HISTORY OF MANISTEE CITY
HISTORY OF MANISTEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN
With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of Some of Its Men and Pioneers.
Published 1882 by H.R. Page & Co., Chicago
"As before stated, the county was divided into three townships, Stronach, Brown and Manistee.
"1852-'55. In 1852 and, indeed, until about 1855, there were no mails to Manistee.
"All letters or mail matter were directed to Grand Haven and brought from there by occasional vessels, or else to Milwaukee and forwarded in the same way.
"1855. The first county election in Manistee County was held on the first Monday of April 1855, and resulted in the election of the following ticket:
"Sheriff, Sam. Potter; clerk and register, H.S. Udell; (D.L. Filer ran against Udell, and received 62 votes to Udell's 71); judge of probate, H.L. Brown; treasurer, Jo. Smith; prosecuting attorney, H.L. Brown.
"At this election the whole number of votes cast in the county was 136.
"The next county election occurred at the presidential election of 1856, where the following officers were elected:
"Sheriff, E.W. Secor, 177 votes; clerk and register, D.L. Filer; probate judge, J.F. Chase, 170 votes; treasurer, Jo. Smith; prosecuting attorney, H.L. Brown. At this election W.T. Thorp ran against D.L. Filer for clerk and register, receiving 33 votes.
"For representative in the Legislature, Perry Hannah received the whole vote, 194. For state senator, Thomas W. Ferry, (now acting vice president of the United States) received 188 votes to one for L.V. Harris. For Congress, D.C. Leach received 184 votes to 12 votes for Flavius J. Littlejohn. For president, Fremont, 185; Buchanan, 13.
"It is interesting to look over these old returns and watch the history of these names. Some have gone up, some have gone down. Some have gone to that bourne whence no traveler returns.
"1853. Was a lively time at Manistee. It was noted for the first Manistee war, known as the timber war. It happened in this way:
"In those days there was a good deal of land in the United States; much of it belonged to the government, and of necessity a good deal of it had to be left out of doors nights.
"Now there came to be a general opinion abroad that this was a 'free country.' This opinion was supposed to be derived from the glorious Declaration of Independence, which we this day celebrate.
"People reasoned like this:
"This timber belongs to the government. This is a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
"We are the people. Ergo, this timber belongs to us.
"Our venerable Uncle Samuel arose in his wrath; he sent out his officials. One Williams was United States timber agent, and Durkee was United States marshal. All Michigan was one district, with seat at Detroit. The marshal came on with his cohorts; he shut down the mills; he seized logs; he gobbled shingle bolts; he went on the booms and put U.S. on all the logs; he forbade the sawing of logs until a settlement was effected; the mill men were contumaceous, and the war was vigorous. At this time the Hon. Stillman Stubbs was keeping a sort of tavern on the north side, near Shannon's place. The United States marshal made his headquarters there. He was greatly lionized. The hands from the mills on the other side of the river resolved to give him a special display of fireworks. So they prepared large balls of wicking saturated in spirits of turpentine, and after his excellency had retired for the night, the night being warm and the windows being open, they threw their lighted fireballs into the marshal's windows, and so gave him a grand illumination. To add to the vexation, the marshal's boat was sunk in the lake. Some arrests were made and some refused to stay made. There is a tradition which has come down from that remote period, of one who was sleeping, like the apostle of old, bound between two soldiers, and how he 'slid out' in light marching order! but I am not aware that he ever claimed supernatural deliverance.
"1854. In 1854 the timber war came to a head. The mill men carried 'the war into Africa', and the marshal, instead of 'seeking new fields to conquer', was finding all the employment he needed in defending himself. The war ended like most wars, in a compromise, and I believe that it has never since been renewed. The idea that this is a free country has suffered an eclipse.
"In April, 1855, the first board of supervisors of Manistee County met at the house of William Magill. Andrew C. Sherwood was chairman and Henry S, Udell was clerk.
