The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan


NOTE:  This history of Highland Township is taken from Samuel W. Durant, History of Oakland County, Michigan, published by L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia (1877),  pp. 201-207.  It is a literal transcription with only minor changes in formatting to facilitate viewing online.  For example, proper names are both capitalized and in bold face type and the limited number of footnotes appearing in the original text have been placed in brackets immediately following the item to which they relate.  Where the original text is known to err, appropriate notes are likewise inserted in brackets, e.g. "[N.B. - Should read...]   If you do not wish to read the entire account, the following links will take you directly to the subsections indicated:

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      Highland was organized as a separate and distinct township by an act of the Territorial legislature, approved March 17, 1835. We quote the clause relating to the same, which is as follows:

      "All that part of the county of Oakland comprised in surveyed township 3 north, range 7 east, by the name of Highland; and the first township meeting be held at the school-house on the farm of JESSE TENNY."

      By section 3 of an act approved March 26, 1835, we find "that all that part of the county of Oakland comprised in surveyed township 3 north, range 7 east, and all that part of the county of Livingston attached to the county of Oakland for judicial purposes, and comprise a part of, the township of Highland, for the purposes of township government."* [* "Territorial Laws," vol. iii, p. 1404]

      The proceedings of the first township-meeting, and other matters pertaining thereto, will be found in the succeeding pages, in their proper chronological order.

      The name "Highland" was given to the new township because of its elevated position. Its surface was then supposed to be the highest land in the settled part of Michigan, and is possibly as high as any south of Saginaw. The water runs both north and south within the limits of the township. The Pettibone creek heads in section 10 and runs south; and a branch of Buckhorn creek heads on section 3 and runs north, the heads of these streams not being much more than a mile apart.

      The surface of the southwest part of the town is quite level, or gently rolling, the north part more hilly, and the northeast part hilly and marshy, - a part of it being very hilly, and aptly designated as "the knobs." The soil is mostly sandy loam. There is a strip one mile and a half wide, commencing in section 12, and running southwesterly to the through section 33, that is a light sandy soil, some of it being extremely light.


      The township abounds in those beautiful bodies of water designated as lakes. There are twenty-two of these, of which the most important are Peninsular, Grass, Duck, Curtis, and Pettibone. Most of these (the only ones designated by names on the map) are named with reference to some local peculiarity, or after early settlers who resided on their banks.


      There are but few incidents connecting the aborigine with the history of Highland. There formerly existed within the limits of the township, on the east side of section 34, a general camping-ground, where the Indians used to halt in their peregrinations through the forest, and there be those who still remember the camping-ground, and the interesting scenes which its remembrance presents; they were here when the wilderness still waved in its pristine luxuriance; when the marsh-hay and the wild-flowers still covered the lowlands and the hill-sides, and made the valley fragrant with their rich perfumes; when the deer continued to frequent his ancient haunts; and when the habitations of the new settlers were so widely and so thinly scattered that the nearest neighbors could scarely have exchanged the courtesy of the periodical visit without the aid of the seven-leagued boots of knightly days. But though in solitude, they lived without fear. There were none to molest or make them afraid. If they had few friends, they had no enemies. If the Indian halted at the settler's door it was to solicit hospitality, not to offer violence. But more frequently he stalked silently by, timid of giving offense to the white man, whom he doubtless regarded as an intruder upon his own ancestral domain, but whose possession he had been taught to respect, because he had ever found it guarded by a strong and swift arm, that had never failed to repay aggression with tenfold vengence.

      Their trails abounded in this township; one entered it near the southeast corner of section 35, and ran nearly northwest through the township, and was called the Shiawassee trial. This was intersected in the southeast quarter of southwest quarter of section 35 by one from the south, called Walled lake trail, which was doubtless a by-road leading from the Grand river trail. All traces of both the Indians and his trails are now no more. Where he once trod exists the out-growth of modern civilization, as represented by the much-frequented roads and the hum of a busy population.


      The first purchase of land in what now constitutes Highland township was made by NAHAM CURTIS, September 6, 1832. It was the east half of the southeast quarter of section 36. He and his brother JEREMIAH sold out soon afterward and left with the Mormons, a small settlement of whom existed in this neighborhood where the CURTISES settled prior to 1836. JAMES ALDRICH, RICHARD WILLETT, and SAMUEL MYERS, JR., purchased land in the township the same year. NAHAM CURTIS came to Michigan from Pennsylvania, and settled at Pontiac as early as 1824. He had a large family, some of whom were grown up when he settled in Highland. We believe that none of his family now reside in the township or county.

      In the fall of 1833 [Sic - should be 1832], ALVAH and RUFUS TENNY arrived from Wheatland, Monroe county, New York, and purchased the south half of section 30, and the north half of section 31, and returned home. ALVAH's wife's friends were opposed to his coming to Michigan, so he sold his interest to his brother JESSE, who started from his home in the east in the month of February, 1833.

      RUFUS TENNY continued to reside on the farm he located in section 31 until his death, which occurred in the spring of 1858, aged sixty-five. His wife, EUNICE, died in the spring of 1875, at the advanced age of eighty-one years. Some of their descendants still occupy the old homestead. JESSE TENNY was accompanied by JOHN C. MORSE, and came with a two-horse team through Canada, arriving at their destination on the 7th of March of the same year.

      In May, 1833, NOAH P. MORSE came in with his wife and father-in-law, ALMER [N.B. - should read ABNER] HYDE, and his family, and commenced clearing up the farm on which he now resides. ALMER [N.B. - should read ABNER] HYDE and family, with MR. MORSE, were from the town of Norwich, New London county, Connecticut.

      Among the most prominent of the early settlers of Highland was JONATHAN F. STRATTON, the first justice of the peace of the township, who came from Erie county, Pennsylvania, to Ann Arbor in 1825, and to Highland in 1833. He settled on section 27, on the farm now owned by CHESTER M. CHATFIELD and others, constituting the south half of the northwest quarter of the above section, and the east half of the northeast quarter of section 28.

      MICHAEL BEACH came from Troy, Oakland County, Michigan, in 1833 or 1834, and settled on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 28. He made but a brief stay on his first purchase, for we find that he sold it to MADISON ADAMS in 1836-37, and subsequently purchased of the government the east half of the southeast quarter of section 21, and of a MR. McCORMICK the west half of the northeast quarter of section 28. He settled on the lot contained in section 21, on the farm now owned and occupied by his son, DAVIS BEACH. The lot on 28 is now owned by WILLIAM E. CLARK, who bought it of BENJAMIN BEACH, another son of the original purchaser, in 1875.

