TOWNSHIP OF TYRONE Part A. Pages 388-395


Tyrone Township Map 1880

     388. In the extreme northeast corner of Livingston County, bordering upon the counties of Genesee and Oakland, lies the township of Tyrone, which contains the highest rolling lands and presents more of the elements of the picturesque in its natural scenery than any other portion of the county to which it belongs. The beautiful rolling lands of Oakland, which have made that county famous in Michigan for its romantic and picturesque landscapes, extend over the line into this county, and in this northern tier of towns, gradually subside into the level lands of Conway and of the adjoining county of Ingham. In the northeastern part of Tyrone these knolls rise to the dignity of hills. The highest point of ground within the limits of the township, where the rise of the swells and knolls finally culminate in a bold, rounded hill, is at a place known as "The Bluff," which lies on the northeast corner of section 15. It is a high, wooded knoll running east and west, and thickly covered with a growth of oak-trees and saplings. From its summit the most extensive view in this vicinity is afforded, embracing parts of four counties, Livingston, Oakland, Genesee, and Shiawassee. It is asserted by some that this is the highest point in the southern peninsula, but a comparison with other points disproves this, for in Osceola County the surface rises several hundred feet higher than here, and in the town of Reading, in Hillsdale County, is the highest land in the State south of the Saginaw and Grand River Valleys.

     The surface of the town is somewhat difficult to describe correctly, because it is so varied in its character. The eastern and northern parts are the most rolling, and the western and southern parts the least uneven. The roughest part of the town is about the centre, where the hills rise more abruptly and to a greater height. The soil, like the surface, is greatly diversified and very irregular in its distribution, consisting of all varieties, from lightest sand to heavy clay, found mixed and intermingled in all parts of the town. As a rule,
389. the knolls are made up of a light sandy and gravelly loam, while the lower lands have a clayey loam or alluvial soil. The lands of this town were of the kind known as timbered openings, with a little scattered timbered land in some parts, and considerable marsh and tamarack swamp in the vicinity of the water-courses.

     In the north part of the town is a chain of small lakes, the waters of which are discharged through a common outlet, which forms a tributary of North Ore Creek, and through that stream reaches the Shiawassee River, in Genesee County. These lakes are all very similar in character, resembling in general features most of the lakes of Southern Michigan, having a sandy or muddy bottom, and being generally surrounded by a marsh of greater or less width. The first of them lies in the east central part of section 13. Its waters pass into Sackner's Lake, which covers some 20 or 30 acres, and lies across the line partly in section 12, but mostly in section 13. Another small lake on section 12 receives the outlet of these lakes and unites their overflow with its own. From it the stream passes in a northwesterly and then in a westerly direction until it reaches another lake, on the north line of section 10. From, this the stream passes through two small lakes in section 3, and, bending southward, reaches the north end of Runyan Lake, near the northeast corner of section 9. This lake is the largest one in the town, and also possesses the most picturesque features. Lying almost wholly in section 9, it reaches across the line into section 10 at two points, and covers an area of about 160 acres. Its shores are quite bold in some places, and the surrounding marsh is less extensive than about most of the other lakes. In the south part are two pretty little islands that add very much to its beauty. From Runyan Lake the stream passes through the south part of section 4, and enters Hoisington Lake near the south quarter line of section 5. This lake is of about the same size as Sackner's Lake.  The stream leaves it at a point nearly opposite its entrance and runs westerly, across sections 5 and 6 till it enters Laird Lake, near the south centre of the section. Aside from those already mentioned there are six other small lakes,--one on section 9, one on section 24, one on section 25, one on section 34, and two, known as Corey's Lakes, on section 22.

     The stream we have described is the second in size in Tyrone, the most important stream being North Ore Creek, which, rising in some of the towns to the southward, enters this town from Hartland at the village of Parshallville, on the southeast corner of section 31 and running in a somewhat irregular northwesterly course through sections 31, 30, 19 and 18, passes into the town of Deerfield, about one hundred rods south of the northwest corner of the last-named section. Its course is through a narrow, marshy valley, bordered by hills, and is marked by a nearly continuous growth of tamarack. It derives its name from the fact that many of the springs along its course, more especially those near its source, are more or less impregnated with iron, giving their waters in many cases quite a tinge of dull-red color. Another creek rising in the same locality, possessing the same peculiarities, and running southward, was first christened Ore Creek, so that this stream, to distinguish between them, is called North Ore Creek. The only other stream of any size in this town is called Cornell Creek, after Isaac Cornell, who first, built a mill upon its banks, and takes its rise in the southeast part of the town. Its course is generally westerly, though it makes quite a detour to the north. and leads through sections 34, 27, 28, 33, and 32, to the North Ore Creek, which it joins a few rods south of the west-quarter line of the last-named section.

     At the time when this town was first settled by the whites, Indians were quite numerous in the vicinity at almost all seasons of the year, but only as they roamed the forest in pursuit of game, or fished upon the placid bosoms of the lakes. Their villages were miles away to the north and south, and when visiting this part of their domain they usually traveled in small companies of one or more families. They were perfectly friendly in their relations with the whites, and fished, hunted, traded and associated with them upon the best of terms. Perhaps the best preserved relic of the race in this town is the Indian mound upon the farm of M. M. Hillman, in the north part of section 5. It is a circular mound some 18 or 20 feet in diameter, and has an elevation of 4 or 5 feet above the general surface. Upon it a number of oak-trees are growing, and since the time of settlement no stroke of mattock or spade has been permitted to desecrate the spot, but it has been suffered to remain in its original form, save as the destructive touches of time and the elements may have changed or modified its outlines. Sherman Stevens, of Pontiac, one of the earliest of the Indian traders of this section, said that the mound was the burial-place of a famous Indian chief whose name and deeds have now long been forgotten. Lying, as it did, near the separation of the Detroit and Huron trails, it was frequently visited by parties of Indians, who invariably approached it with reverence, and were peculiarly reticent regarding its nature and use. They were
390. always grateful to Mr. Hillman for his care of the s pot.

