History of
From History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan
By Samuel W. Durant
Published 1880 by D.W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia


The occupants of the territory included in the township of Leslie, when it was first settled by white people, were of the copper-color race generally known as Indians. Evidences, however, exist pointing to the occupation - long previous - by a people superior in many respects to the Indians, notably in the art of defense against the attacks of hostile forces.

Sidney O. RUSSELL, of Leslie, while hunting on a certain occasion, in the winter, discovered an embankment on what is now the J.W. WILCOX place, near North Leslie, and when the snow had gone he examined it closely. It was rectangular in form, with entrances at the northern and southern ends, and when discovered by Mr. RUSSELL was about eighteen inches high. Upon it were growing trees which were equal in size to those standing in the surrounding forest, which were very large.In the immediate vicinity of Leslie were discovered other curiosities in the form of small mounds and pits. About half a mile west of the village was a tract of fifteen or twenty acres, from which were plowed up large numbers of human bones, many of which were left exposed. A piece of hardened copper was also found in one locality, and among the bones which were unearthed was a skull, which was so large that not a hat could be found in Leslie large enough to fit it; a thighbone which was found to be three inches longer than the thigh of the tallest man in the place, and he was very tall. The Indians had no knowledge of these bones, nor of the works which abounded in the vicinity; and it can only be concluded that they were relics of that mysterious people whom archaeologists call the "prehistoric race." Rev. W.W. CRANE, an early minister of this region, who lived in Eaton County, was an  enthusiast in the study of these antiquities, and familiar with all the treatises upon the subject, yet he could only offer theory as to their probable origin and the time when this portion of the country was occupied by them, for nothing definite could be known of them more than the evident fact of their being a warlike race, and considerably versed in mechanics.


The records of the County Pioneer Society contain the following items of interest regarding some of the settlers of the township of Leslie:

a native of Charlestown, Montgomery Co., N.Y., removed to Michigan in the fall of 1837, arriving at Detroit September 3d. Mr. ARMSTRONG relates his experience as follows:

"I hired a man and a team to transport my goods; arrived at the Freeman bridge, on Grand River, the 9th of September. Found the river impassable on account of heavy rains. The causeway, some thirty rods long between the bridge and the north bank, was afloat. I left my goods on the south side, and my wife and I crossed on the floating logs, jumping from one log to another, and came to Leslie that night, five miles, on foot. Next morning I started with an ox-team for my goods, the river still impassable for a team. By the help of three hired men we loaded in a wagon what we could draw, and drew it across a plank laid on the floating causeway, and by taking two sets of plank we could shift them every length of the wagon, and by working faithfully all day, part of the time up to our waist in water, we got them over, and arrived at our home in Leslie sometime after dark."

The Freeman bridge mentioned by Mr. ARMSTRONG is well remembered by the pioneers, as it was the place where many of them crossed the river when on their way to Ingham County with their families.

a native of Mayfield, Montgomery Co., N.Y., and afterwards a resident of Cayuga County, and a soldier in the war of 1812, removed to Michigan from Aurelius, Cayuga Co., in the fall of 1835. His route lay through Canada, and the journey occupied twenty-one days of time. During the winter the family remained in Jackson County, with Mr. WOODWORTH's cousin, George WOODWORTH. In March, 1836, Elijah WOODWORTH cut his road part way through Leslie, and finally arrived in the latter township. He crossed Grand River on a raft. He says:

"My nearest neighbors north were at De Witt, Clinton Co.; south, four miles, and east and west none but natives that I knew of. During the summer new-comers in pursuit of homes found my habitation. Each had his name booked as he came to the door, and his turn of choice of land followed his registry. Amos WORTMAN, Jasper WOLCOTT, and myself became their guides in the wilderness. Our provisions were transported some distance and were very dear. I assisted D.F. DWIGHT to build the first saw-mill at Leslie, in 1836. The mail was brought from Jacksonville. We had no sawed timbers about our mill. Our land was located at Kalamazoo in the order the applications were made.

"Henry MEEKER located his land and mill site, and left the same year. When we went out to look land we had to camp in the woods over-night or stay at some Indian lodging. During 1836 among the new settlers were James ROYSTON, S.O. RUSSELL, and E.T. CRITCHETT, of Seneca Falls, New york. Plenty of wild animals then roamed the forests, such as bear, wolves, deer; cats, rats, and mice we had none."

