History of Lenawee County, Michigan - Chapter 22, Hudson Township



CHAPTER XXII. HUDSON TOWNSHIP. NATURAL FEATURES AND ADVANTAGES-PRODUCTS OF TEE SOILFIRST SETTLEMENTS- LANESVILLE-BERIAH ,II. LANE-VILLAGE OF LENAWEE-FIRST MARRIAGE, FIRST DEATH, FIRST STOREFIRST RELIGIOUS MEETING-FIRST FRAME HOUSE-SILAS EATON-EARLY SAW MILLS-FIRST TOWNSHIP MEETING-JOHN H. CARLETON, THE FATHER OF WILL CARLETON, THE POET-VILLAGE OF CLAYTON-CITY OF HUDSON-PUBLIC LIBRARY. This Township was organized by an act of the state legislature, approved March 23, 1836, with the boundaries the same as they are at present. The Township of Hudson is traversed by Bean creek, or Tiffin river, a stream of considerable size, on each side of which are broad, level tracts of land of the rich black loam variety, which is exceptionally fertile as corn land. The higher lands are strong and fertile clay soil, which yields abundant returns tinder proper cultivation. Being abundantly watered from the many springs and small branches which abound, these lands are especially valuable for grazing purposes, the stock-raising industry being a source of profit as well as pleasure. Bean creek, with the many spring branches, or runs, constitutes the drainage of the Township, as well as the water supply. With these enumerated advantages, it is not strange that a large majority of the farmers are extensively engaged in the stock business, and many of them feed the entire grain product of their farms to stock, raised by themselves, while others are buyers and shippers. The yearly growth of this industry is a feature which distinguishes the Township from a really agricultural community. Extensive fruit-growing is another profitable industry which commands large investment and correspondingly large returns. There are those who have kept abreast of the onward march of horticultural science, and in the scientific propagation and culture of the varieties best adapted to the soil and climate have realized abundant, returns. Traditional history at best is unreliable, but becomes especially so when transmitted to the third or fourth generation. However, it is not necessary to depend upon tradition to learn of the early residents of the Township of Hudson. The first efforts toward the settlement of the Township were made by Hiram Kidder, who located there in r833. Mr. Kidder had settled in the Raisin valley in 1831, but on Feb. 6, 1833, he entered a part of sections 6 and 7, in the present Township of Hudson, in the name of Daniel Hudson, Nathan B. Kidder and William Young., In August Mr. Kidder took men with him from the Raisin valley and rolled up the body of a log house, and in the latter part of October he moved his family thither. The family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Kidder and their children: Harriet, Celestia, Addison, Maria and Nathan. - A few days later, Nov. I, about sunset, the Ames party arrived at the solitary habitation of Mr. Kidder. The members of this family were natives of Massachusetts, but they had scattered through the New England states and the state of New York. In the spring of 1833, they determined to send Charles Ames and Thomas Pennock into the wilds of Michigan to locate homes where all the families of that branch of the Ames stock could be reunited in one settlement. Advised by Nathan B. Kidder, then of Geneva, N. Y., they came to the house of Hiram Kidder, in the Raisin valley, in May. 1836, and guided by him they visited the Bean creek country, in the vicinity of the lands then recently entered by him, and so favorably were they impressed with the beauties of the country that they located land in the immediate vicinity, adjoining the Kidder entries. Mr. Ames, according to the original tract book, entered the east half of the southwest quarter of section 7, in Hudson, and the southeast quarter of section i and the northeast quarter of section 12, in what is now the Township of Pittsford, Hillsdale County. Mr. Pennock entered the west half of the southwest quarter of section 7, in Hudson, and the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 12, in Pittsford. They returned East, and in November, as before stated, they arrived with their families or, to the more definite, Charles Ames and family and some members of other families, and some unmarried individuals belonging to the Ames stock, to-wit: Charles Ames and wife, Miss Ball, sister of Mrs. Ames, and afterward the second wife of Henry Ames ; Miss Elizabeth Ames, afterward Mrs. James Sprague; Henry Williams, Ezra Ames, and Alpheus Pratt. Henry Ames was married, but had left his wife in the East on account of her ill health, and Alpheus Pratt had left his wife at the house of a Mr. Pease, a little west of Adrian, to rest a little before completing the journey; the other two men were unmarried. The night of Oct. 3r, they lodged at the house of Stephen Perkins, about four miles west of Adrian. All day, Nov. 1, they pursued