The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan

Original Highland Township Landowner

Capt. John W. Hunter

W 1/2 of SE 1/4 of Section 23         E 1/2 of SW 1/4 of Section 23        SW 1/4 of SW 1/4 of Section 23

Capt. John W. Hunter and his brother, Daniel Hunter, came by sleigh from Auburn, New York, through Canada, to Detroit, Michigan, where they arrived in March 1818.  An ironworker, he is said to have cast the first iron plow ever made in Detroit.  In 1820 he became one of the first to settle in Oakland County at what was then called "Hunter's;" now Birmingham.   Here, in 1829, he established a small foundry.  In 1830 he was elected Supervisor of Bloomfield Township and served as commander of the first company of Oakland County militia.  Hunter likewise played a part in laying the tracks for the first railroad from Detroit to Pontiac, as well as constructing the first Oakland County courthouse.  His home in Birmingham now houses the Birmingham Historical Museum.


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