Original Highland Township Landowner
Philena Lathrop of Otsego County, New York, invested heavily in Michigan land. In addition to her purchases in Highland Township, Oakland County, she also bought property in Holly, Brandon and Addison Townships, Oakland County, as well as parcels in both Genesee and Lapeer Counties. All of her Oakland County lands were entered the same day, i.e., March 20, 1837, and the patents for all of her Michigan property were issued August 21, 1837.
The available evidence suggests she was Philena (Blackman) Lathrop, born circa 1790, the daughter of James Blackman. She married William Lathrop, Esq. who was born April 4, 1785, in Canandaigua, New York, and settled in the town of Gilbertsville, Butternuts Township, Otsego County, New York. William Lathrop appears to have been a man of some prominence. He served as a justice of the peace and was a New York state assemblyman in 1804-05. Other references suggest he was a medical doctor by trade. Philena (Blackman) Lathrop died on January 26, 1845, followed shortly after by her husband, William Lathrop, on October 30th that same year.