their way through the forest between their last lodging place and Bean creek, and there was snow on the ground, making travel the more inconvenient. Mrs. Ames carried a baby about seven weeks old, and therefore had to ride, but the men of .the party and the two girls, the Misses Ball and Ames, walked the entire distance. The girls frequently stopped by the wayside to wring the water from their stockings, and then proceeded until a repetition of the operation became necessary. These newcomers found the Kidder mansion yet unfinished; it had a part of a floor, but lacked doors, windows and chimneys. A few days afterward Jesse Smith arrived, located some land, and returned East. Oliver Purchase and Samuel VanGander also arrived about the same time, and located land which Mr. Purchase entered at the Monroe land office, Nov. 6, and then returned East. Mr. VanGander remained on the land. The Kidder house was soon completed, and was for a time the common habitation for all the settlers. In a short time, however, a second house was completed, and there the Ameses took up their abode. Early in November, 1833, Simeon VanAkin visited the Township and located land in what is now the city of Hudson, although he did not take up his residence there until the following year. In 1834, he made the entire trip from Ontario County, New York, with a pair of horses and a wagon, and accompanied by his two children. Near Detroit he was joined by his mother and a- brother-William H. H. VanAkin-and then they all continued their journey with the team, and three days later found themselves in Hudson Township. Where the lively city of Hudson now stands there was but one dwelling, a log cabin occupied by Beriah H. Lane and his family. This hospitable man warmly welcomed the VanAkins, and invited them to share his home until they should be able to locate themselves in a house of their own. Mr. Lane's cabin, though of small dimensions-having but one room below and a loft, reached by a ladder, above-often accommodated many guests. At that particular time the family consisted of ten members, including Mr. and Mrs. Lane, his children, his parents, and his sister and her children. Besides that number Mr. Lane had twenty men working on a mill dam, and they were also accommodated under that roof. Eleven days after commencing the construction of their cabin, the VanAkin family had it ready for occupancy, moving in before there were any doors, floors, or windows, and with but two-thirds of. the roof on. At night dry-goods boxes placed before the entrance served to keep the wolves which prowled around the house from coming in, but they did not keep out the noise of their hideous howling, by which the slumber of the inmates was often disturbed. Simeon VanAkin entered x96 acres and his brother 200 acres of government land, all of which is now included within the incorporated limits of the city. As soon as they had completed their cabin, they commenced to clear the land and make it ready for cultivation, and in 1835 the brothers and their mother bought a half interest in the saw mill with Mr. Lane, owning the same for two years. Their pioneer cabin was located on the corner of the present Main and High streets in the city of Hudson. Beriah H. Lane was born in Enfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in i8oo, was reared in his native town, and there he learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner, which he pursued until the spring of 1834, when he came to Lenawee County and entered a tract of land from the government, the same being situated one mile south of the present city of Hudson. He soon exchanged 16o acres of it for eighty acres now included in the city, lying north of Main street. On it was a log cabin, which was then the only dwelling where the city of Hudson now stands. After erecting a saw mill, one of the first in the vicinity, Mr. Lane returned to Massachusetts for his family, and came back with his wife and two children, in the fall of the same year. On their way they stayed for a short time at Elyria, Ohio, and from there journeyed to Hudson with an ox team, at once taking possession of the log cabin and commencing the clearing of the land. In the course of time other settlers moved in and took up sections, or parts of sections, of land near by, the forests were eliminated, verdant and smiling fields taking their places; the log houses which were the first habitations of the newcomers, were replaced by frame houses, neatly and tastily constructed, and churches, schools, warehouses and manufactories sprang up as if by magic. The father of this city, as Beriah H. Lane may be justly termed, during his half century's residence here witnessed its development from a wilderness, with his rude log house as a nucleus, to a thriving city of 3,000 inhabitants. In this wondrous change he took a prominent part, always aiding financially or otherwise anything that would add to its