     We have referred to the Indian trails which crossed this town. They were numerous, but most of them were minor trails leading along the most eligible routes between the different lakes and hunting-grounds. The principal one was the one known as the Shiawassee trail, leading from Shiawassee town to Detroit. Along this the Indians used to travel when going to Detroit on their way to Canada to draw the annuity paid them by the British government. It entered Tyrone at a point about three-eighths of a mile east of the northwest corner of section 5, and followed a nearly southeast course till it left the town near the east quarter-post of section 13. At a point a few rods west of M. M. Hillman's house, on section 5, the trail divided the branch trail, taking a northeasterly course to Fenton, and continuing to the foot of Lake Huron. From this point of separation the main trail was called the Detroit trail, and the other the Huron trail. The course of the former has been preserved by the survey, at an early day, of what is known as the Shiawassee or White Lake road, which follows the old trail very closely. Another trail, known as the Ann Arbor trail, left the Detroit trail near its intersection with the quarter line in the south part of section 4, which followed a southwest course till it reached the east line of section 8, where it turned and ran directly south till it passed into Hartland. The course of these trails was usually well defined, and notwithstanding the fact that forty years have elapsed since their general use was abandoned, traces still remain in some localities which enable the expert woodman to designate their former position.


     The town of Tyrone remained in the possession of the wild animals and Indians until the spring of 1834, when the tide of emigration began to set towards this Western land, and scores hundreds, and thousands of Eastern men and their families were borne upon its swelling waves to the spots upon which they were to rear homes for themselves and their descendants. Below is given a list of the persons who took up land in Tyrone from the government; those who actually settled in the town being designated by an asterisk (*) to distinguish them from non-resident owners. The entries of land in this town, the names of the purchasers, their several places of former residence, the size of their purchases, and the date when entered will be found in the following list, compiled and copied from the tract-book of Livingston County. The first portion comprises those persons who made purchases upon more than one. section, and is as follows:

Charles Neer and Dyer Throop, Saratoga Co., N.Y., June 16, 1836, 317.45 acres on section 1, 80 acres on section 11 and 440 acres on section 12.
Phineas H. Smith, Orange Co., N.Y., June 9, 1836, 80 acres on section 2, and 80 acres on section 11.
Henry Isaacs, Hillsborough Co., N.H., June 11, 1836, 557.83 acres on section 2,.and June 1 1836, 480 acres on section 10.
Henry and Van Rensselaer Hawkins, Genesee Co., N.Y., June 14, 1836, section 25, 640 acres, and June 27, 1836, 120 acres on section 3, 160 acres on section 8, and 200 acres on section 32.
Jirah Hillman,* Lewis Co., N.Y., May 10 1836, 96.36 acres on section 4, and 49.45 acres on section 5.
William Beamer,* of this county, Dec. 1, 1853, 40 acres on section 9, and Nov. 18, 1854, 40 acres on section 5.
Isaac Morton,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., May 9, 1836, 184.92 acres on section 7, and May 17, 1836, 80 acres on section 18.
Darius Lamson, Wayne Co., Mich., Aug. 3, 1836, 320 acres on section 27; Sept. 24, 1836, 80 acres on section 11 and Oct. 25, 1836, 80 acres on section 11.
William Thomson,* Seneca Co., N.Y., April 12, 1836, 160 acres on section 13, and 160 acres on section 24.
Henry Druse, Washtenaw Co., Mich., June 18, 1836, 80 acres on section 14, and 160 acres on section 26.
Bennett D. Tripp, Wayne Co., N.Y., June 27, 1836, 160 acres on section 14, 120 acres on section 15, and 360 acres on section 22.
Benjamin B. Kercheval, Wayne Co., Mich., Oct. 29, 1836, 35.54 acres on section 31, and Dec. 17, 1836, 80 acres on section 14.
James Love,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., July 1, 1835, 80 acres on section 27, 40 acres on section 28, 40 acres on section 33, and 40 acres on section 34.
Francis Morse, Livingston Co., N.Y., May 10, 1836, 80 acres on section 20 and May 16, 1836, 80 acres on section 17.
Henry and Morris M. Seabott, Cayuga Co., N.Y., May 21, 1836, 80 acres on section 17, and 640 acres on section 21.
William N. Austin,* Orleans Co., N.Y., May 5, 1836, 80 acres on section 26, and May 29, 1836, 80 acres on section 19.
David L. Babcock,* this county, Oct. 2, 1836, 80 acres on section 19 and Oct. 29, 1836, 80 acres on section 20.
James McKeone,* Wayne Co., Mich., Oct. 26, 1836, 40 acres on section 30 and Nov. 14, 1836, 109.32 acres on section 19.
James Murphy,* Wayne Co., Mich., Nov. 26, 1836, 40 acres on section 19 and 40 acres on section 30.
John J. Dickson, Wayne Co., N.Y., June 6, 1836, 240 acres on section 20, 89 acres on section 22, and 129 acres on section 29.
Jacob Chrispell,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., Dec. 29, 1835, 80 acres on section 29, and Feb. 20, 1839, 40 acres on section 20.
Cyrus F. Kneeland and Henry Ball, Monroe Co., N.Y., June 13, 1836, 80 acres on section 22, and the whole of section 23.
Hiram Bellows, Franklin Co., Vt., June 14, 1836, 80 acres on section 24, and 320 acres on section 36, and June 25, 1836, 80 acres on section 22.
Ira Bellows, Monroe Co., N.Y., June 14, 1836, 320 acres on section 24, 320 acres on section 36, and June 25, 1836, 160 acres on section 22.
John A. Wells,* Wayne Co., Mich., Sept. 17, 1835, 320 acres on section 26, and 640 acres on section 35, and Sept. 23, 1836, 120 acres on section 27.
Isaac Cornell,* this county, March 20, 1835, 40 acres on section 28, 80 acres on section 29, and 120 acres on section 32.
Henry A. Cornell,* this county, March 20, 1835, 40 acres on section 33, and Sept. 23, 1836, 80 acres on section 30 and 40 acres on section 32.
George H. Blumberg, Oakland Co., Mich., April 9, 1863, 80 acres on section 32, and 40 acres on section 33.
Chester Wilson, Orleans Co., N. Y., June 3, 1836, 40 acres on section 33, and 240 acres on section 34. 390a.

