In these pages an effort has been made to treat the history of the county in a full and impartial manner. With the exception of the first chapters - a concise history of Michigan - the work is distinctively local. The story of the French and American pioneers is very fully treated; so also is that of the old and new settlers of the county.
The biographical history has been compiled from the most certain sources.
A large sum of money, much labor and time have been expended on this section of the work. Even after the notes
were made by the township historians, they were rewritten, submitted in many instances, again placed on the type-writer,
and mailed for revision and approval to the parties interested.
The plan adopted in the arrangement of subjects and minuteness of description pursued render the work a most
valuable record book. All things relating to the State are dealt with in the chapters of Michigan history, which
form, as it were, an introduction to the general history of the county. The latter is carried down from the earliest
times, treating fully and impartially every item of interest connected with the county. In searching old documents
and French pamphlets, the writer arrived at new facts which, on account of their connection with the St. Clair
region, are introduced into the history of the county, rather than into that of the State
The reminiscences of early settlement were compiled from writings in possession of the Pioneer Society, or from
facts related by old settlers. The papers by Mrs. B.C. Farrand, Rev. O.C. Thompson, Moses F. Carleton, Samuel Carleton,
William Grace, Judge W.T. Mitchell, Dr. Taylor, U.S.A., and Aura P. Stewart were of material assistance; while
the offices of the County Clerk and Register of Deeds yielded up a mine of facts of great value. The introduction
of anecdotes is to the personal history of the county just as important as that of legends is to the general history,
and on that account they find a place in this work.
To the members of the Historical Committee of the Pioneer Society, and also to the editors of the Times,
Commercial and St. Clair Republican, all of whom placed the files of their journals at our disposal,
we desire to extend our sincere thanks for the material aid rendered us in the compilation of this work. The manuscript
copy of the general history was submitted to the Committee early in September, 1882, and on the 29th of that month
the work of correcting errors in dates, names and events was completed.
Throughout the pages of the general history, a desire to deal fully and fairly with the subject cannot fail
to be evident. Regarding township and city history, much has been done toward rendering it a plain story of men
and events. While the general history of the county contains almost every important item of township history, there
are many facts and names, so identified with the townships, as to necessitate a sketch of each division of the
county. In the compilation of such sketches, official records were solely relied upon, for the reason that in the
accompanying biographies, the most interesting facts are brought to light, founded on the authority of the persons
Western Historical Company
Chicago, June, 1883.