The following articles are from the Deerfield Ray, Deerfield, Mich, Saturday, September 2, 1876.
President Hiram T. Fife Trustees Sebastian Kirchgessner, Erastus Ormsby, Adam C. McWilliams, Seymour S. Porter, Les Smith, Edward J.Luther Clerk Evi K. Drew Treasurer James Manning Marshal Joseph Keegan Street Comissioner Evi S. Drew Assessor Albert E. Hawkins Constable Osee W. Webster Attorney Lysander Ormsby
We have the best of Prairie lands for sale at from $3 to $10 per acre, a credit of from one to ten years' time given if desired. No payments for two years, to parties improving land. We have a few Farms that came into our possession at less than half their value, that we would sell at cost and interest from date of pur- chase. These are great bargains. Address Burnham, Ormsby & Co., EMMETSBURG, IOWA
And Semi-Contennial Celebration at Dedzie's Grove near Deerfield, Mich.
We respectfully invite the pioneers of Lenawee and Monroe counties to meet with us on Friday, the 25th day of August, 1876, at 10 o'clock A. M., and unite in a basket pic-nic and semi-Contennial celebration of the first settlement, at Kedzie's Grove near Deerfield, Mich.
President - Jason Hemenway
Vice-President - D. H. Clark, Ephraim Hall, James Keegan, Dr. T. F. Dodge, W. A. Whitney, James I. Russell, George Peter, Rollin Robinson and W. M. Corbet.
Chaplain - Rev. A. S. Kedzie.
Historian - Lysander Ormsby
Committee of Arrangements - Hugh McQuarie, Alex. McMillan, Moses Bliss, Jonas Whitney, Milo Rowe.
Committeee on Music - A. L. Bliss, Willis Hood, W. W. Goff, Rev. O. B. Hale, C. E. Hollister, Neil A. McQuarie.
We expect that many will be present to tell the pioneers story.
James T. Kedzie
A. S. Kedzie,
Geo. H. Kedzie
R. C. Kedzie.
Music Deerfield Brass Band Address of Welcome James T. Kedzie Reading of Scripture Rev. O. B. Hale Prayer Rev. A. S. Kedzie, Chaplain Vocal Music Historical Review Lysander Ormsby Music Glee Club
After dinner short speeches will be expected, interspersed with music, vocal and instrumental, glee choruses, &c.
In response to the above call, not less than one thousand persons assembled at Kedzie's grove, which is situated one half mile west of Deerfield, on the road leading from Monroe to Adrian. We give a very full report of the proceedings. The meeting was also addressed by Mr. Williams, of Monroe county, Mr. Almond Harrison, of Lansing, Rev. Mr. Curtis, Hou. B. L. Baxter, of Tecumseh, Daniel Clark, Hiram T. Fife, Rev. O. B. Hale and others.
WELCOME TO THE PIONEERS, BY JAMES T. KEDZIE.
Being the eldest of the five brothers who issued the call for this pioneer meeting, it becomes my duty to extend our congratulations and give to all a hearty welcome. We welcome you to this grove on the homestead of our lamented father, who was the first to settle in this town of Deerfield. Perhaps this is the very anniversary of the day when, with the help of one man, he came to prepare the timber for a log cabin, in which he placed his family, October 1826.
Fifty years in the future seems a long time for the young among us to contemplate, and how few will see that day. But I am thankful in being permitted to say that all the sons of father's family are sill among the living, while the father passed away in '28, mother and eldest sister in '74, and the youngest in '72. The average age of our dead was 58 years and the living is 59 years. Such is the longevity of our family. The rest I will leave for the historian.
In our next number we will commence to publish the historical address delivered by L. Ormsby, at the pioneer pic-nic, Aug. 25.
Names of Individuals noted in the Deerfield Ray, September 2, 1876
N. Manly, Justice of the Peace
L. Smith & Son, Blacksmiths and Horse Shoers
James Burmett, Dealer in Grain.
A. Stevens, Dealer in Boots and Shoes
A. K. Nichols, Dealer in Crockery, Glassware, Groceries and Dry Goods.
James Manning, Treasurer
Joseph Keegan, Marshall
E. S. Drew, Steet Commisoner
E. K. Drew, Recorder
Rev. Robert Edgar, Presbyterian Paster.
