Page [unnumbered] ANNUAL -OF THE MUSKEGON COUNTY Pioneer and Historical Society FOR THE YEAR 1887. MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN. MUSKEGON CHRONICLE BINDING AND PRINTING HOUSE.
Page 1 ANNUAL -OF THE MUSKEGON COUNTY Pioneer andy: Historical Society FOR THE YEAR 1887. MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN. MUSKEGON CHRONICLE BINDING AND PRINTING HousE.
Page 2 OFFICERS. --o-- I888. -0 PRESIDENT:-HENRY H. HOLT, MUSKEGON. SECRETARY:-CHA'NCY L. WHITNEY, MUSKEGON. TREASURER:--SAMUEL H. STEVENS, MUSKIEGON. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: HENRY H. HOLT, SAMUEL H. STEVENS. HIRAM PARKER. CHANCY L. WHITNEY, GEORGE N. COBB, JOHN A. MILLER, WILLIAM W. OWEN. VICE PRESIDENTS: William L. Ryan, Muskegon City. Patrick Dowd, Muskegon Township. James H. Whitney, Norton. Lester C. Morgan, Lakeside. Alonzo R. Williams, Laketon. Seth Evans, Cedar Creek. William Carr, Eggleston. Charles E. Whitney, Fruitport. Thomas D. Smith, Ravenna. Alonzo B. Sumner, White River. George A. Whitbeck, Montague. Lyman T. Covell, Whitehall. Stephen A. Aldrich, Blue Lake. Benjamin F. Dow, Dalton. James II. Lobdell, Casnovia. Joseph Haygreen, Fruitland. William Bunce, Holton. Robert Robinson, Moorland.
Page 3 CONTENTS. -:0:PAGE Introduction................................................... 4 History of the SefleAment of Muskegon.............................. 5 Organization of the Township of Muskegon............................ 6 The First Sawmills of Muskegon................................. 9 Early Settlers of Muskegon...................................... 12 Major Chauncey Davis, Life of.................................. 17 List of Early Settlers with date of arrival............................... 27 Muskegon County Organized....................................... 28 Muskegon Village Organized.................................. 29 Muskegon City Organized................................. 30 Postal Facilities of Muskegon...................... 30 History of the Early Horticulture in the County.......................... 33 The Press of Muskegon.......................................... 37 The Schools of Muskegon............................................. 38 The Churches of Muskegon........................................ 39 Muskegon Harbor............................................. 41 Pioneer Organizations and Picnics.................................... 45 Picnic of 1887-Semi-Centennial................................... 47 Program of Interlake Park Dedication............................. 51 Introductory Address by Hon. Henry H. Holt........................ 54 Welcome Address by L. N. Keating................................. 60 Address of Ex-Mayor S. H. Stevens................................. 62 Address of Major C. E. Storrs................................ 65 Address of Major Chauncey Davis............................. 69 Address of Rev. Edward VanPammel............................ 75 Address of Hon. T. E. Giddley............................. 80 Address of Hon. James H. Swan.................................. 80 Reminiscences by George and John Ruddiman......................... 83 Address of Alexander V. Mann................................... 85 Remarks of P. J. Connell............................................ 88 Address of Edwin Potter............................................ 90 Incorporation of The Muskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society..... 94 Articles of Association of the Society.................................. 96 Election of Officers of the Society............................... 99 By-Laws of the Society........................................ 100 Address to Pioneers and Citizens of the County..........................103
Page 4 SALUTA TORY.:0:We make no apology for the presentation of this little work other than will be found in the words temp5us fzugit. Are not these words too true? Does not "time fly" all too swiftly when seventy-five annual cycles have been completed since the Trading Post was established at the mouth of our beautiful lake, and a half century has pdssed since the Township of Muskegon was organized? Is it not time that some effort be made to save from the corroding fingers of the flying years the incidents of our early history, and to embalm the deeds of those who gave us that history? Such is the object of this modest little volume, the introductory bow of The Muskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society. We invite all to read its pages, not with too critical an eye, yet to carefully note its deficiencies and then to aid us to remedy them in succeeding ventures, as we hope to be able to publish a similar, but better volume each year. We are aware that we might have made a larger volume, we had data enough, but it was in too crude a condition. WVe are also aware that there are errors in this, but we are confident that you will find them to be errors of omission rather than of commission, chargeable to the head rather than to the heart. The interest taken in the Pioneer Picnic of August 3oth, 1887, at Interlake Park, and the expressed desire of those present has caused us to take the first steps in this publication and the incorporation of this society and its instructions at that time have encouraged us to continue the work which we trust will not only meet with your approval, but will find favor with all the residents of the county who, we hope, will be interested in and become active workers in The Muskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society. Truly yours, CHANCY L. WHITNEY, Secretary. Muskegon, Mich., January Ist, 1888.
Page 5 HISTO RY --OFTHE SETTLEMENT OF MUSKEGON. BY HENRY It. I-IOLT. The history of Muskegon, so far as we have been able to learn any items in regard to it, has its origin in 1812, when John Baptiste Recollect began to occupy a trading post, which was sit-- uated about twenty rods west of the mouth of Bear Lake. This was the first trading post on Muskegon lake, and was occupied for a number of years, the remains of the chimney still being visible as late as 1836. During the spring of the first year of his residence here it became necessary for Recollect to go to a military station at the mouth of St. Joseph riveri and he made the trip in one day, having swam the Grand and Kalamazoo rivers, and forded the other streams. Pierre Constant built the next trading post near the G. J. Tillotson mill at Bluffton, which he occupied until his death in S128. His oldest daughter, Louise Constant, who was then 'seventeen years of age, and who had already been bookkeeper for her father for five years, continued the business successfully for six years until she married WVilliam Lasley, who started the same business about that time. Mrs. Lasley, who is the mother of S. H. Lasley, of Montague, is still living, making her home at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The next was built in 1830, by Joseph Daily, near the Rodgers foundry, and was occupied by him until IS34, when he sold it to Louis B. Baddeau. George Campau also built a trading post in 1833, near the present site of the Swan, White & Sm~ith mill, and'occupied it until IS35.
Page 6 o MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. The territory embraced within the limits of the present townships of Norton, Fruitport, Ravenna, Chester, Moorland, Casnovia, Eggleston, Muskegon, Laketon, Lakeside, and the city of Muskegon, was organized by a provision of section it of an act of the State Legislature, approved December 30, IS37, into one township, and called Maskego.. The act was passed at the first session after the State was admitted into the Union. This'section was repealed in 1838, and the same territory was organized as the township of Muskegon. At this time, and for several years after, there was quite a diversity of opinion in regard to the correct spelling of the name, as will appear by reference to various acts of subsequent legislatures. In 1841 an act was passed, by the provisions of which the unorganized county of Oceana was attached to the township of Muskegon for judicial purposes, and' in 1845 certain territory was detached from the township of Maskego and organized into the township of Norton. This confusion in regard to the name ended in the re-establishment of Muskegon postoffice in 1848. The first township meeting was held in 1838, when township officers were elected. The following is a copy of the record of this township meeting as the same appears in the record book of the township: TOWNSHIP MEETING. We, the undersigned inspectors of election, do hereby certify that an election held at the house of Newell & Wilcox, in the township of Muskegon, on the second day of April, 1838, pursuant to the act organizing the county of Ottawa, in the State of Michigan, for the purpose of electing township officers. The following persons were duly elected to the respective offices, to-wit: For Supervisor..................... Erastus Wilcox. For Town Clerk................. Theodore Newell. r............. Daniel Piper. For Justices of the Peace.........Horace Wilcox......... Benj. H. Wheelock............... Lyman Fish.........Chlristopher Frizine. For Assessors.......................Daniel Piper........... Erastus W ilcox.
Page 7 EARLY HISTORY. 7 For inspectors of thePoor.............. Lyman Fish. o.....r............Louis B. Baddeau. I.........Winm. C. Vanozdue. For Comm'rs Highways...........Henry Penoyer........... Theodore Newell. S................Horace Wilcox. For School Inspectors............... A J. Allen................ C; F ryzine. For Collector.....................John Richards..........John Richards. For Constables.....................James Green. or.... C l..Phelix P. 3utterfield...............Joseph Stronach.. Given under our hands at 5Muskegon this second day of April, 1838. JONATHAN H. FORD, Inspectors LYMAN FISH, of Election. WM. C. "VANOZDUE, The foregoing were the first officers of the township, and it does not appear that there was any contest over their election, and it may be added that it is not known that any. of their number is now living. It appears from the record that there were thirty votes cast at the township meeting in April, IS39, and that there was quite a contest over the result, there being three candidates for supervisor, of which votes Lyman Fish received sixteen, Erastus Wilcox twelve, and Theodore Newell two. The contestants for the other offices were about as numerous and the votes about as much scattered. Politics first made its appearance at the State election held in the township, on the fourth and fifth days of November, 1839-the election being held two days-when Gov. William Woodbridge was the Whig candidate for Governor, and Elon Farnsworth was the Democratic. The following is the result of the election in Muskegon township as appears by the township record. The territory embraced at that time is substantially the same as that at present in
Page 8 6 NMUSKETGON PIONEER ANNUAL. cluded in Muskegon county, and it will be seen that the Democrats came very near carrying the county at the first election: For Governor--Wm. Woodbridge, 21. " " Elon Farnsworth, 19. For Lieut. Governor-James W. Gordon, 21. "t " " Thos. Fitzgerald, 19. For Senator-Henry P. Bridge, 22. (" " John Ball, i8. For Representative-Alex F. Bell, 21. c " ( Digby V. Bell, 19. For County Comm'r-Sheldon Judson, 16. c" "( " John Lloyd, 15. For Judge of Probate-Amos Norton, 16, " " c Timothy Eastman, 16. But a light vote was usually cast at the township meetings prior to 1S50, and often no election was held, the former officers holding over. George Ruddiman held the office of supervisor several years during'this time. In 1847 Geo. W. Walton was elected supervisor, and the township having increased somewhat in population, taxes were assessed and business regularly transacted after that time. The old township records were destroyed in the great fire of August Ist, 1874. The land in this part of Michigan was brought into market in 1839. The first attempt that was made to claim and hold any of the land now embraced in the city limits was made by a Mr. Taylor, in December, 1836, who built a shanty on lot one of section nineteen, near where the Washington House now stands. He retained possession for a few months and then sold his claim to Horace Wilcox, who afterwards entered the land. Theodore Newell soon became the owner, who platted a portion of it in 1849, which was the first plat of Muskegon. This plat embraces that part of the city lying east and north of a line running from the T. D. Stimson mill to a point near the corner of Webster avenue and Second street, and thence east along the north line of Mills & Furlong's addition to H. D. Baker's residence.
Page 9 EARLY HISTORY 9 Another tract of land that has since become very valuable is lot two, section thirty, which was entered May 2, 1853, by Elias and Isaac D. Merrill and Josiah.P. Dana. This land is that portion of the city lying south of a line running from the corner of Webster avenue and Second' street to the T. D. Stimson mill, and between Mills & Furlong's addition and Muskegon lake. On this property at the present time are several of the most valuable mills in Muskegon. There were no frame buildings in Muskegon until 1837, when Theodore Newell and Erastus Wilcox erected a boarding house, which stood near Mr. O'Harrow's residence. Horace Wilcox put up a small dwelling the same year near where The Bradford now stands. The first village plat was made in 1849, but nothing of any account was done for several years towards opening the streets, and the hill was so steep on Western avenue, between Terrace and Pine streets, that a man could not ride up on horseback. Village lots must have been at a discount, from.the fact that two lots on which The Bradford now stapds were once sold for forty-five dollars. Nothing was done towards opening the roads leading into the surrounding country until 1846. At this time Mr. Ryerson cut out the road to Ravenna, to connect with the road from thatplace to Grand Rapids, which had already been cut out and was in a condition to be traveled. Ravenna township was detached from Muskegon and organized in 1849. SAW MILLS. The building of the first saw-mill on Muskegon lake was commenced in January, 1837, by Benj. H. Wheelock, the agent of* the Muskegon Steam Mill Company, most of the stockholders of which resided at Detroit and Ann Arbor. The mill was built on the site now occupied by the Swan, White & Smith mill, upon which land Mr. Wheelock about that time had made a pre-emption claim. It was a steam mill, and was a large one for that time, having two upright saws. Before it was completed the panic of 1837 occurred, and money becoming scarce, it was not ready for operation until 1838, when the first lumber was sawed; that being also the first sawed on Muskegon lake. The adventure proved to be an unprofitable one for the company, and the next year after the mill was started the property went into the hands of John
Page 10 IO 0MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. Lloyd, of Grand Rapids, and John P. Place, of lonia, who owned and run the mill until 1841, when it burned, and the machinery was taken to Grand Rapids. In August, 1837, Jonathan H. Ford, the agent of the Buffalo and Black Rock Company, began building a water mill at the mouth of Bear Lake, on the site afterwards occupied by the Ruddiman flouring mill. It was completed the next year, and the first cargo of lumber made at this mill was hauled to the mouth of Muskegon lake in February, 1839, and put on board the Victor, Captain Jackson, a vessel that would carry about 40,000 feet. The vessel started for Chicago, but soon after got into a drift of ice, and it was ten days before she reached her destination, those on board having suffered severely from cold and hunger at that time. Hiram Judson & Co. bought the mill in 1840, and made very extensive repairs and improvements upon it, among which was the putting in of a new water-wheel, which was done by George Ruddiman. The mill was valued at $20o,ooo, and was the best one on the lake for several years; it was burned in 1853 and was never rebuilt. Theodore Newell began to build a mill in the spring of 1838, and finished it in 1839, on the site now occupied by the Ryerson, Iills & Co. mill. This was a small mill with one upright saw, costing altogether about $4,000, and would saw about 6,ooo feet of lumber in twenty-four hours. The engine was eight-inch bore and twenty-six inch stroke; the boiler,was sixteen feet long and thirty-six inches in diameter, with one thirteen inch flue; the en-,gine not having sufficient power to saw a log and haul up another at the same time. The first lumber was shipped from this mill in the autumn of 1839. In September, 1845, Martin Ryerson and J. H. Knickerbocker bought the inill of Mr. Newell, and in the winter following removed the mill and built a new one on the site, and had it ready to run within three months from the time of commencing operations. In 1847 Mr. Knickerbocker sold his interest in the mill to Robert W. Morris, who continued a partner of Mr. Ryerson until the time of the sale of his interest in IS65 to the present firm of Ryerson, Hills & Co. The latter firm has made very extensive repairs and improvements, until but little of the old mill remains, excepting the foundations.
Page 11 EARLZY IHIISTORY.. II Joseph Stronach built a small water mill in 1842, near the site of the Montgomery,Champagne & Co. mill, and run it until I844, when he sold it to George and John Ruddiman. The latter afterwards put in a small engine and used water and steam power at the same time. This double power not proving sufficient for hauling up logs at the same time the saw was in operation, animal p-swer was also produced and applied to mechanical purposes, an ancient white bull being used to haul up the logs, hence the origin of the name of the bull-wheel in a saw-mill. One evening in the autumn of 1848, after a heavy rain, George Ruddiman heard the water escaping through the dam, and on repairing to the house after examining it, told the men that in the morning they must cut some brush and stop the leak. About two hours afterwards he visited the dam again, finding that the break had increased, and then said that it would be necessary to haul some sand in order to repair the break. On going out in the morning to begin work, there was nothing to be seen of the mill, the log slide or the dam; even the engine and machinery had been carried out into Muskegon lake. The next winter a portion of the present steam saw-mill was built by George Ruddiman, on the site of the present mill. This has since been considerably enlarged and improved. In 1847 S. J. Green built a water mill at the mouth of Green Creek, on the north side of Muskegon lake. It was run for several years, but with rather indifferent success. At length it got out of repair and finally wvent into decay, anZ1 has never been rebuilt. The mill now known as the T. D. Stimson mill was commenced in 1848 by WinVm. Lasley and G. T. Woodbury, the latter having a quarter interest, and completed and started in the springof 1849, Marshall WV. Lloyd sawingo- the first lumber that was made in the mill, he being employed there at the time. In 184.9 John Ruddiman built a steam saw-mill on the north side of Muskegon lake, on the site now occupied by the Cohasset Lumber Co. mill. He continued to run the mill until IS62, when it went into the hands of Anson Eldred, after a closely contested suit in regard to the title. The mill burned soon after, and was replaced by a large mill built by James Farr, Jr., under the superin
Page 12 12 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. tendence of L. H. Foster. The property was sold in IS7I to Torrent & Arms, and the second mill on the site was burned in 1872. The mill standiing on the site named was erected soon after. The mills built on this site seem to have been rather unfortunate in regard to fires and lawsuits, whose effects upon property are about equally.destructive. The foregoing includes all the saw-mills built on Muskegon lake prior to IS5o. There were three mills on the lake in 184o, whose aggregate sawing capacity per day of twelve hours was about 13,000 feet. In 1S5o there were six mills on the lake, having an aggregate sawing capacity of 6o,ooo feet. During the next ten years ten mills were put in operation on the lake, with the following capacity: C. Davis & Co............................... 000 Eldred, Way & Co..................................20,000 Ryerson & MNorris (Bay Mill)........................36,ooo Smith, Fo\wler & Co................................0,000 31rown & Trowbridge...........................6.... I,ooo Trowbridge & Win................................22,000 J. C. Holmes &Co....................15,000 Durkee, Truesdell & Co.............................38,000ooo L. G. Mason & Co......................36,000. & H. Beidler........................... 5,000 EARLY SETTLERS. Until 1S34 the Indian traders had been accustomed to come to Muskegon lake in the autumn and buy furs and traffic with the Indians during the winter and go away in the spring, taking \vith them all their movable effects. At the latter date, Lewis B. Baddeau, having secured the interest of Mr. Daily in his log building, established a trading post and became a permanent settler of Muskegon. He was of French descent, and was born at Three Rivers, near Montreal, in Canada. Mr. Baddeau afterwards made a preemption claim on lot two of section nineteen, on which his trading post stood, being that part of the city lying west and north, of a line ru1nnincg from the T. D. Stimson mill to the corner of Velbster avenue and Second street, and thence to Thayer & Co.'s small
Page 13 EARLY SETTLERS. I3 mill, and on the 31st of July, 1839, after the land came into market, he made a regular entry of the lot. He continued to trade with the Indians until 1S40, and ill 145, having become embarrassed in business, and having lost most of his property, he went to Newaygo to live, and afterwards to the dam on Muskegon river, where he died soon after. The second settler on Muskegon lake \vas Joseph Troutier, who erected a building ill I835 of hewn timber, near the Swan, White & Smith mill, which he occupied as a tradilng post for several years. Mr. Troutier was born at Mackinac August 9, iS12. "where he residedt until his settlement in Muskegon. He continuedl the Indian trade several y ears at this place, and then removed to the dam, where he died in I884. In 1836,Mr. Troutier went with the Indians to Washington, and assisted in forming a treaty by which the Indian title to the land in the part of Michigan lying north of Grand River was obtained. Mr. Troutier remembered many interesting incidents in the early history of Western Mlichigan, and often remarked that "M,e and.nay wife the first white 11man in Muskeogon." Wmn. Lasley was of French origin; was born in Pelnsylvalia, but spent his early life in Mackilnac, and settled in Muskegon in the autumn of 1835, lhaving built a trading post near where is now the corner of YWestern avenue and Seventh street. He continued to trade \vith the Indians for several years, and eventually brought on goods suitable for the trade of the early settlers, sometimes keeping a stock valued at $20o,ooo. In IS5z he sold the mill that he had previously built, and retiredl from business and died the next year. Martin Ryerson was born on a farm near Patterson, New Jersey, January 6, ISiS. In I834, having become, s-atisfi(d that the fortune he had even then determined to acquire was not to be easily and readily obtained at farmine, he started for Michigan, which at that time was regarded as the El Dorado. When he reached Detroit his funds were exhausted, and he was obliged to stop and obtain employment for a time before he could proceed. After a few months he started again and reached Grand Rapids in September of the same year, and soon after went into the em-?", 7
Page 14 14 MUSKEGON' NIONEElR ANNUAL. ploy of Richard Godfroy, at which place he remained until May, 1836, when he left and came to Muskegon. On his arrival at this place he went into the employ of Joseph Troutier, and engaged in the Indian trade, which he continued three years; was then employed by T. Newell & Co., which firm then carried on the same business. In October, IS41, Mr. Ryerson and S. J. Green made a contract with T. Newell to run his mill for two years. After the expiration of this term Mr. Ryerson made an arrangement to run the mill on a salary for another two years. In September, IS45, [Mr. Ryerson, in company with J. H. Knickerbocker, bought Mr. Newell's interest in the mill and became a mill o\vner. This fact, however, did not change his style of living or lessen the amount of labor he performed. During the first year that he owned the interest in the mill he often worked eighteen hours. out of the twenty-four, filling any place where a vacancy might chance to occur, or \here his services were the most needed. Mr. Ryerson's practical experience rendered him a competent judge of the men in his employ, and he expected every man to do his dtuty. An incident that once occurred at his mill may not be unlinteresting. One (lay a man who was employed in moving a pile of cull lumber was carrying a few pieces and going and returning at a very slow pace. Mr. Ryerson observing this, called out to him to throw down his little load. The man stood a minute with a surprised look without doing so. On Mr. Ryerson repeating the order \with increhsed emphasis, he threw it down. He then told him to go and sit in the shade and rest himself until he was able to take and carry a load as a man ought to carry it, It is useless to say that the rest was not required. As an instance of the hardships and privations endured by the early settlers, Mr. Ryerson related the following experience: In September, 1839, he started on foot to go to Grand Rapids to attend "Indian payment." The ordinary route at that time was by the beach of Lake Michig'an to Grand Haven, thence up Grand River. Mr. Ryerson, however, went through what is now the township of Ravenna, although there was then no road or settlement on the wayN, excepting- along the first five miles west of Grand Rapids. IHe kept his course by a packet coampass, crossed.