      ROBERT FINDLEY emigrated from Scotland with his son ALEXANDER - then a boy, but now a prominent citizen of Milford - and his son-in-law, DUNCAN McCALL, in 1834, and settled on the southwest quarter of section 34. After ROBERT FINDLEY's death, the land was divided, ALEXANDER taking the south half of the quarter section, which he subsequently sold to a MR. PIERCE, of the State of New York. The latter traded with SAMUEL BURTCH, and it is now owned by CORNELIUS, a son of the SAMUEL BURTCH above mentioned. MRS. McCALL took the north half of the quarter section, which, after her death, was sold to T. A. SMITH, and by him to J. C. LANNING, and by him to WILLIAM N. BURNETT, the present owner, in the winter of 1875.

      LOCKWOOD CLARK and his father, E. A. CLARK, came in 1834 or 1835, and settled on the west half of the northwest quarter of section 15, and sold to WILLIAM A. WATERBURY about 1845, and he to JOHN VAN WORMER, the present owner, in 1855 or 1856.

      PETER McPHERSON and wife emigrated from Scotland (came in with MESSRS. FINDLEY and McCALL) in 1834, and settled on the south half of the southwest quarter of section 27, now owned by his widow and their son, WILLIAM.

      P. W. WHEATON came from New York State in 1835. He took up the east half of the southeast quarter of section 5 and the northeast quarter of the northeast fractional quarter of the same section, in all one hundred and thirty-six and one-quarter acres. In 1840, after having built a house and made some other improvements on his place, he returned to New York, and brought his family to his new home the year following. He still resides on the old homestead.

      ELIJAH DUNHAM arrived from Monroe county, New York, in 1835, and took up two eighties on section 18 and six eighties on section 17.

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      PURDY A. TUTTLE came from Steuben county, New York, and settled on section 1, where he now resides, in 1836.

      ELIAS COWLES, from Erie county, New York, May 10, 1836, and settled on section 18, where he still lives.

      DAVID M., MAJOR F., and MARTIN LOCKWOOD, three brothers, came in from Monroe County, New York, in 1836, and settled in the neighborhood where WILLIAM M. LOCKWOOD, a son of the first named of the three brothers, now resides.

      HENRY HURBERT, who was afterwards elected a justice of the peace for the township, came in from New York in 1836, and took up two hundred acres on sections 1 and 2. He subsequently returned to Detroit.

      ENOS LEEK, ESQ. came into Highland from Ann Arbor, where he settled in 1828, this year (1836), and located on the old STRATTON farm.* [* See under head of "Spring Mills."]

      SIMON HOUGH came from Warrensburg, New York, in 1836, and settled on the southwest quarter of section 26 and the east half of the southeast quarter of section 27.

      PHINEAS DAVIS arrived from New York in 1837, and took up eight hundred acres on sections 2 and 3 and 10 and 11. He came in as a speculator, and was drowned while returning from the Sandwich Islands.

      ALFRED BARRETT came in February, 1838, from Ashtabula county, Ohio, and settled on section 6, about eighty rods north of where his son DAVID now resides.

      The next important item in the history of the early settlement is its subsequent improvement and development. We find that the first farm opened in Highland was that of NAHAM CURTIS, who commenced clearing, fencing, and tilling his land immediately after settling on the same, in the early summer of 1832. He sowed the first wheat the ensuing fall, which turned out advantageously, and tolerably free from smut.

      The first orchard was planted by J. F. STRATTON, ESQ., who brought a variety of trees from Ann Arbor, and put them in during the spring of 1834. It is the orchard now owned by LYMAN B. CONGDON.

      The first log house was erected by NAHAM CURTIS, in 1832. It was bult of round logs, he evidently not deeming it expedient to hew them, as he only occupied the home for about two years. He built the first frame barn erected in the township, in 1833. Its dimensions were thirty by forty feet.

      The first frame house was built by EBER ADAMS, about 1835. It is the same now occupied by ELISHA and MELVIN A. GROW, on section 29.

      The first brick house was erected by LUTHER FREEMAN, in 1845. It is located at Clyde, and is now occupied by LYMAN JOHNSON.


was that known as "TENNY's road," and is described in the survey as follows:

"Commencing at the county line, at the northwest corner of section 31, in township 3 north, range 7 east, and running north 89 1/4, east 101.50 chains, on section line (68.50 to the northeast corner of section 31); thence south 47 1/2, east 59.00 chains; thence south 29 1/2, east 44.00 chains to the Territorial road leading from Livingston to Pontiac; thence 50 links west to the southwest corner of section 33, in township 3 north, range 7 east. Variation, 3 degrees east.

"Surveyed May 25, 1835                                     "J. F. STRATTON, Surveyor
                                                                                 "J. F. STRATTON,
                                                                                 "H. H. GRAVES,
                                                                                  "Commissioners of Highways.

"Recorded March, 31, 1836.
 "Attest: J. F. STRATTON, Clerk."


      In the year 1834 or 1835, EBER ADAMS located the east half of the southeast quarter of section 22 and the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 23, and thereby secured a good water-power. A few years afterwards he sold to O. P. DAVISON, who sold to MAJOR F. LOCKWOOD and JONAS G. POTTER, then doing business in Milford as the firm of LOCKWOOD & POTTER, who bought of MAJOR ALDERMAN the privilege of raising the water on the northwest quarter of section 23, thereby making a double water-power; and in the spring of 1846 built a saw-mill near the south end of east half of the southeast quarter of section 22.  In May, 1863, the mill was destroyed by fire. LESTER ST. JOHN had a turning-lathe and some joiner and cabinet tools burnt in the mill. LOCKWOOD & POTTER dissolved partnership about 1835 [Sic - Should be 1853], and the former moved to Spring Mills (then Highland), and in 1856 built the present flouring-mill. In the fall of 1859, LOCKWOOD sold the property to J. B. BAKER, of Detroit, who took possession of it January 1, 1860. September 24, 1864, BAKER sold to DANIEL B. CHATFIELD and ROBERT BOYCE.  In April, 1865, CHATFIELD purchased the interest of BOYCE.  September 22, 1868, CHATFIELD sold the flour-mill to J. B. CROUSE, who operated it until October 1, 1871, when he sold it to W. C. LOCKWOOD, the present owner. The amount of work done during the past year (1876) was eighteen hundred barrels of flour and eight thousand bushels of custom-work.


of the township have been few, as Highland is almost exclusively an agricultural region. The first who worked at any sort of manufacturing were the blacksmiths, and we find that among the earliest of these was LYMAN SHATTUCK, who established himself at Highland Corners as early as 1835. ISAAC WATERBURY had a shop on the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 15 in 1847 or 1848; EBEN WAIT had one on the east half of the northeast quarter of section 22 in 1855.


