The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter XII
Railroads

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton

 

CHAPTER XII

Railroads.

The magnificent steam railroads of today have come by a slow process of development from the wooden tramways of an earlier age in Europe. In the sixteenth century in England rails of wood were laid for the transportation of coal from the mouths of the coal pits to the place of shipment. In 1829 the celebrated engineer, George Stephenson, won with the "Rocket" in a prize contest for speed in which, drawing a load of some twelve tons, he made the remarkable record for that day of thirty miles an hour. In 1829 a railroad was put in operation between Liverpool and Manchester; it was this road which had offered the prize won by Stephenson--a prize of five hundred pounds for a locomotive engine which would run at least ten miles an hour and draw a load three times its own weight. The success of railroads in England attracted attention in the United States. In 1831 fourteen miles of the Baltimore & Ohio road were in operation. The state of Michigan, which has never been behind in the paths of progress, caught the spirit of the age and in 1830 chartered the first railroad company west of the Appalachians. On July 31 of that year Governor Cass approved the incorporation of the "Pontiac & Detroit Railway Company," the forerunner of the present Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee railroad, and the first road completed to any point in Genesee county.

Among the original incorporation of this company was John P. Helfenstein, Gideon O. Whittemore, William F. Moseley, William Thompson and Harvey Parke. The capital stock was to be one hundred thousand dollars. The difficulties of the Michigan wilderness were indeed too great at this early tine and the projected railroad did not materialize. In 1834 a new company was chartered with the same name, the capital stock to be fifty thousand dollars. The road was to be begun within two years and completed within six. It has been said that the history of no railroad ever built is replete with more amusing and grotesque incidents or marked by more financial ups and downs than that of the old Detroit & Pontiac road. One of the principal stockholders and managers, Sherman Stevens, of Pontiac, tells the following story of the building of this road:

"The first cash outlay in building the Pontiac railroad was for timbered land at Royal Oak and for building a steam saw-mill to make the five-by-seven-inch oak rails. As soon as the mill was in operation I put men at work clearing and grubbing the roadway toward Detroit. it was all the way through heavy timber from the mill to the rear of the farms fronting on the river. As fast as the trees were cut down, all that were suitable were made into ties, while the large trees were rolled tot he center and so placed as to form two continuous lines of logs. On these logs the ties were placed, having a gain cut in each end to receive the five -by-seven oak rails. When the rail was placed in the gains a wooden wedge was driven alongside the rail, which fastened it solidly in place. After making a few rods of this style of road, we put a car upon it, and, by the use of a towing line to enable the horse to travel outside the ties, we were able to deliver them as fast as required. We made a ditch on each side of the track, throwing the dirt excavated into the space between the rails, which was the means of keeping the water from the track and making a dry and solid road for horses. with two working parties of twenty men each, one overlooked by 'Uncle Jack' keys and the other by John W. Hunter, who was the first settler of what is now the village of Birmingham, while John r. grout was the engineer in charge, in a few months we reached Jefferson avenue. Here we erected a depot and commenced the transporting of passengers and freight to Royal Oak. The wagon roads across the heavy timbered land were almost impassable. The emigration into Oakland, Genesee and Lapeer counties was large and it was not unusual for us to receive one hundred dollars for a single day's traffic over these wooden rails. The receipts from this source nearly met our expenses in extending the road to Birmingham. We made that place the terminus, until we found the wear upon the wooden rails was beginning to broom them to an extent that we feared would unfit them to receive the flat iron bar for which they were intended.

"As iron at that time cost ninety dollars a ton and the amount we required would cost a hundred thousand dollars, the outlook became serious. We had the control of money, but our bank might be jeopardized by using any considerable sum in the purchase of iron. We finally applied o the Legislature for power to raise a loan of a hundred thousand dollars on six per cent bonds having twenty years to run. This was at a time long before the utility of free passes was known and our application must stand upon its merits. I, however, invited a carload of the members to make an excursion over the road to see its importance and its situation.

"It was upon this occasion that Salt Williams (who was inclined to stutter: told the man who asked him if there was no danger that the horses might bolt and throw the car from the track, that "the only d-d-danger on the Pon-Pontiac R-r-rroad" was that he might die of old age before he could get through. To obviate the danger as much as possible, I took the place of the driver and took the legislators over the road with such speed and smoothness as some of them had never before witnessed,

and soon after their return the bill was called up and became a law.