Page 15 EARLY SETTLERS. 15 Crockery Creek somewhere near where is now the village of Ravenna, and stopped for the night about ten miles beyond. He made a brush tent, built a fire and roasted a coon that he had caught during the day and brought with him, and made his supper from it without salt or water, and then slept soundly on his brush bed. The remainder of the coon served for his breakfast in the morning, after which he pursued -his journey, reaching Grand Rapids early in the day, and without feeling any particular fatigue. Mr. Ryerson moved to Chicago in 1851, where he afterwards resided, excepting the periods he spent in Europe with his family. He died September 6th, 1887. Theodore Newell was a native of Connecticut, and settled in Muskegon in 1836. He lived here a few years and then removed to Chicago, and afterwards to Kenosha, Wis., and thence to Chicago again, where he died in 1859. Henry Penoyer was born in 1So9, and settled in 1S36 at the mouth of Muskegon Lake, his object in locating at that place being to secure a claim to the land in that vicinity, as it was then supposed that the future city of Muskegon would be built on the sand hills near the mouth. He and his brother Augustus Penoyer built a mill the same year at Penoy-er Creek, a few miles above Newaygo. Mr. P. left Muskegon soon after and removed to Nunica, where he lived until his death, April 25th, 1886. George W. Walton was born January 3, 1812, in Essex Co., N. Y. In 1833 he removed to Chicago, and settled in Muskegon in May, 1837. During his early residence here he was very active in public matters. Was supervisor of the township for several years, having been first elected in 1847. Mr. Walton removed to California in 1855, where he remained several years and went thence to Nevada, where he died in 1874. Thomas WV. Dill and his wife-now Mrs. Susan Bohne-came to Muskegon in 1837, stopping here a few days, and then went to Penoyer's mill, a few miles above the present village of Newaygo, where they lived one year. They then came down the Muskegon river to Mill Iron Point, where Mr. Dill built a house and lived two years. Here Minerva Dill-now Mrs. John Curry-was
Page 16 10 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. born, June Ioth, IS38, the first white child born in the present limits of Muskegqn County. In the spring of 184o Mr. Dill and his family moved into the house previously occupied by Mr. 13addeau, near where the Rodgers foundry now stands, and occupied it as a hotel and boarding house. This was known as the Muskegon House, and was the first attempt at hotel keeping in Muskegon. After the death of Mr. Dill, in IS54, Mrs. Dill marriedt Mr. Bohne who has since died. Mrs. Bohne is still living in Muskegon, and is the oldest settler in Muskegon county. Isaac D. Merrill was born in 1So9 and settled in M'luskegon in 1839. Hie continued to reside on the Muskegon river from that time until his death in 1885. James E. Graham was born in Scotland December 7, IS2o, and when a young man came to this country and settled settled in Clinton county, Mich., in 1844. He removed thence to Muskegon in S146, bringing his wife and a child one year old in a canoe, coming down Maple and Grand rivers to Lake Michigan and thence by water reaching the mouth of Bear Lake, wvhere he first made his home on the first day of Novemnber of that year.. Two years after he built the first building erected in North Muskegon. In the spring of IS49 he bought the lot on Western Avenue, opposite the Bradford, and the next year built the hotel known for a time as the National, which burned in the fire of 1874. Mr. Graham died July 30, 1853. Robert WA. IMorris was born,in 1813 in the State of New York and settled on the Muskegon river in I842, and a few years after came to Muskegon. For a number of years he was an active business man, but his healtlh having failed, he retired from business in '65 and removed to Grand Rapids, where he (died May 5th, I866. Ashley B. Forman was born in Saratoga county, N.Y., in January, 1819, and settled in Muskegon in 1845. Although he saw much of the early history and settl'ement of Muskegon, it is doubtful whether a reply that he once made to the question, "How long had he known the MIuskegon river?" was strictly true. He said "I-He had kaown the river ever since it was "a small stream, in fact since it was first laid out." Mr. Forman died Oct. 4th, 1872.
Page 17 RiARLY SETTLERS. I7 Samuel J. Green was born in Ohio and settled in Muskegon in 1840 and died in May, i855. John -H. Knickerbocker was born in 181i5 at: Watertown, N. Y.- He settled in Muskegon iri i84o and died August 25, 1855. Joseph Stronach settled in Muskegon in IS42 and soon after built a saw mill which he sold to Geo. Ruddiman in 1844. He then removed to Manistee where he was afterwards drowned. Edward IH. VWyvlie was born in Lebanon, N. Y., December 8th, 1819, and rerhoved to Muskegon in 1849. He was elected township clerk in I85o, an office which he held for several years. At the first election of county officers in 1859 he was elected county clerk, and in 1G64 he became Judge of Probate, an office which he filled with great credit until his death, which occurred April 27, 1882. In the sunmier of IS45 Capt. James Dalton, Jr., and Edward. Dalton came to White Lake on their way to Manistee, and stopped. at Mears' mill. One of the men at the mill took them across the lake in a canoe, and they went on their way. The man, however, mentioned to them that a good water power could be obtaided about four miles up Silver Creek. They.pursued their journey but a short distance when they returned, and after visiting the place tlle man,!ad referred to, went home. The next year they came again, bringing their brother, Peter Dalton, with them. The three brothers built a water mill -on the creek at the place mentioned., This was the second mill in White Lake vicinity. Each of the three brothers continued to make White Lake country their hori-e until death, and were all of them prominent business men and worthy citizens. Peter Dalton died in 1876, Edward Dalton in 188o, and Capt. James Dalton, Jr., in i88-. MIAJOR CI-IAUNCElY DAVIS. There is no necessity for making an apology for using" somewhat more than our usual space in preparing the following sketch, for the reason that the subject of it is too well and favorab-ly known to require it. In fact we feel that justice would not be done to him unless ve did so. Major Davis has been a resident here for about forty years, that being the longest residence of any business marn in this locality. Notwithstanding this long acquaintance
Page 18 s1 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. there is no one who can say a word that will reflect upon his staniding as an honest,;benevolent, as well as capable business man and thorough gentleman, and while many other business men have become wealthy in Muskegon and then removed to some other locality, apparently caring little what became of the town that had afforded them the facilities for making money, Major Davis has remained here and always been ready to assist his neighbors and friends in all public enterprises, as well as benevolent objects. He believes in Muskegon and always has, and the result shows that: his confidence in her growth and prosperity is well founded. Major Chauncey Davis was born in Jefferson county, N. Y., March 15th, 1812, of English parentage. His father,Jacob Davis was the father of seven children, six sons and one daughter, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth. When Chauncey was 17 years of age his father died, and three years later he was left motherless, and was thus compelled to look out for himself. At twenty he began teaching school, and taught four winter terms and one summer term of four months each.; His early educational facilities were such as the common schools and the Watertown, N. Y., academy afforded at that time. In 1835 he left his home in New York State for the west, stopping first at Chicago. Here he remained two weeks and then went to what is now Kenosha, Wisconsin, to make his home. Mr. Davis having some general knowledge of carpentry, concluded to yield to the requests of those needing buildings, and engaged in house building which he continued for some twelve years. While a citizen of Kenosha he took an active-interest in public improvements, and built the first schooi house in the neighborhood, and also aided in building nearly all the churches. He was for several years one of the vestrymen of the Episcopal church. He was also at one time chosen a trustee of the village Board. Subsequently he filled the office of supervisor and assessor, and for one term filled the responsible office of Sergeant-at-Arms of'the Assembly at Madison. He was prominently identified with the society of Odd Fellows, was chosen presiding officer of both the lodge and encampment and was elected representative to the grand lodge.. In 1839 he was a participant in the struggles of the squatters to retain their lands against would
Page 19 EARLY SETTLERS. 19 be purchasers, and in which the squatters were finally successful in securing their titles. Mr. Davis purchased 320 acres, and this, with improvements made upon it, with a house built upon lots in Kenosha, were valued at about $5,ooo, and constituted the principal means at his command at that time. Business becoming dull at Kenosha, he removed to Muskegon in 1848 and opened a supply store for the sale of dry goods, groceries, provisions, etc., and engaged in the purchase and shipment of lumber, timber and shingles. In 1850 h6 formed a copartnership with Theodore Newell and A. D: Loomis, for the purpose of buying and manufacturing lumber at M.uskegon, which was sent to Chicago and Kenosha for sale. The Muskegon branch of the copartnership was known as C. Davis & Co., and the Chicago and Kenosha branch as T. Newell & Co., and a lumber yard was established in Chicago in the spring of 1850o. In 1853 thf e steam mill af C. Davis & Co. was lbuilt at-Muskegon, which commenced operating about the 17th of August of that year. The business continued with the partners named until April, 1863, when Jidge Newell sold his entire interest in the Muskegon and Chicago business to Davis & Loomis, who continued to do business together till May, 1877, when Mr. Davis purchased his partner's interest and became sole owner. Mr. Davis sold the lumber yard in Chicago in August, 1877, the mill at Muskegon in October, ISSo, and then retiredl from the lumbering business. In the development of the city of Muskegon Mr. IDavis has taken a prominent part, and contributed as much to its permanent prosperity as any one of her citizens. He superintended the building of the first school house in the city in 1Sq_9. The building was occupied for a number of years for school purposes as well as for religious and other public meetings and elections. Later it was sold and was known as Holt's Hall, and wvas burned in the filre of 1874 -To-the various churches of the city he has always been a liberal contributor. A careful estimate shows that his contributions for church buildings, services and expenses since I864, amount to over $io,ooo. Hle was also actively identified with the development of the county and took a'leading part in securing the legislation organizing Muskegon county in 1859, and in providing for'roads
Page 20 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. 20 and bridges in this then undeveloped region. His personal contributions for the construction of railroads, incl1uding subscriptions for stock, donations, expenses, etc., and for public halls and educational purposes, amount to about $10o,ooo over and above all taxes and assessments for such purposes; to this may be added $8,ooo for losses and claims against the State for advances on the Muskegon improvements, and $65,ooo for contributions to numerous benevolent enterprises, thus making a grand total of nearly $ioo,ooo contributed for the public good. Mr. Davis aided in the organization of the Lumbermen's Association in i852, and in the reorganization in 1856-7. He was a (liiector of the Muskegon liooming Company at its organization; was elected its first president in March, 1864, and( thus gave much attelntion to the general interests of the company. In 1 86o he was elected to re)present Muskegon- county in the State House of Representatives, and was re-elected in 1S62, thus.serving through the stormy period of the war. He served on the military and public lands committees du ring the first term and was chairman of the ways and means committee at the second term. In 1870, at the first election under the city charter, he was elected mayor of the city of NMIuskegon, and in 1872 was re-elected against a large Democratic majority in the cityl Mr. )Davis was an extensive stockholder in the old Muskegon & Ferrysburg railroad, and was elected a lirector and chosen president of the roadc a position he held till the consolidation of the road with the Grand Haven, Holland & Allegan road. Ie was also a director of the Grand Rapids & Lake Shore, Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore, and the Muskegon & NBig Rapids railroads, besides having mucl h to (do with other proposed railroads. At the organization of the Lumberman's National Bank ill 1873, Mr. Davis was elected its first president, and visited Washington to secure a charter and currency. He has been re-elected to this office at each annual election since. Politically Mr. Davis was a Democrat till the organization of the Republican party, when he became an active supporter of the principles of the new party. As a citizen and representative in the Legislature he urged the liberal and important measures for aiding
Page 21 EARLY SETTLERS. 21 the Government in the vigorous prosecution of the war against the rebellion. In 1876 Mr. Davis was chosen as alternate delegate to the Cincinnati convention which nominated R. B. Hayes for the presidency. Mr. Davis has been married three times; first in 1850 and again in 1853 and 1859. The last time to Miss Julia Wheeler, daughter of Rev. Thomas Wheeler, formerly of this city. His last wife died in 1861, since which ti.me he has remained unmarried. He has had but one child born to him, a daughter, by his second wife, but she died in 1864, at the age of ten years. Capt. William Mees, who has been largely identified with the shipping interests of Muskegon lake, was born in Somersetshire, England, in 1826; came to Chicago in boyhood and sailing upon the lakes entered Muskegon harbor in 1844 as mate on the schooner "Drift." The following two years he was with the schooners "M.int," "Union" and "Henry Clay," wintering here with the later the winter of 1846 and '47. He was sick with the small-pox at the home of John Ruddiman, and worked afterward as engineer in the mill of George and John Ruddiman. The next season he sailed the "Henry C1ay," owned by the Ruddiman Bros., and the next season the schooner "Gen. Warren," and the next season the brig '-T. W. Morris." In 1849 Capt. Mees married Winnifred White, of Chicago, but did not bring his family to Muskegon until 1851, when he was employed by the Ruddiman Bros. In 185z he built a house upon East Western avenue-now standing opposite the Wilson mill--and took jobs of rafting logs for Davis & Newell, Trobridge & Co. and Ruddiman Bros., a pioneer boom company. In 1855, selling his house, he built again at the foot of Terrace street, in which season he entered the employ of Martin Ryerson, sailing the schooner "Roberts," afterwards the steamer "Algoma," until the tug "Ryerson" came out. Capt. Mees had charge of the latter 8 years owning a fourth interest in her. While sailing the "Ryerson" Capt. Mees bought a 7' acre plat fronting 490 feet upon the channel at the mouth of the Lake on the space now occupied by the village, and here he brags of raising fine corn and peaches, etc.
Page 22 22 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. In 1865 Capt. Mees built the ferry boat "Eagle" and soon after the "Pony" the latter running to the mouth and the former across the head of the lake. When the bridge was built both of them.were hired to and afterwards bought by the Boom Company, and the captain brought out the tug "Getty," so well known here, which he ran three years, when he bought and took the steam yacht "Anna" to Charlevoix and ran her there a time and then took her down the Mississippi and sold her in New Orleans. Returning from the south, Capt. Mees entered the employ of the Boom Company, where he is still engaged. George Ruddiman was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Sept. 29, 1815, and came to America in 1833, stopping one year in Pennsylvania, when he came to Michigan, and has since resided most of. his time in this State. He settled in Muskegon in April, 1840, and engaged as a millwright in repairing the mill at the mouth of Bear Lake. In 1841 he took charge of this mill, and in 1844, in company with his brother, John Ruddiman, he bought the property where the Montgomery, Champaigne & Co. mill now stands. In 1840 Mr. Ruddiman attended the election in Muskegon and voted for Gen. Harrison for president of the United States. George Ruddiman built the first boat used for towing logs and vessels in Muskegon lake. It was a small side-wheel steamer, and was called "The Peggy." He now resides in the township of Muskegon. John Ruddiman was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, March 30, 1814, and came to this country n 1831. He lived four years in Pennsylvania, when he came to Michigan and lived a year in Detroit. In 1839 he removed to Wisconsin, where he remained until 1843, when he settled in Muskegon, where he has since continued to reside. In 1849 he built a mill on the north side of Muskegon lake, in which in I850 he put the first siding mill in use on the lake. He built a flouring mill at the mouth of Bear Lake in 1862, the first in operation on Muskegon lake. Elias W. Merrill was born in Falmouth, Me., Oct. 3, 1812; came to Michigan in 1837 and settled in Muskegon in June, 1844. He has continued to reside here, excepting one year, when he lived at Bridgeton and one year in his native State. Mr. Merrill was elected to the Lower House of the State Legislature in i856;
Page 23 EARLY SETTLERS. 23 was postmaster in i851, State Senator in 1855 and postmaster a second time in 1859, holding office until 1865. Samuel Rose was born in Grandville, Mass., in 1817, and went to Grand Rapids in 1835, where he met Augustus Penoyer, who was then getting ready to build a mill at Penoyer Creek, a few miles above Newaygo. He made an agreement to work for Mr. P., and started with some other men to go through the woods to the place where they were to work. There being no road and not keeping the right direction they became lost and were out five days before they reached Muskegon river. Then, thinking that they were above. Newaygo, they started down the stream and after a time came to Muskegon lake. After obtaining some provisions they started up the river, and passing the site of the village of Newaygo, at which place there was then no settlement, reached their destination. Mr. Rose has continued to reside on Muskegon river, sometimes at Muskegon or at other places up the river; his present residence is near Newaygo. Jonathan H. Ford was born in the State of New York. He settled in Muskegon in 1837, and built the mill at the mouth of Bear Creek. During his residence here he was elected one of the Associate Judges of the Ottawa County Court. He left Muskegon in 1845, and now resides in Wisconsin. George B. Woodbury was born in Worcester, Mass., and in 1837 removed to Michigan City, where he remained until October, 1840, when he left and settled in Muskegon, coming all the distance along the shore of Lake Michigan in a small boat. Soon after reaching Muskegon he obtained employment as engineer in the T. Newell &,Co. mill. He continued this for several years, at the same time carrying on a blacksmith shop, where he employed his leisure time in making traps for the Indians and in doing other blacksmith work. This was the first shop of the kind in Muskegon, and the only one at the time north of Grand River. He resides in the township of Egelston in this county. Richard Ryerson was born in Patterson, N.J., Feb. 9th, 18r2, where he lived till he was about twenty years of age, when he removed to Western New York, where he lived until 1843, when he came and settled in Muskegon. He was engaged during the first years of his residence here at logging, at prices that would
Page 24 24 - MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. not be considered very good at the present time; sometimes selling good logs at $2 per thousand feet. Mr. Ryerson for several years kept the Walton House, the first frame hotel in Muskegon. He resides in Cedar Creek in this county. Alfred A. Maxim was born in Chautauqua county, N. Y., Jan. 26, 1820. Coming west in 1843 he made Kenosha, Wis., his first stopping place. In November of that year he started from Chicago for Grand Haven on a schooner, with two yoke of oxen and some men whom. he had employed, to seek his fortune at lumbering. The next day after reaching Grand Haven he started along the beach of Lake Michigan for Muskegon, there being at the time no road through the woods. They had not proceeded far when they came to a place where the drift wood had filled up the narrow space between the water and a high bank; and not being able to drive around, they were obliged to unload the wagons -part of the load being barrels of pork-take apart the wagons and carry them and the contents over the hill. They then led the oxen around, and having yoked them and put the wagon together, loaded up and started again. Mr. Maxim was entirely unacquainted with quicksand, and when driving along the smooth sand at the mouth of Little Black Lake, the oxen began to sink, and before he could get upon dry land they had sunk so that their heads alone were visible. After great exertion they finally succeeded in rescuing the animals alive from their perilous situation. They left the beach at the mouth of Black Lake and went through the woods, taking their course by compass, and reached Muskegon lake near where the A. V. Mann & Co. mill is now situated. From thence they followed along up the lake and stopped at the Muskegon House, tlen kept by Mr. Dill. These wagons were the first ever driven into Muskegon. Mr. Maxim has been engaged in lumbering most of the time since, and has continued to reside on Muskegon river, his present home being in this city. Hon. Chas. Mears, now a resident of Chicago, Illinois, was the first settler on White Lake, in this county, who went there from Paw Paw in the spring of 1837. After an inspection of the lake he commenced to build a water mill at the mouth of the creek, near the present Wilcox & Co. mill. He necessarily worked
Page 25 EARLY SETTLERS. 25 under a great many disadvantages, as his machinery was brought from a distance and his mill was not ready to run until 1838. This, however, was the first mill on the lake. Mr. Mears is yet living in Chicago. Albert Mears, of Whitehall, was born in 1821, and when fifteen years of age came to White Lake with his brother Charles. He began and helped make the first improvements in that vicinity, but after remaining a few months returned to Paw Paw, from whence he came. In 1842 he returned to White Lake, and again left after a short residence and did not return until 186i, since which time he has been an active business man and prominent, influential citizen of Whitehall. Dr. Thomas Smith was among the early settlers of the township of Ravenna, having become a resident in that township in 1847, where he has since continued to reside. He was then a young physician and the first one in that vicinity, although he has long since abandoned active practice. H-e has been largely identified with the interests of his township as well as the county at large, having held various offices of trust, particularly that of supervisor, which office he filled several times with credit to himself and his township. Dr. Smith has always been regarded as a good business man, and at present is the vice-president for the township of Ravenna of the Muskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society. The foregoing are sketches of all those who became permanent settlers of Muskegon county previous to the year 1850, so far as the writer could obtain the necessary information. There are* some others necessarily omitted for this reason, while there were many others not mentioned who were residents so short a period as not to become identified with the settlement of the locality. Joseph H. Hackley was born in the State of New York in 18Io and removed west in 1835, settling in Michigan City, Ind. Here he remained until 1840, when he went to Racine, Wis., where he made his home until 1855, when he removed to Muskegon. He soon after engaged in the lumber business, and eventually became the senior member of the firm of J. H. Hackley & Co. This firm was very successful and continued until his death, when his son, Charles H. Hackley, became the senior member, the,
Page 26 26 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. firm's name being changed to Chas. H. Hackley & Co. Mr. Hackley was three times president of the village of Muskegon, to which office he was elected in 1864, 1865 and 1866. In 1872 he w as elected treasurer of Muskegon county, a position that he held at the time of his death, January 8, 1874. Mr. Hackley was a competent business man of strict integrity, and was always respected by all his acquaintances. Thomas J. Rand was born in Massachusetts in 1805. When fifteen years of age he commenced a life on the sea, which continued during most of the time until [845, when he removed to Kenosha, Wis., and thence to Muskegon in 1854, and engaged in business for C. Davis & Co., and afterwards he had the management of the large real estate interests of Judge Newell. In 1859 he opened a banking office and afterwards an Exchange Bank, the first one in Muskegon. In this he was very successful, and which he continued until his death, which occurred December 0o, 1872. Capt. Rand built the brick building now occupied by the Lumberman's National Bank, the first brick building erected in Muskegon. Samuel B. Peck was born at Cheshire, Conn., Feb. 22, 1805. He removed to Western New York while a young man, and in 1859 came to Muskegon. Here he engaged in the merchantile business and was ever known as an active, influential citizen, taking a prominent part in all public enterprises, particularly in the encouragement of horticulture. He was several times supervisor of the township of Muskegon, and in i86r and 1862 was president of the village of Muskegon. He died July 21, 1883. William Glue was born in Leeds, England, May I, 1825, and came to Canada and after a time to Detroit. Here he remained until 1853, when he came to Muskegon. He was in the employ of Ryerson & Morris for a short time, and afterwards took charge of the mill known as the Durkee, Truesdell & Co. mill, which he run for eleven years. In 1874 he entered into a partnership composed of Mr. Glue, Reed and Bushnell, and known as Wm. Glue & Co., which continued seven years, when the partnership was discontinued. He was elected alderman in 1874, mayor of this city in 1875, and again elected alderman in 1876; was also twice elected supervisor, the last term being the chairman of the Board
Page 27 EARLY SETTLERS. 27 of Supervisors. He died November to, 1887. His wife, Mary Glue, died June 8, I885. Benj. L. Piper was born in Massachusetts in 182o and came to Muskegon in I861, where he started the first hardware store in this county. He was elected marshall of the village of Muskegon at the elections in I862, 1863 and 1864, and president of the village at the elections of i868 and 1869. He died August 7th, I871. The following is a list of those who settled in Muskegon county prior to and including the year i86o, and who are still residents of the county: 84o0-George Ruddiman, George B. Woodbury. 1843-Alfred A. Maxim, Richard Ryerson, John Ruddiman. 1844-Elias W. Merrill. 1846-Philip Blake. I847-Ira O. Smith, Dr. Thos. D. Smith, Peter Lansiff, Frank Young, Ole E. Gordon. 1848-Maj. C. Davis, John Witherell, Joel Witherell, Nich. Petrie, F. Diedricht, John B. Lemieux. 1849-Dr. C. P. McSherry, Dennis Garvey, John Garvey, Rice Jones, P. J. Connell, Henry Grossman, Ferdinand Grossman, Charles Grossman. iSo50-Martin Ryerson, Jr., Julius Boschk, John Carmichael, Thomas Mills, Fred. Drixlius, A. B. Britton. 1851-Johln A. Curry, Walter Burling, William Mees. 1852-Chas. T. Hills, Hubert Stein, J. D. Davis, Jacob Hetz, Lars Larson, Fred. F. Bowles, Edward Boyce, Raymond O'Harrow, M. S. Burge, Dennis Reardon, Edward Bertrand, John Schuler, Thos. f. \Waters. 1853--Rudolph Ruprecht, Edward Ruprecht, John W. Anderson. 1854-Batrick Dowd, Ole Olson, N. Schuler, Henry Jacobs, John Bronson, Andrew Olson, Edward Ford, Anthony Christian, Peter Thiel, Orin Whitney, Charles Price, H. Lange, L. Poppe, John Houpt, Peter Zink. 1855--John Torrent, Christ. Schmidt, Alexander Coutie, Daniel Averill, M. G. Averill, Win. M. Averill, Lyman G. Mason, Wm. Kotelman, August Bail, John Bosch, Andrew Laube, Mathias Weiskopf.