        In the spring of 1867, DANIEL B. CHATFIELD sold to CHESTER M. CHATFIELD the lower water-power (the old saw-mill power).  The latter gentleman, the same year, put up a building for a water-power cider mill, and in 1869 sold the same to JOHN B. CROUSE, the present owner.  He put on additions to the building, and converted it into the Highland cider- and vinegar-works, as at present.  The product of the works for the past year was twenty-five hundred barrels of cider and vinegar.


        In the year 1836, SIMON HOUGH brought on a small stock of goods and sold them at his house, but did not replenish.  In the fall of 1842, HOUGH sold to DANIEL ST. JOHN, and he to D. B. CHATFIELD, and he to J. B. CROUSE, the present owner.


      The first marriage in Highland township was celebrated in the fall of 1834.  The contracting parties were JOHN [N.B. - should read JOB] CRANSON and MARY, daughter of ABNER HYDE.  MR. CRANSON came in from Pleasant valley in 1833.

      As showing the nature of an old-time divorce, we quote from SQUIRE STATTON's official record of the subjoined marriage-license:


"MR. WILLIAM GARDNER,                         }

                                                                             } April 5, 1836

"MRS. BETSY SESSIONS.                               }


        "On application of the said WILLIAM GARDNER, I examined him, the said WILLIAM, on solemn oath, respecting the legality of such contemplated marriage with MRS. BETSY SESSIONS, who made the following statement on oath:  I have had a wife, who I do not know to be dead.  I received an acquittal from her by giving a covenant bond for her maintenance, and securing her acknowledgment to an acquittal from all matrimonial contracts.  This acknowledgment was taken by DAVID SWEET, ESQ., justice of the peace and commissioner for the acknowledgment of deeds, etc., for the county of Herkimer, State of New York.  This acknowledgment bears date March 5, 1834.  This was considered a lawful acquittal from the marriage covenant by JAMES HYDE, ESQ., master in chancery for Herkimer county, New York.  I know of no lawful objection why the marriage covenant may not be solemnized between me and MRS. BETSY SESSIONS.


        "Therefore license is hereby granted by me.

                                                                                       "J. F. STRATTON, Tp. Clerk.

        "Married by me April 10, 1836.

                                                                                       "J. F. STRATTON, Justice of the Peace."




was that of MARY, daughter of LAVINS [N.B. - should read LAVIUS] TENNY, in May, 1833.  She afterward married JAMES RAMSY, and resided till her death near the village of Howell, Michigan.

      The first death was that of SAMUEL STRATTON, who died April 24, 1834, and was interred on the farm of J. F. STRATTON, ESQ., his son.


in the township was located in the northwest corner of the southwest quarter of section 29, and was laid out in 1835 or 1836.  The first interment therein was that of an infant child of ISAAC CORNELL.  The first adult buried in the cemetery was that of a MRS. DAVIS, the wife of a transient settler who worked for EBER ADAMS.


      In the year 1849 the township bought of WILLIAM H. LEONARD one acre in the southeast corner of the north eighth of the west half southwest quarter of section 22, and one acre of GERMAIN ST. JOHN in the northeast corner of the south five-eighth of the same lot, for a burying-ground.  It was surveyed and platted into burial-lots by L. L. ARMSTRONG, surveyor, on the 13th, 14th, and 15th days of August, 1849.

      The first interment in the new burying-ground was that of HARDEN EDDY.  There were a number of bodies removed that had been buried on farms before the 

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ground was laid out, who were reinterred in it, but none, we believe, before MR. EDDY.


            We quote from the early records of the township the subjoined matter relative to the first township-meeting:


                "A record of the doings of the electors of the township of Highland, county of Oakland and Territory of Michigan, at their first regular township-meeting, held on Monday, the 6th day of April, A.D. 1835.

                "Assembled at the school-house on the farm of JESSE TENNY, agreeable to an act of the legislative council authorizing the holding of said meeting.

                "After calling the electors to order, the motion being made and seconded, RUFUS TENNY was chosen moderator and NOAH P. MORSE clerk of the meeting.

                "The necessary oaths of the moderator and clerk were administered by JONATHAN F. STRATTON, ESQ., justice of the peace.

                "On motion, the meeting was adjourned to the house of NOAH P. MORSE by the unanimous vote of the electors present.

                "On motion, it was agreed that the vote be balloted by general ticket.

                "A motion being made and seconded, it was voted that all actual settlers should have the privilege of voting for township officers.

                "The polls being opened, the following persons were elected to the offices opposite their names, respectively: Supervisor, RUFUS TENNY; Township Clerk, JONATHAN F. STRATTON; Constable and Collector, NOAH P. MORSE; Assessors, JESSE SEELEY, DANIEL DUNHAM, JOHN WILLIAMS, JR., MAXFIELD LUDLOW; Commissioners of Highways, JONATHAN F. STRATTON, CORNELIUS G. WIKOFF, HARLEY H. GRAVES; Commissioners of Common Schools, JESSE TENNY, JOHN R. HOWLIN, NOAH P. MORSE; Overseers of the Poor, NATHAN CURTIS, ELI LEE.  Twenty-two votes were polled for each of the above-written officers.

                "The following persons were chosen overseers of highways: JESSE SEELEY, district No. 1; ERASTUS HOPKINS, district No. 2; IRA STOWELL, district No. 3; NAHAM CURTIS, district No. 4; JONATHAN F. STRATTON, district No. 5; JESSE TENNY, district No. 6; ELI LEE, district No. 7; HARLEY H. GRAVES, district No. 8.