Rev. Father Maes, Catholic Paster
A. L. Johnston, Mitchell Ind., Cards
C. Ward, Ticket Agent, Lake Shore & Michigan Southern R. R.
G.V. Bailey, Ticket Agent, Chicago & Canada Southern R. R.
Advertisement from the back of Deerfield Ray, Vol. II, No. 5 Deerfield Mich, Tuesday, Sept 7, 1876 Whole No. 29. Listings: L. Ormsby, Burnham, Ormsby & Co, Emmetsburg, Iowa, N. Manly, Justice of the Peace, L. Ormsby Conveyancer and Notary Public, A. Stevens, Dealer in Boots and Shoes, A. K. Nichols, Dearler in Crocery, Glassware, Groceries and Dry Goods.
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen. We congratulate you to-day that under the blessings of a providence we have gathered here - in this pleasant grove of native forest trees, where we can clasp the friendly hand of those we knew in earlier days, and recall to our memories many of those incidents of early pioneer life, with its joys and its sorrows, its sunshine and its shadows, as we who have passed life's meridian like so well t do.
But a few years in the past and this was one vast wilderness, and under the shadow of these branches have roamed the wild beasts of the desert, unmolested except perhaps by the stealthy tread of the red man, with his bow and arrow, in the pursuit of his game.
But to-day, as we pass along this same country, we behold your prosperous cities and villages, your church spires and your school houses, your barns filled with grain and hay, your fields still burdened with the growing crops, your orchards and vines loaded with the ripening fruit, and as we pass by your dwellings, whether the stately mansions or the humble cottage, and find them surrounded with beautiful flowers, with trailing vines and shrubery, all telling of industry, prosperity and refinement, we are ready to exclaim in the language of the great poet of Israel (changing on the future for the present,) you have truly made the wilderness to become a fruitful field, and the desert to blossom as the rose.
Mr. President, I shall ask your indulgence, if, in the few moment allotted me, I shall deviate from the usual custom on occasions like this, and give you a few scattered fragments of pre-historic times, of the early history of this state, of this county and of this township, closing with a few way remarks, showing the march of human progress in the last half century.
We find scattered over this lower peninsula evidences that this country, sometime in the great past, has been peopled by a race of human beings, and that they were far in advance of the American Indians in civilization.
These evidences consist of ancient mounds, forts, and the remains of ancient gardens, which are found in all parts of this state, and especially along on the banks of large rivers; they frequently contain human bones, brass and iron, and sometimes brazen vessels; their great antiquity is established by the growth upon them of huge trees, which are at least five hundred years old.
The forts are not so numerous, and are found principally along our large rivers, but occur occasionally in all parts of the state; some of these are built in a semi-circular shape, others elliptical, while many are square, and still others are rectangular and some are irregular, to be sure they are crude when compared to modern forts, but still they show some of the principles of the modern engineer.
The ancient garden beds are generally fund in the rich prairies and oak openings of the southern part of the state; some of these are said, to be still in a good state of preservation; one of these I will describe: It is found, a short distance from the village of Three Rivers, in St. Joseph county; it is one hundred and sixty rods in length, and more than one hundred rods in width, and contains more than one hundred acres of land, all regularly laid out in beds running north and south, in the form of parallelograms, five feet wide, one hundred feet long, and eighteen inches deep, with alleys between them one and a half feet wide, and one and a half feet deep; at the extremity of each of these is a semi-circular bed of the same depth and diameter corresponding to this width of the beds, and these beds are, or were but a few years ago, as distinctly discernible as if but recently made. It has been estimated that this one garden, with the systematic regularity and order in which it was laid out, without modern improved implements of gardening, must have required the labor of several hundred men. We have also evidences that this ancient people worked the iron and copper mines of the Northern Peninsula. A few years ago a mining company found, eighteen feet below the surface of the ground a mass of native copper, ten feet long, three feet wide and two feet thick, resting on timbers of oak and blocked by other timbers, still beneath these. These ancient miners after having cleft this enormous mass of ore from its native bed, for some cause, abandoned their work before its completion. Mining tools, such as drills, hammers, were also found, one weighing twenty-four pounds.