advancement. The first election in Hudson was held at his house, and at that time he was elected justice of the peace. When a post office was established there, it was named Lanesville in his honor, and he was appointed postmaster, an office which he held for a number of years. He died in Hudson, in November, 1887, mourned not only by his family, but by the entire community, who held him in the highest respect and esteem. The Kidder settlement being near the west line of the County, naturally extended into the neighboring County of Hillsdale, into what are now the Townships of Pittsford and Wheatland ; in fact,_ very soon after the settlement started, the larger part of it was in Hillsdale County. On May 1, 1834, Hiram Kidder commenced work on a mill race, and on June i, the millwright, Samuel O. Coddington, of Geneva, N. Y., commenced the work on the mill. On July 1 the mill irons were hauled from Adrian by ox teams, and on the 14th day of the same month the frame was raised. The mill was put in operation about Oct. 1, was completed during the same month, and cost $1,441.31. Early in June Mr. Kidder platted the village of Lenawee, on the land of the mill company. In 1835 the spring business was opened by a marriage, John Rice and Mrs. W. K. Douglass being the contracting parties and Oliver Potter the officiating magistrate. This was the first marriage in what is now Hudson Township. On July 27, 1835, Mrs. Davis, mother of Reuben Davis, died, this being the first death in the Township. On July 28, George Salisbury opened the first Lanesville store. On August 8, 1835, the citizens of the Township held the preliminary meeting.for the purpose of organizing a Township. It was decided to petition the new state legislature, about to convene in November, for a separate organization. On suggestion of Hiram Kidder the Township was named Hudson, after Dr. Daniel Hudson, of Geneva, N. Y., the senior member of the company which purchased and owned the Kidder mill property, and Lenawee village. But the legislature continued in session only six days, and took no action on Township organizations. On Sunday, Aug. 9, 1835, the first religious meeting in the Township was held at the house of Erastus Lowe. In the month of November Mr. Lane_ built a frame house where the Comstock house now stands, and this was the first frame house in the Township. In the same fall William Frazee and family, Salmon Trask and family, and Miss Abigail Dickinson, were among the arrivals in the Lanesville settlement. On Nov. 11, 1835, the Rev. William Wolcott preached the first sermon in the village of Lanesville, at the house of Mr. Lane, and at the same time and place a temperance society was organized. Reuben Davis, the death of whose mother has been heretofore mentioned, came in March, 1834, and located the middle sub-division of the southwest fractional quarter of section 18, in Hudson Township, and commenced building a log house. That lot of land now forms a part of the city of Hudson, it being that portion lying north of Main street and between Church and High streets. The house he commenced stood in the vicinity of Market street, between Main street and the Lake Shore railroad. Some time during the summer of 1834 Dudley Worden, having built a house in the village of Lenawee, opened a little store, and, as was the custom of those days, a part of his stock consisted of whisky, an article as necessary for Indian traffic as for home consumption. In December of the same year John Davenport and family settled in Lanesville. The house he built and occupied stood on or near the east bank of the Bean, and just north of Main street, on a half acre of land reserved by Reuben Davis when lie sold to Mr. Lane. Iii excavating for the Lake Shore railroad, the north part of the house was undermined, and soon afterward was removed. During the year 1834, besides those already named, Sylvester Kenyon and Silas Eaton settled in the Township of Hudson. Silas Eaton was born in Duanesburg, Montgomery County, New York, Feb. 22, 1798, and there he resided until his twelfth year, when he removed with his parents to Perinton, Monroe County, where he was educated and lived until he was married. He retained in western New York until 1834, when he came to Michigan. He first came in the spring of that year, and located land on sections 7 and 8, in the present Township of Hudson. He then returned to New York and brought his family, arriving in Adrian, Oct. 2o, and immediately started with teams, with his goods and family, for Mr. Kidder's house on Bean Creek. On the night of the iith lie was obliged to camp in the woods, and on the following morning he remarked that he would not move again if lie was sure lie was on his own land; he suspected that he was in the neighborhood of it, but did not know. He therefore went on to the cabin of Mr. Kidder, who was to show him the land, and afterward discovered that he had camped on his own