This township created an October 20, 1829, out
of part of what had been the Township of Bucklin,
consists of Town 2, North of Range 9 East. It was created out of Bucklin, and that township
no longer exists.
The condition of the schools, as shown by the Inspectors' reports for the year ending September
3, 1888 is as follows: There were seven whole and three fractional districts, enrolling 790 pupils, with
an average daily attendance of 470. Four brick houses, costing $20,500, and seating 508, and six
frame houses, costing $3,000, and seating 282. Four male teachers and fourteen female teachers
were employed. In six of the districts there were libraries containing a total of 1,587 volumes.
The population of the township in 1850 was 1,617; in i860; 2,168; in 1870, 2,956; and in 1880.
3,231. The valuation of the property in 1840 was $126,ro4; in 1850, $73,518; in i860, $286,814; in
1870, $340,120; and in 1880, 81,077,750. The apparent decrease in values between the years 1840 and 1850 is evidently owing to the low valuations
affixed in order to escape as much as possible of the county and State taxes.
The principal stream in the township is a brand
of the River Rouge, which runs nearly east and
west through the lower portion of the town. A
stream on the extreme north of the township was
formerly well known as Tonquish Creek, and was
named after the old Pottawattomte Indian chief. A
plain or prairie in the adjoining township on the east
was designated as Tonquish Plain, and under tht
treaty of November 17, 1807, two sections of lam
where his village was located near the river, went
reserved for the Indians, Interesting details of the
troubles of the early settlers with Tonquish and his
band are given by Melvin D. Osband in Volume ¦
of the Pioneer Collections of Michigan, and the fol-
lowing account is collected from that and other
Among the early settlers in 1812, commencing at
the swing bridge on the Rouge and working west
towards Wallaceville, were Joseph Brown, on what
was afterwards known as the Salisbury farm and
also as the Weaver farm, Thomas Anderson, and in
the rotation named Wm McCarthy, Francis Choon
Francis Laren, Widow Coutte, John Sargent,-
Stacy, John Thomas, Aaron Thomas, Alanson
Thomas, Capt. Macomb, Joel Thomas ; then came
the Harrison tract, Francis Dumay,-Hanchett
Jerry Dean, Hiram Fahns, Chappcl farm, Willian
Bucklin, John Cramer, Chauncy Brown, John W
Tompkins, W. Gridley, F. Fldridge, Thomas Johns
David Bucklin,- Tuttle, Joseph Hickox and
After the peace of 1815 the Pottawattomie Indians were disaffected and troublesome, and frequently committed little depredations on the settlers
along the River Rouge, west of Detroit. They
manifested no desire to engage in open hostilities,
but were indifferent to the rights of the whites.
Tonquish, their chief, was a leader in these acts of
lawlessness, arrogant and imperious Followed by
his band, he would enter the houses of the settlers,
and demand and obtain various articles. Upon one
occasion he called at ihe house of Alanson Thomas,
who lived on the brow of a hill on the north side of
the River Rouge, about two miles below the village
of Dearborn. Mr. Thomas was fixing up some
shelves for his wife's convenience, when he heard a
voice behind him, and turning around, he saw Chief
Tonquish, who ordered Mr. Thomas's wife to hand
him something which he coveted. Upon Mr.
Thomas demanding, " What are you doing here,"
the chief sprang at him, but he met the brawny fist
of Thomas, and was landed senseless on the other
side of the room. Mr. Thomas then administered
several kicks to the fallen brave, and finally threw
him out of the back door. Then looking up he
saw several of the band standing near by, who had
evidently witnessed the discomfiture of their chief.
One of them, a young son of Tonquish, scowled,
shook his head and said, " lime-by you be dead."