Only two years ago Mr. Davis, in the interest of a Detroit mining company, while exploring in the Lake Superior region, discovered an old copper mine that had been worked for twelve miles, in a nearly straight line, and also found a piece of copper ore weighing three tons, with the tool marks of the miners plainly visible thereon.
The great antiquity of these mining operations, like the ancient gardens, mounds and forts of the Southern Peninsula, are also established by the growth of old forest trees there, and from the fact that the native Indians knew nothing of their existance, until his attention was called to them by the white man.
Nor are thes monuments of antiquity confined to our own state. But they are found all over this vast country, from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean, and from Lake Superior to South America. In the single state of Ohio, the monuments of antiquity number over nine hundred, ad some of them are truly wonderful in the great skill and enormous amount of labor required for their completion.
From the mounds, we learn that they were very numerous, and
must have been counted by millions; that they were a people accustomed
to labor, is shown by the Herculean labors required to build those
mounds and work those mines. That they were an agricultural people,
is proved by those wonderful gardens, and from the fact that so
numerous a people could never have performed such an amount of
labor without receiving their substance, mainly from the soil.
These ancient forts indicated to us that there were more nations or tribes than one, as they were evidently built for defence.
These antiquities all indicate that this strange people possessed, in some degree, the elements of civilization.
An old fragment of Mexican history that the Spaniards failed to destroy after the conquest of Mexico, says that about the seventh century of the Christian era, there emigrated to that country from the north, a race of people from the land of Tullan, and that they brought with them to the valley of Mexico the first elements of civilization. They were a people of mild, industrious and enterprising habits. They cultivated the soil, introduced the maize and cotton, made roads, erected monuments of colossal dimensions, built temples and cities. They could polish the hardest granite rock, make pottery and weave various fabrics in cloth. They understood something of astronomy, knew the causes of the eclipses. They constructed sun dials, they derived a simple system of notation, and measured time by the solar year of eighteen months, twenty days each, adding five days to make up the 365 days, and adding the fractional hours, making 12 1/2 days every 52 years, which varies but a small fraction from our own computation.
Their religion was of a mild and peaceful character; their laws mild and humane. Here they lived and prospered till the beginning of the thirteenth century, when they were overrun by another more barbarous nation, and subdued. Evidences of the great antiquity of the early inhabitants of this country are numerous. I have seen an old well fourteen feet deep, and walled up with stone laid in mortar, and the mortar hardened like cement, and the top of this well was twenty-four feet below the level of the ground. It was not in a valley, but on a rolling prairie.
I have also seen and handled a copper kettle taken from a coal bed twelve feet below the surface of the ground, at Buffalo Rock, near Ottawa, Ill., a small piece of which I now have in my possession, and thousands of similar relics are found all through the land. And though we may never know the exact period in the great cycle of time when this strange people existed, yet there is some evidence that at some period in the past, their feet have trod this soil and their hands cultivated these fields, and that they possessed many of the arts of civilization. Of the American Indian, we have only to say they were very numerous when this continent was first discovered by the Europeans. They were indolent in their habits; in their character, they were kind and generous to their friends, cruel and treacherous to their enemies; and today the nation mourns the loss of some of her bravest sons that have fallen by their ruthless hands, and yet they were defending the homes of their wives and children. But they are fast receding before the march of human progress and civilization, like dew before the morning sun, and in a few brief years they too will be numbered only in the past.