premises. His family was the seventh to settle in the present Township of Hudson, and he was afterward active in organizing the Township. IIe at once took an interest in the improvement and development of the community, and was prominent and efficient in all that tended to enhance the interests and add to the comfort and prosperity of the settlers. He lived on his farm until 1837, when he removed to Keene, Hillsdale County, where lie served as postmaster by appointment of Martin Van Buren. In 1840 lie removed to the village of Hudson. He was supervisor during the years 1848-49, and was postmaster eight years, under Presidents Pierce and Buchanan, he built five miles of the superstructure of the Michigan Southern railroad, including bridges, between Hudson and Pittsford, in 1839-4o. He retired from active business in 186o, and died in Hudson, August 21, 1876. In the spring of 1835 Michael Dillon came in and commenced chopping on his land, entered the year previous. He was accompanied by his brother, Dennis. Some time in the summer Michael returned East for his family. In the month of May, probably the third day, Mr. Lane organized a Sunday school at his house. On June 10, 1835, Noah Cressey and wife settled on section- 32, adjoining land of Michael Dillon. Mr. Cressey, as well as the Dillons, came to Bean Creek valley by the southern or Canandaigua route, and because the lands of northern Medina were well culled, drifted over into Hudson and commenced a settlement. Between them and the Lanesville settlement there was an unbroken belt of timber, which effectually cut off intercourse, while the Medina settlements were comparatively easy of access. Therefore, for many years, that neighborhood traded and visited with the Medina people, and were, for all business and social purposes, identified with them. During the spring and summer the Kidder mill was kept in constant motion, sawing out lumber with which to finish the log houses of settlers in the Township. This and Mr. Lane's mill possessed great powers of civilization, and through their agency puncheon floors and bark roofs and gables began to disappear, and the houses were now finished with shake roofs and sided gables. It marked a new era in the settlement of the Township. In November Alexander Findley came in and cleared a part of the Cobb land, and built a log house in anticipation of the arrival of Harvey Cobb and family. In this month the settlement in the south part of the Township received some recruits. On Nov. 2, Elisha Brown and family arrived at the house of his son-in-law, Noah Cressey. The Brown party consisted of Mr. Brown and wife, his son, Lorenzo L., and wife, and his other sons, Clement, David, Lewis. George, William and Noah, and Dolly Elwell, a niece of Noah Cressey. Mr. Brown had purchased his lands of Robert Huston, and there was the body of a small house, roofed, but otherwise unfinished, on the land. On April 4, 1836, the first Township meeting of the Township of Hudson was held at the house of Beriah H. Lane. Officers were elected as follows: Simeon VanAkin, supervisor; George Saulsbury, Township clerk; Beriah H. Lane and Henry Ames, justices of the peace; Thomas Kealey, John Davenport, and John C. Colwell, commissioners of highways; John H. Carleton, assessor, and Noah Cressey, treasurer. It was voted to raise fifty dollars for contingent expenses. John Hancock Carleton, who officiated as the first assessor of Hudson Township, was one of the brave, stout-hearted pioneers who came to Michigan while it was yet under Territorial government, and by his energy, sound judgment, and decision of character, rendered valuable assistance in developing its resources, and in establishing its civil, social and religious institutions. He was a native of New Hampshire, and was born in the town of Bath, Grafton County, Oct. 16, 1802. He was reared among the mountains and hills of his native state, and there breathed in the spirit of independence and freedom with which he was so largely endowed. His early life was passed in the village school and in assisting in the labors of the home farm, until he was sixteen years old, when his father died, and from that time he supported himself. -Going to Canada soon afterward, he found employment in the timber regions, and remained a resident of the Dominion for several years. About the year 183o he again became a resident of the United States, locating in Wayne County, Michigan, where he worked as a farm laborer the ensuing five years. In. 1835 he visited Lenawee County and purchased a tract of land on sections 21 and 22 of what is now Hudson Township. After securing the land he returned to Wayne County for his family. Having made the necessary preparations for the journey, he started bright and early one pleasant Monday morning, accompanied by his wife and their two small children, for his new home. Their conveyance, which also contained provisions and furniture, was a large