                "On motion, the several overseers of highways were chosen fence-viewers in their respective districts.

                "On motion, twenty-five dollars was voted to be raised the current year for the support of the poor of the township of Highland.

                "On motion, it was voted that the next annual township-meeting should be held at the house of JONATHAN F. STRATTON, ESQ.; and the meeting was adjourned accordingly."


            Annexed we give a list of the supervisors, township clerks, and justices of the peace of Highland from 1835 to 1877, inclusive:


            Township Clerks. - JONATHAN F. STRATTON (two years), ENOS LEEK (eight years), JAMES B. LORD, WILLIAM WATERBURY, ENOS LEEK (three years), WILLIAM H. LEONARD (two years), ISAAC WATERBURY, WILLIAM ALDERMAN, ISAAC WATERBURY (two years), LORENZO D. RUGGLES, ELIJAH W. KENT (two years), JOHN DUNHAM (by lot)* *[A tie vote, himself and ENOS LEEK each receiving eighty-eight votes.], ELIJAH W. KENT, ENOS LEEK (eight years), ARCHIBALD D. DeGARMO (four years), ENOS LEEK (three years), FREDERICK HARRIS, present incumbent.


              The first audit of township accounts, made for the year 1835, was as follows:

                  "C. G. WIKOFF, highway commissioner                          ........................................        $1.00
                  A. H. GRAVES,   "                                                         ........................................          3.00
                  JOHN WILLIAMS, JR., assessor                                   ........................................          3.50
                  DANIEL DUNHAM,           "                                         ........................................          3.00
                  JESSE SEELEY,                  "                                           ........................................          4.50
                  MAXFIELD LUDLOW,      "                                          ........................................          3.00
                  J. F. STRATTON, township clerk and highway surveyor   ............................................    10.00

                                      Total                                               ........................................        $25.00

                                      (Signed)                                  "RUFUS TENNY, Supervisor

                                                                                       "J. F. STRATTON, Clerk."



    This village was platted under the name of Highland in 1846, by JONAS G. POTTER and MAJOR F. LOCKWOOD, and an addition made thereto by the latter and JOHN DUNHAM, May 27, 1859.  It is located in the southeast quarter of section 22.  In the summer of 1846 they erected a saw-mill, and in the fall erected the house now standing on lot 2, block 2, of the village plat.


was established here in 1857, and was at first supplied by special from Milford, and afterwards attached to Pontiac and Howell route.  ENOS LEEK, ESQ., was appointed the first postmaster, and held the office until the 1st of January, 1874, when the name was changed, and the office removed to Highland Station, and NEWTON R. BABCOCK appointed postmaster, as mentioned under the head of "Highland Village."

            Among the old and prominent citizens of Spring Mills is ENOS LEEK, who came from New Haven, Connecticut, to Michigan in 1828.  He came via New York city, and up the North river to Albany, thence by Erie canal to Buffalo, thence across the lake in the steamer "William Penn," Captain Wight, and after a tempestuous voyage landed in Detroit, October 8, 1828.   The next day he went to Ann Arbor, and he and his brother, who accompanied him, located together on section 9 and 10, Scio township, Washtenaw county.  In April, 1836, he removed to Oakland County, and lived in the south half of the northwest quarter of section 27 (the STRATTON farm) until the winter of 1839.  In the fall of 1836 he located the north half of the southwest quarter and the west half of the southeast quarter of section 35.  He sold the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of 35 to JAMES EVERTS, which is now owned by JACOB BUFFLE, and the northwest quarter of southeast quarter and ten acres of the east of north half of the southwest quarter to JOHN TAYLOR.   The remainder his family lived on until the fall of 1862.  In the fall of 1856 he settled in the village, and sold goods in the mill-office, and in 1858 erected the building for a store and dwelling he now occupies, which was the first store in the place.  The building is on lot 25, block 3.  MR. LEEK has held the office of either township clerk, supervisor, or justice of the peace nearly all the time since 1836, and has always transacted the business of these various offices with fidelity and ability.

            Spring Mills now contains two stores, a grist-mill, blacksmith- and wagon-shop, and several other industries.


was first started as such on the completion of the Flint and Pere Marquette railway, in 1871.  It was laid out and platted by GERMAN [N.B. - should read "GERMAIN"] ST. JOHN and ALMON RUGGLES, in 1872.  It includes parts of sections 22 and 27.

            The first store was erected by H. H. WILLOVER, of Fentonville, in the fall of 1872.  About one year from that time he sold out to N. B. BABCOCK, ESQ., who conducted the business until 1874, when he built another store building, and in 1875 purchased his present store of J. B. CROSS [N.B. - should read "CROUSE"].

            Contemporary with the establishment of the first store, MR. WILLOVER built a grain-warehouse, which is now conducted by MR. BABCOCK.  Highland is a good grain-market, being surrounded by a fine agricultural region.  The amount of grain annually shipped here is about thirty thousand bushels.

            The Highland Centre House was erected by H. H. BUSH in the fall of 1870.  He continued its proprietor until 1875, when he disposed of it to PATRICK KELLY, the present owner.

            The post-office (Highland Station) was removed from Spring Mills and established at Highland in 1874.  N. B. BABCOCK was appointed postmaster, and holds that position at present.  The gross proceeds of the office from June 1, 1876, to June 1, 1877, for stamps, stamped envelopes, and postal cards, was one hundred and fifty dollars.

            The wagon-shop was established by CHARLES ST. JOHN in 1874, and is still operated by him.

            The blacksmithy was erected by SAMUEL BACHE in 1874.  It is now owned by H. H. CALVIN, and conducted by FREDERICK HARRIS.

