1774 - 1825 (51 years)
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||Benjamin Irish  |
||Pawling, Dutchess Co., NY
||10 Aug 1825
||West Bloomfield, Oakland Co., MI
||15 Nov 2011 |
||Benjamin Irish, b. Abt 1735, d. Bef 6 Jul 1808, Pawling, Dutchess Co., NY (Age ~ 73 years) |
||Elizabeth West, b. 20 May 1738, Charlestown, Washington Co., RI , d. 9 Sep 1808 (Age 70 years) |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
||Anna Merwin, d. 27 Aug 1826 |
||25 Oct 1798
||Newburgh, Orange Co., NY
| ||1. Nancy Irish, b. 24 Jul 1799|
|+||2. Joseph Merwin Irish, b. 23 Jun 1801, NY , d. 5 Sep 1855 (Age 54 years)|
|+||3. Thomas Irish, b. 5 Jun 1803, NY , d. 24 Oct 1868, Washtenaw Co., MI (Age 65 years)|
|+||4. Rial Irish, b. 22 Mar 1805, d. 2 Apr 1862 (Age 57 years)|
|+||5. Newland Irish, b. 1 Apr 1807, d. 26 Jul 1892, Dewitt, Clinton Co., MI (Age 85 years)|
|+||6. Benjamin Irish, b. 28 Nov 1809|
| ||7. Anna Irish, b. 19 Feb 1812|
| ||8. Raphael Irish, b. 11 Dec 1813|
| ||9. Philomena Irish, b. 30 Jan 1816|
| ||10. Lovina Irish, b. 6 Jan 1818|
| ||11. Samuel Daniels Irish, b. 21 Sep 1821|
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- [S137158] History Of Oakland County, Michigan.
THE FIRST SETTLERS
The earliest entries of lands in the township, now West Bloomfield, but then included with Bloomfield, under Governor Woodbridge's proclamation of June 28, 1820, were made in the year 1823; the first being that of James Herrington, of Cayuga County, New York, of the entire southeast section, May 15, 1823. Immediately after, John Huff, from Gaines' Corners, Orleans county, New York, entered the northeast quarter of section 13; upon which, however, he had erected his cabin and commenced clearing in the fall of 1821, he being the first actual settler within the bounds of the township, and his premises being the same now occupied by W. Worthington. 'The northwest corner of his tract bounded upon Pine lake, and at this point, upon the shore of the lake, in the year 1824, lie built a very large house of hewed logs, upon which lie expended much more than the usual amount of labor and care in its construction. He may have expected to spend years of comfort and of plenty within its walls, but if such was his thought, it was never realized, for he died in the autumn of the next year, 1825, while engaged in the enterprise of building a tavern-house in the new and rapidly growing town of Pontiac. After Mr. Huff's death, the building was completed by his widow and her brother, Mark Luce, but she soon after abandoned all idea of remaining in the western country, and returned to the State of New York. The property at Pine Lake was sold to Charles Kelly, who, however, never occupied it, and, about three years later, it passed into the possession of William Durkee.
Another of the entries of 1823 was that of Benjamin Irish, on the southeast and southwest quarters of section 23, half a mile west of Black Walnut Lake, now the lands of William Harris. Upon these he settled in the same year, with his family, consisting of his wife, six sons, and three daughters; the sons being Joseph Merwin Irish, who afterwards married Sarah, daughter of Abel Bigelow; Thomas Irish, who married a daughter of John Ellenwood; Rial (or Royal) Irish married a sister of William Jenks; Benjamin Irish, Jr., then a youth of nineteen years of age; Newland Irish, now living in the State of New York; and Raphael Irish, the last two named being but lads at the tine the family came to West Bloomfield. The daughters were Sally, Anna, and Lavina. Mr. Irish died in October, 1825, and Mrs. Irish and one of her daughters also died within three or four years from the time of their settlement.
Rufuls R. Robinson came in 1823, and settled on section 1, on lands now owned by Henry W. Lord. He died in September, 1825, being one of the three first settlers - Huff and Irish being the other two - whose deaths occurred within two months of each other. After the death of Mr. Robinson, his widow and the family, consisting of four sons,-Asahel, William, Marshall, and Lewis, - and four daughters, - Harriet, Louisa, Mary, and Betsey, - returned to Pembroke, New York, near Buffalo; the place whence they had emigrated less than three years before.