wagon drawn by horses and oxen, the horses being attached to the wagon and the oxen ahead. They traveled during the day, stopping at intervals to rest and refresh themselves and their team with food, and camped at night, until the following Sunday, when they arrived at the house of John C. Colwell, on section i. This was a log cabin 18x20 feet, with one room below and a loft above. Mr. and Mrs. Colwell were at church, but the latch-string was out and they walked in, considering it a very delicate invitation to accept the freedom of the cabin. When the host and hostess returned from worship they welcomed them heartily, and invited them to remain there until they could build a house on their own land. Mr. Carleton at once commenced clearing a space on which he could build, and in a week had a log house, eighteen feet square, ready for occupancy. The roof was covered with shakes split from basswood logs, and these were weighted by poles to hold them in place, nails being a minus quantity. After chinking the cracks in the cabin with chips and mud, they had as comfortable an abode as could be found in the vicinity. There being no stoves in those days, Mrs. Carleton did all her cooking by the open fire. The forests were then tenanted by savage beasts, wild game, and a few Indians; the latter were peaceful and frequently called at the cabin for food. Mr. Carleton kept the larder well supplied with venison, hear steak, and turkeys, not having far to travel to find any of these. Mrs. Carleton, who was also expert in the use of the rifle, did not hesitate to use it if any of the wild animals came prowling around the cabin. Mr. Carleton cleared a farm of sixty acres, and resided there until his death, which took place Feb. 9, 1872. He had in the meantime erected a good set of frame buildings and made other substantial improvements. He was a man of unswerving integrity, great ability and shrewd judgment. An intelligent reader and profound thinker, his keen intellect grappled with the leading questions of the day. He was a strong anti-slavery man, and tenaciously upheld his opinions when he stood nearly alone in the Township as an Abolitionist. For many years he was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but later in life, differing with others of that faith concerning certain points of their creed, he severed his connection therewith and joined the Wesleyan Methodists. Mrs. Carleton was a native of Genesee County, N. Y., the daughter of Daniel Smith, who moved with his family to Michigan in 1831. Later he removed to Williams County, Ohio, and established a pioneer saw mill in Northwest Township, at a place known in an early day as "Kintightown," and there he died. To Mr. and Mrs. Carleton were born five children, one of whom-Will M. Carleton-has won world-wide renown in the field of literature, being one of the favorite poets of America. In June, 1836, the Rev. David Pratt came, and for two years was pastor of the Presbyterian Church. He bought a piece of land known as Pratt's block, and there he built a house.. There was no church edifice in the then' village of. Lanesville, which then consisted of five houses and a log school house, and it was in the latter building that Mr. Pratt preached for nearly seven years, until a church building was erected. He was the first clergyman that officiated as such in Hudson, and he also preached in Rome and other parts of the County. He was the only located preacher in the western part of the County- for several years. He officiated at most of the funerals and weddings in the early days of the settlement, and was always ready and willing to accommodate at all times. He was killed one morning in the spring of 184,- by a limb of a tree falling upon his head. In the summer of 1836, Oakley came and bought out George Salisbury's grocery and notion trade, and David Stuck commenced blacksmithing. In the fall Harvey Cobb came and occupied the house prepared for him by Alexander Findley. Augustus Finney came some time during the season, but did not purchase property until the next year. Miss Adelia Champlin taught the Lanesville School in the summer of 1836. The log school house stood on a piece of ground a little way south of the highway, on the section line, near the brow of a hill. The site was on the east side of Church street, now occupied by the second building south of the old store building of J. K. Boies & Co. Then there were no other buildings south of Main street between Church and Market streets. In the fall of 1836 the Messrs. VanAkin harvested about 15o bushels of wheat. It grew on the square of ground bounded west by High street, north by Main street, east by Wood street, and south by the hill on which afterward became a favored residence place. It will be impossible, in the space allotted to this chapter, to give the history of Hudson Township in detail. It would require volume to note every arrival and the careers of her