Page 28 2S MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. T856-Robt. P. Easton, Luman Hamblin, A. B. Miner, S. R. Sanford, Frank Eimer, J. W. Moon, Chas. H. Hackley, Samuel H. Stevens, Thos. Van Valkenberg, George Wheeler, Albert Diedrict, Michael Hammen, Peter Schuler. 1857-James H. Lobdell, A. A. Bullock, M. F. Rainier, Chas. D. Nelson, W. F. Wood, A. V. Mann, W. L. Ryan, Burnet Ripley, C. B. Mann, Joseph Hagreen, Adolph Peltier, Thos. J. Keating, E. N. Van Baalen, Eugerbert Haug, 'John H. Lewis, George M. Lewis, Charles J. Lewis. 1858--Henry H. Holt, Alex Rodgers, Geo. Schwegler, William Picket, John Bean, Alex Rodgers, Jr., Henry C. Schroeder, Herman Vos, Michael Crowley. 1859-George Arms, Geo. F. Outhwaite, Lyman Arms, Pius Bail. 186o--John DeHaas, W. V. Owen, C. J. Hamilton, Levi L. Trott. Muskegon county was organized at the session of the Legislature held in 1859, by a division of Ottawa county. Maj. C. Davis, E. W. Merrill and R. WV. Morris were particularly active in securing the passage of the act, there being a decided opposition to the same, which was confined to a great extent to the north part of the new county, then known as the White River country. The first election for county officers was held on the 4th of April of that year, when Jas. HI. Lobdell was elected sheriff, E. H. Wylie county clerk, Joseph D. Davis county treasurer, Chas. D. Nelson register of deeds, Jesse D. Pulman judge of probate, Henry H. Holt prosecuting attorney, and Edwin Potter circuit court commissioner, who severally commenced to discharge the duties of their offices on the first day of June following. The first meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held in the office of Henry H. Holt on the ISth day of July, 1859, when E. WV. Merrill represented the township of Muskebgon, Ira O. Smith, Norton, Natlhan Whitney, Casnovia, and Thos. D. Smith, Ravenna. E. W. Merrill was elected chairman of the Board of Supervisors. The siupervisors of the townships of White River, Dalton and Oceana refused to appear, claiming the act of the Legislature organizing the county was unconstitutional and void.
Page 29 EARLY SETTLERS. 29 The township of Muskegon then comprised the territory now included in the city of Muskegon and the townships of Muskegon, Egelston, Laketon and Lakeside. Norton comprised the present townships of Norton and Fruitport. Ravenna comprised Ravenna and Moorland, and the townships of White River, Dalton and Oceana comprised the present townships of White River, Whitehall, Montague, Blue Lake, Holton, Cedar Creek, Dalton and Fruitland. The first business of the Board was the detaching of township ten, north, range fifteen west, from Muskegon township, and the organization of the same into the township of Egelston. I. E. Carleton, the supervisor of Oceana, was afterwards prosecuted for wilful neglect of official duty. A statement of facts was agreed upon and the jury found him guilty upon a special verdict. Whereupon Judge Littlejohn, who was the first circuit judge of the new county, imposed a nominal fine. Mr. Carleton then removed the case to the supreme court, as it was understood that he would. The result was, the organization of the county was sustained, the court being equally divided. See Volume o1 Michigan Supreme Court Reports, page 250. The first Representative in the State Legislature was Maj. C. Davis, who was elected in i86o and re-elected in i862. The second was Israel E. Carleton, who was elected in 1864. It has not been deemed advisable to attempt a detailed history of the county outside of the vicinity of Muskegon lake, for the reason that the necessary information could not be obtained excepting at considerable time and expense, and also for the additional reason that were this history accessible at present it would require a greater amount of space than is thought best to use in this issue, consequently it will be deferred for the present. VILLAGE OF MUSKEGON. The village of Muskegon was incorporated in 1861, and the first election held in the basement of the M. E. church on the 8th of July of that year, when Lyman G. Mason was elected president of the village, E. Potter, R. W. Morris, C. P. Bigelow and Thos. Mills trustees, Robt. McQueen recorder, Henry H. Holt village attorney, C. D, Nelson treasurer, and Luman Hamblin
Page 30 30 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. marshal. The following were subsequently elected president of the village at the dates named: Lyman G. Mason, I86i; Samuel B. Peck, 1862-3; Joseph H. Hackley, 1864-5-6; Elias W. Merrill, 1867; Benj. L. Piper, i86S-9. CITY OF MUSKEGON. The city of Muskegon was Incorporated by an act of the Legislature passed in 1869, under which act the first city election was held April 4th, 1870, when the following officers were elected: Chauncey Davis, mayor; C. C. Chamberlain, recorder; A. C. Truesdell, treasurer; WVm. P. Odell and R. O Harrow, aldermen of the First ward; J. H. Landreth and Alex Rodgers of the Second ward, and Chas. King and Dennis Riordan of the Third ward. The following is a list of the mayors of the city of Muskegon, with the date of election of each: Maj. C. Davis, I87o; Joseph Ireland, 187I; Maj. C. Davis, 1872; Henry H. Getty, 1873; Samuel H. Wagner, 1874; William Glue, I875; Oliver P. Pillsbury, 1876-7; Henry H. Holt, 187S-9; Francis Jiroch, 1880o-; nelson Delong, i882-3; Francis Cook, 1884; Samuel H. Stevens, i885; Lyman G. Mason, i886, and John Torrent, 1887. MISCELLANEOUS. The first physician who settled in Muskegon was Dr. Chas. P. McSherry. The first attorney was E. Potter in 1857; the second attorney, Henry H. Holt in 1858. The latter was elected prosecuting attorney of Ottawa coun ty, of which Muskegon then formed a part; the same year Samuel R. Sanford was elected sheriff of Ottawa county at the same election. Among those who were born in Muskegon county previous to 1842, and who are still residents of the county, are Mrs. John Curry, of Muskegon, born June o10, I83S; S. H. Lasley, of Montague, born November z2, I840, and William and Joseph Baddeau, of Holton, the date of whose births are not obtained. The first three-story brick block erected in Muskegon, with plate glass windows, was that of H. D. Baker in I870o. POSTAL FACILITIES. The Muskegon postoffice was established January 30, 1838, at the mouth of Muskegon lake, that being at that time the most
Page 31 EARLY SETTLERS. 3 I central location for the settlers on the lake, and Henry Penoyer was appointed postmaster. The following is a copy of the commission issued to Henry Penoyer at the time of the establishment of the Muskegon postoffice. AMOS KENDALL, Postmaster General. To all who shall see these presents. Greeting: WHEREAS, By letter dated on the 3d day of January, 1838, Henry Penoyer was appointed postmaster at Muskegon, in the county of Ottawa, State of Michigan; and WHEREAS, He did, on the 3d day of February, 1838, execute a bond, and has taken the oath of office as director in said letter of appointment. Now, know ye, that confiding in the integrity, ability and punctuality of the said Henry Penoyer, I do commission him a postmaster, authorized to execute the duties of that office at Muskegon, aforesaid, according to the laws of the United States in the regulations of the Postoffice Department. To hold the said office of postmaster with all the powers, privileges and emoluments to the same belonging, during the pleasure of the Postmaster General of the United States. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Postoffice Department to be affixed at Washington City the 20th day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States the sixty-second. SSEAL. AOS KENDALL, The signature is the autograph of Mr. Kendall. No provision was made for carrying the mail, and the office was supplied from Grand Haven, the mail being carried by persons on foot, usually Indians. After a time the postoffice was re.. moved to the "head of the lake," as the present site of Muskegon
Page 32 32 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. was then designated; but the business of the office being but small, on the IIth of February, 1847, it was discontinued. On the 3rd of March, 1848, the postoffice was re-established, and George W. Walton appointed postmaster. The postoffice was kept in the old Walton House for several years, when it was removed to the old ware-house building riow standing near the T. D. Stimson mill. Here it also remained for several years, until John B. Wheeler was appointed postmaster, who removed the office to the small building on Water street, the second building north of T. Merrill's livery stable. The receipts of the office for the first year amounted to about $35.00. Previous to the organization of the Muskegon postoffice, the nearest office was Grand Haven, where the mail matter for the Muskegon people was received. There was no regular arrangement for getting the mail from Grand Haven, and it was brought here by persons who might chance to go there, and occasionally an Indian or some other person was sent for the mail. During the first few years after the postoffice was established the mail was received from Grand Rapids via Ravenna once a week. After a time the mail service was increased to three times per week, which continued until 186o, when the Detroit & Milwaukee R. R. being completed, a daily mail route was established to Ferrysburg. POSTOFFICE DEPARTMENT, APPOINTMENT OFFICE, WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. IS,'87. HENRY H. HOLT, ESQ., Muskegon, Mich.: Sir:-In compliance with the request contained in your late letter, I take pleasure in furnishing a list of all the postaasters who have been appointed at Muskegon since the establishment of the office, as found on the books of the department, to-wit: The office was established in Ottawa county on the 3rd of January, 1838. Henry Penoyer appointed postmaster Jan. 3, 1838. Christopher Fryzine appointed postmaster March 7, 1839. Henry Penoyer appointed postmaster Nov. 7, 1840.
Page 33 HORTICULTURE. 33 The office was discontinued Feb. I I, 1847, and re-established March 2, 1848. George W. Walton appointed postmaster March 2, 1848. Daniel W. Holbrook appointed postmaster April 20, 1855. John B. Wheeler appointed postmaster Dec. 12, 1855. Office changed into Muskegon county Feb. 28, 1863. Joseph D. Davis appointed postmaster Feb. 28, 1863. Wm. W. Owen appointed postmaster June 30, 1865. The office became presidential on the Ist of April, 1867. Wm. W. Owen appointed by the president April i, 1867. Elias W. Merrill appointed by the president MIarch 26, 1869. Luther Whitney appointed by the president Feb. 24, 1875. Frank H. Holbrook, who is the present incumbent, appointed by the president Feb. 5, 1887. Yours truly, JAMES H. MARR, Acting First Ass't P. M. Gen'l. HORTICULTURE. There were a few apple and peach trees bearing in the vicinity of Muskegon lake when the first settlers came here. These undoubtedly had been planted by the Indian traders, but when planted is not known. They were strong, healthy trees in 1840, and bore almost every year until they were removed to make room for buildings some ten years since. The first attempt at planting an orchard in this county was made by George Ruddiman in the spring of IS48. I-e was obliged to send to Rochester, N. Y., the trees coming by sail vessel by the way of Chicago, but reached here in fair condition. The orchard was planted in the yard on the premises belonging to the saw-mill then owned by Mr. Ruddiman, now by Montgomery, Champagne & Co. Among the trees then planted and still living and in good bearing condition are eighteen apple trees, one pear tree, fourteen cherry trees and three plum trees. Among the apples are five Baldwins that have never failed of a good crop of fruit by reason of frost or the cold of winter. Some of these Bald
Page 34 34 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. wins are nearly a foot in diameter, and there is everything to indicate that they are still in their prime. The cherry trees are Black Tartarian, Bigarreau and other good varieties, and are large healthy trees. The cherries from one of these trees in the summer of 1886 were sold for twenty-three dollars. The plum trees are also healthy, one of them a Washington, being at least six inches in diameter. But little was done towards fruit growing or market gardening until about twenty years since, and for some time after that but little was done excepting in particular localities, notably the township of Norton. Since then the adaptability of this locality to this industry has become an established fact, and the number of those engaged in cultivating fruits and vegetables has become considerable as well as the amount produced. This will be seen by the following table compiled at the office of the Secretary of State for the year 1886. This table, while it shows that nearly fifty thousand dollars worth of fruits and vegetables were sold in that year, is very defective, some of the townships being entirely omitted, while there are but partial returns from other townships, which is particularly noticeable in the case of th'e Moulton vineyard, from which 50,000 pounds of grapes were sold in 1886, of the value of about $1,500. It will be seen that if this vineyard had been included the aggregate yield of grapes would have been 88,ooo pounds, which were sold for about $2,500.
Page 35 r2 Iu 0: APPLES. PEACHES. Bushels Bushels Bushels' Bushels Raised, Sold, Raised. Sold, Blue Lake..... Casnovia...... 5805 $ 2.310 312 $ 213 Cedar Creek.. 612 194..... Dalton........ 588 225............. Eggleston..... 506 25............. Fruitland....'. 1,836 1,059 110 106 Fruitport...... 875 1801.... Holton Lakeside...... 20.................. Laketen....... 1,021 522................ Montague.......................... Moorland...... Muskegon...... 1,510 753............. Norton........ 3,287 1838.......... Ravenna........................ Whitehall..... 15 77............. White River............. Muskegon Co.. 16,075 7]113. 422 319 Value of Apples and Peaches sold. Dollars. 3 1,117 94 113 13 629 39 287 317 1,168, 43 3,781, Value of Cherries, Strawberries Value Pears of other and berries Plums Sold. sold., sold. Dollars. Bush'Is Value, Dollars Dollars 103 2563 5 S 79 7 18 6 1 38 63 4......... 198 306...... 4 107 148.. 32 197 562 348 8 980 1,165 401 100 200...... 32 238 321 121 100 952 1.534 126 282 8,830 17,832 3,400 5 5 10 10 538 11,662 22.584 4421 Grapes Sold. Pounds Value, Dollars 50$ 4 3,000 120................ 3,360 98 3,100 44 1,000 60 38,250 1,310............... 7,300 1 235 43,140 1,821 5, 99,8511 3,747 Value of Market Garden Products Sold. Dollars. $ 60 1,373 8 462 880 223 1,275 60 424 5,678 6250 785 17.478 U cc cc d T 0 0. Oc 0b 0 U) S co cc O C\. _ ~-cn 00 05o COa CO0- 00 cc cz 0 - Cc - a> 0- C,- 041 h cr o ) cc -d GC cc c OC -- 6 OQ OcC 0 0 4 -C o 4-1 5 cc5 ho 4- C 4 0 - cc O
Page 36 36 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. thousand dollars. a very respectable aggregate product, when regarded as the product of what was once supposed to be the light soil of Muskegon county. Some of the market gardeners in the vicinity of Muskegon have had wonderful success in raising cabbage for a few years past, a success probably not surpassed in the United States. This is particularly true with Michael Crowley and Patrick Dowd of the township of Muskegon. A premium of twenty dollars offered each year by J. H. Gregory, an extensive garden seed grower of Marblehead, Mass., has been received by Mr. Crowley for the years 1886 and I887 for the largest cabbage raised anywhere in the United States. The cabbage which took the prize in 1887 weighed 81ý pounds. It is but fair to say, however, that this is the weight of the cabbage as it grew and includes the loose leaves and the stump. Mr. Dowd exhibited, three cabbages at the exhi. bition of the Muskegon county horticultural society in 1886, which weighed forty-two, forty-three and forty-nine pounds respectively, which were the weights of the solid heads ready for market. These cabbages were also exhibited at the fairs at Grand Rapids and Big Rapids of that year, where they necessarily drew first prizes and attracted great attention. These cabbages are only good specimens of those raised every year by these gentlemen. Before leaving this subject, attdntion should be called to the cultivation of onions in the township of Moorland in this county, which has become an important industry within the last few years. It is impossible to obtain the exact figures, but those best acquainted with the result place the aggregate of sales of onions in that township in 1887 at twenty-five thousand bushels, averaging sixty cents per bushel. In fact the cultivation of onions has become so general that those who live in the adjoining township and are possessed of delicate olfactory organs assert that they perceive a delicate aroma as soon as they cross the township line on either side of the township. But few shade trees were planted in Muskegon previous to the year i86o, since which time a great number have oeen planted, mostly maples and elms, most of which have had a remarkable growth. Indeed it would seem that if a census of the shade trees of the various cities were taken that no
Page 37 THE PRESS. 37 city could excel Muskegon either in the number of trees or in their condition of healthy growth, the soil it seems being just such an one as they require. The soil in this vicinity seems also to be well adapted to the growth of the nut-bearing forest trees, particularly the chestnut and butternut, some very fine specimens of each of- which may be seen in the yard of C. L. Whitney in bearing condition, from one of the latter variety six bushels of butternuts were gathered last season. Other specimens may be seen in this city, particularly a chestnut in front of the residence of A. A. Bullock on Terrace street, which although young, is a strong, vigorous growing tree. There are thousands ot acres in this county which might be planted with these trees with great profit both for nuts and timber. The mulberry too has shown its adaptability to this soil and climate, as evidenced by a tree on a lot belonging to J. WV. Moon on the corner of Western avenue and Fourth street. This tree is fully two feet in diameter at the ground, and is full of mulberries every year, while it never appears to be affected by frosts or cold. There are some trees of this kind in the yard of H. H. Holt which, although young, are making healthy vigorous growth. Silk manufacturing might be carried on in this locality with great profit. THE PRESS. There was no newspaper published in Muskegon until the spring of 1856, when Charles Cowen started the Muskegon Journal. It was Republican in politics and was published weekly in a room in the old Walton I-ouse. After a short time Mr. Cowan took in Thomas H. Hodder as a partner, and the firm continued the publication of the paper until the autumn of the same year, when it was discontinued. The next paper was the Muskegon Reporter, which was started in April, 1859, by Fred B. Lee & Co. This paper was also a Republican weekly, and was published until October, 1864, when it was discontinued. August 20, 1864,John Bole started the Muskegon News, which he published a few months and then sold the paper to Win. K. Gardner, who continued the publication until March, i865, when he sold his interest to Ferdinand Weller.