"As soon as the bonds could be prepared and signed I went to New York, sold them at par and purchased iron and a locomotive. This locomotive came from the shop of Baldwin & Company, Philadelphia, and had on each side a brass plate bearing the name of the writer. It retained that name until parted with my interest in the road, and it was then renamed the 'Detroit.' some twenty years afterwards I found it and 'Uncle Jack' Keys still doing duty about the depot of the then Detroit & Milwaukee road.

"'Uncle Jack' Keys, a black horse and the locomotive were identified with the road for twenty-five years. Old Peter (the black horse) drew the first oak rails from the mill, drew the first passenger car over the road, and for years did the switching at Pontiac and exhibited an intelligence rarely seen in any animal of any kind. He learned how far from the track he must stand to be safe, while a train was passing. If on hearing a train approaching, he found himself too near he would move sideways a foot or two. While shifting cars he would not start until he had first looked back to see the number he was expected to draw, and if more than a given number were in the train he would not pull a pound, but as soon as the extra cars were detached he would pull with all his strength."

From Mr. Stevens' account it is clear that the road was very primitive and that the building of it made slow progress. It was completed to Birmingham in 1839., the cars were scheduled to make two trips a day from Detroit to Birmingham, from which point stage coaches took passengers to Pontiac, Flint and points on the Grand river. While Royal Oak was terminal the cars were drawn by horses, and for a portion of the time the cars were run upon wood "ribbons." The introduction of steam was regarded as a notable event. In 1834, the road was competed to Pontiac. The following reminiscences of this road told by a contemporary well reflects its truly pioneer character.

"Trains would frequently stop between way stations at a signal from some farmer who wished to ask a few questions or to take passage. An old lady denizen of a farm-house, with spectacles of a primitive manufacture placed high upon her forehead, came running out to the train, waving her bandanna. Her signal being heeded, the train was brought to a stop, and her inquiry of the conductor was, if a certain lawyer named Drake was on board. After receiving a negative answer, a short conversation was kept on before the train started on its journey, it was no uncommon occurrence for the engineer, who kept his shot-gun with him, to being down game from his engine, shut off steam and send his fireman after the fruits of his marksmanship. The road being laid with strap rails, one of the duties of the conductor was to keep a hammer for the purpose of spiking down 'snake-heads' whenever they were seen from the cab of the engineer."

Five years later, in 1848, a company was chartered whose fortunes looked to the westward along part of the route of the old "Northern Railroad." This was the Oakland & Ottawa Railroad Company. Its purpose was to connect the western terminus of the Detroit & Pontiac road with the mouth of the Grand river, and thence by steamer with Milwaukee. Capital stock was fixed at two million five hundred thousand dollars. The road was to be built by way of Fentonville in Genesee county and was to be begun within five years and completed within fifteen years.

Work was begun on it in 1852. It was estimated that two thousand six hundred tons of iron would be needed to lay the road from Pontiac to Fentonville. This was purchased in England. So slow was the work, however, that four years passed before the first train was drawn over any potion of the track in Genesee county. It was natural that two roads so closely allied as these should consolidate, which they did in 1855, under the name of the Detroit & Milwaukee railway. In the same year the road reached Holly, in 1856, Fentonville, in 1857, Ionia, and in 1858, Grand Haven. This rapid progress was made possible by a fortunate European loan of over a million dollars. But in 1860 the foreclosure of the mortgages by the bondholders, placed the road in the hands of a receiver. For some time the influence of the Great Western railroad in Canada had become paramount in the management of the corporation. When that company foreclosed, the Michigan company was reorganized under the same name--except it was called a "railroad company' instead of a "railway company." In 1873 the earnings of the road again proved to be insufficient to pay the interest upon its bonded debt. In 1875 its president, C. C. Trowbridge, of Detroit, was appointed receiver. In 1878 the Great Western Railroad bought it for one million eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It was again reorganized, under the name of the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee Railway Company. Since 1883, when the Great Western and Grand Trunk Railway of Canada amalgamated, the road has been apart of the Grand Trunk system. The principal stations on this road in Genesee county are Gaines, Linden and Fenton.

