1880 Map of
occupies a position in the Southern tier of townships of Livingston
County, and is bounded north, east, and west, respectively, by the
townships of Genoa, Green Oak, and Putnam, and South by Washtenaw
It contains the villages of Petteysville and Hamburg and the
neighborhood on section 12 known as "Newburg." The Ann Arbor road crosses the
township in a varied route from north to southeast. The water area of Hamburg is larger
than that of any other township in the county, and numerous extensive marshes exist, yet
the improvements in the better portion rank with the best. Strictly speaking, this is an
agricultural township, although mills have been built in several places and the waterpower
utilized. The shores of the Huron are generally marshy.
From the northeast enters Ore Creek, which, after spreading on
section 13 into what is known as Ore Lake, finally joins the Huron River near the centre
of town on the east. The latter stream has a general southwest course and enters Washtenaw
County from sections 31 and 32, where it expands into a lake, which has been given the
name of Base Line Lake. Above this are Whitewood, Buttermilk Rapids, Loon and Strawberry
Lakes, all expansions of the river, Among the other lakes in the township to which names
have been given are Appleton, Roff, Walker, Long, Round, Lime, Rush, Travis, Mercer's,
Pleasant, Gut, Island, Buck, Silver, Zucky, Bass, Cordley, Half-moon, etc., and a portion
of Portage Lake lies in the southwest corner. Traversing the township diagonally from
northeast to southwest is a long range of high, and in places abrupt, gravel hills, which
have a rugged appearance from a distance.
The following is a list of those who entered land in what now constitutes the
township of Hamburg, together with the sections and the years of entry:
|1836, Amrod Moon, Robert L. Spear, Nelson H. Wing; 1837, Sanford
Britton, George Walker.
|1836, Franklin Hopkins; 1838, Joseph Brown; 1839, Joseph Nute; 1840,
Ezekiel Case, William Purvis; 1845, Isaac W. Appleton, Ezekiel Case; 1847, Ezekiel Case;
1849, Ezekiel Case; 1853, Timothy Phillips; 1834, Isaac W. Appleton, John S. Bennett,
|1836, John Stewart, Mary Stewart, Horace Griffith, Ralph Swarthout;
1837, Jabez Hopkins; 1842, Luther Jeffers; 1845, Chauncey A. Stewart, Luther Jeffers;
1850, James Humphrey; 1854, Chauncey A. Stewart, Luther Jeffers.
|1834, Justus J. Bennett; 1835, Timothy H. Pettit, J. J. Bennett,
Eastman Griffith, Christopher Hoagland; 1837, John Spalding; 1838, Mitchell C. Case.
|1836, Joseph Case, Elisha Case; 1838, Samuel Case, Simeon D. Salmon,
Spalding M. Case, Daniel Halleck Rodman Case; 1841, Elisha Case.
|1836, William White; 1837, Samuel Taylor; 1838, Lorenzo Jordan ; 1839,
James V. Simmons; 1841, Joseph N. Cast; 1847, Simeon D. Salmon ; 1853, James I Haynes
William H. Prame.
|1835, William H. Bennett; 1836, Henry Farrell, Richard Burke, Amariah
Hammond, David Bennett, Elizabeth M. White, Ann Potter; 1838, Jesse D. Hause.
|1834, Justus H. Bennett; 1835, John Davis, Elijah Bennett, George
Mercer Robert Saunders; 1837, Henry R. Wheeler;
Dennis Correy Residence,
|Section 8 (cont.)
||1838, Simeon D. Salmon; 1839, Henry Farrell; 1854, Elias Davis.
|1834, Justus J. Bennett, Daniel B. Harmon, Reuben H. Bennett; 1835, J.
J. Bennett, George Mercer; 1836, George Mercer, Wm. H. Bennett, Cornelius Wickware; 1845,
Edward M. Cust; 1846, Justus J. Bennett; 1854, Daniel S. Bennett.
||1836, Edward Bishop, Spaulding M. Case, John Webber,Thomas Loomis,
William Coolbaugh; 1847, William B. Scott; 1851, Edwin M. Cust; 1854, Isaac T. Vanduser.
||1835, David Parker; 1836, John Basset, Reuben Newland, Franklin
Hopkins, Daniel C. Kingsland.
||1832, Abraham D. Peck; 1835, Abraham Bennett, David Parker; 1836,
Joseph H. Bennett, Conrad Haner, Henry Kellogg, Abraham D. Peck; 1837, Garry Spencer,
David A. Parkhill; 1850, Bradford Campbell.