worthy citizens. With the opening of the Michigan Southern railroad through the Township, the village of Lanesville became a place of considerable importance, and the name was changed to Hudson. The construction of the railroad also occasioned- another village to come into existence on the line between Dover and Hudson Townships, five miles east of the Hudson city limits. Clayton is the name of this -village, and it was first .settled in 1836. Clayton is a progressive little village of about 6oo inhabitants, carrying on extensive lines of business in almost every avenue of trade. The village was incorporated in 1870, and is a business center of considerable importance. It is located in the center of a rich agricultural district, which insures the merchants and general business men reliable and continuous support.. What is now called the city of Hudson, as the reader of the foregoing pages is aware, was formerly called Lanesville, and among the early settlers of the County the place was commonly referred to as Bean Creek, owing to the fact, no doubt, that it was recognized by them as the place of most importance on the creek of that name. The original maps of this section of country give the name Tiffin River to this stream, but the pioneers applied the cognomen of Bean Creek, because of the large quantity of bean timber that grew on its banks. In 1836 the settlement on the present site of Hudson was formally recognized as Lanesville, and a commission was issued by Amos -Kendall, Postmaster-General of the United States, to Beriah H. Lane, as postmaster. In the course of time, however, by common consent, the village took the name given to the Township by Hiram Kidder, in honor of one of the first land-owners in the Township. The growth of the village was somewhat retarded during the early years of its history by the hard times incident to and following the panic of 1837, which effected the country in general and the new settlements in particular. But it weathered the storm and added slowly to its population, and by 1853 it was deemed a place of enough importance to assume the dignity of a municipality, and it was accordingly incorporated. The early years of the village of Hudson were uneventful, and every energy was directed towards the development of the place and its surroundings. It sought the dignity of incorporation, and, as before stated, this honor was accorded to it in 1853, when the village government was organized, with Caleb C. Cooley in the office of president. The first banking institution in the village was started by Henry M. Boies and Nathan Rude, in 1855, and was called the Exchange Bank. That the management has been successful, every interested person knows, and now, with an honorable record of more than a half-century's existence, the institution still retains its reputation for solidity. The religious and educational affairs of the village received early attention and liberal support. Merchants were aggressive and public-spirited, their stocks often rivaling in value those exhibited by present day dealers. The early settlers and business men of the Township and village were generally people with agricultural tendencies and traditions. They purchased land, cultivated and improved it, erected dwelling houses, and lived out their allotted days in the peace and harmony of the quiet community their industry had established. By an act of the Michigan legislature, Hudson became a city in 1893, and its population in 1904 was 2,307. It is the second place in importance and population in the County, and it contains a number of handsome and expensive residences and public buildings, while the, average homes evince the air of thrift and prosperity in their surroundings, in keeping with the industry and frugality of the occupants. The great trunk line railroad between Chicago and New York-the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern and the Cincinnati Northern railway, running north and south, pass through the city. Besides these two important thoroughfares, an electric line, is now being, constructed from Coldwater east to Adrian, and this will, put Hudson on another very important route with interurban service. The manufacturing interests of the city are important and. prosperous, one of the latest in construction, but not least in importance being an extensive milk condensing plant, which is a boon to the farmers and a valuable addition to the industries of the city. A large amount of farm products are handled and shipped from that station, and all in all,-Hudson is a commercial center of much importance. The city is supplied with a good system of water-works, which affords adequate fire protection as well as a supply for manufacturing and domestic purposes. There is now nearly a mile of cobble-stone paving, but the subject of brick paving is agitating the people, and it is a question of but a short time before the streets will be well sewered