[St. Clair County Marriges & Deaths]

Extracted from
History of St. Clair County, Michigan
by A.T. Andreas

History of St. Clair County

Fort Gratiot Township and Village.

[605] The country is one of beauty. The Creator fashioned it in His smiling moments. As it came from his hands, before man had furrowed it with the plow, and scratched it with the harrow, and divided it off with fences, and dotted it with barns and houses, it was one of nature's most perfect landscapes. There is just as much scenery left in it as is consistent with a high degree of usefulness; if there were more scenery some of the land must be waste; if there were less, tameness would begin to mar the perfectness of the scene. There are oak openings and timber, water and stone, hill and vale, bluff and ravine; and none of them in excess. But what makes the township of Fort Gratiot? There was nothing, or at least not much, in the vicinity, or in the surrounding country, to determine the fact that there should grow up one of the handsomest and most vigorous railroad villages in the Northwest. Du Luth established a military post there; later a mission was established, and in after years a United States fort was built there. Its settlement by American pioneers was an accident, or a series of accidents. It was that of those early settlers who first looked upon this beautiful spot, and said to themselves, This is good; I will plant myself and my family here, and help to make a town, and grow up with the country. A large number were men of strongly-marked characteristics. They were clear-headed, liberal, brave and persistent men; and this was the secret of the early success of the village. Such men were not going to stick themselves down here, or anywhere, and grow up like so many transplanted Eastern basswoods; it was not in their nature to do anything of the kind. They had to contend with the older American settlements on the Black and Pine Rivers - no easy task. In later years, the Grand Trunk Railroad Company selected the southeast corner of the township as the head of their railroad system in the United States. In 1859, the beginnings of the true progress of the township were made. The financial crisis of 1873-78 retarded, if it did not effectually check, advancement; but in 1879 returning prosperity began to show its existence throughout the county, and nowhere were its signs more manifest than in this township. The old settlers, together with those who came during the last few years, co-operated heartily in the work of improvement, so that, at the close of 1882, the town takes a most important place among the civil divisions of the county.

In the geological descriptions of Port Huron Township, Fort Gratiot is described.

The bluffs are well stocked with timber of various kinds, oak of several species being in the preponderance. Poplar, birch and hickory are found in small quantities. The valleys all furnish more or less wild grass; while on many small streams are excellent water-powers. Soft woods of many kinds grow on the bottom lands of the creeks and rivers. The banks of the smaller streams put forth rank growths of alder and willow bushes. The town is productive of all the cereals, grasses and vegetables common to the latitude; wheat, oats, corn, barley and rye, which return a good yield. On the lake shore north of Huronia Beach, large crops of the finest potatoes were raised.

From the above description it will be noticed that the district is peculiarly adapted to, and possesses all the requisites for a fine stock-growning, grazing and dairying district. The number of small streams, with their adjoining marshy lands, and many springs oozing from the bases of the bluffs, form excellent facilities for butter and cheese making; while the bluffs, with their heavy timber, are a natural shelter for cattle from the winter winds and storms. On the same farm may be seen the spring of pure water, the valley for cultivation, the hills for grazing and the timber for shelter. In later years, farmers are turning their attention more to stock, and their results justify their investments.

ORGANIC.

Fort Gratiot Township was organized in 1866, with Henry Stephens, Supervisor. The name is derived from the post, erected under Capt. Gratiot in 1814, to which the title was [606] given in honor of that engineer officer. The population of the township, including the village, was 1,902 in 1880. Since that time, the summer retreats of Huronia Beach and Ros were established, the village attained an important commercial position, so that it is not too much to state that the population of town and village in June, 1882, approached 3,000. The area of the township is 13,067 acres; the equalized valuation, $366,140, and the number of children of school age, 668.

Supervisors - Henry Stephens, 1866; S. P. Mason, 1867; Stephen Moore, 1868-69; J. McMartin, 1870-73; T. Lymburner, 1874-76; J. A. McMartin, 1877; Townsend Lymburner, 1878-82.

Justices of the Peace - Joseph Davis, 1874; Thomas Sutherland, 1874; Julius Granger, 1875; James Quail, 1876; James Hall, 1877; Daniel Mooney, 1877; Joseph Davis, 1878; R. E. French, 1879; Daniel Mooney, 1880; Julius Granger, 1881; Joseph Porter, 1882.

In April, 1882, the Citizens' ticket was elected, as follows:
Supervisor - Townsend Lymburner, 311.
Clerk - James Sutherland, 158.
Treasurer - James S. Button, 180.
Justice of the Peace - Joseph Porter, 179.
Highway Commissioner - Daniel Mooney, 164.
School Inspector (Two years) - Edward Hollis, 304.
School Inspector (One year) George W. Howe, 300.
Drain Commissioner - Thomas S. Skinner.
Constables - James Richardson, 183; Jay Shaw, 290; Christian May, 309; Duncan McKellar, 309.

UNITED STATES LAND BUYERS.

The original land buyers in this township, from 1825 to 1836, were Jeremiah Harrington, Hartford Tingley, De Garmo Jones, Lucius Beach, Gilbert Elliott, Samuel Wilson, William Lamb, Fortune C. White, John Desnoyers, A. Coburn, S. N. Dexter, A. B. Eaton, C. Masten, James L. Kelsey, Charles Butler, D. D. Dualsy, J. J. Andrews, Edward Bingham, James Scott, Charles G. Glover, John Howard, Simeon Cummings, Alexander F. Ashley, Eben Batcheller, James W. Sanborn, J. M. Wade, Phineas Davis, David Oakes, Isaac R. Stone, John Kennelly, John Brooks, Orus Field, A. W. Campbell, F. H. Stevens, Samuel C. Webster, and John Brookes. A portion of Sections 34 and 35 were reserved.

FORT GRATIOT VILLAGE.

The region now known as Fort Gratiot is historic ground. Nearly two centuries have elapsed since the first white man set foot upon its soil. It is necessary in this work to divide the record into two periods. We shall speak of the early history as an epoch ending in 1836, and of the recent history as dating from that year. Assistant Surgeon Taylor, of the United States Army, writing in 1871, deals very minutely with the history of the post. He states: "The location of the Recollet Mission in this vicinity is uncertain. According to Bell's History of Canada, it was an important one, and known as St. Marie. As the Jesuits had one also of the same name located among the Hurons at the head of the Georgian Bay, it would seem that some confusion has arisen in relation to these missions, both as to their importance and position. Judge Campbell is of the opinion that the Recollet Mission was located at the present site of Sarnia, and nearly opposite this post. Furthermore, it is known that the Hurons had a large village near the present site of Detroit, called Teuchsagrondie, and that the intercourse between this village and the main tribe on the Georgian Bay was by the water channels. Intermediate, there were several other villages along the lake shore and St. Clair River, all of which had been visited by the Coureurs des Bois long before La Salle and Hennepin made their famous voyage through the Straits."

There were several practicable routes for the traders to reach this section. The original and most noted one was by the Ottawa River, Lake Nipissing and Georgian Bay, which though long and very hazardous, was the principal channel of intercourse between the Huron [607] country and the headquarters of the trading interests on the Lower St. Lawrence. Its chief advantages consisted in its immunity from predatory excursions of the tribes on the side of Lake Ontario. The second was by the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario to the Trent River, thence up that stream to Lake Simcoe and the Georgian Bay. This was the usual route of the Iroquois in their forays against the Hurons, and was one of the best. The third was from the present site of Toronto and thence to Lake Simcoe. The fourth was by the head of Lake Ontario, the Grand River to Lake Erie and Thames Rivers and Lake St. Clair. This became a very important line of traffic, except during the time of open hostilities with the Iroquois. It was the safest and easiest route to reach the great Saginon or Saginaw fur producing region. The fifth was by the Niagara River, but probably seldom resorted to for the transportation of valuable goods, because of the proximity of the hostile tribes in what is called Western New York.

Parkman states that the earliest recorded visitation of this region by the French was in 1669, when the Sulpitian priests, Dallier and Galinac, in connection with La Salle, made an effort for a systematic exploring expedition of the lake country. They selected the western extremity of Lake Ontario as their starting point. La Salle, however, becoming dissatisfied with the purposes, delays and trammels of the priests, severed his connection with them and proceeded in the direction of the Ohio River, while the priests proceeded by the Grand River route and thence along the north shore of Lake Erie, passed this point the spring following, and thence to Mackinac and the Sault Ste. Marie, and finally returning to Montreal by way of the Huron Missions at the head of the Georgian Bay. The earliest map made of this region is said to have been made by Galinac, partly from his own observations and partly from sketches made by Joliette three years before, that is on his return from Mackinac in 1666. La Salle traversed this route the following year on his private account and alone. By this he obtained sufficient data to warrant him in making a formal voyage of discovery in the name of the provincial authorities, and at the same time improve his financial condition by engaging in the lucrative fur trade. It was not, however, until ten years thereafter, that he succeeded in organizing his expedition, and started in the Griffin,* [*The Griffin was so named from the figure of a griffin on her prow.] accompanied by the priest Hennepin, to make the famous voyage round the lakes. Instead, therefore, of dating the discovery of this section from the time of this voyage of La Salle, it should be from Joliette's return from Mackinac in 1666, if not as far back as Champlain's excursion to the Georgian Bay in 1612. All the circumstances attendant upon the organization of this expedition of La Salle, the orders he gave to some of his party the year before to proceed to certain points indicated, particularly the islands at the mouth of Green Bay, hardly admit of question that in this matter he acted from previous knowledge of the country derived in part from his own observations, those of Joliette and the adventurers preceding him; and that this expedition was for the purpose of taking formal possession of the great lake country, in the name of the King of France under nominal governmental authority, and at the same time to gratify his personal ambition, and improve his fortunes, sadly reduced form his previous unthrifty investment.

Leaving his anchorage in the Niagara River, he traversed Lake Erie, and on the 23d of August, 1669, being Sainte Claire's day, he entered the beautiful expanse of water to which, in honor of that personage, he gave her appellation, and the day following he passed this point into Lake Huron, thence round the lakes to the Illini country. The history of that voyage is too well known to require further attention here, save to remark that in La Salle's account of it, as well as in Hennepin's narrative, there was a manifest want of proper acknowledgment of the previous explorations of Joliette and the Coureur des Bois.

HISTORY OF THE POST.

