Traverse City Michigan

Grand Traverse County

There are in the county of Grand Traverse now thirteen organized townships, as follows: Acme, Blair, East Bay, Fife Lake, Garfield, Grant, Green Lake, Long Lake, Mayfield, Paradise, Peninsula, Union and Whitewater. As has already been mentioned, when Grand Traverse county was organized what is now the present county was embraced in two organized townships: Peninsula, which embraced all of the peninsula lying between the east and west arms of Grand Traverse bay, and Traverse, which took in, besides other territory, all of the rest of the present county. As the county settled up other townships were organized until the township of Traverse became reduced so as to embrace only the following described territory: All of fractional sectons 1, 2 and 3; the cast half of fractional section 4 and the southeast fractional quarter of the northwest fractional quarter of section 4; the east half of fractional section 9; all of fractional sections 10, 11 and 12, all in township 27 north, of range 11 west; also lot 1 and lot 2 in section 6 in township 27 north of range 10 west. By act of the legislature approved May 18, 1895, all of this territory was organized into the city of Traverse City, thus wiping out the organized township of Traverse entirely.
(Sprague's history of Grand Traverse and Leelanaw counties, Michigan edited and compiled by Elvin L. Sprague and Mrs. George N. Smith 1903)

Village of Traverse City
Part 1
The Traverse Region - H. R. Page & Co., 1884 Chapter 9

The village of Traverse City, in the year 1884, is the county seat of Grand Traverse County, and an incorporated village of 8,000 or more inhabitants. The village is located at the head of the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay, and is the largest town on the bay. It is one of the oldest towns in this section of the state, having almost entirely lost the backwoods appearance that is characteristic of new towns generally. The location of Traverse City is one of rare beauty and healthfulness. To the north as far as the eye can reach, is Grand Traverse Bay. The shores of this bay are heavily fringed with luxuriant evergreens which are reflected in the clear, bright waters with a witchery that is charming to behold. The village is a well-built, clean and handsome town, and is noted for the public spirit of its citizens.

The early history of this point has been so faithfully sketched by Dr. M. L. Leach, that we quote parts of it from the Herald, in which it was published, as follows: "Not far south of the shore of Grand Traverse Bay, at the head of its western arm; lies Boardman Lake, a sheet of water a square mile or more in extent. From its northwestern angle issues the Boardman River, which flows for some distance in a northwesterly direction, then turns sharply round toward the east, and after running along nearly parallel with the hay shore, enters the hay at a point nearly opposite that at which it issues from the lake. Its course from the lake to the bay is not unlike the letter V, with its sharp angle turned toward the west. The site of Traverse City lies between the lake and the hay, extending some distance to the south and west, and includes within its limits that part of the river already described.

"All accounts agree in the statement that, before the so-called improvements of civilization had marred the adornments of nature, this was a most beautiful spot. The waters of Boardman Lake were clear as crystal. The river, without driftwood or the unsightly obstructions of fallen trees, ran with a swift current through an open forest of pines, which occupied all the space between the lake and the bay. There was no underbrush nor herbage‚€”only a brown carpet of dead pine leaves upon the ground. So open and park-like was the forest that one could ride through it in all directions on horseback at a rapid pace.

"On the right bank of the river, a few rods below its exit from the lake, just where the land slopes gently down to the water, there was a little open space covered with grass, where the Indians sometimes landed from their canoes. On the higher land above were some Indian graves, of no great age, each with a stake at the head and foot. Not far away were other graves, of a circular, mound-like form, the work, probably, of a more ancient people. On the northeastern shore of the lake were a few bark wigwams, where the women and children of some Indian families usually passed the winter, while the men were absent on their annual hunt. With these exceptions, there was no mark to indicate that the foot of man had ever trod these solitudes, or that his voice had ever been heard above the rippling music of the river or the singing of the north wind in the tops of the pine trees.

"However, it was not the beauty of the place, nor its attractive solitudes, so near to nature's heart, but no promised advantages for gain, that brought the first adventurous settler here.

"In 1847, Capt. Boardman, a thrifty farmer living near Naperville, IL, purchased of the United States government a small tract of land at the mouth of the river, and furnished means to his son, Horace Boardman, to build a saw-mill. The latter, with two or three men in his employ, arrived at the river in the early part of June of that year, and immediately commenced the construction of a dwelling. The place selected was on the right bank of the stream, a little below where it issues from Boardman Lake, but a few steps from the grass plat and canoe landing above alluded to. The exact location of the building was in what is now East Street, between the center of the street and its southern boundary, just east of the eastern boundary of Boardman Avenue. It was a house of modest pretensions as to size, being only sixteen feet by twenty- four, and one story high. The material for the walls was pine logs hewn square with the broad-ax. In after years it was known to the inhabitants of the village as the old block-house. It was eventually destroyed by fire.

"On the 20th of June, a week or more after Mr. Boardman's arrival, the Lady of the Lake, owned by him and sailed by Michael Gay, one of his employees, arrived in the mouth of the river with supplies. There came with Gay a man by the name of Dunham, who, having been in the bay on a previous occasion, acted as pilot.

" After assisting for a few days in the building of the house, Gay was dispatched with the little vessel to the Manitoil Islands, to bring on a party of employees, who, it had been arranged, should come as far as the islands by steamer. Returning, the Lady entered the river on the 5th of July. There came in her as passengers Mr. Gay's young wife, then only about fifteen or sixteen years of age, and her four months old baby, Mr. and Mrs. Duncan, a hired girl named Ann Van Amburg, and several carpenters.

"Only the walls of the house had as yet been erected. The building was without roof, floors, doors, or windows. A sort of lean-to, or open shed, with a floor of hewn planks, had been built for a temporary kitchen, against one side of the house, in which a cook stove had been set up. A tent was now constructed of some spare sails, inside the unfinished building, for the accommodation of the two married couples and the girl. The single men shifted for themselves as best they could. The company lived in this manner during the remainder of the summer. The house was not finished till the sawmill was so far completed as to saw lumber with which to finish it.

"It had been Mr. Boardman's intention to throw a dam across the Boardman river, at some point not far below the lake, and build a saw-mill on that stream. The convenience of residing near the mill had been the main consideration that determined the location of the block-house. After a more thorough exploration of the country, however, and an estimate of the probable difficulties in the way of building, he was led to modify his plan. Mill Creek, a small stream that has its sources in the hills to the south and west of the bay, and enters the Boardman at the western angle of its bend, seemed to offer facilities for cheaply building a small mill, that should answer present purposes. He therefore determined to build on that stream, with the intention of erecting afterward a larger and more permanent structure on the Boardman. By that plan he would have the advantage of the smaller mill for making boards, planks, and timbers for the larger, thus avoiding the difficulty of obtaining from a distance the lumber it would be necessary to have before a large mill could be put in a condition for service. There was no place nearer than Manistee where lumber could be obtained, and the Lady of the Lake was too small and too unsafe to be relied on for bringing any large quantity such a distance. It was not easy, at that time, to induce vessel masters to enter the bay, which to them Was an unexplored sea.

"Immediately after the arrival of the carpenters, all hands were set to work upon the mill. The Lady of the Lake made a trip to Manistee after plank for the flume. When the frame was ready, all the white men at Old Mission and several Indians came to help raise it. It took three days to get it up. It was finally got into a condition to be set running about the first of October. Then some of the first boards made were used to complete the block-house, which up to that time had remained unfinished.

"It was a long walk from the house to the mill. The path from one to the other ran along the southwestern bank of the Boardman. For convenience of reaching it from the house, a foot bridge of poles was thrown across the river at the canoe landing. This slight structure was afterward replaced by a broader and firmer bridge, on which wagons could cross.

"In after years the saw-mill was remodeled and put to a variety of uses. At the present time it is still standing, but is unoccupied. It is known among the inhabitants of the village as the old planing-mill. All vestiges of the bridge have long since disappeared. The remains of the foundations of the block-house may still be seen.

"The mill having been completed, and there no longer being suitable employment for the mechanics who had been engaged upon it, it became necessary to provide for their conveyance home. It was arranged that Mr. Boardman should take them in the Lady of the Lake to the Mauitous, where they could get passage on one of the steamers that were in the habit of touching there. He would then freight his vessel with supplies, which he expected to find waiting there, and return.

"It was about the l1th of October that the Lady of the Lake sailed on this her last voyage.

"In the summer of 1848 a small wharf was commenced at the shore of the bay, and a tram-way built for the purpose of transporting lumber to it from the mill. The next winter a beginning was made toward getting out timber for the construction of the contemplated large mill on the river. Mr. Boardman from time to time varied his business by getting out shingle bolts, and hemlock bark for tanning purposes, for the Chicago market. He cleared three or four acres of land, and was successful in the cultivation of garden vegetables.

The summer of 1849 was marked by several incidents that added interest to the life of the settlement. A man of the name of Freeman came, and got out a considerable quantity of hemlock bark for shipment, employing Indians to perform most of the labor. The bark, of course, was stripped from trees growing upon government land. There was no one in this remote region whose interest it was, or who considered it his duty, to prevent spoliations of the public property.

The government had found it necessary to order a re-survey of the lands in the vicinity of the bay. For same time the surveyors camps were pitched in the vicinity, the settlement being for them a sort of headquarters and base of supplies.

In the employ of Risdon, one of the surveyors, was Henry Rutherford, afterward well known in the settlement, having his wife with him. Word was brought to the women at the mill, one evening, that there was a woman in Risdon's camp. The announcement was sufficient to produce a flutter of excitement. Mrs. Duncan had visited the ladies at Old Mission, but Mrs. Gay, since her arrival at the river, had not seen the face of a civilized person of her own sex, except the two who had come with her. Setting out alone the next morning, she found her way to the surveyors camp, and spent the forenoon with Mrs. Rutherford, remaining to dinner in response to a cordial invitation from the latter. The cloth was spread on the ground, where there was a bit of clean grass, outside the tent, the company sitting round it in oriental fashion. The viands consisted of pork and potatoes, fried, with huckleberries for dessert. The next day Mrs. Rutherford returned the visit, dining with Mrs. Gay. Mrs. Rutherford was partly of Indian descent, nevertheless she was regarded as an important acquisition to the society of the colony.


In the month of May, 1850, three enterprising young men, in the city of Chicago, entered into partnership, under the firm name of Hannah, Lay & Co., for the purpose of carrying on the lumber trade. The names of the partners were Perry Hannah, Albert Tracy Lay, and James Morgan. The firm opened business on the corner of Jackson and Canal Streets, buying their stock by the cargo, in the harbor.

Early in 1851 they conceived the project of having, somewhere, a saw-mill of their own for making lumber, thus saving to themselves the profit they were now paying to the manufacturer. Falling in with a man of the name of Curtis, one of the mechanics who had built Mr. Boardman's mill, they obtained from him their first knowledge of the country on Grand Traverse Bay. In the meantime the price of lumber had gone down to a very low figure. Captain Boardman found that his mill, as managed by his son, was not profitable. Concluding that it would be wise to dispose of the property, he proposed to sell it to the new firm.