" Well, dead or alive," said Thomas, " I'll venture
togive you a Hogging." and picking up a green withe
that had been used to fix his fence, he chastised the
Indian severely. He jumped up and down and
yelled, and gave the war whoop in vain, as none of
his companions came to his rescue. Mr. Thomas
anticipated trouble as a result of the encounter, but
the Indians after that were afraid of and avoided
him. Subsequently Chief Tonquish called at the
cabin of Thomas Johns and demanded of Mrs. Johns
that she supply them with food. The best that she
could do did not please them, and throwing the
victuals in her face, they went on. Some two miles
west near John Sargent's place, they met Simon
Shover with a basket of bread which he was carrying to some men who were cutting timber for a
dock. The Indians attempted to take the bread,
and over resisted ana call for help, when
speedily came from the lumbermen. During the
melee a dog bit one of the Indians in the leg. The
Indians demanded that the dog be killed, but young
Sargent refused and started to put the dog in the
cellar. As he turned towards the house, the son
of Tonquish shot him in the back, and he died from
the wound soon afterwards. The settlers were at
once called together and started in pursuit of the
Indians. Among them were John Sargent, Aaron
and Joel Thomas, Capt. Macomb, William Bucklin,
Amos Gordon, Tell Nichols, Simon Shover, Francis
Ruff, Francis Dumay and David Bucklin. Each
was armed with a good rifle and well supplied with
ammunition. Being determined to avenge the
death of their pioneer neighbor, they went through
the woods to the Tonquish Plains, where they overtook the Indians the following morning on what
is known as Section 7 in Nankin. At that point the
Indians turned to the left, crossed the stream known
as Tonquish Creek, and passed out of sight over
the opposite bank. The settlers moved rapidly forward, but on reaching the locality no Indian could
be seen. They, however, hastily pushed on, and
the Indians soon arose from where they had hid
and fired, but fortunately no person was seriously
hurt. The settlers then rushed on them before they
had time to reload and captured all but Tonquish's
son Major Macomb, who led the party aimed his
gun at him to shoot him, but Tonquish stopped him
and said he would call him back, but instead of doing so, he told him in Indian language to run, and
when he had reached a point that he thought
beyond the range of Macomb's gun, the old chief
turned and said : " He no come back, shoot him."
The major shot, and he fell The chief, who had
been disarmed except his knife, then sprang at Macomb, but James Bucklin, and one account says
Amos Gardner, prevented his reaching Macomb,
who soon had his gun reloaded. When the chief
saw that the gun was nearly loaded he ran. but
before he had ran many steps, the major shot him
in the back. He fell mortally wounded, died the
same day, and was buried by the Indians. This
skirmish took place on Section 6 in the township of
Nankin. The sanguinary affair practically put an
end to Indian forays in this vicinity, but both Macomb and Shover, who were inveterate Indian
haters, had to plow and work, with rifle ready for
instant use in their defense. Macomb finally left
the country. His favorite way of saying he had
shot an Indian was, " Well, I've got another blanket
with a buttonhole in it." About 1838, some boys
opened the grave of Tonquish and took from it the
remains of the chief's gun, and some personal ornaments.
Among the first Methodist Episcopal preachers
in this section of the country, if not the very first,
was Rev. Marcus Swift, who came to Michigan in
1825. It was his custom to preach wherever a
few people could be gathered together. Very soon
afterwards Rev. Messrs. Elliott, Sayres, Brockway,
Triggs, Jones, Herr and Collins came. In 1835 a
church was organized. H. S. Kilburn was the first
class leader, and William Gilbert the second. The
first quarterly meeting was held in 1835. The first
church building was erected in 1862, during the
second year of Rev. B. H. Hedger's pastorate. It
was dedicated on January 16, 1863, and cost about
$3700- The names of the several pastors are as
follows: 1834, John Sayres; 1835-1836, W. H.
Brockway and C. Babcock; 1836-1837, Arthur B.
Elliott; 1837-1838, W. H. Brockway and C. Babcock; 1838-1839, C. Babcock and J. Blanchard;
1839- 1840, Robert Triggs and W. H. Collins;
1840- 1841, Adam Minnis and - Bradford;
1841 -1842, A. Fleming, - Dubois and -
Bruce; 1842-1843, - Dubois ana-Bruce;
1843- 1844. Henry Penfield and Gideon Shurtleff;
1844- 1845, John Gray; 1845-1846, J. Blanchard,
W. H. Haze; 1846-1847,Daniel Bush, W.Benson ;
1848-1849, Daniel Bush, Frederick Glass, 1849-
1850. J. C. Abbott. B. F. Prilchard; 1850-1851,
W. Mothersill, Robert Bird; 1851-1852, Isaac F.
Collins, W. Fox; 1852-1853. Samuel Bessy, J. C.
Wortly; 1853-1855, E. Steele, C. Seaman; 1855-
1856, C. Mosher. H. Culby; 1856-1857, J. W.
