born in Lansignburgh, New York, in 1804, he had been a printer's apprentice in New York City and a drygood merchant in Orwell, Vermont.
Soon after his arrival, he opened a country store and bought fromJohn Kellogg a tract of land on Sutton Street. The property was subdivided, part of which, he used to build his residence.
Penniman, was Supervisor of Plymouth Township in 1842, 1843, 1844, and 1850.
In 1861, after the South fired on Fort Sumpter, Penniman and Henry Fralick of Plymouth, a man Penniman had been in business with, raised, equipped and filled the muster roll of the first company of Union soldiers in the State of Michigan that enlisted for three years.
When the First National Bank of Plymouth was organized in November 1871, Penniman then 67, was named President.
Penniman's daughter, Kate, who married Will Allen, later named the Penniman-Allen Theatre in honor of her father and her husband. Penniman died April 12, 1890, and was buried in Riverside Cemetery..
T.C. Sherwood: local bank President in the 1880's, was the first Commissioner of Banking in the State of Michigan. Sherwood, born in Geneva, New York in 1839, arrived in Plymouth in 1854. He was a school teacher and a farmer before joining the Michigan Central Railroad in 1863, at Kalamazoo as a cashier. The following year he went to work for the First National Bank of Battle Creek In 1872, he became cashier of the newly-organized First National Bank of Plymouth.
Sherwood moved to Grand Rapids in 1880, to become cashier of the Grand Rapids National Bank. He returned to Plymouth in 1884, as President of the Plymouth National Bank. He resigned in 1889 when Governor Cyrus Luce appointed him to the newly-created postition of State Commissioner of Banking.
Sherwood also served as the first President of the Plymouth Fair Association, organized as a stock company in 1885. He was School Inspector in 1886 and 1887, and a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Henry M. Utley, was born in Plymouth in 1836, of pioneer parents, became an editor, author, and Librarian of the City of Detroit.
Utley, of Welsh descent, and the son of Hiram and Jane (Sands) Utley, was born in Plymouth, his father an early settler of this area and a drummer boy in the War of 1812.
Henry graducated from the University of Michigan in 1861 and earned the Master of Arts degree in 1870. He married Kate Lilly Burr in Pontiac in 1864. They had three daughters.
Utley was a reporter and commercial editor for the Detroit Free Press 1861-1866. He was city editor of the Detroit Post and its successor the Post-Tribune, 1866-1881. From 1881 to 1885, he was Secretary of the Detroit Board of Education.
In 1885, he became Detroit City Librarian, a position he held until 1912. When he took the job, the library had no catalog or systemactic arrangement. Introducing modern metholds, he increased the circulation of books from 15,000 in 1885, to more than one million in 1900.
He also authored his memoirs in 1876. Utley died in Detroit in 1917.
Erastus Hussey and the Underground RailRoad
Plymouth was an important station on the Central Michigan line of the Underground RailRoad, prior to the Civil War.
Erastus Hussey, one of the first settlers in Plymouth, was the chief conductor of the line.
The Underground Railway was a system set up in the northern states to help runaway slaves make their way to Canada and freedom. Railway terms were used when referring to the system. Routes were known as "lines"; stopping places as "stations"; and those who helped the slaves, "conductors".
Athough, siad to have existed earlier, the system did not spread in the 14 northern states until about 1830. The first slave rode the Michigan Underground about 1829, and the last in 1862. Erastus Hussey was one of the Underground Railway's best-known leaders in Michigan. Like most of the operators in the system, he was a Quaker and an abolitionist.
Born in Cayuga County, New York, in 1800, Hussey bought land in Plymouth in 1824. He did not become a resident until 1826. He took an active part in community affairs, becoming highway commissioner 1828/29, school inspector in 1831, and assessor in 1832.
In 1833, he moved to Battle Creek where he became a successful merchant. In 1840, he was approached by a Quaker from Indiana who asked him to take charge of the underground station in Battle Creek.
Most of the slaves who escaped through Michigan had been from Missouri or Kentucky. Their goal was Detroit, from there a ferry to Canada. The terminal in Detroit was a livery stable of the Temperance House Hotel, operated by abolitonist, Semour Finney.
Many of the slaves who reached Canada were given small farms provided by abolitionist societies in the United States and Canada. Colonies of African-Americans were established near Windsor, Chatham, and Amerstburg.
Hussey had been interviewed by Charles E. Barnes, in 1885 for an article published in the Michigan Pioneer and Historical. In his own words, Hussey stated, "Our work was conducted with the greatest secrecy. After crossing the Ohio River, the fugitives separated, but came together on the main line and were conducted through Indiana and Michigan. Statons were established every fifteen or sixteen miles.... The stationkeepers recieved no pay. We were working for humanity."
The route came in Michigan at the famous Quaker settlement near Cassopolis. Other stations were Schoolcraft, Climax, Battle Creek, Marshall, Albion, Parma, Jackson, Michigan Center, Leoni, Grass Lake, Frqancisco, Dexter, Scio, Ann Arbor, and Geddes. The route from Michigan Central left for Plymouth as did the route from Ann Arbor, both followed the River Rouge to Detroit. Hussey had estimated to have helped about 2,000 slaves to escape.
Hussey was a valuable citizen in other ways. In 1844, he was presidential elector for the Abolition ticket. He helped organized the Free-Soil Party, formed in 1848. He also published a Free-Soil newspaper. In 1854, he was among those who met in Jackson, Michigan where the Republican Party was organized.
Hussey died in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1889, at the age of 89.