In the spring, Mr. Hannah, accompanied by William Morgan and Captain Boardman, took passage in the little schooner Venus, bound for the bay, for the purpose of viewing the property. The Venus was commanded by Captain Peter Nelson, a Dane by birth, afterward well known in the Grand Traverse country, for many years keeper of the light-house near Northport and now a resident of that village.

The voyage was tempestuous. After riding out a gale of three days duration on Lake Michigan, they finally entered the bay and made Old Mission harbor in pleasant weather.

The scene before them, as the vessel rounded to in the harbor, appeared to the tempest-tossed voyagers the loveliest ever beheld by mortal eves. The sun was just sinking behind the western hills, the whitewashed houses of the Indian village gleaming brightly in his patting rays, while the tops of the forest trees seemed bathed in a floating mist of gold. On the bank sat a picturesque group of Indian men, enjoying the fragrant fumes of the pipe. The women were seen engaged in the feminine avocations pertaining to their simple mode of life. The shouting of a company of children in gleeful play, mingled with the sound of tinkling bells from a herd of ponies feeding on the hill-side beyond, made music in harmony with the quiet beauty of the scene. The restless spirit of the white man had not yet brought discontent to these simple children of the forest‚€”the baleful effects of the destroying fire-water were yet comparatively unknown.

After remaining two hours at Old Mission, the Venus set sail for her destination, the head of the west arm of the bay. The night was beautiful, with a glorious moon shining brightly in the heavens. When a mile out, with the vessel's prow turned toward the north, and a gentle breeze from the south filling her sails. Captain Nelson, who had been worn out with labor and watching during the gale, gave directions to the man at the helm, wrapped himself in a blanket, and lay down on the quarter deck to get a little rest. Fatigued as he was, he seemed to have scarcely more than touched the deck, when a loud snoring indicated that he was in a sound sleep. The instructions given to the man at the helm were to hold a north course till well down past the point of the peninsula, and then call the captain, before tacking to the west. The kind-hearted sailor, knowing how hard a time the captain had, and desiring to give him all possible opportunity to rest, could see no reason why he should not guide the vessel round the point, as there was but little wind and all looked clear. As he brought her round, at a sufficient distance beyond the point, as he supposed, sailing not more than a mile an hour, the sudden thumping of her bottom on the rocks alarmed all hands and brought the captain quickly to his feet. Then such a chiding as the poor sailor received for his disobedience of orders, is seldom heard in any dialect of the Scandinavian tongue. The vessel lay quiet, but was stuck fast. Sounding revealed the curious fact that her keel rested on a sunken rock, with not less than twenty feet of water all round. On making further soundings from the boat, which was got out for the purpose, it was found that the rock on which she rested was situated in a pool of clear, deep water, surrounded by rocks on all sides, and that the only way of escape was to draw her back, by means of the kedge anchor, through the narrow and shallow passage by which she had entered. Several hours of tedious labor were required to liberate her from her perilous position. The captain slept no more till his vessel was moored to the slab wharf, at the head of the bay.

The only opening in the forest visible to the party as they landed, was the narrow clearing which had been made for the tramrond. Following this, Capt. Boardman keeping well in advance, they soon arrived at the mill. The mill was not running. On entering the house, the hands were all found there, amusing themselves with the game of old sledge. After shaking hands all round. Capt. Boardman said to his son, Horace, how is they, that you are not running the mill?" The reply was, 'Father, it was a little rainy today, the boys outside couldn't work very well, and they wanted the men in the mill to make up the number for the game; so I concluded to shut down for a time, in order that they might have a little fun. This easy way of doing business did not suit the energetic old farmer, Capt. Boardman, who was now more fully convinced that the property had best be sold.

"After looking over the premises for a day, a party consisting of Mr. Hannah, Horace Boardman, Mr. Morgan, and a man named Whitcher, with packs of blankets and provisions, set out to explore the country and examine the timber along the Boardman River. At the end of a week, Mr. Hannah estimated that they had seen at least a hundred million feet of pine on government land open to sale. This was a sufficient inducement to the firm to accept Capt. Boardman's proposition to sell them his entire interest in the property, consisting of a saw-mill, the cheap buildings that had been erected, and about two hundred acres of land, on which the village plat was afterward located, for $4,500.

"The first work done by the new owners, was to construct a tram-road from the bend of the Boardman to the mill, so that logs floated down the stream could be hauled out at the bend, and transported over land to the mill, whence the lumber, as formerly, could be run down to the slab wharf for shipment.

The next task performed, which proved to be one of no small magnitude, was the clearing of the river, so that logs could be floated down from the immense tracts of pine on the upper waters. It was not merely here and there a fallen tree that bad to be removed. In some places the stream was so completely covered and hidden with a mass of fallen trees, and the vegetation which had taken root and was flourishing on their decaying trunks, that no water could be seen. Ten long miles of the channel had to be cleared before the first pine was reached. With an energy and a steadfastness of purpose that ever after marked the transactions of the firm, the work was pushed on till logs could down the stream.

The saw-mill had only a single muley saw. Finding from a few months' experience that it was too small and too slow for their purposes, Hannah, Lay & Co. determined to construct a new one, to be run by steam power. A site was selected - at the narrow tongue of land lying between the lower part of the river and the bay, where, on one hand, logs could be floated in the stream directly to the mill, and, on the other, the lumber could be loaded on vessels by being conveyed only a short distance on trucks. The project was executed in 1852, and the next year the mill went into successful operation. This mill is now known as the Company's old saw-mill.

"About the first work done in the steam mill was to saw up the pine timber on the tract of land now occupied by the village. It was cut into bridge timber, for the Illinois Central Railroad Company, who used it for constructing a bridge over the Illinois River, at La Salle.

In those days, the lumber was all carried across the lake in sail craft. The first vessel that carried for the firm, and brought in the boilers of the steam mill, was the Maria Hilliard. No lake surveys bad been made in the region of Grand Traverse Bay, and the masters of vessels were guided more by guess than by charts. Amusing anecdotes are told of their experiences, one of which we repeat. The Richmond, one very dark night, was beating up the bay against a light head wind. On attempting to tack, for some unaccountable reason she would not come in stays, and, as she seemed to be fast, the captain was forced reluctantly to let her remain. When daylight revealed the situation, what was his surprise to find his vessel lying close to a bold, wooded shore with her bowsprit entangled among the trees.

When the pine in the immediate vicinity of the mill had been worked up, Hannah, Lay & Co. commenced the system of lumbering common on the streams of northern Michigan, which they have successfully pursued up to the present time, giving employment, both summer and winter, to a large number of men.

In 1852, a fourth partner, Mr. William Morgan, who had accompanied Mr. Hannah on his prospecting tour, was received into the firm of Hannah, Lay & Co. Afterward, in 1859, Mr. Smith Barnes, a former resident of Port Huron, was admitted to partnership in the mercantile department, but without any connection with the lumber trade.

Mr. Francis Hannah, a brother of the member of the firm, came to the bay in the fall of 1851, with a view to becoming a partner. After spending the winter in the settlement, he concluded that the financial advantages of a connection with the firm would not be sufficient compensation for the seclusion of a life in the wilderness, and finally declined the proffered partnership. While there, he had charge of the business of the firm.

After Francis Hannah retired from the employ of the firm, Mr. Lay and Mr. Hannah for several years took turns in the management of the business at the bay and in Chicago, Mr. Lay remaining at the former place during the summer, and Mr. Hannah in Chicago, the two changing places for the winter. Finally, the oversight of their interests was permanently divided between them, Mr. Hannah residing constantly in Traverse City, and Mr. Lay in Chicago.

From the commencement of their business at the bay, they kept a small stock of goods for supplying the wants of persons in their employ. Their first store was kept in a log building, sixteen feet long and twelve wide, that stood by the side of the old Boardman boarding-house, near the water mill on Mill Creek. From that they removed to a small frame building erected for the purpose on the north side of the river, just east of what is now the corner of Bay and Union streets. In order to make room for a larger structure, as business increased, the building was afterward moved to the north side of Bay Street, opposite the Bay House, and was for many years used as a tin shop. A lady who went shopping to this building in 1858, described the stock as consisting of a few pieces of calico and just dry goods enough to supply the little community.

After the erection of the steam saw-mill, it was found convenient to have some place near it, where those employees of the firm who were without families could be accommodated with board and lodging. Accordingly a boarding-house was commenced in the spring of 1854, and by the last of August was so far advanced as to be habitable. The original building, with its subsequent additions, occupied a site on the south side of Bay Street, a short distance west of the corner of Bay and Union Streets, and, at the time of the present writing, is kept as a hotel by William Fowle, and known as the Bay House.

A saw-mill in the depths of a wilderness previously unbroken, built only with a view to the profit arising from the manufacture of lumber where land and timber were cheap, has often turned out to be the nucleus around which thriving settlements have grown up. In the case before us, the modest enterprise undertaken by Capt. Boardman and his son, and afterward greatly enlarged and energetically pushed by Hannah, Lay & Co., proved to be the laying of the foundation for a populous and thrifty community.


The names of all who came to the new settlement in an early day, have not been preserved. Some remained only a short time, and then returned to the places whence they came, or wandered to other parts; others identified themselves with the interests of the community and became permanent citizens.

At the setting in of winter, in 1851, the following families are known to have been in the settlement: Michael Jay's, John Lake's, Henry Rutherford's, Benjamin Austin's, T. H. Hillery's, William Voice's, Seth Norris', Robert Potts', a family named Barnes, a German family whose name has been forgotten, and an old couple of the name of Lowery. The following names of unmarried persons, resident at that time, have been preserved: Henrietta Baxter, who afterward became Mrs. J. K. Gunton, Catherine Carmichael, sister to Mrs. Hillery and afterward wife of H. D. Campbell, Dominic Dunn, William Ronnie, Caller Germaine, Douglas Carmichael, brother to Mrs. Hillery and Catherine, James K. Gunton and Richard Meagher. Francis Hannah was also there having charge of the business of Hannah, Lay & Co., D. C. Curtis, foreman in the employ of the firm, Thomas Cutler, who had come out as an engineer, to take charge of the steam saw-mill about to be built, and John B. Spencer, who was getting out saw-logs for the mill and timber for building a dock, and who soon afterward removed to Elk Rapids. Thomas Cutler's family arrived the following year. There arrived also in 1852, John Garland and two men of the name of Evans, with families, and unmarried, Henry D. Campbell, Thomas A. Hitchcock, R. McLellan, and Hugh McGinnis. Dr. Charles Holton and wife came either in the spring of 1852 or the fall previous. Dr. D. C. Goodale. with his family, arrived in April, 1859.

Many of the persons named came for the purpose of entering the employ of Hannah, Lay & Co., and most of them were, at one time or another, engaged in some capacity in the service of the firm. Mr. Voice, who had been in the country before, contemplated, in connection with his partner, Luther Scoheld, the building of a saw-mill at East Bay, a project which was soon after carried into successful execution.