* Mr. Woodworth was the first settler in Leslie township, and is now residing in Wheatfield.

During 1836, before a bridge was built over Grand River, it was crossed by incomers on a log raft. Some time in that year, Mr. OAKS was treed by wolves near the river, on his return from Jackson, and remained all night on his perch, badly frightened. Wolves were quite troublesome until the settlers began trapping them for the bounty of seven dollars per head, and their numbers were soon greatly lessened. Bears were also plenty, and it is related that David ACKLEY killed one with his rifle, one Sunday morning, that was seven feet two inches in length. He and his wife were out taking a walk, and she first mistook the animal for an Indian pony.

First Lawsuit and First Death
The first law-suit in town was between E.T. CRITCHETT, plaintiff, and Elijah WOODWARD, defendant. The first death in Leslie is thought to have been that of a daughter of Stephen KIRBY. From 1838 to 1840 the settlers were all sick with bilious fever and the ague, and they were so badly shaken up that many became disheartened and returned to their former homes.

Thales W. HUNTOON,
a native of Claremont, Cheshire Co., N.H., settled in Leslie, Nov. 12, 1840. His parents also came to the township, where they both died. His father's name was Isaac F. HUNTOON. When T.W. HUNTOON first came to the township the village of Leslie contained but few houses, while he expected to find a thriving town. On arriving there and inquiring the distance to the village of Leslie, he was greatly surprised to find that he was in the midst of it.

Benjamin DAVIS,
from Jefferson Co., N.Y., removed to Michigan in October, 1836, and remained in Wayne County until Jan. 1, 1837, when he settled with his family in the township of Leslie, Ingham Co., where he lived for thirty years, and died at the age of seventy. His son, Richard H. DAVIS, was but ten years old when the family came to Michigan. The wife of R.H. DAVIS came to Ingham County in 1841 with her parents, Asa and Orvilla DUBOIS, who settled in the township of Vevay.

Sidney O. RUSSELL,
a native of East Bloomfield, N.Y., settled in Leslie in June, 1836, having been preceded but one day by Ezekiel T. CRITCHETT.

Wheaton SANDERS,
who was born in Cayuga Co., N.Y., in 1811, came to Leslie in 1839, and settled on a farm to which no road had been cut out, and on which he died, April 22, 1879. He and his wife experienced all the hardships of a pioneer life.

The forgoing items concerning the pioneers mentioned are from the Pioneer Society's records; what follows has been gathered "in the field," among the pioneers.

who is now residing immediately north of the village of Leslie, on the farm he first located, came to Michigan in September, 1835, from Genesee Co., N.Y., and was then unmarried. He remained in Jackson until the spring of 1836, when he came to what is now Leslie, purchased government land, and commenced improving it. He boarded for two years with Elijah WOODWORTH, who lived at the site of the village, and who built the first house in the place. When Mr. WORTMAN was looking for land he was accompanied by Jasper WOLCOTT, a young man from his own neighborhood in New York. They stopped a portion of the time, when night fell, with Oliver BOOTH, the first settler in the township of Onondaga, who had a section of land where Onondaga village now is. Mr. WORTMAN assisted Elijah WOODWORTH in building his shanty at Leslie; it stood about sixty rods east of what is now the main street, and Mr. WOODWORTH says it was, beyond dispute, the first one on the site of the village.

Mr. WORTMAN assisted many in looking out their land, as also did Mr. WOODWORTH and Mr. WOLCOTT. Mr. WORTMAN was married in October, 1838, and settled upon his place the following spring, having cleared a small tract and sowed about fifteen acres of wheat. The first wheat sowed in the township was put in by S.O. RUSSELL and James ROYSTON, who settled in the summer of 1836. Mr. WORTMAN helped cut the first road in the township of Leslie, and also helped to cut tracks through the woods in other townships while on "land-hunting" trips. Those roads were scarcely better than cow-paths.