Image of
David Colwell

Image of
George Cornell


     was born in the town of Richfield, Otsego Co., N.Y., Jan. 21, 1800 He was the son of Daniel Colwell and Thankful Paine, both natives of Rhode Island. They emigrated to Otsego previous to their marriage, which took place about the year 1799. When David was eighteen months old his father moved to Ontario County and settled near Geneva, where he died in 1823. But little is known of his history further than that he was a farmer, lived a comparatively uneventful life, but was a remarkable man physically,--a giant in stature, his usual weight being three hundred and sixty pounds.

     When sixteen years of age David was apprenticed to the trade of cloth-dressing, which occupation he followed many years. In 1825 he went to Allegany Co., N.Y., where he built a mill and established himself in his business. The project proving unremunerative, he removed to Coshocton, where he resided until his emigration to Michigan. His first visit to the Peninsula State was made in 1834, at which time he purchased the farm upon which he now resides. Returning to New York he followed his business until 1836, when he came on with his family, which consisted of his wife and six children, David G., of Fenton, being the eldest. Since that time he has been a resident of the town and one of its prominent pioneers The life of Mr. Colwell has been devoted strictly to the cares of his business and his family. It is in keeping with the self-abnegation of such men that they retire to the background and quietly look on as the great and varied interests, of which they laid the foundation, grow in prominence and utility. In May, 1824, Mr. Colwell was married to Hannah  A., daughter of John Gilbert, Esq., of Benton, Ontario Co., N.Y. She was born in Fayette, Seneca Co., N.Y., in August, 1803. They have reared a family of eight children, five of whom are living, viz.: David G., Thankful A., wife of A. B. Donaldson, of Fenton; Hannah A., now Mrs. William Owen; Elvira E., wife of E. H. Dickerman; Mary A., wife of Benjamin Byron. John P. died at the age of twenty-two years. Mr. Colwell is now in his seventy-ninth year, and apparently hale and hearty. For forty-three years he has been identified with the interests of Tyrone, and is well worthy of the position he holds among the founders of Livingston County.


     whose name is mentioned in the history of Tyrone as one of its early settlers, and who has been prominently identified with the town, was born in Washington Co., N.Y., Nov. 11, 1812.

     At the age of sixteen he started out in life for himself without a cent of capital. He worked at farming, and as a teamster until the fall of 1834, when he came to Tyrone and entered a tract of eighty acres of land, opposite that of his brother Isaac.

     In 1836 he was married to Miss Eliza Williams, by whom he has had five children, two sons and three daughters.

     Mr. Cornell is one of Tyrone's best citizens, a man universally respected for his sterling qualities. He has well performed his part in the development of the town, and his record as a citizen and it neighbor is untarnished. He is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

     391. The second portion of the list is, for convenience, given by sections, and includes the persons who made purchases on one section only:


Joseph C. Make, Monroe Co., N.Y., June 3, 1836 80
Egbert Hoffman, Monroe Co., N.Y., June 4, 1836 80
Moses Warren Scott, Saratoga Co., N.Y., June 25, 1836 159.66
George Dibble,* Lapeer Co., Mich., March 18, 1834 88.05
Daniel D. Runyan,* Oakland Co., Mich. Feb. 19, 1836 80
Catharine Runyan,* Oakland Co., Mich. April 23, 1836 40
Melvin Dorr, Oakland Co., Mich., June 16, 1836 80
Marshall J. Bacon, Wayne Co., Mich., Aug. 2, 1836 163.80
Isaac S. Taylor,* Oakland Co., Mich., May --, 1837 80