The population of the settlement was yet small. They were surrounded and shut in by an almost impenetrable wilderness. But few improvements not demanded by the immediate exigencies of the lumber trade, had been attempted. Only one public road that from the head of the bay to Old Mission‚€”had been opened.

This road had been made in fulfillment of an agreement between the inhabitants of the two places, entered into, probably, at Boardman's saw-mill. The people at Old Mission were pleased to have a mill so conveniently near, and all could see that connection of the settlements by means of a passable road would be a public Advantage. The inhabitants of each settlement, by voluntary contributions of labor, built the half of the road nearest them selves.

The society of the settlement was peculiar. Most of the married people were young. The unmarried men were intelligent, moral, and well disposed, but bent on having their full share of sport. As not unfrequently happens in border settlements, where the male population at apt to greatly outnumber that of the gentler sex, their recreations sometimes assumed a somewhat mischievous character.

On New Year's night, in the winter of 1851 and '52,'the boys' determined to amuse themselves by waking up, in a startling manner, the more sedate citizens. Secretly collecting all the firearms, they found they could muster thirteen guns. With these they went round to several of the houses firing volleys under the windows, to the utter consternation of the more timid inmates, who, living in constant fear of a hostile visit from the Mormons, thought their dreaded enemy was upon them.

Card-playing and the habits of negligence and idleness to which it leads, had been among the causes that made Mr. Board- man's enterprise unsuccessful. In the boarding-house of Hannah, Lay A Co. it was strictly prohibited. Some of the young men, however, were not to be so easily deprived of a favorite pastime. At Austin's they found a convenient rendezvous, where card-playing and general hilarity, though the latter was sometimes a little boisterous, were not considered out of order. Michael Gay could play the fiddle, after a fashion. Usually as often as once in two weeks his services were put in requisition, the ladies, married and single were invited, and music and dancing, neither of them, perhaps, of the most polished kind, served to while away an evening.

The first marriage in which the ceremony was performed within the limits of the settlement, was that of James Lee and Ann Oak in, which took place probably in 1853. William McKellip, a justice of the peace, officiated.

The first white child born at Traverse City, was Josephine Gay, daughter of Michael Gay, afterward Mrs. Neil Morrison. The date of her birth was May 15, 1849."


Traverse City was laid out in the year 1852. At that time so thick were the woods where the village has since been built, that Mr. Lay was once lost in attempting to go from the boarding-house, near the old water mill, to the new steam mill; and Dr. Goodale, two or three years later, was lost in going from the store to a house at the foot of Boardman Lake.

The year 1858, as will be seen from what follows, was a formative period in the history of the settlement. Religious and educational influences were set in operation; the village doctor arrived, a post-office was established, and the forces of civilization were thus set in motion.

In the winter of 1852 and '53, a young man was accidentally killed at the camp on the Boardman. Early in the following summer, another young man was taken sick at the boarding-house. He was kindly cared for, under the supervision of Mr. Lay, and attended by young Dr. Holion, who, though employed in the store of Hannah, Lay & Co., gave his attention when called on, to the few cases of sickness occurring in the settlement. Comfortable quarters were provided for the sick man in the old Boardman boarding-house, at Mill Creek, where, after lingering for a few days he passed away. A little later in the season, a vessel came into the harbor, having on board a family, in destitute circumstances, of the name of Churchill. Mrs. Churchill was taken ashore dangerously sick, and though everything that kindness could suggest was done by the women as nurses and Dr. Goodale as physician, she lived only a few days. The three early victims of death were buried on the sandy plain, not far from the margin of the bay. A thriving village has extended its streets and buildings above their forgotten graves, all traces of which have long since disappeared.

At the burial of the unfortunate young man accidentally killed, there was no funeral service. At the burial of the one who died of disease, religions services were conducted by Rev. H. C. Scofield, a young Baptist minister, who was residing for a time at East Bay, in charge of the business in which his brother, Mr. Luther Scofield, was a partner. At the funeral of Mrs. Churchill, Mr. Lay read the Episcopal burial service at the grave. There is a tradition, not well authenticated, that Mr. Whitcher, who was early in the employ of Mr. Boardman, sometimes conducted religious services for the men, but the funeral of the young man at the old boarding-house, is the curliest occasion, so far as we have reliable proof, on which such services were ever had in Traverse City.

The several deaths occurring so near together, produced, perhaps, a feeling of solemnity in the community, and a desire on the part of some at least for regular religious services. Mr. Scofield consented to preach. An appointment was made for a certain Sunday, at the log house which had been fitted up for a schoolhouse. Mrs. Goodale, who took an active interest in the matter, went round and gave notice to the people.

To some of the residents a religions meeting was a novelty. The children who attended went to it with something of the feeling of expectant curiosity with which they would have visited a traveling show. An amusing incident, preserved in memory by some who were present, illustrates this fact. While Mr. Scofield was offering an earnest prayer, two boys watched him very attentively. As he pronounced the amen, one of them, with a comical look, gave his companion a punch, and said, so loud that all in the house could hear, "There, didn't I tell you amen would be the last word he would say?"


One evening in the early summer of 1858, a few persons, gathered about a tea table, were discussing current events. The central theme of their conversation was the isolated situation of the little community, as particularly illustrated in the burial services that had recently been conducted. The conversation naturally led to the inquiry: Can anything be done to improve this isolated social position? Mr. Lay laughingly suggested to Mrs. Goodale that she should attempt to revolutionize the morals of the youth by establishing a Sabbath-school. She retorted that she would, if he, or any one else would assist her. The tea-table repartee be- came earnest project. Mr. Scofield offered his assistance, and notice was given that there would be a Sabbath-school on Sunday, at the school-house, which all were invited to attend. The schoolhouse was the old log house, which stood near the present site of the Occidental Hotel. It had been furnished and teachers hired by Hannah, Lay A Co., for the benefit of all the children of the place. Accordingly, on Sabbath morning the children and teachers met at the school-house.

There were three teachers, A. T. Lay, L. Scofield, and Mrs. D. C. Goodale, and six or eight children. These latter were eager and curious and their inquisitiveness seriously interfered with their teachers' duties. Imagine them asking such questions as, "Where is the Sabbath school? I don't see it." What shall I do now, Mrs. Goodale?" etc., etc., mingled with an occasional oath, as one happened to lose patience, and one can easily imagine that the scene, with all its interest, would be indelibly impressed on the teachers' memories. The second Sabbath, teachers met at the appointed time, but no children came. At length, Mrs. Goodale, perhaps having a correct suspicion of the cause of their absence, proposed that her companions should wait, while she should go out and look for them. She found them not far off, picking and eating huckleberries, their hands and faces all stained with the purple juice, in which condition she managed to gather them into the school-house. On questioning the children as to what the parents knew concerning their doings, it came out that the latter had all gone out for a boat ride.

Mr. Lay and Mrs. Goodale concluded that if they were only entertaining the children for the benefit of the parents' pastimes, they might better go home and attend to their own affairs. So began and so ended the first Sunday-school in Traverse City. Mr. Lay still enjoys telling his experience as a Sabbath-school teacher. Five years passed with no further attempt to establish a school. In the summer of 1858, Rev. D. R. Latham, Methodist minister, came to the place, and the school commenced anew. There was, by this time a new school-house, and great interest was manifested by all. Almost every one gave liberally to the school and church. The Indies bought lamps for lighting the house, and the large Bible, existing still, we think, in the village school, was also purchased for the Sunday-school; and a clean house and guarded Bible gave evidence Unit respect was had in the hearts of all for the house of God and his holy day.

Mr. A. T. Lay's mother presented the school with its first library, numbering about eighty volumes. The teachers of the new school were Miss Belle Hannah, Mrs. I. C. Goodale, and Mrs. Jacob Karnes, with some others whose names arc forgotten. Miss Hannah had charge of the school, and it numbered some forty-five scholars. For four or five years Christmas gatherings were held in the school-house, with Christmas trees for the children, and appropriate exercises, all adding to the interest of the school. Many children from the Bohemian settlement joined the school, thereby incurring the severe displeasure of the Catholic priest. Sunday- school papers were introduced into the school in the summer of 1858 by the teachers.

In the winter of I860 Elvin L. Sprague was appointed superintendent, and the same year an addition was made to the library of about 100 volumes, the money being raised by subscription. The first Sunday school concert was held during the summer of 1865. A very interesting address was delivered by Mr. A. B. Dunlap, in connection with the exercises by the children, which consisted in repeating texts of scripture on the subject of heaven. That concert will always be considered by those who attended it, as one of the best we have ever had.

In the spring of 1865 Mr. Sprague left the school, and it was without any definite leader for a time; being part of the time conducted by Mr. H. R. Hulbird, and in his absence by Miss M. K. Cram. In the summer of 1865, about seventy-five volumes were added to the library, part of the money being raised by Rev. Mr. Crumb, and part donated by the Mass. Sunday-school Publishing Society. On the first of October, 1865, Mr. D. C. Leach was appointed superintendent. Penny collections were also commenced this month. The school from this time seemed to keep on in the even tenor of its way, with no days of discouragement, but many of bright promise, until in September, 1867, church services were suspended in the school-house, upon the completion of the Methodist church edifice, and the school was removed there.

On the 12th of January, 1868, the school met as usual in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Fifteen years before, the union school was organized. Ten years before, it had been reorganized, and had continued with little or no intermission until that 12th day of January, 1868. The question was: Shall we continue as we are? or shall we divide the school with the two churches? Fears were entertained that two schools could not be sustained. All objections were overruled however, and the school adjourned never more to meet as during all the years past. The following Sabbath schools were organized in both the Congregational and Methodist churches. Each church had purchased seventy-five dollars worth of books for their library. The utmost harmony prevailed at these first meetings, and the number present at each school was fully equal to the attendance at the old school. The foregoing sketch is mainly from the pen of Mr. Thos. T. Bates, editor of the Hannah The first physician in the village was a Dr. Babcock, and it is said that he found business so poor that he was obliged to stand on the street, where the mill hands on quitting work would pass him, and advise them that they were bilious and must have medicine or they would be sick.

The first regular physician to engage in practice here was Dr. David C. Goodale, who with his family arrived in April, 1853, and was the first postmaster in the village. -Dr. Goodale was born in Waybridge, Vt., Nov. 10, 1809. In June, 1835, he graduated in the medical college at Castleton, which at that time stood in the front rank of tho medical schools of the country. Soon after graduating, he married Miss Charlotte Isabella Cheney, and commenced practice in Pan ton. He was for many years secretary of the Addison County Medical Society, and took an honorable place in the ranks of the profession. Dining the political campaign of 1839-40, he published the Green Mountain Argus. He came west in the fall of 1852. On removing to the Grand Traverse country, he determined to give up practice, but the needs of the settlement induced him to reconsider his determination. Formany years he was the only physician in the vicinity of Traverse City. His death occurred Nov. 13, 1878.


In 1858 the Traverse City postoffice was established, and Dr. D. C. Goodale, who arrived in April of that year, was appointed postmaster. He chose H. D. Campbell as assistant. The receipts of the office for that year aggregated the sum of three dollars, which was expended in the purchase of an office stamp.

