Monroe County Michigan

By Talcott E. Wing, Editor. ; New York: Munsell & Company, Publishers. 1890.

Submitted by Veneta McKinney

To write the life history of our esteemed fellow-citizen, Hon. Joseph M. Sterling, would be to give the story of the rise and progress of the principal business and manufacturing interests of the city of Monroe from 1835 to the present time. Up to about 1838, from the peculiar advantages given it by nature, Monroe was the most prominent port on the lakes west of Buffalo and Cleveland, and all classes of merchandise were brought by water in any kind of craft to La Plaisance Bay, about four miles south of Toll's dock, to which place it was brought through the marsh from the bay in horse boats.

In 1837 George B. Harleston built the steamer " Alvira Smith," in which Captain E. L. Haft, at the bay and Toll's dock (Dr. Graham keeping the warehouse at the bay), received as a forwarding house (under the name of Harleston, Haft & Co.) all shipments at either end, which continued till about 1839, when J. Q. Adams, president of the River Raisin Bank, formed a. company, or in fact two companies, of which he was president and the bank mostly owners, calling them the La Plaisance Bay Harbor Company, for the purpose of buildings; and operating warehouses at the bay and dock; and the- Lake Erie and River Raisin Railroad Company, for the purpose of building, operating and maintaining a railroad between Toll's dock and the bay. The road was built of wooden rails laid through the marsh on piles, the motive power being horses, and with a car (or freight and passengers. Great calculations were made as to the increase of business which would result from this great improvement, so closely identified with the financial interests of Monroe.

About the same time a co-partnership was formed by and between A. Lambert, W. C. and J, M. Sterling, under the firm name of A. Lambert & Co., and basing the price upon the previous year's business, rented both railroad and warehouse for $1,500 per year, and at existing tariffs they expected to realize largely on their rental.

This may be said to be the turning-point in the history of Monroe, Up to this time there bad been no exports. The country being new, the settlers had been compelled to import the necessaries of life, and fluttering sail caught the early spring and late fall breezes on the lake, and Monroe was the principal point to which they made their consignments ; but in 1840 the most of the imports ceased, and the total of the exports amounted to only about five hundred barrels of flour. In 1841 the first products of the West came in from Adrian on the Michigan Southern Railroad, being six carloads of wheat of one hundred bushels each. There were landed in Monroe at a point near where Hurd's elevator now in, and Patrick Golden had the contract to dock the shipment. As a contrast with the present methods they then carried the grain in bags on their shoulders, weighed the wheat and emptied it into the bins, working till about two o'clock in the morning, and when done taking their supper at the bay.

A gradual increase from year to year has shown that with all the competition from other points Monroe still held her own, as during the year 1888 one firm alone exported over S250,000 worth of grain.

In the spring of 1842 J. M. Sterling, Cole & Disbrow, Fifield & Sterling, and Morton, Birch & Co. had warehouses, making most of their shipments by lake to Cleveland and Buffalo. Bronson & Colton then moved from Conneaut, Ohio, and in 1843 the La Plaisance Bay warehouse was moved to the dock, and the shipments made through the new canal, the warehouse being operated by Stolham Wing, and is now used as an icehouse.

In 1844 Chas. Noble built a warehouse for Strong & Scott, which was used by Albert Lee and was destroyed by fire in 1883. During the same year Noble & Sterling built what was long known as the old block warehouse, and now forms a part of the plant of the Sterling Manufacturing Company.

During the years 1848-4 Monroe was one of the largest produce markets in this section of the country and wheat was brought in from Jackson and points in Washtenaw and Lenawee counties, in wagons, and what was not used by the Monroe mills was sent to the warehouses for shipment to Buffalo. With the opening of the railroad through to Chicago from the lake, and the tariff being the same to boat or warehouse, five cents per barrel on flour and three cents per bushel on wheat, the profits on warehousing were so reduced that with the exception of Noble & Sterling they were all discontinued. But they had come to stay, and Mr. Sterling said that for the next thirty years he proposed to have a pail of fresh drinking water in his warehouse office on the dock.

During the next few years, owing mainly to the unsettled state of currency, nearly all the business transactions of the day were in the nature of dicker, and in 1842-4 the flour waiting shipment at the dock was stored in sheds and piled up, at times on account of the scarcity of vessels there being as much flour stored and waiting as there are now poles on the yards on the dock. The track to the bay was of the hardest kind of wood that could be procured, 2x4 in size, and in the trip from the dock to the bay it was no unusual thing to "jump the track" five or six times. In those days the boys liked to have their fun and save work as well as now, and in 1840 they rigged up a hand car with a sail in order to save "pumping," thinking to take a trip to the bay in this railroad sailboat. J. M. Sterling was the first to board it, and just for fun started alone for the bay; but he had reckoned without his host, as he soon found that it was one thing to start but quite another to stop the novel machine. On approaching the warehouse at the bay, and seeing no way of getting control of the sailboat, he "took a header" and left the car to run its course, which it soon did, the momentum carrying it through the warehouse and into the lake, from which it was afterwards fished out. As this involved more work than "pumping," it is needless to say that the boys did not again use the sail as a motive power.

Many trips were made in those days from the bay to Detroit in small boats, and an incident is told of one starting out in the spring of 1845 from Detroit, and the " sailboat" ride recalled to Mr. Sterling's mind the remarks of Mr. Joseph Cam pea u when told that the boat had floundered about in the ice, tore her paddlewheels to pieces, but finally brought up in a demoralized condition at Erie. Mr. Campeau says with his French accent:

"Well, I t 'ot so. Now when ze Englishman he want to go anywhere, he set down and t'ink how he get dar; and ze Frenchman he want to go, and he stop and t'ink how he get dar; but ze American, ze Yankee, he want to go, and, be gar, he go. He go heaven, he go hell, he go anywhere!"

What a contrast between early transportation and navigation and that of the present time! The Indian pony and the lumber wagon have given place to the railroad, the small boat and Mackinaw bateau to immense ironclad leviathans ; but some will doubtless feel that notwithstanding these improvements, these increased conveniences and facilities, that the good old times when they made journeys through the country by the old-fashioned stage coach or rockaway were far more to their liking and enjoyment; and there is, somehow, an air of innocence and ingenuousness, wholeness and completeness associated with those old-time manners and customs that is lacking in the modern improvements and conveniences, and of which we are strongly reminded when we see the farmer of to-day driving into the city with his comfortable old wagon, in the back of which is his crock of fresh butter, or basket of eggs, covered with newly mown fresh grass with which to feed the old family horse. It reminds one of old times, of healthful country breezes, and speaks of our forefathers' frugality and thrift and the wise and prudent laying-up for a rainy day.