||1834, George J. Grisson; 1835, Alonzo Gunn, David Parker; 1836, Miner
Kellogg; 1837, Jacob C. Haner, John Pickard; 1838, Benjamin F. Foster; 1842, David Parker;
1854, Russell S. Haner, George E. Hall; 1859, Jean Louis Fasquelle.
||1835, Conrad Haner, Sophronia Perry; 1836, Sophronia Perry, Emory
Richardson, N. Kellogg; 1837, Levi Townsend; 1842, David Wilkie; 1851, George Galloway,
Thomas Featherly, Deborah Ann Cole; 1854, Russell S. Haner.
||1834, George Galloway, Susan Galloway; 1835, Adonijah Harmon; 1836,
Eleanor Collyer, George Galloway, Timothy H. Pettit, Jacob C. Haner, Edward Bishop,
Margaret Peacock, B. I. Kercheval; 1855, Thaddeus S. Mapes.
|1842, Seth A. Petteys; 1845, L. M. Rollison; 1847, George Howard, Seth
A. Petteys, E. S. Whitlock, D. M. Rollison, Eliza Hess; 1850, William Crowe, John Conner;
1851, Mary Mercer, George Mercer; 1852, William Mercer; 1853, Robert Conner.
||1835, Zebulon M. Drew, Gideon Cross; 1836, Elizabeth C. Cross, Daniel
Bennett; 1837, Henry R. Wheeler, Jerusha Payne; 1838, Tamma Butts, Norman A. Allen; 1854,
Cephas Dunning Joseph Quinn; 1853, John Dunn.
||1835, William H. Bennett, Aaron Vance; 1836, Daniel S. Bennett, Reuben
H. Bennett, David Bennett, Timothy R. Bennett, William H. Bennett; 1837, Mansell Hurlbut;
1838, Samuel S. Fitch, Hezekiah Allen; 1850, John H. Forth; 1847, Joseph Quinn.
||1835, Samuel Cole, Elijah Whipple, John Marsh; 1836, Ransom C.
Robinson, Israel C. Trembley, Joseph Quinn, Henry P. Rosebeck; 1837, Ephraim Harger, John
Wallace, Thomas Burns.
||1835, Matthew C. O'Brien; 1836, Enoch Jones, James D. W. Palmer,
Erasmus D. Whitlock, Joseph Quinn.
||1836, Daniel W. Kellogg, Daniel Larkins; 1837, John Larkins; 1848,
Reuben R. Decker, John F. Oliver; 1853, William Placeway, R. R. Decker; 1858, R. R.
Decker; 1866, John C. Shaw.
||1833, Christopher L. Culver; 1836, Edward Bishop; 1837, James G. Crane,
Dennis Shahan; 1838, Francis Mackie; 1843, Edwin M. Cust; 1853, Edward Bishop, George
Galloway; 1854, Edward Bishop.
||1833, John Henry, Asenath Burnet; 1835, Edward Mundy; 1836, Christopher
L. Culver, Miner Kellogg, Edward Mundy; 1837, James Gillmore; 1845, Stoddard W. Twichell.
||1833, Thomas Schoonhoven, Asenath Burnet; 1834, George G. Grisson;
1836, George Butler, Horace Barnum; 1837, George Butler, George G. Grisson.
||1831, Calvin Jackson, Jesse Hall; 1832, Lester Burnet; 1833, James
Burnet, Jason G. De Wolf; 1834, Ebenezer Bishop.
||1832, Daniel Flail; 1833, George Sessions, Christopher L. Culver, David
||1832, Benjamin Lewitt; 1833, David B. Power, Christopher L. Culver;
1837, B. B. Kercheval; 1840, Anson L. Power.
||1836, Cyrus Pierce Daniel Sullivan 1837, Patrick Gallagher, John
Courtney, James Gallagher, B. B. Kercheval.
||1835, James Cordley, Robert Finch, Andrew Shanahan, Cornelius O'Brien,
Robert Crooks; 1836, Ann Cordley; 1837, James Gallagher, Robert Marsh.
||1835, William W. Edminster, Cornelius O'Brien, Aaron Vance; 1836,
Jonathan Stone, Jr.; 1837, Thomas Daly, Olney Butts, Nathaniel Teachworth, Bryan Farley,
Owen Farley, James Fagan, Ephraim Harger; 1854, George W. Brown.
||1832, Cyrus Pierce; 1834, James W. McGrath; 1835, William W. Edminster,
Thomas Burns, Matthew Burns, Elias B. Root, John Youmans, Asahel Smith, Cornelius O'Brien;
1836, Patience Newton; 1837, Luceba Pierce, Asahel Smith.
||1831, Felix Dunlevy; 1832, Patrick Gallagher; 1835, Matthew C. O'Brien,
Felix Donely, William W. Edminster, Palmer Force; 1837, Patrick Gallagher, Matthew C.