Sidney O. RUSSELL,
previously mentioned, visited this region in 1835, and looked it over with the view of sometime settling. In May, 1836, he purchased land in what is now the township of Leslie, and in the following month of June he brought his family and settled with them on a farm, upon which he resided until 1842, when he removed to the village and entered the mercantile business, in which he has since continued. James ROYSTON, Mr. RUSSELL's brother-in-law, came to the township with the latter and settled in the same locality, and at present occupies the farm he then located.

Mr. RUSSELL's wife is a daughter of Mrs. Abby HAYNES, who, after the death of her husband, removed to Michigan from the town of Marcellus, Onondaga Co., N.Y., with five children, and settled in the township of White Oak, Ingham Co. This was in 1838; one year later they removed to Onondaga township. Mrs. RUSSELL was the eldest child. Mrs. HAYNES, who was a resolute, energetic woman, died in 1871. When the family started from New York they had a team of horses, but while passing through Canada one of the horses was traded for a yoke of oxen, ahead of which the other horse was hitched, and slow progress was made over the extremely bad Canadian roads. From Detroit to Ann Arbor the journey occupied two days' time, and the wagon contained four persons for its load only. Mr. RUSSELL, who had come two years before, was four days making the same distance.

now in the undertaking business at Leslie, came to the township in 1845, and purchased the first forty acres of land taken on section 16, upon which he resided a short time. His wife became ill and homesick, and they shortly returned to Batavia, Genesee Co., N.Y., where she died. He came again to Leslie and purchased forty additional acres of land, returned to New York and was married again, and finally made a permanent settlement here in 1850.

Mr. ARMSTRONG's brother, Jacob, in company with Nelson B. BACKUS, settled in the township in 1836, at Leslie, or "Teaspoon Corners." He sold eighty acres of the land he had purchased to Mr. BAKUS, who became a prominent citizen in the township, as did also Mr. ARMSTRONG. These men were the first settlers at North Leslie. Mr. ARMSTRONG, who first purchased on section 9, has resided for several years at Oakley, Saginaw Co., Mich. M.V. ARMSTRONG held the position of commissioner of highways in Leslie about twenty-five years.

Mahlon COVERT,
from Covert, Seneca Co., N.Y., purchased land in the township of Vevay, in June, 1837, and came with his family to the township of Leslie in October following, intending to proceed at once to his place in Vevay. There was so much water on the way, however, that it would have been almost impossible to get through, and Mr. COVERT finally traded his Vevay land to John ROYSTON, for land the latter had purchased in Leslie, and settled upon it and still occupies it. Mrs. COVERT's brother, Ira CHANDLER, came with them. A son of John ROYSTON now occupies a portion of the old farm in Vevay. Mr. COVERT's son, Ansel R.L. COVERT, was elected county clerk in 1856, and removed to Mason, where he lived four years, and in 1861 settled in the village of Leslie, where he at present resides.

from Cayuga Co., N.Y., came to the township of Leslie,  in 1837 or 1838, with his wife and six children, and located in the same neighborhood with Mahlon COVERT. He died in the township. His son, Ogden EDWARDS, resides i Leslie village, and he and his brother Oliver are the only ones of the family now living in the township. Ogden and Stephen EDWARDS chopped the first tree felled on their father's place, upon which no improvements had been made, although it was purchased from second hands.

Wheaton SANDERS, who accompanied Mr. EDWARDS to the township, was from the same neighborhood in New York.*(Elsewhere stated the Mr. SANDERS came in 1839) He is now deceased, but his family occupies the old farm. His brother, Gilbert SANDERS, had settled in the same locality a year previous to the arrival of Wheaton SANDERS, and is now living in Albion, Calhoun Co.