            The religious interests in the village and vicinity are represented by the

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which is composed of various religious denominations.  The association was organized March 25, 1875.  The chaplin is REV. E. C. HARRINGTON.  The officers are: President, GEORGE ST. JOHN; First Vice-President, S. S. LAWRENCE; Second Vice-President, R. H. WATERBURY; Secretary, N. B. BABCOCK; Treasurer, R. H. WATERBURY.  The membership is eighty-four.  The association holds its meetings in the school-house of district No. 4.  It is in a generally flourishing condition. 


of the Methodist Episcopal church, Detroit conference, Owosso district, and Hartland circuit, was organized January 8, 1866, with seven members, namely: BENJAMIN PREDMORE, MRS. MARY A. PREDMORE, MRS. SALIM [N.B. - should read SABRA] OTIS, JOSEPH STRATTON, MRS. ROSANNA STRATTON, MRS. JULIA EDDY, and MRS. E. WOODWORTH.  A change in the designation of the class recently occurred, whereby it was attached to Flint district and Highland circuit, the conference remaining as above.  The first pastors were REVS. J. M. HOLT and A. B. CLOUGH.  The class-leader from its organization to the present has been JOSEPH STRATTON.  The present pastor is REV. F. E. PEARCE.  The membership is fifteen.  Place of holding meeting, the school-house of district No. 4.  Society in a generally prosperous condition. 


was organized May 8, 1877, with a membership of about sixty, which has since increased to seventy.  The first and present officers are: President, D. B. CHATFIELD; Vice-President, S. S. LAWRENCE; Secretary, MISS M. ST. JOHN; Financial Secretary, MRS. M. RUGGLES; Treasurer, N. B. BABCOCK; Marshal, FRED LAWRENCE; Sergeant-at-Arms, MARTIN YARBELL.  The place of holding meeting is the Highland Centre school-house (district No. 4). 


is a hamlet and post-office located on sections 19 and 20, and 29 and 30.  It was settled at an early day, probably about 1835.  ZENAS PHELPS and GEORGE LEE were among the first settlers of the place.

            The first store was kept by DAVID ALLISON, about 1845.  He had a small general country store, in the house now occupied by MRS. MYRA STOCKWELL as a grocery-store and post-office.

            The first tavern was kept by ZENAS PHELPS, as early as 1840.  He was followed in the business by C. L. NORTHRUP, now a merchant of Milford; and he by HIRAM GIDDINGS.

            The postmasters have been as follows: GEORGE SHOWERMAN, the first appointee, in 1845; O. P. DAVISON, MRS. RACHEL E. PERRY, O. P. DAVISON (re-appointed), WILLIAM FULFORD, JONAS HEWITT, ALVA STOCKWELL, who died in office, and his widow, MRS. MYRA STOCKWELL, the present incumbent, was appointed.

            The place now contains a general store, blacksmithy, Baptist church, post-office, and an assemblage of a few families.  The village at Highland Station has superseded the old village of Highland Corners. 


is a small village and depot on the Flint and Pere Marquette railway.  The first settler in the place was MORRIS WHEELER, who came into the township as the hired man of PHINEAS DAVIS, a person who speculated extensively in real estate at an early day.   He purchased some eight hundred acres of land in Highland located on sections 1, 2, 10 and 11, which included the present site of Clyde.  MR. WHEELER settled where he now resides in 1849.

            The first house in the place was erected by JOHN WENDELL, in 1836 or 1837, on the southeast corner of the village lot, and is the one now occupied by WILLIAM WHEELER.  It was first purchased by PHINEAS DAVIS, by whom it was moved to its present location, and afterwards bought by the present owner.

            The first store was built and run by the ROSCOE brothers, in March, 1873.

            The first blacksmithy was built by LAWRENCE McGRAIN, and was conducted by JAMES SWITS.  In the spring of 1875, LEVI WOOSTER purchased the shop, and now conducts the same.

            The first school was taught in the house now owned by MR. WHEELER, about 1840.

            June 3, 1875, Clyde was surveyed by JULIAN BISHOP, county surveyor, for LYMAN JOHNSON.  The plot occupies almost thirteen acres of the east half of the northwest quarter of section 10. 

MR. JOHNSON moved into the place in the spring of 1872, and purchased one hundred and five acres of CHARLES MERRILL, a portion of which he laid out into building lots, as above referred to.

            Clyde now contains, in addition to the institutions above enumerated, the following business enterprises: a post-office, Western Union Telegraph office, an office of the American Express Company, a general store kept by ANDREW S. TAGGETT, an agricultural establishment kept by LYMAN JOHNSON, a lumber-yard, and a resident physician, DR. GEORGE F. HUNTER.  The estimated population of the village is sixty.

            At a very early date in the settlement of Highland religious matters appear to have received attention.  The pioneer religious association of the township is the 


which was organized January 16, 1834, with the following original members, namely:

            JESSE TENNY and wife, DANIEL DUNHAM and wife, ELI LEE and wife, ISAIAH J. HUDSON and wife, NOAH P. MORSE and wife, J. C. MORSE, and MRS. HARRIET SMITH.  Of these, but two - MESSRS. NOAH P. and J. C. MORSE - are now connected with the society, and but two others - the widows of ISAIAH J. HUDSON and DANIEL DUNHAM - are in the land of the living.

            At first meetings were held in the old school-house on section 30, which was used as a place of worship for many years.  The first pastor of the church was an ELDER MORRELL, from Massachusetts.  The first deacons of the church were JESSE TENNY and DANIEL DUNHAM, and J. C. MORSE the first clerk.  The present place of worship is a church edifice about midway north and south on the east line of section 30.  A Sunday-school was organized at an early day, with NELSON TENNY as its first superintendent.   Present incumbent, C. L. MILLS.   Members, eighty. 


            This religious body was organized July 10, 1855, by REV. SAMUEL WIRE, a venerable and much-respected minister of that denomination, who has figured quite conspicuously in matters pertaining to the church in Highland and neighboring townships.  At the time of the organization the number of members was seven, namely: MR. and MRS. A. LOCKWOOD, MR. and MRS. E. LOCKWOOD, MR. and MRS. WILLIAM BANKER, and LYDIA WHEELER.  A few years subsequent considerable accessions were made, until the membership has increased to fifty-one.   There have been ten pastors over the church, as follows: REV. SAMUEL WIRE, _____ STARR, D. C. PARSHALL, S. A. WILLIAMS, S. A. CURRIER, B. F. HERRICK, J. B. DREW, WILLIAM MURDIN, LEWIS CLARK, and E. M. COREY, the present incumbent.

            In 1869 the congreation erected their present substantial church ediface, at a cost of two thousand dollars.  It is a frame structure, and has a seating capacity for one hundred and fifty persons.  The parsonage and barn, which have been since added, are valued at seven hundred dollars, including the lot.

            The members of the society who have passed to the church triumphant are five in number, and in name as follows: MRS. SABRINA LOCKWOOD, MR. ALFRED LOCKWOOD, MRS. MARIA BAKER, MR. CHARLES H. LOCKWOOD, and MR. AMOS C. KENT.