Page 38 38 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. The latter soon after bought the press and type of the Reporter office and revived that paper, publishing two papers. After a time they were united, and known as the News and Reporter, which was published by Mr. Weller until December, 1869, when he sold the paper to Geo. C. Rice, who continued its publication as the Muskegon Chronicle. In August, 1870, Mr. Weller resumed the publication of the News and Reporter as a Democratic newspaper. THE SCHOOLS. The first school in Muskegon was a private one, taught by Miss Clark in the winter of 1848-9, in a room in the dwelling house of Charles Martin. Among those now living in this county who attended this school are Henry Lasley, of Montague, William, August andJoseph Baddeau, of Holton, and Mrs. Minerva Curry, of this city. The first school house erected was built by private subscription, in the autumn of 1849, on the corner of Clay avenue and Terrace street, where the Dennis Smith block now stands. It was 20 x 30 feet, one story and cost $300. It was afterwards considerably enlarged, and was for several' years the only school house and place for religious services in the village. It was finally sold, removed and converted into Holt's Hall, which was destroyed in the great fire August Ist, 1874. Wm. D. Holt taught in this school house the first winter. Miss Roberts, after. wards the wife of Frank Cole, taught during the second winter and the summer following. The first union school building was erected in 186o, while Thomas Wheeler was director of the district. This was replaced by the present building in 1875. At the present time there are ten school buildings in this city, known as the Central School building, the High School, the Nelson School, the Pillsbury School, the Wood Avenue School, the Ransom Street School, the Fifth Street School, the Hudson Street School, the Davis Street School and the Apple Street School. In these are eighty-one study and recitation rooms, occupied by eighty teachers. The number of persons in the city of school age, as shown by the school census, is 6,484, while the number of scholars attending the schools is 4,056.
Page 39 EARLY SETTLERS. 39 THE CHURCHES. The first priest of the Roman Catholic church who officiated in Muskegon after the town was settled was Father Visosky, of Grand Rapids, who came here in 1835, and held services in Lasley's house. Services Nwere held here occasionally after that time, but nothing was done towards building a church until 1856, when Father Van Pammel of Grand Rapids commenced the work. The original building was completed and the first service held in it in 1857. It was known as St. Mary's Church. Since that time several additions and improvements have been made. The first resident priest was Father Stonehouse who settled here in 1857. Father Riviers succeeded him, who occupied the position for eleven years and died in this city in 1877. Father Van Pammel is the present pastor. St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Ghurch was built in IS886 Rev. J. R. Magnan, pastor. St. Joseph's Catholic Church was built in 1883, Rev. Thomas Schneider, pastor. In 1840 Rev. Mr. Wilcox of the Congregational Church made a visit to Muskegon, when Mr. Ryerson, having fitted up seats in his boarding house, went around and notified the people of the proposed service. The settlers were all present, including an old man who was very much under the influence of liquor. The minister was preaching when the man went in, and was saying something in regard to the Jews, and as the old man passed along he chimed in, "And Gentiles too." No notice was taken of this intrusion, and he took his seat on the stairs that led to the floor above. He soon, however, began to respond very loudly, not with the word amen, but instead the Indian on-in-day. Mr. Woodbury, who was sitting near, often making repeated attempts to keep him quiet, took him by the collar and pulled him up stairs and the services proceeded in an orderly manner. At the close a collection was taken amounting to $7.50. -This was the first protestant service held in Muskegon. From this time until 1850 several ministers who were here on a visit or otherwise held services, several of whom came at the request of Rev. Wm. M. Ferry, of Grand Haven. Among them was the Rev. Mr. Wheeler, who came a number of times in the winter of 1844 and held services in the boarding house occupied
Page 40 40 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. by Mr. Maxim. In the spring of 1850 an agreement was made with Rev. Mr. Reynolds of the Congregationalist Church, who lived at Lamont, to preach each alternate Sunday. The services were held in the school house, and the arrangement was continued through the summer and part of the following winter, he being the first minister Who had a regular appointment. Sleighs were unknown in Muskegon in those days, but C. Davis had a one-horse sled on which was a wood rack, which he used occasionally when the snow was deep, in taking the ladies to church, accommodating as many as could stand in the rack. The first M. E. minister who preached here regularly was Rev. Mr. Bennet, in 1854-5. Rev. J. M. Pratt of the M. E. Church settled in Muskegon as a minister in 1856, and soon after began to make arrangements for building a church. The Methodist church was commenced in the spring of 1857, and was so far advanced that the basement was used in the spring of 1858, but it was not fully completed until the spring of 1859, when the dedication services were held on the 9th day of June, Rev. J. K. Gillett at that time being the pastor. The church, including the bell, cost, as appears by the report of the building committee, $11,600. This church was rebuilt in 1887 at a cost of $z8,oo0. The first resident Congregational minister of Muskegon was Rev. Mr. Payson, who settled here in 1857 and remained until 1859. In March, 1859, Rev. A. St. Clair located here and began to preach and the Congregational society was organized soon after, the services being held in the basement of the M. E. Church, at the same time the Methodist services were held in the room above. In 1863 the Congregational Church was built, costing about $7,000. The new church was built in 1883. The original Dutch Reform Church was built in 1859. This was a small building, and was sold and removed for a school house. The Dutch Reformed Church on Pine street was built in 1865. The Dutch Reformed Church on Terrace-street was built in 1866. The Dutch Reformed Church on Mason avenue was built in 1887.
Page 41 MUSKEGON HARBOR. 41 The Universalist Church was built in 1865. The First Baptist Church was built in 1871. St. Paul's Episcopal Church was built in 1873. The Danish Lutheran Church was built in 1874. The Norwegian Lutheran Church on Yuba street was built in 1865. The Norwegian Lutheran Church on Barclay street was built in 1884. The First Swedish Lutheran Church was built in 1875. This was afterwards burned, and the Swedish. Church on Muskegon avenue was built to replace it in 1883. The Swedish Lutheran Church on Yuba street was built in 1885. The Zion M. E. Church was built in 1887. The first choir in Muskegon was that of the M. E. Church which was organized in 1857 and was composed of the following persons: Barney Hatch, Wi. Glue and F. F. Bowles, bass; Chas. W. Davis, tenor; Mrs. G. B. Woodbury, Mrs. B. Ripley and Mrs. G. W. Hungerford, sopranos, and Miss Delia Lacey, alto. The first Sunday School organized in Muskegon was in 1852, by Mrs. E. W. Merrill, MissJ. H. Knickerbocker, Mrs. E. Hugunin and Mrs. Chas. Odell. This was discontinued after a time, and a school was re-organized in 1854 by F. F. Bowles, Mrs. Elizabeth Bowles and some others assisting, since which date a Sunday school has been constantly in existence in Muskegon. MUSKEGON HARBOR. To those who have long been residents of Muskegon and its vicinity, it is particularly gratifying to observe the important position that Muskegon harbor is so fast attaining among the harbors on Lake Michigan, in the opinion of commercial men. This is to be attributed, without doubt, to the fact that those men are beco-ming acquainted with the natural advantages and surroundings of our harbor, as well as the increase of business done here. Residents of Muskegon have long asserted that their harbor, so far as regards its natural advantages, is superior to any harbor on Lake Michigan not even excepting Chicago and Milwaukee. Let us ascertain as
Page 42 42 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. to the truth of this statement. In the first place all or nearly all of the harbors are at the point where the waters of some river enters Lake Michigan, of which Muskegon is the largest, draining as it does the greatest area of any river in Michigan. The water of such a stream without doubt assists materially in carrying the sand into the lake that might otherwise be deposited on the bar at the entrance of the harbor. At the mouth of Muskegon river proper is Muskegon lake, a body of water six miles long and about two miles wide. Between this lake and lake Michigan is a channel about one-half mile long, and in this channel there is often as great or greater current than in the river above. Not only does this harbor have the benefit of the ordinary current, but often when there is a strong wind from the west, this current is checked for a time, and the water in Muskegon lake rises twelve inches or more, and when the sea goes down on lake Michigan, this accumulation of water in Muskegon lake, rushes out with great force, and necessarily carries out more or less of the deposits which had been made in the channel. Experience has shown that these natural causes have been of such value, that Muskegon harbor can be kept in repair and an unusual depth of water maintained, as compared with other harbors, at less expense than any harbor on lake Michigan, as will be seen hereafter. Persons accustomed to the navigation of lake Michigan assert that winds from the northwest are most to be feared when vessels are entering the east shore ports. Such persons understand too that Big Point Au Sable, the westernmost point of the lower peninsula of the State, where the land is very high, affords a great p1otection to the ports near by, standing as it does as a great wind breaker. The result is that very often there is but a light sea off Muskegon harbor while the sea is rolling very heavily off the various ports farther south. Muskegon has an equally favorable situaiton as a winter harbor,'as may be seen by a reference to a map of Michigan. It will be seen that the shore line in the vicinity of Muskegon harbor is northwesterly and southeasterly, and that the shore line at this point is about six miles farther west than is this line at Grand Haven. It will be remembered that the ice which obstructs the
Page 43 MUSKEGON HARBOR. 43 entrances to harbors is mostly drift ice, which is carried by the wind to the farthest shore indentation, and there remains and solidifies. The cold, ice-carrying winds from the north and northwest, takes this floating ice past Muskegon harbor to the shore indentation about Grand Haven. This will account for the fact that Grand Haven harbor is very often closed by three or four miles of solid, impassable ice, while Muskegon harbor is entirely clear. There is still another and greater advantage, possessed by Muskegon as a winter harbor, which is its situation on a lake of the size of Muskegon. It will be borne in mind that Muskegon lake is the largest lake connected with lake Michigan by a channel having a current, although there are numerous bays without currents. Besides this, Muskegon lake is very deep compared with others of its size, particularly near the channel, and although the upper end is usually covered with ice in winter, the extreme lower end, including the channel, never freezes over. Some persons account for this fact upon the theory that the current rising from the bottom of Muskegon lake to enter the channel is warmer than the water of an ordinary river under similar circumstances. Others say that in dredging out the channel, springs were reached indicated by the bubbling of the water at certain places in the channel, and hence the warmer water of the channel. Be the cause as it may, it is an undisputed fact that this channel, which is really Muskegon harbor, has not been frozen so that a horse could cross on the ice during the fifteen years last past. This can be verified by Capt. Henry L. Warren, the keeper of the lighthouse at that point, by M. S. Burge, Harvey Eastman and others who have lived all of that time within sight of the channel. It is admitted that one or more harbors of refuge are necessary on the east shore of Lake Michigan, and it would seem that policy would point to the port having the greatest amount of commerce as one of them if possible, and if the two piers are each extended five hundred feet, for which extension the Chief of Engineers states there is an "urgent and pressing necessity," the double purpose would be accomplished of improving the harbor and affording a harbor of refuge second to none on this shore.
Page 44 44 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. The aggregate amount of money heretofore expended in the improvement of Muskegon harbor, as appears by this report, is about $21,5,000oo, which is but a small sum compared with the commerce of the port, and had one-tenth of the money been exlended on this harbor that has been expended on the harbor at Chicago or Milwaukee, the harbor would be superior to either for the reasons already stated. Without giving the exact figures of this report of Major Lockwood, it appears that the following sums have already been expended for the improvement of the harbors on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, to wit: Frankfort $23,ooo000, Manistee $222,ooo, Ludington $234,000, Pentwater $204,000, White River $235,000, Muskegon $215,000, Grand Haven $480,000, Holland $252,000, Saugatuck $124,000, South Haven $171,ooo, St. Joseph $317,000, and Michigan City $809,000. The.report of Major Lockwood for I886, already referred to, states that the number of the arrivals and clearances of the water craft of Muskegon is 5,543, while the number for 1887 is 6,060, which exceeds that of any port on Lake Michigan, excepting Chicago, and is greater than any two ports on the east shore of the lake. The amount heretofore expended in the improvement of Muskegon harbor is only $215,000, as we have seen, which, with four exceptions, is less than that of any of these harbors, while two of the exceptions have each received almost as much as Muskegon harbor. Thus it will be seen that a' depth of water sufficient for any and all the water craft of lake Michigan is maintained at a trifling expense, a fact that can only be accounted for by reason that very little has ever been expended in dredging, most of the amount thus far appropriated having been used in building and repairing the harbor piers, and it is in this manner that future appropriations should be expended. When these facts are taken into consideration it would seem that they should be sufficient to show that the present importance and value of this harbor is largely due to its superior natural advantages, and that an appropriation of money in its improvement, small in proportion to that expended upon the other harbors would render it the harbor of lake Michigan.
Page 45 PIONEER ORGANIZATION. -:0:-- Since order canie out of chaos in the pioneer days of the world, the tendency under the reign of mind has been toward system. Weakness develops into strength, and the strong recognize and use their ability through the potent influences of organization. Worthy undertakings have prospered, and success in the past has ever been achieved by the concentration of forces through the medium of organized effort. Concentration becomes useful and centralization safe to and for all in the'hands of Sir Robert Peel's great "Artificial Man," "Corporation." The seeds of a pioneer organization were sown many years since, and their growth began to show signs of life in 1879 when the social reunion of old settlers took place at the residence of Mrs. Adaline Eldred and her father, John Ruddiman, on Terrace street, this city. This gathering brought together many of those associated in the earlier days of the settlements on and around Muskegon Lake. THE FIRST PICNIC. In the summer of 1882 an effort was made toward organization by Peter Everett, of Norton, and its result was a picnic of old settlers held at Mona Lake Station on the loth day of September, 1882. The late Samuel B. Peck was present and read a paper to the goodly number who enjoyed the occasion. The officers chosen at that time for the ensuing year were: Henry Beach, president; James H. Whitney, secretary, and a business committee of F. F. Bowles, Wm. Churchill and J. O. Antisdale, all of these living in the vicinity of the place of meeting. SECOND PIONEER PICNIC. Under the direction of the above named officers, arrangements were made for and a second annual pic-nic was held at Mona
Page 46 46 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. Lake Station on the 9th day of September, 1883. A large number were present and enjoyed the occasion. Addresses were made by Major Chauncey Davis, Hon. Henry H. Holt, and others, telling of their varied experiences in the days when they were pioneers, long years 1before in Muskegon County. The officers chosen at this time for the coming year were; F. F. Bowles, 'president; James H. XWhitney, secretary, and Win. Churchill, Peter Everett, Joseph E. Randell, J. O. Antisdale and Chas. Butterworth, business committee. PIC-NIC OF 1884. August I3th 1884 was chosen for the third annual gathering of pioneers at Mona Lake, and for this better preparations had been made than for the preceeding meetings. A special train ran from the City of Muskegon to accommodate such of those as wished to go. The result of this was a larger attendance than at any of the previous picnics. A good time was had by all. Talks upon pioneer experiences were made by Peter Everett, Hon. Henry H. Holt, Hon. Daniel Upton Sr., Samuel H. Stevens, Maj. Chauncy Davis, Benjamin Brist, Rev. George Forshee, F. F. Bowles and Henry Beach, each recalling some half-forgotten scenes of the early days and awakening memories of still other events linked with pioneer life. Peter Everett exhibited his pioneer kllapsack, with a mortar for cracking corn, and other useful implements of border life. The president and secrctary of last year were re-elected and Henry Beach was chosen vice president, a new office, and WYm. Churchill was selected as treasurer, though there is no record of his ever having had enough society money to keep him awake nights nor to worry his bondsmen about his being faithful. FOURTH ANNUAL PICNIC. September 26, 1885 was the date of the fourth gathering of old-timers at Mona Lake Station. Addresses were made by Messrs. Holt, Everett and Upton who had appeared upon former occasions, also by George. T. Clark, G. F. Outhwaite, R. S. Thomson (since deceased,) Elias E, Campeney, Hugh Park, W. F. Wiselogel and others.
Page 47 PION~ER ORGANIZATION. 47 The dinner on this occasion was quite a feature under the direction of the Table Committee as'follows: Mr. and Mrs. Wnm. Churchill, Mr. and Mrs. David M. Roy, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Randall, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. E. Whitney and Mr. and Mrs. WYm. Everett. The (lay, though late in the season, was an enjoyable one and a large number were present. The officers elected were: Peter Everett, president: Hugh Park, vice president; Daniel Upton, Sr., secretary; Riley Clemens, treasurer. FIFTH MONA LAKE PICNIC. A Cold, damp, day greeted the few who came to Mona Lake station on the I th of September 1886, to picnic and gather reminiscences of the past. The dinner was the great event and was discussed at length; then camie speches by Messes Holt, Upton, Stevens, Campeney and Everett, also from P. J. Connell, Prof. C. L. Whitney, E. N. VanBaalen and others, who took the stump in succession. The election of officers which followed resulted in the choice of Henry H. Holt, president; C. L. Whitney, vice president; Daniel Upton Sr., secretary, and Peter Everett, treasurer. Up to this time no formal organization had existed and it seemed to many present that a broader field should be occupied and a legal and formal organization effected to improve the same and obtain more abundant fruit. On motion of C. L. WVhitney supported by S. H. Stevens, it was duly ordered that a meeting should be formally called at the office of the president during the month of January, 1887, to organize and incorporate a County Pioneer Society for Muskegon County under the statutes of the state. Owing to the protracted absence from home of both the president and vice president during the winter months, no call was issued and no meeting held as provided in the above resolution. Hence the former informal organization was utilized in preparing for the GREAT PIONEER PICNIC OF 1887. The year 1887 was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first settlement in the county when the "trading post" was established at the mouth of Muskegon Lake, and it was agreed by all that the picnic of this year would not only be a fitting celebration of this
Page 48 48 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. event but also of the semi-centennial of the organization of the township of Muskegon which, at its organization, embraced nearly all of the present county of Muskegon. The trading post and little township had now been succeeede by a great, busy, thriving city which with other new forces was fast developing the interests and promoting the growth of the county. The Muskegon, Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company had recently laid its iron bands across the county, chaining its south-easterly limits to the lake and it was being rapidly followed by the Toledo, Saginaw & Muskegon Railroad binding the north-eastern frontier to the metropolis of the shore of Lake Michigan. Opposite the city upon the peninsula between Muskegon and Bear lakes the former corporation had bought a tract of land reaching across the peninsula and were fitting up at great expense most commodious and delightful pleasure and picnic grounds in full view of the "City of Saw Mills." As early as June the officers of this railroad had hinted to us that the grounds, called Interlake Park, would be at our disposal to use for the Pioneer Picnic and Semi-Centennial Celebration. Later, as the work of preparation and building progressed we were invited to visit the park and inspect its conveniences and see if they were available, which we.did, accepting the courteises of Capt. Majo of the pleasure steamer "George P. Savidge." We found the picnic grounds all that had been claimed for them, for there were two of them. Interlaken Park being grandly fitted up by the M., G. R. & I. Co. and the Peninsular Park owned by Capt. Majo of the "Savidge." The parks were especially well fitted by nature for the purposes for which they were used and the enterprise and good taste of the owners had added much to their convenience and beauty. Both parks were freely placed at the disposal of the committee having the Pioneer Picnic of 1887 in charge. Three or moie weeks before the time for the picnic a meeting of pfflcers and those interested in the coming re-union was called at the City Hall building. A few only responded to the call but the few went to work. Committees were appointed and Tuesday, the 30th day of August, was set for the grand re-union at which time the grounds and the pavillion were to be in readiness for use.
Page 49 PIONEER ORGANIZATION. 49 The Committee on Ways and Means, composed of G. F. Outhwaite, S. S. Morris, and S. II. Stevens, set to work at once with thair usual zeal and in a day or two reported all the funds needed or asked by the General Committee. The Committee on Music reported that they had secured a brass band and an orchestra for the occasion. The Committee on Railroads made suitable arrangements with the railroads as will be seen in the published program. The Committee on Program prepared and published the following program for the day, and later mailed one thousand copies to residents of the county and to those outside who had been connected with its settlement and early history: MUSKEGON, Mich., August 20, 1887. RESPECTED FRIENDS:-You, your family and neighbors are cordially invited to join the Old Settlers of this County and vicinity in a GRAND BASKET PICNIC at the opening or dedication of Interlake Park, on Tuesday, August 30th,-a program of which is herewith sent. This is the semzi-centennial of the organization of Muskegon township which embraced the whole county and some adjacent territory; and this is also the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first settlement or establishment of the Trading Post here. It is hoped and expected that most of the early settlers of the County who are living will be present and take part in the meeting, making it an occasion of unusual interest and long to be remembered. The Park is located upon the peninsula between Muskegon and Bear Lakes, which is easily accessible by carriage or by the steamers that ply between the depots and docks of the city and the Park. This beautiful Park of 93 acres has been recently fitted up by the M., G. R. & I. R. R. company, and has every desirable convenience for such a gathering. The Pavillion, Sox4o feet, stands near the shore in a lovely Oak Grove upon the promontory that overlooks Muskegon Lake and the city. Excursion rates will be given upon the railroads from Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Shelby, Montague, Fremont, and points between these and Muskegon; also from Big Rapids. Tickets
Page 50 50 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUA,. will be good to return upon Wednesday, the 31st. The program will speak for itself. Good music-band and orchestra-will be in attendance. Frequent steamboat excursions will be given to and upon Lake Michigan, and those by moonlight will be highly enjoyable. Please extend this notice and invitation as far as yon can. All come and bring' your baskets and enjoy a happy re-union. Don't forget to register your names with the Secretary upon the grounds. By Order of the Executive Committee. C. L. WHITNEY, DANIEL UJPTON, S. H. STEVENS, Committee on Program and Invitations.