In a military and commercial point of view, the geograpical importance of this post was very early appreciated. Seven years after La Salle's expedition, M'Du Lhut, then commanding at Mackinac, was instructed by the Governor General, Count Frontenac, to establish a fort on the Detroit, a term applied to both the connecting rivers between Lakes Huron and Erie, and garrison the same with fifty men. The English had been, and were still making strenuous efforts to connect their interests on Hudson Bay with those in New York, and there- [608] by circumvent their rivals's schemes for territorial acquisition west of the lakes, and with that the control of its valuable commerce, looking to the alternate extinguishments of the French influence along the St. Lawrence and its tributaries. It will be seen, therefore, that it was a death struggle for supremacy over a vast region, and that every political, military, religious and commercial appliance was brought into requisition in aid of the respective parties. To this end the early occupation of this post by the French had a double purpose - one to thwart the English schemes, and the other, say the instructions, "to protect our savages who may go to the chase and serve them as an asylum against their enemies. In obedience thereto, Du Lhat proceeded to the entrance of the Strait from Lake Huron, say the accounts, where he erected a fortified trading post which he named Fort St. Joseph. There is some reason to believe that in this selection he was not only actuated by geographical and strategical considerations, but his private interests were likewise considered.

Frontenac's instructions allowed and, in fact, encouraged traffic with the nations as a means of reconciliation of tribal differences and animosities, as well as keeping them bound to the French interests, while allowing at the same time liberal perquisites to the officials in charge; and it is probable that Du Lhut's way had been opened and in some degree already prepared by the traders or Coureurs des Bois in accordance with this historical policy, so that he had only to take formal military possession, and extend and improve what already had been commenced, in order to accomplish his purpose. That post was located on the present site of Fort Gratiot. This and Fort St. Joseph on the western shore, at the mouth of the river of that name, are the oldest forts in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and antedate the establishment of Ft. Pontchartrain at Detroit by La Motte Cadillac, fifteen years. The time of its occupation for purely military purposes, according to La Honton, was only two years, and he states he was present at its abandonment and destruction; but De Nonville, Governor General of Canada after Frontenac, says "its was maintained eight years, and exercised a powerful influence against the English." It is possible that the officer had reference alike to its occupation as a trading post anterior to the military establishment, and its formal occupation under authority of the government, when the statements of both gentlemen would be correct.

The year following Du Lhut's arrival war was determined upon by the French against the Iroquois along Lake Ontario, and this officer, together with Durantage at Mackinac, and Tonti, at Fort St. Louis, a post supposed to be located somewhere on the Detroit River, were directed to organize the forces at their command and join the main expedition concentrating at Ft. Niagara, with the view of invading Western New York. Five hundred Indians and 200 French Canadians were there collected, organized and equipped, and taken to their destination.

Nimecanee, or Lightning, a son of old Kioscanee, served under Sinclair, on garrison duty, in the old fort at the mouth of Pine River. Judge Bunce states that when he came to the county, this Indian was one hundred and five years old, five and a half feet high, energetic and capable of attending to his corn-field, four miles south of Black River, as well as to the chase. Every New Year's Day, he was accustomed to sail down the river in his large birchen canoe, on the bow of which he would fling the American colors to the breeze. On such an occasion, he would don his gold-laced coat, beaded moccasins and leggins, and all the ornaments in his possession. Nimecanee reached the age of one hundred and twelve years. It is related that Kioscance was chief of the Otchipwes in their wars against the Wyandots and Six Nations. In his expedition from Lake Superior to Lake Erie, his fleet was so extensive as to cover the St. Clair River from Fort St. Joseph, or Gratiot, to Walpole Island. On his return from the lower lakes, he camped at Fort Gratiot, and afterward made the district his home. Nicholas Plane, Sockscotowa, is a grandson of Nimecanee, and chief of the Sarnia Indians.

Shignebeck, a brother of Nimecance, was one hundred and nine years old at the time of his death. Mrs. Ogotig, a sister of the chief, lived to the age of one hundred and seven; old mother Rodd is said to have been one hundred and fourteen years old at the period of her death; Onsha, the third son of the chief Kioscanee, reach a very old age. The Kioscanee, or Rapid Tribe, must be considered the first actual settlers of St. Clair County. Previous to their coming, the Indian settlement was on the east bank of the river, about a mile northeast of the present village of Point Edward.

[609] While this was being arranged, Dongan, Governor of New York, sent an expedition to capture Mackinac, under command of Maj. Orange. It consisted of about forty men, all of whom were captured by Du Lhut's and Durantage's forces on Lake Huron. They were piloted, says DeNonville, by a renegade Coureur des Bois, and the route taken for the purpose of avoiding this post was by way of the west end of Lake Erie to Saginaw Bay. Others say they were aided by the Fox tribe of Indians then occupying the region round about Grand Traverse Bay and the shore opposite.

The failure of the French expedition against the Iroquois left all the posts along the lower lakes greatly exposed, while the channels of supply were entirely interrupted. As a consequence, Forts Frontenac and Niagara were hastily abandoned, and this post left as the only barrier against the English and Iroquois; but being deemed too exposed and insufficient for that purpose, it was also abandoned and the stockade burnt under the supervision of La Hontan, and the forces and supplies transferred to Mackinac, which, from its accessibility by way of the Ottawa route, was to be the object of the concentrated energies of the French. But although compelled to relinquish the control of this region for the time being, Frontenac, who had been recalled to the Governor Generalship, determined to reinstate the French authority as soon as practicable, and recover what had been so indiscretely lost by his predecessor. Accordingly, La Motte Cadillac, then commanding at Mackinac, was permitted to visit France secretly to avoid the intrigues of the Jesuits, with a view of obtaining a direct commission from the crown granting authority for the establishment of another military post along the Straits for the double purpose of securing and confirming the French title to the territory, and collecting as many of the northern tribes around the same as might become practicable in settlements or colonies, the whole under the sole control of the immediate military commander, hoping thereby to raise up a bulwark of sufficient strength to be its own protection, as well as security for all their interests northward, yet being independent of the religious orders which were continually interfering, not only with the general administration at Quebec, but with every military commander in the provinces.

Cadillac being successful in obtaining the object of his visit to the King, returned and fixed the location of his post at the foot of Lake St. Clair, on the present site of Detroit. By his sagacious management, he induced many of the isolated bands of Hurons, Chippewas, Sax and Foxes, as well as the Miamis - between some of whom there had been bitter feuds for many years - tribes scattered as they were, from Mackinac to the south shore of Lake Erie - to gather about him. After he had succeeded in establishing Ft. Pontchartrain, this section was abandoned as a principal settlement, both by French and Indians, save in a single exception, that during the Pontiac war it was the termination of and for a short time occupied by a hostile expedition starting from Mackinac in aid of the siege of Detroit by that chief.

It was occupied, however, as a military station after the Pontiac troubles had been quieted in 1763, when the English began to look to the permanent settlement of the lake country. Two years thereafter, a British officer by the name of Patrick Sinclair built a large military and trading post a few miles below this point, and where is now located the village of St. Clair. This was a regular fortification, consisting of earthworks, mounting artillery with a stockade, rally post, etc., in the most complete order; and he occupied it for about seventeen years, acquiring meanwhile from the natives a title to about four thousand acres of land bordering on the river. He was the first permanent English settler, and the only one along this river, until 1782. When Maj. Rodgers took formal possession of the country in behalf of the British crown, in 1766, both the river and the lake had the appellation of Sinclair rather than the original one given by La Salle. In 1782, nineteen others joined him, and thereafter the chain of settlements became continuous from Lake Huron to Detroit and Lake Erie.

In 1807, soon after Gen. Hull became Governor of the territory, this post, and the border along the River St. Clair, were occupied by the forces under his command, consisting of militia, chiefly under one Capt. Roe. The headquarters of the command were located in a small blockhouse just below the present site of Marine City, and the troops were scattered along the river bank from Lake Huron to Lake St. Clair. This company of about forty men, with arms and equipments, were captured by a British force sent from Canada soon after the declaration of [610] war in 1812, and during the earlier demonstrations against Detroit. But immediately after the defeat of the British in the battle of Thames in the year following, measures were taken again for a more effective defense of this section. Accordingly, Maj. Forsyth, of the regular army, supported by a detachment of the Second Infantry, commanded by Capt. Cobb and a force of Militia Rangers, as they were called, under Capt. Joe Roe, with Capt. Gratiot as an engineer officer, left Detroit May 11, 1814, for the purpose of establishing a defensive work at the foot of Lake Huron. They were transported in twelve batteaux and a small sloop carrying one field piece, and reached their destination the 13th. On their arrival, they found the old French post occupied by a Canadian Frenchman with a small house, and about two acres in cultivation. This Maj. Forsyth took possession of, and commenced the erection of a stockade and earthworks for artillery the next day, and at the same time sent Roe's rangers across the river to scour the country to ascertain if there were any hostile forces in the vicinity. These troops remained until some time in 1817 or 1818, when they were relieved by a detachment of the Fourth Infantry, transferred from Maine, under the command of Capt. Fowle. At its establishment it took the name of Capt. Gratiot, the engineer officer in command, and the cost of construction was $305.25.

With the reduction of the army in 1822, this post was abandoned by the military and the buildings turned over to two missionaries by the names of Hart and Hudson, of the Presbyterian denomination, who opened a school for the education of Indians and what few whites were in the vicinity. This continued for about one year, when the school was broken up and one of the missionaries went to Mackinac for a like purpose. The works at this time were in so dilapidated a condition that Gen. Cass, then Governor of the Territory, called the attention of the Legislature to the subject, as well as to the bad condition of the fort at Detroit.

From the time the post was vacated by the missionaries until 1828, I find no record, but in that year troops were sent to occupy it, and the year following it was rebuilt, the grounds enlarged and enclosed in a stockade, the earthworks leveled down to its present condition, and the buildings arranged according to the present plan, with the exception of the hospital, which was much nearer the river. In 1847, the troops were withdrawn and ordered to Mexico, but it was again regarrisoned at the close of that war, and remained so until the opening of the rebellion, when the troops were ordered off. At the close of the war, a detachment of the Seventeenth Infantry was stationed here and it has remained in military possession since; after the Seventeenth Infantry, by the Forty-third Infantry, and then by two companies of the First Infantry, who garrisoned the post in 1871.

Understanding that the early history of this post was incomplete, and much relating to it very imperfectly understood, and believing that as time advances the early settlement and military occupation along the northern borders of the United States will possess an increasing interest, I have taken considerable pains to investigate this subject, and herewith somewhat imperfectly present the results. Its geographical position was of great importance to the French during their occupation of Canada, and in many of the contests between the authorities on either side of these northern waters. It also promoted the more peaceful relations of the natives among themselves, and with the whites it exerted an important influence."

Le Sueur, a noted voyageur, was at the mouth of the St. Clair for the first time, in 1683, making his way up the Fox River and down the Wisconsin to the Mississippi, thence to the Sioux country, where, at different periods, he spent seven years.