Julian Bishop, Genesee Co., Mich., July 9, 1835 86.49
Vincent Runyan, Oakland Co., Mich., July 16, 1835 80
Isaac Ayres,* Oakland Co., Mich., Nov. 9, 1835 40
Robert Ayres,* Oakland Co., Mich., Nov. 9, 1835 80
Consider Warner, Genesee Co., N.Y., Feb. 20, 1836 86.49
Harriet Bryan, Genesee Co., Mich., May 7, 1836 40
David Colwell,* Steuben Co., N.Y., June 4, 1836 80
John Thomas, Wayne Co., N.Y., Sept. 23, 1836 80
Elisha Larned,* Allegany Co., N.Y., Nov. 18, 1835 49.45
Elijah Crane, Wayne Co., Mich., March 4, 1836 103.42
Hiram M. Rhodes,* Oakland Co., Mich., June 4, 1836 80
Anna Rhodes,* Oakland Co., Mich., June 4, 1836 80
Delos Davis, Wayne Co., Mich., Sept. 23, 1836 80
Jonathan Irwin,* Livingston Co., Mich., Jan. 30, 1837 80
Ebenezer Sterns, Yates Co., N.Y., March 9, 1837 120
Jefferson H. Downer,* Oakland Co., Mich., Oct. 9, 1835 53.62
Elisha W. Postall, Macomb Co., Mich., Jan. 2, 1836 53.62
Elijah Root, Washtenaw Co., Mich., Feb. 19, 1836 82.44
Ebenezer J. Penniman, Wayne Co., Mich., March 4 and 18, 1836 82.44
William Hyatt,* Oakland Co., Aug. 2, 1836 80
N. A. Littlefield,* of this county, Jan. 14, 1854 80
William Owens, of this county, June 13, 1854 40


Washington D. Morton, Washtenaw Co., Mich., May 9, 1836  31.9
Jona'n L. Wolverton,* Steuben Co., N.Y., June 20, 1836 160
Elijah Clough, Jr.,* Onondaga Co., N.Y., June 28, 1836 160
George F. Roberts, Cayuga Co., N.Y., June 1, 1836 160
Henry D. Garrison, Wayne Co., Mich., Oct. 26, 1836 320


Elisha Beach, Oakland Co., Mich., Jan. 6, 1836 80
Willard S. Fellsham, Washtenaw Co., Mich., June 29, 1836 120
Isaac Throop Jr., Genesee Co., Mich., July 30, 1836 40
Joseph Allbright, Ohio, Dec. 17, 1836 80
David Murphy,* of this County, Oct. 25, 1839 40
William Smith, of this county, July 6, 1846 40
John W. Mapes,* of this county, May 2, 1850    40
Daniel Odell, Genesee Co., Mich., Nov. 30, 1852 40
Christopher Rogers,* of this county, Nov. 23, 1853 40
Nancy F. Biggs, of this county, Sept. 4, 1855 40
Sanford Billings,* Oakland Co., Mich., March 5, 1838, and January 9, 1839 80
Almerin Smith, Wayne Co., N.Y., Oct. 17, 1839   40
Matthias T. Talmadge,* of this county, Nov. 15, 1854   40


Charles Wright, Niagara Co., N.Y., May 28, 1836 80
William Dunning, Wayne Co., N.Y., Feb. 20, 1838 80
Seth N. Howell,* Oakland Co., Mich., March 1, 1838 80
Leonard Brooks, Genesee Co., Mich., March 3, 1855 80


Henry Larned,* Yates Co., N.Y., May 25, 1836 40
Philip Brewer, Niagara Co., N.Y., May 28, 1836 160


Ezra Thayre, Oakland Co., Mich., May 2, 1836 40
John Blair, Seneca Co., N.Y., June 13, 1836. 320
Elias B. Holmes, Monroe Co., N.Y., June 14, 1836 120
David N. Blood, Monroe Co., N.Y., June 18, 1836 80
William R. Mudge, Monroe Co., N.Y., Dec. 16, 1836 80
Levi Stockwell, Oakland Co., Mich., May 17, 1839 80
William B. Stockwell, Oakland Co., Mich., May 17, 1839 80
Ellery Shaw, Wayne Co., Mich., May 17, 1836 200
John O'Neil,* Wayne Co., Mich., Nov. 21, 1836 80
Michael Healey,* Wayne Co., Mich., Nov. 21, 1,436 80
Abram Cook, Wayne Co., N.Y., Nov. 26, 1836 80
Edward Hopper,* this county, Oct. 11, 1839 40
Norton L. Miller, Macomb Co., Mich., Oct. 13, 1854 40


Thomas Love,* June 12, 1847 80
A. E. Cranston,* June 16, 1849 40
Brount & Bailey, June 4, 1850 80
J. N. Barnes, Nov. 13, 1850 80
C. B. Thomas,* Nov. 15, 1850 40
D. W. Love,* July 26, 1853. 80
Jacob Love,* Sept. 20, 1853 40
D. Canfield,* Oct. 10, 1853 40
William Van Wagner,* Oct. 24, 1853 40
Peter Schad, Jr.,* June 2, 1854 40
William Schad, Aug. 23, 1854 40
Stephen W. Downer,* Oct. 24, 1860 40


John Westfall,* Cayuga Co., N.Y., May 17, 1836 160
Henry Seabott, Cayuga Co., N.Y., May 21, 1836 160
James Kearns, Oswego Co., N.Y., June 27, 1836 80
Moses Taggart, Genesee Co., N.Y., June 27, 1836 80


John C. Morse, Oakland Co., Mich., May 5, 1836 160
Nancy Morton,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., May 9, 1836 80
Edwin Soonberger, Monroe Co., N.Y., June 16, 1836 80
Dillis Dexter,* Monroe Co., N.Y., July 1, 1836 80
John Fish, Oakland Co., Mich., Dec. 5, 1836 68.4
Sam'l G. Sutherland, Washtenaw Co., Mich., Oct. 3, 1837 33.2.
Adam B. Bailey,* of this county, May 25, 1838 33.22


David Bangs, Monroe Co., N.Y., May 5, 1836 269.44
David Bangs, Monroe Co., N.Y., Nov. 14, 1836 40
Philo Joyner, Berkshire Co., Mass., June 16, 1836 80
Hugh R. Hogle,* of this county, Nov. 15, 1838 40