"From 1856 to the beginning of the rebellion I have heard of no incidents of especial interest. A steady growth in business and population; and at the outbreak of the rebellion the population of the county had reached nearly a thousand. In 1860 the settlement was mostly at the mouth. There was a rude trail ran along up river near the present line of River Street, to the Bachelor mill, near the Little Lake, and a wagon road on the north side. There was a small clearing around the Bachelor mill, a clearing on the north side around the Smith mill, about an acre and a half cleared and fenced at the corner of Maple and First Streets, and considerable of the Third Ward had been logged off, but not cleared. The old jail - I believe a log building - stood near and a little above Sorenson's boarding house. One of the first acts of the new board of supervisors in 1855 was to establish a ferry across the river near the old Bachelor mill. Joseph Smith owned and run it. At this time there was, in addition to the mills I have already enumerated, the McVickar & Co. mill, which stood where Joseph Bauer's ice house now stands, just above Bedford's dock, which is a part of the old mill dock. This mill had a tramway, which ran back near the site of the old Milwaukee House, to Jack's boiler shop, where the slabs were burned. This mill was owned by J. L. McVickar and Michael Engelmann. The late Nathan Engelmann was their clerk and book-keeper.
"It may be of interest here to call upon a scrap of personal biography, which has been furnished me by one of the oldest living settlers at Manistee. Some time prior to 1849, but the date I am unable to give, there came to Manistee on a vessel, a large framed, fresh faced, timid German lad, with a pack on his back to peddle. He was treated with roughness by some of the denizens, who threatened to go through his pack. In alarm, he took to the water and away from his persecutors. Disgusted with Manistee, he returned to Milwaukee, but was immediately sent back by his guardian, and he hired out to Jo. Smith. After working two days he was discharged, and came down to the 'mouth' and hired out to James Stronach for ten dollars per month. After working four days he was again discharged and returned again to Joseph Smith's. Here he hired out for 'chore boy', but soon took sick and was discharged a third time, and returned a second time to Milwaukee, but was again sent back to Manistee, and once more hired out to James Stronach as chore boy and man of all work, and continued to work for him until he died.
"I will not follow the history through the intervening years, but only say that he has made his mark, not only at Manistee, but all along this shore, and for years his steamers have been the chief connection between Manistee and the rest of the world. He still lives, rotund, broad-faced and hearty, and always likes to come back to Manistee, to the scene of his boyish trials and manhood's triumphs, and is always glad to meet the companions of early days.
"1859. There were jokers in those days, as well as before and since. The following is a specimen of how they did it. The first part of April, 1859, Erastus B. Potter was keeping a general grocery near the mouth, on the north side. Jo. Smith was running a saw mill at the outlet of the little lake. He also owned a schooner, the "Whirlwind', I believe. In the course of the morning, Potter sent word to Smith that his schooner was on the beach, the men in the rigging, in great distress. Immediately the mill shut down, all hands were called and started post-haste to the beach, over the sand hills. Considerably 'blowed', the men reached the shore, but no wrecked schooner could be found.
"In considerable dudgeon, Smith and crew returned to Potter's store for an explanation. Potter indicated by reference to the almanac that it was the first of April, and allowed that it was Smith's treat. Smith conceded the point, but strange to say - and this is the incredible point of the story - nothing could be found in Potter's store available for a treat, but a barrel of eggs. By this time a large crowd had assembled, and before the treat was completed the better part of a barrel of eggs had been consumed. Everybody was merry at Smith's expense, and were about ready to depart, when Potter signified to Smith the amount of the egg-bill, when Smith sympathetically referred Potter to the Almanac, with the remark that seeing that it was the first of April, he believed the eggs were already paid for, which, under the circumstances, Potter could scarcely deny.
"1860. Early in 1860 came a young attorney with a one-horse sleigh and a box of law books. 'Manistee' then was located below 'Canfield's Hill'. There was no hotel.He brought up at Canfield's boarding house. . D. L. Filer was then boss, and the young lawyer was informed, that in order to be taken in, he would need to see Filer, and that Filer was up to the rollway 'sealing logs'. Young lawyer had an idea that 'scaling logs' was 'peeling the bark off'.
"That young attorney was the Hon. Thomas J. Ramsdell. His old gray horse and sleigh he traded with D. L. Filer for the forty acres of land on which the residence of John M. Dennett stands, near the trotting park."
"The first document that appears upon the records of Manistee County was drawn by him; is a deed and acknowledgement of Hugh and Susan McGuineas, executed March 26, 1860."
"The first retainer paid to a lawyer in this county was paid by Hugh McGuineas, and for that he deserves a monument. He has always remained a patron of the bar. In November, 1860, Mr. Ramsdell was elected representative in the lower house of the Legislature, and this one term is all the representation that Manistee has ever had in the legislative or judicial branches of the government in the twenty-one years since the county was organized."