Up to 1853, the postoffice at Old Mission was the only one in a vast region of country around the bay. In the winter of 1852 and '53, Mr. Lay, while in Washington, was successful in his effort to get one established in the new settlement. The name of the one at Old Mission was Grand Traverse. The new settlement at the head of the bay was beginning to be known as Grand Traverse City. When Mr. Lay proposed the latter name for the new post- office, the clerk with whom he was transacting the business suggested that "Grand" be dropped, and it be called simply Traverse City, as the name would have less resemblance to that of the office at Old Mission, to which Mr. Lay acceded. Thus originated the name subsequently given to a thriving village.

The mail was carried once a week, coming to Traverse City from Manistee. Mr. Lay was the first contractor, his compensation being $100 per year. At first it was carried by an Indian, called Old Joe, in a pack upon his shoulders. Before the expiration of Mr. Lay's contract, however, the quantity of mail matter had so increased that a horse had to be employed. Hugh McGinnis was then engaged as carrier who cut out a trail as far as Herring Creek, the first move in road-making between Traverse City and the lake shore.

Previous to the establishment of the postoffice at Traverse City, whenever any one had occasion to visit Old Mission, he was expected to bring, on his return, whatever mail matter was found waiting in the postoffice there. Ann Dukin, a woman employed in the hoarding-house, had relatives at that place, whom she frequently visited. Being strong of frame and a pedestrian of great endurance, she thought nothing of walking to Old Mission at the end of a week's labor, returning in time to enter promptly upon the duties of the following week. On these visits to her friends, she was accustomed to carry a satchel slung over her shoulder, in which she brought back the mail for the settlement.

Dr. Goodale continued to hold the office till after Lincoln's election to the presidency, when, in the course of events incident to a change of administration, he was removed, and H. D. Campbell appointed his successor. Mr. Campbell took the office in July, 1861, and removed it to "Bagdad," as the cluster of shanties on the bay shore was called. The reason for removing the location of the office was that a suitable place could not be procured in that part of the village located on the county site. In July, 1862, Mr. Campbell was succeeded "by Charles H. Marsh. Mr. Marsh was succeeded by H. P. Barker, and in May, 1869, S. C. Fuller was appointed to the office. July 1, 1878, it was made a presidential office. Dec. 18, 1881, Mr. Fuller s commission expired, and failing health compelled him to resign. He was succeeded by Thus. T. Bates. In the summer of 1882 the postoffice building was remodeled to better accommodate the increasing demands of the business. Early in 1884 Mr. Bates resigned the office and M. E. Haskell was appointed hie successor. Mr. Haskell had been deputy postmaster about eleven years.


Rev. S. Steele, who arrived at Traverse City in October, 1859, bus described some features of the place at that time, and the first Christmas festivities, as follows:

The objective point of our journey was ultimately reached, although the most vivid imagination could not have associated the place with the name it had assumed. The city part was wholly prospective, and to our limited view too far distant ever to be realized. Three or four frame buildings only greeted our welcome sight, besides a store and a saw-mill, with their usual assignments of small shanties for workmen and their families. A postoffice, a printing office, and also a United States land office had been established. Yet what was numerically lacking to make a city was supplied in the integrity, value and intelligence of its citizens which I had not included in my estimate of its future. Indeed, it has to me always been a problem how so many choice families without any previous plan of action should as if by accident meet in the same place as the organic founders of a city. It strikingly illustrates the fact that quality more than quantity is the most important factor in moral, social, and even in commercial life.

Upon reporting ourselves as having come among them to remain, Mr. Hannah, not without some inconvenience to himself, provided us with a shanty, consisting of two rooms, where we spent one of the most pleasant winters of our itinerant life. There were then in Traverse City society no elements of discord. Competition in business, denominational rivalry, or claims to social superiority, are of more modern introduction. We met each other in social circles, joined in the same forms of worship, singing the same hymns, and uniting in the same petitions. The first Christmas formally observed in Traverse City was in the year 1869. For real pleasure and enjoyment, we doubt whether it has ever been surpassed, if indeed equaled, by any gathering since upon similar occasions. Each seemed to vie with the other in the presentations of their highest testimonials of mutual love and regard. Mr. H. D. Campbell, then a sprightly youth, and Miss Adsit played the role of 1 Grandparents. Little Miss Marcella Steele was their 1 Granddaughter, and Dr. Goodale, deceased, was the acting * Santa Claus.' The writer of this sketch was surprised with the presentation of a live turkey festooned and trimmed for the occasion, and a purse of gold containing $ 107.50, besides other less valuable presents. Not only was Traverse City society fully represented at this festival gathering, but the whole of the Grand Traverse Region, Elk Rapids, Whitewater and Northport in the person of Borne of their citizens. Many who then gave pleasure to our society have passed beyond the festive scenes of earth. Among them we recall the names of Gov. Bates, Dr. Goodale, Mr. Grant and others, yet none with more mournful pleasure than that of Mrs. H. Noble, of Elk Rapids. She seemed to us almost a perfect model of true womanhood, possessing refined, ladylike intelligence combined with earnest Christian zeal to make all happy within the circle of her extensive influence."


Dr. Goodale, recently from Vermont, whose arrival at Traverse City in tho spring of 1853 has already been noticed, had come to keep the boarding-house of Hannah, Lay & Co. It was a part of the contract between the doctor and the firm that his eldest daughter, Helen, then in the fifteenth year of her age. Her compensation was to be a dollar a week and board, and the firm promised that if the people failed to pay the full amount, they would make up the deficiency.

As yet there had been no legal organization of a school district. There was no vacant house suitable for the accommodation of a school. The best that could be done was to put in order an abandoned and dilapidated log building, which had been constructed by Mr. Spencer and used by him for a stable, while; getting out logs and timber, in the winter of 1851 and 1852. It stood in a wild locality, some distance from the main part of the settlement, in what is now the eastern part of the village. The exact location is Lot 8, of Block 12, on the south side of Front Street, a short distance east of Boardman Avenue. Under the supervision of Mr. Lay, who manifested much personal interest in the enterprise, the house was repaired, and furnished with such appliances as circumstances would admit of, at the expense of the firm. The door was in the west side. There was a small window near the door, and another at the east side of the room. A stove stood in the middle. The teacher s desk was near the west window. A blackboard hung against the wall. The desks were neatly made, but not painted. The floor was loose and open, and on one occasion teacher and girls suddenly gathered their skirts closely about them and sprang upon the seats for safety, as a snake, with threatening looks but harmless intent was seen leisurely coming up through one of the chinks. The books were such as the pupils happened to have. Reading, spelling, writing, arithmetic, and geography were taught, in the old-fashioned way.

While teaching, Miss Helen lived with her father s family, in the boarding-house, the expense of her board being defrayed by the patrons of the school, or assumed by Hannah, Lay k Co., according to the contract. It was something of a walk to the schoolhouse. On the direct route, there was no bridge over the river,, except the timbers of the boom, near the saw-mill, which served as a narrow foot-bridge, not very safe or pleasant for a timid woman to cross, but we are told that the men in the mill, with respectful gallantry, were always on the alert to lead the schoolma'am over. "The following list comprises the names of the pupils who attended this first school: George, John, Thomas and Elizabeth Cutler; Almond and Ellen Rutherford; Augusta, Clarissa and Lucius Smith; Elizabeth Whitney; an adopted son of the Mrs. Churchill who had recently been buried; Albert Norris. The next summer, the school was increased by the addition of James, William, John and Richard Garland; Melissa, Emma and Anna Bice, and a girl whose name has been forgotten. Elizabeth Cutler was the youngest pupil; Albert Norris was the oldest being about a year older than the teacher.

After the close of her first term of school, in the fall, Miss Helen went to Chicago, where she spent the winter in study. Returning the following spring, she was again employed to teach in the log schoolhouse, at an advance of fifty cents per week on the former wages.

At this point, we take leave of Miss Helen Goodale, the first schoolma'am of Traverse City, with the statement that she afterward became Mrs. T. A. Hitchcock, and, respected by a large circle of acquaintances, has lived to see her humble school-house swept away by the onward march of improvement, and a populous and thriving town occupying the locality of the scene of her youthful labors.

During Miss Goodale's absence in Chicago, in the winter of 1853 and '54, Miss Helen Gamon, an experienced teacher, who was visiting her sister, Mrs. Holton, taught the school. It was kept that winter in the old Boardman hoarding-house, it being more easily reached by the children than the log school-house, when the snows were deep."

May 11, 1854, the school inspectors of the town of Traverse formed School District No. 1, out of the following described territory: Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, in Township 27 north, of Range 11 west, and Sections 7 and 8, of Township 27 north, of Range 10 west.

The first meeting of the district was held at the store of Hannah, Lay & Co., May 17, 1854, and the following officers chosen: Moderator, Alvin A. Smith: director, David C. Goodale, assessor, Thomas Cutler.

The next meeting was held in September, 1854, at the same place as the previous one, at which David C. Goodale was chosen moderator; Thomas Cutler, director, and James Gunton, assessor. In the winter of 1854 and '55, the teacher was Farwell Campbell, the old boarding-house being again occupied by the school. At the meeting held in September, 1856, the board voted to raise $200 for the purpose of building a school-house.

It does not appear who was the teacher in the summer of 1855. The following winter the school was taught by a Mr. Enos, in a building which, at the time; of the present writing, constitutes a part of the hotel known as the Front Street House. In the winter of 1856 and '57, the school was kept in a new district school-house, which had been built, Theron Bostwick being the teacher.

The new school-house cost $250, and stood on the present west comer of Park Place. This building was afterward moved off and is now used for a primary school.

In 1869 another building was erected near the first one, at a cost of $1,200, and those two answered the purposes of the district until the union school-house was built in 1877. The cost of this building including furniture was about $7,000.

In 1861 there were 122 school children, and the number in attendance was forty-eight.

In the summer of 1861 the school was taught by Miss Belle Hannah, sister of Hon. Perry Hannah. Late in July that year, three boys were drowned while bathing in the bay at the mouth of Boardman River. Two were sons of Michael Green, and the other was Segwick Stevens. A striking incident in connection with this melancholy accident is mentioned by Mr. Hannah. Mr. Green, father of two of the boys bad recently been injured in the mill of Hannah, Lay & Co., and was taken to Chicago, and placed in a hospital for treatment. Mr. Lay, who lived in Chicago, looked after the wants of the injured man. The day of the drowning Mr. Green, who was then stricken with death, insisted that his attendant should send to Mr. Lay's office, and inquire if there was any news from his family in Traverse City, saying that he knew something had happened, and that two of his children were lying dead in the house. Soon afterward Mr. Hannah arrived in Chicago by boat and was met by Mr. Lay, whose first question was concerning Mr. Green's family, and was told of the drowning of two of Mr. Green's children. They went directly to the hospital, but before their arrival Green had passed away.