Daniel Blood, Monroe Cu., N.Y., June I8, 1836 160
James Bellows, Monroe Co., N.Y., June 14, 1836 80
William B. Alvord, Wayne Co., Mich., Sept. 22, 1836 392. 160


William D. Snapp,* Cayuga Co., N.Y., May 30, 1836 80
Peter H. Link,* Oakland Co.; Mich., June 11, 1836 40


George Cornell,* Livingston Co., N.Y. Oct. 31, 1834 80
William H. Berry,* Shiawassee Co., Mich., Feb. 18, 1835 40
Joseph M. Becker,* Oakland Co., Mich., March 20, 1835 80
Eli Conklin,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., Nov. 18, 1835 120
David Austin,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., Nov. 18, 1835 200
James Willis, Oakland Co., Mich., Dec. 2, 1836 40


Shadrach S. Austin, Orleans Co., N.Y., May 5, 1836 ; 120
Mercy Chrispell,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., June 8, 1836 80
James E. Chrispell,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., June 8, 1836 40
Gen. Allen, Madison Co., N.Y., June 17, 1836 120


Joseph Chamberlin, Livingston Co., N.Y., May 3, 1836 68.56
Nathaniel C. Austin,* Orleans Co., N.Y., May 5, 1836 120
Nathaniel C. Austin,* Orleans Co., N.Y., Oct. 29, 1836 40
Philo H. Munson, Livingston Co., N.Y., June 6, 1836 69.04
James Agan,* Wayne Co., Mich., Nov. 14, 1836 120
George Abbott, Wayne Co., Mich., June 21, 1837 40


Major Curtis,* Oakland Co., Mich., Jan. 4, 1836 40
Thales Dean, Washtenaw Co., Mich., Jan. 11, 1836 35.54
Jas. E. Chrispell,* Washtenaw Co., Mich., Jan. 25, 1836 40
Solomon Lewis * Wayne Co., Mich., April 6, 1836 160
William Winter, Genesee Co., N.Y., May 3, 1836 80
Anson Pettibone, Genesee Co., N.Y., May 4, 1836 229.24


David Curtiss,* Oakland Co., Mich., March 17, 1836 40
Joseph Tireman, Wayne Co., Mich., May 9, 1836 160


Louisa Wakeman,* Oakland Co., Mich., March 29, 1836 160
Austin Wakeman,* Oakland Co., Mich., March 29, 1836 40
Isaac De Graff, Cayuga Co., N.Y., May 36, 1836 160
Charles Colton,* of this county, May 30, 1836 40
George Babcock, Livingston Co., N.Y., June 6, 1836 80
William Dawson,* Oakland Co., Mich., Dec. 19, 1834 80
Robert Dawson,* Oakland Co., Mich., April 6, 1836 80
Willard, Daniels, Oakland Co., Mich., April 21, 1836 40
John J. Blackmer, Monroe Co., N.Y., April 27, 1836 160

     From this list it will be seen that the first entries were generally made by actual settlers, and that the great rush of the speculators to obtain land in Tyrone did not occur until the summer of 1836. George Dibble, March 18th, George Cornell, October 31st, and William Dawson, December 19th were the only purchasers in 1834, and they all made settlement--Cornell in the fall of that year, and the others in the following spring. In 1835 fifteen persons made purchases, and thirteen of these became residents of the town, and were real pioneers. These were William H. Berry, in February; Joseph M. Becker, Isaac Cornell, Henry A. Cornell, in March; James Love, in July; John A.  Wells, in September; Jefferson H. Downer, in October; Isaac Ayres, Robert Ayres, David Austin, Eli Conklin, Elisha Lamed, in November; and Jacob Chrispell, in December. In 1836 there were one hundred and thirty-one entries, including most of the available land, and bringing a flood of settlers. In 1837 there were five entries; in 1838, five; in 1839, six; in 1846, '47, '49, one each; in 1850, four; in 1852, one; in 1853, six; in 1854, seven; in 1855, two; and in 1860, one. There is now in the town a small remnant of government land,--which, like the Irishman's farm, is mostly under water,--40 acres on section 9, 80 acres on section 7, and 200 acres on section 6.

     The first white resident of, the town was George Cornell, who has passed forty-five years of his life within its limits, and still remains a citizen of the town with whose history his name is so intimately connected. The family of Cornell, from whom he and his brothers, who afterwards settled here, were descended, was of English origin, and first settled in this county in the State of Rhode Island. A succeeding generation located in the town of White Creek, in Washington Co., N.Y., from whence their descendants removed to Chautauqua County, and settled in the town of Ripley. The three brothers, George, Isaac, and Henry A., came to Michigan in September, 1834, in search of a place in which to settle. In their wanderings, in company with a brother-in-law, Joseph M. Becker, they came to the timbered openings of Tyrone, and were all well pleased with their looks. They, however, returned without entering any of the land, Isaac and Henry A. going back to New York, while George and Becker stopped at the latter's home in Highland, Oakland Co. In October, George Cornell and Joseph M. Becker again visited the town, and each made a selection of an eighty-acre lot. George went to Detroit, and entered his land on the last day of that month, while Becket did not make his entry until the following spring. After his return from Detroit, George and Mr. Becker came and put up a rude log shanty on his place, and this furnished him a home through the winter while he was cutting rails and preparing some of his land for the plow, he paying occasional visits to his brother-in-law's house in Highland, and bringing back each time a goodly supply of provisions.