"Mr. Ramsdell became at once a leading man in public affairs, and there have been but few enterprises having in view the material, mental or moral improvement of the community in which he has not been active. In 1866 he was active in the organization of the Manistee Bridge Company. In 1867 became one of the corporators of the Boom Company. During the same years he advocated the erection of the union schoolhouse, and became the contractor himself. During the war he was one of the most active in raising funds to secure enlistments, and has been ready to take hold of anything that promised to enhance the importance of Manistee.
"Perhaps I may as well say here what is necessary about the legal fraternity of Manistee. Mr. Ramsdell was followed in the same year by W.W. Carpenter, (now of Howell, Mich., who remained but a short time and migrated). Next came in 1865 Capt. George W. Bullis, seeking an opening to practice, as well as to recuperate a physical system broken down by hard service in the army. Next in order in the Spring of 1867 came Daniel W. Dunnett, a young graduate of Ann Arbor, who remained about three years and migrated to Kansas. In May, 1867, came E.E. Benedict, and in July B.M. Cutcheon, the one joining in partnership with Mr. Ramsdell, the other with Mr. Bullis.
"In 1868 S.W. Fowler located at Manistee in the double capacity of editor and attorney. Alexander H. Dunlap followed the same year, followed by C.H. Marsh and N.W. Nelson, in 1869, and by Dovel in 1871, and Morris and McAlvay in 1872.
"I am aware that it does not become us lawyers to blow our own trumpet, but on my own responsibility I undertake to say, that I do not believe that there is a town in the state, that, taking its whole history, can show a more public-spirited, temperate, courteous, high-toned bar than that of Manistee.
MANISTEE IN THE WAR
"We come now to the war period. Manistee at this time was a spot in the wilderness, but, nevertheless, this 'shot heard round the world' was heard even here. Communication was slow and infrequent; the mails arrived once a week, brought overland from Grand Haven by John Blanchard. Thursday was universally known as mail day. Here, as everywhere else in the North, the fires of patriotism were kindled. Recruiting officers, not only from the lower part of the state, but from neighboring states, visited Manistee to recruit their companies from the mills and the woods. Many of the first recruits went to Chicago to enlist, and among them Mr. J.H. Shrigley, who enlisted in the Chicago First Light Battery. Many from Manistee entered the old Third Michigan Infantry, but the largest number that enlisted in any one organization, entered the Sixth Michigan Cavalry, Company I, 33.
"The adjutant general's report shows that the whole number that enlisted in Michigan organizations from Manistee County was eighty-eight; eleven from Stronach, ten from Brown, the rest from Manistee - composed of Manistee town and city, and Filer. But this is no fair criterion of the part Manistee took in the war; for, beyond doubt, nearly, if not quite, as many enlisted in other states as our own.
"I wish I had time and space to enroll here the whole list of brave men who answered their country's call; but I must forbear. Many of them sleep on battle fields; many more sleep at Andersonville and Belle Isle. In that role of honor in the capitol at Lansing are the names of some Manistee men, the peers of any in patriotism and gallantry.
"There are two among them of whom I would especially speak, partly because I knew them well in the army, and partly because they paid with their lives the full measure of devotion to their country. They are Lieut. and Adj't Jacob F. Seibert and Lieut. and Adj't James F. McGinley.
"The first, Adj't Seibert, was my tent mate at the time he fell - shot through the body at the battle of Poplar Spring's Church, September 30, 1864. He was German by birth, served in the Prussian army, in the body guard of the Crown Prince. He was every inch a soldier. He enlisted in July, 1862, in the Twentieth Michigan, as a private, in Company A. He had been, and was, I think, at the time, deputy county clerk and register of deeds. He and E. Golden Filer enlisted together.Seibert was a splendid clerk, and they were so anxious to secure his services at brigade headquarters that he lost chances of promotion he might have had. It was my pleasure, as commander of the regiment, to promote him to sergeant, sergeant major, and finally to first lieutenant and adjutant of the regiment. In the first action after he received my commission, he was killed by my side, in an almost hand to hand encounter in front of Petersburg. We buried him on a grassy knoll, where he fell, with a cedar tree at his head.