Page 51 PIONEER PICNIC. 51 PROGRAM -OF-- THE PIONEER PICNIC of Muskegon County, at Interlake Park on TUESDAY, AUG.UST 3oTH, I887. Exercises begin at 10:30 A. M. 1. Music......................................................BAND 2. Introductory, by the President.................. Hon. HENRY H. HOLT 3. Address by...............................Rev. EDWARD VANPAMMEL 4. Music......................................BAND 5. Address of Welcome by W. R. SHELBY, Vice-President M., G. R. & I. R. R. 6. Response by.................................... Hon. J. W. MooN 7. Music.....................................ORCHESTRA 8. Address of Welcome by.................Hon. SAMUEL H. STEVENS Address of Welcome by................. C. E. STORRS, North Muskegon 9. Response by............................. Maj. CHAUNCEY DAVIS 10. Music. DINNER.-AFTERNOON, 2 O'CLOCK. 1. Music 2. Address by...........Hon. AUSTIN BLAIR, "Michigan's War Governor." 3. Music. 4. Address by.......................... Hon. James H. Swan, of Chicago 5. Music. 6. Five Minute talks by Messrs. Martin Ryerson, George B. Woodbury, John Ruddiman, Elias W. Merrill, Albert Mears, Alexander V. Mann, Chas. T. Hills, George E. Dowling, Hiram S. Tyler, P. J. Connell, Frank Bracelin, F. F. Bowles, Patrick Dowd, M. Wilson, Edwin Potter, Geo. J. Tillotson, C. D. Nelson. Lyman G. Mason, Robert P. Easton, David McLaughlin, Levi Beardsley, C. C. Thompson, John Torrent, W. F. Wood and others, giving'historic facts and personal reminiscences of the settlement of the county. COMMITTEE. H. H. Holt, President, Dr. Thomas D. Smith, Ravenna, C. L. Whitney, Vice-President, Albert Mears, Whitehall, Daniel Upton. Secretary, J. H. Lobdell, Trent, Peter Evert, Treasurer, Geo. E. Dowling, Montague, Maj. C. Davis, O. F. Conklin. Ravenna, S. H. Stevens, Ole Gordon, Fruitland, John Ruddiman, Benjamin Dow, Dalton, G. F. Outhwaite, M. B. Converse, Fruitport, S. S. Morris, S. H. Lasley, Whitehall, Orrin Whitney, Ole C. Olson, Holton, J. H. Whitney, Black Lake. N. B.-Excursion rates on the railroads; tickets good to return on Wednesday, August 31. Steamboat excursions on Lake Michigan. Don't forget to register your names, etc., on the ground,
Page 52 52 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. As the day of the gathering drew near, large forces of men were put to work on the grounds and on the docks adjacent to have them in readiness. The very air seemed to carry the infection of preparation, for while the arrangements were being perfected by the committee in charge of the arrangements here the people all over the county were arranging to test these preparations to the utmost. The committee in charge advised with Capt. Majo regarding the arrangements for the transportation of the people to Sand from the parks. More and better facilities were deemed necessary and Messrs. Majo and Brown at once sent for and secured the double deck steamer, Macatawa, to aid in the transfer of the people to and from the parks. August 3oth came and was all that could be wished for by those interested. At an early hour the officers were in attendance upon the grounds directing the placing of the many long tables and seats and the building of more. The Pavillion was finely decorated with flags and across the entire end back of the speakers' stand was a streamer with the word "Muskegon" and underneath the word the three very important dates, "iSi2, 1837, 1887." Before the appointed hour the grounds were well filled with people who had came by team or boat, each and all bringing well-filled baskets and a plenty of hearty good wishes. At II a. m. the parks were both.well-filled and every table and bench pre-empted, and even the standing room was well occupied by groups of people. All were quiet and orderly, glad to see each other, to renew acquaintances long since begun, to refresh the memory of by-gone days and to add new friends to those already acquired. All seemed happy Aand to enjoy the day, the occasion and everything connected with it. A little after the hour set, the meeting was called to order and work upon the program was carried out with such changes as the proceedings published herewith will show. During the time of the speaking and before and after, an opportunity was afforded all present to register their names in a handsome volume provided for the occasion, showing the name and address of each person registering,
Page 53 PIONEER PICNIC. 53 place and date of settlement in the county, place and date of nativity, and other data, thus giving a record of much valuable, information for future use. When the program had been finished the floor in the Pavillion was cleared and all who desired had an opportunity to show themselves "light of foot" as well as "light of heart". The best of days have an end and night came all too soon on this occasion and the people reluctantly sought their homes, and all of the 5,000 or 7,000 people who gathered at Interlaken and Peninsular Parks that day will long remember the Pioneer Picnic and Semi-Centennial Celebration of 1887 and their enjoyment of it. C. L. WHITNEY, Secretary.
Page 54 Interlake Park Dedication and Muskegon Township Semi-Centennial Celebration, August 3oth, 1887. --:o: --- At 10;30 A. M., Henry H. Holt, President of the Muskegon County Pioneer Society, called the meeting to order and spoke as follows: "You are all aware that we have several objects in view in our gathering here to-day. In the first place we are here for a picnic and an enjoyable season. In the second place it is for the purpose of observing in a proper manner the semi-centennial anniversary of the organization of the Township of Muskegon. In addition to these objects we are to take action as regards the opening of this beautiful park to the public by the Muskegon, Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company. So far as we can learn this locality was first inhabited in 1812, seventy-five years ago, by Indian traders, and that an Indian Trading Post was established at that time near the mouth of Bear lake. Fifty years ago this town was organized as a township by the Legislature of the new State of Michigan-what was then the new State of Michigan-December 3oth, 1837. The township as then organized included all the south part of what is now the County of- Muskegon, as well as that part of what was then Ottawa county, lying north of the division line between ranges eight and nine. That line was the south line of the new town and following north along the shore of Lake Michigan it took in all the north part of Muskegon county. It also included the township of Chester which is still a part of Ottawa county. This territory was organized into a township and was called the Township of "Maskego". The Act was approved on the zoth of December, 1837. I have the session laws of the legis
Page 55 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 55 lature of that session. It is a small book (showing book) but it coptains not only the general and local laws of the session of the legislature for the year 1837 but the general and local laws of 1838 are also included in this little volume. Now, as you understand, it requires two large volumes to contain the laws of one session. The following is the act that was passed at the Session of 1837: "An Act to Organize Certain Townships." This included a number of townships throughout the state. Section 2 of that act reads as follows: "All that portion of the County of Ottawa lying north of the dividing line between ranges eight and nine be and the same is hereby set off and organized into a separate township by the name of "Maskego" and the first township meeting held therein shall be held at the house of Newell & Wilcox in said township." That was the organization of the Township of Muskegon, but it was then by some means, I don't know why, and nobody seems to know, called "Maskego." This was done at an adjourned meeting of the legislature held in 1837. This was the first organization. Although no action was taken under that law, as the time for holding the Spring Election did not occur until April following, and at the coming session, which was held, of course, in 1838, this act of organizing the Town of "Maskego" was repealed, in March, 1838, and section 41 of act number 22 of the session laws of 1838 was passed. It provides that: "All that part of the County of Ottawa lying north of the township line between townships eight and nine north, be, and the same is hereby set off and organized into a separate township by the name of Muskegon, and that the first township meeting held therein shall be held at the house of Newell & Wilcox in said township." This act was a repetition of the first act, excepting that the township was called the Township of Muskegon instead of the Township of "Maskego." The second act was recognized and the township election of officers was held on the second day of April, 1838, at which the township organization was perfected and a supervisor elected and other township officers chosen.
Page 56 56 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. So that we are here to-day to recognize and celebrate the semi-centennial anniversary of the organization of the Township of Muskegon, and we say that it is not only fit' and proper but that it is due to those old settlers, those old persons who were then active and who assisted in the accomplishment of this measure, that their'acts should be recognized and that we should meet them here in this way. We are here for still another purpose and that is to commemorate the semi-centennial anniversary of the establishment of the Muskegon postoffice. The Muskegon postoffice was to all intents and purposes established in 1837. It is true that the organization of the postoffice was in 1838, but it was so near the line betwveen the two years that we can call it and have a right to call it 1337. The postoffice of Muskegon was established on the third day of January, 1838. Henry Penoyer was at that time appointed po:stmaster of the Muskegon postoffice. The postoffice, you will remember, was at Bluffton. Bluffton was the central or main point of this whole surrounding country, from Casinovia, Six Corners, Ravenna and Moorland and west to the lake, the center of all that country. On the third of Janiaay Henry Penoyer was appointed postmaster, and, as it happened, was a Democrat, and as it happens again we have another Democratic postmaster on the 5oth anniversary of its establishment. It is a singular coincidence but we remember, too, that in later times most of the postmasters have been Republicans; but it so happens that the first and last are Democrats. What their successors during the next fifty years will be, of course, we cannot tell. It willh be remembered, too, that at that time the central point or village of this locality was expected would be at the mouth of the river near C. D. Nelson's mill, and the land around Bluffton was considered the most valuable. The United States, you remember, gave a certain amount of land to the State of Michigan for University purposes, that is, for the purpose of endowing a University at Ann Arbor. The commissioners who had the matter in charge thoughtthey did a wise thing when they selected those sand hills at Bluffton as the valuable land-as the land that would bring the best price. They did not care anything about the land at the head of the lake, where the city now is; that was of no accourit. They selected the,
Page 57 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 57 land about Bluffton and around the mouth of the river, as that was to be the c-ity and the center of all this country around here. They selected that as university land when there was so much valuable land in Casnovia, Ravenna and Moorland and in the country thereabout that might have been selected instead. You know what the land at Bluffton is and what it is on the north side of the river. I have other interesting papers here relating.to our history. Here is the commission that was issued to Henry Penoyer, the first postmaster of Muskegon, when Martin Van Buren was president. This is the identical paper signed by Amos Kendall as Postmaster General. (Showing paper.) The paper was given to me by Henry Penoyer and although I never was a postmaster I have a commission as such. There are many other things I might refer to. Will say that I have here the sheet showing the canvavss of the votes of the first state election held in the Township of Muskegon. At that election, as shown by this canvas, William Woodbridge received 21 votes for governor; Thomas Fitzgerald received 19 votes. If any one can figure up how many 21 and 19 make they will know how many votes there were in the township. Any one in the crowd can do it. I shall not try to do it myself. It will be remembered that this was the entire vote of what is now Mliskegon county, including a township that (ioes not now belong to it-the towinship of Chester. William nWoodbridge, you will remember, was the Whig candidate for governor and Thomas Fitzgcerald was the Democratic candidate in IS38. I say that number of votes put together makes the aggregate of votes of' Muskegonl county and the township of Chester included, and you can judge for yourselves whether we have increased in population, or whetter it is to be accounted for by a difference in the method of counting the votes then and now. Perhaps some of these politicians can tell us. I don't know. There are a number of other things I might mention. Here, for instance, I have a paper received from Mr. Penoyer which. reads like this: "I842. Township of Muskegon, to M. Ryerson, debtor. To recording 14 folios, $2.52; meeting of the Township Board, one day, $i; total, $3.52."' This amount, $3.52, Martin
Page 58 58 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNfAL. Ryerson claimed as his pay for a year's salary as township clerk. [Great laughter.] A man must necessarily be expected to become wealthy who started with such a lucrative salary in the early history of our county, and a man that couldn't get rich at that isn't much of a man. He seems to have been a very good writer, too, this is his own hand writing as shown in 1842. And while we are celebrating the anniversary of the organization of our township let us not forget a pleasant feature of it. Mr. Shelby, Vice-President of the Muskegon, Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company, kindly invited us to come here and have our meeting on this occasion. It was very kind of Mr. Shelby as well as other officers of the railroad company. Mr. Keating too, who is one of the directors of the company, has been very active in this respect and is entitled to the thanks of this society for his kindness in assisting in preparing to hold the meeting in this park. It was a very generous act on the part of the officers to build and prepare this park and these grounds, and I trust the citizens of Muskegon and vicinity will ever remember this whenever they come here for enjoyment. These celebrations are often very pleasant, and. occasions like this are not entirely unprofitable, although it is said that picnics are only for pleasure. I think the statement is not entirely true, that they are only for pleasure. I think very many times they are profitable as well as pleasant. We came here to-day with the idea of preserving a great many reminiscences connected with our early history. We have a reporter here who is taking down these reminiscences which we are relating for the purpose of preserving them as a part of the history of the township, and it is right and proper that they should be preserved. We don't want our history to become mythology. When boys, we used to read mythology and we did not know whether what we read was true or not; we did not know where history began and mythology ended. We remember reading about Romulus and Remus being nursed by the wolves, and all sorts of stories of that kind. Now, if they had had picnics and reporters in those early days they would not have had those mythological
Page 59 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 59 stories to relate. They would either have been matters of history or not been preserved at all. These pioneer picnics are intended to preserve the history, so far as possible, of our townships and localities. So that we say, that while these picnics are very pleasant they are, in fact, really, profitable to us, or can be made so, if all parties take a part in relating the reminiscences of their own personal experiences. And we intend that this picnic will be conducted in this manner. We expect to hear from a number of these men who will tell of their experiences, what they know and have seen of the early history of the township, and it will be preserved in this way, so that our picnic will be made a profitable as well as a pleasant one. I have said more than I intended and I hope you will bear with me for so doing. I have said this as an outline of what we expect to do, or perhaps as a sort of order of exercises. Father Van Pammel, who is the next speaker on the program, desires to be excused until after dinner when he will address you. We will now listen to music." Mr. Holt, (after music) "Ladies and Gentlemen: We all regret that Mr. Shelby, vice-president of the M., G. R. & I. R. R. Co., and who has been very active in establishing this park, cannot be with us to-day. Mr. Shelby has written me the following letter: "GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., August 25, 1887. Chairman of the Committee, Muskegon, Mich.: I have just been handed a program of the Pioneer Picnic to be held at Inter Lake Park on the 30th, inst., upon which I notice that I am put down for an address of welcome to the Park. I should be most happy to be present on that occasion and to make the address, except for the fact that my duties require me to be in New York on that day. I sincerely wish the pioneers may enjoy a pleasant day and have many happy returns on this beautiful spot, which is destined to be, if our efforts can make it so, one of the pleasant features of your flourishing city. Very respectfully, W. R. SHELBY, Vice-President."
Page 60 6o MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. Upon learning that Mr. Shelby could not be here M r. O'Brien was selected as the person to make the address on this occasion, but last night we learned that he could not be here, Mr. Keating having received a telegram to that effect, which reads as follews: "GRAND RAPIDS, August 29, 1887. L. N. Keatipg;. I have delayed wiring you, hoping I might find it possible to go to-morrow, but I have engagements here that I cannot change. I hope that you will speak for the company, and I think it more suitable that you should do so because I think the building of the park is substantially due to your efforts." Inasmuch as neither Mr. Shelby nor Mr. O'Bricn can be here we are very glad that it has fallen upon Mr. Keating to make this address. Mr. Keating is one of the directors of the road and it is largely due to his efforts that we have this Park to use to-day, and we are glad to welcome him here. We will now listen to an address by Mr. Keating." Mr. Keating spoke as follows: "Ladies and Gentlemen and Members of the Pioneer Society of the County of Muskegon: A few years ago Mr. McGraft and myself were at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, in consultation with the vice-president of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in relation to the building of this railroad-to this city from Grand Rapids. Vice-President Messler said, in the course of that interview, 'We want the citizens of Muskegon to understand that when the Pennsylvania Company comes into Muskegon, that it will be like a stone wall back of your town for its prosperity and success,' and I need hardly add that the improvements made,by the Pennsylvania Company and the Grand Rapids & Indiana Company in the city andl county of Muskegon are a guarantee that this road is like a stone wall back of this city and its 22,000 population, and is a guarantee of its future prosperity and commercial supremacy. We found when the question of building this road in here was considered, that it was necessary to look for some outlet for excursion busimness that would come in this direction, and it was necessary to seck an outlet for recreation on this lake and Lake Michigan that lies beyond.