            The Sunday-school was organized in 1870.  The first superintendent was CHARLES LOCKWOOD.  The present membership is sixty; volumes in library, about one hundred.  The church and Sunday-school are both prospering. 


was organized in 1835, with ELDER GOODELL as preacher and D. M. LOCKWOOD as class-leader.  The original members were H. SCOLLARD and wife, A. C. TAGGETT and wife, D. M. LOCKWOOD and wife, and L. FLINT and wife.  It at first formed a part of Milford circuit, but in 1848 was transferred to that of Highland.

            In 1866 it was formed into what is now Highland circuit.  O. SANBORN was the presiding elder and H. WOOD minister in charge, and the following officers were elected:

            Stewards, H. MORGAN, G. W. GLINS [N.B. - should read GLINES]; Recording Steward, J. HIGHFIELD; G. STRATTON, E. CHASE, and A. C. TAGGETT, district stewards.  The latter was first elected to the stewardship in 1850, and has retained the position ever since.  The trustees elected in 1866 were E. A. LAW, G. W. GLINS, M. B. LYON, G. HALLS, J. MILLS, D. McCROSSAN, and A. C. TAGGETT, the last-named being chosen chairman of the board.

            The church ediface was erected in 1869, and dedicated December 16 of the same year.  Its dimensions are thirty-two by forty-six feet, and its costs was two thousand five hundred dollars.   The society is now erecting at Clyde a parsonage, sixteen by twenty-two feet, with an upright wing of the same size, which will cost about twelve hundred dollars.

            The pastors of the church have been as follows:



was organized October 11, 1842, with ELDER T. BAKER as pastor.  The original members were ELDER BAKER and wife, DEACON T. DOTY, S. DOTY, E. CORWIN, J. CORWIN, C. WARE, A. WARE, R. ARTHUR, M. ARTHUR, J. D. STANDISH.  The society first met at the old red school-house in Highland township, in what was known as the LYMAN district.  The preachers from May 24, 1845, to November 15, 1876, are as follows:  AMASA HEATH, 1845; H. STOWITS, 1852; ELDER ATWOOD, 1860; EDLER BROOKS, 1863; ELDER J. E. MORSE, 1863; J. EISENBURY, 1867; T. H. CARY, 1868; WM. SAUNDERS, 1869 (ordained April 3, 1870); REV. J. D. PERRY, 1870 

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(called to ordination January 21, 1871); ELDER W. KING, November 15, 1876, present incumbent.

            The first church ediface was erected in the summer of 1856, and is located on the town-line between Highland and White Lake townships, one-half mile west of White Lake village.  Its dimensions are thirty by seventy feet, with twenty-foot posts.  It will comfortably seat three hundred persons, and is valued at nine hundred and fifty dollars.

            The present church officers are L. S. JOHNSON, church clerk; L. DOTY, WILLIAM LOCKWOOD, L. J. JOHNSON, deacons.  The church is in a generally flourishing condition. 


            One of the first things that received the attention of the pioneers was the best method for educating their youth, and immediately after the regular organization of the township schools were regularly established in accordance with the admirable common-school system which has for the past half-century formed the principal corner-stone of our freedom and independence.  Oftentimes schools were held in the log cabins of the early settlers prior to the organization of the district schools.  Here we adduce an instance of this kind:

            In the fall and winter of 1835 and 1836, a school was taught in the home of JONATHAN F. STRATTON, ESQ., on the south half of the southwest quarter of section 27, by MISS ELIZA A. STRATTON.  Among the first pupils now known to be living are JOSEPH STRATTON, MRS. REBECCA EVERTS (then REBECCA BEACH), and GEORGE BEACH.

            The subjoined is the order in which the six district schools were originally organized.

            District No. 1 - The school-board organized by appointing WM. B. WRIGHT moderator, and then proceeded to establish a school district, denominated district No. 1, which was bounded as follows: "Commencing at the southwest corner of township 3 north, range 7 east, and running east on the section-line on the north side of sections 31 and 32 to the southwest corner of section 33; thence north to the east line of sections 32, 29 and 20, to the southeast corner of section 17; thence west on the north line of sections 20 and 19 to the northwest corner of section 19; from thence south on the west line of sections 19, 30 and 31, to the place of beginning.


                                                                                "DANIEL M. LOCKWOOD,

                                                                                "WM. B. WRIGHT,

                                                                                                                School Inspectors.


                "May 16, 1837."


                District No. 2 - Commencing on the west township-line at the quarter-post on the west side of section 19, and running north tree and one-half miles to the northwest corner of the township; thence east two miles on the north township-line to the northeast corner of section 5; thence south three and a half miles on the east section-line of sections 5, 8, 17, and 20, to the quarter-post on the east side of section 20; thence west two miles to the centre line of sections 20 and 19, to the place of beinning.  Established May 24, 1837.


                District No. 3 - Containing sections 1, 2, 3, and 4, and 9, 10, 11, and 12, in the township of Highland.  Established October 7, 1837.


                District No. 4 - Containing sections 16, 21, and 28, except HIRAM A. HILL's land on the last-named section, and so much of sections 34, 27, 22, and 15 as lies on the west side of Pettibone creek.  Established December 9, 1837.


                District No. 5 - Containing the west half of sections 24 and 25, and all of sections 23, 26, and 35, and so much of sections 22, 27, and 34 as lies on the east side of Pettibone creek and lakes.  Established December 11, 1837.


                District No. 6 - Containing sections 1, 2, 11, and 12, in the township of Highland.  Established March 25, 1838.


These districts have been altered as circumstances required, and fractional districts have been formed, all of which have neat and substantial school-houses, and thorough and competent teachers. 