Arnold WALKER,
from Seneca Co., N.Y., came to Leslie in 1844, and has since resided in the county, in which he has been and is a prominent and influential citizen. He at present occupies the position of president of the First National Bank of Leslie. He was for some time previous to the Rebellion an officer in the militia of the county, and was captain of the "Curtenius Guards," of Mason. That company was named in honor of Col. F.W. Curtenius, of Kalamazoo. The militia of the State had been allowed to become of little importance, but finally the State Military Board raised three thousand dollars, a portion of which was appropriated towards prizes for the best-drilled and best-appearing companies in the State. In 1857, Col. Curtenius inspected three companies at Mason, - the "Curtenius Guards," and two companies from Lansing, the "William Grays," and a German organization. The prize was awarded to the Mason company, and consisted of one hundred and fifty dollars in money and a brass field-piece. Its officers were each raised one grade in rank, except. Capt. WALKER, who was promoted to the position of lieutenant-colonel of the regiment (Forty-sixth Michigan). The company armed itself with Minie rifles, and became well known for its efficiency and appearance. When the war broke out the services of the company were tendered as a body to the governor, and the organization was accepted and assigned to the Seventh Michigan Infantry and sent to the front. Captain WALKER was not at the time a member of the company, but he was solicited to accept the position of captain. He declined in favor of Capt. McKERNAN, but offered to go in another capacity, - even as a private in the ranks. The position of major of the regiment was tendered him, and would have been accepted but that Monroe County was without representation among the line of officers of the regiment, and Mr. WALKER was promised a good position in the near future if he did not take the major's commission. The result was that he had no chance to go to the front, though always ready. The "Curtenius Guards" covered themselves with glory while in the field.

Nelson NORTON,
from Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, came with his wife and one child to Ingham County in June, 1838, and settled on section 33 in Leslie, having purchased land of John Western, of Jackson. Mr. NORTON himself made the first improvements upon it, Western being only a speculator, owning several sections in this township. In January, 1875, Mr. NORTON removed to the village where he now resides.

Rev. Elijah K. GROUT,
a native of Fairfax, Vt., settled in Leslie in October, 1838, with his wife and three children, - the latter all young. He purchased forty acres inside of the present village corporation, a portion of the tract now being owned by Arnold WALKER. This land he afterwards sold. In the spring of 1839, Mr. Grout assisted in the organization of a Baptist Church at Leslie, and was himself ordained to the ministry in 1841. He served in the ministerial field of labor nearly thirty-seven years in various localities, having resided at Marine City, St. Clair Co., from 1847 to 1854, and died at Leslie, feb. 9, 1878. His loss was sincerely mourned by all who knew him. He was a fine type of the pioneer minister, and knew no man as an enemy. His widow is residing in the village, and several of his children live here and at Bay City.

Mrs. GROUT is a sister of Henry and Dr. Valorous MEEKER, and daughter of Benjamin MEEKER, who were among the first settlers in the township of Leslie. Henry MEEKER purchased land on section 28 in February, 1836. Henry MEEKER, in company with his father, Benjamin MEEKER, and Denziel P. RICE, came at nearly the same time with Elijah WOODWORTH, and soon sent for the family of the elder MEEKER, who came the same year (1836). Dr. Valorous MEEKER arrived in 1837, and was the first physician who settled in Ingham County. Benjamin MEEKER and wife both died in this township. Henry returned to Cortland Co., N.Y., but afterwards removed still farther West, and is now living near Milford, Dickinson Co., Iowa. The MEEKERs, in many respects, were among the most prominent citizens of Leslie township.

came to Leslie about 1837, and settled on the site of the village. The first township-meeting convened at his house in April of the following year. His log dwelling stood near the present site of the Allen House. Miss ____MESSINGER, who came with him, or nearly at the same time, was an early teacher in the Leslie schools. She became the wife of a man named HILL, also an early settler, and they removed from the locality. Both are now deceased.

the present post-master at Leslie, emigrated from Stafford, Genesee Co., N.Y., to Henrietta, Jackson Co., Mich., in 1848, and in 1855 came to Leslie and taught school. He removed here in 1858, and engaged in mercantile business in June, 1859.


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 DWIGHT's (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 mill-dam at Leslie was finally torn away and the mill-pond 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 postmaster. 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 placed 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, has been in the mercantile business in the place since 1842.