Kellogg, J. Dwella; 1857-1858, J. W. Kellogg. A.
J. Bigelow; 1858-1859, W. C Way; 1859-1860,
W.C.Way; 1860-1861, George Smith; 1861-1862,
B. H. Hedger. C. Church; 1862-1863. B H.
Hedgcr; 1863-1865. J. W. Kellogg; 1865-1866.
T. G Potter; 1868-1871, J. A. Mcllwain; 1871-
1872, E. E. Pearman; 1872-1874, J. S. Joslin ; 1874-
1876, L. C. York; 1876-1877. W. J. Campbell;
1877-1879. H. O. Parker, 1879-1881, T. H. Baskerville; 1881-1884, J- H. Kilpatrick; 1884-1886.
I. C. Wortly; 1886-1889, J. A. Mcllwain.
The first meeting of those favoring the organization of a Congregational Church was held in the
school-house on August 20, 1848. A lot was purchased, and the First Congregational Society of
Wayne was organized on October 7, 1848. It was
proposed to raise money to erect a church to be
used jointly by the Congregationalists and Methodists. This plan was carried into effect, and the
building was completed and dedicated in January,
1850. It seated 350. The following persons
served as pastors : Rev. John S. Kidder, August,
1848, to July, 1851; Rev. James Nail, July, 1851, to
February, 1855; Rev. Orrin C. Thompson, February, 1855, to September, 1856; Rev. Norman
Tucker, September. 1856, to February, 1859; Rev.
O. C. Thompson, 1860-1861 ; Rev. John D. Pierce,
from 1861-1863. While the church was without
a regular pastor. Elders Swift and Van Norman
filled the pulpit from 1864 to 1867; Rev. Charles
Cutler, from February, 1867, to May, 1869; Rev. O.
C. Thompson, from January, 1870, toOctober, 1871,
Rev. Obadiah Hobbs. April. 1872, to January, 1873;
Rev. Jonas Estabrook. February, 1873, to October,
1878; Rev. Augustus G, Upton, October, 1878, to
August, 1880; Rev. David C. McNair, from September, 1880, to April. 1883 ; Rev. George C. Empson, from October, 1883, to December. 1887; Rev.
Willis S. Colton, from June 3, 1888. Starting
with nine members in 1848, there were 15 in 1850;
27 in i860; 40 in 1870; 252 in 1880; and 152 in 1889.
The church property is valued at $2,500.
St. Mary's Catholic Church has always been a
mission of the church at Dearborn. The services
were conducted by a priest from that place, services being held for many years in private houses.
In the fall of 1864, services were first held in their
new and unfinished church building, and then, until
February, 1865. in O'Connor Hall. The church
being then completed, it was blessed, and services
have been held since on one Sunday and one Wednesday in each month, and occasionally on festival
days. The church building is of brick, cost about
$3,000 and" seats 200. When the church was built
there were about forty-five families and since then
it has only held its own.
A Baptist Church was organized in Nankin as
early as 1835, but the society ceased many years
ago. The present organization, which dates from
1868, for a long time held its services in a schoolhouse known as the Somerville School, located on
Section 3 in the town of Romulus. They have no
church building, and have had but two pastors,
Rev. George McGregor, who served four years, and
Rev. T. Shaftoc, who was serving in 1888, at which
time the society had twenty-eight members.
In 1864 General Van Aiken bunt a church on the
northwest quarter of Section 1, which is free to all
denominations desiring to use it. He ajso platted
a cemetery at the same time, but it was long since
abandoned. In 1859 S. G. Hey ward built a free
church on his farm on the northwest quarter of Section 7. and platted a cemetery, which has also been
abandoned. The " Old Cemetery " on the southeast quarter of Section 28, at the northerly limits of
the village of Wayne was opened about 1835. The
lots are owned by the old families and descendants
of the first settlers. The Gunong Cemetery was
first used about 1840, and is on the Gunong farm
on the northeast quarter of Section 35. St. Mary's
Cemetery, on the southeast quarter of Section 28.
is used in connection with the Roman Catholic
parish of the same name, and dates its consecration
with the building of their church. Glen wood Cemetery, on the eastern half of Section 28, was opened
in 1872 by a private corporation.
History of Detroit and Wayne County and Early Michigan By Silas Farmer 1890