The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter IV
Influx of Settlers

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton



These impulses to the early settlement of Flint are reflected in the marked increase of settlers from 1835 to 1838. Among others who came in 1835 were Oliver A. Wesson and John M. Cumings, men of much importance to the early growth of Flint.


Among whose who settled here during the years 1836-1838 were the following:

Samuel Alport

Asa Andrews

John Bartow

Chauncey Barber

Rev. John Beach

Wait Beach

Lewis G. Bickford

James Birdsall

Giles Bishop, Sr.

Giles Bishop

Russell Bishop

Rev. Daniel E. Brown

Lewis Buckingham

William Clifford

Thomas R. Cumings

Grant Decker

George M. Dewey

Dr. Elijah Drake

Thomas J. Drake

Willard Eddy

William Eddy

George W. Fish

David Foote

Daniel S. Freeman

Miles Gazlay

Ward Gazlay

J. C. Griswold

George H. Hazelton

Charles Heale

Henry M. Henderson

James Henderson

George J. W. Hill

Waldo Howard

Dr. John A. Hoyes

W. Lake

Robert D. Lamond

Daniel B. Lyon

James McAlester

R. McCreery

Edmond Miles

William Moon

William A. Morrison

Robert J. S. Page

William Patterson

Chauncey S. Payne

Benjamin Pearson

Nicholas Russell

Orrin Safford

D. S. Seeley

Charles Seymour

Robert F. Stage

Addison Stewart

Col. Thomas B. W. Vandeventer

James B. Walker

Henry C. Walker

Ephraim S. Williams

Elijah B. Witherbee

Ira D. Wright




Thomas P. Wood, later a resident of Goodrich for more than sixty years, came to Whigville, Genesee county, in 1834, when only twelve years of age. He returned to New York state later, finishing his education, and removing again to Genesee county after his marriage to Paulina M. Hulbert, of West Bloomfield, New York, residing at Goodrich more than sixty years.

Particulars about some of these families maybe of interest. Cotharin was engaged in boot and shoemaking, in a shop just north of the city hall. Messrs. Seeley and Howard conducted a tailor shop over Stage & Wright's store. Beyond the Thread river was a brickyard owned by Reuben Tupper and Silas Pierce. William A. Morrison was engaged in the primitive lumbering industry. The Bishop brothers, Russell and Giles, were embarked in commercial pursuits. Daniel B. Lyon was also engaged in business. The year 1836 witnessed the advent of a small colony from Batavia and the adjacent parts of Genesee county, New York. Among them was Willard Eddy, who was instrumental in establishing the first bank in Flint. He was the father of Hon. Jerome eddy, later mayor of the city of Flint and one of the representative business men of the city. Robert Patrick assisted in the construction of the first grist-mill. Orrin Safford was one of the first justices of the pace in Flint township. One of the first lawyers was col. E. H. Thomson. Ephraim s. Williams and George M. Dewey were early merchants and were largely engaged in land operations. Among these whose names appear conspicuously as givers of liberal gifts to encourage the growth of the city is Chauncey S. Payne, a large landowner and one of the parties in the litigation involving the Smith reservation. Henry M. and James Henderson contributed much to the growth of early Flint, building later a block of stores and conducting a large mercantile business. Few early citizens were better beloved than Rev. James McAlester, who for many years was engaged in ministerial labor, helping to organize several Methodist churches in the county. By trade he was a wagon maker, devoting his Sabbaths to clerical work. Another local preacher was Daniel S. Freeman, who in early years in Flint, followed blacksmithing. Hon, James B. Walker was for many years engaged in commercial pursuits, but afterwards identified himself with the state charitable institutions and was active in promoting enterprises for the welfare of the city.

The great majority of the early pioneers of Flint and Genesee county brought with them from the East the staunch old New England equipment of mind and morals--intelligence, education, the qualities that make for a wholesome society, and the sweet remembrance of family ties; for this reason Flint has won fame among her sister cities as a community of honorable, hospitable and law-respecting people. Churches and schools were early built in the clearings. And though education was often dispensed in the cramped cabin of the settler, and never in any edifice more pretentious then the single-roomed log school house built in a day by the combined labors of a few earnest heads of families, yet in these rude institutions of learning there have been laid the foundations of many an honorable and useful career.


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

HTML by Deb

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