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Joseph Loranger and John Bougrand were brave, while his bearing was ever that of a seated around a table in the store of Joseph “born gentleman.” With his brother Robert Loranger playing euchre, when the Indian he erected a cabin twenty miles south of River guide who always accompanied Mr. Lafontain, Raisin, opposite Manhattan, to which he rerode up to the door the morning before the turned after the close of the war and spent the massacre, and announced the approach of rest of his days. He died in March, 1874, aged Colonel Proctor's army. All dropped their eighty-nine years. cards without ceremony. Mr. Loranger and Peter and his three brothers, Robert, Alexis Bougrand crossed the River Raisin and trav. and James, tendered their services to General eled through the snow and ice night and day Hull. They were included in the surrender until they reached Sandusky, where their and paroled, though they denied the right to wives were sojourning at the time. Mr. La- be treated as prisoners of war and at once took fontain rode up the river to avoid meeting any an active part for the United States, whereuppart of the enemy with his guide, then struck on General Proctor offered a reward of two a direct route for Detroit, collected bis family bundred pounds for Peter's head or scalp. and crossed over to Canada, remaining there Until the close of the war he acted as a scout until hostilities ceased.
to General Harrison. Peter Navarre and his brothers are referred to in this work in the bis
tory of the War of 1812, as those sent by GenLAURENT DUROCHER
eral Harrison from the River Raisin to recon
noiter the British army, and brought news of Was the son of a French Canadian, and was the approach of General Proctor. On the next born at the Mission of St. Genevieve, in Mis page is given a portrait of Peter Navarre in souri, in 1786. He was educated at the Col. passing through a forest in his favorite charlege of Montreal, and came to the River Raisin acter as a scout. in 1805. He took part in the War of 1812 Many of our older citizens well remember under General Hull, and was in the employ of the hospitable tavern of “Ma'am Jobin," as it the Government for some years after the war. was familiarly called, four miles south of MonHe was elected clerk of the county of Monroe roe, on the south bank of Otter Creek. Her in 1818, and held the office for nearly twenty husband and Peter Navarre, the Indian scout, years. He was for six years a member of the upon whose head a large price had been set by territorial council, also a member of the con- the British if captured, were during the War rention which framed the first constitution of of 1812 taken prisoners by the Indians, bound the State, and after the Territory became a hand and foot, and were being carried as capState a member of the legislature. He held tives to Malden. Encamping over night on the the offices of judge of probate, circuit clerk, route, in the morning their bands were loosclerk of the city of Monroe, at various times, ened for temporary relief, and after breakfastand filled with dignity all the positions he was ing Mr. Navarre said to Mr. Jobin: “ Now is called by the people of the county to serve in our time. If we reach Malden we will be hung, He was, like most of the French settlers upon and I would rather take my chances of being the “ Raisin,” an accomplished gentleman, and shot than go any further with our captors. was the chief legal authority among the French You take one direction, I will another. Both residents.
immediately ran for their lives; the balls
whistled about and above them, but both esPETER NAVARRE
caped without injury.
Was born in 1785 in Detroit, where his father before him was born, and was the grandson of
THE BLISS FAMILY. Robert Navarre, a French officer who visited this section in 1745. No name is more promi. In the spring of 1814 two brothers, Silvanus nent among the early settlers than that of and Hervey Bliss, of Royalston, Worcester Peter Navarre. In Indian methods of warfare county, Massachusetts, left the parental home, he was thoroughly posted, courageous and and the first named his young wife and two
children, aged respectively one and three years, of 1816 having since been known as the "cold and wended their way westward,
The following winter Mr. Bliss, in company “ With knapsacks on their backs
with Mr. Frary, still his neighbor and friend, And their spirits were gay,
moved his family to the Macon settlement, To secure themselves homes In Michigania.”