||1832, Patrick Gallagher, James Gallagher; 1833, Cornelius Morrow; 1834,
John Ryan; 1835, Cornelius Morrow, Patrick Conner; 1836, Patrick Conner, Patrick
Gallagher, James Gallagher, Cornelius O'Mara.
||1833, Stoddard W. Twichell, Abrier Butterfield; 1834, Willis Hale;
1835, Daniel Larkin, S. W. Twichell; 1836, Jacob Vandewalker, Levi Knight, Daniel
Sullivan, Calvin Swift.
||1831, Heman Lake; 1833, Abner Butterfield, Cornelius Olsaver; 1834,
Hiram Mason, William H. Twichell; 1836, George W. Case, John A. Bothwell, Samuel
Vanderford, Elizabeth Hall; 1837, Richard E. Butler.
||1831, Cornelius W. Miller, Heman Lake; 1832, Augustus Hall; 1833, Jesse
Hall, Philemon H. Hills; 1836, Thomas J. Rice, Samuel Gardner; 1838, Thomas J. Rice.
From this list it is seen that the first entries were made in the
southern portion of the township as early as 1831, many of them being
south of the river. The reasons why this was the case are two-fold.
First, the region farther south, in Washtenaw County, was settled first,
and as the population increased it pushed northward into Livingston.
Second, a glance at the farming region south and north of the Huron, in
Hamburg, leads the observer to choose the southern portion on account of
its superior adaptability to the uses of agriculture. However, after
passing the immediate vicinity of the Huron, with its lakes, swamps, and
gravel-ridges, an excellent farming country opens before the
husbandman,--and as soon as this fact was known, and conveniences for
reaching it were established, it became the abiding-place of many of the
most influential settlers in the township, and at present bears
evidence, by its improvements and general air of prosperity, to the wise
choice of its pioneers in locating there.
EARLY SETTLEMENTS-PIONEER INCIDENTS
The following "Leaf of Hamburg's Dry Early History" was furnished to the
Pioneer Association in January, 1878, by Thomas J. Rice: 280.
"During the interval between the years
1830 and 1836 the southern portion of our beautiful peninsula, which was then
comparatively unoccupied territory, was not only being very much talked about, but
actually being settled upon with a rapidity never before exampled in American history;
and, as a legitimate consequence of this unprecedented rush of immigrants thereto in
search of new homes, I found, when I first entered Hamburg as a resident,--which was on
the first day of May, 1836, and only four and a half years from the day on which the first
white settler therein planted --himself and family upon its soil,--instead of a few
discouraged, half-starved settlers, widely separated from each other, in a state of
isolated loneliness, a regularly organized town, with its governmental machinery in good
running order, and containing fully one-third as many inhabitants as it does to-day. . . .
It will therefore be obvious that it is but little, very little, that I know from my own
observation or experience about the toils, privations, and hardships of actual pioneer
life; and consequently it will readily be seen that for the correctness of most of the
statements which I am about to make I am compelled to rely upon traditional evidence and
such other testimony as I have been able to glean from individual., who, front their
weight of years, are liable to be somewhat confused in their recollection not only as to
days and dates, but also in reference to events and circumstances long since past.
"According to the best light I have, then, upon the
subject, it was on or a little before the middle of October, 1831, that Jesse Hall, Esq.,
the first actual white settler in, Hamburg, first sat himself down with his wife and
children within his rude cabin, erected on the west half of the northeast quarter of
section 25, and near the edge of the bank of what is now known as Hall's Creek. And on or
about the 1st of November of that year, Mr. Heman Lake, who followed close after Mr. Hall,
planted himself and family upon the east half of the southeast quarter of section 35. At
the time when these first two hardy pioneers established themselves in Hamburg, there were
not to exceed a dozen actual settlers, including themselves, in all four of the towns
bordering upon the south side of the county, and not one in any of the twelve towns lying
north of these, and which constituted the balance of the county. Thus it will be seen that
these two men, both of whom are now gone to their rest, were not only pioneer settlers in
our beloved town of Hamburg, but also in our beloved county of Livingston. Of course
everybody understands that the mere fact that some certain pieces of land were purchased
from government at an earlier day than were those purchased by Mr. Hall and Mr. Lake, and
on which they almost immediately settled, is no proof that such certain pieces, thus
earlier purchased, were also more early settled upon, nor, in fact, that they have ever
been actually settled upon, either by the original purchasers or anybody else.
"That Elizabeth Lake, daughter of Heman Lake,
born some time in the summer of 1832 (the exact date I cannot give), was the first white
child born in Hamburg, admits not of a doubt, but whether or not she was the first one
born in the county I am not prepared to say.