Village Incorporation, Etc.
The village of Leslie was incorporated by act of the Legislature approved March 30, 1869, the territory included being the south half of section 21, the north half of section 28, and a lot in the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter if section 28. The charter was amended April 15, 1871, April 18, 1873, and March 14, 1877. The first election for the 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. VanVELSOR, Alonzo B. KIMBALL,

On the nineteenth of the same month the council appointed Henry M. PITTS marshal, and Ogden EDWARDS street commissioner. The following have been officers of the village from 1870 to the present:

Year President Recorder Treasurer Trustees
1870 Haywood T. ALLEN Hiram AUSTIN Edwin G. EATON William SPEARS
Michael J. GRAHAM
1871 Henry B. HAWLEY Edwin G. EATON Leonard H. RICE William PAGE
Henry P. FRY
1872 James BLACKMORE Lewis D. ECKLER (resigned,
C. CALKINS appointed
Horace SMITH
1873 George B. LOOMIS C. CALKINS Stephen L. WARD John D. WOODWORTH
Alfred YOUNG
Nathan M. VAUGHN
1874 A.R.L. COVERT C. CALKINS Stephen L. WARD Glibert L. CRUMB
Leonard C. RICE
1875 Alfred YOUNG Frank L. PRINDLE Allen C. MANLEY John D. WOODWORTH
Marshall E. RUMSEY
1876 No record
James FRY
James W. COOK
Horace SMITH
William F. DRAKE
James FRY
1880 James W. BAILEY George C. MOODY William W. ANNIN William HUTCHINGS
Edwin G. EATON*

* 1880 - Eaton did not qualify

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John BARRY William DOTY Clark A. HARLOW
John TUTTLE William PAGE, Jr. Enoch HARE
James HARKNESS William W. DEWEY Chauncey SMITH
Isaac F. HUNTOON Sally MILES Seneca M. HALE
Joshua WHITNEY Anthony INGALLS Washington SCOVEL
Ephraim WORTMAN Truman WILBUR Whitman ALBRO
Stephen WEEKS Benjamin DAVIS Elizabeth GARDNER
William HUNTOON --- SABENS Roxalana DEWEY
Denzil P. RICE Isaac DEMICK Alba BLAKE
Thomas A. ANIS Daniel JEFFORD Patrick BROWN
Frederick S. CLARK William BARDEN, Jr. Jotham MORSE
William BARDEN Nelson NORTON Theodore CLARK
Stillman P. RICE D. & W. WRIGHT Jonas NIMS
Benjamin NORTON Lester MINER Harlow NORTON


The records for the years 1839 and 1840 are missing. The following is a list of the principal officers of the township from 1841 to 1879, with a few exceptions missing:


1841 Jacob LOOMIS 1853 Lester MINER 1870 William B. KNAPP
1842-43 Benjamin DAVIS 1854 Sidney O. RUSSELL 1871 J.D. WOODWORTH
1844 Lester MINER 1855 Austin A. KIRBY 1872-75 James BLACKMORE
1845 no record 1856 Pliny W. ROLFE 1876 J.D. WOODWORTH
1846-48 Lester MINER 1857 Austin A. KIRBY 1877 James BLACKMORE
1849 Benjamin DAVIS 1858-65 records missing 1878 Caleb ANGEVINE
1850-51 Mahlon COVERT 1866-68 John D. WOODWORTH 1879 James BLACKMORE
1852 Ira A. REYNOLDS 1869 Sidney O. RUSSELL 1880 James BLACKMORE


1841 Samuel F. RICE 1854 James L. TORREY 1873 William H. RICE
1842 Franklin ELMER 1855 Samuel T. RICE 1874 Valorous H. GROUT
1843-44 Joseph WOODHOUSE 1856 Hiram GODFREY 1875-76 Frank L. PRINDLE
1845 no record 1857 Lemuel WOODHOUSE 1877 Edwin G. EATON
1846 Lemuel WOODHOUSE 1858-65 records missing 1878 J.M. GIBBS
1847 Alba BLAKE 1866 John W. BURCHARD 1879 F.C. WOODWORTH
1848 Lemuel WOODHOUSE 1867-68 John R. VanVELSOR 1880 F.C. WOODWORTH
1849-53 Samuel T. RICE 1869-72 Edwin G. EATON


1841 Lewis REYNOLDS 1852 N.B. BACKUS 1871-72 George J. PHELPS
1842 Calvin EDWARDS 1853 Ogden EDWARDS 1873-74 Edwin WARD
1843-44 Samuel G. SANDERS 1854 George PHINNEY 1875 Hiram AUSTIN
1845 no record 1855 Clark GRAVES 1876 Allen C. MANLEY
1846 Nelson B. BARNES 1856 James L. TORREY 1877 William H. RICE
1847 Flavel J. BUTLER 1857-65 record missing 1878 George J. PHELPS
1848-49 Ogden EDWARDS 1866-67 Leonard C. RICE 1879 Levi L. FORBES
1850 Thomas AUSTIN 1868 G.B. LOOMIS 1880 Levi L. FORBES
1851 O.H. PARRISH 1869-70 Clarkson FLANSBURGH