Up to about 1846-7 the forests furnished fuel, and charcoal was largely used. In 1847, J. M. Sterling began bringing coal on steamers in hogsheads and barrels for the use of blacksmiths, and for many years supplied most of the coal used by that trade to points as far west as Goshen on the Michigan Southern Air Line. In the fall of 1848 he built his first coal shed and stocked it with forty tons of blacksmith and grate coal, which at that time was considered to be more than enough to last for the next decade. The business increased slowly but surely, until in 1860 nearly two hundred tons were used in Monroe. In 1865 over four hundred tons were sold by him, and in 1870 over twelve hundred tons found a ready market. The next five years showed an annual increase of about one hundred tons, while in 1880 the mark was made at nearly three thousand tons, which increased over four hundred tons a year for the next five years. In 1888 the receipts of coal at Monroe station for all parties were over five hundred carloads, or nearly ten thousand tons, an increase in forty years of about nine thousand and eighty-six tons. A large portion of this is handled by W. C. Sterling, dealer in coal, wood, salt, hay, straw and ice, at the same place where J. M. Sterling put up his first coal sheds in the fall of 1848. .

The books of the Monroe Gas Light Company were opened for subscription in the common council room on Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12, 1859. The capital stock was placed at $40,000, and divided into eight hundred shares at fifty dollars. The company was incorporated December 10, 1859, by I. R. Grosvenor, B. F. Fifield, J. R. Rauch, C. K. Green and B. A. Lansing, under the provisions of an act of the legislature of the State of Michigan, approved February 12, 1855, and entitled "An act for the formation of Gas Light companies," the charter to run for thirty years. Ira R. Grosvenor was elected president, B. F. Fifield treasurer and secretary, and with J. R. Rauch, C. K. Green and B. A. Lansing, formed the first board of directors.

A contract was at once made with Sylvester S. Battin, of Newark, New Jersey, to construct the works at a cost of $36,000, paymont to be made in the stock of the company. The work of construction was commenced April 9, 1860, B. F. Fifield being chosen superintendent. November 24th of the same year the work was completed, and the resignation of I. R. Grosvenor as president, and Green and Lansing as directors accepted, Joseph M. Sterling being elected to the former, and S. S. Battin and Benjamin Dansard to the latter positions.

From this date (November 24, 1860) to December 31st, the receipts from consumers were $305.76. Luring the twelve months ending December 31, 1861, the total consumption of gas was a little over 662,000 feet at $3.50 per thousand, the receipts being $2,317.31, with about 45,000 feet of main pipe. For the year ending December 31, 1888, the price was $2.00 per thousand feet, and a little over 4,339,000 feet used, for which the company received $8,678.76, and to supply which required over three and one-half miles of main pipe. During this time the service has been made without any accident of note except an explosion in the year 1862, which left the city without gas for about three months.

The Sterling Manufacturing Company was incorporated in January, 1888, with a capital stock of $10,000, the incorporators being J. M., J. C, W. C, F. S., and W. P. Sterling. They began building in 1887, their plant consisting of a saw, shingle, lath and planing mill, with engine, power and necessary yard room. The mill buildings proper are two stories high, 90x80, or about 14,400 square feet of floor space, in which they conduct the business of general contractors and builders, having in process of construction over thirty houses in Toledo, besides a large number in Monroe and Wayne counties. The docks of this company, with the pole dock of F. S. Sterling & Co., furnish the only landing in Monroe for boats drawing over seven feet of water.

Following closely upon the opening of the pole docks of F. S. Sterling & Co., the Western Union Telegraph Company recognized the great advantages offered by Monroe as a distributing point and entered into negotiations by which they secured about nine hundred feet of dock room of the Sterlings. They then moved their yards from Toledo to Monroe and made it their distributing point for the central division, which includes all points governed by the central standard of time, or the entire portion of the United States between Buffalo and Omaha. This division is in charge of J. D. Dickinson, superintendent supply department at Chicago, with C. L. Peck inspector at Monroe. Some idea of the immense amount of their business at Monroe may be formed from the fact that the yards at Monroe employ from eighty to one hundred men, and have in stock an average of one hundred and twenty thousand poles, costing about two dollars each. An average of two hundred cars is sent from the yards here each month and shipped to all points in the central division.

Among the larger industries of Monroe may be counted the paper mills. Probably the oldest mill in the West, and one of the old landmarks around Monroe, is the Raisinville mill, four miles west of the city. It was built in 1834 by Christopher McDowell, and for many years was the only mill of the kind in Southern Michigan. The first steam dryer ever used in the West was set up in this mill, in the latter part of the fifties. After passing through various changes it came into the possession of Jacob Mitchell in 1862, but the introduction of new and improved machinery and the cost of cartage to and from the mill rendering it an unsatisfactory investment, in 1887 it was finally closed. The Monroe Paper Company, which consisted of Jacob and Leonard Mitchell, was organized in 1866, using the old mill until 1874, when the present mill was built and a specialty made of wrapping paper. Of this they manufacture about twelve hundred tons annually, most of which finds a ready market with Michigan wholesalers.

The Monroe Manufacturing Company, of which J. E. Bauch is president, S. P. Jackson vice-president, and C. A. Jackson secretary and treasurer, has a mill 250x60 feet, and gives on an average employment to about twenty-five men. They daily manufacture an average of about five tons of wrapping and express paper, mostly going to the wholesale market of Chicago.

The Richardson Paper Company, of which J. C. Richardson is president, C. C. Richardson vice-president, and M. H. Richardson secretary and treasurer, manufacture from two and one-half to three million pounds of straw wrapping paper annually, from which their revenue is in the neighborhood of forty thousand dollars.

Their sales are mostly in the New York, Philadelphia and Detroit markets. The company was incorporated with a capital stock of thirty thousand dollars, and is the outgrowth of a mill built in 1882 by Frank S. Sill and operated by him until 1884, when he sold it to Richardson, Tangeman & Scott, of Lima, Ohio.

A peculiar enterprise under a great deal of difficulty was inaugurated in the spring of 1888 in the manufacture of cloth binder's board by F. Waldorf & Son, their two-story mill, 35x55, now averaging from two and one-half to three tons of that article each day, and giving constant employment to from fifteen to twenty men.

