St. Clair County MI

IRA Township forms the extreme southwest town of the county with the Lake St Clair on the south, Chesterfield Township west, Cottrellville and Casco on the east and north. Swan Creek runs through the town from north to south. The pioneers were the Chortiers, Stephen Pose, Christopher Miller, P. Bookman, Charles Chatoreau, and others whose names appear in the list of early land buyers. The population of Ira in 1845 was 392; in 1854, 897; in 1804, 1,072; and in 1880, 1,645. The equalized value is $178,755, and the area, 11,173 acres. The population is principally made up of foreigners, who are very industrious.

The original land buyers wore James Seymour, Bowen Whiting, James Edwards, Gardner Wells, Elisha Steele, Benjamin Hazen, located lands on Section 1, in 1836; J. L. King, on Section 2; Hanford Reynolds, on Section 5; James Edwards, on Section 6; Henry Connor, Barney McCann, on Section 11; H. H. Waller, on Section 12; J. W. Throop, James Dunlap, Levi Beardsley and Smith Titus, on Section 13, in 1836; Julius Eldred, F. and R. Moore, Alonzo Merrill, on Section 24, in 1834.

The Indian lands in Ira Township, or Township 3 north. Range 15 east, were disposed of between May 15, 1839. and October 30, 1848. The purchasers, May 15, 1839, were James J. Cook, 480 acres, on Sections 4, 9, and 15; Henry Connor, 160 acres, on Sections 11 and 15; Medar St. James de Beauvais, 50 acres; Charles Patpiette, 250 acres; Luther Stoddard, 80 acres; Lansing B. Miznor, 190 acres, on Sections 10, 14 and 17; Antoino Eabire, 80 acres, Section 9; Peter Rose, 80 acres, on Section 8; Ira Davenport, 160 acres, on Section 9; John Dalloz, 50 acres, on Section 16; Stephen Rose, 37 acres on Section 16; Timothy Boyer, 158 acres, on Section 15; Stephen Chortier, 80 acres, on Section 15; Antoino Laponse, 62 acres, on Section 17; Augustus Fauche, 46 acres, on Section 15; Louis Beanfait, 170 acres, on Sections 14, 15 and 22; Ed. R. Kearsley, 80 acres, on Section 15; and Jonathan Kearsley, 140 acres, on Section 14.

The sales made in May, June and August, 1839, were to the following named buyers: Jonathan Kearsley, 70 acres, on Section 23; Ed. N. Kearsley, 51 acres, on Section 23; L. B. Mizner, 115 acres, on Sections 8 and 22; Constant Lorsello, 80 acres, on Section 10; Charles S. Johnson, 175 acres, on Section 3; Barney McCann, 284 acres, on Section 11; and Charles S. Johnson, 105 acres, on Section 35.