In 1684, Nicholas Perrot, who had assisted St. Lusson in 1671, it will be remembered, again made his appearance at the place. Perrot is a most notable figure in the early history of the Northwest. He employed a considerable number of men, and carried his operations as far as Lake Pepin. He was the trusted agent of the Government, and was invested with more extensive authority than ordinary traders. He was commissioned to manage the interests of commerce from Green Bay westward, and was employed as Indian agent for many years. He procured a peace among the Sioux, Chippewas and Foxes, and so far put to sleep the animosity of the latter toward the French, that while he was their agent they remained friendly. "I was sent hither," he writes, "charged with the commission to have chief command there, and in the most distant countries on the side of the west."

[611] In 1686, Daniel Greysolon Du Lhut, better known as Du Luth, arrived at the post and assumed military command under the superintendency of the commandant at Mackinaw. While making preparations to go to war against the Iroquois, he was assisted by Perrot in collecting Indian allies. The last-mentioned voyageur was then trading among the Foxes in the Northwest. On the 8th of May, 1689, he (Perrot), then commanding a post among the Sioux, was commissioned by the Governor of Canada to manage the interests of commerce among the Indian tribes of Green Bay, and he proceeded to make more certain the taking possession of the whole country in the name of the French King. In other words, he supplemented the work of St. Lusson done in 1671.

During the same year, the Baron Le Houtan visited the locality and was entertained in a distinguished manner by the Sacs, Pottawatomies and Menomonees, as well as by the Otchipwes and Frenchmen.

In the autumn of 1678, La Salle, upon the St. Lawrence, in order to forward his design of erecting a fort upon the River Illinois, sent fifteen men up the lakes to trade for him, with orders to go hence to that river and make preparations for his coming next year. Some of these men went on as far as Green Bay, where they collected a large store of furs; and here, on one of the islands at its mouth, La Salle, in the "Griffin," the first sailing craft that ever floated on the upper lakes, found them in the month of September, 1679. La Salle resolved to send back his vessel from this point, laden with these furs and others collected on the way. She fired a parting shot, and on the 18th of September set sail for Niagara, with orders to return to Mackinac as soon as she had discharged her cargo. But the "Griffin" was never heard of from that time. She was engulfed in the wild waves, probably, of Lake Michigan soon after leaving the island. La Salle, with fourteen men in four canoes, proceeded to the country of Illinois. The fur traders, who, it will be remembered, preceded the Jesuit missionaries to this region, maintained their relations here with more or less regularity for a great many years.

Following the visit to Green Bay of the fur traders under La Salle, in 1678, and of that famous explorer the year after, was that of Louis Hennepin, in 1680. He and his party, as a detail from La Salle's expedition to the Illinois, reached the mouth of the St. Clair in that year, on his way from the Upper Mississippi down the great lakes, passing down this river to the older posts on the St. Lawrence.

WAR OF 1812.

In 1811, a few men forming a company known as the St. Clair Militia, assembled at Ft. Gratiot, subsequently at St. Clair; but when required to be present on review at Mt. Clemens that year, they could not be present, giving as a reason the want of timely notice.

In May, 1812, a company of artillerists camped at St. Clair, and toward the close of that month took up quarters on the site of the old Fort St. Joseph. This company is referred to in the following paper:

TROOPS CAMPED AT ST. CLAIR IN 1812.

Muster roll of a company of artillerists, under the command of Lieut. Porter Hanks, in the regiment commanded by Col. Henry Burbeck, from the 31st day of May, when last mustered, to the 30th of June, 1812, at Michilimackinac, Territory of Michigan. Many, if not all, of these men were present at the affair of July 17, 1812:

[612]

NAME.

RANK.

REMARKS.

Porter Hanks..................... First Lieutenant. ....................................................................................................................
Archibald Danagh.............. First Lieutenant. ....................................................................................................................
Sylvester Day.................... Second Mate..... ....................................................................................................................
John Penny........................ Sergeant............ ....................................................................................................................
Joseph Vaillencourt............ Sergeant............ ....................................................................................................................
John Gordon...................... Sergeant............ ....................................................................................................................
Noel Boudrie..................... Corporal............ ....................................................................................................................
Maurice Martin.................. Corporal............ ....................................................................................................................
Nathan Steward................. Corporal............ ....................................................................................................................
Hough Kelley..................... Corporal............ ....................................................................................................................
Redmond Magrath............. Musician............ ....................................................................................................................
Alexander Parks................. Musician............ ....................................................................................................................
Joseph Tacier..................... Musician............ ....................................................................................................................
John B. Vaillencourt........... Musician............ ....................................................................................................................
Henry Vaillencourt.............. Musician............ A boy learning music.
William Maxwell................. Artificer............. Re-enlisted.
Bartholomew Noble........... Artificer............. ....................................................................................................................
John Kane.......................... Artificer............. ....................................................................................................................
John O'Donnell................... Artificer............. ....................................................................................................................
Osborn Smith..................... Artificer............. ....................................................................................................................
John Whelpley.................... Artificer............. ....................................................................................................................
Joseph Benoine.................. Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Peter Bourdonne................ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Robert H. Boyd................. Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Mathias Bromley................ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Peter Brown....................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Edward Burleson................ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Nathan Burr....................... Private............... Reduced June 16.
Jedediah Cannon................ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John Davis......................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Pierre De Bourdeaux......... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Jacob Farmer..................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
James Farrell...................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Edward Fitzgerald.............. Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Francis Foote..................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John Garlough.................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Abel Gifford....................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John Gifford....................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John Gerry......................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
William Harvey................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Henry Hannion................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Seth Holmes....................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Richard Joel....................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Joseph Le Reveisore.......... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Benjamin Luker.................. Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Michael McGill................... Private............... Unfit for service.
Thomas Murphey............... Private............... Re-enlisted.
Thomas Mullen................... Private............... Transferred to Capt. Rood's Company.
Jonathan Nutt..................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Ichabod O'Bryan................ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Pascal Peters...................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John Phillips....................... Private............... Unfit for service.
John Pound........................ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John B. Perrault.................. Private............... ....................................................................................................................
William Redman................. Private............... Re-enlisted.
Anthony Rabbillard............. Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Paulite St. Nichols.............. Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Noah Scott........................ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John B. Sylvester................ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John Sinnie......................... Private............... Sick.
Francis Vaillencourt............ Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Simeon Windell.................. Private............... Unfit for service.
James Woodbeck.............. Private............... ....................................................................................................................
John White......................... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Benjamin Weldon............... Private............... ....................................................................................................................
Anthony Sampitie............... Private............... Surrendered himself from desertion at Detroit January 16, 1812.

[613] The fate of this command is related in the following letter. The account being from a British source:

MACKINAW, 18th July, 1812.

Dear Sir: I am happy to have it in my power to annouce to you that Mackinac capitulated to us on the 17th inst. at 11 o'clock A. M., Capt. Roberts at our head, with a part of the Tenth British Volunteer Battalion. Mr. Crawford had command of the Canadians, which consisted of about 200 men; Mr. Dickenson, 143 Sioux, Forlavians, and Winebagoes; and myself about 280 men, Attawas and Chippewas, part of Attawas of L'harb-Croche had not arrived. It was a fortunate circumstance, the fort capitulated without firing a single gun, for had they done so, I firmly believe that not a soul of them would have been saved.

My son, Charles Longdale, Augustin Nolin and Machello Badotte, Jr., have rendered me great service in keeping the Indians in order, and in executing from time to time such commands as were delivered by the commanding officer. I never saw so determined a set of people as the Chippewas and Attawas.

Since the capitulation they have not drank a single drop of liquor, nor even killed a fowl belonging to any person (a thing never known before) for they generally destroy everything they meet with.

I am, dear sir, your most obedient servant,
The
HON. COL. W. CLAUS, etc, Fort George. JOHN ASKIN, JR., Storekeeper's Department.


THE FORT IN 1832.

Owing to the rebellion of Black Hawk and his allies, the General Government was forced into prompt action. Nine military companies were detailed for service in the West, under command of Gen. Scott. This force arrived at Detroit July 1, 1832, where two of the troops were taken sick and deceased within a few hours. The Asiatic cholera was introduced into the upper lake region. The command hastened away from Detroit as from a plague spot. Arriving at Ft. Gratiot, Gen. Scott garrisoned that post with 280 troops and a number of West Point students. Of the remainder who proceeded to Chicago, thirty died on the passage, and their bodies were cast into the lakes. The number stationed at Ft. Gratiot died one after another at that post, or while flying from the ravages of the cholera. Almost all the students fell before this terrible pestilence.

The garrison at Ft. Gratiot was re-enforced in July, 1851, by the arrival of Company C, of the Fourth Infantry, from Detroit, which city was abandoned as a military station for the present. Two companies of the Fourth Regiment of Infantry were stationed at Ft. Gratiot with the following officers in command: Major, G. J. Rains; Brevet Major, B. Alvord; First Lieutenant, T. J. Montgomery; Second Lieutenant, J. M. Henry; Second Lieutenant, W. A. Slaughter, and Surgeon, C. S. Tripler. Maj. Rains arrived from Green Bay, Lieut. Henry and Surgeon Tripler came with the company from Detroit.

The Cleveland Herald of April, 1856, makes the following kindly notice of the widow of one of the most gallant and noble-hearted officers ever connected with the army of our country: "Mrs. M. arrived home some days since, and is now in the active disharge of her trust. Of course she is the most popular commandant the ancient stockage has ever had. Lieut. Montgomery, of the United States Army, not long since lost his life in the service in Oregon. His death left his widow, formerly Miss Northrop, of Akron, and one child, in comparative penury, as is generally the case with those who devote their lives to their country's service. She returned, and Gen. Jessup, with the kindness of heart and chivalry which characterizes a brave soldier, immediately gave to her the trust of Ft. Gratiot, now unoccupied by a garrison; a duty which she can fulfill, and the pay of which is very fair."

We find the following anecdote of the rebel chieftain in the Port Huron Times of the 29th of April, 1870: The Savannah firemen are said to have been greatly elated when Robert E. Lee sent them a note the other day accepting honorary membership. Well, perhaps it was an honor. Time works changes, and perhaps Robert E. Lee is an honorable man now. But years ago, when he was stationed at Ft. Gratiot, he tried to sneak out of paying a bill he owed to Mr. Charles Flugal, then the proprietor of a bakery in this city, and still a respected resident here. But Robert couldn't outwit Mr. F., and that gentleman ransacked the garrison and pulled the chivalrous son of the South from behind a door where he had tried to hide, shook him slightly, and notified him that unless the bill was paid within one hour a constable would wait on him. Chivalrous Robert lost no time in following Mr. Flugal to the city and meekly settled the bill.