Page 61 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. Four of our citizens, Messrs. McGraft, Mason, Misner and myself, took the contract and purchased these 93 acres, of land and placed our money and credit into the enterprise for the purpose of holding it until it could be taken care of by railroad control and made a park of, that would be an honor and a credit to the city. We have turned over to this railroad company 93 acres of land. About fifty acres lie between Muskegon Lake on the south side and Ruddiman avenue on the north. The remaining 40 odd acres lie between Ruddiman avenue and Bear Lake. It lies within the village of North Muskegon, as you well know, and the village authorities have promised, when we are ready for it, to put water mains from the water works of the village of North Muskegon into these grounds in order that a sufficient supply of water may be secured for the decoration and useful purposes necessary in the grounds. If it had not been for the large demands placed upon the Grand Rapids & Indiana road this season to take care of its excursion business to the Straits of Mackinaw, the work of improving these grounds would. have gone forward with more rapiditvy But this railroad company found itself in a shape that it could not furnish rolling stock for the purpose of taking care of these excursions this season. Some of the plans that have been matured and which are contemplated for the coming year are in the direction of clearing off these 93 acres and to build a casino in which to hold public concerts, and of devoting the back part of this park to the building of cottages and residences. Now, I understand that the main object of an address is that it should be short, and I am authorized in behalf of this railroad company to say to you that we make you all welcome here to-day. And a year from now, if you gather once more with the close of our hospitality, we will then make you twice welcome, and hope that you will come a year from now and the year succeeding, and that each year we shall be able to entertain you with handsomer conditions, and to show you, fellow citizens of Muskegon, that this road is a stone wall back of your prosperity and success. We
Page 62 62 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. invite you all as our guests here within these grounds to-day, and it is a standing invitation with the understanding that the latch string is always out and that the citizens of Muskegon can use it at their pleasure and their will." Applause. Mr. Holt:-"Ladies and Gentlemen; We are sorry to be obliged to say that Mr. Moon, whom it was expected would respond to the address of Mr. Keating, is not here to-day. His father, we understand, is very sick at Ypsilanti and it is impossible for him to be here under, the circumstances." Mr. Whitnev:-"Inasmuch as Mr. Moon is not here to respond to the address of welcome by Mr. Keating, I move that we extend a vote of thanks to the Muskegon, Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad and to Mr. Keating, its representative, for the welcome we have received here to-day." Such motion, on being put by the chairman was carried unanimously. On motion of Mr. Whittney adjourned for dinner. After dinner-2 o'clock p. m. Mr. Holt:-"We will commence the exercises this afternoon by an address by Ex-Mayor Stevens." Mr. Stevens was introduced and spoke as follows: "Mr. President, Old-Settlers and Citizens; You have gathered here at this hour to recall the scenes of earlier days, to con over the old joke and story which cast a halo ot beauty over the then life, rendering those the brightest and sweetest of all the years. Memory, that faculty of the mind which rescues from oblivion the past, recalls the days of joy and sorrow, of suffering and death of the long ago. As the traveler standing on the mountain top looks down the steep descent-over which his weary feet have trod, most vividly remembers the green and grassy mounds whereon he sat him down to rest; so we, standing to-day on the mountain top of life's noon-day will most vividly recall the scenes of joy and pleasure of our earlier days, those green and grassy mounds whereon the soul found rest. Over half a century has passed since Henry Penoyer, that veteran pioneer, planted the first evidences of civilization in this
Page 63 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 63 locality, in the erection of a small log cabin; and just fifty years the coming September since the first raft of lumber was floated down the Muskegon river and the first saw mill erected just around the bend. Forty-nine years since the first cargo of lumber was shipped from this port. To-day cast your eyes around over" this beautiful lake, whose placid waters reflect the scintillant rays of the summer sun. What a magnificent scene meets your gaze. A half century ago the beautiful homes, stupendous saw mills and manufacturting establishments which now line its shores, the hum and rush and push of busy life which meets your eyes, existed only, if at all, in the over sanguine mind. No magnificent steamers then ploughed its glimmering waters and the white sails of commerce dotted not then its surface. The Indian alone, with his bark canoe, skimmed o'er its waters, and he alone trod those forests where now stands the beautiful and prosperous City of Muskegon and its environments, bearing upon its banner the proud emblem, "The Largest Lumber Manufacturing City" on the foot-stool of the Almighty. A city whose lumber product goes to build, not only the cottage of the poor and the mansion of the rich in our own much favored land, but, borne by the wings of the wind, crosses the briny deep and makes glad the cities of other lands. A city which owes its growth, not to those artificial and unhealthful booms so prevalent all over our country, but has by a steady and gradual development emerged from a hamlet of about 300 souls in 1857 to that you now see spread out before you like a picture wherein over 20.000 prosperous and reasonably happy people in 1887. A period seemingly long when you look forward, but almost a dream as your mind travels back over it. Around this beautiful lake you will find 60 manufacturing establishments turning out annualy'over 6ooooo,ooo feet of lumber employing an army of nearly 7,000 men with a monthly pay-roll aggregating the enormous sum of over $300,000. Twenty-one churches fifteen school buildings, vieing in size and beauty with those of cities of larger and older growth, all indicative of a high civilization, enlarged and growing cultivation. No city can boast of a better school system and none with such stupendous financial interests, so
Page 64 64 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANN'fAL. small a public debt. Over ten miles of splendid pavement completed and in process attest the enterprise, energy and liberalty of its citizens. Such vast interests and such a people welcome you here to-day and give assurance that he who addresses you comes, as St. Paul said he did, "from no mean city." Standing to-day within this pleasant and convenient pavillion, erected by the Muskegon, Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company, surrounded by this leafy forest, on behalf of our people I bid you a most cordial welcome. Welcome, not only to those who as pioneers bore the heat and burden of the day in the settlement of this county, but all alike shall share in our hospitality. All may not share in the labor of felling the forest and planting civilization where once the Red Man was monarch of all he surveyed, but all may and should unite in the labor of preserving and strengthening that civilization now threatened to its fall. Mighty problems are demanding solution, grave evils are eating away the foundation of our free and prosperous nation, and that civilization of which we boast may be blotted out in the more than mid-night darkness of a coming Socialism and Communism of which past ages can furnish no parallel. Such a gathering as we see here to-day, revivifying and cementing the friendships of the past, knitting and binding together the friendships and interests of the future, may and will do much towards solidifying that civilization, our only hope for the future. But I forget myself. I came not here to moralize but to welcome. Not to forecast the future but to recall the past, and if possible to make all feel at home to-day. Thirty-one years have past since I landed on these shores and the friendships I then formed have been cemented by the rolling years and can never be blotted from the tablets of memory. But where are they who then formed friendship's circle? Many, but all too few, are with us to-day. Some of them have made their homes on the golden shores of the Pacific, some in foreign lands, some in the frozen north, others in the sunny south, and many in that land beyond the silent river; others faced the pitiless bullet, the screaming shell and amid such scenes of human suffering and
Page 65 SEMI-CEN.TENNIAL CELEBRATION. 65 anguish as quail the stoutest hearts, went down to death on the battle fields of the Republic. Some in youth, in ripened years, surrounded by home and friends, others far from all those tender associations which lighten the burdens of life and soften the pillow of death, passed from the darkness of life to the brightness and joy of that other land. Let us strew the flowers of friendship oe'r memory's grave wherein lies entombed all that remains of them to us. For them, all the sorrows and sufferings, all the joys and pleasures of time have been eliminated by the transcendent beauties and pleasures of that better clime. Drop the silent tear, recall the memory so dear if you will, 'tis but the tribute due; the heart can find no better way. It is meet and proper that amid the pleasures of this re-union we should recall the memory of those who with us shared the pleasures and burdens of the earlier days. Citizens, to me has been alloted the pleasant duty of uttering words of welcome, and I trust only welcome words have greeted your ears. I may not, therefore, trespass further on your time and patience. I can only trust such welcome words and deeds may gather around and about you to-day as shall make your hearts glad and fill your minds with such memories as will smooth the pathway of all your future lives. Thanking you for your patience and attention, once more I bid you welcome." Applause. Mr. Holt:-"We will now listen to an address of welcome by Major Storrs on behalf of North Muskegon, our rival city." Major Storrs spoke as follows: "Ladies and Gentlemen and Pioneers of Muskegon County; I apprehend that you do not realize that there has been a joke perpetrated upon you by this committee to-day. I think the man they meant to get, they have not got. Perhaps I can enable you to see the point of the joke by telling a story. It is a little incident that happened in a new country. It was down in the State of Ohio on the Western Reserve. At an early day when the towns were all new the faculty of the college, in their generosity and desire to do good, used: to send out the students to preach to the pioneers, and the pioneers felt very much gratified and were very happy to have them come, and were very much interested to know how far they
Page 66 66 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. had got along in their education; and about the first question asked when a new man came to preach was, 'Does he understand Hebrew?' That was thought to be proper. [Laughter.] Well, there was a pioneer there in those days, he was a lumberman too -we have some lumbermen here- and he sometimes used a little bad language, or was a little emphatic, and they sent out a new man one day to preach, and old George Leach, as we all knew him, went to hear him preach. He didn't go very 7ofteh but he went that day. And the new man preached, what he thought, an excellent sermon. The next morning he met one of his neighbors and he said to him, "Was you out to hear that new man?" "No," he says, "was he a good one?" "Well, he was a good one," he says. Well, the next question naturally was, "Does he understand Hebrew?" "Hebrew? Damn it man, he has been to Hebrew." [Prolonged laughter.] They calculated to-day to get a man who had been to Hebrew to welcome you to North Muskegon, but they made a mistake; they got the wrong man. In welcoming you here to our village between the lakes, on this 50th anniversary of the organization of the township of Muskegon, we welcome you, who by your steadfast courage, your persistent energies in conquering the difficulties to be overcome in reclaiming the wilderness and giving it to civilization, who by your patient endurance of the toil, the hardships and privations incident to the settlement of all new countries, have made it possible that here upon the shore of this lake should be built the village of North Muskegon. A village giving, in its present stage, evidences of thrift and progress, and promising in the future to develop into such rare beauty. You have made it possible that there should be built on the other shore of this beautiful lake a city whose only drawback, and the only thing in whose way to progress seems to be that it is so far from North Muskegon. We welcome you to-day because out of the wilderness, as you found it half a century ago, covered with dense forests and given up to savagery, you have made fertile farms, builded thriving villages, and here on the shores of Muskegon lake have built up and carried to the fore front one of the world's greatest industries,
Page 67 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 67 giving thousands of the world's busy toilers the work their hands need to bring comfort and plenty to their wives and little ones. Because you have redeemed the wilderness and make it a free gift to the nineteenth century civilization. We welcome you because we do not forget at what a cost of toil and hardship this vast work has been accomplished. Because we do not forget the courage and fortitude with which, cutting asunder the ties that bound you to your childhood, your youth and your early manhood and womanhood, turned your faces to the then far west with its unknown dangers, its certainty of toil and privation, that you might carve out for yourselves and for us who have come after you the easier life of modern civilization. We do not forget that you possessed that high courage that enabled you to bear the trials and hardships of life in this new country. Many a man can face the enemy boldly in the hail of battle amid the rain of shot and shell, who fails utterly when called to face the petty cares and trials of life, or the less inspiring struggle against such obstacles as you were called to meet and overcome. Many a man at some supreme moment of his life has won the applause of his fellowmen who if called on to bear the burdens you have borne, no matter how great the reward, would fail utterly. We welcome you because in all your trials and struggles and final triumphs you have not forgotten your loyalty to the grand principles of civil and religious liberty, but because you have insisted that here, too, in Muskegon every man should have the right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and that at the ballot-box the laborer and the millionaire should stand upon the same level, should each be allowed to cast his own vote for his own ticket and that his ballot should count in the returns. We welcome you because when in your time of trial, before you had won competence or independence, these' principles were assailed by treason's bloody hand, you sent forth your best and bravest to stand in their defense; because the pioneers of Muskegon county followed McDowell at Bull's Run, McClellan on the
Page 68 68 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. Peninsula and at Antietam, Burnside at the Heights of Frederickburg; because they followed Hooker at Chancellorsville, followed Mead at Gettysburg, stood with the "Rock of Chickamauga," fought with Sherman at Kennesaw, at Atlanta and marched with him to the sea; fought above the clouds at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge; fought with Grant at Shiloh, at Vicksburg, in the Wilderness, at Spottsplvania, at Cold Harbor, at Pittsburg, at Five Forks and at Apporriattox. And through it all, in defeat and disaster, in death and wounds and in victory and final triumph you sbowed the same steadfastness and persistent courage, the same patience and fortitude under trials and hardships and the same generous forbearance in the hour of victory. We welcome you, because while struggling for the necessaries of life, you did not forget the high interests of those who should, come after you; that you made provision that the children of your time and of ours should go forth to the battle of life educated, enlightened and armed by careful principles to meet and overcome the trials and temptations that the world always brings. For these and other gifts, unnumbered but of equal value, North Muskegon bids you a cordial welcome to-day. Her thousand busy toilers from other portions of our great state, from the glorious sisterhood of states, from far foreign lands bid you welcome. Her business men in the hurry and rush pause to give you welcome here to day. Her happy homes, made possible by your work in the past, give you welcome. Her aged ones, her prime of life, her joyous youth, her happy childhood, one and all bid, you welcome and God speed. North Muskegon's prayer for you is that you may live a thousand years and that your shadows may never be less. For herself she hopes they may be oftener in her midst." Applause. Mr. Holt: "We shall next listen to an address by one of our citizens, our first representative in the state legislature, our first mayor and one of our earliest settlers, one whom everybody knows and whom I need not introduce on this occasion except to mention his name, Major Davis."
Page 69 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 69 - ADDRESS BY MAJOR C. DAVIS. Major Davis spoke as follows: "Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, Pioneers and Invited Guests; Being called upon as the ninth upon the program to respond to an address by our esteemed citizen who has just spoken, a memorandum of some little length had been hastily sketched, but on looking over this vast assemblage and realizing that you will have the day here, and that you will all be more or less tired before you return to your homes, I have kept that memorandum in my pocket and have taken out my pruning knife and laid it upon a few short.notes that I have made here hastily and shall prune\ them right down to business. I might extend to you an additional welcome and say you are thrice, three times welcome, and I may be allowed, fellow citizens and pioneers, to congratulate you all upon your pleasant, social and hopeful appearance upon this occasion. I think, perhaps, the health and life-giving influence of this beautiful grove, of these charming grounds and outlying waters and hills, upon which \we can cast the eye, already begin to produce their effects. I congratulate you pioneers who have toiled from early in the forties perhaps, in the Muskegon valley and in Muskegon county, until the present time. I congratulate you upon the success that has crowned your efforts as agriculturalists, as horticulturists, as business men, and trust and hope that the same energy that has carried you thus far through the trials and hardships incident to the opening, settlement and development of the resources of the Muskegon Valley,'will carry you triumphantly through the long years of the coming future. Touching upon Muskegon valley, Muskegon county and the city, which many of us represent, or in which we live, I call your attention to a few incidents and a few things that have an important bearing upon the present results which we witness. The Muskegon river improvement was one of the early and one of the important ones and exerted a powerful influence in the
Page 70 7~ MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. development of the resources of the Muskegon valley. The organization of the county was also an important measure. Another improvement was the opening up of the Muskegon Harbor by our business men and citizens with their own private means, and by taxing their energies to the uttermost (the government having totally refused to do anything until long afier that.) And some of our business men of that day are entitled to great consideration for the personal efforts and the unrelenting and unflagging zeal they put into the work. Next, perhaps, comes the system of railroads with which we have been favored. Then the grand and successful efforts of our farmers, horticulturists and business men. And last, but by no means least, the efforts that are being made to open up the resorts for health and pleasure nearer home, so that the Muskegon valley may offer its benefits, privileges and health-giving influences to those who are not able to visit the sea shore or other distant points. Before our river was improved, business men, lumbering at other places, visited our place and looked over the lumbering interests to see if they could invest successfully in lumbering upon Muskegon river or in this vidinity and finding it insufficient to float the vast amount of pine timber that was growing in the forests of the great interior of northern and central Michigan, they were discouraged and gave up hope. But enterprising citizens and representative men of that day went to work and secured an appropriation for constructing a canal or channel through what is called the Sand Flats, through which that timber could be floated and so delivered at the mills. This work was finally a great success and business men have learned that the river, which was formerly insufficient to float a few millions of logs, is now sufficient, at least for our enterprising business men, for floating from three to five and even seven hundred millions of feet yearly. Passing over the slow progress made in improvements and in opening up communication with the outside world, we come to the effort to organize the County of Muskegon.
Page 71 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 71 Hon. E. W. Merrill and the late Robert W. Morris and myself visited Lansing, January, '59, fol the purpose of trying to secure the passage of an act for this purpose, and were met by the most persistent and bitter opposition from many quarters where we had never expected it. We were also laughed at for thinking of such a measure, and were told that all the business of Muskegon could be easily done at Grand Haven; that the business was so light and would always continue so light that it would be a pleasure for Muskegon people to make occasional trips to Grand Haven on county business, searching the records and attending the courts than otherwise; that it would give us exercise, give elasticity to our limbs, enliven and invigorate the sluggish mental faculties to visit the county seat at Grand Haven, instead of sitting down here upon a saw log or upon a little heap of sawdust and while away our time in comparative solitude. Still urging the matter and trying to impress upon members the future importance of Muskegon valley, the river and its tributaries, as well as the great commercial outlook for this locality, they looked upon the whole as chimerical and visionary. Once in a while, a man from the great state of Maine, like the Hon. J. W. Sanborn, Hon. O. D. Conger, our late United States senator, and that great, good, noble-hearted man, the late Hon. Newell Avery, gave us some encouragement. Coming from a pine tree state, they knew something of the future prosperity that awaited the opening up and development of the Muskegon valley. Some others, whose names I cannot just at this moment call to mind, began to express confidence in our fore-cast of the future, and gradually came around to give us aid and comfort. Still the contest was a long, sharp and even bitter one, and finally the passage of the bill through the house was won by just the required vote to pass it and none to spare. Then came the efforts to kill it in the senate, and to get it sent back to the house, being assured that it could never pass the house a second time if they only once could get a reconsideration and have a new vote taken upon the measure. It was only by almost sleepless vigilance that defeat was averted even after the bill passed and had been approved by the governor,
Page 72 72 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. by stealthy bills introduced to amend the act and thus secure its ultimate defeat. Being finally fought through the house it was finally sustained and the organization perfected. And although much opposition and discouragement continued, the prosperity and development of the great interests of the county went on. Against all the discouragement of croakers and predictions of failure, with the cold shoulder turned upon us when we suggested a, representative for the county, being told by members from southern counties that they proposed to base representation upon population and not upon wild Indians and muskrats, the pioneers of that day went on working and toiling to develop the agricultural, commercial and general business interests of the county, and of the great valley, the river and its tributaries. And you pioneers and others whose privilege it is to be here to-day, witness something of the outcome of those united efforts put forth to develop the interests of this valley and of this region of western Michigan. A glance around the lake -shows you something of the magnitude of the industries and manufactures that are being carried on here, and of the business furnished for the maintainance of our large population, and of the material furnished for the building up of towns and cities and fencing in the farms of the great west. The magnitude of the great commercial interests embracing the extensive forest products that pass down the Muskegon river and its tributaries, and the vast manufactured products shipped from this city by rail and by lake to western points, has been fully shown in the address of our ex-mayor, and I need only to add that in the carrying on of this extensive business, vast and extensive machinery must be employed, mills, machine shops, car works and furniture factories constructed, requiring the employment of thousands of men, thereby furnishing provisions for them and their families and contributing to their health, their comfort and their prosperity. Deeming the health of the people vitally essential to the prosperity of the city and the state, men have been looking for places where the citizens and their families, the workingmen as
Page 73 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 73 well as the employers, could find breathing places; places for rest, recreation and recuperation. When the grounds here were being viewed some two years ago by the soldiers' home commission, means were subscribed for the purchase of these very grounds to be given to the state for the soldiers' home. Some of the subscribers'voluntarily offered, if not accepted by the commission, if the committee or the city would buy the grounds and improve them as a park, they would double their subscriptions. One wealthy citizen having, perhaps, the finest residence in the city, and well located, expressed a wish that he had built his residence here. While-the people were thinking, wishing and hoping that something of this nature might be accomplished, the managers of the Muskegon, Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad Company seem to have struck the key note, which we trust will lead to the opening up and developing of the beauties and fine features of these grand park grounds. "Interlake Park" they have named it. Looking out as we may upon its surroundings, with Muskegon lake upon the south, Bear lake upon the north, with a broad open, inland sea-lacking only the saline properties-that grand body of water, Lake Michigan, on the west, we might well call it the park of the lakes-the park of the peninsulas. From this high elevation, this promontory, we look out upon the semi-circular form of the lake and see that the park may be approached from all points of the lake, they being of about equal distances. That it is so readily and easily accessible by the numerous steamers that are plying upon the lake at almost all hours of the day, and especially now by the line under the control- of Messrs. Majo & Brown, that the run from any point upon Muskegon lake during the season of navigation is expeditious, pleasant healthful and delightful. Arrangements are also being made to reach it, or to come very close to it, within a reasonable time, with a promise of water supply by the village of North Muskegon, and with the prospective improvements that may, and which we have assurances will be made, being under the control of a company that means business and success, with the fine forest portion of it
Page 74 MiUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. which may be opened up so as to rival the grand, old Boston Common, in the beauty and extent of its shade. Gardens and fields may be opened for flower culture in the future, equaling the grand old public garden adjacent to Boston Common. With the abundance of fresh, pure and invigorating air from the surrounding lakes passing over the forests, making it more pleasant and more healthful, it seems' a place where the pent up citizens may go for twelve or fourteen hours rest, thus recuperating and becoming invigorated so that returning to their labors in the city they may pass through the ten hours' labor cheerfully and hopefully, thinking little of that time in the impure atmosphere, having the assurance of fourteen hours upon and about these delightful grounds for recreation, amusement, peaceful slumber and recuperation and re-invigoration, preparing them for the labor of the coming day. While sitting upon the balcony of the Lake Harbor Home recently, a gentleman of some experience and observations in park matters, looking up that fine lake and out on to Lake Michigan, casting an eye over the wooded hills and at Mt. Garfield on the south and the evergreen foliage covering Agnew Bluff upon the north, remarked that that was a place of great possibilities. Looking at the surroundings and forecasting the possibilities and even probable future of these grounds, we may say that here is a point of very great possibilities in the future, with the fine grounds and forest shade, the opportunity for flower culture, the ample facilities for boating, for summer trips, not only upon the smaller lakes, but out on the broad waters of Lake Michigan, around to Lake Harbor and up through that fine lake, making the round' trip nearly thirty miles, with the outlying points to which ready runs may be made by steamers, where visitors may roam over and climb the hills of Bay Mill Park and the high Bluffton hill, which we may hope enterprising men, companies or syndicates will yet improve, making the forest and foliage covering them in part more healthful and more inviting, with the uncovered portions lined with grassy turf, making a charming and pleasant resting place for tourists and visitors, with their summits, by and by, crowned with pavilions,
Page 75 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 75, summer houses, lookouts and even towers with showy colors, made brilliant with electric lights, telling tourists and others on incoming and out-going steamers that there is beauty and something inviting for them to stop and enjoy. And we may hope that with a tower erected upon these grounds and upon the outlying hills, presenting a beautiful, picturesque and inviting appearance to all, with the national banner, the emblem of our national liberty, floating over each tower, when all the beholders may join in the grand old song of the Star Spangled Banner and long may it wave o'er the land of the free, o'er the land and the sea, and the home of the brave." Mr. Holt:-"Ladies and Gentlemen; I have just received a letter from Ex-Governor Blair in which he says it will be impossible for him to be here. It is a source of keen regret both to the committee and to you all. I shall.now have the pleasure of introducing to you a gentleman whom you all know, whom you have known for a number of years. A gentleman who first became a resident of Muskegon in 1853. A clergyman whom all respect and honor, the Rev. Father VanPammel." Father VanPammel spoke as follows: Mr. President and Ladies and Gentlemen; I hope you do not expect a regular speech because I do not wish to have anyone disappointed. It is veryl unpleasant for, me to find that any one has been disapointed. I did not expect to be here at all, although I had been kindly invited by the committee on arrangements, but not being very well I had given up the idea of coming, yet as I saw it was possible to be here, I wish to show my good feeling towards those who were so kind as to invite me. Instead of making a speech, some old stories could be related, and I might to some extent gratify you in that respect, some short stories as an old settler would tell them -by his fireside. But first of all I must pay my respects to the members of the Old Pioneer Society of Muskegon. I feel flattered to be invited to be present on this occasion, because I like the old pioneers. I like their society and for several
Page 76 76 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. reasons. In the first place you will generally find, ladies and gentlemen, that an old pioneer is very sociable and friendly and kind hearted; and I don't mean to say that he is naturally so, by any means, but he is to a great extent compelled to be so. Whilst he is a pioneer he finds himself very often almost alone, at least he has only a few neighbors, and knows that he may need their assistance sometimes, and therefore he thinks it is best foi his own interests to be kind and sociable to them, to be ready to assist them. And if there be any person here who has ever gone to the residence of an old pioneer I am sure he has met with a hearty welcome, and therefore I like the old pioneers. In the second place you will generally find that an old pioneer is rather religious. Very often all alone, as I have said and as you all know, sometimes he is far away from his neighbors, from the few neighbors that he has, perhaps four or five miles from them, he may be in some strange circumstances and he has not even a neighbor to call upon and he will then very naturally call upon his Maker for assistance. Therefore you will generally find that an old pioneer is rather religiously inclined. And here we have an example, right here. Here is our good friend and neighbor, Mr. Holt, the president of this s6ciety, who invited me here, not to make a speech but to make a prayer. He wanted me to pray even at a picnic. Well, I have so many prayers to say at home that I told him I had no time to pray here. [Great laughter.] I am telling the truth.' You see, ladies and gentlemen, that old pioneers are generally religious, and therefore as a priest I like them. Then again pioneers, although generally having, at least, one eye on themselves as they go, generally open the way for others; in fact always do. They are like those miners out west who are prospecting mines and prospecting for themselves, yet are opening the mines for others, and thus enriching, we may say, the whole country, or at least opening the way for the country to be enriched, and therefore pioneers are certainly deserving of our respect and good wishes. They are benefactors. But some of you might think I am more or less praising myself, and some might say, blowing my own bugle. Not at all. I don't
Page 77 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 77 pretend to be an old pioneer of Muskegon county. The president, when he informed you that I had been a settler since 1853, made a small mistake. I have not been a settler of Muskegon county since '53. But I came first to Muskegon in '53, and visited Muskegon occasionally, about four times a year. I was then a resident priest of Grand Rapids. I came in '53 as the successor of another reverend gentleman who had been here off and on since, if I remember well, the year 1840. The Rev. Father Visosky and another reverend gentleman who preceeded him who had been here since the year 1833, the Rev Father Baraga, afterwards Bishop Baraga of Marquette, who baptized the forefathers of the Indians, or of the few Indians who are around here. I came then in '53, and there are three or four principal objects which made a lasting impression upon my mind, three or four principal objects that were in my road when coming to Muskegon. I say 'my road,'we had then no railroads, nor had we wagon roads, at least none'from Grand Rapids. We had a common road along Lake Michigan that belonged to everybody. On that road, as some of you may know, we meet first the sand bluffs of Grand H-aven, they made a lasting impression on my mind. Whilst wallowing through the sand I had to pull as hard as I could to get my feet out of the sand. I thought it would be a first rate place for criminals. To nmake them walk through the sand there. That was the impression that came to my mind whenever I had to walk through that sand, that it would be a good place. I think it would be a greater punishment than hanging. The next was Black Creek. There were no boats nor bridges. The only way we could get across Black Creek was to wade. We had to pull off our shoes-boots were very rare then, and money was rare in the bargain-we took off our shoes and stockings and went through the water. Next came the bluff, and some old pioneers had been there ahead of me. I don't know why, but for some reason they had made a.path right across the bluff, I don't know how many feet high, perhaps two hundred. That, too, made a lasting impression upon my mind. Because one night I came through about 11 o'clock, and through the kindness of a friend at Ferrysburg, I was then on horseback and had a guide with me, but we had to go across the
Page 78 78 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. bluff and the path was right at the edge. I knew that; I had been there before, and if we made a misstep, down we went into the lake, perhaps two hundred feet down. It was night, about ii o'clock, and dark. I wanted to get across in safety. The path was only. about that wide [illustrating about two feet] and we had two horses. I gave the man charge of the horses and said, "I will go ahead on all fours and follow the beaten path and you follow me," and thus we crossed the bluff. But being across and over that difficulty we met a more'serious one. I had a guide and unfortunately he was not infallible. "Now," said I, "we are across the bluff which way shall we take to Muskegon?" "Oh, go right along," said he. He lived in Muskegon and I am very sorry he did. He lived here though, I thought it was my duty to follow him although I had some misgiving that he was wrong. "Come along," said he to me. I followed him. We traveled perhaps a mile or two miles, when we ran against the trees; it was a logging road. There we were in the middle of the night in the woods and we had to pass the whole night there and arrived here in Muskegon at 9 o'clock the next morning. You can better imagine than I can describe the condition we were in, being the whole night on horse-back. I believe this is about as much as I ought to tell you. There are many other stories I might tell you in connection with my coming to Muskegon but I might keep you too long. I will conclude then by thanking you, ladies and gentlemen, for your attention, and thanking the Pioneer Society and the officers of that society for their kindness to invite me on this occasion. And in conclusion I will say, long live the Old Pioneer Society of Muskegon, long live Muskegon and its prosperity. And by the way, ladies and gentlemen, as I speak of the prosperity of Muskegon, let me state here publicly what I have often said privately with regard to Muskegon, with regard to the health of Muskegon. Perhaps many of you are aware that many are speculating as to what should be done to keep Muskegon healthy. I have been in a great many places in Michigan during these thirty-four years. I have, I may say, attended all the places from here to Detroit, from Lake Michigan to Detroit river. When there is a great deal of sickness in a place a Catholic Priest is very apt to be aware of
Page 79 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 79 it and will be called upon day and night. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I may say that o'f all the places in which I have been I haven't found a place in which I have been called upon so seldom as in Muskegon, to attend sick people. [Applause.] And I have often said I have never known a healthier place than Muskegon, therefore I think there is no reason to be alarmed in regard to that matter. Therefore to conclude, I will say again, long live Muskegon and its prosperity, and long live its citizens to enjoy its prosperity and may she giow and keep growing until she will be what I think she has a right to claim to be in the future, the metropolis of western Michigan." Mr. Holt:-"Ladies and Gentlemen; Some of you and perhaps a large number were not present this morning when I showed the audience the session laws of 1837, wherein we find the act incorporating the township of Muskegon. I said this morning that the township included Muskegoa county and the town of Chester, and wais incorporated as a township in the year 1837. The act reads as follows: "All that portion of Ottawa county lying north of the dividing line between townships 8 and 9 north be and the same is hereby set off and organized into a separate township by the name of Muskegon, and the first township meeting therein shall be held at the house of Newell & Wilcox in said township." This is the volume of the session laws of the session of that year. [Shows book.] It contains the session. laws of the session of '37 and the session laws of '38. It is the regular state volume which has been preserved until the presen.t time. I refer to this at this time for the purpose of saying that a gentleman is with us to-day who was a member of the legislature at the time and who voted for the act, a gentleman who has since occupied prominent positions in the state, who was connected with the two constitutional conventions, and who has been a resident of the state since that time, is now with us. He is here with us to-day. He is the oldest ex-member of the legislature, excepting one, in the state. I have the honor of introducing to you the Hon. Townsend E. Giddley, of Ottawa county."