1841 William H. DEWEY
1852 Jacob ARMSTRONG
1871 Henry B. HAWLEY
1842 Alba BLAKE
Lester MINER
1853 James HARKNESS
1872 William E. WHITNEY
Cornelius CALKINS
David D. MAY
1843 Lester MINER 1854 Hiram GODFREY 1873 S.O. RUSSELL
1844 James HARKNESS 1855 John R. DUNSHA 1874 William E. WHITNEY
1845 no record 1856 William BURR
1875 Henry B. HAWLEY
1846 Alba BLAKE 1857-65 no record 1876 George J. JACKSON
1847 Lester MINER 1866 Luther L. STONE
James M. GOULD
1877 Cornelius CALKINS
1848 James HART 1867 S.O. RUSSELL
1878 George W. MAY
1849 John HOUSEL
Rensselaer POLAR
1868 Waldo MAY, Jr.
1879 L.G. WOSTER
1869 Edmund L. COOPER 1880 George J. JACKSON
1851 Nelson NORTON 1870 William H. BURNS

1880 Misc. Officers

Superintendent of Schools: C. GREEN
School Inspector: A.R.L. COVERT
Commissioner of Highways: M.V. ARMSTRONG
Drain Commissioner: Enoch HAINES
Constables: James A. PEACOCK, Albert A. LUMBARD,


In 1870 the village purchased several hand fire-extinguishers, and it was resolved, June 21, 1872, to purchase a fire-engine, at an expense not to exceed $1000. It arrived in the fall of that year, and cost $900. In August, 1872, a lot for the use of the fire department was purchased of REED & ALLEN, on Carney Street, for $245, and an engine house built upon it. In November, 1873, it was voted to raise $250 to construct two reservoirs for use in case of fire, etc. Protection Fire Company, No. 2, was organized June 7, 1875, with twenty-six members. It was afterwards disbanded, and in the summer of 1880 was reorganized under the same name, with thirty members (twenty belonging to the engine company, and ten to the hose company). The officers of the engine company are: Foreman, John L. NICHOLS; First Assistant Foreman, John BOYLE; Second Assistant Foreman, E.E. BAKER; Secretary, A.A. LUMBARD; Treasurer, Andrew HAHN; Engineer, H.E. WILLIAMS; First Assistant Engineer, C.H. ROBERTS; Steward, James FINLEY. Hose company officers: Foreman, W.W. COOK; Assistant Foreman, B.J. HAHN.


The excitement over the mineral wells at Eaton Rapids and elsewhere caused the citizens of Leslie to experiment in the same direction, and the results were gratifying. The first well sunk by S.O. RUSSELL, in 1872, and James McDANIELS, soon after, in the same year, caused one to be drilled at the "Eagle Hotel." Six others were sunk at nearly the same time. The water is similar to that in the Eaton Rapids wells, and is beneficial in a class of diseases which are treated successfully with the mineral waters of that place.


The first hotel in the village was originally built for a dwelling, but in the fall of 1844 it was remodeled and converted into a hotel by Nathaniel and Horace SMITH. It was burned in 1852, and the present Hawley House was built on the same ground, in that year, by Horace SMITH. The old building had been known as the Leslie House, and, like the present one, was a frame structure. The Hawley House is now the property of Henry B. HAWLEY, The Messrs. SMITH came to Leslie in 1844, from Orleans Co., N.Y. Nathaniel SMITH died in January, 1851, and his son is now a boot- and shoe-dealer at Leslie.

The Eagle Hotel was built also in 1852, by Hiram AUSTIN, who conducted it for some time. It was also kept for a time by Horace SMITH. It is now owned and carried on by James McDANIELS, a very popular landlord, who purchased it in 1869, and who has since greatly enlarged and repaired it.