            This grange was organized March 17, 1874, by C. M. WOOD, of Pinkney, Livingston county, Michigan, with the following-named persons as charter members:

            B. F. DAVISON and wife, LYMAN CATE and wife, J. W. WHITNEY and wife, H. S. OLDRIDGE and wife, WALTER NICHOLS and wife, R. H. TENNY, JULIA E. TENNY, MELVIN GROW and wife, SAMUEL McCARTNEY, HARRISON GAUNT and wife, J. S. BAMBER and wife, THOMAS PIERSON, R. S. POTTS and wife, WILLIAM ST. JOHN and wife, ANNA DAVISON, HATTIE LEE, SADIE ROSS, MARY and SARAH LYON, A. GILSON and wife, OLIVER TENNY, GILES ROSS, JAMES WATKINS, in all thirty-four, from whom the following were elected officers:

            B. F. DAVISON, Master; WALTER NICHOLS, Overseer; LYMAN CATE, Lecturer; MELVIN GROW, Steward; R. S. POTTS, Assistant Steward; J. W. WHITNEY, Chaplain; H. S. HOLDRIDGE, Treasurer; R. H. TENNY, Secretary; HARRISON GAUNT, Gate-keeper; MRS. LYMAN CATE, Ceres; MRS. B. F. DAVISON, Pomona; MRS. H. S. HOLDRIDGE, Flora; MISS HATTIE LEE, Stewardess.

            The officers elected at the last annual meeting were: B. F. DAVISON, Master; A. W. BAKER, Overseer; R. S. POTTS, Lecturer; J. W. WHITNEY, Steward; HARRISON GAUNT, Assistant Steward; MRS. B. F. DAVISON, Chaplain; H. S. HOLDRIDGE, Treasurer; R. H. TENNY, Secretary; IRA BRADLEY, Gate-keeper;; MRS. J. W. WHITNEY, Ceres; MISS SARAH WHITNEY, Pomona; HATTIE LEE, Flora; MRS. H. S. HOLDRIDGE, Stewardess.  Present membership thirty-seven.

            The grange is now building a suitable hall in which to hold its meetings.


            We are indebted to the following gentlemen for valuable information touching on the history of Highland township, namely: ENOS LEEK, NOAH P. and JOHN C. MORSE, JOSEPH STRATTON, A. C. TAGGETT, D. S. BARRETT, B. F. DAVISON, ELIAS COWLES, PARDY A. TUTTLE, R. H. TENNY, FREDERICK HARRIS, township clerk, and others.


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one of the pioneers of old Oakland, was born in the Susquehanna valley, in August, 1784.  He was a son of CAPTAIN PAUL DAVISON, a commissioned officer of the Revolution, who settled in Lima, Livingston county, New York, in the summer of 1788, and was, therefore, one of the very earliest settlers west of Geneva, New York.  In June, 1831, he (NORMAN DAVISON) emigrated to that part of Oakland County now included in Genesee, and with his sons, PAUL G., OLIVER P., DeWITT C., and BENJAMIN F. DAVISON, settled at Davisonville, where they erected a saw-mill - one of the first in that section of country - in 1833, and a grist-mill in 1836.  He was one of the delegates that met in convention at Detroit on the second Monday of May, 1835, and framed the first constitution of Michigan.   Was also a delegate to the convention at Ann Arbor, called for the purpose of acting upon the terms proposed to the people of Michigan to surrender a portion of the State to Ohio and Indiana in exchange for the upper peninsula, as set forth in the act of Congress relating to the matter.  He was elected one of the judges of Lapeer county, and held various other offices, in the discharge of the duties of which he gave general satisfaction and secured a deserved personal credit.  After a life of rare usefulness he died in March, 1841, leaving behind him a reputation for sterling integrity, sound judgment, and remarkable general ability, which won for him the respect and confidence of the people.  In his public career he was successful from the fact he was never biased by political cliques, but did his duty fearlessly and to the best of his ability.   He was a man whose deeds will follow him, and will ever redound to his honor. 


son of the gentleman whose history we have thus briefly recorded, was born in Livingston county, New York, April 12, 1821.  He went to the common schools of his native town, and acquired as much knowledge as the limited educational facilities afforded.   He removed to Michigan with his parents in 1831, and to the farm he now occupies in Highland township in 1842. 

            On the 16th of May, 1849, he married MISS HULDAH M. GUE, and had by her four children, namely: 

            JANE ANN, born November 30, 1853.
            FLORA ELLA, born February 1, 1856; died October 16, 1871.
            NORMAN, born August 2, 1858.
            BENJAMIN F., Jr. , born January 16, 1862; died November 20, 1873.

            On the 30th of August, 1866, he sustained the loss of his estimable wife, which was to him a sore bereavement.

            He married again January 1, 1867, to MISS SARAH S. WELLS.  This union has been blessed with two children, both living:

            BERTA, born October 5, 1869.
            MARGARET S., born August 23, 1871.

             MR. DAVISON was twice elected supervisor of his township, and also several times its treasurer.  These and various other offices he has filled to the satisfaction of his constituents and with honor to himself.  In politics he is Democratic, of the old Jeffersonian, Simon-pure school of Democracy.  In religion he is liberal, never being affiliated with any particular religious denomination.  His creed is embodied in the old precept, "Do to others as you would they should do to you."  By industry and prudential care he has accumulated a fair competency.  He now owns two hundred and eight-five acres of land, of which about two hundred are under cultivation and the balance in timber.  His buildings are substantial and comfortable, and constitute a fair sample of the beautiful rural homes of which Oakland County contains so many. 

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            We can adduce no better encomium on MR. DAVISON than by saying that he possesses many of the estimable qualities which rendered his father so worthily popular.   In short, he is the worthy son of a worthy sire, and as such holds a prominent position among the representative men of his township. 



was born at Prattsburg, Steuben county, New York, November 11, 1812.  He is a son of BISHOP M. and REBECCA TUTTLE, who were among the first settlers of Steuben county, New York.  He continued his residence in Prattsburg until he was twenty-two years of age, when he emigrated to Ohio, in the winter of 1834.  He taught school one term.  In the spring of 1835 he removed to Michigan, settling temporarily at Pontiac, where he remained about one year and a half; settling on his farm in Highland in 1836.