"That Mr. Cornelius W. Miller raised, in 1834, on the place
where I now reside, the first apples that were grown within the limits of this now famous
apple-producing town of Hamburg it is confidently believed and I think I am not mistaken
when I say they were also the first that were ever grown within the limits of Livingston
County upon trees of white man's setting.
The first large frame, hay, and grain barn erected in Hamburg was
built by Mr. Martin Olsaver in 1836, on the southwest quarter of the southeast, quarter of
"The first persistent and well-directed effort made in
Hamburg to improve the breed of horned cattle, and also of sheep, was made by Mr. David B.
Power, now dead; and it is also deemed worthy of remark that the noble example in that
direction, by that good man thus early set, is still being followed up with increased
vigor and success by his enterprising son-in-law, the Hon. William Ball.
The first Supervisor elected in Hamburg was Mr. Christopher L. Culver, who, the noble man that he was,
came to an untimely death many years ago by being crushed at a barn raising.
"The first county officer selected from Hamburg was Mr.
Justus J. Bennett, sheriff, and the first State officer selected therefrom was the Hon.
Edwin M. Cust, senator, who for many long years has been lying in his grave.
"In conclusion I will merely add that, in addition to the
first two pioneer settlers in Hamburg, spoken of and the several other gentlemen of whom
honorable mention has already been made, there were many other good and worthy men who
planted themselves in the town at quite in early clay. A few of the more active and
prominent among the number, I will here beg leave just to name Stoddard W. Twichell, Esq.,
Mr. Anson L. Power, James Burnett, Esq., dead; Mr. George G. Grisson, Ferdinand Grisson,
Esq., Mr. George Galloway, dead, and Mr. Bradford Campbell, also dead. These few
individuals have been named because I cannot for one moment doubt but that these men,
aided by their respected wives, did much, very much, by the noble example which they set
of minding their own business and letting that of others alone, not only towards making
the town that quiet, orderly, and thrifty one which, when I came into it in 1836, I found
it to be, but also towards causing it to be and remain, until this day, a town in which
there are but few crimes committed, few lawsuits prosecuted, and few neighborhood quarrels
or other disturbances of any kind. And long therein may the effects of the influence of
their noble example continue to live."
At the meeting of the Livingston County Pioneer Society, held
June 18, 1879, the following facts relating to the history of the township of Hamburg were
given by Hon. Edwin B. Winans:
"My first acquaintance and recollections of the
township of Hamburg date from the fall of 1843. I then came from the township of Unadilla,
to live with my sister, Mrs. Leland Walker, and to attend the winter term of school taught
by Horace Griffith, in the Bennett School-house, in District No. 2. Griffith was a married
man, and lived on the farm now owned by Orville Sexton, in the same school
district. At that time Hamburg had been long settled, comparatively speaking, and offered
educational facilities of which I desired to avail myself. I cannot, therefore, relate any
pioneer experiences of my own, but only such recollections of the actual pioneers of the
town as were then upon the active stage of life. My first impressions then as a stranger
were that Hamburg people were, mostly Bennetts, Cases, and Halls,--and it seemed to me in
about equal proportions,--and some of the Halls struck me as being very beautiful and
attractive. Of course I was young and my experience very limited; but
though many years and some travel have enlarged my experience, I still shall insist that
the elegantly furnished Halls of to-day have not the fascination and attraction or charm
for me as had those young and beautiful Hall girls of Hamburg, in those days, of my early
"At the head of the Bennett family I may place Justus J.
Bennett, a veritable Nestor, who lived to see three generations of his children, who,
together with his brothers, John, Joseph, and Abram Bennett, and their families of
stalwart sons and daughters, gave him quite a patriarchal position with the clan Bennett.
