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Robert Clark died when his son was but thir- him. teen years old. His early days were passed as Mrs. Clark, with eight children, the youngest most pioneers, having little ease or luxury. He but twenty months old, followed the doctor as was wont to relate “how he studied lying on soon as convenient. They came by hired the floor in front of the open fire, his student teams as far as Utica, then by the Erie canal as lamp a pine knot, and the table upon which far as Rochester, and finally by hired teams the book rested being the floor in front of again as far as Buffalo, when they embarked on him.” Probably the minister of the parish the steamer Superior — the second set afloat on was his classical teacher, as his knowledge of Lake Erie. The voyage lasted five days, and Greek and Latin was most accurate and his was not altogether favorable as to storms, and scientific attainments quite level with results they were glad to land in Detroit -- from which of college training. His professional studies place the journey to Monroe was made in an were doubtless pursued in his brother's office. open boat, which had a sort of cabin someHis only brother, Dr. Thomas Clark, was a where in the hold; the name of the boat was skillful physician, and practiced in Washington the Firefly; the captain was Luther Harvey. county and other places in New York until ho When the boat was made fast to the wharf the removed to Michigan..
only one-horse wagon owned in the village met Dr. Robert Clark was married to Catherine the family and conveyed the mother and daughReid when he was twenty-two years old and ters to the little villaye. The doctor secured his bride was barely fifteen. He practiced the best accommodations to be had, which medicine in Galway, Washington county, New were poor enough; the house was on Monroe York, and although his mother-in-law made street, partially finished and unpainted, known him an advantageous offer to settle in Canada, as the Mulhollen house. There was not a at LaChyne, his wife's former home, offering church in the village, but about a mile or per. him a comfortable home and great induce- haps two up the river was a Catholic church. ments, he thanked her profoundly, at the same Meetings were held in the court-house, which time telling her he could never sacrifice his served as a jail and residence for the family of principles to his interests by establishing him the jailer. The summer after the family's arriself in the King's dominions (the spirit of val, some of the household were attacked with Americans was greatly embittered at this time). the prevalent disease of the country -- ague Dr. Clark met with fair success and established and fever. Dr. Harry Conant, a young physihimself in a comfortable home where two chil cian, was called, who understood the treatment dren were born, but one day while they were necessary, and the family soon were restored to all abroad, the house mysteriously took fire health. The friendship contracted in trouble and burned to the ground. Nothing was saved endured to the end of their lives. Dr. Conant and they were in extremities. Neighbors were survived his friend Dr. Clark several years, kind and a temporary shelter was supplied, and and by request of the Medical Association desoon a third child was born. Dr. Clark moved livered the memorial address, in which he paid soon afterward to Stanford, Delaware county, a deserved tribute to his memory, “whom he New York, where for a time he lived with the revered as a Christian, trusted as a man, and Kedzie family, and in the year 1823 be with honored as a physician.” William Kedzie came to Michigan. Dr. Clark About the year 1823 Dr. Clark purchased a bought a home eight miles from Delhi, where beautiful farm just at the edge of the village. he practiced for some time with marked suc- The place had been quite a business center for cess. He abandoned his profession for the the French, and bad once a distillery, a sawbroader field of politics. He was twice elected mill, a flouring mill and a bakery, with three to the New York Assembly and represented or four houses besides. It had belonged to the his district one or two terms in Congress. Lasselle estate. There were flourishing orThrough the influence of Colonel John Ander- chards in various degrees of maturity, beside son he came to Monroe, where he secured the peach and cherry trees. Mrs. Clark, with her office from the Government of register of the son Duncan, explored the place and determined land office. Mr. Charles Lanman, a lawyer to utilize the French village. They repaired
two or three of the houses and moved into in heaven at the bour that he had been accusthem. Many distinguished guests were made tomed to worship Him on earth.". On a Sabwelcome under these lowly roofs. When Gen- bath morning, just as the church bells were eral Jackson was made President of the United calling the worshipers, he entered into the States he called Governor Cass as a member of church of the First Born written in hearen, his cabinet, which was disastrous to his Michi. October 1, 1837. gan friends, for instead of having a friend at Mrs. Clark survived her husband twentycourt and being allowed to still hold his posi. two years. She was a woman noted for sound tion, the land office was moved to White judgment and intelligence, and was greatly Pigeon, thus making a place for two favorites beloved by the community. She was the of the President's. Dr. Clark returned to the mother of thirteen children, ten of whom grew practice of medicine with his accustomed skill to maturity. but with abated enthusiasm. He found, how- The second child was Duncan Reid Clark, ever, pleasant occupation in cultivating his born August 16, 1802, married Miss Sophie, narrow French farm-in experimenting with Downing, daughter of Captain Downing, of fruits and grasses and in draining the lands. Monroe, June 12, 1829. He acted as crier at