The territory of Michigan was discovered and partially explored as early as the year 1610, full decade before the landing of the Pilgrim fathers at Plymouth Rock. In 1641, a number of pioneer missionaries paddled a bark canoe from the St. Lawrence river, Canada, up through Ottawa river, thence crossing over lake Nipissing, thence down the French river to the Georgian Bay, passing the islands of Lake Huron to the fall of St. Mary, and established the first mission in the territory, now state of Michigan. The first settlement was made at Detroit, in 1701, by Anoine DeLamotte Cardillac and others. The first fort was built at Detroit, in the same year. In 1763 this territory, with the Canadian provinces, was ceded by France to England, and in 1783 this territory was ceded by England to the United States. The territory of Michigan was first organized in 1805, and Wm. Hull was its first Governor. On the 12th day of July, 1812, this territory was surrendered by Gen. Hull to the British troops under Gen. Brock. On the 10th day of September, 1813, Commodore Perry won his great victory over the British fleet on Lake Erie, and on the 5th of October following, Gen. Harrison won his great victory over the combined forces of British and Indians, at the battle of the Thames, and soon after Detroit was surrendered to the Americans, and at the close of the war, in 1814, the territory passed again into the hands of the United States, and Gen. Lewis Cass was appointed Governor. Detroit has passed through many vicissitudes of peace and war, and five times has the flag that waved over it been changed; three different sovereigns have claimed its allegiance; twice has it been besieged by the Indians; one captured in war, once burned to the ground; in 1810 its population was on 770; today it numbers 100,000 inhabitants, and is rapidly increasing in numbers and prosperity, and is one of the finest cities in America. In 1835 a dispute arouse about the boundary line between the Territory of Michigan and the State of Ohio, which for time threatened serious results. At this time the General Government offered to give Michigan 25,000 square miles of territory, and an equal partnership in the confederation of States in lieu of her disputed boundary, an offer which was accepted, and on the 26th day of January, 1837, she was admitted, and was the twenty-sixth state of the Union, and Stevens T. Mason was the first Governor.
In 1860 the Territory contained 28,000 inhabitants. In 1870 the State contained 1,184,000 inhabitants. She has 3,0000 miles of railroad and 1,600 miles of lake coast. Her internal resources seem inexhaustible, with an abundant supply of lumber and salt, and he mines of coal, iron and copper are among the richest in the world. This State has also a system of education equal to that of any of the older states. Here every one whether rich or poor may have the benefit of a liberal education. Next in importance to Detroit in the early settlement of this State is Monroe. It is situated on the river Raisin, near its mouth, and was first settled by the French in 1784. The first American settlement was in 1793. Monroe was for many years the depot of the northwest Fur Trade Co., which made it the central point for thousands of Indians, and they endured all the horrors of Indian was till the close of the war of 1812. The first church was built in Monroe, in 1790, and Rev. Antoine A. Gillott was its pastor, and Calvin Burnham, late of Summerfield, Monroe county, taught the first English school. Monroe is now a fine and healthy city, and contains about 6,000 inhabitants.
The first settlement in Lenawee county was made in 1824 by Musgrove Evans, at Tecumseh. The first saw mill was built the same year, and the first flouring mill the next succeeding year, both at Tecumseh. In 1826, just fifty years ago, this country was organized, and contained less than forty persons. Now it numbers more than 40,000 inhabitants. The pleasant and prosperous city of Adrian, the pride of Lenawee, county, and containing a population of more than 10,000 inhabitants, 50 years ago contained but one log cabin.
In relation to the intelligence and prosperity of this county, I need only to tell you that she supports ten regularly published newspapers within her borders, besides tow daily editions.
The township of Blissfield was the first settled in 1824, and Harvey and Nancy Bliss and family were its first inhabitants. Their nearest neighbor, till Mr. Kedzie came, was ten miles distant, the only road an Indian trail, their only guide was marks made with an ax upon the trees; the nearest and only market was Monroe, 30 miles away, all wilderness. I have heard these old people tell of the toils and privations, and of the many incidents connected with pioneer life, and sometimes the old lady's eyes would moisten with tears as in her memory she would recall some striking incident of the past; not tears of sorrow, for those days of privation were past, and she sat like a queen in the lap of luxury, loved and respected by all who knew her. You will pardon me for pausing a moment to pay a tribute of respect to the memory of these worthy old pioneers, when I tell you that when I first came into this state, thirty-nine years ago, a stranger in a strange land, weary and sick, it was under the shelter of their roof I found a welcome, it was there we ate our first morsel, and it was there we first laid our weary limbs to rest in this state. And while memory lasts I shall remember with pleasure, the fact that I have lived in the first log cabin with its puncheon floor and its shake and pole roof that was built in Blissfield.