Page 80 So MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. ADDRESS BY HON. T. E. GIDDLEY. Mr. Giddley spoke as follows: "Ladies and Gentlemen; Sitting in my seat here overlooking this crowd, I have been and am thinking that there is honor, all of honor, glory, health and wealth in pioneer life. Good, old fashioned pioneer life. Life that tends to make the wilderness blossom as the rose and ameliorate in the largest degree the condition of the race. Is not indeed pioneerism-for I shall not coin the word unwarrantably-is it not nature's grandest laboratory in the making of men from whence come forth at nature's call her iron men. Men of brain, of thought and glorious manly physique. All this we insist in saying, insist upon saying, goes without saying it, might go and would go and shall go without saying it, in that grand school or laboratory of nature's work, from thence minds have been cultured, worlds controled, as we find in nature's destiny. I shall not attempt in my talk to encroach still further upon time that has been kindly given me. I resume my seat making my most hearty congratulation to you upon the glory of the day and the glory of this occasion." Music. Mr. Holt:-"I have the pleasure of announcing one of the pioneers of this county, and one whom the pioneers of this county knew very well and have not forgotten and although he has ceased to be a resident with us, we are glad to welcome him here. Many of us know him personally and to these particularly he has always been very dear. I refer to James H. Swan, of Chicago. ADDRESS BY J. H. SWAN. Mr. Swan spoke as follows: "Mr. President and Fellow Citizens, of Muskegon; After all the words of welcome to which we have listened to-day, and they have been many and hearty, my speech can but be in accord with that sentiment; and it shall be my endeavor, at least by the brevity of my remarks, to deserve the welcome you have so kindly awarded. I need not remind you of the exceeding difficulty of being heard by even a majority of ihis vast audience; what, with the imperfect hearing qualities of this hall and the great delight of
Page 81 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 8i meeting of old friends, I fear that many of the excellent words that have been spoken by those who have preceeded me have been unheard. This is not, however, a subject of wonder or criticism. The gladness and welcome of the occasion has so permeated every heart as almost to preclude the ability to listen to a set speech. In fact I think your condition is illustrated by a story I read only a few days ago. I think it was somewhere in the state of Pennsylvania. A certain bishop, on his travels, came to a little town of a Saturday night and concluded to make it his tarrying place over Sunday. The resident clergyman was young but somewhat vain of his pulpit abilities and it is no wonder that when the bishop, somewhat older and much more plainly dressed, offered to preach the morning sermon his service was reluctantly accepted. But the fervent eloquence of the speaker captured his audience, and when at its close the resident minister, having forgotten or imperfectly heard the bishop's name, again asked for it and to his astonishment found they had listened to that wonderful man whose name has become historic, he sprang to his feet shouting, 'My brethren, we have had the pleasure of listening to Bishop Simpson; let us all arise and sing Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.' And I have no doubt that something of this sentiment has possessed every heart here to-day and under its spell you have found continuous listening a labor. Well, Mr. President, the history of every town or city on this broad land is simply the aggregation of individual history. These pioneers, and I am one among them, in their individual experiences help, not only to make the history of our city, but bring all this to make the grand gathering of to-day a possibility. If there is anything in the achivements of the past fifty years of which we have a right to be proud, among all the agencies will. stand first the names of the pioneers, and this you have already acknowledged by your words of welcome and the more substantial demonstrations of this occasion, and if by these means you have unduly ministered to our vanity we shall allow the responsibility as to all bad results to lie at your doors, and here I may say to my young friends, your kind words and kinder actions have won our hearts
Page 82 82 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. to-day. I need not tell you to seek by such words and actions to win each other; that secret you have already learned as I have noticed; but have a kindly word ever for those older, the old ever, and the results will ever be valuable to you. But I am wandering from my subject and wandering is most easy and pleasant here to-day. The subject is individual history aggregated. May I illustrate by a personal reference? Thirty-four years ago last summer the woman who sits just in front of me and myself were engaged a few miles west of Waukegan, Illinois, in making a home for ourselves. We had devoted more than five years of honest labor to that end, and with moderate success. There came into the harvest field one day a man who asked me this question: "Do you propose to delve all your life in this way? " I replied, "I hope not; certainly not if I can find anything better. Do you know of anything better? " Yes," said he, "get your hay and oats and corn, your flour and meat and vegetables to "Waukegan this fall, put them on board a vessel, send them to Muskegon, follow them with your teams, get there as early in November as possible; I will get you a forty that will cost you only fifty dollars and you can get your logs sawed to halves, and I'll guarantee you will clear enough in one winter to fence your entire farm, put all the out buildings on it you will need for the next twenty years and have something left." He was in earnest and I had so much faith in his statements that I replied, as any other one under like circumstances, should reply, "I'll talk with my wife about it." Our decision was made at once, it was arrived at without any difficulty. That decision made me a pioneer and a citizen of your proud and prosperous city. It was the turning point of my life and in it I recognize that Providence that has made life to me and mine so full of blessing and good. The man that spoke those few words was known to many of you, it was my loved and honored Father Trowbridge. My friend, Major Davis, sitting at my right, will easily recall the days when together they labored to keep the channel of the flats open; it seemed the day of small things, but those channels, so small then, have since been the channels of wealth to many who have succeeded them. Young men and young women, into whose faces I now look, you owe to these men who
Page 83 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 83 have gone to hononed graves a debt of gratitude. They stood in the fore front of the battle, they hewed their way through difficulties and troubles that you might celebrate this day. I recall the first religious service I attended in Muskegon. It was in the winter of '53 and '54. The service was held in the log house of Mr. Laslie; and was conducted entirely in the French language by pur good Father VanPamm.el who occupies a seat on this platform. While I did not know the language I did feel and enter into the spirit of the service. But, Mr. Chairman, I have spoken too long. I kindly thank you for your patient attention and trust I have not wearied you." Mr. Holt: "I have the pleasure of announcing that George Ruddiman, the oldest mill owner of Muskegon, that is, the first man now living who owned a saw mill on Muskegon lake, is with us to-day, although he is very feeble. Mr. Ruddiman then presented a mauuscript which was read as follows: REMVINISCENCES BY GEO. RUDDIMAN. "I have noted down some of my experiences in Michigan. If you find anything in it that you can use, do so. My father moved into the township of Dearborn, about seven miles from Detroit, in the spring of 1833. Our nearest neighbor was one mile off. I was at the so called Toledo War. While we lived there I was three days on a trip to Detroit with oxen. There were but few horses in the country then. There was but little grade or caste among new settlers and they went almost as brothers. I came to St. Jo. in 1838 when there was a few houses under the hill but nothing on it where St Jo. now is and Niles was but a small village. In 1839 I was on the Kalamazoo river. There was a house where Richmond now is and I heard Judge Littlejohn deliver an oration on the Fourth of July. I went up the river on the first steamboat that went up that stream. Where Saugatuck now is there was only a saloon. I worked at a mill at Singapore built for six saws, about three-fourths of a mile from the mouth. In 1840 I came to Muskegon. There were but few settlers then. There were then three saw mills on Muskegon lake. These
Page 84 84 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. were Loyd & Place's mill which stood on the site of the Swan, White & Smith mill. Another was a water mill at the mouth of Bear Creek built by Jonathan H. Ford, and the other the Newell mill now belonging to Ryerson, Hills & Co. Theodore Newell and Henry Penoyer, who was postmaster, were two of the most prominent residents, also John A. Brooke, of Newaygo, was here considerable of the time. I planted out the first orchard in Muskegon county near the mill I owned at the time arid now owned by Montgomery, Champagn & Co. Considerable many of the old apple, cherry and pear trees are still standing. The orchard was set out part of it in 1848 and did so well that visitors from the east took some of the fruits to show what Muskegon could do in the way of raising fruit. The trees came from Rochester to Chicago and from Chicago to Muskegon on lumber vessels. There were but few if any nurseries in the west. The township of Muskegon embraced a large part of what is now Muskegon county, and at the first election after I came here there were, I think, 42 votes cast including half breeds. Muskegon seemed to go backward until 1849. There was only one settler on White lake, Chas. Mears, and nothing on Black lake for some time after Ferry at Grand Haven kept in a log warehouse. There was nothing where the business.part of Muskegon now is except a log house neasi where Rifenburg's hall is." Mr. Holt:-"We are glad to welcome John Ruddiman to our gathering to-day. You have probably heard that he came to Muskegon the year after his brother, George, that he soon after bought an interest in a saw mill with his brother so that he is the next oldest mill owner on Muskegon lake." REMARKS BY JOHN RUDDIMAN. "Mr. President and Pioneers; I cannot claim to be more than a second or third rate pioneer, but my brother here is not only a pioneer in Muskegon but in the state as well. He came to the territory of Michigan in 1833, bore arms in the famous Toledo War and has resided in Michigan ever since. He came to Muskegon in the spring of 1840 and worked at millwrighting on the mill at the mouth of Bear lake that season. During the winter of
Page 85 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 85 1840-41 he and another man took a trip east. They got an Indian pony and built a pung and as the roads were not cut out four feet wide at that time the box was so narrow they had to ride tandem. His partner being somewhat of an artist embellished the box with sketches in charcoal illustrative of life in Muskegon. They went by way of Grand Haven and Port- Sheldon to Grand Rapids (there being, as late as 1844, no road, not even a trail blazed direct fiom Grand Haven to Grand Rapids) from there, by the way of Eaton Rapids, until they struck the Michigan Central railroad about Jackson somewhere, that being as far as then built. From there my brother went by rail to Detroit. The men and their rig attracted so much attention the people came out to look at it, and where they stopped sometimes by candle light and they had free entertainment most of the way. He returned to Muskegon in the spring of 1841 and is, with the exception of Mr. S. Bohn, the only person of age in 1840 who has been a continuous resident since then. I came to Muskegon in the summer of 1843 and landed at the mouth of Bear lake; the mill there being run by my brother at that time. After he moved over on the south side I lived there a part of the time and part of the time in Milwaukee until in 1848 when I settled on this side and built a mill at the head of the lake -the first steam mill on this side. I resided on this side from that time continuously for thirty years, for the last fifteen years of the time at the mouth of Bear lake. While I lived here I was very much impressed with this point as being peculiarly suited as a location for a pleasure resort, and did not wish to dispose of any part of it for any other purpose until the time should come when it could be used. I am happy to say that now my brightest anticipations are more than realized and my most sincere wish is that Interlake Park may prove to be a source of pleasure, profit and health to the citizens of Muskegon and the owners of the park. ALEXANDER V. MANN. Mr. Alexander V. Mann was next introduced and spoke as follows: "When I was announced to make an address for five minutes at this convention to-day I couldn't think why it was that I should
Page 86 86 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. be called upon. Knowing as you all do that I am not a public speaker, am not in the habit of speaking in public, I could think of but one thing that would give you reason to call me forth to address you for the short space of five minutes, and I don't think, as my brother Swan has said of himself, that you will want me to talk five minutes. I could think of no other reason than that I might be called a pioneer of this county. To-day before I came here I thought I was a pioneer, but from conversation with members around me, in and out of this building, I find that I am but a child among the old pioneers of Muskegon. When I look and see men who came here in '44, in '45, in '47, '49, '50, '51, 52, '53, '54, '55, and I din't come until '56, what am I? I am no pioneer, but a citizen as the rest of you are. But I presume likely you would like to have me tell some of the little incidents that occurred in my first years that I spent in Muskegon. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I might tell you some things of interest, some things that might interest the young people. I might tell you, perhaps, of our worthy president in his youthful days, how he used to wander around through the suburbs of Muskegon, around amongst the pine stumps in the light of the early evening, scaring the cows from their peaceful slumbers. [Applause and laughter.] I might tell you of my friend Stevens or my friend Getty or my friend Miner or my departed friend, and a worthy one he was too, Judge Wiley, who used to meander across this beautiful lake in the evening time when the ice was there, having the stars to guide them, and the first thing they would know they would find themselves-well, what would you call it? Duck hunting? In the winter time up in the big boom? We don't think they were duck hunting. They were after dear that were on this side of the lake. Now, I might tell you many other incidents that occurred among the youthful members of our society at that time, for we were but a few but we were a gallant band. We were a joyful lot of young fellows and young ladies I tell you; there wasn't many of us, but what few there were made up for it in the sport we had. I won't say any
Page 87 gEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 87 thing about myself. Probably some body else will want to tell about my little escapades. Oh, yes, my friend Holt says, "Don't forge.t our worthy friend Potter." I don't know where he is, but he had a particular liking for,a certain boarding house that he spent a long time at in those days, and I tell you I might recite numerous incidents in connection with the faces I see around me here to-day, but it might be considered invidious. I will only mention these because when we were joined together as we were about fifteen or twenty of us young men and women, there were certain times connected with our surroundings that made it very pleasant for us indeed. And I say to you now, ladies and gentlemen, that as one of those pioneers I am glad to see you here. I don't know as you can hear me but I am glad to see you all. And although it may be egotism on my part, still I am glad to be here as a pioneer. I can say to you, ladies and gentlemen, go and tap Major Davis,on the back, tap our friend John Ruddiman, tap all those old pioneers, George Ruddiman, John Torrent, L. G. Mason, and say to them, you are pioneers. It will take the kinks out of those old men's backs and it will straighten them up and say, in the words of the illustrious senator of our state whom I heard address a meeting here in the old opera house a number of years ago, just after the war, who continually made this remark-I will admit it was a political speech and he wanted to say something that would make the political party that he belonged to feel proud of-"We did it," he says, "We did it." And it is that egotism that will stick by us all when I say to you and I say to these old pioneers, "We did it, yes, we did it." In the words of the Methodist minister, and some speaker before me has called forth the Methodist minister, I will say nothing invidous about that Methodist minister, he was the first Methodist minister that preached in Muskegon, I believe his name was Bennett. I heard him preach on the first Sunday I spent here, 31 years ago this coming month and he gave us quite a liberal discourse I must admit. A few years after that I met him in Grand Rapids, I was introduced to him there, and I told him of the circumstance of hearing him preach the first sermon I heard preached in Muskegon and there were only 15 or 20 of us there to hear him.
