The first settlement at the village of Leslie, as well as in the township, has been mentioned as having been made by Elijah Woodworth, in 1836, and his log house was the first one erected where now stands a prosperous village.
In the summer of 1836 a saw-mill was built on Huntoon Creek by Woodworth, Dwight & Co., about twenty rods east of what is now Bailey's stave-factory. David F. Dwight, of that firm, was formerly from Boston, and had come when small to Detroit with his father, who there engaged in business, afterwards removing to Jackson. The Dwights (J. N. and D. F.) purchased lands in Leslie, including the mill-site. David F. Dwight, who is now living in Boston, owns property at Leslie, Jackson, Detroit, Chicago, and other places. The old mil-dam at Leslie was finally torn away and the mill-pong drained, for the promotion of health in the locality.
A post-office was established at Leslie as early as the fore part of 1838, and Henry Fiske was the first post-master. Numerous others have since held the office. Hiram Godfrey was postmaster in 1856; Sidney O Russell held it afterwards for several years, and was succeeded by James Blackmore, the present incumbent, who was appointed March 10, 1865
The first goods brought to Leslie for sale belonged to Alba Blake, who came here from Vermont, and places them in a small slab shanty. The first regular store in the village was built about 1839 - 40, by V. H. Powell, of Ann Arbor. S. O. Russell, as elsewhere stated, had been in mercantile business in the place since 1842.
Village Plat and Additions.
Although many lots were sold and a considerable village grew up, no record of a surveyed plat is found until Nov. 12, 1866, when D. F. Dwight, A. T. Ingalls, Levi F. Slaght, James F. Allen, Haywood T. Allen, and forty others, caused a plat to surveyed by Louis D. Preston, on part of the south half of section 21 and the north half of section 28, to which was given the name of the village of Leslie. Additions have since been made as follows: Russell Godfrey's addition, Aug. 6, 1868; J. F. Shaw's subdivision, Nov. 12, 1868; Hahn's addition, by P. R. Hahn and A. J. Blake, March 25, 1871; Doty and Kimball's addition, by William Doty and A. B. Kimball, Oct. 4, 1871, Armstrong's addition, by W. J. P. Armstrong and others, July 22, 1872; Eli B. Sherman's addition, July 25, 1872; Walker, Rust, and Grout's addition, by Arnold Walker, Amasa Rust, and Gardner K. Grout, June 30, 1873; Coon's addition, by James S. Coon and others, Aug. 10, 1875; Woodwroth and Dwight's addition, by J. D. Woodworth and D. F. Dwight, Jan 29, 1876.
Village Incorporation, Etc. Graphics provided by
The village of Leslie was incorporated by act of Legislature approved march 30, 1869, the territory included being the sough half of section 21, the north half of section 28, and a lot in the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 28. The charter was amended April 15, 1871, April 18, 1873, and March 14, 1877. The first election for village officers was held Monday, April 12, 1869, when eighty-nine votes were cast, and the following persons elected to the positions named: President, John D. Woodworth; Recorder, Edwin G. Eaton; Treasurer, William Spears; Trustees, John R. Van Velsor, Alonzo B. Kimball, John R. Burdick. On the nineteenth of the same month the council appointed Henry M. Pitts marshal, and Ogden Edwards street commissioner. The following have been the officers of the village from 1870 to the present:
1870. -- President, Haywood T. Allen; Treasurer, Hiram Austin; Recorder, Edwin A. Eaton;Trustees, William Spears, Michael J. Graham, A. R. L. Covert.
1871. -- President, Henry B. Hawley; Recorder, Edwin G. Eaton; Treasurer, Leonard H. Rice;Trustees, William Page, Edward Oldman, Henry P. Fry.
1872. -- President, James Blackmore; Recorderr, Lewis D. Eckler (resigned, and C. Calkins appointed); Treasurer, L. C. Rice; Trustees, John W. Kincaid, Horace Smith, George Holbrook.
1873. -- President, George B. Loomis; Recorder, C. Calkins; Treasurer, Stephen L. Ward; Trustees, John D. Woodworth, Alfred Young, Nathan M. Vaughn.
1874. -- President, A. R. L. Covert; Recorder, C. Calkins; Treasurer, Stephen L. Ward; TrusteesGilbert L. Crumb; Leonard C. Rice, John R. Burdick.
1875. -- President, Alfred Young; Recorder, Frank L. Prindle; Treasurer, Allen C. Manly; TrusteesJohn D. Woodworth, Marchall E. Rumsey, Able J. Bailey.
1876. -- No Record.
1877. -- President, Claude C. Walker; Recorder, Jay Calkins; Treasurer, Allen C. Manly; TrusteesCaleb Angevine, James Blair, Lewis D. Martin, Stephen E. Flansburgh, James Fry, Ogden Edwards.
1878. -- President, Andrew Hahn; Recorder, Garry C. Reynolds; Treasurer, George J. Phelps; TrusteesC. Angevine, James W. Cook, Horace Smith, William F. Drake, James Fry, Edward Olman.
1879. -- President, Allen C. Manly; Recorder, W. W. Cook; Treasurer, W. W. Annin; TrusteesJ. L. Torrey, G. B. Loomis, S. H. Pierce, L. D. Martin, G. W. Davis, James Blackmore.
1880. -- President, James W. Bailey; Recorder, George C. Moody; Treasurer, William W. Annin; TrusteesWilliam Hutchings, Edwin G. Eaton (did not qualify), Louis G. Becker, James Blackmore, Ira Winslow, John D. Woodworth.
"History of Ingham and Eaton Counties Michigan, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Their Prominent Men and Pioneers", by Samuel W. Durant.
Published by D. W. Ensign & Co., 1880.
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