In 1868 H. P. Blake took charge of the school, with an average attendance of thirty-five. The fall term of 1866 began with thirteen pupils. In the winter of 1867-'68, there were 180 pupils enrolled, and three teachers. In the summer of 1868 Mr. Blake left, having taught five terms. The average attendance at this time was ninety-seven.

In the winter of 1868-'69, Professor Young had charge of the schools. There were 175 names on the register, and an average attendance of 120 The census of 1868 showed 270 school children in the district.

In the summer of 1869 Albert Saylor was principal.

In the fall of 1873, 212 pupils were enrolled, and in 1883, 626.

Mr. Saylor was succeeded by Mr. Saxton and he by Mr. Nixon.

In 1872 Mr. L. Roberts came from Benzie County, and was principal of the schools until 1880, when he was succeeded by S. G. Burkhead, who retires in 1884.

There are in 1884 seven school buildings and twelve teachers, besides a principal. The school census of 1883 gave the number of school children in the district at 868. The school board is composed of C. T. Kneehind, director, K. P. Wilhelm, assessor, Perry Hannah, moderator, Geo. K. Steele and E. L. Sprague.


Whoever compossess a complete file of this paper would have a more complete history of local affairs in all their details, than can he published in any volume. The Herald was the first newspaper published in northwestern Michigan, and was the pioneer agency in the development of all the forces that have made this region what it is today. Its history is valuable, as showing what is possible in pioneer journalism. The founder of the Herald did not establish his enterprise in an inviting field, but he equipped it with the moral and intellectual energy to compel success. The paper was fortunate in its founder and in its subsequent proprietors. Its intellectual and moral standard has never wavered and its business management has been such as to preserve its financial reputation from any reproach. The following historical sketch is made in part from a sketch published in the Herald January 1, 1880.

"The first number of the Grand Traverse Herald was issued Nov. 3, 1858, the late Hon. Morgan Bates, editor and proprietor. It was started as a four column folio on a sheet 18x26 in size, column seventeen pica wide. The office was established in a small building on the bay road on the lot now occupied by C. Germaine's residence. The facsimile we issue with today's paper will give a good idea of the appearance of the initial numbers.

May 17, 1867, on the occasion of the second enlargement of the paper, Mr. Bates said editorially: The first number of the Herald was issued on the 3d day of November, 1858, without a subscriber, and with only one-fourth of a column of local advertisements. The undertaking looked more like a madcap freak than a sensible business enterprise. The county was then Democratic, and all the county officers, and the register and receiver of the United States land office (which had just been established here) were bitterly hostile to us. The only word of encouragement that we received was from Hon. Perry Hannah, who welcomed our advent kindly, and who has proved a firm and steadfast friend.

"The Herald met with marked success from the start. From the first week of its issue it has never failed to pay all its employees in full each Saturday night, and every payment for stock and material has been cash on receipt of bill.

"In 1861 a new office was built on the corner now occupied by the Herald, and here the paper was published until 1868, when it was moved by its then proprietor, Mr. Leach, to the corner of Front Street and Park Place. There it remained until June, 1879, when it found more commodious quarters in the enlarged building at its old stamping ground, corner of Front and Cass Streets.

"The first enlargement was made May 25, 1866, when the columns were increased two picas in width and two inches in length. May 17, 1867, a second enlargement was made, and the paper then appeared as a six-column folio, 24x86 in size. May 1, 1868, a third enlargement was found necessary, and the Herald appeared as a Seven-column paper, 26x40. March 4, 1869, a change was made to eight columns, but the paper remained the same size. January 1, 1880, the fourth enlargement was made, and the Herald was given to its readers as a nine-column paper, size 28x44.

"Morgan Bates continued to publish and edit the paper until the close of the ninth volume, Dec. 20, 1867, when the office was purchased by Hon. D. C. Leach, who remained as editor and publisher until May 11, 1876. Mr. Leach then sold to Thomas T. Bates, the present publisher, and removed to Springfield, Missouri." In the first number of the Herald Mr. Bates stated his political creed in these words:

"In politics we admit no such word as neutrality. We hate slavery in all its forms and conditions, and have no fellowship or compromise with it. We entertain no respect for any party or any religion which sanctions or supports it, we care not from what source they derive their authority; and regard the politician, minister or layman who advocates its extension and perpetuity as an enemy to the human race and false to the God we worship.

Entertaining these views on what we regard the great political issue of the day, we shall support with zeal and firmness, to the best of our ability, the Republican organization, so long as that party shall be true to the principles which now govern it. Are we clearly understood?

The Herald fought slavery until slavery was dead. It upheld the Union cause in its darkest days, always uncompromising, staunch and true.

As a business enterprise the Herald has been a pronounced success from the beginning. It started without a single name on its subscription books, and without local advertising, because there was nothing to advertise, and no one to read an advertisement if inserted. Its founder, with clear vision, saw a bright future for Grand Traverse, and he had not long to wait to see his predictions verified. Hannah, Lay & Co. began advertising Nov. 18, 1858, in the third number issued. It was a "till forbid" ad. of two inches. From that day to the present the firm have been liberal advertisers. As the country opened up and settlers came in the subscription list increased until but few weekly papers in the country have a larger number of subscribers. The office is superbly equipped with all the modem facilities for printing, and the paper is now issued in the form of an eight-column quarto, well filled with reading matter.


Hon. Morgan Bates, founder of the Grand Traverse Herald, died at his residence in Traverse City, March 2,1874, at the age of sixty-eight years. We quote from an obituary sketch published in the Herald, as follows: "Mr. Bates, who was a twin brother of the late Rev. Merritt Bates, was born near Glens Falls, N. Y., July 12, 1806. When the brothers were only seven years old their mother died, and at that tender age they were thrown upon their own resources.

"Soon after the death of his mother the subject of this sketch went to Sandy Hill, N. Y., and became an apprentice to the printing business. The proprietor of the office in which he learned his trade was Hon. A. Emmons, father of Hon. H. H. Emmons, one of the judges of the United States District Court, and now, and for along time past, a well-known and honored citizen of Michigan.

We do not know how long a time Mr. Bates spent at Sandy Hill. We know, however, that after leaving that place he worked as a journeyman printer in Albany, New York and other places.

In 1826, being then only twenty years old, he engaged in his first newspaper enterprise, starting a paper at Warren, Pa., called the Warren. While publishing the Gazette Horace Greeley worked for Mr. Bates as a journeyman printer. At that time began a friendship which lasted to the close of Mr. Greeley's life.

We are not able to say precisely how long he published the Gazette, but we find that in 1828 he took possession of the Chautauqua Republic, a paper published at Jamestown, N. Y. While residing at Jamestown he married Miss Janet Cook, of Argyle, in the same state.

"After publishing the Republican some two years he removed to New York City, and was employed in one of the large printing offices of the metropolis. Not long after reaching the city ho worked for Greeley as foreman, as Greeley had worked for him at Warren. While thus employed in Greeley's office he planned the typographical form of the New Yorker which Greeley, or Greeley & McElrath, soon after established. We have a distinct recollection of the New Yorker as it appeared to our youthful eyes. We thought it a very neat and wonderfully wise paper. It was quite popular in its day.

"In 1886 Mr. Bates came to Detroit, then in the far west and was employed as foreman in the office of the Detroit Advertizer. In 1889 he and George Dawson, now of the Albany Journal, bought the Advertizer and Mr. Bates continued to run it until 1844. Mr. Dawson transferred his interest to Mr. Bates some years previous to 1844.

"The Whig party, whose policy Mr. Bates very earnestly and ably advocated, was defeated at the presidential election that year and the prospect for a Whig newspaper being anything but flattering, he sold the Advertizer, and, it seems, retired from the publishing business.

"In 1849 Mr. Bates joined the army of gold seekers and went to California. Of course, at that time, he went by way of Cape Horn. After an absence of two years he returned by way of the Isthmus. But again, in 1852, taking his wife with him, he sought the land of gold.

"Mrs. Bates' health failing, she returned in 1855 to her friends in Argyle and died on the 19th of July of that year. Mr. Bates remained a year longer in California. During his second sojourn in that state he was for a year or more the sole owner and publisher of the Etta California, daily and weekly. It was at that time, we think, the only daily west of the Rocky Mountains.

Returning in 1857 he accepted a position in the auditor general's office at Lansing, which he held until he removed to Traverse City. Hon. Whitney Jones, of Lansing, an old-time acquaintance and friend of Mr. Bates, was then auditor general.

While residing at Lansing, Mr. Bates married Clymene C. Cole, who died in 1874. In 1858, Mr. Bates resolved to try the newspaper business again, and this time selected about as new and wild a region as ever a printer ventured to try his fortunes in. Traverse City, the point selected for establishing his new paper, was an insignificant village‚€”if it could be called a village at all at least 150 miles from any railroad, thirty miles from any regular steamboat route, and a hundred or more miles from even a backwoods stage route.

His history, while editor of the Journal, is contained in the sketch of that paper. He was a man of positive opinions, and a clear and able writer. He was one of the most successful of journalists, a man of earnest sympathies, intense convictions, and of plain and vigorous speech.

Mr. Bates was for eight years treasurer of Grand Traverse County, and always discharged the duties of the office in a manner entirely satisfactory to the people. When he left the office it was by his own choice, declining re-nomination.

When Mr. Lincoln entered the presidential office, he appointed Mr. Bates register of the United States land office at Traverse City. When President Johnson "swung round the circle," Mr. Bates, in language whose vigor was much more noticeable than its politeness, gave the accidental occupant of that big office plainly to understand that neither himself nor his paper would swerve one iota from the principles of Republicanism. As a consequence, he was removed, and L. G. Wilcox appointed in his stead. Upon the election of President Grant, Mr. Bates was reappointed, and continued to hold the position till his death.

In 1808 Mr. Bates was elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, and re-elected in 1870. By virtue of that office he was president of the senate. His discharge of the duties of that position secured him the friendship and respect of the senators and all with whom he came in contact.

Before failing health made rest and relaxation necessary, Mr. Bates was a man of remarkable energy and industry. There was not a lazy muscle in his system. He was noted also for shrewdness and business tact. His financial success here is the best proof of this. When lie came to Traverse in 1858, he was worth, probably, about S 1,000. In fifteen years that thousand had multiplied more than an hundredfold.


Editor and proprietor of the Herald, is a son of the Rev. Merritt Bates, elsewhere mentioned in this work, and was born Dec. 13, 1811, at Keeseville, Essex County, N. Y. At sixteen years of age he began life as a clerk, and the year following entered a bank at Glens Falls, N. Y. The third year he occupied a position as bookkeeper in a large banking establishment in Memphis, Tenn. At the breaking out of the war of the rebellion, he came north, and in 1803 came to Grand Traverse with his parents. In 1804, he entered the establishment of Hannah, Lay & Co. as general cashier, resigning two years later to open a real estate office in connection with Hon. D. C. Leach, whose interest in the business he purchased in 1871. During the time that he was engaged in the real estate business, he made himself familiar with the lands in this region, and being deeply interested in the general prosperity of the country, took an active and prominent part in the settlement and development of this entire region. In 1870 he purchased the Grand Traverse Herald of Mr. Leach, and has been its editor and publisher since that time. Although that was the first of his making newspaper work an occupation, yet he had been more or less connected with the Herald since 1865, and was, therefore, entirely familiar with all its details. The Herald, under his management, shows that the mantle of Monren Bates has fallen upon shoulders worthy to wear it. In December, 1881, he was appointed postmaster at Traverse City, and resigned two years later on account of he increasing business of the Herald. He has been chairman of the Republican Township Committee since 1876, and was chairman of the county committee from 1876 to 1882, and has been a member of the State Central Committee for the last six years. In 1867, he married Martha E. Cram, daughter of Jesse Cram, an old resident of Grand Traverse County, and an early pioneer of Wayne and Genesee Counties.