     Though Mr. Cornell was at this time the only white resident of the town (unless, as some assert was the case, George Dibble was then living here), he was not the only resident. On section 34 was a marsh of considerable extent, on which each year was produced a heavy growth of rank grass, which, though quite unfit for feeding to horses, yet furnished a kind of hay that cattle could live upon through the long cold winters, when the snow covered the earth and prevented them from grazing. Near Orchard lake, in Milford, Oakland Co.,
(cont. on 393) 392a.

Image of
Hon. John Kenyon

Image of
Mrs. John Kenyon


     Among the truly representative men of the town of Tyrone, few, if any, have been more intimately associated with its material development than Judge Kenyon. He not only witnessed the transition of a thin settlement into a highly prosperous agricultural section, but in his own person typifies so admirably the agencies that wrought many of those changes, that no history of Livingston County would be complete without some sketch of his life, labors, and character.

     Mr. Kenyon was born in the town of Queensbury, Washington Co., N.Y., July 28, 1806. He was the son of John and Mary Kenyon, who were the parents of a family of ten children,--five sons and five daughters. Mr. Kenyon, the elder, was a member of the Society of Friends, and a strict observer of the tenets of his religious faith, the precepts of which he only taught his children. No doubt this instruction exerted a marked influence over their future lives, and to it, in a large measure, their enviable positions in business and society may be attributed. When John was a child the family removed to the town of Scipio, Cayuga Co., N.Y., where be resided until his emigration to Tyrone in 1840. His early life, like that of most successful men, was one not only of close application, but of self-reliance and self-denial. His father being a farmer, John's work on the farm in summer was alternated by the usual term at the district school in winter. When twenty-three years of age he married Miss Julia Purdy, of the town of Sempronius. She was born in Pittstown, Rensselaer Co., N.Y., July 9, 1807. Five children were born to them, namely: Cordelia, Isaac O., Frank P., Rachel, and Mary S.      He early resolved to follow farming as a life vocation, believing it of all the trades and professions to be the most conducive to health and happiness. That he was eminently successful in his chosen calling his finely cultivated fields and commodious buildings attest. His farm which he purchased on coming into the county was then entirely new, as was the larger part of the town at that time. Here he resided until his death, which occurred in 1874.

     Mr. Kenyon figured quite conspicuously in State and county politics. In 1849 he was elected to the representative branch of the Legislature, serving on the important committee of "State affairs." In 1854 he was elected to the State Senate. For nine years he represented Tyrone upon the Board of Supervisors, in which body he was fully appreciated for his sound judgment and sage counsels. Honesty and a laudable ambition to succeed were prominent traits in the character of Judge Kenyon; in fact, they were the essential means of his success. He evinced excellent judgment in all his transactions, and sterling honesty was the basis of his operations. This is high testimony, and while to those who were not acquainted with him it may seem peculiarly the language of eulogy, it will be readily recognized by his friends as a plain, uncolored statement of the strong points of his character.

     Mr. Kenyon never enjoyed the advantages of a liberal education, but being naturally intelligent, and endowed with a large amount of common sense, industry, perseverance, and ambition, he succeeded in building a reputation as wide-spread as it was enviable; indeed, it may be truly said that his entire career was one worthy the emulation of the young, and a fitting example for all men to follow.

     393. was a Mormon settlement, and they had quite a large lot of cattle to provide for. So in the fall of 1833 they sent a drove of cattle to this locality in charge of two brothers named Teeple, and their families. They built a small log house near the north line of the section, and lived there during that winter, returning to Orchard Lake in the spring, leaving the house empty through the following summer. This house, which was the first dwelling erected in Tyrone, was about 14 by 20 feet in size, and covered with a trough roof. Soon after Mr. Cornell began to live in his shanty, a colored man by the name of William H. Berry came from Shiawassee County with his wife and two children, aged about six and ten years respectively, and moved into this vacant house, where they lived until the following spring, when they removed into a house they had hired Harrison Coburn to build for them, on a farm of 40 acres in the southeast corner of section 28, which they had purchased of the government in February.

     In the spring of 1835 the little settlement was augmented by the arrival of the families of Joseph M. Becker, William Dawson, and Henry A. Cornell, and another settlement was started in the north part of the town by George Dibble and Daniel D. Runyan. Later in the season Isaac Cornell and James Love were added to the number. From that time on the settlements were rapidly multiplied, and in a few years extended to all parts of the town. We have not the space necessary to give a detailed sketch of all these settlers who took up new farms, and with axe and plow, and a liberal use of time and muscle, brought them into a productive state, neither have we been able to secure the facts indispensable to such an undertaking. We are able, therefore, to give but a brief history of a few of the pioneers of this town, taking them as near as may be in the order of their settlement.

     George Cornell was, at the time of his settlement here, a single man and lived with his brother Henry A. until, in 1836, he married Eliza Williams, of Hartland, and set up household gods of his own. He is still living in Tyrone, having removed in 1867 from the old homestead to his present fine farm on section 32. He has reared a family, and established them in homes of their own, and has lived the life of an honest, upright, just and generous Christian citizen, in a manner to win the confidence, respect, and love of all who know him. He has been prominently connected with the Methodist Church in this vicinity, and has done much to advance its interests in the community.

     Henry A. Cornell was for many years a respected and honored resident of Tyrone, holding the offices of constable, assessor, supervisor, and treasurer at different times, and died in the winter of 1848, while serving his seventh term and sixth consecutive term in the last-named position. He left a wife and two sons, all of whom still survive him, his widow and son, Alonzo, residing in Tyrone, and the other son living in Ohio.