He was the first sheriff of Livingston County, and it that time owned a large farm on
section nine, and lived in a story-and-a-half farm-house with a wing on
each side; and it seemed to me to be a veritable mansion, such as I had read of in the old
romance of 'Thadderts of Warsaw,' and the 'Scottish Chiefs.' It stood on the hill, as you
cross Mill Creek going south, and was known far and wide as the 'Big White House.' I well
remember the first time I was invited to the house,--it was to a social party, given by
the younger members of the family,--and how I was bewildered by the many
rooms; and the brilliant tallow dips glimmering in the far recesses, and the many nooks,
angles, and corners of the house. I was more than ever impressed with the superiority of
Hamburg style 281. over the one-room log house of my father in
Unadilla, in the chamber of which I had been used to sleep and listen to the singing of
the woodland birds or the patter of the soft rain upon the roof, with no ceiling or
plastering between me and it to dull the soothing sounds. Bennett was surrounded by a
large family of grown children, some married and settled on good farms in the near
vicinity, others under the paternal roof. The married sons, William Reuben, Justus J. Jr.,
and Royal, were men in the heyday and prime of life, with children of their own growing up
about their own hearth-stones; while Sherman, Joseph, and Charles were then single; and
life, bright, fair and wide, was all before them. The old man, full of years, was gathered
to his fathers, about a year ago, and now lies buried in the church-yard of the little
Union Church round the corner from his old farm in Hamburg. Of his brothers, John, Joseph,
and Abram, I was best acquainted with the family of John Bennett. He owned a splendid farm
on section twenty-four, on the banks of the beautiful Huron River, one mile north of
Hamburg village,--the farm now owned by his son John W. Bennett and Stephen
Galloway. He was a mighty hunter and trapper in those days, and none knew better how to
supply his larder with the spoils of lake and forest than Uncle John Bennett. He lived to
a good old age, and died about four years ago, and is buried in the cemetery at Hamburg
village, where many of the early pioneers rest by his side. His sons, six in
number,--Isaac, Helem, Alfred, Henry, John, and Horace,--all married, and to them were
born children who perpetuate the name and family traditions in Hamburg. The
family may be said to be long lived; for Abram, John, and Justus J. each lived to be
upwards of ninety years.
"The Case family was nearly as numerous in Hamburg in those
days, as the Bennett. Samuel Case, the patriarch, had a large family of sons and
daughters. Elisha, Joseph, Rodman, Spaulding, Crandall, Ira, Jonathan, Norman, and Rufus
Case at that time were all young or middle-aged men. Elisha, Joseph, Rodman, and Crandall
were married, and had farms on sections four and five, which they or their
children own to-day. The Cases were active, thrifty men,-good farmers, mechanics, and
business men. I think Spaulding or Ira, or both, kept store at the old homestead. I know
there was a Case's store kept there for the country trade, but about that time it was
removed to Brighton, where Ira Still does business. The Case family had something to say
in those clays about how matters went in town, for they were active, energetic men, who
had their own opinions about matters, and were not at all diffident about expressing them.
The father was then an old man, and he has been dead these many years; but
the sons, I think, are all living except Spaulding, Joseph, and Norman.
"The Hall brothers, Jesse, James, Augustus, and Daniel,
settled near Hamburg village, in the south part of the town. Jesse was among the earliest
settlers in town. He took up a large tract of land, on which he lived till his death, and
where his widow and youngest daughter still reside. He had a large and interesting family
of sons and daughters as also had his brother Daniel, who was located on a farm just west
of Hamburg village, now a part of Hon. William Ball's farm. Jesse Hall being wealthy for a
pioneer, and being of a social, hospitable disposition, many of the early settlers made
his house their home till they had time to build a house of their own, and I have heard
Mrs. Galloway, my wife's mother, say, that two, and sometimes three families at a time
found shelter and a temporary home at his house. She and her husband, George Galloway,*
being, of those who shared his hospitality in those early days, and till they had built
for themselves a house on the farm where I now reside. The Hill families were important
factors in Hamburg society in those days. The boys were stalwart and the girls were
beautiful, and I was so favorably impressed with the condition of affairs that I
determined to attend the next winter term in the same school district, which I did; and I
liked the place so well that I made the town my home from that time, settling with my
mother (my father having died the previous year) in the present village of Petteysville, I
having engaged with Seth A. Petteys to work in his woolen-mill for the term of three
years, from April, 1845, to April, 1848, which contract I fulfilled. A longer and wider
acquaintance showed me that, though numerous and important, the Bennetts, Cases, and
Halls, were not all the people in Hamburg worth knowing. At that time George Galloway held
a prominent position in the town, both socially, politically, and in enterprise and
wealth. An early settler, he soon became somewhat of a leader in public affairs. He was
treasurer of the township for eleven successive years, and he was known far
and wide for his open handed hospitality. His judgment was relied upon, and his advice and
opinion valued by his neighbors and townsmen and no man stood better or had it fairer
prospect of success in life than George Galloway; but he died in the prime of life,
suddenly, with the cholera, in the year 1854, while on a business trip to New York. He
left a wife and six children, all now living.