The Eagle was the second newspaper published in the lower peninsula north of Big Rapids and Manistee. It was started at Elk Rapids, Antrim County, the last of March, 1864, by E. L. Sprague, the present editor and proprietor, under the name of the Elk Rapids Eagle. It first appeared as it very small folio sheet, the size being only fifteen by nineteen inches. At the end of the first year James Spencer became part owner and publisher, and the paper was enlarged to twenty by twenty-six inches. Jan. 1, 1806, the name was changed to Traverse Herald and the paper was enlarged to twenty-two by thirty-two inches. In the spring of 1866 a power press was purchased, the first in the Grand Traverse Region. In the fall of the same year, the paper was moved to Traverse City, and Lyman G. Wilcox was admitted as a partner, the firm being Sprague, Spencer & Wilcox. The paper was at this time enlarged to an eight-column folio. One year later Mr. Wilcox retired, Sprague and Spencer purchasing his interest.

At the same time a steam engine and boiler were purchased to drive the press. Previous to this, however, at the time Mr. Wilcox became a partner, a job press was added to the office, the first brought into this region. In 1872 Mr. Spencer's health failed, and the management of the office devolved entirely upon Mr. Sprague. The first of January, 1880, the paper was again enlarged to its present size‚€”a nine column folio. In July, 1882, Mr. Spencer sold his interest to Mr. Sprague, the original owner and publisher. Mr. Sprague has been connected with the paper since its establishment, and is now the oldest editor who has been continually in the business in this part of the State. In politics, the Eagle was Republican up to the time of the presidential campaign in which Greeley was a candidate, since which it has been Independent or Democratic.

Mr. Sprague was born in Gill, Mass., Dec. 22, 1830. In 1836, be removed with his parents to Washtenaw County, Mich., where they settled. He remained at home and in the vicinity until 1853, when he came to the Traverse Region, where he has since lived and borne an active part in its affairs. He first located at Elk Rapids, where he assisted in the erection of a grist-mill for the firm of Craw & Co. He worked in the mill after it was in operation until 1860, when he came to Traverse City, and was in the employ of Hannah, Lay & Co., as salesman in their store for three years. He then returned to Elk Rapids and started the Eagle as heretofore stated. From that time to the present he has been in the newspaper business. He was treasurer of Antrim County six years, and was prominently identified with the early history of that county. He was one of the early school teachers of Elk Rapids, having taught two terms in 1858 and 1850. In the fall of 1804 he married Sarah E. Spencer, of Elk Rapids. Their wedding tour embraced a trip to Traverse City, where the marriage ceremony was performed, and the return to Elk Rapids, which was their home until 1872, when they moved to Traverse City, which has since been their home. They have one daughter.


The Northwest Farmer, a sixteen page monthly, devoted to farming and rural affairs, was started in May, 1882, by D. C. Leach as publisher, and D. C. and M. L. Leach, editors. The Farmer is a valuable journal for farmers in the Traverse Region.


The first Methodist class in Traverse City was organized by Rev. D. R. Latham on the 11th day of April, 1858, consisting of William Fowle, Mrs. Goodale, and five others. The meetings were held in the district school-house, which had recently been built.

Mr. Latham's voluntary labors ended in the fall of 1858, at which time he was admitted to conference and appointed to the Elk Rapids circuit. He was succeeded at this point by Rev. W. W. Johnson. In the fall of 1859 Rev. S. Steele came, charged with the double relation of pastor and presiding elder.

A sketch of the Traverse City M. E. Church, written by Mrs. R. A. Campbell, a daughter of Mr. Steele, covers the ground so thoroughly that we quote from it as follows: "The Grand Traverse Herald of Oct. 21, 1859, says: "Rev. S. Steele, the presiding elder for Grand Traverse district, and minister in charge for Traverse City and the Mission, preached his first sermon here on Sunday last, and gave very general satisfaction. He has selected this as the place of his residence, instead of the Mission." The only place of shelter that could be found was one of the shanties in 'Slabtown' a new one, consisting of three rooms and a garret, afterwards named by Mrs. Hannah and known by the name of "Palace Shanty." The district then embraced all the territory in the lower peninsula between Mackinac on the north and Muskegon on the south, covering an area of nearly half the state. The towns which were then in their initial or embryo state, some of which have since obtained commercial importance, were Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Northport, Glen Arbor, Manistee, Pentwater, and White Lake (now Whitehall).

"During the year a class was formed, consisting of the pastor's wife and daughter, Mrs. A. R. Steele and Miss Eugenie Steele, Mrs. Dr. Goodale, Mrs. Smith and Baker. On tho evening of December 24, the people came out en masse to the school-house {which stood on the ground now occupied by the new part of Park Place) and enjoyed the festivities of a Christmas tree. The occasion was one of mirth and enjoyment long to be remembered by those present. Very interesting exercises were followed by the distribution of many valuable and pretty gifts. Young and old wore all remembered. A card in the Herald acknowledges for the pastor a purse of gold of $90, and other presents added making the sum $100.

The Herald of April 27th states: Rev. S. Steele left for Detroit on Wednesday. We shall have no stated preaching of the gospel until his return." During his absence the first prayer meeting (a ladies' meeting) was held in the school-house, Mrs. Steele taking charge of the meeting, quite a large representation of ladies being present, who assisted in singing. Two or three led in prayer, Mrs. Jacob Barns joining by reading a prayer from her prayer book. A Sabbath-school was also organized about this time, Mrs. Jacob Barns acting as superintendent. It was during the winter of 1860 that our Bro. Rev. J. W. Miller, (a young lawyer living at Pentwater), experienced religion and was given license to preach. After some urging and persuasion by the elder, Bro. Miller came to feel that it was his duty to go into active service for the Master; and accordingly in the spring took work under the elder at Whitewater, then only a school district in the woods, now known as Acme. Here he labored, preaching in private houses until fall, when he joined the conference and was stationed at Northport. During the summer an appointment was made for him to preach at Traverse City in the school-house, which with much reluctance he consented to fill. At the appointed hour the house was full, with Mr. Hannah, Gov. Bates and Hon. Jacob Barns among the listeners. This first discourse, to an audience of this size, or in any place but the homes of the people, was a severe trial to our brother, but the Lord was with him and blessed him. At the conference of 1860 the elder was relieved from any work but that of the district, and Bro. J. W. Robinson appointed at Traverse City. He arrived on Saturday, October 20, and commenced his work Sunday, October 21. I have no history of his labors, except that he was acceptable to the people and served them faithfully. Prayer meetings were held at his own house, and I believe our Bro. Dr. Leach, participated in the same. I find these items in the Herald: A card of thanks for a New Years' present amounting to $70 in cash, $5 in sundries, as well as $10 at Christmas. Also a recognition of the generosity of the lumbermen in the camps. Daring March he visited all the lumber camps, eight in number, which was followed by a contribution to him of $60 from the men.

"At the conference of 1861 Bro. William Rorke was appointed to this place. He came, a single man, and was landed by boat at the Manitou Islands, instead of Northport, they telling him it was but a short distance. He was obliged to pawn his watch for a man to bring him across in a boat, after a storm of Several days. He then walked from Leland, a distance of thirteen miles through the woods, without any supper, arriving at Northport about eleven at night, footsore and weary, obliged to call up the elder's people because he had no money to pay hotel bills.

"Conference of 1862, Bro. J. E. McAllister came to this work and remained one year, preaching alternately between here and Old Mission. I have neither reminiscence or knowledge of this year.

Conference of 1863, Bro. G. W. Sherman came to this charge remaining three years. Bro. Jeremy Boynton was appointed elder and resided at Manistee, Rev. Steele, his predecessor, going to Grand Rapids. The Herald of Feb. 15, 1865, furnishes a card of thanks from Bro. Sherman for a donation amounting in receipts to $141 and pledges to make $159, also an expression of thanks to Dr. Ash ton and lady, who kindly opened their house for the occasion.

"The Herald of June 9, makes this statement: Rev. G. W. Sherman is building a chapel in the western part of the village for the use of the M. E. Sabbath school. Bro. T. T. Bates informs me this was used for a mission school for several years, held in the afternoon. The Herald of July 6 says: 'Rev. J. Boynton, P. E., will deliver a sermon on "The Rise, Progress and Peculiarities of Methodism," Sunday evening, July 8. A collection will be taken at the close as a centenary offering.' Thus you see the centenary of Methodism was observed. Again the Herald of Oct. 5, 1866, furnishes us this item: 1 Rev. V. G. Boynton, P. E., and preacher in charge, has arrived and entered upon his work.' Why this return to filling this charge by the presiding elder, I cannot state but owing to the organization of another church, presume it was because of difficulty to support both. P. E., J. Boynton, had only served three years, but was obliged to give up active work because of loss of voice.

"Conference of 1867, Bro. V. G. Boynton was continued as elder, and Bro. G. C. Draper appointed pastor to this place. Through the efforts of Rev. G. W. Sherman the matter of the church building was first agitated and started. He gave liberally himself, more than he should, so in earnest was he that it should be builder. Dr. B. D. Ashton, perhaps more than any other one, had the burden and care of it while in process of building. Indeed but for his efforts, seconded and assisted by Gov. Bates and his brother, Rev. Merritt Bates, it probably would not have been pushed to completion after the material - was gathered. Through the faithfulness and zeal of a few, and kindly assistance of a good many, it was completed, without a spire, and finished in a very neat and tasteful manner, ready for dedication for the use of the M. E. Church. Although up to this date we have no record of organization, still we know a class existed, preachers were stationed, and services held regularly for some years. At this time Dr. B. D. Ashton, Merritt Bates, Morgan Bates and L. 8. Cram were made trustees, the Doctor serving continually in that capacity until the present date. He has occupied the same pew in church until now, and himself and family have been regular attendants of worship. I think this can be said of but one other family, that of Bro. L. S. Crain. Sunday, Oct. 13, 1867, very soon after Bro. Draper's arrival, at 10:30 o'clock was the time set apart for the dedicatory services. An extract from the Herald will state the result. The Methodist Church in this place, just completed, was dedicated last Sabbath by Rev. A. P. Mead, of Jackson. Mr. Mead had been three nights without sleep, and spent the whole of Saturday night in an open boat, on Grand Traverse Bay. Though greatly exhausted he did not shrink from the work he had undertaken. The dedication sermon was exceedingly able and eloquent, and made a deep impression on the large and attentive audience. It was replete with profound thought clear and lucid reasoning and beautifully illustrated. The delivery was excellent. Above all it was full of what the Methodist ministers of the last generation called unction. At the close of the sermon it was announced that the church had cost (exclusive of the spire not yet erected) $4,000, and that of this sum $700 was yet to be provided for. Mr. Mead proposed to raise this sum in a few minutes, and he succeeded. When it is considered that two churches have been erected in Traverse City the present season, that but little help had been obtained from abroad, and that the two have cost about $10,000, we think the result of Mr. Mead's efforts to raise $700 extraordinary, alike creditable to him and the good people of Traverse and vicinity. We tender to Mr. Mead and the congregation he so eloquently addressed our hearty thanks. It was almost cruel to ask Mr. Mead to preach in the evening. It has seldom fallen to our lot, however, to listen to a sermon we liked so well. Mr. Mead has secured himself an abiding place in the affections of Traverse City. -May blessings attend him.'