Dr. Clark was a man of positive convictions one of the public land sales and the effort and never lacked the courage to express them— brought on hemorrhage of the lungs, from plain-spoken almost to bluntness. He began which he never recovered. He died at his life as a Democrat. Of his party affiliations he father's house in Monroe, February 16, 1835; used to say, " That be bad never changed his was respected as a Christian and a man of much principles, but found himself a member of the promise. He left one son, who is now a Whig party without needing to change.” In banker in Reed City, Michigan. New York he was a Free and Accepted Mason, The fourth child born to Dr. Clark, Maria but was not in harmony or fellowship with the Reid Clark, born February 21, 1807, was a lodge of Monroe, because men were admitted peculiarly bright and interesting child and her of loose principles and impure lives. He was a father's pride. She was married January 31, Presbyterian, and when living in New York a 1826, and soon removed to White Pigeon, member and ruling elder in the Scotch church, where she died August 17, 1839, leaving three and always retained an aversion to instru- sons and an infant daughter. The oldest son mental music in church. He objected to the died when quite young. The youngest son, introduction of a flute and bass riol in the Robert Clark Knaggs, was adopted by his aunt, Presbyterian church, but being out voted he Mrs. A. E. Kellogg, distinguished himself in submitted very reluctantly, and when the con- the Rebellion, was a prisoner at Libby Prison, gregation rose to praise God with the sound of is a respected citizen of Chicago. the flute and viol he would not rise. At the Thomas Clark, son of Dr. Robert Clark, was time of the division of the church, his sympa- born February 13, 1809; was married to Miss thies were with the old school but as his Lavonia Hopkins October 24, 1833. He was a church and presbytery were new school, he quiet, careful man, much respected in the city, united with them and was afterward satisfied was an elder in the Presbyterian church, and a to be so. On the subject of missions, he was firm and devoted friend to every good cause. in advance of his age. A draft of an address His devoted wife was a bright and shining delivered before the County Bible Society fifty light to all about her, and her patient, unselfish years ago, contains a plea for the nations in life was a great encouragement to many of her darkness which would still be powerful if made sisters in the church and city. Her memory before the General Assembly or the American is revered and tenderly cherished by those who Board of Foreign Missions. Dr. Clark was a are left. Three children were born to Thomas man of fine literary taste, an casy conversa Clark and grew to maturity: Helen, who was tionalist, possessed of a keen sense of humor. married to Mr. J. H. Ainsworth and became a His society was always prized. After a long resident of Toledo, Ohio. Edward G. Clark and painful illness, he expressed himself thus left college and responded to the call of his in regard to the hour of his death: “ It would country - was with Sherman in bis March to seem a joyful privilege to begin to praise God the Sea and participated in many a memorable
struggle. After the war he settled in Chicago health failed under continued exposure, and and is one of the firm of Hibbard & Spencer, he returned bome to die of quick consumption. extensive hardware merchants. The younger John A., the fourth son of Dr. and Mrs. son of Thomas Clark entered the service of his Clark, was born February 20, 1814. He was a country as a member of the Seventh Regiment surveyor for some time and afterward read law of Michigan Volunteers, Colonel Grosvenor and practiced in Illinois. He received the apcommanding officer. He was not twenty-one pointment of Surveyor-General of New Mexico, when he enlisted, but was mature in firmness and a few years after the same office for Utah. and Christian principles. He was the favorite At the expiration of his official term he reof his superior officers, and as soon as his age moved to Fort Scott, Kansas, where he was would permit, and a vacancy occurred, he was Land Commissioner and interested in the Fort promoted to a lieutenancy. He was attacked Scott and Gulf Railroad. From this city he with severe illness in the swamp of the Chick- removed to Kansas City, where he died August ahominy, and suffered much in the retreat from 5, 1881. . Richmond to Fortress Monroe. He returned D r. and Mrs. Clark's fourth daughter, Ann home on a furlough after being some time in Eliza, was born February 2, 1816; was married the hospital. He rejoined his regiment just in to Mr. Hosmer Kellogg, of White Pigeon, a time for the terrible march to the field of prosperous merchant from Sheffield, Massa Antietam, where he laid down his short but chusetts. She resided in Wbite Pigeon for eventful and noble life. His father, Thomas twenty-five years. Two sons and two daughters Clark, died August 28, 1879, and his wife died came to her home. Five years after the death the following February at the home of her of Mr. Kellogg his wife removed to Ann Arbor daughter, Mrs. Ainsworth, in Toledo.