The body of Corporal Frederickson, belonging to one of the Companies stationed at Ft. [614] Gratiot, was found in the St. Clair River near Sombra, C. W., nearly opposite Newport, June 7, 1866. It will be recollected that on the night of the 12th of May, he, in company with George Bishop, a private in one of the companies stationed at the Fort, was out in a boat on the river, fishing, and that Bishop returned to shore without him, reporting that he had fallen overboard and was drowned. A Coroner's inquest was held at Ft. Gratiot on June 8, when the following verdict was given: "Corporal Frederickson came to his death on the evening of the 12th of May, 1866, by the hands of one George Bishop, a private of Company E, Second Battalion, Seventeenth Regiment, United States Infantry." Bishop was tried for murder before the United States Court at Detroit, and received his sentence of death from Judge Wilkinson. The terms of the sentence provided for his hanging on October 7, 1866.

MILITARY RESERVATION.

An act of the Legislature, approved May 9, 1846, ceded to the United States a tract of 612 acres round Fort Gratiot, between Black River and the St. Clair, for military purposes, on condition that the State hold a concurrent jurisdiction with the United States in civil and criminal matters. Under authority of an act, approved January 27, 1853, the State of Michigan ceded to the United States a tract of land at the mouth of Pine River, for light-house purposes. Another tract was ceded on the St. Clair Flats, by Legislative act, approved February 5, 1853.

The sale of lots in the Military Reservation commenced on December 14, 1870. The total number of lots sold was 98 - fourteen blocks. The amount realized was $17,843, the average price per lot being $181.25. The sales were as follows:

Thomas W. Ward, lot 1, block 1, $100; lot 1, block 2, $115; lot 1, block 3, $130; lot 1, block 4, $150; lot 6, block 5, $153; lot 6, block 6, $143; lot 9, block 4, $115.

John M. Gillett, lot 2, block 1, $150; lot 2, block 2, $170.

A. N. Moffat, lot 2, block 5, $517; lot 2, block 6, $280.

George Fish, lot 2, block 7, $205; lot 2, block 8, $215; lot 10, block 7, $103; lot 10, block 8, $147.

Frank P. Goldie, lot 2, block 3, $249; lot 2, block 4, $360.

William Jenkinson, Richmond, lot 1, block 1, $352; lot 1, block 2, $313; lot 3, block 1, $410; lot 4, block 7, $161; lot 5, block 7, $100.

George E. Brockway, lot 3, block 2, $225. James Goulden, lot 3, block 3, $360; lot 3, block 4, $510; lot 3, block 5, $405.

William Marr, lot 4, block1, $176.

Charles Dane, lot 12, block 7, $416; lot 4, block 2, $128.

Burnet Butler, lot 4, block 3, $125.

C. Paille, lot 4, block 4, $126.

Charles Baer, lot 4, block 5, $126; lot 4, block 6, $116.

Thomas K. Whitman, lot 4, block 8, $272.

Edmund Atkinson, lot 5, block 1, $110.

F. L. Burke, lot 5, block 2, $82; lot 5, block 3, $96.

D. McKeller, lot 5, block 6, $93.

John Keveny, lot 5, block 8, $151.

D. B. Harrington, lot 6, block 1, $140; lot 11, block 9, $280; lot 9, block 7, $123; lot 10, block 3, $90; lot 10, block 4, $102.

Robert Walsh, lot 6, block 2, $137; lot 13, block 6, $305.

Otis Joslyn, lot 6, block 3, $140; lot 6, block -, $160.

H. B. O'Neill, lot 6, block 7, $137; lot 7, block -, $86; lot 8, block 4, $70; lot 13, block 7, $206; lot 13, block 8, $236; lot 6, block 8, $166; lot 7, block 2, $101; lot 7, block 3, $162.

John Walsh, lot 7, block 5, $106; lot 7, block 6, $110.

Thomas Burke, lot 7, block 5, $93.

Skinner & Ames, lot 8, block 5, $95; lot 8, block 6, $107.

Thomas Walsh, lot 9, block 1, $159.

William D. Wright, lot 9, block 2, $125; lot 9, block 3, $119.

[615] S. S. Ward, lot 8, block -, $82; lot 9, block 6, $115; lot 5, block 4, $132; lot 5, block 5, $132; lot 8, block 1, $102; lot 8, block 2, $89.

Mary Crawford, lot 9, block 5, $127.

John Braithwait, lot 9, block 8, $170.

John Vergin, lot 10, block 1, $120.

Charles Steinborn, lot 10, block 2, $98.

John Delonga, lot 10, block 5, $112; lot 11, block 5, $155.

S. Goodman, lot 10, block 6, $52.

William Le Blanc, lot 11, block 3, $220.

John Miller, lot 37, block 4, $103; lot 14, block 3, $150.

John Asman, lot 11, block 6, $237; lot 11, block 7, $151; lot 11, block 8, $176.

William Hartsuff, lot 12, block 1, $240; lot 12, block 2, $233; lot 12, block 3, $200; lot 12, block 4, $254; lot 13, block 3, $211; lot 13, block 4, $355.

Henry Howard, lot 12, block 5, $200; lot 12, block 6, $210; lot 12, block 8, $360; lot 12, block 9, $520.

James Goulden, lot 13, block 15, $119; lot 13, block 2, $150.

Charles Sanburg, lot 13, block 5, $380; lot 14, block 2, $175.

James M. Twiss, lot 14, block 1, $110.

The sales took place on the grounds, Mr. John W. Twiss, auctioneer. Maj. Poe was present during the sale. The total number of lots offered was 240, of which 98 were sold.

Two hundred and forty lots, or sixty acres, on the Military Reservation, were sold December 16, 1870, at an average price of $172.87 per lot. The largest sum paid for a single lot was $520 for lot 9, block 12, by Howard & Co. Mrs. Clara J. O'Neil bought seventeen lots, the greatest number purchased by a single bidder; Fish, Harrington and Moses bought twelve lots; James Goulden, nine; S. S. Ward, W. D. Wright and William Hartsuff, eight lots each, and T. W. Ward, seven lots.

The sale of the remaining portion of the Fort Gratiot Military Reservation, August 30, 1881, included all the old cemetery grounds in the city, being about forty acres in all, and seventeen acres lying north of the cemetery grounds. The proceeds of the sale of the cemetery grounds will go to the city, and of the other to the Government. The cost of removing bodies from the cemetery will be paid from the proceeds of the sale.

The old garrison buildings at Fort Gratiot were torn down in May, 1882. Only three now remain of all that fronted on the handsome little square that overlooked the Grand Trunk depot. The hill itself will soon be cut down to the dead level of the present depot grounds, and the place it stood on covered by railroad tracks. The white walls of the old fashioned buildings, that gleamed a welcome to incoming ships for two generations, that stood there when all around them was an unbroken wilderness, have passed away forever. It seems, to old residents, like losing sight of a dear old friend, whose face has been many years familiar through storm and sunshine.

The old fort! It has sheltered, in its time, many a gallant soldier, and been the home of men whose names became eminent in the nation's history. Dear old memories cluster around it. Within its walls many a hopeful career began, and brave young hearts swelled with the first glory of martial life.

But the time came when its day of usefulness was over. In recent years it has served as a pleasant station for soldiers weary of the exposure and danger of life on the Western frontier. Now it gives way to the railroad in the march of improvement. It will not be many weeks before even the very ground it stood on will have yielded to the advance of the steam shovel, and been carried away to fill in the depot grounds on the south side of the river. So that portion of the city will become, more than ever, historic ground.

On May 22, 1882, a skeleton was found lying on the floor of one of the remaining houses of the old fort. It was then necessary to find the man who unearthed the skeleton, and in a few minutes he was found. He stated that it was buried beneath the floor of the kitchen attached to the house which was occupied by the surgeons and their assistants. The skeleton was covered by only twelve or fifteen inches of earth, and appeared to be lying on some bark. The [616] head was against the stone wall, and tied up in canvas, on which were blood stains. An iron spike, six inches long, with hair sticking to it, was also found near the head. The skull was in a good state of preservation, and the two rows of teeth were very fine and perfect. A number of small black beads and two bone knife handles were lying near the neck. All the bones were found, except the legs. The hair of the head was a rusty brown color. The man who found the skeleton thinks it is that of a squaw.

Throughout the State, many localities formerly occupied by forts, cantonments, blockhouses, magazines and navy yards, the potatoe fields, commons, where the cattle graze, and graveyards were, are now compactly built over with buildings occupied by an enterprising population, whose busy hum has so changed the scene of former times that the ancient habitant and those born and reared in the land are scarcely able to recognize it. Never were the following historic lines more appropriate than in the case of Fort Gratiot:

"On lawn and slope - the red man's late abode -
The steam horse rushes on an iron road.
The steeple rises and vast granaries groan
With products of wide realms by commerce made our own;
Ponds where the sportsman hunted duck and plover,
Now with parterres and parks are covered over.
Green lanes through which the habitant alone
Drove his chariot, to spacious streets have grown,
Paved with cobbles, which perplexed the shore
Of this blue 'strait' - by trade not docked of yore;
Straits whose clear depths no pirogue's keel could reach.
Now sullenly give back the screw tug's awful screech.
Fresh from the 'back concession' - what surprise
Illumes Jean Crapeau's honest, wond'ring eyes,
To see the terrace where the rampart frowned,
With lofty pile of brick and mortar crowned.
Alas! what greater change upbraid the modern place
Containing now a less contented race,
The simple virtues of the olden time
Exchanged for coin - the more almighty dime."


GRATIOT LIGHT.

Fort Gratiot Light-House is numbered 48, and located in 40° 22" north latitude, and longitude 82° 24' 44" west of Greenwich. It is in the Eleventh Inspection District, which comprises all the lake coast above Detroit, of which Com. A. Murray is Inspector, headquarters at Detroit. It was built in 1825, and refitted in 1862. It is 82 feet high from the surface of the lake, and supplied with an F. V. F. light; a fixed white light, varied with flashes at intervals of two minutes; and has what is known as the third order of lens. An interesting record of progress is connected with the forty-seven years of its history.

The building containing the fog whistle stands 100 feet north of the light-house. It is of wood, 18x30 feet in size, sided up on the outside and ceiled within, with a shingle roof, cement floor and painted without, including the roof. Inside, the north part is fitted for storing the fuel, mostly hard coal, wood being used only for kindling.