In 1823, William Aunett entered the southeast quarter of section 22, and settled upon it in the full of the same year. With him came a youth named George Covill, who was a good hunter, and kept the family well supplied with venison. Mrs. Aunett died about 1829. - During the remainder of his life Mr. Aunett lived upon the farm where he settled, and which is now the property of his daughter, Mrs. Hartwell Green.
Peter Richardson came in 1824, and settled on the southwest side of Black Walnut Lake, in the northwest quarter of section 25, where is now the farm of Mrs. Haskins. His brother James also came in and settled near him. Peter was a bachelor, and for a time kept his hall there in regulation style, but soon after married Pamelia Haynes, a sister of Mrs. Josiah Barkley.
Harry Bronson settled in 1824, on the town-line, in the northeast quarter of section 36, this being a part of the ?Herrington tract.? His house stood on the site now occupied by the new brick residence of Henry Grinnell. Mr. Bronson is now living in Stratford, Connecticut, in the seventy-fifth year of his age.
Morgan L. Hunt and Benjamin Leonard also entered lands in 1824, but the exact date of their settlement cannot be given. It is certain, however, that it was years later than the date of entry, when Mr. Hunt came with his family to settle on his tracts in the northeast and northwest quarters of section 5. Mr. Hunt died November 10, 1876, at the age of seventy years. His wife was Miss Hunter, daughter of John W. Hunter, the first settler at Birmingham.
In May, 1825, Samuel Eastman came from Orleans County, New York, bringing with him a wife and one son, Horace, then but a child, and settled on the west side of Black Walnut Lake, upon lands now owned by Mr. Stodgell. At about the same time Linus Parker came in with his sons, Chauncey, Linus, and David. The elder Linus settled on the northeast quarter of section 34, now the farm of J. J. Deconinck, and Chauncey took land in the northwest quarter of 35, adjoining his father. He afterwards sold to Mr. Armstrong.
In the following month, June, 1825, there arrived in West Bloomfield one who afterwards became probably as well known as any man in the county of Oakland, - Rev. Laban Smith, a circuit-preacher of the Ohio Conference, who in the succeeding quarter of a century officiated at meetings for worship in school-houses, churches, dwellings, barns, shops, and in the open air, as well as at funerals and weddings, times almost without number, and who has left behind him a religious impress upon the sentiment of the community which will not soon be obliterated. He settled in the northwest quarter of section 13, the present farm of Alva A. Smith, on the south side of Pine Lake.
Stephen Smith was a brother of the Reverend Laban, and came in at the same time. He also settled on the southern shore of Pine lake, on lands now owned by M. McCallum. With these brothers came also their mother, a most kindhearted old lady, who was well skilled as a botanical doctress, and was always ready and willing to give her assistance in cases of sickness, which were by no means few nor infrequent in the four or five years which succeeded the time of their settlement in West Bloomfield.
The pecuniary resources of the brothers Smith were not great, nor was the ministerial vocation of Laban productive of much revenue to him, but both he and his brother are said to have been excellent trappers, and the lake was at that time teeming with muskrat, and of these they caught sometimes as many as a dozen in a single night. Each pelt readily brought four shillings, a sum greater than could at that time be realized for two bushels of the best wheat; and by this means they procured the few necessities which could not be obtained by barter, but which required cash, - a commodity which neither their husbandry nor Uncle Laban's preaching would then furnish.
Abel Bigelow settled in the year 1825, on the Herrington tract, in the extreme southeastern corner of the township. He came from Manlius, New York, and was accompanied by three sons, - Jotham R., Levi, and T. Allen Bigelow, - which last named is still living on the same farm. A great portion of Mr. Bigelow's farm proved to be underlaid with clay of excellent quality for brick-making, and he was the first person in the township who engaged in their manufacture. The business is still prosecuted by T. A. Bigelow at his water-power, which, however, is just across the township-line, in Farmington.
