The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan

Original Highland Township Landowner

Rufus Tenny (Tenney)

E pt of SW F. 1/4 of Section 30         W pt of SW F. 1/4 of Section 30
NW F. 1/4 of Section 31         W pt of SW F. 1/4 of Section 31

Rufus Tenny (also sometimes spelled "Tenney") was born October 13, 1793, at Norwich, New London County, Connecticut, the son of Asa a/k/a Amos and Temperence (Smith) Tenney.  He married August 16, 1814, at Sherburne, Franklin County, Massachusetts, Eunice Mudge, born October 4, 1793, at Duanesburg, Schenectady County, New York, the daughter of the Rev. John and Sarah (Chauncey) Mudge. 

The couple initially moved to the Genesee region of western New York where Rufus appears on the 1820 Census for Caledonia, Genesee County, and on the 1830 Census for Alexander, Genesee County.    Sometime after 1830, however, he must have moved to Monroe County, New York, where his parents and brothers had settled.  Not only do his patents give his residence as Monroe County, but the accounts of his settlement in Highland all agree he hailed from that locale. 

In 1832 Rufus and his brother, Alvah Tenny, came to Michigan and purchased land in Sections 30 and 31 of Highland Township, Oakland County, before returning home.  Early the following year Rufus and his brother Jesse (who had bought out Alvah's interests) brought their families to Highland and proceeded to improve their holdings.  Here they were soon joined by their kinsmen (e.g., the families of John C. Morse and Noah P. Morse, who in turn were related by marriage to Abner Hyde) in what quickly became known as the "Tenny Settlement."

At the first township meeting held on April 6, 1835, Rufus Tenny was chosen to act as moderator and was subsequently elected Highland's first supervisor.  He was reelected to a second term the following year and served a third term some years later.  A Tenny family history also claims that Rufus - who was a carpenter by trade - played a role in building the first mills at Flint, Genesee County, Michigan.

Rufus Tenny died on July 15, 1858, at age 64 years, 9 months.  His wife, Eunice (Mudge) Tenny, died at Milford Township, Oakland County, on May 27, 1876, at age 81 years, 7 months, 21 days. 


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