In the center of the rest of the building stands the upright flue boiler, which generates the all-potent steam. It is six feet high, including the base, which latter is 3x4 feet in size. 30 inches high, and contains the fire box, besides, forming the bed on which the engine rests. The back of the base is in circular form, corresponding to the main portion of the boiler above, which is 30 inches in diameter, and contains 88 flues 1 3/4 inches in diameter. The engine rests on the base immediately over the fire, has a horizontal motion and is of two-horse power, having a three-inch cylinder, ten inches long and six-inch stroke. The balance wheel is intended to run at a speed of 120 revolutions per minute, or two to a second; and by means of an endless screw turns a wheel with 120 cogs, each representing one revolution, or half a second. On this wheel is a cam, which opens a valve and operates the whistle eight seconds out of every minute. It requires 90 to 95 pounds of steam to run it on time.

The whistle is just above the roof, and is six inches in diameter. Larger ones were tried, but required more steam than the boiler could furnish. The boiler and machinery were made [617] and put up by the Detroit Locomotive Works, under the direction of Gen. Poe, United States Engineer, and being the first of the kind upon the lakes, may be considered a most successful experiment. The eccentric George McDougal was among the first if not the first keeper of this light-house. He was a well-educated man, singular in many respects, decidedly a Britisher in sympathies and ideas, yet a man who won the regard of the United States authorities at Detroit in Territorial days.

The cholera which was prevalent in 1822 and 1842, created some excitement among the inhabitants of the town, yet no panic followed, as would be the case in thickly settled communities. But in those days, men, and women, too, for that matter, were calloused to fear, and insensible to circumstances that would to-day be regarded as critical. The type of men and women who flourished in the early history of the West were radically different from those who came after, in many instances; more of bone and muscle, and less of superfluous matter, than possess types of succeeding generations; more of genuine gold and less of gilt; more common sense and less of sugar candy. As communities are built up and their influence is extended, they become wealthier, and thereby educate an effeminacy, which is expressed in the deterioration of the energies, capacities and endurance of those who are directly benefited by these pecuniary accretions.

ESTABLISHMENT OF FT. GRATIOT VILLAGE.

In 1880, the first steps were taken toward the establishment of a village government in the settlement of Ft. Gratiot. In 1881, the question was presented to the Supervisors' Board in the form of a petition, of which the following is a copy: "The undersigned legal voters residing within the territory hereinafter named, respectfully ask its incorporation into a village to be called 'Ft. Gratiot', represent to said Board as follows:

"First - We have caused an accurate census of the resident population of such territory to be made, the taking of which was entrusted to Julius Granger, and who commenced the same on the 21st day of December, A. D. 1880, and completed the taking thereof on the 31st day of December, A. D. 1880, all within ten weeks of the time of presenting this application, and the number of inhabitants residing in this territory is 1,300.

"Second - The census taken aforesaid represents the name of the head of every family residing within such territory on the day the same was completed and during the taking thereof (none having removed while it was in progress), and it also represents the number of persons belonging to each family. And the same with its proper affidavit verifying it, written and sworn to by the person taking the same, hereto attached and marked Exhibit 'A' and made a part of this petition.

"Third - Your petitioners have caused notice of this application to be given and published pursuant to law, and we submit herewith a copy of such notice and proof of the publication thereof as required by statute.

"Fourth - The territory which your petitioners desire to have incorporated into the village of Ft. Gratiot as aforesaid is not now included in any incorporated village, and it contains a resident population of more than three hundred persons to every square mile included within its boundaries.

"Fifth - These petitioners therefore ask your honorable body to incorporate as a village under the name aforesaid the following territory situated in the township of Ft. Gratiot, in the county of St. Clair, and State of Michigan, viz.: Bounded on the west by Pine Grove avenue, as extended northwesterly from the north boundary of the city of Port Huron, being a continuation of the avenue of the same name in the said city; on the south by the north line of the city of Port Huron; on the east by the center of the River St. Clair and Lake Huron; on the north by the north line of Lots 18, 25, 27, 30, 31 and 41 in the subdivision of the McNeil tract so called, being parts of Section 34 and 35, in Township 7 north, of Range 17 east, in said township of Ft. Gratiot. And your petitioners will ever pray, etc.

"R. E. French, George S. Merritt, David Shannon, W. G. Staw, O'Brien J. Atkinson, William Fowler, Adolphus Phoenix, Joseph Winegar, Columbus Pheonix, Thomas Southerland, T. P. Phoenix, L. E. Tarraer, S. W. Merritt, James McDoniel, Walter F. Busby, J. Hazlewood, W. [618] J. Stewart, R. A. Hammond, Thomas Dow, Thomas Basendale, John Dent, Thomas Watson, T. French, John B. Ross and W. L. Rettie."

The action taken by the board in this matter is given in the official report as follows:

"Moved by E. White, supported by R. Shutt, that it be referred to the Committee on Division and Erection of Townships. The Committee on Division and Erection of Townships made a report in writing. Moved by G. W. Carleton, supported by Townsend Lymburner, that the report of committee by submitted and spread upon the journal. Unanimously carried.

TO THE HONORABLE THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF ST. CLAIR:
"Your Committee on Erection of Townships, to which was referred the petition and papers in reference to the village of Ft. Gratiot, respectfully report: The petition appears to be in conformity to Chapter 129 of Compiled Laws, pages 11, 12. The proposed territory contains over thirteen hundred people within less than one mile square, and is not included within any village and city. We find that the petitioners, more than fifteen in number, all reside within the proposed territory. We find the census attached to the petition to have been taken accurately properly verified. We also find that due notice has been given of the application as required by law that proof thereof accompanies such petition. We further report that we have adoption of proper resolution incorporating such village, of which respectfully submit Frederick Lindo, Frank Ufford, Martin Stapleton."

A resolution offered by Townsend Lymburner was read by E. G. Stevenson, when John McGill moved, supported by Edgar White, that the resolution be received, adopted and spread upon the journal.

The village was established under authority given in the following resolution:

"WHERAS, It appears from the report of the committee of this board and from an examination of the papers connected with the application for the incorporation of the village of Ft. Gratiot, that all the requirements of law have been complied with, and it appearing to this board that the territory described in said petition and also hereinafter named, containing a population of 1,300 people.

"Therefore Resolved, by the Board of Supervisors of the county of St. Clair, and it is hereby ordered and declared by said Board, that the following territory to wit (described in the petition), be and the same is hereby incorporated and the same shall be an incorporated village under the name of the village of Ft. Gratiot, and it is further resolved and declared that Thomas Southerland, Julius Granger and Walter T. Busby, all electors and residents of such territory, are hereby appointed Inspectors of Election, to hold the first election in said village, and such election shall be held on the first Tuesday of March, A. D. 1881, at Eddison's Hall, in said township of Ft. Gratiot and within the village of Ft. Gratiot aforesaid."

The new village held its first charter election March 15, 1881. The regular ticket nominated at the citizens' meeting and subsequently slightly changed by consent, was elected, with the exceptions of Francis P. Phoenix (Republican), in place of Richard Eades (Republican), for Treasurer, and J. A. McMartin (Democrat), for Clerk, instead of W. T. Busby (Republican). Phoenix's majority over Eades was eighty, and McMartin's over Busby, sixty-eight.

The following are the names of the officers elected:
President - O'B. J. Atkinson, Democrat.
Trustees for two years - Thomas Sutherland, Republican; Edward Hollis, Democrat; P. M. Edison, Democrat.
Trustees for one year - John Waterworth, Democrat; Hiram Morse, Republican; S. W. Merritt, Republican.
Treasurer - F. P. Phoenix, Republican.
Clerk - Julius McMartin, Democrat.
Assessor - Julius Granger, Democrat.
Street Commissioner - B. B. Dewey, Republican.
Constable - John Clark, Republican.

[619] THE TWO ELECTRICIANS AND INVENTORS.

In a history of Fort Gratiot, the reader will very naturally look for the personal history of the two Edisons; one of whom lives to electrify the world, while the other died in an effort to wake up sleepy Europe. The biography of the Thomas A. Edison was prepared by George H. Bliss; that of the younger Edison is taken from a sketch of his life published immediately after his death.

THOMAS A. EDISON.

The personal history of this celebrated electrician is one full of instruction to all readers, and of special interest to the people of St. Clair County, among whom he lived. The sketch is taken from his biography by George H. Bliss. "His ancestry," says Mr. Bliss, "can be traced back 200 years, when they were extensive millers in Holland. In 1730, members of the family emigrated to this country. Thomas Edison was a prominent bank official on Manhattan Island during the Revolution, and his name appears on the Continental money. The race is long-lived. Edison's great-grandfather lived to be one hundred and two and his grandfather one hundred and three years old. His father, Samuel Edison, is now living, aged seventy-four, and in perfect health. He stands six feet two inches, and in 1868 outjumped 250 men belonging to a regiment stationed at Ft. Gratiot, Mich. He learned the tailor's trade, but subsequently entered commercial life, and engaged consecutively in the grain, commission, lumber, nursery and land busniess. He has always been in easy circumstances. Edison's mother, Mary Elliot Edison, was born in Massachusetts. She was finely educated, and for several years taught in a Canadian high school. She was an industrious, capable, literary and ambitious woman. She died in 1862 at sixty-seven years of age. Thomas Alva Edison was born February 11, 1847, at Milan, Erie Co., Ohio. This was then a thriving town of several thousand inhabitants. Located at the head of Milan Canal, four miles from Lake Erie, it was the center of the ship-building, wheat-shipping and stave-making interests of that region. Exhaustion of the surrounding timber and the construction of the Lake Shore Railroad some distance south of the town, brought about decay, which compelled Edison's parents to remove to Port Huron when he was seven years old, which has since been their home. Edison never went to school over two months in his life. His mother taught him spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic. She was a fine reader and often read aloud to the family. Edison acquired his love of reading from her, which was encouraged by his father, who paid him for each book mastered. At ten years old, he had read "The Penny Encyclopedia," Hume's History of England, History of the Reformation, Gibbon's Rome, Searl's History of the World, several works on chemistry, and other similar works. He read them all with the utmost fidelity, never skipping a word or a formula, although mathematics were and are especially repulsive to him. It is this habit of concentration which has led him to the accomplishment of many astonishing results. As a boy, he was always occupied, and amused himself making plank roads, digging caves and trying experiments, his mind being full of subjects. He was uneasy to get into business, and at twelve years of age his father secured him a place as train boy on the Grand Trunk Railroad. When the road was completed between Detroit and Port Huron, he acquired an exclusive news dealer's right, having as high as four assistants. During the four years he ran the road, his earnings averaged $1 a day, which was given to his mother. In commencing to visit Detroit, he joined the library, and started to read it through. He began on the bottom shelf and read every book for fifteen feet, when the job was given up as hopeless, and thereafter congenial selections were made. He was an occasional reader of fiction and poetry. Victor Hugo is his favorite author. The Les Miserables, he read a dozen times, and has reviewed it as often since. The Toilers of the Sea he considers a grand book. His memory is so retentive that he can quote extensive extracts from many sources, and can usually refer direct to the book and page of his scientific library for any fact or information needed for experiment or research. His mind is crammed with an immense mass of information, it being difficult to mention a subject about which he knows nothing. He has a partial knowledge of the French, German, Italian and Spanish languages. Attached to the mixed train upon which he sold papers was a freight car having a room partitioned off for smoking purposes. As the car was without springs or ventilation, no one would ride in it. Edison obtained Tresenius' Quality [620] of Analysis', bought some chemicals on the installment plan, induced the hands at the railroad shop to make him some retort stands in exchange for papers, and turned the smoking room into a laboratory. The Detroit Free Press, then owned by Wilbur F. Storey, came out in a new dress. Edison purchased 300 pounds of old type, and for six months published a weekly paper on the train called the Grand Trunk Herald. The price was 3 cents and the subscription list ran up to several hundred. It was printed on one side only, by hand, and was devoted to railroad gossip, changes, accidents and information. George Stephenson, the English engineer, who built the tubular bridge at Montreal, when passing over the road found Edison at work, and ordered an extra edition for himself. The paper was afterward noticed by the London Times. One day the water in Edison's phosporous bottle evaporated, it fell on the floor and ignited the car. The conductor with difficulty extinguished the fire, threw the materials out of the car and gave Edison a thrashing, so that his newspaper and laboratory came to a sudden end. He continued his experiments in the cellar at home, and carried his printer's material with him for several years.