some thirteen or fourteen miles above Monroe,
on the river, opposite the point where the Railroads were not known or thought of in Macon Creek enters the Raisin. Here he built those days, and it required several weeks to a house and made some improvements, supposmake the journey on foot, as they were obliged ing that he was on Government land, which to do. Many incidents occurred to them by the he intended to purchase when in market. He way, some of which were of an exciting cbar- remained there some two years, during which acter, as it was war time. They at last reached time a number of families had settled about the settlement on the shore of the lake between him. He then learned that the Indians bad the Vermillion and Huron rivers, in Ohio. withheld from sale a tract of land known as Their feet getting sore and their funds getting the “Macon reserve” on the early maps, emlow, they concluded to make their homes with bracing nine sections, and covering the imthe pioneers of the Buckeye State, and soon set provements made by the settlers, who were about preparing for the coming of the wife and driven off by the Indians, the log cabins of the children, arrangements to bring them and squatters serving them as wigwams, and the some household goods baving been made with cleared land for pasturage, raising corn, etc. a man before leaving Massachusetts. It was While living there, in March, 1817, your corlate in the summer, however, and not until the respondent, W. W. Bliss, came to them a hot weather had brought to the newcomers the “stranger, and they took him in; naked, and ague and chill fever, that they were sent for they clothed him ; thirsty, and they gave him Owing to stormy weather and consequent bad drink;” and for the many acts of kindness and roads, obliging them to lie by several weeks, care in subsequent years, they are held by him they did not reach the settlement until winter in grateful remembrance. had set in, when the tired and worn-out wife In the month of June following, Israel Bliss,
band had died a few weeks before her arrival. to the settlement at the Macon, and remained Mrs. Bliss was terribly shocked by the sad news, with the family until his death, October 23, but receiving the sympathy and help of the 1819. Calvin Burnham, a young man from neighbors and the surviving brother, she in Massachusetts, came to Michigan with his time recorered from the sore bereavement. friend, Israel Bliss, and remained with him
The summer following (1815) sickness and until bis death. Then he returned to Massachudeath came again to the family, and took from setts and married his (Bliss's) sister, Lucind the mother her youngest child, a little boy, K., by whom he had three children, and she aged two years and six months, the other mem- having died, he married again, and in 1839 rebers of the family barely escaping with their moved his family to Blissfield, Michigan, and lives the ravages of the much dreaded chill the next year to Summerfield, Monroe county, fever.
same State, where he died some years since, Not caring longer to remain in a climate so honored and respected by his fellow-men, leav. unhealthy, Mr. Bliss having in the meantime ing a wife and several children. Olive, the married the widow of his deceased brother, in oldest daughter by his first wife, married company with a neighbor (Mr. David Frary), Lysander Ormsby, of Deerfield, Michigan. he remored his family to the River Raisin Two daughters by his second wife married two (now Monroe, Michigan). Arriving there the brothers, John and Charles Peters, of Peterslatter part of April, 1816, he rented a farm of burgh, Michigan. Jerry Lawrence, a short distance above Mon- The settlement at the Macon being broken roe, and farmed it that season as best he could, up, Mr. Bliss removed his family to the “ Giles not succeeding well, however, on account of neighborhood," some three or four miles down the cold weather and early frosts, the summer the river and ten from Monroe, where he
bought a “squatter's" claim of a man who had May following, he was elected a justice by the built a house and cleared a few acres on a tract people, which office he held for a number of of Government land of several hundred acres, years. which lay between Giles's “French farm” on In March, 1828, he was appointed postmaster the west and other claims on the east, a part of at Blissfield, which office he held at the time which he intended to buy when subdivided and of his death, which occurred December 31, in market. But before learning that it had been 1841, aged fifty-two years. His wife survived offered for sale, a man by the name of Martin, him some seven years. “bought from under him” that part of the Mr. Bliss had seven children, five sons and tract on which he lived, containing one hun- two daughters, and one step-daughter, six of dred and thirty acres, embracing the improve. whom are still living. ments which he had bought and subsequently William W., born at the Macon March 28, made, and requiring him to vacate the same 1817; married in Blissfield, Michigan, Febwithout remuneration for the outlay which he ruary 13, 1840, where he now resides, retired had made.