One of the leading nurserymen in the United States, and whose push, vim and sterling business qualities have done much toward building up one of the leading industries of Monroe, is the sixth child and second son of Jacob and Catherine (Epley) Ilgenfritz, and was born August 13, 1824, near Little York, Pennsylvania.

Although thoroughly Americanized he is of German ancestry, the first Ilgenfritz who came to America emigrating from Strasburg over two hundred years ago and settling in the wilderness on the banks of the now celebrated Conemaugh, three and a half miles northwest of Little York. On his death his eldest son fell heir to the farm of three hundred and twenty acres, together with a smaller tract of land adjoining, on which he built a grist mill and distillery. When the Revolutionary War began he was already an old man, but his eldest son, Frederick, the grandfather of Mr. Ilgenfritz, served through the war, and at its close settled on the old homestead, where he died in 1822. He had six sons, John, George David, Jacob, Frederick and Daniel. John emigrated to Ohio, settling in what is now Mahoning county about 1801 or 1802. He lived to an extreme old age, and many of his descendants are still living in Mahoning county. George also moved to Ohio in 1832, and all of his brothers with the exception of David and Daniel, the former dying at Lafayette, Indiana, the latter now living near Kalamazoo, Michigan. Frederick's brother Martin inherited the grist mill, and his youngest brother, Samuel, learned the blacksmith's trade and lived his whole life in Little York, becoming quite wealthy. His eldest son, William, held the office of prothonotary in Little York for some twenty years.

The Ilgenfritz family in the olden time were noted, the men for their great muscular strength, and both men and women remarkable for their great independence of spirit. Jacob, the father of Mr. Ilgenfritz, after serving in the War of 1812, for which a short time before his death he received a bounty warrant for one hundred and sixty acres of land from the Government, lived near Little York until about 1830, when he moved to near Carlisle, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. There he followed the occupation of agriculturist until the spring of 1853, when he moved to Monroe, where he died October 23, 1863, after raising a family of twelve children, six boys and six girls.

The early life of Mr. Ilgenfritz was spent on a farm, with the occasional advantages of a few weeks' schooling during the winter season, until 1843, when he went to Bellefonte, Center county, Pennsylvania, and embarked in the nursery business there.

In the fall of 1846 he visited Monroe, and in the spring of 1847 he moved from Bellefonte to Monroe, bringing with him a small stock of trees, which he planted on Monroe street, just south of St. John's Catholic church. In the spring of 1848 he bought a half interest in the nursery of E. H. Reynolds, on the land adjoining St. Mary's church. Most of the shrubbery around the house of Father Joos, where their office then was, was planted by him. In a short time Mr. Reynolds sold out his share in the business to Mr. Jesse Beardsley, who shortly afterwards sold it to Mr. Ilgenfritz, making him the solo owner in the fall of 1849 of the Monroe Nursery. In the spring of 1850 the firm was changed to Ilgenfritz & Bentley (Mr. A. E. Bentley purchasing a half interest), and so continued till about 1856, when it again came into the hands of Mr. Ilgenfritz by the withdrawal of Mr. Bentley. About 1863 Mr. Ilgenfritz admitted Mr. Amos Kellogg and Daniel Ilgenfritz to partnership (each having a quarter interest), the former continuing about a year, the latter leaving the firm in 1876. After this Mr. Ilgenfritz continued the business alone until his sons came in with him, when the firm name was changed to I. E. Ilgenfritz & Sons.

Starting with a small plant, about 1850 it was enlarged by the rental of the Edmonds' farm. About 1856 the first part of the Waterloo farm of about two hundred acres was purchased. In 1858 the railroad farm, of one hundred and sixty five acres, came into his possession, and in 1872 he acquired the title to the Clark farm of seventy acres. This latter was used as packing grounds for about a year, when it was found necessary to be more central, and the present grounds adjoining the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern depot were gradually purchased of the Rev. Mr. Safford and others.

Probably one of the happiest moments of Mr. Ilgenfritz's life was when about 1855 he became the owner of his first property on Elm street, on Anderson block No. 1, which is now known as the homestead lot. The old log house was formerly used as an Indian trading post. Here he lived for thirteen years, and it is now used as a dwelling house by his son Theodore.

December 24, 1846, he was married to Mary, daughter of Michael and Margaret (Walters) Fish burn, whose children are: Margaret E., born February 17,1849, and married February 15, 1871, to Thomas Osborn, a well-to-do farmer living near Tecumseh; Harriet F., born June 29, 1850, and married May 15, 1872, to J. M. Loose, well known in connection with the Red Clover Company, of Detroit; Charles A., born September 5, 1852, married September 13,1881, to Miss Sadie Ketcham, of Saginaw ; Albert W., born October 23, 1854, died May 2, 1855; Theodore E., born May 3, 1856, married February 6, 1877, to Kate Lafontain, of Monroe, and now living in the old homestead house; Wilbur F., born June 21, 1858; Edgar C, born May 11, 1860, married November 5, 1884, to Hattie Harvey, grandchild of Captain Harvey, well known to the older citizens of Monroe; Frank L., born April 16, 1862; Mary E., born April 11, 1864; Thomas L, born March 25, 1866; Kate V., born December 24, 1867, and Lilla A., born December 15, 1869.

All of the Ilgenfritzes two generations ago, with the exception of Mr. Ilgenfritz's great-uncle, Samuel, were Democrats; he married into the Hay family and they converted him into a Federalist. Mr. Ilgenfritz is a strong Republican, and yet, such is the estimation in which he is held by his fellow citizens, that he has been thrice elected to represent his ward (the fourth) as alderman in the city council — in 1875-6, in 1887-8, and 1889-90; the ward on an average vote of 180 usually going .Democratic by about 40 votes, at the last term gave him a majority of 21 votes.

Since about 1851 Mr. Ilgenfritz has been a constant member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and for most of that time has held the office of class-leader, steward and trustee. He has always been liberal according to his means in contributing to all church work, and in all his dealings showed that his profession of faith was not a cloak to cover the garb of hypocrisy.

Devoting his entire time and energy to his chosen calling he has earned a reputation throughout the country which makes him an umpire from whose decision there is no appeal in questions as to the name and variety of any fruit, and while for many years he was foremost at fairs and exhibitions, he now has only time to devote to his constantly increasing business.

We take the following from the fourth annual report of the secretary of the State Pomological Society of Michigan.