While running into Detroit, he became acquainted with the telegraph operators, and in hanging about the office the idea suggested itself to telegraph the newspaper headings to the stations in advance of the train. The effect was to spread the information of the battles then taking place and greatly increase his sales. The success taught him the value of the telegraph, and he determined to learn the business. He purchased a work on the electric telegraph, and, in conjunction with James Ward, one of his assistants, they constructed a telegraph line between their residences in Port Huron. They used common stovepipe wire insulated with bottles placed on nails driven into trees and crossed under an exposed road by means of a piece of abandoned cable, captured from the Detroit River. The first magnets used were made of wire wound with rags for insulation, and a piece of spring brass was used for a key. They were somewhat mixed as to the relative value of dynamic and static electricity for telegraph purposes, and the first attempt to generate a current was by means of a couple of cats rubbed vigorously at each end at an appointed time. This effort proved a failure, although they succeeded in getting rid of the cats with lightning-like rapidity. Soon after this experiment, some old telegraph instruments and battery materials were purchased, and a successful short line was inaugurated. This was quite an achievement in those days, although now there are hundreds of such short lines throughout the country.

About two months afterward, as the railroad train was switching some cars on to the side track at Mt. Clemens station, the agent's little boy, two years old, crept upon the track in front of the approaching cars. Edison, seeing the danger, sprang to the ground, seized the child and bravely saved his life. J. A. McKenzie was the agent and operator, and in gratitude for the act, volunteered to assist Edison to learn telegraphy. Thereafter, on reaching the end of his route, Edison would go back by freight train to Mt. Clemens, and worked nights to perfect himself in operating.

In five months he was sufficiently advanced to secure employment in the telegraph office at Port Huron. The office was in a jewelry store, and Edison had an opportunity to indulge his mechanical inclinations. He worked night and day to improve himself, but resigned in six months because compensation promised for extra work was withheld. His regular salary was $24 per month.

He next went to Stratford, Canada, as night operator. The operators were required to report, 'six' every half hour to the Circuit Manager. Edison indulged his ingenuity to a bad purpose by making a wheel with Morse characters cut in the circumference in such a way that when turned it would write the figure six and sign his office-call. This the watchman turned for him while Edison slept.

His stay at this point was brief. One night the dispatcher sent an order to hold a train. Edison repeated back the message before showing it to the conductor. When he ran out for the purpose, the train had pulled off from the side track and was gone. When the dispatcher was notified the opposing train was beyond reach. Fortunately the two trains met on a straight track and no accident occurred. The railroad superintendent sent for Edison and so frightened him with threats of imprisonment, that, without getting his wardrobe, he started [621] for home and was greatly delighted to reach his native land. He spent a few weeks at Port Huron in study, but operators were in demand and he obtained a situation at Adrian, Mich. Here he had a small shop and a few tools, where his spare time was used in repairing instruments and making such experiments as he had the means to accomplish. It was then a peculiarity of the Morse telegraph system that only one message at a time could be sent on one wire. It is also a characteristic of young operators, that each considers himself the most important personage on the line, and that his business must go first. Being at safe distance, operators proved no exception to the rule, and on one occasion, when he had some message from the Superintendent insisted on taking the line from all comers. The Superintendent of telegraph lived in the same town and had an instrument in his house. Hearing the tussel on the wire, he rushed to his office, pounced upon Edison and discharged him for violation of the rules.

His next situation was in night service at Ft. Wayne, and in two months he had improved so much as to secure a situation in Indianapolis. Here he invented his first successful automatic repeater, which is an arrangement for transferring the writing from one telegraph line to another without the medium of a sending or receiving operator. It was an important achievement for so young and inexperienced an operator.

The ambition of all operators is to be able to take 'press reports.' Edison practiced nights incessantly to accomplish this end. He was finally given a trial, but finding himself making too many breaks or interrogations, he rigged two more recording registers, one to receive and one to repeat the embossed writing at slower speed so it could be copied. When this was done, he told the sending operator to 'rush him,' which gave him a brief reputation, for the 'copy' was so slow in reaching the press it caused complaint, and he was suspended from the work.

At the end of six months, he was transferred to Cincinnati. Here he worked a day wire, but continued to practice nights and 'subbed' for the night men whenever he could get the privilege.

He had been in Cincinnati three months when a delegation of Cleveland operators came down to organize a branch of the Telegraphers' Union, which resulted in the great strike a few years since. They struck the office in the evening, and the whole force, with one exception, went off on a giganitc spree. Edison came round as usual to practice, and finding the office so nearly deserted took the press report to the best of his ability, and worked through the night, clearing up business. The following day he was rewarded by an increase of salary, from $66 to $105 per month, and was given the Louisville wire, one of the most desirable in the office. Bob Martin, one of the fastest senders in the country, worked the Louisville end, and from the experience here acquired, Edison dates his ability as a first-class operator.

Edison's utter negligence of dress and appearance, his willingness to work at all hours night or day, his insatiable thirst for reading, and his enthusiastic attempts to solve what appeared to his companions impossibilities, earned for him the name of 'luny' or crazy man, which clung to him a number of years. He retained, however, the personal good will of his associates.

In 1864, he went to Memphis and obtained a more remunerative salary. His associates were dissolute and imposed upon his good nature to such an extent that the work he did was enormous. Abstemious himself almost to stoicism, he freely loaned his money to his companions or expended it in the purchase of books or apparatus. He made and put into operation his automatic repeater so that Louisville and New Orleans could work direct. The idea of duplex transmission had taken possession of him, and he was perpetually advocating and experimenting to accomplish it. These efforts were looked upon with disfavor by the management, and in the changes resulting upon the transfer of the lines from the Government to the telegraph company he was dismissed.

Being without money, and having transportation to Decatur only, he walked to Nashville, where Billy Foley, an operator in the same predicament, was found, and they traveled together to Louisville. Edison had only a linen suit, and on arriving at Louisville he found the weather extremely chilly. He hunted up a friend who loaned him money for his immediate need. [622] Foley's reputation was too bad to obtain a situation for himself, but he recommended Edison, who obtained work. For this service Edison supported Foley till he could get a job.

Edison describes the Louisville office at this time as the dirtiest and most free and easy in the business. The common disposition of tobacco-quids was to hurl them at the ceiling, where they stuck by the hundred. Rats in great numbers kept the operator in company at night. The discipline was lax in all things, except the quality and promptness of work. Edison was required to take reports on a line worked on the blind side of a repeater, where he had no chance to break. This required skill, and he attained to a rare perfection by the most careful study of names, markets and general information. The line was old and in a poor condition, being subject to many interruptions and changes. To assist in his work, Edison was in the habit of arranging three sets of instruments, each with a different adjustment, so that whether the circuit was strong or weak, or no matter how rapid the change, he was able to receive the signals accurately. He remained in Louisville for nearly two years, and then got the South American fever. In connection with Messrs. Keen and Warren, two of his associates, he saved money for the trip, and they started, intending to go via New Orleans. On arriving at the latter place, the vessel upon which they were to ship had fortunately sailed. Edison fell in with a Spaniard who had traveled around the world. He told him of all the countries visited the United States was the best, having the most desirable government, institutions, climate and people. This wholesome advice shook Edison's determination in connection with his disappointment at delay, and he resolved to go home. He went to Port Huron via the Gulf and Atlantic States. After remaining a few weeks, he again got work at Louisville, and returned there. He now began to save his earnings more than ever, and invested them in addition to his library, apparatus, printing office and shop. He started to publish a work on electricity with his own office, but the task proved too much for his facilities. He went into a most elaborate series of experiments, as was his custom when investigating any subject, to determine the most rapid and best-adapted style of penmanship for an operator's use. He finally fixed upon a slightly backhand, with regular round characters, isolating the letters from each other, and without shading. This beautiful penmanship he became able to produce at the speed of forty-five words per minute, which is the extreme limit of a Morse operator's ability to transmit.

Edison's description of the habits of his associate operators at this time is amusing in the extreme. Often when he went home from his work in the small hours of the morning, he would find three of the boys on his bed with their boots on, where they had crawled after an evening's dissipation. He would gently haul them out and deposit them on the floor, while he turned in to sleep. Meanwhile, the office was removed to a new building with improved fixtures, and the instruments were fastened to the tables. Orders were issued not to move the instruments. Edison, however, could not desist from taking three sets to connect up so as to get report correctly, for the line outside had not been improved. At one time he had every instrument in the office out and connected together to try an experiment.

Beneath the office was a bank, and in the back office an elegant carpet covered the floor. Over this was the battery room, and one night, in trying to abstract some sulphuric acid for experiments, he tipped over the whole carboy. The acid ran through the floor and ceiling, destroying the carpet and doing other damage. This proved the climax of endurance, and Edison was discharged. He went immediately to Cincinnati and obtained work as report operator. This was the scene of some of his first achievements. He always had a hankering for machinery, and when on the Grand Trunk Railway frequented the machine shops and learned to run an engine. On one occasion, when the engineer and fireman were exhausted from overwork and fell asleep, he ran a train nearly the entire trip. He unfortunately pumped the engine too full of water, so that it was thrown from the smoke-stack, and deluged the engine with filth, much to the discomfiture of the engineer, who had slept while Edison ran the train. In Cincinnati, on his first stay, he made an ingenious small steam engine, and arranged his first duplex instruments. The instruments were very crude, as he had so little to work with, but the drawings, which still exist, show conclusively that double transmission was possible at a much earlier date than when out into practical use.