Virtual Tour 1867
If you were traveling through the Plymouth area in 1867, and decided to visit a church, you might have gone to the First Methodist Episcopal, then located next to the old High School, run by Pastor James F. Davidson, it was opened in 1826. Across the street you might have attended Second Presbyterian Church whose pastor was B.F. Murden, it was opened in 1833. The old Presbyterian Cemetery, adjacent to the property, has stones dated back to 1828. If you were Baptist, you might have gone to the corner of Spring and Mill Streets to the Baptist Church, at the north end of the village and met Reverend H.S. Vann. This church began in 1830. Nearby, at Mill and Liberty Streets you would have St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, and could visit with Pastor Gebaur, it was established in 1856.
For the fraternally inclined traveler, you might have dropped in to the Tonquish Lodge No 32 of the Independent Order of Oddfellows. This was the first fraternal society in Plymouth. It began in 1847. The Masonic Lodge also in existence at this time, had one-half of the same building as Oddfellows. The Plymouth Rock Lodge No 47, Free and Accepted Masons, was organized in 1851. Both burned in fires in 1893.
If you were walking the streets here in the evening, you would have walked in mud puddles or dirt because the street were not yet paved, and it certainly would have been dark, as the first street light, fifteen oil lamps, were not installed until 1880.
The nearest bank ? There wasn't one in Plymouth, until the First National Bank of Plymouth was established in 1871.
There was a hardware store, established in 1857, called Conner Hardware and run by Michael Conner, which later became Norma Cassady's dress shop.
There were two saloons in business, listed in a 1860 city directory, keepers were J. Barker and L. Lapham, however neither was in business by 1867.
Walking south on Main Street, and passing the John Fuller residence (now the Mayflower Hotel) you would find that suddenly you are no longer on Main Street, but South Street, which takes you to the furthest point south in town.
If you had turned north on Main Street, you'd bypass the Presbyterian Church, the High School, and ended at Plymouth Plank Road.
Just beyond there, was Mill Street, as you are heading toward Detroit, and running north, Main Street. Confused, you look again, yes, a second Main Street, which appears today as Holbrook, however, perhaps the north end of town, not to be outdone by the Kellogg Park section, had a Main Street of its own. Proceeding north, you'd find yourself in Public Square where the fire station stands today, and eventually you would reach the residence of Samuel Hardenburgh, and finally Plymouth Mill.
Although in 1860, you might not have been able to find a bank or a movie house, you would find some establishments difficult to find today, anywhere: leather dealer, wage and carriage makers, blacksmith, livery stables, harness makers, millers, tanners, churnmakers, cooper, a fanning mill manufacturer, and even a toll-gate keeper.
Obituary of Civil War Soldier, who died in Plymouth
The death of J.C. Peterhans, which occurred last Friday morning at the family home just northeast of the village, Plymouth, loses one of her well-known and most highly esteemed citizens, and another veteran of the Civil War has answered the last roll call. Mr. Peterhans was a man who was honest and upright in all his dealing and had a host of friends. The funeral was held from his late home, Monday afternoon at two o'clock, Rev Joseph Dutton conducting the services. There was a large attendance of neighbors and friends. The members of Eddy Post No. 231 attended the services in a body.
The floral offerings were many and beautiful. A large American flag was draped at teh ead of the casket, which was the regimental headquarters flag of the 16th Michigan Infantry, to which Mr Peterhans belonged. The flag was not a regimental flag that was carried on the march or on the field of battle, but a flag that floated over the commanding officer's tent, when they were in camp. It is more than 50 years old and has been under fire on several occasions. At the close of the war the flag was presented to Lieutenant Charles Salter, who saved the flag from being captured at Gaines' Mills, June 27, 1862. In 1892, Lieutenant Salter died and it was given to Major JW Jacklin for safe keeping. October 6, 1906, it was left with the late George C. Peterhans and since his death JC Peterhans has been its custodian.
The interment took place in Riverside Cemetery, G.A.R. taking part in the committal service at the grave.
John C. Peterhans was born in Plymouth, Michigan, February 9, 1840, and departed this life November 5, 1915. He was a twin brother of the late George C. Peterhans, who died March 17, 1911. Mr Peterhans had been in failing health for nearly two years, having been confined to his home for the past two months. He bore his suffering very patiently. He was a member of Eddy Post, No. 231, G.A.R. and during his sickness spoke very much of his comrades. At the aged of nine years, Mr Paterhans moved with his parents to Cincinnati, Ohio, remaining there about one year. He then returned to Plymouth, where he lived most of his life, with the exceptions of a few years spent near Caro, Tuscola County. On September 8, 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, 16th Michigan Infantry for three years. On October 25, 1862, he was discharged on surgeon's certificate disability, at Antietam, Maryland. On July 2, 1863, he married Hester A. Smith of Plymouth. To this union were born five children, two sons, George and William having died in infancy. He leaves to mourn their loss, besides his widow and three daguhter, three brothers, Henry and Emanuel of Caro, and Charles E. of Mt Pleasant; two sisters Mrs Christina Ingersoll of Caro, and Amelia Peterhans of Cleveland, Ohio, also several other relatives and a host of friends.
Taken from The Plymouth Mail, A special thank you to Gloria,for sharing this
Today Plymouth hosts a number of antique shops in their main townsquare, where perhaps one could locate a piece of their own families heritage.
Plymouth Land Claims
1827 Plymouth Township Tax Rolls
Return to Wayne County MALHN Main Page
Return to Michigan's American Local History Network Main Page
Co-cc Iron County MALHN
See other Michigan History/Genealogy pages by Linda Ball
Email me Anytime