Edward Ellerby, an Englishman of considerable means, had come into the township in the year of the first entries, and had purchased from government thirteen eighty-acre tracts, partly in this and partly in the township of Bloomfield. He had at first come to this country from England in the company of Robert I. Owen, of Glasgow, the father of the well-known Robert Dale Owen, and having absorbed some of his (Owen's) peculiar ideas upon the subject of colonization, he had purchased these tracts with the purpose of settling them by colonists from his native country, and with this intent he had returned thither soon after making his entries to prepare for the consummation of his scheme. In the early part of 1825 he returned to Michigan, having with him the first detachment, the pioneer corps of companies yet to come Those whom he brought were a Mr. Rake, Michael Skinner, a cabinet-maker, and a cask of brandy. Having now his forces on the ground, one of the first things to be done was to complete a very large log house, for which preparations had been made at the time of his previous visit. This was to be his manorial residence; and as he had funds at command he had no trouble in pushing the structure to an early completion. It stood on the site now occupied by the neat little frame house of George Richardson, just cast of Black Walnut Lake, on the town-line, in the southeast corner of section 24. When finished, it was so satisfactory to him, and so imposing in appearance, that he named it ?Ellerby Castle.? Connected with the main building there was a wing of large size, and in this wing Michael Skinner had his residence and workshop; one of the first jobs which he performed in the line of his trade being the manufacture of a coffin for the wife of his fellow-colonist, poor Mrs. Rake, who died in the wilderness, away from home and friends, in the October succeeding her arrival.
Ellerby never achieved success in his scheme of colonization, although he afterwards made several trips to England for the purpose; and he did not take his final departure from West Bloomfield until about 1835. Even then he had not abandoned the idea of the promotion of emigration from England to the United States, and it is said that he afterwards arrived in this country with a colony of considerable size, bound for New Harmony, Indiana (where Mr. R. I. Owen was similarly engaged), but that he never arrived with them at their destination, as they all deserted his leadership during the passage through the State of Ohio.
John Ellenwood came to Michigan with his family from Ridgeway, Orleans County, New York, in 1825, and arrived in Pontiac on the 23d of September. They were moved up from Detroit by the horse-teams of Diodate Hubbard and John Hamilton (who, indeed, seem to have ?moved? nearly every other family who came into this and the adjoining townships in those years), and, with but a short halt in Pontiac, they proceeded without delay to their place of destination and settlement in the southeast quarter of section 12, on the eastern shore of Pine Lake, to and beyond which point a kind of road had already been cut through, running to the westward of the present road, and close along the edge of the lake. The land of Mr. Ellenwood laid immediately north of and adjoining the farm of the first settler, John Huff, who, at this time, was engaged at work in Pontiac and, as there was plenty of room in the large log house already mentioned as having been built by him upon the lake-shore, the Ellenwood family moved into it as their home until a house could be reared upon their own farm.
The family of John Ellenwood consisted of his wife, two sons, Eben and John N., and two daughters, Jane and Ismena. Calvin Ellenwood, another son, had a family of' his own, but came with his father, and remained with him on the farm at Pine Lake for two years after their arrival. Eben also married in about two years, and settled just north of his father, upon what is now the Coates farm. The old log house into which he moved with his bride may still be seen on the west side of the road, and near the bank of the lake, windowless, dilapidated, and desolate. John M. Ellenwood, the youngest son, was then but a lad of eleven years, and lie is still living on the same place where they settled fifty-two years ago. The daughter, Ismena, afterwards married Thomas Irish. Another daughter was the wife of Nathan Herrick, who came in soon after, and he, too, moved into the Huff house for a temporary home, as did also Timothy Kennedy's family, all at the same time that it was occupied by the families of John and Calvin Ellenwood. Nathan Herrick took land upon Pine Lake, just south and west of that of his father-in-law, it being the cast half of the northwest quarter of section 13.
As may be supposed, the pecuniary circumstances of Mr. Ellenwood were not of the best on his arrival in Michigan. It was not convenient for him to purchase a cow, so in the fall he bargained with one of the Bloomfield settlers to take one of his cows and keep her through the winter, which he could easily do, as the ?blue-joint? grass grew in great abundance all along the lake. In the same season he harvested a field of fifteen acres of wheat upon shares, and by this means procured breadstuff for his family, while John, the youngest son, who had already become an expert deer-slayer, had no trouble in keeping them well supplied with venison, having sometimes as many as six carcasses hung up in reserve at one time. The next spring he bargained with Ezra Rood and Asa B. Hadsell, of Bloomfield, to break and prepare four acres of ground for an orchard, Rood having a horse-team and Hadsell a yoke of oxen. This he set out with trees, many of which he procured from the Indian reservation at Orchard Island, and he also sowed the ground among them with wheat.
- [S007136] Descendants of John Irish 1629-1963, Willis L. Irish.