" 'He lies like a warrior, taking his rest,
"The general commanding named one of the forts in front of Petersburg in his honor, and that perhaps his most appropriate monument.
"Lieut. McGinley went out in the old Third. He greatly distinguished himself by his cool daring and marked courage, and was one of the hundred men of Birney's division who received the Kearney Cross, a medal of honor, struck in honor of Gen. Phillip Kearney, and which was held in our army in almost as high esteem as the cross of the legion of honor in the French army. This cross he wore with great pride and honor, and after being transferred to the old fighting Fifth, he was promoted to first lieutenant and adjutant, for gallantry. I visited him at his quarters and parted from him the evening before his death. He fell at the battle of Hatchie's Run, in front of Petersburg, October 27, 1864, while leading his men with his accustomed gallantry. I hope the time may yet come when these two brave men, and their comrades who fell, may receive some fitting memorial at the hands of the people of Manistee.
"Besides the promptness of the men in enlisting, those who remained at home did their full shares in raising subscriptions and voting bounties, and assisting those who went. Seventy-seven hundred dollars was raised by subscription in one day to pay the bounties to the volunteers, and nearly as much more was raised by vote of the town, and this out of a population of only one thousand souls. War meetings were held, speeches made, and feelings ran high. Nor were they always particular about the place and manner of holding their meeting. On one occasion a war meeting was called in "Hans & Tom's" saloon, which stood where A.H. Dunlap's block stands. The crowd was dense and the atmosphere, or that which served the purpose of an atmosphere, was denser. Among the speakers on this occasion was our excellent fellow-citizen, Dr. Ellis, who mounted a beer barrel in an atmosphere so redolent of tobacco smoke and whisky that you could cut it with a cheese-knife and shovel it out on a spade, and addressed the assembled crowd.
"What greater evidence could I give of the patriotic fervor of the time? Manistee, the babe in the woods, performed her part well in saving the nation, and it forms an honorable page in her history.
FIRE OF 1864
"1864. While the war was still raging, and I believe just twelve years ago to-day, Manistee was visited by her first great fire which came out of the woods just south of where Jack's boiler shop now stands, and burned through to the river, destroying the old McVickar & Co. mill, belonging to D.L. Filer, adjoining Bedford's dock, and many of its appurtenances. On the same day the fire caught in the upper part of the village, in the vicinity of the Bachelor mill, and the old county jail was burned to the ground.
"The original jail was a block house, built of square timbers, ironed together. The county did not rebuild on the old site, but sold the site and acquired the present site in 1866.
CLOSE OF THE WAR - GROWTH
"1865 to 1869. With the close of the war came the return home of the veterans and great numbers of the soldiers, starting anew in life, sought a settlement in a new country where land was cheap and large interests to develop. The period from the year 1865 to 1869 was marked by no especial incidents of note, but during that period came a more rapid growth and development then at any previous period. Large numbers of homesteaders came in and the splendid forests of Northern Manistee began to resound the sturdy blows of their axes.
"Openings were made in the forests; farms began to appear; the pine timber interest took a wonderful impulse at the close of the war. With the revival of general industry and trade came an increased demand and an increased price for lumber.New mills sprang up on every hand. The river and harbor were improved. The piers were commenced; the swing-bridge was constructed; the Boom Company organized; the Union School opened; churches started; commerce expanded, and by the Spring of the year 1869 Manistee blossomed out in a full blown city, with a special charter, a mayor, a common council and four wards; cutting the old town of Manistee in two, leaving Manistee town on one side, and Filer on the other. This was indeed a period of unexampled prosperity.
"At the close of the war there were only three original townships in the county - Manistee, Stronach and Brown.
"In 1865 Bear Lake was added; in 1867, Onekama and Pleasanton; in 1869, Manistee city, Filer and Marilla; in 1870, Springdale and Arcadia.
"There was once a town by the name of Cleon in the northeast corner of Manistee, but she got married to Wexford, and took her history with her.
"1867. When the present writer landed at Manistee, now almost exactly nine years ago (July, 1867), almost the whole of Manistee was in the vicinity of Canfield's store.
"The postoffice and a general store were in Dr. Ellis' residence.
"Ramsdell & Benedict occupied as a law office the present office of the Boom Company.
"In the next building, beyond, now occupied as a tenement house, were Bullis' law office, the office of the only newspaper, the judge of probate's office, the justice of the peace's office, insurance office, the office of the assessor of internal revenue, and a harness shop.