His second stay in Cincinnati was very unpopular on account of his continued experiments. [623] He would get excused from duty and take a bee line to the Mechanics' Library, where his entire day and evening would be spent reading the most ponderous electrical and scientific works. He remained in Cincinnati only a short time, and returned home.

He had a warm personal friend, M. T. Adams, in the Boston office. An expert was needed to work a heavy New York wire. Several candidates had failed, as the New York end was worked by York and Erie operators, who, as a class, had the reputation of writing anything but the Morse alphabet. G. F. Milliken, the manager, offered the situation to Edison by telegraph, and he accepted. He started via the Grand Trunk and the train was snowed in for two days near the bluffs of the St. Lawrence River by a violent storm. The passengers nearly perished with cold and hunger. When all resources for fuel and wood were exhausted, a delegation was sent out to hunt for relief. They were gone so long, another expedition was about starting in search of them, when they returned and reported a hotel not far distant, where cigars were 1 cent apiece, whisky 3 cents a glass and board 50 cents a day. A shout of relief went up from the crowded cars, and they were soon comfortably housed till the storm was over. Edison finally reached Boston all right.

He arrived in Boston in 1868, and in the person of Mr. Milliken found the first superior officer who could appreciate his character. Mr. Milliken was an accomplished gentleman, a thorough master of his profession, and an inventor of merit. He made allowance for the gawky and hungry look of his subordinate, and in the secret excitement under which he seemed to labor recognized the fire of genius. Edison's stay in Boston was congenial. There is a vein of humor running through his character, and he played a practical joke on the cockroaches which infested the office in great numbers. He placed some narrow strips of tin-foil on the wall and connected them with the wires from a powerful battery. Then he placed food in an attractive manner to tempt them. When these clammy individuals passed from one foil to the other they completed the battery connection, and with a flash were cremated, to the delight of the spectators. Edison started a shop in Boston, and gave all his spare time to it. His ideas here began to assume practical shape. He invented a dial instrument for private line use, and put several into practical operation. He made a chemical-vote recording apparatus, but failed to get it adopted by a Massachusetts Legislature. He commenced his experiments on vibratory telegraph apparatus, and made trial tests between Boston and Portland. He matured his first private line printer, and put eight into practical operation. From lack of means to pay for quotations, his venture was not successful and he sold out. This patent subsequently came into the possession of the Golden Stock Telegraph Company, and was considered to have a base or foundation value upon which many subsequent improvements were built.

At one time he was invited to explain the operation of the telegraph to what he supposed was a girl's school. He forgot the appointment, and when found was putting up a line on a house top. He went directly from his work, and was much abashed to find himself ushered into the presence of a room full of finely dressed young ladies. He was actually timid in ladies' presence, but his subject was understood, and the occasion passed pleasantly. He was introduced to a number of young ladies, who always recognized him on the street, much to the astonishment of his fellow-operators not in the secret. Edison is a strong believer in the Boston girl.

His idea of a duplex system constantly burned in his brain, and in 1870 he went to Rochester, N. Y., to try his apparatus between the two cities. Mr. F. L. Pope, the present patent adviser of the Western Union Telegraph Company, assisted in New York. The effort was a failure, although Edison has always claimed that it ought to have succeeded. He then went to New York, arriving there dead broke and discouraged. He hung around the office of the Gold Indicator Company for several days. Their apparatus was cumbersome and imperfect and frequently out of order. At such times the brokers would rush to the office and demand immediate repairs. One day when there was an unusual excitement in the gold market the apparatus failed. The confusion at the Indicator office was great. The Superintendent was out. Edison happened in and stood watching the confusion. He volunteered to fix the machinery. The President looked up on him with amazement, but being in the mood to catch at straws, gave him permission to try. He speedily found the defect and the next day was engaged to fill a [624] responsible position with the company. He immediately began to improve the apparatus, and soon invented a gold printer. The company was purchased by the Gold and Stock Company, and Edison was thrown out. He then went into company with Pope & Ashley (the latter now being editor of the Journal of the Telegraph).

The Pope and Edison printer was brought out, and a private line system put in active operation. This was soon sold to the Gold and Stock Company, and Edison has for many years been retained in the service of that company and the Western Union Telegraph Company at a large salary, they having the first option to purchase his inventions pertaining to telegraphy at prices agreed upon in each case. Edison's inventions pertaining to the gold and stock telegraphy soon replaced the old apparatus, and that system is interwoven with his inventions and improvements. At the formation of his intimate connection with the Gold and Stock Company, he established an immense electrical manufacturing establishment at Newark, which was divided into three large shops and two laboratories for experiment. He employed upward of 300 men, and was himself the busiest man in America. He gave himself scarcely any time for sleep. An idea of his determination and persistence can be gained from the following incident: He had been given an order for $30,000 worth of improved printers. The sample instrument had worked an experimental circuit, but the first instruments for practical use proved a failure. In vain he sought to remedy the defect, till finally, taking four or five of his best men, he went to the top floor of his factory, remarking that they would never come down till the printer worked. They labored continuously for sixty hours, and he was so fortunate as to discover the fault, and made the printers operate perfectly at an expense of $5,000. Such severe and protracted labors are common with him. He says after going without sleep more than the ordinary hours he becomes nervous, and the ideas flow in upon him with great rapidity. His sleep after these efforts is correspondingly long, sometimes lasting thirty-six hours. He knows no such division as day and night in his labors, and, when the inspiration is upon him, pursues the investigation and experiment to the end.

As a manufacturer he did not prove a success. The more resources at command, the greater his efforts at invention. At one time he had forty-five distinct inventions and improvements under way. All the large sums received for his patents and the profits arising from manufacturing to the amount of nearly $400,000 have been expended in inventive efforts. He finally became excessively annoyed at the tax upon his powers arising from regular business and concluded to remove to some small place inconvenient to reach, where he would be free from curiosity seekers, and have opportunity to put into practical shape his conceptions. In 1876, he sold his machinery and moved his family to Menlo Park, N. J., on the Pennsylvania Railroad, twenty-four miles from New York. Here, on the crest of a hill, remote from other buildings, he built a laboratory 28x100 feet, two stories in height. In one room on the ground floor he has a machinery department, in which is located a ten-horse-power engine, and a collection of expensive tools, so that any appliance, however intricate, can be made under his own inspection. In another room are ranged on shelves and in cases the models of a large number of his experiments and inventions. Here are also to be found many instruments of precision which he has purchased at great costs to assist in his investigations. His library is entirely scientific and costly, but not large. On his upper floor he has ranged upon shelves thousands of bottles of chemicals, and he makes it a rule to purchase some of every known chemical or mineral, to have at hand in case of need. Here he conducts his experiments under his personal supervision. He has always with him three or four assistants, whom he has selected on account of their skill as draughtsmen or workmen, willingness to comply with his wishes, and their physical endurance, which, with him, is an important consideration. Messrs. Charles Batchelor, Scotch, and James Adams, Irish, and Mr. Kusel, of German descent, are the principal assistants. Sometimes he has fifteen men employed exclusively in developing his inventions, if of importance and near completion. Edison was described by the United States Patent Commissioner as the young man who has kept the path to the Patent Office hot with his footsteps. He has been granted 112 patents in this country, and has some twenty applications pending in the office. His most valuable inventions have been patented in many foreign countries. Of his American patents, thirty-five pertain to automatic and chemical telegraphs, [625] eight to duplex and quadruplex telegraphy, thirty-eight to printing telegraph instruments, fourteen to Morse telegraph apparatus proper, and the remainder relate to fire-alarms, district and domestic telegraphy, electric signals, the electric pen, the speaking phonograph, and a variety of electrical and non-electric apparatus.

The printing telegraph instruments, the automatic or chemical system, by which 1,000 words a minute can be transmitted on a single wire for medium distance; the quadruplex system, by which four messages at a time are sent on the same wire by the Morse method; the electric pen, the carbone telephone, which exceeds all others for its loudness and distinctness; the speaking phonograph, and the aerophone are among his most valuable productions.

He has made many extremely interesting and minor discoveries, such as the lubricating property of electricity upon which the electro-motorgraph is based, and upon which could be built an entirely new system of telegraphy. His mind is so prolific that he can always afford to accept reasonable compensation for his inventions.

He is sharp at a bargain, and has been styled a Tallyrand in negotiating for the disposition of his inventions. His peculiarities and the great value of his inventions have led to severe struggles for the possession of some of them. His great anxiety seems to be to give an equivalent invention for the price asked; but he professes to be utterly without conscience in case of any attempt to overreach him. In person he is five feet nine and one-half inches tall; he wears a seven and seven-eighths inch tall hat; his hair is black and is worn short and is slightly gray. His complexion is pale and fair; his eyes are gray and piercing; he has a sharp nose and countenance. When in application, his look is most intense, although there is often a merry twinkle in his eye. His chest expansion is five inches. His powers of application, patience and endurance are something wonderful. He begins where most people leave off, and, like a Morphy at chess, carries on five or six lines of experiment in totally different divisions, never ceasing any of them till a result is reached or an impossibility proved. He keeps a careful record of each day's experiments, properly witnessed, and numerous volumes of such statistics. He is quite hard of hearing and his accomplishments with the telephone are most remarkable on account of this defect. For a long time he was unable to distinguish the sound produced, and depended upon his assistants. He many times despaired of a result. At last he got his carbon telephone sufficiently loud so that he could hear it over long distances without difficulty, and was satisfied. That such a man should go on and eliminate the speaking phonograph is surprising, and in view of his defect, he may almost be forgiven the production of the aerophone, intended to talk from three to ten miles. He was married to Miss Mars Stillwell, of Newark, in 1873. The medallion on the new silver dollar is an excellent profile likeness of her. Their honeymoon was eccentric, as Edison, although in the same city, could not leave his work for more than a few hours two or three times a week, owing to business engagements."

Whatever may be the outcome of electricity, the theory and art of its control must be in a great measure credited to him. The successes attendant on his late inventions, the adoption of the electric light system, and the illimitable possibilities of his profession, point out the brilliancy of his future life, while making the past secure.

CHARLES P. EDISON.