The first railroad over which a locomotive drew a train into Flint was the Flint & Pere Marquette. As originally planned, this road was to extend from Flint to Ludington (then Pere Marquette). The company promoting it was organized at Flint in 1857. The capital stock was five million five hundred thousand dollars. The original subscribers, were as follows: George M. Dewey, Benjamin Pearson, Alvin T. Crosman, Daniel D, Dewey, Josiah Pratt, Theodore C. Mills, C. Roosevelt, Artemus Thayer, H. W. Wood, James Henderson, R. D. Lamond, Alexander McFarlan, F. N. Pettee, E. H. McQuigg, Charles B. Higgins, R. Bishop, E. F. Frary, M. Miles, Giles Bishop, A. B. Witherbee, George W. Fish, H. C. Walker, H. M. Henderson, T. C. Meigs, Chauncey K. Williams Charles F. Dewey, William Patterson, G. R. Cummings.

This road had its origin in, and its construction was greatly aided by, certain congressional land grants. In 1856 Congress provided that, to help the state build railroads between certain specified points in Michigan, there should be granted to the state every alternate section for six sections in width on each side of the proposed roads--under certain conditions. The Legislature, in 1857, accepted this grant of land with the conditions imposed and vested in the new company the title to that portion of the lands intended by Congress to aid in constructing the Flint & Pere Marquette. The proceeds of the lands were to be applied to no other purpose than the building of the road. Only the "T" rail must be used in the construction. After the certified completion of twenty miles of the railroad the company could sell sixty sections of and included within any continuous twenty miles of the line, and other sixty sections upon similar conditions until the whole road should be finished. Then the company could sell the rest of the land, but not before. The road was to be surveyed and located by December 1, 1857. At least twenty miles of the road must be built each year and the whole must be completed within seven years. The lands thus donated amounted to six hundred and sixty-two thousand four hundred acres, of which, according to the first arrangement, only half could be sold before the completion of the road; this was amended in 1859 and the sale allowed of the entire amount of land due upon each completed section; also the time for the completion of the first twenty miles was extended to December 1, 1859.

The survey and location of the route was made and accepted by August, 1957. Originally the line was to extend from Flint through the counties of Geneses, Saginaw, Midland, Gladwin, Clare, Osceola, Lake and Mason, to Ludington, on Lake Michigan. But the surveyed route passed south of Gladwin, through Isabella and Mecosta. Subsequently the route was again changed so as to pass wholly to the north of these two counties. This was a vigorous beginning and, despite the temporary set-back caused by the financial panic of 1857, a third of the line between Flint and Saginaw had been cleared and about three miles graded for ironing by the close of 1858.

Hard time following the panic of 1857 compelled the bonding of the road in March, 1859, to the amount of five million five hundred thousand dollars. In October, 1859, the remainder of the line between Flint and Saginaw was nearly ready for the iron. But December the time had expired in which the first twenty mile section was to be finished. Apprehensions were felt that the state would now declare a forfeiture. On the contrary, the governor, backed by influential citizens, assured the contractors that no advantage would be taken of the company's misfortune. In July, 1860, the work was resumed, though prosecuted slowly.

The road had been built from Saginaw southward, and reached Genesee county in the beginning of 1861; on January, 20, 1862, it was opened for traffic to Mount Morris; on December 8, of that year, the first locomotive entered Flint, and the event was attended with an appropriate celebration and an entertainment at the Carlton House. The officers of the company at that time were: Eber B. Ward, of Detroit, president; Charles A. Trowbridge, Henry H. Fish, Palmer, V. Kellogg, of Utica, New York; Henry Hobbs, Charles B. Mott, East Saginaw; Benjamin Pierson, Alfred J. Boss, Flint; Morgan L. Drake, of Pontiac; treasurer, William H. Bronson, secretary, Morgan l. Drake.

In the following year energetic steps were taken by this company to connect Flint by rail with the Detroit & Milwaukee road. Abortive attempts had been made to build a road from Flint to Pontiac ever since the completion of the line between Pontiac and Detroit. In 1846 the Legislature had incorporated the Pontiac & Genesee Railroad Company, with a capital stock of five hundred thousand dollars, later increased to one million dollars. This came to naught. In 1848 the Genesee & Oakland Railroad company was chartered, with a capital stock of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Its fate was similar. In 1859 the Legislature authorized the Flint & Pere Marquette Company to make certain arrangements with the latter company for the building of this line, but of this nothing came beyond the survey of a route between Flint and Fentonville.