"Next door was the American House, then kept by John Bennett, the only hotel in Manistee.
"The county treasurer's office was in Ramsdell & Benedict's office, and the prosecuting attorney's and circuit court commissioner's was in George W. Bullis'.
"The only meat market was back of Dr. Ellis' barn, and the only news and cigar stand was kept in a small building just opposite Otto Bauman's old stand.
"Green's steam mill then stood just above the bridge, and a row of wooden buildings was going up in that vicinity.
"The frame of the Tyson house was partly up.
"The Tyson & Co. red mill was building, the Gifford & Ruddock mill; Taylor & Wing mill (now Salling's), the Wheeler & Hopkin's mill (now Peters'), the Dennett & Dunham mill, and others, were built that year (1867). The Filer mill was built in 1866, or commenced that year; the Stronach Lumber Company's mill was not built till some years after, I think 1869 or 1870. By 1871 the number of mills had increased to twenty-one.
"Those were flush times in Manistee. Lumber brought high prices. The influx of population was immense. The demand for labor was correspondingly great.
"Three hundred buildings of various grades went up in Manistee in the year 1867. The population doubled twice between 1866 and 1870, and this prosperity continued almost unabated until the great fire of 1871.
"The first serious drawback was the fire of 1869.
"Christmas night that year, the Tyson House, the finest hotel Manistee ever had, was burned, and all the rest of the block, from what is now the city bank to the Tyson & Sweet store.
""The loss was about $100,000. The place of the Tyson House has never been filled, and that fire was a serious and permanent drawback to the prosperity of the young city.
THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT
"This sketch would be wholly incomplete without some mention of the great temperance movement of 1874.
"This is too recent to justify extended description. But I may say that it was one of the most remarkable phenomena ever witnesses in this city or in any other country.
"For thirty-five nights the largest assembly room in the city was packed to suffocation with an eager throng full of a strange and wonderful enthusiasm. More than two thousand signed the temperance pledge, and many hundreds of them keep it to this hour.
"This building in which we gather to-day is the enduring monument of that great movement.
"I hope to see, in the not far-off future, this building completed and dedicated to all that is beautiful and good and true. I hope to see here established by the liberality of our citizens a complete reading room, with its appurtenance. And after that a noble public library, amply endowed by some of our wealthy citizens and freely devoted to the elevation of the laboring classes of Manistee. Let us all help on the consummation of that much desired end.
"Too much cannot be said in praise of the self-denying zeal and noble devotion of the women of Manistee to their work. Let us all lend them a hand, and with a God bless you from the heart, and a greenback from the pocket, speed them on their way.
"As already stated, the first religious work at Manistee was performed by the Jesuit missionaries, and the first religious house was the Jesuit mission house on the north side near the site of the Humble mill, opposite the north channel. Next was erected the mission house at the mouth near the present lighthouse, which I am informed was a Protestant mission; by whom established, I have not been able to satisfy myself.
"1859. The first Evangelical Church organized was the Methodist; they began to have worship about 1869.
"1862. In 1862 they commenced the erection of their meeting house on the same site still occupied. Their first pastor was a clergyman by the name of Baird. He remained some time and was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Steele. Holden N. Green was for a long time one of the main workers in this church.
"1861. The Catholics first began to have regular worship in 1861, a priest by the name of Father Tucker visiting here occasionally and preaching in Michael Fay's Hotel, which stood on the north side, and, I believe, is the same now occupied as a boarding house.
"1863. In 1863 they erected a wooden church recently demolished on the north side, but for a long time were without a regular priest. In 1869 Father Henry Meuffles came here, and since that time the church has been greatly strengthened and enlarged. During the present year the old church has been demolished, as in 1875 the congregation had moved into their new brick building on the south side.
"1862. The Congregational Church was organized in 1862, July 20, in the old schoolhouse, by Rev. George Thompson, a returned missionary. Its pastors have been Revs. John McLean, Herman Geer, John B. Fisk, Joseph F. Gaylord. Until 1869 this society worshipped in the old schoolhouse and in Ellis Hall.
"The first separate return of population of Manistee County was in 1860, and the census of that year reports the population at 975; in 1864 it was 1,674, in 1870 it was 6,084, and in 1874 it was 8,471. The population at the present time may safely be placed at about 10,000.