     Isaac Cornell, the oldest of the three brothers, came from Chautauqua County in the spring of 1835, in company with Henry A., traveling with their own conveyances. The snow was very light, and as the "breaking up" was not yet at hand the wheeling was very good. They arrived on the l0th day of March, and Henry A, moved into his brother George's shanty, while Isaac left his family at Highland till he had built a house on the farm he purchased of the government on the 20th of that month. He then moved on to his place near the northeast corner of section 32, arid is still occupying the place. He is a recognized leader among the Seventh-Day Adventists of this region, and a man of exemplary character.

      The exact time of George Dibble's settlement is not known, but it was either in the fall of 1834 or spring of 1835. He remained here about ten years and then moved to Shiawassee, where he is still living.

     Joseph M. Becker, with his wife (formerly Eliza Cornell) and one child, came from Ripley, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., to Michigan in the fall of 1833, and settled in the town of Highland, in Oakland County. They lived there until the spring of 1835, and then moved to their home in this town on section 28, where they arrived about the 17th of April. He built a house on the south end of his lot, about forty rods west of the quarter-post. He was a shoemaker by trade, and his services were in great demand among the settlers, who were glad to exchange work with him, and were not always careful to exact an equal amount of time. He was the first supervisor of the town, and was re-elected at the expiration of his first term. In 1862 he removed to Fenton, and a couple of years later returned to Tyrone. In 1867 he again moved to Fenton, where he still resides. But two of his children are now living, and they are both residents of this town, Peter on the homestead and Wallace on section 26.

     William H. Berry was a man of a very roving disposition, and did not long remain in this town. He made frequent flittings from one point to another, and finally brought up in Pontiac, where he became permanently located, through the intervening hand of death. The place on which he settled is now owned and occupied by Peter Russell.

     William Dawson was a native of Cambridge,
394. Washington Co., N.Y., and came from Scipio, Cayuga Co., N.Y., to troy, Oakland Co., Mich., in the-fall of 1831, and made his home with his brother-in-law, Elias Daniels. While living there he formed the acquaintance of Miss Henrietta Perkins, a native of the town of Locke, Cayuga Co., N.Y., who came to Michigan with her brother, Benjamin L. Perkins, from Springwater, Livingston Co., N.Y., and hired out to work for Mr. Daniels. Thrown together in constant companionship, their mutual liking grew into the more ardent passion of love, and on the 26th of February, 1837, they were united in the bonds of matrimony, and went to live on a farm they hired to work on shares. In the fall of 1834, Mr. Dawson came to the town of Highland, where Michael Beach was living, and got him to accompany him in a search for land. They struck out to the westward, and in this town found a piece of land that seemed to possess all the natural advantages desirable, it having some timber and some opening, a stream to furnish water,and a marsh to furnish hay, and getting a description of it, they returned home, Mr. Dawson continuing on to Detroit, where he entered the land on the 19th day of December. Another advantage of the land thus selected was that on it was situated the cabin built by the Mormons, which would furnish shelter while the work of clearing and breaking up was going on. The colored family of Berrys had been living there about two weeks at the time of Dawson and Beach's visit. On the 20th of April, 1835, the Dawson family, consisting of father, mother, and two children,--a daughter of two years and a son a few months old,--reached their new home, and moved in with the Berrys, who were not ready to move out because of the unfinished condition of their house. So for a period of about two weeks the two families occupied the same habitation. In the spring of that year Mr. Dawson planted an acre of corn, a few potatoes, and sowed a small piece of buckwheat. He also raised a few roots to feed his stock, which at that time consisted of one cow, one yearling, and a yoke of oxen. Following the usual course of the settlers in developing his farm, Mr. Dawson continued to reside in Tyrone until the fall of 1856, when he removed to Rockford, Floyd County, Ia., where he lived five years, and then went to Dubuque. From the latter place he returned to Tyrone in 1864, and purchased the farm on section 13, where he now resides. Mr. Dawson had five sons who enlisted in the Union army during the Rebellion ,--a fact upon which a well-founded pride is felt by the members of the family. Frederick enlisted in the regulars in 1862, and served in the campaign of that year against the Indians in Minnesota and Iowa. After a service of five years he was mustered out, and now lives in Savannah, Andrew Co., Mo. Pliny B. enlisted in the 3d Iowa Infantry in June, 1861, was mustered out on account of ill health in 1862, and is now living in this town. Alphonso D. enlisted in the 12th United States Infantry, was stationed at Fort Hamilton, New York, and afterwards served in the Army of the Potomac. At the battle of Yellow House, in August, 1864, he was taken prisoner and sent to Andersonville to endure the inhuman tortures there inflicted upon helpless, unarmed prisoners until he was exchanged in March, 1865. He died March 31, 1865, from the effects of the inhuman treatment he had received at the hands of his captors. William E. enlisted in February, 1864, in the 7th Iowa Infantry, and served in the Department of the West. In the campaign around Atlanta, on the 4th of August, 1864, he was wounded so badly as to necessitate the amputation of his left arm below the elbow. He was mustered out in January following, and is now living in Rush Co., Kan. Arnold W. also enlisted, but the regiment being more than full, his company was disbanded, and before it was reorganized as a battery of artillery he was sent home sick. He is now living in Rockford, la.