In 1863 powerful, practical and wealthy parties took up the project; bit instead of Pontiac as the junction point, they chose Holly. The Flint & Holly Railroad Company was incorporated, of which the leading spirit was Hon Henry H. Crapo, afterwards governor of Michigan. He was president of the company and a member of the board of directors. With him were associated men of means in Genesee county and a number of heavy capitalists of New Bedford, Massachusetts; Oliver Prescott, John R. Thornton and Edward S. Mandell, of New Bedford; Levi Walker and J. B. Walker, of Flint; and David Smith, of Fentonville. The commissioners to receive subscriptions to the stock were Oliver Prescott and William w. Crapo, of New Bedford; henry H. Crapo and H. W. Wood, of flint; and David Smith, of Fentonville. There had been some thought of building the line to Fentonville, but the advantage of Holly as a junction point were soon apparent. The work was begun at once and pushed with vigor. So rapid was the progress it was opened to Holly on November 1, 1864. The first train over the line was drawn by the company's new locomotive "City of Flint." During the first month four hundred and sixty tons of freight were carried and $3m485.80 was received from passenger traffic. At the end of the first fiscal year the company showed a balance of $39,203.14.

After nearly four years of successful operation, during which the business of the road grew steadily, the flint & Holly road was sold, in April, 1868, to the Flint and Pere Marquette, for about $550,000. The total cost of the road had been $430,423.06. In the years immediately following, the road, for a short interior line, made a most remarkable showing of profit.

With the central and northern parts of Genesee county now given a railway outlet to Detroit, Lake Erie and the East, and to Grand Haven and Milwaukee on the west, attention was directed to the northwest. In the fall of 1866 work was begun on that portion of the Flint & Pere Marquette line between East Saginaw and Ludington; and it was completed to Ludington, December 1, 1874.

Several lines have been consolidated with the Flint & Pere Marquette. Among those in which Genesee county is especially interested have been the Holly, Wayne & Monroe railway, which furnished a southeastern connection with Lake Erie, beginning in 1870; the Bay City & East Saginaw road, connecting with Lake Huron; and the Flint River railroad, running from the junction four miles north of Flint to Otter Lake. These lines were consolidated in 1872. The main line of the Flint & Pere Marquette passes from north to south nearly through the center of the county; numbering among its principal stations Clio, Mount Morris, Flint and Grand Blanc. The road has been of vast importance to the settlement and growth of Genesee county. In recent years it has had many misfortunes and at present its financial condition is not entirely satisfactory. For Genesee county it is of greatest importance that this road should continue its service.

Railway connections east from Flint, with Port Huron, were not secured until 1871. The trials and failures, and final success of the endeavors to build this line make a long and romantic story, reaching from the earliest days of the state's history. This line was the route of the first railroad projected to pass through Genesee county and was a part of the general plan adopted by the state commissioners of internal improvement in 1837. The road was to be one of three across the southern peninsula. The first, to extend from Detroit through the Kalamazoo valley to the mouth of the St. Joseph river in Berrien county, was the forerunner of the present Michigan Central. The second, from the navigable waters of the Raisin river, in Monroe county, to New buffalo, in Berrien, was the beginning of the present Lake Shore & Michigan Southern system. A third, the northernmost road, was to run from Palmer, or from near the mouth of Black river, to St. Clair county, to the navigable waters of the Grand river, in Kent county, or to Lake Michigan in Ottawa county. It was to be called the Northern railroad. Its name would hardly indicate its situation toady, but at the time it was located it passed through the northern tier of counties in which there were not settlements except the sparse and isolated ones in Saginaw, Mackinac and Chippewa counties. At the outset the sum of $550,000 was appropriated for the three roads. The relative importance of the roads in the minds of the legislators seems to be indicated in the fact that $50,000 was to be spent on the Northern road, $100,000 on the Southern, and $400,00 on the Central. Doubtless the Northern has not so many interested advocates as the Central and Southern.

The surveys were made at once. The Northern railroad route was surveyed from the St. Clair river through the center of Genesee county, thence to Lyons in Ionia, and from there westward to the mouth of the Grand river. The total distance was two hundred and one miles. Commissioner James B, Hunt, who caused the survey, made the estimates and specifications and let the contracts; among these was on for $20,000, made with Gen. Charles C. Hascall, of Flint, for building the road in Genesee. This work was done in 1838-1839. Further appropriations were now needed and were made for the road, in all about $130,000. The last appropriation was made in 1839-$40,000.