"We were back again at Adrian in time for the 8 A. M. train for Monroe. A sandwich and cup of coffee sufficed for a breakfast, and aboard the train for Monroe, where we arrived in time for a substantial dinner at the hospitable mansion of I. E. Ilgenfritz, who is the Nursery King of the State.

. . . "Directly in front and adjoining the Michigan Southern Railroad depot are the extensive packing houses and ornamental grounds of this establishment. A description of the buildings and grounds may not be inappropriate here. The main packing house is 40x156 feet, two stories high, with cellar for heeling in -such trees and plants as are required for spring sales and would be likely to take injury through the winter if left in the open ground; another advantage is, it facilitates early shipments in spring. This cellar extends under the entire building, and is entered at either end by doorways of sufficient size to admit of team and wagon loaded with trees. The bottom is laid with a coat of cement four inches thick, and this again covered eighteen inches deep with fine sand for laying in the roots of trees and plants. Here thousands of trees and plants can be safely stored out of all danger of injury from wind and weather, ready for shipment a month or more before any can be moved from the open ground. In fact, at any time during the winter months, should mild weather occur, they can be handled from these cellars. The ground floor is used for boxing, marking, etc., and affords ample room for thirty or forty men to work. On one end of this floor are the business offices, and underneath the grafting room. The upper story is used for manufacturing and storing boxes used in packing trees, and for the storing of tools, &c.

"So indispensable to their extensive business have the proprietors found the heeling cellar above mentioned, that they were erecting and had nearly completed another building, 50x156 feet, with walls of masonry fourteen feet high, and set in the ground six feet, to be used exclusively for this purpose.

"The ornamental grounds attached to these buildings are nine acres in extent, and were made up of city lots covered with dwellings, which the Messrs. Ilgenfritz have purchased and torn down or removed, until they have the present area all to themselves, and situated in one of the most advantageous and pleasant parts of the city. The grounds were somewhat low in their natural state, and the proprietors have been at great expense in filling and leveling. They have covered several acres with fine soil for the growth of ornamental plants, to the depth of from two to six feet. It was a vast labor, but Mr. Ilgenfritz remarked: 'The soil should be laid on until it pleased him, if it required a depth of ten feet.' There is ' a heap of vim' in this man, I. E. Ilgenfritz. These grounds were in part already planted to the finest varieties of ornamental flowering plants and shrubs, and the coming season they will be entire filled.

"From the ornamental grounds I accompanied the proprietors to the farms, where the heavy stocks of fruit and ornamental trees are grown. There are three in all, covering upwards of three hundred acres in extent. All such stocks of trees are wonderful. The quantities of special leading varieties — 50,000 Baldwin, 50,000 Greening, 20,000 and 30,000 Spy, Canada, etc.— were no unusual quantities to be found in single blocks. The soil where these nurseries are located is a rich alluvial, underlaid with clay, covering the limestone formation at most but a few feet below the surface, and cropping out in numerous places. The cultivation was the nearest perfection to be met with anywhere. I much doubt if throughout the whole extent of these grounds a barrow load of weeds could have been gathered. All the grounds are underdrained. Mr. llgenfritz informed us not a rood of ground was used for nursery purposes without first being thoroughly tiled, the cost of which varies from forty to one hundred dollars per acre.

"In the way of the newer varieties of fruit tree stock, these men were found no way behind their eastern and western competitors. Among the apples were Grimes' Golden and American Beauty in large quantities, and many other novelties I was surprised to find in such quantities. This seems to be the soil for growing the pear; finer specimens, of all ages from one to three and four years old, can be found nowhere in the State; nor have I seen finer blocks of pear trees at Kochester, Geneva, or Syracuse, and the quality fully up to the demand. The cherry and peach are not so heavily grown ; but the proprietors have a keen eye to the prospective demand, and plant in proportion.

"And yet one important branch of this extensive establishment was hardly up to the demand of the times: I refer to the ornamental department. They should have some glass houses, a propagating house, a specimen plant house, etc., and now that the}' are finally established on their newly acquired and long coveted grounds, they should be added at once. Preparations were already being made for their erection, and early in the coming season will find them completed. The increasing demand for hardy evergreens must require a much larger stock than were noticed here, and on inquiry we were informed that they were preparing for a heavy stock in this department the coming season. Their one and two-years-old grape vines were particularly fine; one block of 11,000 Concords, this season's cuttings, were extra. But in the immense stocks of the apple, their fine growth and healthy condition, the uniformity of size and form of tree, the neatness and order of planting, with rows as straight as lines of light, and extending in some blocks for a mile or more in length, are found an abundant source of meritorious praise.

"Some idea of the magnitude of this establishment may be gained by referring to the amount of stocks planted during the past three years. On referring to the registry for 1871 the planting for that year footed up to upwards of 600,000. In 1872 their setting reached 650,000. These two lots were cut to the ground in the spring of 1873. They are a magnificent lot of trees now, and ready for market, standing from five to seven feet high, well branched, and as desirable a lot to select from as one would wish. In 1873, 400,000 were planted; again in 1874 400,000 more. The fall of 1875 and spring of 1876 will find this establishment in possession of nearly one million trees ready for market.

"Tree planters of Michigan! give these gentlemen a trial ; they are worthy of your patronage, and your own interests will be served by so doing. They have had their share in the disasters of the unprecedented cold winter of 1872 and 1873; the loss was very great. After becoming convinced of the damage done, they resolved to destroy all that were known to be injured, and upwards of $20,000 worth were committed to the flames."

The above from the report of 1874 can hardly be improved upon in describing the buildings and nursery of Messrs. Ilgenfritz, except to add a few words showing their present condition. The main building is 40x156 and two stories high, with a wing 175x50, having a drive-way and platform between for shipping, etc. The cellars underneath are used for trenching, and those under the wing have the Howe truss roof. The extent of the nurseries gives constant employment to about seventy-five men, and consists of the packing grounds, office and main building, nine acres in extent, where they propagate all kinds of choice ornamental stock, such as tree roses, rhododendrons, choice shrubs, vines and ornamental trees.

The railroad farm on the north side of the river stretches along the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern tracks a mile and a quarter from the river, and covers one hundred and eighty acres; on this there are five barns, having a floor space of over one thousand square feet.

The Waterloo farm of two hundred acres is located on the southwesterly city limits, and has four hundred square feet of weather-sheds and barns.