The Allen House is a fine brick hotel, east of the main street of the village, and was built about 1872 by H.T. ALLEN & Son, a private banking-firm then in Leslie. The cost of the house, fitting the grounds, an artificial lake, an island, a bath-house, was probably $20,000. The enterprise, although a laudable one, has never proved a source of profit, and the Messrs. ALLEN were unfortunate in their investment. The property is now owned by David F. Dwight, of Boston and the ALLEN's are in Kansas.


Was established in August, 1864, with a capital of $50,000. The original officers were: Arnold WALKER, President; M.E. RUMSEY, Vice-President; C.C. WALKER, Cashier. The officers at present are the same, except that W.W. PEIRSON has taken the place of C.C. WALKER as Cashier, the latter having been elected to the position of county clerk. The directors are: A. WALKER, M.E. RUMSEY, John B. DAKIN, William HAYNES, A.R.L. COVERT, J.J. TUTTLE, E.G. ANNIS. H.T. Allen & Son had previously established a private banking-business in the village.


Several manufacturing establishments which have previously existed in Leslie are now "among the things that were." A large steam grist-mill has been burned in a recent year, and other institutions have fallen from prominence. The principal manufactory now in the place is the stave-factory of A.J. BAILEY & Son, located in the eastern part of the village. It was started by these parties about 1868, and they have about $25,000 invested at present, the annual products amounting to about the same. Their pay-roll amounts to $7,000 or $8,000 annually, an average of twenty persons being employed. A coopering establishment is also owned by the firm at Leslie, and one at Albion, Calhoun Co., the latter manufacturing about 1200 barrels a week and giving employment to fifteen men. About 2,000,000 staves are manufactured annually at their Leslie establishment, and they are proprietors also of a similar institution at Mason.

A new grist-mill was erected at the village in the summer of 1880 by the WILCOX Brothers, the lot on which it stands and $1,000 in money having been given them by the town. The entire cost of the mill is over $10,000, and three, and possibly four, runs of stone will be put in.


A paper called the Leslie Herald was established at the village in May, 1869, by J. W. ALLEN, and continued several years. Its business was finally transferred to that of the Leslie Local, which was started in August, 1876, by the present proprietor, W.W. COOK. The latter paper is a five-column quarto, independent in politics, and its circulation in the latter part of August, 1880, was 502. It is printed on a "Davis Oscillator Press, No. 2."


The Leslie Coronet Band was organized June, 1880, with sixteen pieces, and Enoch DOWLING as leader. A fine uniform and a good outfit have since been purchased, and the band is free from debt. Most of its members are "old players," and the organization is a creditable one. Its music is new and excellent, and the execution thereof is worthy of bands of greater note. Mr. DOWLING continues as leader.


Leslie Lodge, No. 212, F. and A.M.,
was organized in the winter of 1865-66, and in January, 1866, received a charter from the Grand Lodge, its membership being ten or twelve, most of them being members of the lodge at Mason. The first Master, under dispensation, was O.D. FORD, and Dr. J.D. WOODWORTH was the first Master after the lodge was chartered. The membership in September, 1880, was about eighty-five, and the following were then the officers of the lodge: I.H. WEATHERWAX, Worshipful Master; William H. RICE, Senior Warden; Horace HAYNES, Junior Warden; Ernest RIESDORPH, Sec.; James BLAIR, Treas.; Elias CRATER, Senior Deacon; Edward HOGAN, Junior Deacon; Edward ALDRICH, Tiler.

Leslie Chapter, No. 100, R.A.M.,
was organized in 1876 with nine members. Allen C. MANLEY was High Priest, Henry B. HAWLEY, KING, and William HAYNES, Scribe. The present membership is thirty-four, and the officers are: E. OLDMAN, High Priest; V.H. GROUT, King; James BLAIR, Scribe; James McDANIELS, Sec.; John SIGLER, Treas.; William HUTCHINGS, Captain of the Host; Allen C. MANLEY, Principal Sojourner; M.E. RUMSEY, Royal Arch Captain; Peter EARL, Master 3d Veil; Horace HAYNES, Master 2d Veil; Frank ROSSMAN, Master 1st Veil.