Page 88 88. MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. Well, the little fellow straightened himself up just like the senator that I mentioned, Senator Chandler, he filled himself right up full and said, "Yes, I am proud that I was there to preach those sermons to those people, for," he says, "I unblocked the wheels." Brother Pratt, who was then presiding elder and was building our Methodist church, set the wheels in motion, and he said he felt as though he had done it; he started it. And that is the way with us pioneers, we all feel as though we did it. And I say to. you now, when we look over there [pointing] and see that beautiful city that has grown from a small hamlet in 1856, when I came here, a place of not more than four or five hundred inhabitants, now to a place of twenty-five thousand, I say, when I see that town growing up there, that I feel proud that I was one of the pioneers and that I helped to do it. Now, I say to you, some of you that are here participating in this 50th anniversary of this city, there is no doubt some of you will listen to speakers who will address the centennial anniversary of that beautiful city over there, and you will have the more reason to say, no doubt, in part, that you were among those who did it. And when you do that, when you young man and young woman, you children, when you listen to the words of the speaker and he points with pride from this spot' or from some other to that beautiful city, think then of what was said to you here to-day, that you have seen the town grow up from a small beginning, or that the speaker who addressed you had, from a town of three or four hundred inhabitants, to one multiplying itself into one hundred thousand inhabitants. Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your attention." Mr. Holt then called upon several speakers who did not respond. P. J. CONNELL. Mr. P. J. Connell was then introduced and spoke as follows: "Mr. President and Ladies and Geotlemen; Like those who have preceeded me I feel it an honor to be recognized as one of the pioneers of this banner county. Not so much of the city as of the surroundings. I came to this part of the state in 1849. My relatives who came -with me were obliged to cut the roads six miles to where they
Page 89 SE.MI-CEJNTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 89 had located our habitation. I will not make a speech but I will tell you a little incident that occured in our first winter's residence in this part of the country. We resided 21 miles from this city northeast, or nearly east, material was plentiful if we could only get to the mills. There was no road by which we could reach any saw mills or hardly reach a city. There was a bridle path from our residence to Grand Haven, no road. We came in the fall and the road we came on was full of water and was impassable. What roads there were leading to the east, towards Grand Rapids, were also impassable. The consequence was that we built a house, covered it with shakes and lived in it without either doors, windows or floors the first winter. Natural ground acted as a floor, used a cloth for doors and a sheet for a window, which would exclude the air and let in some light. The first winter we had a fire place in each end of the shanty and one in the middle, lots of wood and plenty of heat. The first incident that occurred to us was a visitation from the wolves, which were very plentiful in this country at that time. Our shanty was about five feet high at the back end. The men of our party were all good, stout, able-bodied young Irishmen just from -Ireland. They knew nothing of the wilderness nor of its surroundings, but they knew enough to select the prettiest pieces of wood for the summer fuel and they piled them up at the back end of the shanty and made a beautiful skidway or ladder for the wolves to climb up on top of the shanty and look down through the holes in the roof at the people below. You recollect I told you we had no doors and no windows, but we had a good guard; two men on each side with their axes standing guard to prevent the wolves from coming into the house. These are facts, ladies and gentlemen, that occurred the first winter of my residence in Michigan. The reverend gentleman here [Father VanPammel] wants me to tell a little incident that occurred in '53. At that time I was something of a lad, just beginning to want to be a man, but the women folks of our neighborhood seemed to have mte as utility boy, that is, I used to have to do the chores for the neighborhood, as I was the only boy in the neighborhood, and in those days they
Page 90 96 MUISKEGON PIONEERi A1NNTJAL. used to go to church at Berlin, about twelve miles I think, and they had an ox cart to carry the women in and the men went on foot. This ox cart was one of the old fashioned dump kind. Being somewhat of a rebellious disposition I didn't like to be pinned up to the women's apron strings, all the time, as I termed it, I wanted to be with the men, and I couldn't go away, so I conceived a plan to get away from the women. The roads were very muddy, in places clear up to the axle of the cart. Going home from church one day I accidentally kicked the pin that held the box down, anyway I pulled the pin out and drew the link out carefully and stuck the brad into the oxen, they made a jump and I raised up and the cart went backwards. My poor old mother was the first to get into the mud. There was a young gentleman there who is here to-day, but who is not very young to-day, but was then, whose intended was among the ladies that I had in the 'cart. He made a grab to catch her, but a woman weighing about 220 struck him, consequently he landed in the bottom of a mud hole. Well I got done driving oxen to bring the women out to church. Father VanPammell remembers that very well. But these things, ladies and gentlemen, all went to make up the pasttimes and pleasures in the wilderness. For it was a wilderness; our nearest neighbor was just seven miles away, the nearest neighbor we had. To-day we can't go hardly half a mile in that direction from the city of Muskegon, after you get out of the city a little ways, without you find a good thrifty farming country and farmers. There are a good many others to come and I thank you for your kind attention." EDWIN POTTER. Mr. Holt then called upon several gentlemen but none responded until Edwin Potter was called, who being introduced spoke as follows: "T was a little surprised, ladies and gentlemen, to hear the reverend Father attribute to my Brother Holt, a religious motive in extending to that gentlemen the invitation to pray. The only act that I ever knew my Brother Holt to engage in that came any
Page 91 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 91 where near being an act of devotion occured on the steamer Truesdell while going over to Grand Haven a good many years ago. Mr. Holt, Mr. Merrill and myself Were going over and it was very rough. I soon lost sight of Mr. Holt and Mr. Merrill, and supposing they had gone into the cabin below or to some part of the vessel, I made search, and at length I discovered Brother Holt on his knees, with his hands hold of the rail leaning over. His countenance wore a sort of helpless resignation, and I supposed it was through fear of being drowned that he was there on his knees in prayer. But I soon discovered certain spasmodic efforts that he occasionally made; something like an attempt to shut up like a jack knife, and I then made up my mind it was not an act of devotion but rather a case of sea-sickness. But there was one thing my Brother Holt did do, he obeyed one injunction of holy writ, and that was to cast his bread upon the waters. That was the only act of devotion, or the nearest to one, that I ever knew Brother Holt to be guilty of during our long acquaintance. My'earliest reccollection of Muskegon dates back to 1857. I came over from Grand Haven to Ferrysburg and from there in John Dibble's stage to Muskegon. The stage consisted of a lumber wagon with boards across for seats and without any springs. The road lay through the swamp between here and Grand Haven. We plunged along through the swamp until we had got very near Black Creek, there we went into a water hole some two or three feet deep, which was too much for iron and wood to stand and our axle-tree broke and we went down into the water, and from there we walked into Muskegon. It was Saturday night. Sunday morning after getting up and looking about a little I discovered that there was considerable excitement on the street. It turned out that the big drive had just got down. Well, at that time the big drive was quite an institution in Muskegon, as it appeared at that time it presented some very peculiar features. There were perhaps a hundred drunken men within the space of a single block, in all stages of drunkeness from silly drunk, roaring drunk, fighting drunk to dead drunk, scattered along the street. There were some eleven fights that Sunday on the street that I noticed. This
Page 92 92 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. was the big drive and it was recreating itself on the streets of Muskegon. That continued for three or four days before it quieted down, then we had quiet again. My impression of Muskegon gathered from that was that there was considerable spirit abroad in the place at any rate. But after all the fights that had occurred on the streets not a single complaint was made. I expected the next day-that the justices' offices would be full of complaints, but not a complaint was made; all pocketed the results. The big drive, though somewhat unruly when it got down here for the first few days, was really a necessary institution to Muskegon. We had saw mills down here and the saw mills must have logs, logs must have drivers, and when the drivers got down they must have drink, and so it was they went on and no one complained. At that time there were probably seven or eight hundred people scattered along the shores of the lake, consisting of Lower-town and the central part. There was also a province called 'Killgrubbin", laid off in the eastern part of the city, that was ruled over by one Michael Dwyer, a sort of a king at that time. He had his adherents and ruled as absolutely as any one else. -And in this shape Muskegon coutinued to grow. During the thirty years that I have lived in Muskegon I have never observed a single year or a single time when Muskegon didn't exhibit a vitality that I don't know of ever seeing in any other place. At the time that I came here Muskegon was laboring under a good many difficulties. Grand Haven was a rival. It was the home of men possessed of considerable wealth and influence. They were rich and able men and their influence was exerted strongly against us. Should you inquire at Grand Rapids even for Muskegon, as likely as any way, you would be directed to Newaygo, John A. Brook's place. They ignored almost entirely such a place as Musksgon. But surroinded by all these difficulties, and soon after Grand Haven was backed by a strong railroad interest, Muskegon still continued to grow, still continued to show that vitality that she has ever since shown. It soon outstriped Grand Haven leaving it far in the rear in the wake of its progress,
Page 93 SEMI-CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION. 93 and to-day that same spirit of progress and improvement and vitality is seen in its streets; new buildings are constantly going up, its inhabitants are increasing, and to-day the race is not between Grand Haven and Muskegon, but between Grand Rapids and Muskegon; and in the next decade or two, I predict that it will leave Grand Rapids as far in the rear as it has left Grand Haven in the past." The chairman then called upon C. D. Nelson, L. G. Mason, R. P. Easton, David McLaughlin, C. C. Thompson of Whitehall, and others. None of the foregoing responded however. Mr. George Arms was introduced and delivered a short address, which concluded the list of speakers. After music, on motion of C. L. Whitney, the meeting adjourned ed subject to the call of the executive committee.:0:
Page 94 ORGANIZATION AND INCORPORATION -OF THEMuskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society. _-:0:On the 14th day of November the following notice was prepared, and published on the 15th in the Muskegon Daily Chronicle and on the 17th of November it appeared in the Weekly Chronicle, and each week thereafter in not only the Chronicle but in three other weekly papers of the county. The notice read as follows: MUSKEGON, Mich., November 14, 1887. Pursuant to action taken at the Muskegon Pioneer Picnic, August 3oth, 1887, a meeting of the pioneers of Muskegon county is hereby called for Wednesday, December 7th, at o1 o'clock a. m. at the City Hall in the City of Mnskegon, Michigan, for the purpose of perfecting and incorporating the Pioneer Society, electing officers and transacting such other business as may come before the meeting. All who have been residents of the county fifteen years or more are invited to attend and take part in said meeting. Signed by Henry H. Holt, president; C. L. Whitney, vice-president; Daniel Upton Sr., secretary; Peter Everett, treasurer; Samuel Stevens, Chauncey Davis, G. F. Outhwaite, S. S. Morris, Orrin Whitney, J. H. Whitney and others of the executive committee of the Pioneer Picnic. To which was appended the following certificate of publication: "I hereby certify that the above notice was published in the columns of the Muskegon Daily Chronicle on the i5th day of November, and in the weekly of the i7th of November, 1887." Signed by Wm. J. Steketee, editor of the Daily Chronicle. On the i7th of November the
Page 95 ORGANIZATION AND INCORPORATION. 95 date of tle above meeting was changed to Saturday the loth day or December, and so published afterward. On Saturday the ith day of December, pursuant to the above call or notice of meeting, a goodly number of persons convened at the appointed place. Meeting was called to order-by Henry H. Holt; C. L. Whitney acted as Secretary. The objects of the meeting were stated by both the chairman and the secretary. Upon motion of C. L. Whitney a committee of five to prepare articles of association and by-laws was appointed by the chairman, as follows: C. L. Whitney, S. H. Stevens, Dr. T. D. Smith, Wm. McKillip, Hiram Parker, to which, on motion of S. H. Stevens, was added the chairman of the meeting, H. H. Holt. On motion the meeting adjourned to meet at 2 p. m. AFTERNOON SESSION. Pursuant to adjournment the meeting was called to order by the chairman. Then were present citizens of the towns of Montague, Whitehall, Fruitland, Ravenna, Lakeside, Norton, Fruitport and the city of Muskegon. The committee on articles of association and by-laws reported a complete set of articles and by-laws which, after some discussion and amendment, were unanimously adopted. On motion of Wm. L. Ryan it was decided to postpone the signing and execution of the articles and the election of officers until Saturday the 17th inst., at to a. m. On motion of S. H. Stevens the seeretary was instructed to have the articles duly transcribed in form for signatures on the 17th inst. Also to have notice of the meeting duly published and to notify parties in each section of the county by card of the meeting inviting them to the same. On motion the meeting adjourned to meet at the same place at o1 a. m. on Saturday the I7th inst. In compliance with resolution above, the secretary published notice of the meeting on the 17th in each daily and weekly paper in the county and had one hundred card notices printed and mailed as instructed of which the following is a copy:
Page 96 96 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. ADJOURNED PIONEER MEETING. Pursuant to a published call a meeting of old settlers of the county was held at the City Hall, Muskegon, on Saturday the loth inst. Articles of Association were presented and adopted after due consideration-when upon motion the meeting adjourned to meet again on Saturday next, the I7th of December, 1887, at the same place at o1 a. m. At this time the Articles of Association for the incorporation of The Muskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society will be ready for signatures and the formal execution of the same. The election of officers for the ensuing year will then take place. You are cordially invited to be present and take part in this organization and to extend this invitation to others in your locality. It is hoped that all will aid in the furtherance of this worthy enterprise. I am, etc., C. L. WHITNEY, Secretary pro tem. MEETING OF THE SEVENTEENTH OF DECEMBER. Pursuant to adjournment and notices given a meeting was held on the 17th of December, Henry H. Holt presiding and C. L. Whitney acting as secretary. The Articles of Association were presented, read and duly signed as follows: ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION OF THE MUSKEGON COUNTY PIONEER AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY. In compliance with the requirements of an act of the legislature of Michigan, approved April 25th, A. D. 1873, entitled "An Act to,provide for th/e incorporation of State, County or Mlunicipal Historical, Biograflzical and Geological Societies," we the undersigned, citizens of the County of Muskegon, State of Michigan, do, at the City of Muskegon in said county, on this the seventeenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty-seven, hereby associate ourselves together under the name and style of "TzTe Muskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society," and agree to be governed by the following articles and the several by-laws that may be duly enacted in
Page 97 ORGANIZATION AND INCORPORATION. 97 accordance with the provisions of the same and the laws of the state. NAME AND TERRITORY. ARTICLE I. The name of this organization shall be The Muskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society. Its actions shall be confined to the County of Muskegon, State of Michigan. OBJECTS. ART. 2 The objects of this organization shall be: First, to collect, suitably arrange and preserve all facts and data concerning the settlement of each town in the county and all historic incidents relating to the development and growth of the county. Second, to gather and preserve items of interest regarding the lives of the early settlers and all prominent citizens connected with the advancement of the county and its history and especially of the members of this association, in the form of biographical sketches, etc. Third, to get together in shape for ready reference, general statistics of the county, and the various towns, especially facts concerning official acts and copies of records, also history and statistics of schools, churches and various organizations and societies existing or that may have existed in the county. Fourth, to collect articles and utensils, useful and ornamental, whose use in association with the settlement and development of the county renders them historic; also photographs, portraits, autographs, etc., of early settlers and prominent citizens of the county; and paintings, drawings, views and maps of buildings and places that would aid in illustrating the early life, and changes taken and taking place in the county, and to care for and preserve the same for the use of the society and the instruction of those who may succeed us. Fifth, to hold meetings and reunions from time to time, to extend and renew acquaintances, cultivate social growth among the members, linking the past to the present, and for the general improvement and enjoyment of all. Sixth, to collect data regarding the Indian tribes who inhabited the vicinity; also knowledge of and specimens from the geological formations of the county; also of the flora and fauna indiginous to the soil and the climate of the locality.
Page 98 MUSIKEGON PIONEER -ANNUAL. MEMBERSHIP. ART. 3. The members of,this society shall be over twentyfive years of age and shall either have been born in the county or have come into its limits to reside fifteen years before the date of application. The fee for membership shall be one dollar, to be paid at the time of application, and an annual due of fifty cents shall be paid annually by each member until the member shall reach the age of sixty-five when the annual payment may cease and the person still retain his or her membership in the society. MIEETINGS. ART. 4. The annual meeting of this society for the election of officers and the transaction of such other business as may come before it shall be held in Muskegon on the first Friday of December of each year. Other meetings may be held upon the call of the president and secretary by and with the consent of the executive committee. In case of any meeting there shall be given three weeks' notice of the time and place of said meeting, by publishing the same in two or more papers in the county, one of which shall be published in the city of Muskegon. OFFICERS. ART. 5. The officers of this society shall consist of a president, secretary, treasurer and an executive committee of seven members including the president, secretary, and treasurer. The said officcrs shall be elected by ballot at the annual meeting each year and shall hold their respective offices one year and until their successors are duly chosen by the society. There shall be a vice-president chosen from each town and city in the county whose duty it shall be to act as a corresponding secretary for such town or city, to interest all in the objects of the society, collect statistics and historical data, biographical and other information and report the same to the secretary of the society. The executive committee shall have power to appoint such other officers as in their judgment will further the interests of the society and the better attain the objects sought. GENERAL OFFICE. ART. 6. The general office of this organization shall be in the City of Muskegon.
Page 99 ORGANIZATION AND INCORPORATION. 99 PROPERTY LIMIT. ART. 7. The amount of property, real and personal, held by this society shall not exceed fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.) AMENDMENTS. ART. 8. These articles may be altered or amended at any meeting of the society by a two-thirds vote of the members present at such meeting. Provided that three weeks' notice of such meeting shall have been given and said notice shall contain the proposed amendment. Signed by Samuel H. Stevens, William Mees, Peter Lansiff, William W. Owen, Chancy L. Whitney, Max Lange, William L. Ryan, Hiram Parker, George N. Cobb, Daniel Averill, John A. Miller, Patrick Dowd. STATE OF MICHIGAN, County of Muskegon. On this, seventeenth day of December, A. D. 1887, before me, Henry H. Holt, of Muskegon, Michigan, a notary public in and for said county, personally came Samuel H. Stevens, William Mees, Peter Lansiff, William W. Owen, Chancy L. Whitney, Max Lange, William L. Ryan, Hiram Parker, George N. Cobb, Daniel Averill, John A. Miller, and Patrick Dowd, who are to me known to be the persons they represent themselves to be, and severally acknowledged that they executed the same for the use and purposes therein mentioned. HENRY H. HOLT, Notary Public. The members present then proceeded to the election of officers for the ensuing year under the articles of association which resulted as follows: President, Henry H. Holt; secretary, Chancy L. Whitney; treasurer, Samuel H-. Stevens; executive committee, Hiram E. Parker, George N. Cobb, John A. Miller and William W. Owen. On motion of C. L. Whitney the executive committee was instructed to meet at 2 p. m. on Monday, the I9th inst., to complete the work of incorporation, to select a vice-president for each town and city in the county and to complete the arrangements for the publication of the proposed volume of history and proceedings.
Page 100 IOO MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. On motion the society adjourned to meet at the call of the president and secretary. At the meeting of the executive committee as above the following were named and confirmed as the vice-presidents of the society for the ensuing year: William L. Ryan, Muskegon city; Patrick Dowd, Muskegon township; James H. Whitney, Norton; Lester C. Morgan, Lakeside; Alonzo R. Williams, Laketon; Alonzo B. Sumner, White River; George A. Whitbeck, Montague; Lyman T. Covell, Whitehall; Stephen A. Aldrich, Blue Lake; Benjamin F. Dow, Dalton; Seth Evans, Cedar Creek; William Carr, Eggleston; Charles E. Whitney, Fruitport; Thomas D. Smith, Ravenna; Robert Robinson, Moorland; James H. Lobdell, Casnovia; Joseph Haygreen, Fruitland; William Bunce, Holton. BY-LAWS. Of the Muskegon Pioneer and Historical Society, reported December ioth, 1887 and approved December 17th, 1887. PRESIDENT. SECTION I. The president shall preside at all meetings of the society when present, shall sign all orders upon the treasury, is ex-officio a nmember of the executive committee. He shall appoint all committees unless otherwise ordered by the society or provided for by these by-laws, and perform such other duties as his office indicates or the laws of this society require. SECRETARY. SEC. 2. The secretary shall take minutes of all meetings of the society and of the executive committee of which he is, ex-officio, a member, shall keep such minutes and all records of the society, shall hold the correspondence of the society, shall be the proper custodian of the property of the society under the direction of the executive committee, shall collect all fees and dues from the members and turn the same over to the treasurer taking his receipt, shall issue certificates of membership, draw and sign all orders upon the treasurer as authorized by the executive committee and such other duties as,may be required of him.
Page 101 ORGANIZATION AND INCORPORATION. IOI TREASURER. SEC. 3. The treasurer shall hold all money received by and belonging to the society, paying out the same upon the order of the president and secretary and shall have his accounts ready to report at each meeting of the executive committee and the society when requested., He shall be, ex-officio, a member of the executive committee. He shall, when required by a vote of the society or the executive committee, execute such bonds as such vote shall require for the faithful performance of his duties and the security of the funds placed in his hands. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. SEC. 4. The executive committee shall consist of seven members of which the president, secretary and treasurer shall be three members ex officio. Said executive committee shall have the general charge of the interests of the society subject to instruction of the society, reporting in full at each annual meeting of the society. They shall audit all bills and accounts before they are paid or orders drawn for payment. They shall arrange for meetings, picnics, re-unions, etc., of the society, and provide for the gathering and preservation of historical data and such material relating to the settlement and development of the county as they may be able, subject in all things to the articles of association and the directions of the society as given at the annual meetings. VICE-PRESIDENTS. SEC. 5. The several vice-presidents-one from each town and city in the county- shall be active in awakening an interest in the society and its objects; shall endeavor to secure members; shall act as corresponding secretaries for their several localities, and in them gather all the historical and biographical data they can and collect materials for the society museum, and perform such other duties as the by-laws of the society may direct. VACANCIES. SEC. 6. In case of a vacancy in the office of president the oldest vice-president in the county shall succeed to the office and perform its duties until the annual meeting. In the case of a
Page 102 102 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. vacancy in any other office than president it shall be the duty of the executive committee to fill such vacancy. The person so chosen shall hold the office until his successor is duly elected at the annual meeting. COMMITTEES. SEc. 7. Committees, unless otherwise ordered by the society or executive committee, shall consist of three members appointed by the president. QUORUM. SEC. 8. In all meetings of the society duly called, seven members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A majority of the executive or any other committee shall constitute a quorum. FEES AND DUES. SEC. 9. The fee for membership shall be one dollar, to be paid at the time of joining the society, for which the member shall receive a certificate. The annual dues for each member under 65 years of age shall be fifty cents per annum, for which a receipt shall be given by the secretary when paid. After a member reaches the age of 65 years no dues will be required by the society. COMPENSATION. SEC. o1. No officer or member of the society shall receive any compensation for services except the secretary and he only such as shall be voted by the executive committee. AMENDMENTS. SEC. II. These by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members of the society present at any regular meeting or by a full meeting of the executive committee. The above is a correct report of the proceedings of the meeting for the incorporation of this society, and of the articles of association and by-laws of the same. C. L. WHITNEY, Secretary.
Page 103 TO-PIONEERS AND CITIZENS. -:0: The officers of the Muskegon County Pioneer and Historical Society would most cordially thank all persons who have aided in making up the matter of the foregoing pages. They would also most respectfully invite and urge all, who, by residence in the vicinity or by an acquaintance with facts and persons, have information relative to the early history of the county or any town in the same, or any persons or events connected therewith, to communicate with the secretary at Muskegon, or place such information as they may have in the hands of some officer of the society. The citizens-of each township, village or city in the county are requested to aid the vice-president, who is the corresponding secretary of and for the locality, in gathering data and making collections as specified in Art. II of the Articles of Association. All old residents of the county are invited to take an active interest in the society by becoming members as provided for in the foregoing articles. The membership fee, one dollar, may be sent to the secretary in return for which a receipt will be promptly sent. Such membership entitles the holder to all the privileges of the society, he has a vote and a voice in the meetings of the association, is elligible to office and is entitled to a copy of this and subsequent publications of the society free of cost while the membership dues are paid. Copies of this volume may be had by any person upon the payment of twenty-five cents to the secretary. The next annual volume of this society will be published about January Ist, 88S9, and will contain the following interesting matter: Ist. Additional history of the settlement of the county. 2nd. Historic accounts of the settlement and organization of the several towns in the county.
Page 104 I04 MUSKEGON PIONEER ANNUAL. 3rd. Biographical sketches of persons who settled in the county prior to the year 1860. 4th. Muskegon county during the war. 5th. Proceedings of and addresses at the annual picnic and reunion of 1888. 6th. Proceedings of the annual meeting of the society for i888 to be held on Friday December 14th. 7th. Names and addresses of all members of the society up to the close of 1888. 8th. Memorial pages, etc. of all members who have died during the year. 9th. List and description of all articles contributed to the society during the year. ioth. Interesting and instructive addresses and matter consistent with and pertaining to the objects of the society that may have been acquired during the year. Hoping to have the hearty and earnest co-operation and assistance of all interested in the past and its associations we bid you a heartfelt God-speed. Fraternally, HENRY H. HOLT, President. CHANCY L. WHITNEY, Secretary. Muskegon, Mich., January Ist, 1888.