The township was organized in 1827. The first school house was built in 1827. The first post office was established in 1828. The first Presbyterian church was organized in 1829.
Mr. President, I shall ask you to excuse me for passing lightly over the early history of Blissfield. At your gathering last year, our venerable friend, Mr. James T. Kedzie, gave you a very interesting and exhaustive history in detail of the township, and I hope he will read that document to you to-day.
The township of Deerfield as organized by act of Legislature in 1867, embracing sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12 ,13, 14, 15 , 23, 24, 25, 26, 35 and 36 from the original township of Blissfield, and sections 25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, and 36 from the original township of Ridgeway. The first Supervisor was Hiram T. Fife.
The first settlement made within the limits was by Wm. Kedzie, of Delhi, New York, in the year 1826. The first land purchased of the government was purchased by him in 1824, a portion of which we occupy to-day.
The next early settlers were Benjamin Clark, Daniel H. Clark, Anthony McKey and Benjamin Tibbits, Edward Calkins and Jonas Ray in 1827. In 1828 Abner J. McWilliams and Charles Miller were added to the number. Daniel H. Clark and Charles Miller are the only surviving persons of the early settlers.
A post office was established in 1828. Wm. Kedzie was appointed the first postmaster, and died a short time after, and Anthony McKey was appointed in his place. The mail was carried on horseback from Monroe to Blissfield, the carrier making one trip per week.
The first school house was built of logs, in 1829, and Miss Caroline Bigsby was the first teacher.
The first meeting house built in the township was by the Catholic society, in 1843. a Catholic church and society was organized the same year by Father Lewis Gillott.
The first Methodist Episcopal church and society was organized in 1843, and Rev. William Taylor was the first pastor. Their first church was built in 1844.
The first Presbyterian church and society was organized in 1848, and Rev. John Monteith was the first pastor. In 1861 they built their first church.
In 1873, the village of Deerfield was incorporated, and Jason Hemenway was the first president.
Fifty years ago to-day one solitary log cabin on yonder river bank, the home of those friends through whose invitation you are assembled here to-day, was all there was within the limits of the present township of Deerfield. But to-day, it is the peaceful, pleasant home of 1,5000 inhabitants.
Mr. President, instead of the one log school house of 46 years ago, it is with pride and pleasure that we can point you to yonder brick edifice with its modern improvements, that will comfortably seat 300 students, and also to inform you that we have besides five commodious school houses with the limits of our little town.
I am also happy to inform you that instead of the post boy and one mail a week, we now receive five mails a day (except Sundays), and send the same number away.
We have a small newspaper published in our town. The first number was issued on the first of June, 1875 George W. Grames, publisher and proprietor, a young man 17 years of age, already sends his little sheet into 16 different states of the union.
The wonderful development and utility of practical science deserves a passing notice at our hands. Most of these old pioneers will remember when the sickle was the only instrument used for harvesting wheat, and that the man that would go into the harvest field and with his sickle reap one acre had done more than an average day's work, but our friend William, the owner and occupant of this old homestead, can harness his team in the morning, hitch them to his carriage (he calls it his reaper,) and get into his cushioned seat, go to this field of grain, cut and rake ready for binding ten acres of grain, which he will tell you is a fair day's work. The same advantage is gained by the mower over the scythe, and the horse over the hand rake.
How many of these old veterans have worked hard all day, threshing with the flail and at night have less than ten bushels of wheat to show for their day's work. But with the improved threshing machines of to-day, a man has only to invite a few of his neighbors when he gets ready to thresh, and if not over 500 bushels, is but one day's work. What would the farmer's boys think if they had all the wheat to thresh either with the flail or by spreading the bundles of grain on the barn floor or on the bare ground, as these people have had to do, and drive oxen or horses over it until the grain is separated from the straw?