"1855. The representative district to which Manistee belonged in 1856 included the entire lower peninsula north of the south line of Manistee County, excepting the counties of Alcona and Iosco. In 1865 the district embraced twelve counties beside Manistee; in 1871 it was simmered down to Mason and Manistee, and in 1875 Manistee was constituted a district by itself.
"But it was long since time to bring this sketch to a close. It needs condensation, pruning and correction. I have done the best that I could in the brief time at my disposal, since my appointment working largely nights when tired out and nervously prostrated. I am conscious that there must be some inaccuracies. But I trust it will be found in the main correct.
"The generation of pioneers of Manistee is fast passing away. The places that now know them will soon know them no more forever.
"Before they pass away the facts connected with early history of the county should be gathered in some reliable and complete form.
"To accomplish this a Pioneer Society should be organized at once.
"And each of these pioneers should contribute from the fund of his knowledge toward the future and worthy history of Manistee.
"If my feeble efforts shall have this effect to awaken a new interest in the subject and lead to more thorough investigation, and fuller facts, I shall be satisfied.
"Fellow citizens, the past is gone beyond recall. The future is ours,
to shape at our will. Let us aim to make the name of Manistee as
bright as our river, as evergreen as our forests, and as everlasting
as this inland sea."
SCATTERING NOTES FROM 1864 to 1868
For a Christmas present in 1864, the ladies of Manistee presented each of the soldiers' families with a barrel of flour, and the gift was twice blessed.
The news of President Lincoln's assassination, April 15, 1865, was received in Manistee by vessel from Chicago. The mills were immediately stopped, and all places of business closed. Private residences and public places were draped with mourning, and an immense mass-meeting was held at the Methodist Church. Prayer was offered and remarks made by Rev. A.O. Thomas. He was followed by Hon. T.J. Ramsdell, who delivered an appropriate address and presented resolutions which were adopted. But a few days previous another meeting had been held in the same place to rejoice over the final victory of the union armies.
In September the editor of the village paper reported the appearance of Mr. John Canfield's fruit garden as follows: On plum tree seven feet high, of the Purple Damson variety, had over a bushel of fruit; a single limb ten inches long, having forty-five perfect plums, averaging four and a half inches in circumference, the smallest way, and five inches the longest; a Standard Bartlett pear tree eight feet high matured eighty-five pears, weighing one-fourth of a pound each. There were other samples of fruit showing equally well.
In June the new bell for the Methodist Church arrived, and for the first time in the history of the place suitable notice of the time of Sabbath worship was served upon the denizens of Manistee.
It was in June of this year that the first strawberry church festival made its advent in Manistee. The ladies of the Congregational Church made a very successful experiment and enriched the treasury of the society to the amount of $230.
In July the propeller "Barber" commenced making regular trips between Manistee and Milwaukee, and immigration was greatly increased. During one week forty persons came here to locate.
In April, 1866, sixty emigrants had arrived in Manistee since the opening of navigation. They came to secure homesteads. Wages in the mills ranged from $35 to $40 a month for sawyers, $28 to $30 for experienced mill hands, and about $14 for green hands. Butter was selling at 40 cents, eggs 20 cents, beef-steak 15 cents, maple sugar 20 cents.
Prior to 1866 there was no bridge across the river, but for a good many years a ferry was kept up where the bridge now is. In April, 1866, the Bridge Company was organized. The stockholders were T.J. Ramsdell, John Canfield, M. Engelmann, D.L. Filer, Charles Secor, and L.G. Smith. John Canfield was president and T.J. Ramsdell secretary. A bridge of the Howe Truss pattern was built at a cost of $6,000. This bridge was maintained as a toll bridge until the fire of 1871, when it was burned. After the fire the site and franchises were sold to the county. The city then received the franchises and $2,000 from the county, and built the elegant iron bridge still in use, at a cost of $14,000.
