The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



History Of Clyde
Wilson Waldo Baker

The land where the Village of Clyde stands was originally purchased from the government by Andrew Sorley in October 1836.  It was purchased by Nelson F. Stewart in June 1847 who sold it to Solomen [sic] Close in August 1847.  Later it was acquired by his son, Marvin J. Close, through the Probate Court and from him to the heirs of Luther Freeman and from these heirs to Lyman J. Johnson.

About 1868 the talk of a railroad was being heard and in 1871 a road was finished from Monroe to Holly.  This was called "The Holly Wayne & Monroe R.R."  Soon after, the road was extended to Saginaw and the name changed to Flint & Pere Marquette.

The name of our station was "Wheeler" at this time but later, when a Post Office was started, it was changed to Clyde as there was another Post Office by that name.

The Wheeler farm has always been considered a part of Clyde.  This land was taken up from the Government by Joseph H. Wendell Dec. 12, 1836, who built the first house here, who sold to Phineas Davis Aug. 1, 1838, who sold to Thomas H. Perkins Nov. 10, 1838, who owned the property until April 10, 1856, when it was purchased by Isac [sic] M. Wheeler, the father of the present owner, and has been in the family ever since, some 70 years.

The first Post Office was located in the house now occupied by R. L. Hutchings, a Mrs. Johnson was Post Mistress.  Up to this time the people got their mail from White Lake or Spring Mills.

The Village of Clyde was platted March 6, 1875, by Lyman Johnson and the town began to grow.   David S. Barrett and his son, Fremont, built the first elevator for the handling of grain, which was run by a horse at the end of a sweep, and the grain was cleaned with an ordinary fanning mill.  This building was sold to M. H. Morehouse who in turn sold it to Willoughby and Wallace.  The writer [i.e., Wilton W. Baker] bought it of them in 1893 and in 1894 tore the old building down and built a new one, putting on an addition in '95.  Gross & Wager were the next owners and they sold to McLaughlin Bros, Elmer Sutton being the last owner.  That was the last of Clyde's elevator.

The first store in Clyde was located about where the Wickens' store now stands and was run by a man named Tuttle.  It was a small affair.  In 1873 the Roscoe Brothers built a store on the corner where Weaver Brothers now are and the Post Office was transferred to them.  This store was later purchased by F. J. Barrett who in turn sold it to Johnson Brothers who built on to it having a hotel in the part built on.  The building burned down but later was replaced by the one standing their now.

Along about the time the Village was platted, Andrew Tagett came here and built what is known as the Wickens store, F. A. Wickens buying out Tagett.

Some of the younger generation probably don't know that we had a manufacturing plant here at one time along in the eighties, but we did.  It was known as the Novelty Works and was run by F. J. Barrett and made ironing boards and step ladders.  It burned down.

The first school house was of brick and stood just East of O. W. McGrain's residence but what year it was built in I do not know.  The present school house was finished and occupied in January or February 1878.

The present Methodist Church or as it is called today, "The Community Church," was built in 1885.  Prior to this, services were held in the brick school house East of Clyde and in a building standing next to Mr. Parris' house, West of Clyde, called, "The Clyde Chapel."  This building was later moved close to the railroad track and used for a wheat house.

When the writer moved to Clyde in November 1892, the town also boasted of a Cooper Shop, run by Jim Smith; a Blacksmith Shop, run by Sid Conklin; a cider and feed mill run by Lawrence Bros.; a Livery Stable where one could rent a horse and buggy for trip to the country or leave one's own horse for keeping when taking the railroad train out of town; a Butcher Shop, run by Thee Arthur and the Stock Yards from which hundreds of cattle, sheep and hogs were loaded into stock cars for shipment to market.

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Wilson Waldo Baker was born January 12, 1860, and died at Clyde, Highland Township, on July 17, 1928.  It is said this History of Clyde was written in 1923 or 1924 and read by him at a Parent-Teacher Association meeting held at the old Clyde school.   Many of the stores, houses and other buildings mentioned in this account are shown in the Historic Photo Tour of Clyde.  These include the small store, restaurant and post office run by Mr. Baker himself until his death; and thereafter operated for many years by his widow.


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