The Clark farm is situated on the northwesterly city limits, where about seventy acres are devoted to the cultivation of evergreens and ornamentals, and on which are five hundred square feet of barn room.

The homestead lot on the north side of the river, between the two bridges and opposite the residence of Mr. Ilgenfritz, is used for stables and general storehouses, making in all nearly five hundred acres under cultivation for nursery purposes.

The Monroe Nurseries do not make a specialty of any one thing, but have over two million trees, consisting largely of apple, peach, pear and cherry in all stages of advancement, and aim to carry in stock all kinds of fruits indigenous to the soil, always striving to have only the best varieties.

One of the industries of Monroe of which the average resident has but little conception of the magnitude, is the nurseries. Beginning less than half a century ago it has developed from less than two to nearly a thousand acres under cultivation. In our survey of the culture of fruits, let us commence at the beginning. Gradual and experimental work of the cultivator has given rise to a branch of industry in Monroe that has widely surpassed the most sanguine dreams of its founders, and from the employment of a few in 1840, furnishes means of subsistence to several hundreds of industrious citizens.

In the tropics, amid the luxuriant vegetation of that great natural hot house, nature offers to man, almost without care, the most refreshing, delicious and nutritious fruits; but in the temperate zones nature is more harsh, the genial warmth and sunshine of one season being followed in quick succession by cold winds, ice and snowstorms. In a perpetual struggle man is engaged in ameliorating and transforming nature, and it is in the face of obstacles that man as the gardener arises and forces nature to yield to his art. Up to within a comparatively few years the profession of nurseryman was unknown, each farmer raising for himself such trees and plants as best suited his tastes. But in time the sturdy tiller of the soil found that the special study of trees and plants, by systematic and well-planned experiments and carefully noting the results, gave a much finer variety and a more profitable market. Thus naturally the business gradually fell into the hands of a certain few who made a study of it, and the result was that Monroe has become a large and growing nursery center, the soil and climate being from certain natural advantages especially adapted to the growth and production of strong, hardy and well ripened trees. This, together with its central location, midway between the East and West, and the abundant railroad advantages afforded, gave the fullest opportunities for the development of the business.

As early as 1840 Bixby, Mattocks, Hartwell and others had nurseries on a small scale, but probably the first one established as a distinct business investment was in 1841 by E. H. Reynolds on about two acres of land on Elm street, where the residence of Father Jose now stands. In 1847 I. E. Ilgenfritz came to Monroe from Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, with a small nursery stock, and opened an office at the same point in partnership with Mr. Reynolds, who soon after withdrew from the business.

These were indeed primitive times and days of small beginnings, and the man who would then have predicted that in less than a generation the business would have assumed the gigantic proportions it has, would have been looked upon as a visionary enthusiast, and even a few years before the war a man from another portion of the State coming to Monroe with a view of starting in the business, and seeing the fifteen acres of apple trees set out by Mr. Ilgenfritz, backed out, thinking that already more trees had been planted than would ever be sold, and there was no use for him to enter into competition.

There is no subject considered by the farmer of equal importance as the variety of the trees in the orchard he may plant. Has he an inferior breed of horses or cattle, his old stock is worth something for work or meat, and he can turn them off with no material loss and replace with improved breeds. But on planting an orchard the ground is dedicated to the tree and as a rule the variety planted, and if, after five or ten years of anxious waiting and patient toil, the variety is found worthless by the ignorance of the purchaser or knavery of the nurseryman, the evil is not so easy to remedy. Hence the work of the honest nurseryman comes in, to not only make new varieties, but by careful attention to the nature of the soil and exposure when growing, to use judgment in placing his trees where they will mature to the best advantage.

Forty years ago men grew their own trees; a few years later nurserymen peddled their stock from farm to farm with horse and wagon, rarely going more than a hundred miles from home, and the greater portion of stock came from eastern nurseries. Now the active canvasser with his sample book and glib tongue convinces the farmer that he has just the trees wanted, and takes orders for spring and fall delivery, at which seasons a carload or more of stock is shipped to the point most desirable for distribution, and the nurseryman whose reputation for honest dealing and knowledge of his business stands the highest is, especially if ably represented by his agents, apt to get the cream of the trade. Aside from the facilities for immediate and speedy transportation, the Monroe stock, being acclimated to the soil, was found to be much better adapted to the western soil and climate, and gradually supplanted the eastern market in the leading sorts most profitable to this locality.

We find E. H. Reynolds in 1841, followed by I. E. Ilgenfritz in 1847, from which in 1876 we have I. E. Ilgenfritz & Sons, and known as the Monroe Nurseries; Reynolds again in 1850 as the Monroe City Nursery, and joined in 1866 by S. B. Lewis, until 1880, widen the partnership was dissolved and the Floral City Nursery started by Lewis, and Reynolds Nursery by Reynolds.

The River Raisin Valley Nursery was established in 1857 by J. C. W Greening. In 1882 his two sons, George A. and Charles E., withdrew, and started on their own account on thirty acres next east of the original nursery, and in 1886 they took the entire charge of the nursery located about a mile and a half south of the city of Monroe, and consisting of 240 acres. In 1854 Mr. Greening planted the first Concord grape introduced into Monroe county. Naturally following the propagating of trees comes the production of small fruits. In 1876, after dissolving partnership with his brother, Mr. Daniel Ilgenfritz started as the pioneer of berry culture in Southern Michigan, and now has on his fruit farm 1,000 apple and 500 pear trees, and 10 acres of grapes, 20 of blackberries and 30 of raspberries, the shipments from which are from 75.to 100 bushels daily, mostly to Bay City and Saginaw markets.

The proprietor of the Floral City Nurseries, was ushered into this world October 5, 1823, taking his first view of life on a farm about two miles west of Monroe, being the third of a family of ten boys, his parents being Silas and Lydia (Chilson) Lewis, the former of whom was killed by the falling of a tree December 1, 1853; the latter was born in Cartwright, Delaware county, New York, a few miles from Albany, May 2, 1799, and is now living at the advanced age of ninety years in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1806 she went with her parents to Little York (now Toronto), Ontario, and was but a short distance away when the magazine was blown up, resulting in the death of General Pike. Her father, John Chilson, was impressed into the British army during the War of 1812, and not wishing to fight against his own countrymen, was at that time in hiding under a neighboring bank, which fact probably saved him from the fate of hundreds of his comrades.