A correspondent of the Detroit Free Press visited Manistee in the Summer of 1866, and in a letter to the paper said:
"Manistee village and vicinity contains about 1,100 souls, and is located between Lake Michigan and Lake Manistee. It is the county seat, has ten saw mills, eleven stores, seven blacksmith shops, two churches, two schoolhouses and a union school building of brick, 30x60, with wing 11x32, which will cost, when completed, $15,000. It also has one sash, door and blind factory, one tannery in the process of construction, and several lath and picket-mills. There had been a flouring mill here, but it burned down. It has nine docks, a printing office, publishing the Manistee Gazette. The propeller 'Barber' runs from here, tri-weekly, to Milwaukee; besides some twenty sailing crafts, which run to various points on the lake. The amount of lumber annually shipped from here is sixty million feet. A bridge is nearly completed across the Manistee River, of Howe Truss pattern, with a turn-table, one hundred and twenty feet long, and when done will cost $12,000. Brick making is about to be started, and this is a good point for a foundry and machine shop, and a tub and pail factory. Fruit-raising is a good business here, as peaches, pears, apples, grapes and plums do well. We were shown by the Hon. T.J. Ramsdell a fruit orchard on the bluff high above the village, containing all the above-named kinds. The trees were thrifty and were well loaded with fruit. Four men are planting 100 acres of trees just south of the village."
In the Fall of 1866 the first barber-shop was started by Jacob Lucas, who put up a building for that purpose near the bridge.
George W. Bullis had purchased Mr. Black's farm for the purpose of going into fruit growing.
McKee & Sibbens had just started up their sash factory and grist mill.
H.N. Green had just completed a large building near his mill for a dry goods store.
In November of 1866 the village editor, reviewing the work of the Summer and Fall, had this to say:
"Many dwelling houses have been erected in Manistee during the past seven months, as well as stores and shops innumerable, besides three or four sawmills now being finished. Our town has, during the past season of navigation, take a stride forward far beyond the expectations of the most imaginative minds, and we expect to see, before the snows of many Winters fall, Manistee applying to Legislature for a city charter. Our idea may be considered radical, nevertheless, if the business of our town continues to double each year, as it has done for the past two years, such will be the case. The class of men arriving here now, and making this their business point, are those calculated to benefit the place, as well as themselves; and this is true, as new business firms are springing up in all parts of the village. And what better proof should we have of the prosperity of our town than the great advance in value of real estate. Lots near the river that were selling a few months ago for $250, are now valued at $500; and other village lots have increased in value, according to their locality. Manistee will continue growing, and property will continue to enhance in value; and we would say to outsiders - those of a speculative mind and who are desirous of a good business point - to come to Manistee. There is a chance here for smart, active business men."
At the beginning of 1867 there were seven dry goods stores and a hardware store. Three new mills were building, and several new store buildings. The Boom Company was organized this year. The whole of Manistee was in the vicinity of the Canfield store. In October the Tyson was opened. The building was 80x98 feet, three stories high, and cost $20,000. W.S. Hunn was landlord, and F.F. Campau clerk.
MANISTEE IN 1868
JANUARY. - S.W. Fowler succeeds Rice & Wentworth in the proprietorship of the Gazette. - January 8 was the coldest day of the season, mercury dropping to 8 (degrees) below zero.
February. - Organization of the Masonic lodge. - Death of Robert R. Rice.
APRIL. - First trip of the "Manistee." - Destruction of the "Sea Bird" by fire. - Green & Bros. sawmill blown to pieces by explosion of boiler; eleven men killed and several others injured; loss of property, $24,000. - Miss Hannah Boch burned to death by her clothing taking fire while burning rubbish in her father's yard. - Organization of I.O.G.T. lodge. - Consolidation of Goodrich and Engelmann lines.
JUNE. - Green's mill rebuilt. - Shipment of 4,800 live pigeons to Buffalo. - New dock built by R. Barnes & Co.
JULY. - The people of the village receive new notions of metropolitan life by the visit of Miller's Atheneum, being the first theatre in Manistee. - Two cases of sunstroke.
OCTOBER. - Worst storm of the season on the 5th inst,; many vessels disabled along the shore; no mail for six days. - New lighthouse tower at the end of the south pier. - Burning of the old boarding-house of Messrs. Canfield, at the mouth of the river.
NOVEMBER. - Ninety-six Republican majority at the village election. - First snow of the season on the 17th inst.
DECEMBER. - The "Manistee" made her last trip of the season on the 7th inst., and the sawmills shut down for the season.
During this Fall about 50,000 fruit trees were received at Manistee.
During the year there were 2,600 arrivals and 2,600 departures from the port of Manistee.
There were shipped from the port of Manistee during the season 150,330,000 feet of lumber.
