Original Highland Township Landowner
Samuel P. Noyes, Jr.
The second parcel of government land ever sold in Highland Township was purchased October 19, 1832, but confusion has unfortunately reigned with regard to the names of its three (3) buyers. In 1872 the Hon. Thomas J. Drake read an address on the "History of Oakland County" to the Wayne County Pioneer Society. This was subsequently published in the Michigan Pioneer And Historical Collections, Robert Smith & Co., Lansing (1894), Vol. XXII. At page 414 of that volume Drake claims that "In 1832, James [sic] Aldrich, Richard Willett [sic], Samuel Myers [sic], Jr., Rufus Tenny and Alvah Tenny purchased and became settlers." Obviously relying on Drake's address, Samuel W. Durant, in his 1877 History of Oakland County, Michigan, also declares "James Aldrich [sic], Richard Willett [sic] and Samuel Myers [sic], Jr., purchased land in the township the same year [i.e., 1832]." For its part, First Land Owners of Oakland County identifies the buyers as "Samuel [sic] Aldrich, Richard Willit(s), NY, and Samuel P. Noyes, Jr., Michigan." Inspection of the actual patent, however, shows it was issued to "Saviel Aldrich, Richard Willets, and Samuel P. Noyes, Junr. of New York, and Michigan Territory." The patent further makes clear the three men purchased the property "as tenants in common and not as joint tenants."
It seems reasonably certain this Samuel P. Noyes, Jr. who purchased land in Highland is the one born May 14, 1803, in Vermont, the son of Samuel P. and Cynthia (Gates) Noyes. Soon after his birth his parents moved to Preston, Chenango County, New York, where Samuel, Jr. grew to manhood. In 1827 the family moved a second time, settling in Perinton (Perrington), Monroe County, New York, near Rochester.
Samuel P. Noyes, Jr. married Mary Brazee who was born circa 1806 in Penfield, Monroe County, New York. Around the time of their marriage he opened and operated a factory in Rochester where he manufactured shoe pegs and lasts. Sometime after 1839, however, he moved his family to Michigan; eventually settling in Coldwater, Branch County, where he died on February 15, 1878.
The question naturally arises how Samuel P. Noyes, Jr. - whom some sources say was also a Baptist preacher - knew and elected to purchase land in Highland in partnership with Saviel Aldrich and/or Richard Willets, both of whom were Quakers. One possibility is that they became acquainted while all still residing in New York. Note, in this regard, that Perington, Monroe County, lies but a few miles due west of Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) County. Another possibility is that Noyes was introduced to Aldrich and/or Willets by his uncle, the Rev. Nathan Noyes, who settled in Novi, Oakland County, circa 1833, and appears on the 1840 Census for Novi on the same page as Saviel Aldrich.
Further research may clarify the origins of and relationships between these three men. Meanwhile, there is no evidence that Aldrich, Willets or Noyes ever resided on their purchase in Highland Township.