Joseph Socier purchased 40 acres of Indian Reserve, October 16, 1841, on Section 4, Ira; Venson Paquette, bought 40 acres on Section 10, July 26, 1844; Joseph Merceraux, 40 acres, on Section 10, December 9,1844; Henry R. Miznor, 40 acres, on Section 10 August 16, 1845; Abrmn Destrul, 80 acres, November 19. 1845; Joseph Miller, 40 acres, Section 10, December 27, 1815; Francis Palms purchased 887 acres on Sections 2 and 3, in December, 1847, also 787 acres, on Sections 4 and 5, at the same time; Felix Vigneron, 80 acres, on Section 4, May 8, 1847; Lansing B. Mizner, 01 acres, on Section 8, November 26; Francis Palms, 137 acros, on Section 8, December, 1847, also 268 acres on Sections 10, 11, and 14, in December, 1817; Toussaint Chortier, 40 acres, on Section 14, June 23, 1847: Antoino Logar and Joseph Mercoreux, 40 acres each, on Section 10, in August and December, 1847; James Landry, 80 acres, on Section 14, September 1, 1848; and Francis Palms, 104 acres, in March and October, 1848. The Supervisors of Ira since its organization, are named as follows: Charles Kimball. 1837; Commissioners Board, 1838-41; Charles Kimball, 1842-44; Job P. Gorham, 1845-47, Antoino Bethey, 1818; John Dalloz, 1849; George King, 1850-51; Larkin Hatch, 1852; John Dalloz, 1853-54; Ira Marks, 1855; John Dalloz, 1856: Abram Yule, 1857; C. McElroy, 1858-59; E. G. Marks, 1860; Godfrey Deroche, 1861; Louis A. Allor, 1862; Stephen Rose, 1863; H. Nedermeyer, 1804-71; H. Meyer, 1872-79; Benjamin Latour, 1880-82.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE. Chester Kimball, 1837; Chester Kimball. 1841; Charles Kimball, 1841; Ira Marks, 1842; John Dalloz, 1843; Stephen Rose, Jr., 1843; Job T. Gorham, 1845; Larkin Hatch, 1846; James Dunlap, 1846; John Dalloz, 1847; Job T. Gorham, 1849; John DaUoz, 1850; Samuel Irons, 1851; Godfrey Derocheo, 1853; William F. Chipman. 1353; John Dalloz, 1854; Larkin Hatch, 1855; John Sadler, 1857; E. H. Bntler, 1857; Larkin Hatch, 1857; Crocket McElroy, 1858; George C. Walker, 1859; E. G. Marks, 1859; Louis A. Allor, 1800; E. H. Butler, 1860; Stephen Rose, 1861-62; W. Zantgreffer, 1861-62; J. M. Leroy, 1861-62; H. John, 1862; R. Martyn, 1862; H. Neddermeyer, 1863; John Sadler, 1864; R. Martyn, 1865; H. Neddermeyer, 1867; John Sadler, 1868; Charles Fosbender, 1809; Robert English. 1869; Charles Fosbender, 1870-74; R. Martyn, 1870; U. Neddermeyer, 1871; John Sadler, 1872; James Landry, 1873; Stephen Rose, 1875; Charles Rose, 1876; A Merceraux, 1876: Alexander Landry, 1877; C. Fosbender, 1878; A. Merceraux. 1879; Sebastin Habarth, 1880; Joseph T. Landry, 1881; Charles Fosbender, 1882.

A settlement was made as appears by a Captain Francois Mersac in about 1798, at Tremble Creek, the stream near New Baltimore, on the Ridge Road, and also prior to 1796, at Swan Creek, some four miles west of New Baltimore.

From the early settlement of that section a tradition has been handed down, and this tradition has many believers even now, that an English Captain or Lieutenant, who had been largely successful in gathering together a quantity of bullion, being compelled to flee from the Indians, buried his treasure in the earth, about a mile from the present isle of New Baltimore; that he was either killed by the Indians, or died from exposure, and the secret of his treasure's hiding place died with him. Many searches have been made by infatuated individuals after this treasure, and many believe that the ghostly shade of the deceased Captain guards the treasure-trove so jealously, and has such power of moving its location, that all search is in vain.

Fair Haven, in Ira Township, thirty miles south of Port Huron, on Anchor Bay, is one of the early settlements of St. Clair. It has four churches, viz.: Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, and Reform. Its industries comprise saw and grist mills. The school is found there also.


Following are the biographical sketches of many of the most prominent citizens of the township:

PATRICK B. FLAHERTY, P. O. Fair Haven, born in Ireland October 12, 1841. His parents emigrated in 1842, first locating in Montreal, Province Lower Canada, where they remained until 1847, when they removed to Rochester, N. Y. At nine years of age, he began work in a stave mill in that city, earning his own living, thus learning the first lesson in the battle of life. He acquired a fair education, improving his leisure time in study and in night schools. Remaining in the mill, his industry and proficiency was acknowledged by his employers, paying him man's wages when only thirteen years of age. He remained in the mill until 1864, when he spent two years traveling in the West, and in 1866 located in Fair Haven, in the employ of Mr. H. C. Schnoor, where he is now foreman of his immense business. Married September 29, 1806. to Miss Elizabeth Dolan, of Lachine, Lower Canada. They have six children—Elizabeth, John II., Edward. Joseph, Patrick H. and Thomas. Elizabeth is now at school in Medina, N. Y. His steady habits are shown by the fact that all the labor of his life thus far has been for only two firms, and still farther by a comfortable home and cash balance in bank. Socially, he will never be forgotten, having organized the first benevolent and Christian society of St. Ignatius in Rochester, of which he was President and Secretary eight years. He has labored to establish another school in Fair Haven, which is becoming a necessity, and has here filled the office of Superintendent of schools. A warm hearted, generous friend of education.