A MORE STABLE POLICY ADOPTED.

It was about this time that the people of the state began to awaken to the real nature of the economic problem they had undertaken so lightly. The effects of the financial panic of 1837 were felt on every hand. The disaster consequent upon the misplaced $5,000,000 loan caused a widespread feeling among the people that the adoption of so comprehensive a system of improvements had been premature. The results of this feeling was the restriction of appropriations to the works considered of most vital importance, particularly to those which seemed to promise to return the interest on their cost. The Central and Southern lines had been pushed with vigor and were then in partial operation. After 1839 appropriations were restricted to them and by the 1841 all idea of constructing the Northern railroad by the state was abandoned. In 1843, it was formally abandoned, by "an act to authorize the construction of a wagon-road on the line of the Northern railroad," and ordering the application and appropriation for that purpose of all non-resident highway taxes for a distance of three miles on either side of the line.

A special commissioner was appointed for each county along the route, who should superintend the expenditure of monies for the "Northern Wagon-Road." Gen. Charles C. Hascall was the commissioner appointed for Genesee. So difficult was the work, however, and so slowly prosecuted that by 1846 only a small portion of the line was passable for wheeled vehicles. In that year the act was repealed. But in 1848 an act was approved appropriating twenty thousand acres of internal improvement lands to construct and improve the road from Port Huron to Corunna. The governor appointed Alvin N, hart, of Lapeer, special commissioner to superintend the portion of the work east of Shaiwassee county. Up to 1849 all the appropriations for a wagon road had been expended on the route originally adopted for the railroad. In that year an act was passed appointing Lewis S. Tyler, of Genesee county; Albert Miller, then of Saginaw county, and Henry Newberry, of Shiawassee county, commissioners to relocate the line of the road between Flint and Corunna. The special commissioner, Mr. Hart, was directed to expend the appropriation on the line they should adopt.

The commissioners had three lines from which to choose. An eligible southern route passed through the Miller settlement in Genesee county. There was a possible northern route through the village of Flushing. A central route passed through the Lyon settlement. A road had been opened on both southern and central lines and the country along these between Flint and Corunna had been partially settled. On the northern line a good road had been made from Flint to Flushing and the country was also well settled. But, beginning about a mile west of the Flint river at Flushing, there was a whole township of heavy timber which reach in a solid mass almost to Corunna, without a settler. A large portion of this tract was internal improvement land, which had been selected to pay for the labor of opening the road which the commissioners were to locate. Besides this the commissioners were to take into consideration subscriptions for the respective lines and locate the road where it would best serve the public. Large subscriptions for the northern line were made by George and Porter Hazelton, of Flint, and by James Seymour, of Flushing. The commissioners, after examining carefully the merits of each route, were unanimous for the northern one. Immediately was recommenced the cutting out and grubbing of the line between Flint and Lapeer. Poor as this road may have been there is no doubt that it greatly aided the settlement of that portion of the county which lay along its line.

Meanwhile, in 1847, the now abandoned state project of the "Northern Railroad" was taken up by a corporation chartered as the Port Huron & Lake Michigan Railroad Company to build a railroad from Port Huron to the mouth of the Grand river. Capital stock to the amount of two million dollars was authorized, and John Wells, Alvin N. Hart, Charles C. Hascall, Alfred L. Williams, Jesse F. Turner, Ira Porter, Edmund B. Bostwick and Thomas W. White were named charter commissioners to receive subscriptions. The company was to begin within five years and complete the road within fifteen years, the state relinquishing to the company all her rights and privileges in the old line. In 1851 "ten" and "twenty" years were substituted, respectively, for "five" and "fifteen"; but increased efforts to complete the subscriptions to the stock met with little success.