At the beginning of the Fall of 1868 there were nine hotels, thirty-six stores, a foundry and machine shop, boiler works, a sash, door and blind factory, two large ice houses, one brick-yard, one bank, and other business places, such as boot and shoe shops, boarding-houses, saloons, carpenter and paint shops, etc. The lawyers were T.J. Ramsdell, E.E. Benedict, George W. Bullis, Byron M. Cutcheon, D.W. Dunnett, S.W. Fowler, A.H. Dunlap.
The physicians were Drs. L.S. Ellis, Mobach, Smith and Shurly.
T.J. Ramsdell was county treasurer, collector of the port and United States revenue collector.
George W. Bullis was county prosecuting attorney and deputy revenue assessor.
The Times was the only newspaper here, and was published by S.W. Fowler.
There were five church organizations, one fine brick union school building, three small schoolhouses and three halls. Prof. Charles Hurd was principal of the union school, and Miss Aldrich, Miss Haight, and Mrs. Stansel, assistants.
SAWMILLS AND LUMBER
There are twenty-one sawmills, having an aggregate capacity for cutting 1,508,000 feet of lumber in twenty-four hours, or nearly 500,000,000 heet in year. The actual cut for 1867 was 110,400,010 feet of lumber, which brought, on average, $5 per thousand. The review of the sawmills at this time is as follows:
First in order comes the mill of Messrs. Canfield & Bros., at the delta of the river, built in 1866, its capacity 110,000 feet in twenty-four hours. The mill has cut in the last year 9,500,000 feet of lumber. Two mills were burnt down, and this is the third, built on the same site.
Second, Green & Bro's. mill, near the bridge; built in 1863. Capacity, 100,000 in twenty-four hours; cut 10,000,000 last year. This mill was blown up last April, with a loss of eleven lives and over $20,000 worth of property. But it was rebuilt and put to running in about twenty days, and will cut more lumber this year than it did last.
Third. Messrs. Tyson & Co.'s mill; built sixteen years; the oldest mill in the county. Its capacity is 50,000 in twenty-four hours; cut, last year, 6,000,000.
Fourth. N. Engelmann's lower mill; built 1865; capacity 50,000 in twenty-four hours; cut 7,000,000 last year.
Fifth. N. Engelmann's upper mill has a capacity of 200,000 each twenty-four hours, and cut 12,000,000 last year.
Sixth. Shrigley & Canfield's mill; built in 1866; capacity, 100,000 in twenty-four hours; cut 8,000,000 last year.
Seventh. Magill & Canfield's mill; capacity, 160,000 in twenty-four hours; cut last year 5,000,000.
Eighth. Tyson & Co.'s new mill; capacity, 100,000 in each twenty-four hours; has been running but three months, and has cut 4,000,000.
Ninth. Tyson & Co. had a mill; burnt down November 14, 1867, valued at $50,000. It had a capacity for cutting 90,000 feet in twenty-four hours, and cut 14,000,000 last year. It is expected a mill will be erected in place of the one destroyed.
Tenth. Ruddock & Gifford's new mill; capacity 120,000 in twenty-four hours.
Maxwell, Pundt & Co's mill; capacity 80,000 in twenty-four hours, has run but a short time, and cut about 3,000,000.
Twelfth. Wheeler & Hopkins's mill; capacity 80,000 each twenty-four hours.
Thirteenth. Leach & Russell's new mill; capacity, 40,000 in twenty-four hours.
Fourteenth. J.M. Hoffman's new mill; capacity 35,000 in twenty-four hours.
Fifteenth. Taber & Bro.'s mill; capacity 60,000 in twenty-four hours.
Sixteenth. Filer & Son's new mill; capacity 100,000 in twenty-four hours, cut 8,500,000 last year.
Paggeott & Thorson's new mill; capacity 100,000 in twenty-four hours.
J. Yhelm's new mill; capacity, 25,000, cut 1,000,000 last year.
Nineteenth. Moffat & Skilling's mill; capacity 20,000 in twenty-four hours.
Twentieth. Paggeott & Thorson's upper water mill; capacity of 40,000 in twenty-four hours; cut 5,000,000 last year.
Twenty-first. Paggeott & Thorson's lower water mill; capacity of 20,000 in twenty-four hours; cut nearly 5,000,000 last year.
1882 History of Manistee County
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