In the same school district, and joining farms with
Galloway on the south, lived Col. Edward Bishop, a man well known to the people of this
county, from having held the office of sheriff for two terms. The colonel was a man of
remarkable memory, and with the faculty of relating the events of his life with wonderful minuteness. He could make the story as interesting as an 'Arabian Nights' tale, and
I have often been a delighted listener as he narrated the many incidents of his varied
life. He was a wagonmaker by trade, and had a shop on his farm, where he and his son,
Edward, made and repaired wagons. I well remember the sign, nailed to a tree in the woods
at the forks of the road as you came west from Hamburg village, 'E. Bishop & Son,
Wagon-Makers.' He also raised a family of ten children,--five boys and five girls, all
bright, witty, and promising children. I taught school in that district in the winter of
1846 and 1847, and the Bishop, Galloway, Hendrick, and John Bennett
families could send twenty children to school. Theirs were about average families in those
days. That is how the country had men to fight her battles. In these degenerate days of
luxury and refinement, a family of two or three, or four at most, is considered about the
respectable thing. Well, the colonel and his wife are now both at rest in the little
cemetery at Hamburg village, where we laid them quite recently, after more than fifty
years of wedded life. They were separated for a little while only, he going before, a
pioneer into the unknown land.
"Another of my early Hamburg acquaintances was George
Mercer and his family, consisting of Mrs. Mercer and four sons and one daughter. He was a
cultured English gentleman, who had located on section seventeen, near the present village
of Petteysville. He was a man better fitted by birth and education to move in the older
and more cultivated walks of life than to be a pioneer. But somehow he had been caught in
the tide of emigration and had drifted away out West, and had pitched his tent in the
wilderness. But the great West was omnivorous, and all was fish that was
gathered in its net, and so the accomplishments and qualifications of Mercer were of use
in building up and developing this country. He was for years the book-keeper and
confidential clerk of William S. Maynard, of Ann Arbor. But his family never quitted the
farm; and after he left Maynard's he was almost continuously kept in town office up to
within a few years of his death. He died at a ripe old age a few years ago, respected and
mourned by all who knew him. His wife and children, who still survive him, reside in the
same vicinity. His, sons, William, Alexander, and Robert, are enterprising,
wealthy farmers; and the Mercer family has taken deep root and developed all the sterling
qualities of the old English race.
"Speaking of Petteysville, its founder, builder, and
prime mover is Seth A. Petteys, who is still at the helm, and guides and governs affairs,
notwithstanding his threescore years and ten. He first settled in Putnam, on the farm now
owned by Hon. George Crofoot; but being a millwright, he was engaged by the Grissons, of
Hamburg, to build their mill, and in going from his farm in Putnam to Hamburg village he
noticed the water-power, and bought the school land on which his mill now
stands. He first 282. put in machinery for wool-carding and
cloth-dressing, and for ten or twelve years did a thriving business in that line. That is
where your humble servant put in four years of his youthful days. I hired to him for three
years at ten dollars per month, to learn the business, and I to live in his family; but
after one year my mother came to me, and we lived in our own house (a log one), and he
paid me four dollars per month additional, and I board myself. Many a sack of wool I
carded for the wives and daughters of this county, to spin and weave into cloth for men
and women's wear, and many yards of flannel I have dyed and pressed for
dresses, fulled and dressed for suits for the boys to go courting in. I took especial care
to have the cards clean and in order to make the rolls for the girls of my acquaintance to
spin, because if they were knotty, and did not run free, I was sure to hear from them in
such a way as was not at all flattering to my vanity. Petteys has extended and improved
his business till now through his efforts and enterprise a little hamlet has grown up
around his mill; there is now a grist and flouring-mill, a cider-mill, with all the
improvements, a blacksmith and carriage-shop, two stores, a post office, shoe-shop,
school, and church facilities for the fifteen or twenty families who live in the village.
He has raised a family of four sons and daughters. Three of his boys went at their
country's call in the great civil war, but only one returned at the close, and one
daughter has died since. The remaining children are settled in and around the little
village that bears the family name. Long may he be spared to see and to
enjoy the fruits, of his toil.
"Going east from Petteysville, over the rolling country into
the valley of the Huron, past the homes of George Galloway and Col. Bishop, at the foot of
Pleasant Lake, in those days lived Peter S. Hendrick, another of the Hamburg pioneers but
he too has 'joined the innumerable throng who assemble around the Throne.' His widow and
his youngest son now live in the old home at the foot of the lake. Hendrick was a mechanic
as well as farmer, and many of the late houses, and more of the earlier
barns, were planned and built by him. Such men in those days were indispensable, and his
services were in constant demand. He raised and educated a family of eight children, all
now living, and by his industry he left, at his death, for their inheritance, a good farm,
a good name, and a record for liberality in all matters of public interest. He was a
soldier in the war of 1812, and Mrs. Hendrick now receives from the government a late
recognition of her husband's services.