His grandfather, Reuben Lewis, came to Monroe in 1806 with eight families, and was probably one of the first American settlers in Monroe. He, with Silas, was attached to the cavalry, under General Hull, during the War of 1812, and at Hull's surrender August 11, 1811, took to the woods and carried the news to General Winchester. His aunt Lucretia (mother of the late Mrs. E. H. Reynolds) had just made a new cloak which the Indians tried several times to take from her ; as she pluckily recovered it each time, they finally took both her and the cloak to their camp about eight miles distant, and from which she managed to make her escape the first night. His grand father and grandmother in company with a number of other settlers made their escape from the French and Indians, and in an open bateau followed the coast of Lake Erie to Cleveland; in consequence of exposure during the trip Mrs. Lewis died, and Mr. Lewis afterward went to Kentucky and re-married.

Shortly after peace was declared, Silas married, and returning to Monroe settled on the old farm, and also worked a tannery and boot and shoe shop, and on the opening of the Michigan Southern .Railroad from Monroe to Adrian took the contract for the construction of sections eight and eleven.

His brothers are: Manson, born May, 1820, died November, 1824; Shubael, born February 28, 1822, for two years treasurer of the township of Milan; Silas, born July, 1825, who went to California in 1851 over the overland route, and bringing up in Texas just before the War of the Rebellion, was pressed into the Confederate service, and served in the rebel army through the war, at the close of which, in company with two other families, fitted out teams, intending to emigrate through the Indian Territory to Iowa, but the first night out, when camped on the banks of Blue River, they were overtaken by white men disguised as Indians and the men brutally murdered, while the women and children, after burying their husbands and fathers in hurriedly dug graves, returned to Bonham, Fannin county, Texas; Moses, born in 1827 and died an infant; John Chilson, born in 1829, went to California with Colonel Wadsworth in 1851, now living in Iowa; James, born in 1831, now living in Colorado; William, born in 1834; Nelson, born in 1837; the two latter, with John Chilson, went to Iowa and settled in the southern part of Kane township, Pottawattamie county, which a few years ago was set off and named Lewis township; and George II., born in 1841, and now living in Monroe.

A remarkable fact in connection with Mr. Lewis's family is that all the brothers (with the except of the two who died in infancy and the one who was shot) are living, hale, hearty, old men, who have hardly known the meaning of sickness in their lives.

November 28, 1849, Mr. Lewis was married in Brownstown, Wayne county, Michigan, to Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph and Julia Ann (DeForest) Viles, the former of whom died April 29, 1877, and the latter April 26, 1888. Mrs. Lewis was a native of Steuben, New York, where she was born April 2, 1832. Her children are: Emma Lucretia, born September 18, 1852, married to William V. Strong, an engineer in Charlevoix, and son of Captain Strong, one of the old residents of Monroe; Claire Elizabeth, born October 1, 1852; Susan Augusta, born February 14, 1854; George Washington, born September 30, 1855, married March 28,1883, to Belle Hendrick, of Rochester, New York, and now living in St. Charles, Michigan; Franklin May, born November 12, 1857, died January 23, 1869; Alva, born September 14, 1859, died September 30, 1859; Hattie Minnie, born March 18, 1861, now living in Monroe, the wife of Willis Baldwin, county surveyor, to whom she was married April 11, 1883; Samuel Chilson, born July 4, 1863; and Mary Alzada, born November 11, 1868.

Of Mr. Lewis's brothers none were in the Union army, although he paid for a substitute and was not drafted, and Shubael was drafted and cleared the call by reason of deafness. Silas was pressed into the rebel army, in which he served through the war, and was shot by bushwhackers on the banks of Blue River, Indian Territory, in July, 1865.

The grandfather of Mrs Lewis (George DeForest) was an officer at West Point, where he died during the War of 1812.

Mr. Lewis had but few educational advantages in his early youth, attending school in the old log school house on the Harvey farm, and graduating from the select school kept by Ingersoll & Peters under the old Methodist Episcopal church. A farmer from his boyhood, he ran a threshing machine for about ten years; from 1855 to 1857 he had charge of the county poorhouse and farm, and after traveling for Ilgenfritz in 1866, in company with E. H. Reynolds started the Monroe City Nursery on the farm where the River Raisin massacre occurred. The great hailstorm of 1883 resulted in the dissolution of this partnership, and on the hundred acres coming to him as his share, he started the Floral City Nursery as S. B. Lewis & Co. His brother George was the company, but he soon afterward withdrew.

Mr. Lewis has by close attention built up a large business, extending over the entire country. His selection of varieties, many of them imported, embraces all the latest and most promising introductions, as well as the most popular and thoroughly proved older sorts, both of fruits or ornamentals, for the garden, orchard, park or lawn. His aim is to keep fully abreast of an enlightened and cultivated taste in the introduction of new and valuable varieties of fruit, and novelties and valuable acquisitions in ornamentals, giving the most careful scrutiny to their propagation, accepting with pleasure anything that has real merit. By a careful consideration of the wants of his trade, and faithful attention to business, he is warranted in offering his stock as pure and absolutely true to name, and is enabled to offer the product of his nurseries with entire confidence to planters in all sections of the country. In politics Mr. Lewis has always been a radical Democrat. For many years he has been a consistent member of the Presbyterian church.

While in the manufacture of wagons and carriages Monroe has never risen to the dignity of a specialty, yet the work of her wagon-makers is largely sought after by farmers in the contiguous territory. As no record of the business has been kept it would be an impossibility to give a perfect account of the industry, but as early as 1835 we find John Hill (who afterwards sold to John Spencer), with Samuel Sellers as his smith, and a shop located on Monroe street where the Methodist church now stands.

At that time (1835) Cramer & Garwood were the only blacksmiths. Up to about 1840 we find Goodenough (1838), Blue, Dunbar, Kaider, Samuel .Robinson (1836), McCormick, John O'Reilly (1837), and Spencer. Mr. Spencer came from York State with twenty farm wagons, and failed, as the main work of the carriage-maker in those days (the population being mostly French and living almost entirely in log houses) was French carts and coffins, and his wagons were too expensive to meet with sale. Lebrouch, with a smithy where St. Mary's seminary is, J. H. Dennison, John Jones and Fischer, came during the thirties, and from 1840 to 1850 we have Fischer, Westerman, Kull Brothers. The next decade brings JR. Gilmore, Felix Hughes, Kiddie, George Custer (an uncle of General Custer). As good tools were an essential factor in the wagon-maker's vocation, about 1840 White & Miller started an edge tool factory, and in 1845 were succeeded by one Prindle. John Lewis, as far back as 1835, furnished castings needed in the business. Up to the time of the war this branch was in a crude state, and mostly confined to custom jobs and ordered work; but with the advent of new machinery and manufactured white stock, a change was made, and the business as now carried on practically dates from about 1860.