in order to secure better advantages for the Jane Stuart Clark, daughter of Dr. Clark, education of her two sons. Mrs. Kellogg, was born April 18, 1811; was married to John owing to her thorough education and earnest Anderson, jr., when she was fifteen years old. Christian character, was very influential as a They moved soon to White Pigeon, where member of society in Ann Arbor. With one John W. Anderson became the first judge of or two others she originated a Ladies' Library probate of St. Joseph county. He alterward Association, which celebrated its twentieth returned to Monroe and received the appoint- anniversary April 9, 1886. Mrs. Kellogg's ment of light-house keeper, which he held four elder daughter married Governor Hunt, of years. He again returned to the city, and died Colorado, and her younger daughter was marsoon afterward with typhoid fever, leaving ried to C. T. McClure, of Denver. The sons eight children: Edwin R. ; Catherine Eliza- are settled in Colorado also. Mrs. Kellogg beth, who was for some time a teacher among calls Denver her home, though much of her time the freedmen, and was married to Mr. Tayre, is spent in the East. For many years she has of South Lyon, Michigan ; Lester T., who lives deroted much time to the study of teaching of in Washington Territory; Jane Estell was the Bible in select classes — also to the interest maried to William Mitchell, of Freeport. John of foreign missions. Through her instrumentC. Anderson, the third son, entered the service ality a Sunday school was established in a desof his country as a member of the Seventh titute part of the city and a brick chapel Regiment; he was promoted to a lieutenancy; erected, in part as a memorial to her daughter, was wounded at Antietam and suffered much Mrs. Hunt. for want of care until he could be taken to the The twelfth child that came to the home of hospital, where he remained six months and Dr. and Mrs. Clark was Catherine. She was left to participate in the battle of Gettysburg; married to Colonel James Mitchell, who was a he was made prisoner three days before the successful banker of Freeport, Illinois. surrender; he returned home after the war Charles A. Clark, the child of his parents' old with his constitution broken and gradually de- age, was the most brilliant of all the brothers clined; was gifted with a fine literary taste and and sisters. At his birth his parents solemnly promised to be a useful Christian man. Willie, dedicated him to God for the Christian ministhe fourth son, entered the service as clerk to try. He seemed to possess in an eminent dea captain in the Fifteenth Regiment, but bis gree the requisite qualifications for the work,
but by overstudy he lost his health while in ably the first Presbyterian minister of Michicollege, although he graduated with high gan Territory. There were four children born honors and gave the valedictory address. He of this marriage, two of whom died in early waited some time in the hope of returning childhood. Charles G. Johnson still survives, strength, but was disappointed. He read law probably one of the very few of bis age who in his brother's office, was admitted to the bar are natives of Monroe. The daughter, Elizaand entered upon that profession. He died aged beth Phillips, was married in 1844 to Talcott twenty-nine, July, 1854.
E. Wing, Esq., of Monroe; died in the year Up to the present date (1888) there have 1857, leaving four children: Talcott Johnson been born to Dr. and Mrs. Clark one hundred Wing, now a resident of Westfield, Massachuand eight descendants, of whom sixty-six are setts; Charles R. Wing, a lawyer of Monroe; still living
Austin E. Wing, United States Bank Examiner
for the State of Michigan; Harriet Armitage, OLIVER JOHNSON,
who was married to James G. Littlo, a mer
chant of Monroe, deceased, now residing in One of the early settlers on the River Raisin, Monroe, Michigan. was born in the State of Connecticut, February For many years after Colonel Johnson set29, 1784. His ancestry is readily traced back tled on the River Raisin, money was very to Isaac Johnson, who was one of the fifty-two scarce, and merchandising was carried on by original proprietors of Middletown, Connecti- barter and exchange of grain and furs, which cut Robert Johnson, the grandfather of Colo- were disposed of at Detroit or Buffalo. Colonel nel Oliver Johnson, died at Harrington, Con- Johnson was at an early day judge of probate necticut, in 1792. His mother's name was of the county of Monroe, appointed by the Sarah Blake, of Middletown; she was the governor of the Territory, which was the only mother of eleven children, one of whom, Samuel office over held by him, though always promiJohnson, Esq., by profession a lawyer, resided nent in politics and an active member of the on the south side of First street, corner of First Whig party. Being a prominent anti-slavery and Scott streets, the site of the present resi- man, he was one of the original promoters of dence of Louis Freidenberg, where he died in the Republican party, which originated in the year 1836.