"Leland Walker, the owner of the saw and flouring-mills of North Hamburg, was a man in those days, who filled a large space in society; a man
of acute mental power, he had much to do in shaping matters of public interest. For many
years he was supervisor of the town, and took a strong interest in all educational
matters; later in life he took an interest in the study of medicine, and having graduated
at a medical school, he removed to Dexter to practice his profession, but soon after died
suddenly of heart disease. His death was a serious loss to the community. The limits of
this paper will not permit even the casual mention of all the worthy dead
and gone pioneers of the town; but, with your indulgence , I will mention the names of a
few as they occur to me, who have not passed over the dark river, and are still living in
the township, and are to-day prominent and active citizens fully abreast with the times,
and who, it seems, could as ill be spared as any of the younger generations now on the
stage of life.
"There are the brothers, Stoddard W. and Hobart A. Twichell,
two men with the proverbial New England thrift, farmers pure and unmixed who by strict
attention to their own business are now possessed of a large competency. S.
W. Twichell, the eldest, lives on section thirty-six, where he first located, and Hobart
A. on section twenty-three, where he first settled. Both have often held the highest
offices in town, and had they been ambitious in that way, could readily have gone higher.
They are of the solid and reliable men of the town.
"Ferdinand Grisson is an educated, genial German gentleman,
the only one remaining in Hamburg of the four brothers of that name, who came from Germany and settled in a
very early day on section twenty-five, by whom the town was named for their beloved
Hamburg in the fatherland, the founders of Hamburg village. He still remains an
indispensable member of our society. He is, and has long been, our postmaster; For years
he has been the only justice of the peace who does much, if any, business. He does the
insurance and conveyancing for the country round about; he is the leader of our choir. He
occasionally marries a couple, but oftener helps to bury our dead. He makes himself so
generally useful that it, though a strong partisan and his party in the minority in our
town, he can always be elected by a large majority. That is the kind of a man he is. 'May
he live a thousand years and his shadow never grow less.'
"George Burnett is a quiet, intelligent fanner,
who lives just out of the village, and may well be classed with the most worthy of
pioneers of genuine merit and probity, he has lived a blameless life, and always is ready
and answers to the call of duty.
"There is Thomas J. Rice; the history of Hamburg will never
be complete without mention of him. Educated to the law, he is well versed in literature
and history, and is himself an author; but modest, retiring, and unassuming, he bides his
light in his study on the banks of Silver Lake, and unless he is dug out by his admiring
friends he prefers to remain in retirement.
'Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear.'
"A near neighbor of Rice is Charles H. Hankins, who is a very deserving
citizen, who for many long years, has contributed his quota to the
industry that has gradually made for Hamburg a reputation for having a
law-abiding, industrious, thrifty population. He is a good mechanic, and
has a shop on the banks of Silver Lake, where all and any jobs of
repairing in almost any line can be done with neatness and dispatch. He
owns a fine cider-mill run by steam, and is largely engaged in making
cider vinegar. He is always on hand to serve his customers himself, and
they are sure to be well served.
"In the winter of '46 I first knew George S. Butler,
a farmer who, then as now, lived about three-fourths of a mile north of Hamburg village. I
was teaching school in his district, and he and his wife made their home so pleasant for
me that in my memory the hospitality dispensed in the log houses of those days is not
surpassed in the sumptuously furnished houses of these latter times. 'The humblest fare
where love is, is better than a stalled ox with envy,' and Mr. butler is a rare
man, who for more than forty years has pursued the even tenor of his way with 'Good
will for All and offense toward none.' "
The following is from the pen of Col. Edward Bishop, of Hamburg
township, and was furnished to the County Pioneer Society in January, 1876. After
narrating the events of his first prospecting tour (in 1832) from Yates Co., N.Y., to
Michigan, Col. Bishop proceeded:
"In July, 1836, 1 again started for Michigan, with my
wife and eight children, designing to settle in the State. We stayed in Detroit six
weeks, when we moved to Plymouth Corners, where we resided three years and a half. In 1836
I had purchased land in Hamburg (sections 10 and 22), and soon after built a house on it,
into which I moved on the 2d day of May, 1840, where we have resided the greater part or
the time ever since. I think I manufactured the first lumber-wagon, or wagons, ever made
in Livingston County. Being in moderate circumstances, I labored early and late to improve my land and to provide for the wants of a large family,--then consisting of ten
children (two children having been added to the number since our settlement in Michigan),
my wife, and myself. We succeeded as well as we could expect. Seven of our children are
still living, and all but one are married or have been. I believe my wife and myself are
Hobart A. Twichell Residence,
Hamburg, Livingston County, Michigan
283. oldest couple living in Hamburg, -- she being
seventy-eight last August,
¥ and myself eighty the same month We were married on the 27th
of April, 1816. . . .