"I will state here that Mr. Hannah gave tho site for the church.

"Conference appointed for fall of 1868, J. W. Reed. Fall of 1869, W. Prouty, salary paid $512. Fall of 1870, Bro. M. B. Camburn, P. E.; W. Prouty returned, salary $492. In 1871 Bro. Camburn, P. E., died on his way home from conference. Bro. J. W. Miller was appointed to fill balance of term; James Roberts appointed pastor; salary paid, $890. 1872, Bro. J. Roberts returned; salary, $900. 1873, David Engle appointed pastor; salary paid, $600. 1874, H. Worthington, pastor; salary, $600. 1875, A. P. Moores, P. E.; H. Worthington returned; salary, $875. Falls of 1876-77-78, Bro. M. M. Callen, pastor; salary paid in 1876, $800; 1877, $925: 1878, $800. 1879, A. J. Eldred, P. E., W. H. Thompson, pastor; salary, $850. Falls of 1880-'81-'82, J. W. H. Carlisle, pastor; salary paid in 1880, $850: 1881, $850; 1882,( $900. Fall of 1883, Bro. E. H. Day, pastor, W. R. Stinchcomb, P. £. Salary during the last fourteen years, running from $492 to $900 per year, averaging $775 for that time. "The following have been superintendents in Sunday-school: T. T. Bates, E. J. Blinn, L. Avery, J. B. Haviland, W. A. Severson, M. M. Callen, M. Winne, W. H. Thompson, W. F. Griffin, W. W. Gorball, A. Jennings.

"Class leaders are as follows: H. L. Allen, L. A. Avery. John 8. Cook, J. C. Williams, of East Bay, W. F. Griffin, William Loudon, R. Caldwell, Hattie Griffin, Bro. Green, of East Bay, Dr. Stanton, En gene Campbell, Bro. Hall, George H. Cobb.

"Trustees: B. D. Allston, Morgan Bates, Merritt Bates, L. S. Grain, E. J. Blinn, T. T. Bates, J. B. Haviland, Thomas Johnson, W. F. Griffin, William Loudon, R. A. Campbell, S. G. Burkhead.


The First Congregational Church of Traverse City was organized Feb. 1, 1803. The congregation assembled at 10 a. m., and the opening sermon was preached by Rev. C. E. Bailey, of Benzonia, 28. At 2 p. m. the congregation again met for the completion of the church organization, and were addressed by Rev. George Thompson, on the design and membership of a church, after which the following named persons came forward and as to the articles of faith and covenant as read by Rev. C. E. Bailey, thus organizing themselves as a Congregational Church, viz: Rev. J. H. Crumb, Elvin L. Sprague, LeRoy C. Blood, Amos Hill, Mrs. Maria Grant, Mrs. J. H. Crumb, Mrs. Mary Sprague, Mrs. Fannie E. Blood, Mrs. Cecelia Hill, Mrs. Caroline McLoud. The consecrating prayer was offered by Rev. C. E. Bailey. Elvin L. Sprague was elected deacon for the term of four years, and L. C. Blood, clerk; after which the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered by Revs. Bailey and Warren, and the services closed with the benediction by the pastor, Rev. J. H. Crumb.

On the 27th of February, 1803, the Congregational Association met with that church here, when this church was received to membership in the association, and after the usual exercises the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered, and the following persons received to membership in the church: Robert Potts, Mrs. E. Potts and Mrs. M. E. McCaige. The church as represented by its pastor and delegates was now recognized and received as belonging to the Association of Congregational Churches of Michigan, and from this early and small beginning has to a greater or less extent participated in the regular meetings and work of the churches. Additions to its membership were gradually made and the church strengthened. Oct. 1, 1803, Mrs. Jesse Cram and daughter Martha ( now Mrs. T. T. Bates) were received as members, and at subsequent communion seasons there were continued accessions. Oct. 11, 1801, Cyrm M. Merrel was chosen deacon for one year, S. B. Stout, clerk, and Edward H. Holdsworth, sexton.

At a meeting held April 11, 1865, it was voted to retain Rev. J. H. Crumb as pastor for the coming year, and to raise the sum of $200 for his support, and to ask of the Home Missionary Society a further sum of $400, and C. M. Merrel, H. Holdsworth and S. B. Stout were appointed a committee to raise the amount. April 24 Mr. and Mrs. Stout were dismissed and recommended to the fellowship of evangelical churches, and Oct. 22, 1805, Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Leach and daughter Mina became members by letter from the Presbyterian Church at Lansing.

From this time onward there were accessions to the membership and some removals, and at the close of Crumb's engagement Rev. R. Hatch, late of Benzonia, was engaged to preach and act as pastor from June 1. 1800, the church voting to raise $400 for his support, and to ask the same amount from the Missionary Society. Nov. 9, 1866, letters of dismissal and commendation were voted Rev. Crumb and wife, and a movement was made toward the building of a house of worship, and it was voted to make application to the Congregational Union for aid in the work. Rev. R. Hatch and Hon. D. C. Leach were appointed a committee to make out and forward such application. From this time until April 5,1807, the church seems to have prospered; at meetings held at the house of Jesse Cram and elsewhere, several members were received, special religious interest was manifested, special seasons of prayer held, and on Sunday, April 7, 1807 it was decided to go forward and build a meeting-house that season, the Congregational Union having voted $500 and, and accordingly work was begun on " the new meeting-house " May 20,1867.

The work of church building is stated in the records as appearing "dark and dubious," and the church united in prayer that "God would open the way and send help," and at the monthly meeting held August 24, " the pastor reported unexpected success in raising funds, and all seemed to see and acknowledge the hand of God and to be deeply thankful." By the 12th of January, 1868, the new meeting-house was completed and furnished at a cost of $5,623, and that day was set apart for dedication services, which were conducted by the pastor, assisted by Rev. Draper, of the M. E. Church, and Rev. Leroy Warren, and the church January 20 voted to make a yearly collection in aid of the Congregational Union. At this time the scats in the church were selected, but not rented or sold.

June 6, 1868, Rev. R. Hatch was re-engaged as pastor upon the same terms as before, and May 80, 1870, he was still in charge of the church‚€”the membership and interest, both financial and spiritual, were largely increased, and the records say, " This church was never more harmonious and prosperous; to God be all the glory." On the th of August, 1871, the first good bell introduced into this northern country was placed in the tower of the church at a cost of $600.

The last Sabbath in May, 1872, Rev. Hatch preached his farewell sermon, and a committee for the supply of the pulpit, consisting of Bros. Leach, Steward and Hurlburt, were appointed. Sept. 2, 1872, a call was extended to Rev. O. H. Spoor, of Vermontville, to become pastor of the church at a salary of $1,500, which call was accepted. At a regular meeting of the church held Oct. 31, 1878, a vote of thanks was given to Mrs. R. Hatch for her services in securing a communion set for the church, a committee was appointed to revise the church records, and Mary Kinzie was elected clerk and continued to act as such until Dec. 31, 1875, when Lizzie Kellogg was elected to the office.

On Sept. 28, 1876, a meeting of unusual interest, preparatory to the communion service, was held; and at the close of the communion service on Sunday, October 1, Rev. 0. H. Spoor tendered his resignation as pastor, explaining the causes which led to this action. "Surprise and grief were on every face, and the people sought their homes with sorrow in their hearts." His resignation was accepted, resolutions of confidence and love were unanimously adopted, bearing testimony to the four years of faithful and acceptable work in our midst.

After the resignation of Rev. Spoor, the pulpit was for a while supplied by Rev. E. C. Olney, who was afterward, at the annual meeting held Jan. 1, 1877, unanimously called to act as pastor, and continued to serve as such for one year.

During this year W. S. Crow was called to supply the pulpit, and subsequently called to act as pastor by vote of the church Nov. 1, 1878, forty-six votes being cast in the affirmative and twenty- eight in the negative. The society concurring, Mr. Crow was called upon condition of uniting with this church and becoming an ordained minister. Dec. 4, 1879, Mr. Crow was received to membership, and December 9 be was ordained to the work of the ministry‚€”sermon by Rev. J. Morgan Smith; right hand of fellowship by Rev. J. C. Patton; charge to the people by Rev. W. H. Thomas; benediction by Rev. W. S. Crow.

It was during the pastorate of Rev. Crow that the articles of faith were revised and altered, eleven members voting in favor and ten against the proposed alteration. Mr. Crow continued to act as pastor of the church until November 80, when he declined to accept a renewed call to remain as pastor.

On the 10th of November, 1881, a call was given Rev. W. R. Seaver, of St. Joseph, Mo., to become their pastor, which call was accepted, and he commenced his labors February, 1882, and at the present time is in charge of the church. The total membership of the church has been since its organization, 154. There have been thirty-nine deaths and removals, leaving a present membership, some of whom are now absent, of 115. The work of rebuilding and enlarging the church, with the erection of rooms especially for church parlors, social gatherings and Sabbath-school, is now in contemplation, and money is being raised and steps taken to carry out the project in the not distant future.

Church Officers;‚€”Pastor, Rev. W. R. Seaver; deacons, D. C. Leach, Geo. E. Steele, J. W. Hilton, Frank Hamilton; clerk, James G. Johnson; treasurer, John T. Beadle.

The Sunday-school is in good working condition, and has an efficient corps of teachers, and a membership of over 200 scholars. The average attendance for the year 1883 was 117, the largest attendance being 170, and the smallest forty-four. The amount contributed during the year has been $146.45. The interest in the school had the contributions have been greater than at any previous time in its history.

Officers: - Superintendent, J. W. Milliken; assistant superintendent, Rev. W. R. Scaver; librarian, Frank Kubeck; assistant librarian, Ruth Barlow; financial secretary, Julia Barlow; recording secretary, Fannie Holdsworth; treasurer, Mrs. F. Hamilton.