     James Love was formerly from Chili, Monroe Co., N.Y., but came to this town from Whitmore Lake, Washtenaw Co., in July, 1835, settling on the northeast corner of section 33, about twenty rods south of the school-house, which has always been known as "The Love School-house.'' He was a pensioner of the war of 18 12, and lived here a number of years. After his death the family became scattered, and none of his immediate descendants are now living here.

     Daniel D. Runyan settled on section 3 in the spring of 1836, building his log house near the southwest corner of the section. By some accident or disease he had become crippled, and had but a very imperfect use of his limbs, and to eke out the scanty living he was able to get by his farming operations he opened his shanty as a tavern, and dispensed liquors there with more pecuniary profit to himself than moral gain to his customers. Runyan's tavern became quite noted throughout the region, and, report says, was frequently the scene of almost brutal drunken orgies, which gave it it rather unsavory reputation among the more moral and respectable classes of the community. Runyan kept the inn until his death, which occurred about 1848-50, and it was then continued by his widow, who was said, in a bad sense of the phrase, to have been the best man of the two, and was known as "Aunt Kate's." She survived her husband about ten years, and then
395. died in this town. One son is still living, and resides in Troy, Oakland Co.

     Jacob Chrispell and his son, James E., with their respective families, settled in the southwest part of the town in 1836. The former was a millwright, and worked at his trade and at carpenter work a good deal. He died several years ago. The latter is still living on his original homestead.

     Eli Conklin was the first blacksmith in the town. He came in 1836, and built a house and shop on the north line of section 28, about forty rods west of the quarter-post. Here he worked at his trade, shoeing horses and oxen, sharpening plowshares, repairing broken implements, and doing the thousand and one jobs that always gravitate towards the blacksmith-shop, and enlivened the hours of labor, which sometimes reached well into the night, with story and song. Mr. Conklin remained in Tyrone till about the year 1851, when he removed to the neighboring town of Rose, in Oakland County, where he resided until his death, which occurred Sept. 26, 1876.

     Clark Dibble settled first in Fenton, where he built the first saw-mill in the vicinity, and from there came to Tyrone in 1836, and settled on section 4, about eighty rods west of Runyan's tavern, on the Shiawassee road. He at once opened a public-house for the entertainment of travelers, of whom many were daily passing along the Shiawassee road, which was a thoroughfare for emigrants and speculators going to the Grand River region. He was a man of good business tact and ability, but of a very generous, liberal - nature, which prevented his accumulating wealth. He was one of the first justices of the peace of the town, and was re-elected in 1840. His death occurred in June, 1842, and resulted from an accident. In company with Lauren Riggs he visited the woods to cut some timber suitable to be made into cradle-fingers, and while pursuing their way they scared up a woodchuck, which sought refuge in a hollow oak-tree growing on a side-hill. They proceeded to fell the tree, and in falling it split oft a large splinter, which flew and struck Mr. Dibble with such force as to fell him to the ground. The body of the tree also rolled over him, crushing him badly. His companion with much difficulty succeeded in freeing him from the tree, and procured assistance to get him to his home; but his injuries, which were mostly internal, proved fatal, and he died from them a day or two after the accident occurred.

     One of the most prominent families of the town has been the Cranston family, the first members of which came to Tyrone in 1837. Caleb Cranston, the father of all the others who settled here, was a grandson of John Cranston, who was one of the early Governors of the State of Rhode Island. His father, Samuel, was a soldier of the Revolution, and in 1793 emigrated with his family to Delaware Co., N.Y. In 1829, at the age of forty years, Caleb moved to Wayne Co., N.Y., and lived there till he came to Michigan. His children were nine in number, and were named Eli D., David E., Sarah J., Gilbert D., Palmer B., Herman I., Betsey, Orrin, and Martin. Orrin died in New York, and all the others came to this town in the following order: Eli D., Gilbert D., and Herman I., in 1837; Palmer B., in 1838; and Caleb, with Betsey and Martin, in 1839. David E. was the last one to remove here, and did not come till about 1844. All of the children were married, either before coming here or afterwards. Eli D. and Gilbert D. married sisters,--Elizabeth and Louise Chase; Sarah J. and Betsey married brothers,--Joseph and William Corey, and settled in this town; David E. first married Mary E. Davis, and his second wife was Miss Ann E. Smalling; Herman I. married Adaline Guptill; Palmer B.. married Emeline Love; and Martin married Abby Chapin. Of these children none are now living in Tyrone, all of them having died or removed. Caleb, was an ardent Methodist, and a man of irreproachable character. He died, June 30, 1872, at the ripe age of eighty-three years, and was thus spoken of in his obituary notice: "He was a man of strict honesty, kind to all, and a keen sympathizer with those in suffering. A true, generous citizen and devoted Christian, whose. traits of character made him respected and beloved by all who knew him." He was twice married, his first wife, Abby Davis, dying in New York, and his second wife, Mary Thayer, dying in this town, Sept. 18, 1866, at the age of eighty years.

     Charles Colton, of Cayuga Co., N.Y., an uncle of William Dawson, settled in this town in October, 1837, and resided here till his death, about fifteen years ago.

      Isaac Morton was a native of the Green Mountain State, and came from Williston, Chittenden Co., Vt., to this State in the early fall of 1831. In company with his brother-in-law, William Tyler, he traveled by team to Burlington; from thence to Whitehall, by steamer, on Lake Champlain; then by the Champlain and Erie Canals to Buffalo, where they again embarked on a steamer which landed them in Detroit, where they once more started their teams and reached their destination in the town of Saline, Washtenaw Co., in the month of September. He lived there a little more than six years, and then, in December, 1837, moved to his place in the west part of section 7,


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