"I have in the course of a long life met with a number of
gentlemen who have been my friends, for which I feel very thankful. I have also seen a few
rogues, but from the latter I have been quite exempt; though while I was sheriff of
Livingston County I had a prisoner who was very anxious to escape, but found he was
watched too closely, and he offered me in advance one thousand dollars in gold if I would
go away from the jail and stay one night. I declined the offer, and told
him I should watch him more closely. His name was Elijah Badgero, who was sent to the
State-prison for a term of years.
I have improved two farms, erected suitable dwellings and
raised orchards but at present I own only a house and two lots, at Petteysville; am free
from debt and enjoy the comforts of life. I draw a pension of ninety-six dollars per year
from the United States for services rendered during the war of 1812-15. My health is now
poor, but if my life is spared I think of writing a history of the events through which I
have passed since the year 1800."
Elijah Bennett, from Steuben Co., N.Y., settled in the north part
of the township in the spring of 1835, on the place now owned by Meyer Davis. His widow is
still living, and his daughter is the wife of Nathan Hight, of Genoa.
Abram Bennett settled in Washtenaw County in 1829. At a
comparatively recent date he moved into Hamburg, and took up his residence with his
daughter, Mrs. George Cole. His wife died here, and his own death occurred at a late date,
when he had reached the great age of one hundred and three years.
In the fall of 1835, Garner Carpenter lived in the northern part
of town, on a farm he afterwards (1836 or 1837) sold to Samuel Case, who settled upon it.
Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Case are both now deceased. The latter's sons Joseph and Elisha,
long resided in the township. Joseph is dead and Elisha is a citizen of Brighton at
present. The latter's son occupies his father's old farm, and Oren Case, son of Joseph,
lives in Genoa. Samuel Case's sons settled in Hamburg before their father came, probably
in the fall of 1836. Rodman Case, another son, came later and purchased land from second
Justus J. Bennett, from Steuben Co., N.Y., came to Michigan in
the fall of 1833 and located in Washtenaw County, where he remained until the spring of
1835, when he moved into Hamburg township. He located large tracts of land in Hamburg and
Marion. The old homestead in Hamburg is now occupied by George L. Hull, and is owned by
Governor Felch, of Ann Arbor. Mr. Bennett had a family of ten children when he came to the
county. One son, Daniel S. Bennett, now lives in Ionia County, and another, William H., in
Hamburg. One daughter is now the wife of Seth
A. Petteys of Petteysville, and she and her brother
William are the only ones of their father's children at present residing in the county.
Daniel B. Harmon settled in 1835 north of Petteysville, on a farm
now owned by Mr. Buck, a German. A year or two later he sold his place to George Mercer
and removed to Shiawassee County. The farm was afterwards purchased by Edwin M. Cust.
Christopher Hoagland. and Eastman Griffith, also Timothy Pettit,
were early settlers in the north part of town, and all three were residing there in the
fall of 1833. Griffith returned to Steuben Co., N.Y., where he died; Pettit died in
Clinton Co., Mich. (his home at the time being in DeWitt); and Hoagland is also deceased.
George Mercer, a native of England, afterwards for a number of
years a resident of New York City, and finally of Rush, Monroe Co., N.Y., came to Michigan
in the fall of 1835, and settled a mile north of where his widow now lives, on the place
now occupied by Adolph Buck, whose wife is the daughter of Edwin M. Cust, also an
Englishman, to whom Mr. Mercer sold in the spring of 1836, Cust moving upon it in the
summer following. Mercer had been a merchant in the city of New York, and soon tired of
life in the wilderness of Michigan, where there was no society, and his family also were
averse to the life of pioneers. The nearest physician was Dr. Halleck, at Whitmore Lake,
nine miles away. Mrs. Mercer was born in the city of London, and country life was entirely
new to her. The nearest post-office was also at Whitmore Lake. The finishing lumber and
brick for the chimney of his house Mr. Mercer procured at Ann Arbor. The nearest mill was
at Plymouth, Wayne Co., thirty miles away. The Pinckney and Hamburg mills, built soon
afterwards, supplied a great need, and in those days did a large business.
When Mr. Mercer sold out to Mr. Cust, he removed to Swartzburg,
Wayne Co., where he remained about one year. Mr. Cust finally prevailed upon him to come
back and purchase the lot upon which Mrs. Mercer now lives, and a log house was built
thereon into which the family moved. The materials for a frame house had been brought to
the site from Ann Arbor; but as it was impossible to find a carpenter at any point nearer
than the last-named place, the log house was built instead; it stood a few feet east of
the present frame dwelling. The neighbors of the Mercer family, when they first came
(1835), were Justus J. Bennett, James M. Davis, and George Galloway,--the first two north
and the latter east.