Original Highland Township Landowner
Dr. Alonzo Crittenden
Alonzo Crittenden, A.M., Ph.D., was born April 7, 1801, in Richmond, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He graduated from Union College at Schenectady, New York, in 1824 and became an instructor at the Albany Female Academy in Albany, New York. He was soon made the Academy's "Principal" or president; a position he held for almost twenty years. In 1845 he was invited to become Principal of the Brooklyn Female Academy, serving in that capacity until the school was destroyed by fire on January 1, 1853. With a generous gift by Harriet Putnam Packer, the widow of William S. Packer, the school was rebuilt and reopened as the Packer Collegiate Institute, with Dr. Crittenden again at its head. He continued in that capacity until his death on January 23, 1884. Today the Packer Collegiate Institute is a noted co-educational college preparatory school in Brooklyn. Its web site indicates that Dr. Crittenden, being cross-eyed, always had his portrait painted or photograph taken in profile.
Dr. Cittenden's purchase of land in Highland took place during his tenure as Principal of the Albany Female Academy and was clearly made as an investment. In addition to the parcel in Section 12 of Highland Township, his patent also granted several parcels in White Lake Township and even more in St. Clair County, for a total of 1,629.98 acres of land! First Land Owners of Oakland County spells his name as "Crittendon," but his patent clearly reads "Crittenden."