Charles P. Edison, the subject of this sketch, who died in Paris, France, October 19, 1879, was a nephew of Thomas A. Edison, the inventor, and at the time of his death was employed by his uncle in introducing some of the wonderful inventions that have made the name of Edison known in every land. He was born at Port Huron, Mich., March 5, 1860. His mind in his early youth like that of his uncle, was given to the investigation of every novel and curious thing that came under his notice. The discoveries made by the great inventor seemed to inspire young Charlie with a desire to accomplish something in the world of inventions. At the early age of eleven years, he was constantly experimenting in his rude and novel way with electricity, and to satisfy his desire to unravel the mysterious force, and to give his mind a wider scope, his parents gave the young lad permission to visit the laboratory and work shop of his uncle, then located at Newark, N. J. So infatuated was young Edison with what he saw, [626] that he remained several months, during which time he was constantly at work, sometimes investigating and experimenting on his own account, but always watching closely, storing up in his young mind everything that came under his observation. On his return home, he at once fitted up a small work shop and laboratory, and filled it with various kinds of chemicals, machinery and tools which were bought with money he earned in numerous ways, and spent all his leisure time in experimenting. His tastes and habits now, as in later years, were so similar to those of his uncle that it was quite remarkable. He was always looked upon as an eccentric youth, seldom mingling with his companions in their every-day sports, for his whole mind seemed to run to science. At this time he subscribed for many scientific journals. Among the number was the Scientific American, and he was its youngest subscriber. He organized a sort of telegraphic exchange, made telegraph instruments, constructed batteries, put up a line and held evening communications with his associates. So intent was he upon pursuing his experimental work that often his parents would retire leaving the young enthusiast in his miniature laboratory at work, and frequently it would be far on the morning before he would retire to rest. In the winter of 1878, the Common Council of the city decided to put up a fire alarm telegraph and advertised for proposals. Young Edison submitted a bid which was accepted, being so thoroughly familiar with the cost of material and expense of instruments that his propositions proved to be far below his competitors. Inside of three weeks it was in working order, and it has never failed in any particular to perform all that was promised. In April, 1878, he again left his home to reside in Menlo Park, N. J. He soon became the principal co-operator of his uncle in the invention of the new receiver for the loud speaking telephone - a telephone which made the voice loud enough to be heard through a large hall. After six months of unceasing labor, he finally completed it and was immediately sent to New York City to superintend the manufacture of these instruments to supply an order received from England. The 26th of last February he was sent by his uncle to exhibit these instruments before the Royal Society of London and the Prince of Wales; and from the first made it a perfect success. While abroad, he met many men of note, among them Prof. Tyndall, at whose house he was a guest, and who spoke in the most flattering terms of his genius. Also the King of Belgium, to whom he gave much information concerning the telephone and electric light, and also upon the subject of establishing telephonic communication between Belgium and England. At the time of his death, he was actually occupied in installing the quadruplex system of telegraphy of his uncle between Paris and Brussels, and was the only person in Europe who could operate it. He gave promise of a genius hardly second to that of his uncle, and already had made some inventions which were likely to give him a national or world-wide fame. A French paper, La France, in publishing a brief biography of him, say: "Although young, still he had shown great capacity and aptitude in invention. Science and society suffered a great loss in his death."

CHURCHES.

The churches of Fort Gratiot are the Methodist, Episcopal and United Presbyterian Churches in the village. The pastor of the Methodist Church is Rev. Francis Berry; Rev. T. W. Monteith of the Presbyterian, and Rev. George M. Skinner of the Protestant Episcopal.

ST. PAUL'S MISSION, FORT GRATIOT,

was established in 1873. The present pastor is Rev. G. M. Skinner, who came in 1881. David Curtiss Maitland, James Kirkland, Wardens; James Kirkland, Lay Reader.

The following is the report tendered to the congregation of 1882:

Baptized - Infants...........................................................................................

31

Adults............................................................................................................

2

Total.........................................................................................................

33

Confirmed......................................................................................................

13

Communicants admitted in the parish...............................................................

38

By confirmation..............................................................................................

13

Received from other parishes..........................................................................

12

Total added....................................................................................................

25

[627] Died.....................................................................................................

1

Removed from the parish................................................................................

4

Total lost........................................................................................................

5

Present number..............................................................................................

57

Marriages.......................................................................................................

1

Burials............................................................................................................

6

Public services - Sundays...............................................................................

109

Holy days.......................................................................................................

2

Other days.....................................................................................................

45

Total.........................................................................................................

16

Holy communion - Sundays............................................................................

14

Holy days.......................................................................................................

1

Private...........................................................................................................

1

Total.........................................................................................................

16

Congregation - Families..................................................................................

42

Individuals not included in families...................................................................

14

Total of souls.............................................................................................

240

Sunday School - Teachers and officers...........................................................

14

Scholars.........................................................................................................

110

Average attendance........................................................................................

60

Bible Classes - Teachers................................................................................

2

Scholars.........................................................................................................

10

Average attendance........................................................................................

9

Catechising "openly in church".........................................................................

45

Sunday School library (volumes).....................................................................

150

Parochial organizations - Church Aid Society, Relief and Visiting Committee...

24

Communion alms not otherwise reported.........................................................

$ 22 46

Rector's salary................................................................................................

405 00

Other current expenses...................................................................................

86 26

Total for Parochial purposes......................................................................

$513 52

Christmas fund...............................................................................................

2 14

Domestic missions..........................................................................................

1 32

By the Sunday School - For its own purposes.................................................

23 10

Total of contributions and offerings.............................................................

$515 98

Sources of above - Offertory..........................................................................

133 76

Subscriptions, gifts, pledges, etc......................................................................

405 00

Value of Church Property - Church................................................................

1,800 00

Church lot......................................................................................................

600 00

Total value of property..............................................................................

2,400 00

Salary pledged to the Rector...........................................................................

500 00

Number of sittings in the church (free).............................................................

300

Indebtedness - Church...................................................................................

266 25

Church lot......................................................................................................

133 75

Due the Rector...............................................................................................

66 00

Total of indebtedness.................................................................................

$466 00

An account of the organization of the other churches is given in the general history.

In June, 1882, an old resident of the village contributed the following little chapter of reminiscences to the Ft. Gratiot Sun:

"As I approach the old military grounds, I look in vain for the 'star-spangled banner' that always floated over the fort; and as I come nearer, instead of the tall, whitewashed pickets that surrounded the barracks, and the threatening field pieces that guarded the gates, and the blue-coated sentinel pacing his silent beat, I find a busy, bustling city, with all the activities of trade and business. The fort - where is it? Only a few fast-disappearing ruins mark its site. I go down what was once a steep bank toward the river, where the bake-house and the sutler's shop stood. I find the spot occupied by railroad tracks, locomotives and cars.

[628] "Where once only the tattoo or the reveille broke the stillness of the evening or morning air, now the shrieking of the iron horse, night and day, wakes the echoes.

"I look at the river - the same swift volume of water glides down; but now it is disturbed by the ponderous ferry-boat with its enormous load, and symmetrical propellers cleaving their rapid way, and the little smoke-enveloped tugs steadily breasting the current, and forcibly persuading their white-winged retinue to follow in their wake. But when I last looked upon its crystal waters, no cloud of steam or smoke shaded its surface, save at long intervals some unwieldy side wheeler, the Pennsylvania, Superior, or some other of the half-dozen steamboats that then cleft the waters of our inland seas, came toiling up, hugging to its sides some two or more sailing vessels which, mayhap, had lain for weeks at the foot of the rapids, vainly wooing a southern breeze. I look across the Canadian side, where then no sign of human proximity could be seen along its unbroken beach, and flocks of wild plover fluttered unmolested over the white sand. Now, great edifices, depots, and all the accompaniments of trade, travel and transportation meet my eyes.

"All is changed, so strange here, I will stroll up toward the lake and pass by the old plum trees that strewed the grass with their crimson fruit, and see the wild grape vines once loaded with purple clusters, and where I had seen a hundred wigwams, that for a few days sheltered the tawny natives, who had come from Saginaw Bay to receive their annuities from Uncle Samuel. I remember they were in full dress; indeed, it was a 'full dress party,' that would have more than satisfied the most rigorous demands of fashion, for not only were their neck, arms and shoulders bare, but their chests and lower limbs also. But surely, this is not the place, for here is nothing but streets, stores and dwellings. Still it must be, for there stands the old light-house where the courteous old Scotchman, Mr. Dougall, trimmed the lamp to guide the few mariners of the lake on their nightly way.

"Well, as I find nothing familiar here, I will go back west of where the fort stood and rest under the thick foliage of the pines, which form a lovely canopy over the beautiful meandering paths that have been cut through them. I go, but, instead of the fragrant pines, I find nothing but streets, streets, and rows of cozy cottages. 'Halloa, there! my little fellow; I'll take one of your newspapers. What have you?' 'The Ft. Gratiot Sun.' 'Why, 'tis almost like a metropolitan sheet.' Well, well, this settles it. It is too convincing an evidence of the progress of enterprise and civilization, to look further for any relics of the dead Past here. But that makes me think of it. If the Past is dead, I will wander down to the cemetery and find its grave or some of

"'The names I loved to hear
Though carved for many a year
  On the tomb.'

"I look for the cemetery - where is it? That, too, is gone! moved. And is all, everything changed? No; for of all the landmarks of the Past, I remain the same. But as I stand, and with my hook and line lift one of the finny tribe on to the dock, I catch the reflection in the water of a figure that is not the face nor form at all of the one, that forty-seven years ago stood there, engaged in the same amusement."

BIOGRAPHY.

This most important branch of township history must commend itself to every one. That it necessarily contains much valuable information and the relation of a series of events more or less historical must be conceded. Therefore, it is considered proper that anything which should claim a place in the pages devoted to it should be passed lightly over in the foregoing chapters, in order to avoid repetition, and to intermingle with these interesting sketches that more complete facts gleaned from the party who knows them best.

Lucius Beach

C. G. Brown

D. Hobert Bryce

R. G. Burwell

Walter T. Busby

James S. Button

Heman Clark

L. D. Collinge

Joseph Davis

P. M. Edison

Samuel Edison

Capt. John Egan

Lucius E. Farrar

John French

Robert E. French

Fred Garbutt

Julius Granger

James Hall

Henry Harrington

John Harrington

Capt. George Hartman

Robert Hayzelwood

Stephen Hill

R. F. Holland

John R. Johnston

Theodore C. Kaesemeyer

James Kerwin

Townsend Lymburner

George B. Mann

Christian May

Capt. James A. May

William McClary

Duncan McKellar

Jacob Miller

Daniel Mooney

Stephen Moore

Robert Morrison

H. Morse

Capt. Israel T. Palmer

Columbus Phenix

H. W. Powell

L. B. Rice

John Riggs

H. Roberts

James Simpson

Thomas Skinner

William D. Smith

C. E. Spencer, M.D.

O. M. Stephenson, M.D.

Thomas Sutherland

Peter VanValkenburg

George Walker

Thomas Watson

Richard Way

Joseph Winegar

H. Wyman