These are not overdrawn pictures, but are only a few of the real facts as these old settlers will tell you. I was conversing with one of these old pioneers from Napoleon, a day or two ago, one of the very first settlers; he told me he had to go to Ann Arbor, a distance of 40 miles, to mill, through the wilderness. It put me in mind of an incident, which I will relate: Mr. Kedzie, the father of these gentlemen, once took a grist to Monroe to mill, which was 30 miles distant, and all wilderness. When he got there with his grist, the mill was out of repair, and he had to bring it back unground. He then took it to Tecumseh: The crocked paths he had to travel, made the traveled distance for that grist about one hundred miles, and not a good highway, but through an almost unbroken wilderness, with only marked trees and old Indian paths for his guide. Soemtimes when I have thought of that circumstance, I wanted to ask these gentlemen, who were boys then, if the bread from that grist, did not taste sweeter than the bread of to-day.
Mr. President, to illustrate the convenience of traveling now over what it was fifty years ago, I asked our old friend, Mr. Munson, who came from western New Your, how long it took him to come here with his team. He said he made a remarkably short trip. He was only 21 days on the road, and traveled only 19 days.
To-day Mr. Munson can take his breakfast at home and get into a nice railway coach, with cushioned seats and all the conveniences of a nice parlor and the same evening take his tea at the old homestead in New York.
Equally great has been the change in the transmission of the mails by railroad over the slow mail coach
Mr. President, in our little village of Deerfield, here we get, every day, daily papers from Adrian, from Jackson and from Detroit. I can take up any of these papers and tell you the price of stocks, the market reports, and of any event of importance that transpired yesterday in Boston, in New York, in London, in Paris, San Farncisco, or any other place of importance in Europe or America.
The progress of science has brought the very elements under our control, and to-day we can literally travel by steam and talk by lightning.
In all the various departments of human life, similar progress has been manifested. Fify years ago human slavery was supposed to be a divine institution, and sanctioned by heaven. But to-day all civilized nations of the earth have abandoned the traffic, and in our own country, with the past few years, the chains of slavery have been cleft from four millions of human beings.
Woman, too, but a few years ago, was supposed to be only capable of subordinate positions in domestic life. To-day she stands side by side with man, struggling for liberty and equality; she is already in the counting-room, in the laboratory, at the bar, on the rostrum, and in the pulpit, and is now demanding the ballot at your hands.
By the science of phrenology we find that the organs of the brain determine the capacity of the mind and thought.
Magnetism and psychology, too, have explained to us the mysteries of human life, with its intermediate relations, all of the way from the grosest material to the most etherial or angel worlds.
The science of geology has taken us back through the countless ages of the past, and has taught us that there is a universal law that pertains to all matter in motion, and that law is progress.
The science of astronomy, too, has taken us up into the heaven of heavens, and has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the myriads of stars that bespangle the firmament of heaven are suns and systems of worlds in countless numbers, making their eternal revolutions in their orbits around their central suns, with the precision of infinite law, like our solar system.
This planet on which we live, (though all the world to us,) in its relation to the great univerelium of the limitless universe, is but a pebble in the great ocean of matter, and we are led to exclaim, how infinate is infinity, and how finite is man.
In political economy we witness equal progress. The old doctrine that "insight makes right," and that "kings and potentates governed and enslaved the people by a divine right," has passed away.
Just one hundred years ago, when these brave representatives of the thirteen original colonies of America declared to the world that all men were endowed with a divine right o freedom and the pursuit of happiness. The inspiration of truth gave it power, and a nation was "born in a day.".
And instead of thirteen feeble colonies and only three millions of people, to-day we number thirty-eight states, and more than forty millions of inhabitants.
And our flag now floats proudly on every sea and in every harbor in the world, giving safety and protection to all our people.
Our banner is an emblem of our nation. The tripes of human experience have spread the wings of the eagle, and the eagle and the starts indicate our rapidly onward and upward progress to an immortal destiny.
Before I close, permit me to say to these old pioneers who have by their labors contributed to the development and prosperity of this country, we bid you good cheer, we acknowledge our indebtedness to you for many of the blessings we enjoy. We shall always cherish for you the kindest regards, we will teach our children and our grand-children to respect your memories, and as you pass down the declivities of life it will be a consolation to know that every person who has by his labor contributed to the legitimate wants and necessities of mankind, whether physical, moral, intellectual or spiritual, is equally a benefactor.