In 1853 encouragement was received from Quebec. H. Malcolm Cameron announced that parties in that city might furnish means to build the road. Negotiations resulted in a contract with prominent railroad men there to complete the road by January 1, 1857 on conditions that the Legislature would increase the capital stock to eight million dollars. For this an extra session was sought; but, notwithstanding the sanction of a mass-meeting called by the promoters at Jackson to secure the session, the governor declined to convene the Legislature and the company had to await the regular session of 1855. In that session the charter was amended as desired, and aid was given in other ways. But still matters did not appreciably mend. Then came the proposition from N. P. Stewart, of Detroit, to purchase the charter and build the road without delay, but suspicion was awakened that Mr. Stewart was working in the interest of a rival road, the Detroit & Milwaukee railway. It was feared that if he should get possession of the charter he would kill their project, and they declined to sell. Thereupon, Mr. Stewart, in 1856, organized a new company, which was chartered as the Port Huron & Milwaukee Railroad company. The new route was surveyed at once and work upon it was pushing with vigor. A dock was built at Port Huron. Since twenty miles of grading was done. About a mile of track was laid at the Port Huron end of the line. All this was done to raise the hopes of the people and increase the general faith in the final success of the enterprise. But disappointment was again in store. At about this stage Mr. Stewart assented to the consolidation of this line with the Detroit & Milwaukee road at Owosso. From that time work on the eastern portion of the road ended; the means for it was used west of Owosso. Still the friends of the old road did not give up. They still had their charter. Finally, 1963, Mr. Jerome, of New York, purchased the charters of both companies--that is, of the Port Huron & Lake Michigan and that part of the Port Huron & Milwaukee lying east of Owosso. But presently Mr. Jerome died.

In 1865 a course was adopted that was destined to lead success. The old friends and promoters of the road rallied to the support of the original plan. The new idea was to repurchase and charters from the Jerome estate, and for his purpose trio secure local subscriptions and municipal aid. To facilitate negotiations with the Jerome heirs, bills were introduced into the Legislature to repeal the charters. The expected result was secured. The charters were bought at a reduced figure and work was immediately begun on the road. By November, 1866, the roadbed was nearly completed from Port Huron and the Lapeer county. More than enough ties had been contracted for this distance. The right of way had been secured over nearly all the route as far west as Flint. Several townships along the way had voted them bonds to aid the enterprise. It was confidently hoped that the road would be in full operation between Port Huron and Flint by 1869. But unforeseen troubles arose in getting the iron and rolling-stock. The firm of S. W. Hopkins & Company, of New York, were first tried, who furnished materials enough to complete the eastern portion, the first cargo of rails reach Port Huron, June 24, 1860, and the track was laid at once. Supplies came slowly. Further negotiations were made in Europe. It was not until 1870 that the track was finished as far as Imlay City. In 1871 it reached Lapeer, and in October entered Genesee county; on November 12, it reach Flint. On Thursday, November 30, an "inaugural trip" was made over the entire sixty-six miles between Flint and Port Huron by a party composed of Hon. Artemus Thayer and some fifteen ladies and gentlemen; Mr. Thayer was a Flint member of the board of directors. Much enthusiasm greeted this party along the route. The formal opening of this line was celebrated by an excursion party from Port Huron to Flint; over two hundred men and women were taken over this course in four coaches by the locomotive "Flint City." At the Thayer House, in Flint, the party was complimented by a dinner, which was marked by much hilarity and many speeches suiting the occasion. December 13, 1871, trains began to run regularly between the two cities. Some thirty-four years had passed since the people of "Flint River Settlement" had first rejoiced over the passing of the "Northern Railroad" bill and the promise of an early connection with the world outside by rail.

On February 1, 1877, a road which was practically a continuation of this line was formally opened between Flint and Lansing. It was built by the Chicago & Northeastern Company, incorporated in 1874. At Lansing this road joined what was then the Peninsular Railway, which connected with the Michigan Central. A through line was thus opened from Port Huron to Chicago. Subsequently the Chicago and Northeastern line was purchased by eastern capitalists with the purpose of destroying it as a competition to other through lines under their control. In 1880 it was consolidated with a number of companies under eastern control, which operated under the name of the Chicago & Grand Truck system. In 1900 it was again sold and became a part, together with the line from Flint to Port Huron, of the Grand Truck system of Canada, with which it still remains. Its value to the people of Genesee county is equaled only by the Pere Marquette, these two great lines forming its arteries of commerce with Detroit and the East, Port Huron and Canada, Saginaw, Ludington, and the Northwest, Milwaukee, Chicago, and all points in Michigan sand the great worlds beyond.

 

History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

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