Micbigan. Was elected as presidential elector, Another brother, Elisha, spent several years and voted for General Fremont. About that in Europe during the eventful years of the gen- time great bitterness of feeling was manifested eral war — a gentleman of literary tastes, one on all sides. Many large business houses and of the American correspondents of that time leading newspapers catered inore or less to the who contributed numerous letters to the Spring- slavery element. The Presbyterian general field papers.
assembly passed some resolutions which were Another brother, Royal Johnson, was en so strong in sympathy with slavery that they gaged in business as a merchant in Detroit, were reported adversely upon by the synod of where he died in 1819, a copartner with Colo Michigan through their committee, one of nel Oliver Johnson.
whom was Colonel Johnson. He was for many In tbe year 1818 Colonel Johnson purchased years and until his death one of the ruling the lot corner of Front and Washington streets elders of the First Presbyterian church of Monfrom the original proprietor, Joseph Loranger, roe. The New York Observer, for which he erected the first brick residence on the street had subscribed for twenty-four years, was and occupied it as such until the year 1831, repudiated and declined on account of its prowhen he erected the residence on the public slavery sentiments. square east of the court-house, where he re- Mrs. Eliza Johnson, nee Disbrow, wife of sided until the time of his death. It is now Oliver Johnson, was born in Dayton, Ohio, and the residence of his son, Charles G. Johnson. rode from Dayton to the River Raisin on
In 1819 he was married to Eliza, the daughter horseback, fording rivers, streams and marshes, of Henry Disbrow (sister of Mrs. Thomas G. arriving at the River Raisin in 1817, and reCole, who survives her), by the Rev. John Mon- sided with her father on the Menard or Stewart teith, bisliop of Michigan so called, being prob- farm until ber marriage to Colonel Johnson in
1819. She was an active member of the Pres- be found in the Territory worth cultivating.” byterian church from the time of its organiza- Musgrove Evans and wife, Peter Benson and tion in 1820. Her home was the resort and wife, Mr. Blood, Joseph W. Brown and Mr. house of entertainment for the ministry at an Stetson were induced to emigrate from Jefferearly day, when the Rev. John Monteith, Rev. son county; arrived after a tedious journey of Noah Wells and Rer. Frontis ministered to a month, at Detroit, from thence to Monroe in this people. Mrs. Johnson survived her hus- a small sail vessel, requiring four days to travel band, dying at her house in Monroe, where she the distance that is now accomplished in one had resided for fifty years, aged eighty-seven. hour and twelve minutes. On the 2d of June,
after remaining in Monroe four days, the party
purchased two yoke of oxen and journeyed on DANIEL S. BACON
to the site of the present village of Tecumseb,
camping out at the Macon the first night - the Was among the earliest emigrants from the
land having previously been entered by Austin State of New York to the Territory of Michi
E. Wing, by whom it was platted and laid out. gan, and was a resident of Monroe for nearly
He also purchased the adjoining eighty-acre half a century. He was born in Onondaga, New York, in 1798. He began his career in
a house, sent fifteen and twenty miles for the new country as a teacher of a private
neighbors to help roll them up, and split up the school ; subsequently he was engaged in devel
shakes to cover it. oping various farming lands. He was also
The hardships and privations they were comassociated with Levi S. Humphrey in several
pelled to endure, the difficulties they had to business projects, and purchased lands in the
encounter, can only be understood by those of northern part of the State which eventually
experience in pioneer life -- without mills, withshowed his wisdom and foresight, as they out boards, even the roughest, to cover and proved quite valuable. He was at an early
protect from storms. The next year (1825), date made a member of the legislative council
by obtaining help from Monroe, thirty miles of the Territory, and soon afterwards appointed
distant, raised a saw and grist-mill, obtaining associate judge. He served as judge of pro
the stone on the opening near for the gristbate for the county of Monroe for three terms,
mill. The following year the dam was carried and held a number of other local positions in
off by a freshet, and with the endorsement of which he acquitted himself with ability. He
Mr. Wing and Shubal Conant, obtained the was an elder in the Presbyterian church. His
pecuniary aid they needed to rebuild. dignified bearing, pure and unaffected char
Peter Benson, after remaining with the party acter, commended him to the esteem of all who
at Tecumseh a few years, returned to Monroe, knew him. He died in Monroe, May, 1866,
purchased and settled upon the farm on the leaving one daughter, the widow of General
north side of the River Raisin known as the George A. Custer.
Gabriel Godfroy tract. Mr. Benson was the
agent in northern Michigan of a railroad comPETER BENSON
pany in 1887 at the time of his death.
His sister married Medard Couture, one of Came to Monroe in the employ of Musgrove the pioneers, and after his death married James Evans, a Quaker, who was in 1824 engaged Knaggs, to whom great prominence was given in survoying in the northern part of New in the War of 1812, as a successful Indian York. It appears that Austin E. Wing visited fighter and spy. Watertown, New York, in that year, and rep- As the pioneers of Tecumseh obtained in resented Michigan as the garden of the world, early days all of their goods and supplies from contradicting the statements we find in the old Monroe, the attachment between the citizens Morse history then generally used in schools, became very strong; and until the year 1845,
nothing; that government agents pronounced it a swamp; that one hundred acres could
change of social visits was of very frequent occurrence.