HENRY MEYER, P. O. Fair Haven, was born in the city of Hanover, Germany, January 1, 1828. Receiving a common school education, he served an apprenticeship at carpenter's trade, which he followed until 1864. Emigrated in 1851, arriving in Detroit in August of that year, entering the employ of Mr. James Shearier, contractor and builder, in whose service he remained twelve years, during which time he purchased a farm of eighty acres in Section 11, Town 3 north, Range 15 east. He was married July 27, 1856, to Miss Mary Beckman, of Detroit, also of German parentage. They have twelve children—Henry F., August Theodore, Ernest C, Ida, Augusta, Louisa, Albert, Alwina, Mary, Emil and Frederick W., all at home. Moved on the farm in January, 1864, where he now resides, and in 1865 was elected Town Treasurer, which office he held for eight successive years; also held the office of Supervisor eight years. Resigning the office of Supervisor, he was appointed Enumerator for Ira Township for taking the tenth census. The financial prosperity and genial natures of the family are evidence of kind home government and the wise ruling of so large a family has also contributed to the welfare of the neighborhood. To keep his boys at home and profitably employed, a flouring mill was built and is financially successful, and a great convenience to the town. His genial nature and public spirit has made all who know him his friends.

CHARLES ROSE, P. O. Fair Haven, was born in Montreal, Lower Canada, February 14, 1820; son of Stephen Rose, who came to Fair Haven October, 1832, locating on Section 23, in Township 3 north, Range 15 east. Because of the disadvantages of pioneer life, he acquired no education whatever. Early in life, work- ing at boat-building, he learned the trade of ship carpenter, and for many years managed a yard of his own, during which time he built and launched many a finely constructed and fully equipped craft. Failing health and advancing age caused him, in 1876, to quit the business; and the fine property he now owns attests to his industry and real worth. He was married by Rev. Peter Laferve, Bishop of Detroit, November 20, 1843, in Detroit, to Miss Eleanore Mueneer. They have five children—Mary, now Mrs. John Tart; Eleanore, now Mrs. Charles Beauvias; Celina, now Mrs. Samuel Smith; Cephers and Genevieve, still at home. All the present surroundings of Mr. Rose's home give evidence of his innate worth.

HENRY C. SCHNOOR, merchant and manufacturer, P. O. Fair Haven, is a native of Germany, and was born February 7, 1835. He emigrated to this country in 1853, and came to Detroit, where he worked at the cooper's trade two years, then came to New Baltimore and was engaged in business with his brother two years, then came to Fair Haven and engaged in mercantile business. He paid $1,000 for the property and $400 for the stock of goods, and since then has successfully carried on the business here. He carries a large stock of goods and has a large trade. In 1867, he bought the saw mill of William Jenny and converted it into a stave, heading and lumber mill and established his present business, and since then for the past fifteen years has built up and carried on a large, successful and extensive business, employing in his mills, boats and business between 100 and 200 hands. His logs come mostly from Canada. He has his own steam vessels for freighting his goods, which find markets in the East, West and South. He also has a saw and planing mill for sawing and dressing lumber, in connection with his manufactory. He is also engaged in the stave, hoop and heading business at Wallaceburg, Canada. Mr. Schnoor started in life without anything, and has become by his energy, one of the most successful business men in the county. In 1858, he married Miss Louisa Kruse, a native of Germany. They have nine children—four sons and five daughters—William, Bernard, George, Henry. Alvina, Louisa, Clara, Hattie and Bessie.
History of St. Clair - Chicago A.T. Andreas & Co 1883

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