It would be an impossibility to give the career of each workman, or even a list of those who have been engaged in the business in Monroe at different times. In 1874 we havens wagon-makers: John Black, John H. Dennison, John Fischer, August Peters, Balders Porth, and Westerman & Co. Combined with a blacksmith shop were: Acker, Leonard & Co., F. Bezeau, Ohr & Beck, and Wagner Bros. Having a forge only were: John Alexander, John Baier, George Custer, Egle & Knap, John C. Heck, Kull Bros., and Peters & Cassedy.

Fifteen years later we look at the condition of the business with as near as possible the year from which they date, as follows: 1861, Beck & Baier, F. G. Ohr; 1835, Anton Westerman; 1837, John H. Dennison; 1850, Kull Bros.; 1862, F. Bezeau; 1870, B. Porth; 1875, G. & F. Wagner; 1882, Ludwig Krzyszke; 1885, J. B. Piquett. And of the sons of Yulcan: 1840, John C. Heck; 1845, William Acker, John Baier; 1860, Frank Benderritter; 1873, Anton Egle; 1886, Adolphus Dubery.

Of these we make mention of John H. Dennison, the oldest son of Ezekiel E. and Abigail (Adams) Dennison. He was born in Durham, Connecticut, October 21, 1813, and came to Monroe in 1837 from Livonia, New York. Here he entered the employ of one Fischer till the next spring, since which he has carried on a shop for himself. October 20, 1840, he was married to Amelia, daughter of George and Sarah (Ely) Pegler, by whom he has had two children: Zenas H., born February 14, 1844, and now living in Marshall, Michigan; and Sarah, born March, and dying in September, 1846. In politics Mr. D. is a Republican. For many years has been an active member of the Presbyterian church.

Frank Benderritter came to Monroe in 1853 with his parents, Joseph and Maria (Bosenblatt) Benderritter. He was born at Sandusky, Ohio,

June 13, 1843. In May, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Fourth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, serving until mustered out as corporal June 30, 1864. At the battle of Cold Harbor he was wounded in the hand, for which he receives a small pension. November 22, 1870, he married the daughter of William and Barbara (Schneider) Kull, who is the mother of George, born September, 1872, and Joseph, born January, 1876. Mr. Benderritter is a member of Joseph E. Smith Post, 1876, G. A. R, of which he is now junior vice commander. In politics an independent Democrat. He has for two years served as city marshal.

Ferdinand Bezeau was born at Coteau de Sac, Canada, December 12, 1832, and at an early day went with his parents, Joseph Louis and Charlotte (Mitteaud) Bezeau to Bochester, New York, where he lived till the death of his mother in 1842. His uncle then brought him to Monroe and he learned the trade of wagon maker, which he followed successfully till the fall of 1888, when he became landlord of the Floral City House. During the time he was in the business he made the only omnibus ever built in Monroe. He has served as alderman and street commissioner two terms each. He has found marriage a success, having tried it three times, June 6, 1865, with Catherine, daughter of Philip and Margaret Ann (Devon) Gregory, who died February 2, 1876, her children being Mary, born May 7, 1867; Louis Philip, December 8, 1869; Elida, August 3, 1871; and Elizabeth, March 27, 1874. His second wife, to whom he was married September 9, 1878, was Mary, daughter of Edward and Mary Ann (Navarre) Loranger; she died without issue August 8, 1882. His youngest child is Emma Hortense, born July 27, 1885, her mother being Emma E. (sister of his second spouse), to whom he was married March 18, 1883.

Who for the past six years has been the proprietor of a brickyard in the western part of Monroe, was ushered into this world the seventeenth day of October, 1836, and is a native to the manner born, his birthplace being Monroe, and his parents Thomas and Mary (Cooney) Martin, who came to Monroe county in 1836. The life of Mr. Martin has been that of a man who not having early educational advantages made up for it by a large amount of sound common sense. After a boyhood spent as most boys do, he, in the spring of 1859, went to work in the Eaton brickyard, continuing in that employment until 1879, when his -savings enabled him to procure a horse and dray, and for about seven years he might have been found ready to do any work that presented itself.

January 20,1877, he married Mary (Nuhfer), daughter of Frederick and Pauline (Lidenberger) Rodeman, whose two sons, William and Peter Nuhfer, are now engineers, the one on the Pennsylvania lines, the other at Detroit on the Michigan Central Railroad. While Mr. Martin was born and brought up a Catholic, his contact with people has made him very liberal in his views.

In 1870 he purchased the house and lot on Front street, where he now lives, and in 1883 added about six or seven acres adjoining and began the manufacture of brick and tile. His trade, although mainly a local one, steadily increased until he has now from ten to fifteen men working for him, manufactures during the season ten thousand brick daily and forty-four thousand feet of tile each week, running constantly two first-class machines. In 1885 he joined Lincoln Lodge, No. 190, I. O. O. F., of which body he is a-n active member. Mr. Martin has never taken any active part in politics, but has always been an independent Democrat.


Looking at the present condition of the brickyards in Monroe, it may be of interest to recall some reminiscences of that branch of business in Monroe. The first brickyard of which we can gain any information was started in the early part of the forties by James Nelson on his farm, on the north side of the River Raisin, near the west end of the city, and for several years was under the charge of Silas W. Eaton. From this yard came the bricks used in the construction of the Presbyterian church and many of the brick houses erected prior to 1850. In 1848 Mr. Eaton started a yard on the Downing farm in the same locality, which he worked for about two years, it then being operated by Mr. Downing till about 1860. From about 1851 to 1857 Mr. Eaton, then county sheriff, worked a 3'ard on the commons in front of the county jail. In 1866 a man by the name of Fleishman again started the yard on the Downing farm, continuing it for about three years. In 1881 and for two years after, Frank Luce contributed his share of the same product, his yard being near the Michigan Central depot. About 1883 John Martin started in near the west end of Front street, and his yards now cover an acre and a half, with a capacity each day of about ten thousand brick and seven thousand tile, giving employment to eleven men.