              On the 21st of October, 1835, he married MARY, daughter of JOSEPH VOORHEIS, by whom he had three children, namely: LUCRETIA, born November 5, 1836, married WILLARD B. ARMS May, 1853, died March 25, 1865; CLEANTHA M., born March 7, 1841; MARY, born May 14, 1846, died March 25, 1865.  He had the misfortune to lose his estimable wife, who died June 20, 1846.  Having an infant child to take care of, he deemed it expedient to mary again, which he did, this time choosing CLARISSA, daughter of ISAAC ANDERSON, one of the pioneers of Springfield township.  This union was also blessed with three children, namely: LOVEDY V., born October 31, 1853, married NEWTON TAGGETT, March 18, 1874, and still resides in the township with her husband; ADELIA A., born March 7, 1856; FRANKLIN ANDERSON, born April 30, 1859.  Mr. TUTTLE was early in life impressed with the importance of embracing religion, and in 1836 joined the Prebyterian church of White Lake.  Soon afterward he was elected an elder in that body, which office he has since filled.  In politics he has always been a strong Republican, and an uncompromising advocate of the principles of that party.  For twenty years he held the office of justice of the peace, and was noted for the impartiality and justice of his decisions.  He was also for many years one of the school directors of his township, which position he filled with fidelity.  He has always been temperate and industrious, and now enjoys the fruits of his well-spent life.  He owns one hundred and forty acres of well-improved and highly-cultivated land, to which he devotes his time, assisted by his amiable wife and dutiful son and daughter.



            CLARISSA, daughter of ISAAC and CATHERINE ANDERSON, and present wife of PARDY A. TUTTLE, Esq., was born at Bennington, Wyoming county, New York, October 11, 1818.  She removed with her parents to Michigan in 1834 or 1835, and settled in Springfield township, in this county.  At the time they came in the roads were almost impassable, and MRS. PADDOCK   [Sic - Should be "MRS. TUTTLE"] gives the narrative of their journey as follows:

              "We came across the lake to Detroit, my father bringing two teams with him, - one of oxen and the other a span of horses.  One of the latter got injured on the boat, so he was obliged to purchase another at Detroit.  Our family consisted of father, mother, two brothers, two sisters and myself.  Father drove the horse-team, one brother the oxen, and the other brother the lame horse.  In this way we left Detroit; but before we had proceeded out of the town we got stuck in the mire, so that we had to get out and walk, and the men-folks had to double the teams in order to get out of the mud.  We walked until we reached the first hotel, and there stayed until the men came up with the teams.  We had got about three miles, and it took us nearly all day to travel that short distance.  We stopped overnight where we were, and started on our journey bright and early the next morning, with a little better success.  About eight o'clock that evening we arrived in Pontiac.  Father was both tired and sick, so we stopped there until Wednesday morning, and arrived at our destination in Springfield township about noon on Thursday.  We were three days and a half coming from Detroit to Springfield.   Rather slow traveling compared with what it is now!

            "The first summer I was in Michigan I taught school, in what was then called the Pratt district, in Springfield township; that term, I believe, being the third one taught.  The following summer I taught the first school at what now constitutes the village of Clarkston.  The school-house was new, but not completed, being merely inclosed [Sic], with some seats on one side, and on the other a pile of lumber with which to finish the house."

              As stated in the sketch of MR. TUTTLE's life above, MISS ANDERSON was married to him September 2, 1847.  She is a lady noted for her domestic tastes and her excellent qualifications as a housewife.  She is a faithful and loving wife, and a kind and affectionate mother.




one of the early settlers of the township of Highland, was born at Camillus, Onondaga county, New York, June 1, 1815.  From thence he removed to Parma, Monroe county, at quite an early age, where he grew to man's estate.  Here becoming acquainted with a MISS DOLLY CASTLE, a young lady about two years his junior, and possessing qualities of mind and heart that charmed him, their acquaintance culminated in marriage, which interesting event took place March 26, 1835.  A wondrous tide of emigration was then flowing from the grand old Empire State westward.  Soon after their marriage, MR. ROWE and his youthful bride came to Michigan, with the intention of building themselves a home in the then almost unbroken forests of the Peninsular State.   Arriving here in May of the same spring of the year 1835, they located in the township of Highland, on sections 29 and 32.  They endured all the hardships and privations incident to pioneers.  Pontiac, twenty-two miles distant, was the site of their nearest grist-mill, and also their nearest post office.  These difficulties and hardships were somewhat ameliorated by the spirit in which they were met and overcome.  Any neighbor within ten miles was but too ready to accommodate in any way he could, thus forming ties that death only could sever.  By hard labor and strict economy they cleared up a large, beautiful farm, raised a numerous family, and built a fine residence; attaining competence and the highest respectability, honored and trusted by their neighbors and friends.  MR. ROWE was a thorough Republican, and as such held the office of supervisor of his township twenty-one terms.  He was thoroughly in earnest in his efforts to sustain his country during the great war of the Rebellion; enlisting a company in one of our infantry regiments, - the Thirtieth, - and, as supervisor of his township, rendered efficient service as relief agent to the widows and orphans.  About the close of the war he was elected a member of the State legislature, in the year 1864, serving during the exciting session of 1865.  He held that position at the time of his death, which occurred the 19th of November, 1866, after a brief sickness of a few days from congestion of the brain.  The following are the names of their children, now grown to days of manhood and womanhood, with the dates of their birth:

             ELIZA A. ROWE, born March 22, 1836.

            JAMES D. ROWE, born February 18, 1838.

            JOSIAH L. ROWE, born November 3, 1840.

            BENJAMIN W. ROWE, born December 21, 1842.

            S. LOWELL ROWE, born February 8, 1845.

            MARION C. ROWE, born June 1, 1847.

            THEODOSIA M. ROWE, born August 4, 1849.

            JUDSON L. ROWE, born April 20, 1851.


            Both of the elder sons, JAMES D. ROWE and JOSIAH L. ROWE, enlisted at the 

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commencement of the war in the Second Michigan Infantry for three months.  After this, on the further call for more men, JAMES enlisted in Company C., First Michigan Cavalry, where he held the position of orderly sergeant.   He was wounded at Winchester, receiving a gunshot wound in the hand, causing him to be an inmate of a hospital for three months.  JOSIAH re-enlisted in the Second Michigan Infantry, remaining with them during the war, participating in many of the numerous engagements of that celebrated regiment; was taken prisoner at Knoxville, Tennessee; was in captivity fourteen months; escaped from the cars, remaining at large four weeks; was then recaptured and taken to Columbia, South Carolina, from thence to Florence, Alabama, where he escaped a second time, and, after wandering five weeks in an enemy's territory, he again met his old companions, the boys in blue, in Tennessee.  WILLIE SMITH, the husband of the oldest daughter, ELIZA A., was also a soldier, - a member of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, and wears honorable scars attained in the war of the Rebellion. 




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