and paved. A good .electric light system is in active operation. The city is well supplied with churches, and the public school system will compare with any city in Michigan. The public schools were consolidated by an act of "the legislature in 1881, and since that time the facilities for doing good educational work have been materially increased. An extended mention of the schools of Hudson is given on another page of this volume, in the chapter devoted to Educational Development. One of the institutions of the city in which the citizens thereof especially have a pardonable pride is the Hudson Public Library, which today stands as a monument to its promoters and reflects credit upon the intelligence and enterprise of the people in the community. The genesis of the movement which resulted in the erection of a fine building, with shelves laden with the choicest literature, dates from the early part of 1903, when Byron J. Foster wrote a letter to Andrew Carnegie, with the end in view of securing that gentleman's co-operation in the erection of a library building. Mr. Carnegie replied, under date of March 27, 1903, saying that "If the city agrees by resolution of councils to maintain a Free Public Library at cost of not less than $2,ooo a year, and provide a suitable site for the building, Mr. Carnegie will be pleased to furnish $1o,ooo to erect a free public library building for Hudson. Soon after the receipt of this letter, Edward Frensdorf was elected mayor of Hudson, and the communication was turned over to him. He referred the natter to the common council and that body accepted the proposition, whereupon the mayor appointed the following gentlemen as the first library board: James B. Thorn, Charles B. Stowell, William Derbyshire, Gamaliel I. Thompson, Oren Howes, Galusha J. Perkins, Grant Fellows, Elmer E. Cole and Byron J. Foster. The first meeting of the board was held April 27, 1903, at the office of Fellows & Chandler, and at this meeting Charles B. Stowell was elected president of the board; James B. Thorn, vice-president, and Byron J. Foster, secretary. Without a change these gentlemen have remained as the incumbents of their respective offices until the present. The site selected for the building is a location on the southeast corner of Market and Fayette streets, and it was purchased of Homer- H. Clement, the cost being $2,000. The architect selected was Claire Allen, of Jackson, Mich., and on April 5, igo4, the library board contracted with Koch Brothers, of Ann Arbor, for the erection of a field-stone building, with red, tile roof, the building to be'61x42 in size, one story with basement, and to contain a reading room and a children's room. The money for the erection of the building was deposited by Mr. Carnegie with the Home "Trust Company, of Hoboken, N. J., and was drawn as needed by the board. The corner stone of the building was laid June 14, 1904, and the dedication ceremonies were held on Feb. 10, 1905, the entire cost of the building when ready for occupancy being $10,389.77. The building committee was Oren Howes, James B. Thorn and G. I. Thompson. The first gift to the library was made by the publishers of the Hudson Gazette, and consisted of a new Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. After the building was erected, the first books received were about 500 volumes, which were placed in the library by the Hudson public schools. Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Stowell donated 932 volumes of new books, at a cost of $1,005, and numerous small subscriptions were received, with which to purchase additional volumes. The first year 2,067 volumes were acquired, and at this writing (June, 1808) over five thousand choice volumes await the call of the patrons of the library. As an evidence of the appreciation of this store-house of knowledge, it may be stated that during the past year 20,369 volumes and 1,562 magazines were issued from the library, and this does not include books, magazines and newspapers, which were perused within the library building. Several valuable water-color and oil paintings have been donated by Mrs. David Treichlinger,, a former resident of Hudson, but now of St. Louis, Mo., and they adorn the walls of the library. On May 27, 1904, the board employed Miss Mamie E. Havens as librarian and she has continued to fill that important position to the entire satisfaction of those interested. Her efficient assistant is Miss Frances G. Childs. The present library board is composed of the following named gentlemen: Charles B. Stowell, James B. Thorn, Edward Frensdorf, Charles C. Whitney, Rev. J. F. Hallissey, pastor of Sacred Heart Catholic church; Galusha J. Perkins, Grant Fellows, Gamaliel I. Thompson and Byron J. Foster.



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History of Lenawee County
published by The Western Historical Society in 1909.

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