from business. Mr. Bliss being again without a home for his Hiram W., born in Raisinville, Michigan, family, and not caring to leave the neighbor- June 1,1822; farmer; married October 23, 1842, hood, as a school had just been started, and resides at Deerfield, Michigan. a church (Presbyterian) had been organized Whiting G., born in Blissfield, Michigan, at Monroe, with which he and his wife had November 15, 1827; died in childhood. united at the time of its organization (January Hervey K., born in Blissfield, Michigan, Feb13, 1820), bought of said Martin thirty acres ruary 11, 1830; farmer; married June 22, 1850, of the unimproved land adjoining Giles's farm, and resides in Adrian, Michigan. on wbich he built a good hewed log house, and Almond L., born November 27, 1832, in improved the greater part of it, when find- Blissfield; married November 25, 1853 ; real ing that he had not farm enough to support his estate and abstract office business in Adrian, family, he sold his place and in June, 1824, Michigan, where he resides. bought 132 acres of land some twenty miles up Emeline B., born in Raisinville, Michigan, the river, of rich quality and well timbered. February 24, 1819; married December 13, 1834. To this place the late Colonel Johnson, of Husband a farmer, now deceased ; lives with Monroe, gave the name of Blissfield. Here in daughter in Adrian, Michigan. November following Mr. Bliss built a log house, Caroline L., born in Raisinville, Michigan, obtaining help to raise it from Petersburgh and September 28, 1824; married June 30, 1842, Raisin ville, ten and twenty miles distant, and and resides with her son in Blissfield, Michigan. to wbich place he removed his family the fol. Delight (the step-daughter), born in Massalowing month (December, 1824), having no chusetts September 24, 1811; married in Blissneighbors for a time nearer than Petersburgh, field, Michigan, November 23, 1826, by Loren and no mills, stores or shops nearer than Marsh, Esq., a justice of the peace from Monroe, Monroe.
Michigan, one of the first two marriages in Mr. Bliss in 1835 piatted a part of his farm, Blissfield, both occurring the same day. giving the name of Blissfield to the village. The first school in Blissfield was taught by He was a man highly esteemed by his neigh- Chester Stuart, late of Monroe, in the winter bors and those with whom he was acquainted, of 1826-7, for thirteen dollars per month and having held many positions of trust and re. “board round.” sponsibility in the latter years of his life.
There are very many incidents in the lives In 1829 he was instrumental in effecting the of the Bliss family connected with their settleorganization of the First Presbyterian church ment here, which show what hardships the of Blissfield, which occurred February 22d of pioneers endured. They moved here in win. that year, consisting of nine members, includ- ter, into a log house without floors, doors, wining himself and wife.
dows, chimney, and no stoves, and not even In March, 1827, he was appointed by Gov. "chinked” between the logs. After putting ernor Cass a justice of the peace, and at the down a “puncheon” floor of split logs, making first township meeting in Blissfield, held in doors and putting in windows, cutting and
preparing some wood, etc., occupying some two after county treasurer of Monroe county), up
a fine crop was raised. One-half thereof would
The birds seemed to fancy their farming, for
they followed them into Lenawee county,
age wild beasts who made night hideous with William Kedzie and wife, five sons and two their unearthly howls, and without a neighbor daughters, emigrated from Delhi, Delaware within five miles. With the supply of provicounty, New York, and came to the “Great sions purchased at Monroe they sought their West,” landing at Monroe, May 14, 1826. The new home — no light task considering the conchange from a rough, hilly country, well cov- dition of the roads, without a bridge on river, ered with rocks and stones, to one as level as a streams or gullies. The winter was spent “house floor," so salubrious as this then was, chopping twenty-seven acres, and in the spring secmed to them as the Garden of Eden. But ten acres were logged and planted to corn. wlien they looked upon the people, heard their Their crop not only suffered from the blackstrange language, saw. their mode of travel as birds, but the "coon” lavishly presented his they daily passed with a pony and two-wheeled claims for a share, and no little depredations cart, loaded with a family of six or eight, driv- were committed by bears and wolves. Cooning like Jebu, with no tire on their wheels, hunting was a pastime to the pioneer whose nor a strap of iron about their vehicle, they pork barrel ran low, as the meat made a very looked, but looked in vain, for a smash-down. palatable and rich dish when properly preA four-wheeled carriage was very seldom seen pared. on the streets.
That summer four acres more were cleared There was then no church building in the and sown to wheat, which was reaped with a · village; Protestants worshiped in the old sickle in July. The following fall the father
yellow court-house, and Catholics in a log yielded to the malarial diseases prevailing in