In 1854 we find Job C. Eaton starting a small yard in the extreme western limit of the city on Front street, which has increased until its daily capacity is over twenty tons and brick and twenty-five thousand tile. Mr. Eaton, who may be considered the pioneer brick manufacturer of Monroe, and who has invented several brick machines, was born in Burlington, Vermont, February 22, 1832, and when eighteen months old came to Monroe with his parents, Silas W. and Harriet (Conger) Eaton, the former of whom is still living at the age of eighty-seven. He was married November 17, 1853, to Rachel, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Ineson) Fox, who is the mother of Nelson, born November 28, 1854, died March 3, 1860; William Fox, April 20, 1857, died March 24, 1870; Mary E., October 1, 1859, married to James N. Bentley December 27, 1882, and died July 9, 1883; William Harrison, June 19, 1862; Charles G., March 27, 1865; Edwin J., April 15, 1868; and Sidney N., June 8, 1871. In the month of February, 1865, Mr. Eaton went into the service as second lieutenant Company K, Eleventh Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served till the close of the war, and is now Surgeon of Jos. E. Smith Post, No. 76, Grand Army of the Republic. A Republican in politics, he has served for six years as alderman in the city and for four years as county sheriff.

In 1885 the La Plaisance Manufacturing Company, of which J. M. Bulkley was president and B. Fleming secretary, started the manufacture of "Monroe" Bath Brick, which on May 2, 1886, was purchased by the present proprietor, Mr. P. H. Mathews. Their main market is St. Louis, Missouri, shipments, however, being made to Lincoln, Nebraska, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and other western points.

About 1854 C. Mohr & Son established the first marble yard in Monroe. Some years after Taylor & Richbauer started in the same line, and were succeeded in 1874 by L. Richbauer & Sons, the principal product of both yards being monumental work.

As early as 1820 the Waterloo Mills were started, and Monroe, from its natural advantages, became the grain market of southeastern Michigan. About 1840 the Monroe City Mills were built, and the Erie Mills, of Black Bock, near Buffalo, New York, sent Mr. F. Waldorf to take charge of the former, which they had rented of Mr. Beach in 1842, and three years later they leased the latter, Mr. Waldorf superintending the working of both, while Samuel J. Holley had charge of the outside work. At this time money did not enter into the dealing in grain, and trade was all in dicker. These being the only mills in this section of the country, parties came from as far as Maumee City and waited for their grist to be ground. About the time the Monroe City Mills were built by Birch & Frost, a water-power and dam had been constructed by Bacon & Lawrence, and prior to the occupancy of the mill by Mr. Waldorf, a quarter interest was owned by each. In 1844 the Erie Mills, as a forwarding institution, did not find it to their interest to be known in connection with the mills at Monroe as proprietors, and so persuaded Messrs. Waldorf & Holley to lease them, which was done in 1845. Six years later the Waterloo Mills were thoroughly overhauled and refitted, and in 1852 were purchased by Mr. Waldorf, who sold them in 1858 to Messrs. Norman & Perkins, the latter continuing in possession until 1870, when they were sold to Stiles & Harvey. In 1875 Harvey sold his interest to Mr. C. G. Johnson, who continued in partnership until 1881, when Mr. Stiles became the owner by purchasing the interest held by Mr. Johnson, again changing in 1887, with Cyrus Stiles in charge. This left Mr. Waldorf in full charge of the Monroe City Mills.

Prior to the opening of the canal, all shipments of flour and other materials had to be made from La Plaisance Bay, to which point a track was laid, and cars drawn by horses as a motive power. There being no warehouses at Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, or in fact anywhere except at Monroe, it was the best wheat market in this section of the country, and it was no unusual thing at early morning to see the streets in the vicinity of the mill blocked with teams wailing to unload, the farmers having come in from taverns near by, where they had remained over night so as to be on hand in time. The mills were run to their fullest capacity day and night, and shipments made to the Buffalo market, vessels leaving the bay with two and three thousand barrels of flour, which were frequently sold long before the boat reached its destined point. Buffalo at that time was the great distributing point for that section, and the reputation of Monroe flour was of the highest. On the completion of the canal warehouses were ready, and wheat that could not be at once used in the mills found a ready sale there, the first ones in the field being started by Sterling & Noble.

When the railroads were released from the State and passed under private control, competition at other points began and Monroe lost its prestige, although it has ever had its fair share of business in the grain market. About 1875 the machinery of the Bay City Mill at Sandusky (where it had been for forty years) was shipped to Monroe and a mill started by Mr. Boyd, and after passing through several hands, the "Standard" Mill came into the possession of Messrs. Johnson & Stiles in 1879, who operated it till 1883, when it was shut down. The little mill of Caux & Stiles was built as a store about 1875, and within a year the machinery of the mill from Adrian was put in operation in the old store room. The daily capacity of the several mills now in operation is about three hundred barrels, market being found mostly in Detroit and Cleveland.

While as a historian we would not give fulsome flattery to any meritorious subject, yet we can not pass this point without a brief sketch of one of Monroe's most popular citizens, who, after nearly half a century of active business life, is known as one of the solid men of the city, and while not at all ostentatious in the display of, yet is always open to the call of charity, never letting his left hand know what his right does. When he passes away at the call of his Creator to join the heavenly hosts, hundreds of worthy poor will without doubt mourn the loss of one whose watchful eye, ever on the lookout to relieve worthy destitution, is forever closed to the scenes of earth and can no more guide his hands in answer to the calls of suffering humanity. Born in a mill in Darmstadt January 27, 1825, he came to this country with his parents, Adam and Mary (Maples) Waldorf in August, 1834, when they settled in Lyons, New York, his father enter the employ of the Erie Mills, at that time the largest in the Union, having a daily capacity of five hundred barrels of flour. In 1839 he removed to Black Rock, near Buffalo, New York, still in the employ of the same firm, and with whom he learned the secrets of the millers trade. As a "dusty miller" he came to Monroe in 1842, and is justly looked upon by his brother millers as the patriarch of the business in this section.

In June, 1844, he was married to Celestine Ann, daughter of James J. and Victoria (Navarre) Godfroy.

When but a boy four years old he was left without a mother, but had the counsel of a father until 1864. Coming to the land of the free he early imbibed the true principles of freedom, and himself and Hon. I. P. Christiancy were the fathers of the Republican party in Monroe, he being the first Republican mayor elected in the city, and presidential elector on that ticket from this district for several presidential elections. For years he has been a consistent member of the Lutheran church. From the early days of the First National Bank a director, he was elected president on its reorganization in 1877, which office he has since held.