The First Baptist Church of Traverse City was organized Feb. 12, 1870, in the old school-house located where Park Place Hotel now stands. Rev. E. Mills, of Northport, whose aid had been solicited for this purpose, was moderator of the meeting, and J. Gridley, clerk. Regular meetings were afterward held at the same place for a time, and subsequently the church was grunted the use of the new building which is now one of the east side primaries. At tills time there were fifteen members. Rev. E. Mills was called to the pastorate March 3 of the same year. Leach's hall was now engaged for purposes of worship, and remained the regular place of meeting until the church edifice was completed.

The church was formally recognized May 12, 1870, by a council composed of delegates from sister churches. On this occasion Rev. A. K. Herrington preached the sermon and Rev. J. C. Jordan gave the charge to the church. The pastorate of Bro. Mills was very successful, and at its close the church numbered fifty members. He afterward often served as supply.

Rev. E. J. Stevens, of West Sutton, Mass., the next pastor, was called in June, 1878. Under his leadership the church proceeded to build a house of worship. The building committed were J. Gridley, H. J. Wait and Rev. E. J. Stevens. About this time the church received a very valuable present‚€”a Mason Hamlin pedal organ, valued at $500; it came through the agency of Mrs. A. K. Pratt, and was the gift of the Union Band Bible Class, of the Second Baptist Church of Chicago.

The new church edifice being completed, was formally dedicated July 26, 1874. The total cost was $3,300. Rev. A. E. Mather, of Detroit, preached the dedication sermon. Elder Stevens' pastorate closed April 1, 1874; ten were added to membership during this pastorate.

Rev. William Munger was called to the pastorate Jan. 23, 1876. Two years of earnest work resulted in considerable increase of numbers; seventeen were added during this time to the membership of the church. During this pastorate the church received valuable presents from Mrs. H. J. Davis, of Allegan, consisting of a carpet and marble top table.

Rev. C. H. Rhodes, of Parma, was the next pastor; he came to the church in December, 1877. He not only preached to the church here, hut also to a large number of out-stations. Twenty- seven were added to membership during his pastorate, which closed in October, 1880.

In December following, the present pastor, Rev. K. R. Bennett, accepted the call of the church and began his labors. He also has accomplished considerable missionary work in the outlying districts. Seventy-five members have been added to the church thus far, during his pastorate, the church property much improved and the church debt paid. The church is prosperous, harmonious and spiritual. It sustains a large and flourishing Sunday-school. Church Officers:‚€”Pastor. ¬£. R. Bennett; deacons, J. Gillis, C. O. Titus; trustees, one year, C. 0. Titus, H. Green; two years, R. Hobbs, R. A. Haire; three years, J. Gillis, II. H. Burns; treasurer, J. Gillis; assistant treasurer, C. E. Green; clerk, Dewitt Chipman; ushers, C. 0. Titus, H. Green, E. Adsloy.


"Occasional Episcopal services and other rites of the church were performed in Traverse City, by the Rev. A. C. Lewis, missionary at Elk Rapids, during the years 1870, '71 and "72. In 1878 the parish was organized. The proper legal documents for effecting such organization, and for becoming a body politic and corporate, were signed by the following named gentlemen: John F. Grant, E. L. Sprague, L. 0. Saylor, S. S. Wright, Homer P. Daw and Frank J. do Neven. who gave to the corporation the name of "Grace Church," and fixed on seven as the number of its vestry. The declaration of assent to the doctrines, worship and canons of the church was signed by the forenamed, together with F. L. Furbish and Ellery C. Spinney. These documents were acknowledged before Jesse If. Cram, notary public, and recorded in the office of the clerk of the county on the 12th day of August, 1873.

"At a meeting called by the missionary, Rev. A. C. Lewis, of Elk Rapids, at the residence of L. 0. Saylor, Sept. 15, 1873, the following named persons were chosen the first vestry of Grace Church: John F. Grant, E. L. Sprague, L. O. Saylor, S. S. Wright, Homer P. Paw, F. J. de Neven. F. L. Furbish, who at once proceeded to elect from their number the following officers: Wardens, E. L. Sprague, Homer P. Daw; secretary, John F. Grant; treasurer, F. J. de Neven. The church was now fully organized. During the mouths of September, October and November, 1878, missionary services were held one Sunday in each month in Masonic hall by the Rev. A. C. Lewis.

"At the annual meeting on Easter Monday, April 6, 1874, the following named gentlemen were elected vestrymen; John F. Grant, L. O. Saylor, S. S- Wright, E. L. Sprague, H. P. Daw, F. J. de Neven, G- P. Griswold, who from their number elected the following officers: Wardens, E. L. Sprague, H. P. Daw; secretary, John F. Grant; treasurer, F. J. de Neven.

"From December, 1873, to July, 1874, divine services were held one Sunday in each month at Campbell's hall, and from August to October in Leach's hall, by the Rev. A. C. Lewis. On Aug. 10, 1874, the parish was visited by the Rt. Rev. bishop McCoskey, who held services in the evening in the Congregational church, kindly offered for that purpose, assisted by the Rev. Mr. Bush and Rev. A. C. Lewis.

"On the 6th of May. 1875, the Rt. Rev. bishop Gillespie, D. D., bishop of western Michigan, visited the parish; divine services were held in Leach's hall on the evenings of the 6th and 7th, and two persona were confirmed. In December, 1875, the bishop again visited the parish; held services in the Congregational church in the evening; baptized four adults and confirmed six. "No serious effort had yet been made toward the erection of an edifice for public worship, though the subject had been frequently spoken of and considered. In the spring of 1876 the matter was undertaken by the Rev. Mr. Lewis, who was so successful that on the 18th of July the bishop held a service on the site selected for the chapel, and broke ground for the same in lieu of laying the corner-stone‚€”and so energetically was the building pushed forward by the contractor, J. W. Hilton, that it was completed by November, and on the 12th day of that mouth was consecrated to the worship of Almighty God by the bishop of the diocese, assisted in the services by the Rev. Mr. Lewis.

"The first clergyman settled over the parish was Rev. W. H. Sparling, who arrived and entered upon his duties at the beginning of the year 1877. He remained in charge for two years, when impaired health compelled him to relinquish the work. He was succeeded in September, 1879, by the present rector, the Rev. Joseph S. Large. The present vestry is composed of the following gentlemen: E. L. Sprague, H. P. Daw, F. E. Lockwood, M. H. Holley, H. W. Davis, E. H. Pope. There is one vacancy, occasioned by the death of L. 0. Saylor.

"The Sunday-school consists of about fifty children, with eight teachers‚€”the rector acts as superintendent. The library contains about 800 volumes, and is presided over by two efficient librarians.

"There are two societies connected with the parish- -the Ladies' Guild, which meets weekly, and of which Mrs. C. L. Roland is president and Mrs. G. Hannah secretary and treasurer‚€”and the Young Ladies' Society of which the rector is president, Miss Ella Norris treasurer, and Miss Gertie Sprague secretary."


St. Francis Catholic Society came into active existence in 1877 when Rev. George Ziegler, the first resident priest, came here and assumed charge. Prior to that time it was a missionary station and hail been such for twenty-live years. As early as 1855 Father Marck came here, and he was followed by other priests who visited this point one or more times a year. About the year 1871 Father Herbstrit, who located at Sutton's Ray, used to visit here, built a small church building. In 1877 Rev. George Ziegler, recently from Cincinnati, came here and entered actively u]m>ii the work of gathering the forces at this point. In October of that year he opened a school, and in 1880 enlarged the church building. In 1883 the convent building was erected, and there are now about eighty children in the convent school. The society owns a handsome property, consisting of eighteen lots. The priest's house was built in 1881. There are about one hundred families in the parish.


There is also a Lutheran society in the village. A church building has been erected and the society is growing stronger as the village increases in population.


The following general description of Traverse City, made in February, 1867, will give the reader an idea of the progress made up to that time. The writer said: There are two resident clergymen, Rev. Reuben Hatch, Congregational, and Rev. V. G. Boynton, Methodist. The attorneys are K. C. Tuttle, Pratt & Boynton, and George P. Griswold. Dr. B. D. Ashton is the only physician and surgeon, and his practice extends over five counties. T. T. Bates is broker, real estate agent and conveyancer. Jesse Cram, the county clerk is insurance agent, notary public and conveyancer. This is also the home of Hon. J. G. Rumndell, judge for this judicial circuit.

There are live stores. Messrs. Hannah, Lay & Co., the pioneers and owners of the village plat, are by far the most extensive dealers, though in the enumeration their establishment is counted as one store, while in reality they have three large and separate stores. They have an immense trade and employ seventeen clerks, book-keepers and cashiers. H. R. Hulburt, who began business here in the full of 1860, is a general dealer in dry goods boots, shoes and groceries. McClellan & Vosburgh also commence the same fall, and keep a general store. L. W. Hubbell & Co. dealers in drugs and medicines on Front Street. T. Gilmore has a grocery and provision store. Mr. Baker has recently built a store building, and Miss Ada Sprague has a millinery and fancy goods store.

There are four hotels: The Gunton House, kept by James K. Gunton, is situated at the east end of town on Front Street; the Traverse City Exchange, by John Black, and the Mansion House by Thomas Cutler, are centrally located on Front Street, and the Traverse City House by William Shilson is situated at the west end of town. All of these hotels do a flourishing business, and during the season of navigation are crowded to their utmost capacity.

Hannah, Lay & Co. have a saw-mill and a steam flouring mill. We have nothing to boast of in the way of public buildings. The court-house, which was a respectable wooden structure, was burned five or six years ago, and on its ruins stands a small building, by courtesy called a jail, which is scarcely ever occupied and, therefore, answers every purpose. There is a school house building, 30x70 feet in size, which is well arranged and fitted up and in which an excellent school is kept the year round. Two churches will be built the coming summer, one for the Methodists and the other for the Congregationalists.

There is one watchmaker and jeweler, D. E. Carter, who is doing a good business.

Victor Petitil has a cabinet-shop, and Robert Bancroft has a photographic gallery. There is one tailor-shop, six shoe-shops, one blacksmith-shop, two tin-shops, a wagon-shop, one barber and a printing-office.

During the summer, a propeller, owned by Hannah, Lay & Co., makes weekly trips between Traverse City and Chicago; and they also have a small propeller, the Sunny Side, which makes daily trips around the bay. In winter, two lines of stages run between Traverse City and Grand Haven. The distance is 175 miles and the trip is made in four days.

January 29, 1868, the following statistics were given, relating to Traverse City, and were said to be very accurate: Actual population, 680. Buildings and improvements during the summer of 1867: M. E. Church, $4,200; Congregational Church, $5,800; 24 private dwellings, average cost of each, $600, total, $14,400: Joseph Greilick & Co., planing-mill, $1,500; Hannah, Lay & Co., Boardman River dam, $5,000; Hannah, Lay & Co., warehouse, $1,000; R. Goodrich, store, warehouse, etc., $2,500; A. T. Allen, blacksmith-shop, $150. Improvements: Gunton House, $2,000; Morgan Bates, residence, $1,000; Hannah, Lay & Co., store, $2,000; other improvements, $1,800. Grand total, $40,850.

Source: The Traverse Region - H. R. Page & Co., 1884.

History 2nd Part