Leslie Council, No. 50, R. and S. M.,
was also organized in1876, with twelve members, and Edward OLDMAN, T.I.M. The present membership is twenty-seven, and the officers are: E. OLDMAN, Thrice Illustrious Master; James bLAIR, Deputy Illustrious Master; William HUTCHINGS, Principal Conductor of the Work; A.C. MANLEY, Captain of the Guard; James McDANIELS, Sec.; John SIGLER, Treas.; M.E. RUMSEY, Conductor of Council.

Leslie Chapter, No. 6, Order of Eastern Star of Adoptive Masonry,
was organized Jan. 1, 1879, with fifteen charter members.  Its principle officers then were: Mrs. M. WOODWORTH, W.P.; L.C. RICE, V.P., Mrs. CRUMP, Sec.; Mrs. PLATT, Treas. It has a membership at present of  fifty-two, and its prominent officers are: M.A. OLDMAN, W.M.; W.H. RICE, W.P.; M.A. VAUGHN, Sec.; E.C. HAWLEY, Treas.

Foster Lodge, No. 95, I.O.O.F.,
was instituted January 25, 1866, with eight charter members. Philo B. ABBEY was the first presiding officer. The present membership is about fifty-two, and the officers are: Silas W. OLDS, Noble Grand; M.V. ARMSTRONG, Vice Grand; A.A. LOMBARD, Rec. Sec.; Samuel HARDER, Per. Sec.; John CRADDOCK, Treas.

Ingham Encampment, No. 22, I.O.O.F.,
was instituted Jan. 3, 1867, with about fourteen members. The Chief Patriarch was Philo B. ABBEY. The encampment now has a membership of about twenty, but is not in the best condition for work, a complaint which seems general among several encampments in this vicinity. The organization, however, is kept up, notwithstanding the difficulties.

Custer Council, Order of Stars and Stripes,
was organized in March 1877, with twenty-three members, al men who had seen service in the field during the bloody days of the Rebellion.The present membership is over fifty, and the officers are: H.C. YERBY, Chief Counselor; Alfred LEACH, Senior Vice-Counselor; Martin L. ACKLEY, Junior Vice-Counselor; A.A. LUMBARD, Rec. Sec.; John L. NICHOLS, Fin. Sec.; Henry H. SMALL, Treas.

This organization is similar to the Grand Army of the Republic. An encampment of "Our Country's Defenders" was partially organized in Leslie, nut the Order of the Stars and Stripes appears to have better suited the old soldiers, and the latter organization is in flourishing condition.


Methodist Episcopal Church, Leslie
The first Methodist sermon preached in Leslie was delivered by Rev. E.H. PILCHER, probably in a private house, when the population of the place was exceedingly small.Leslie Circuit was organized from Mason Circuit, in 1868, and its pastors since that time have been Revs. B.S. MILLS, one year; A.A. ROLFE, three years; H.D. JORDAN, one year; J. GULICK, three years; N.L. BROCKWAY, two years; and the present pastor, Rev. William J. SWIFT, two years, or since September 15, 1878. The present membership of the church is 181, including probationers (Sept. 10, 1880). The Sunday-school has an average attendance of about seventy-five, with Dr. A.C. MANLEY as superintendent. The present brick church is the only one ever owned by the society, and was built in 1869. Meetings had previously been held in the Baptist Church and in a public hall. Other appointments on the circuit are at the PHELPS school-house in Bunker Hill, with about thirty in attendance at the Sunday-school; and at the Baird school-house in Rives township, Jackson o., where no class has yet been formed, but probably soon will be. A class which held meetings for some time in the HOUSEL neighborhood, in Leslie township, has recently been closed.

The United Brethren
have a small circuit including North Leslie, the HOUSEL neighborhood, SCOVILL's Corners, and the CLARK school-house in Leslie and Fitchburg, in Bunker Hill, and during the summer of 1880 they erected a church at the latter place, which is the only one on the circuit.

First Baptist Church, Leslie
The records of this church contain the following account of its organization:
"Leslie, April 12, 1839.
" A number of baptized believers met in the school-house in the village of Leslie for the purpose of organizing themselves into a society to be denominated and known by the name of The First Baptist Church in Leslie. After prayer, Elder David HENDEE was chosen moderator, and E.K. GROUT clerk pro tem.

" A list of articles of Faith and Practice and Covenant were presented and unanimously adopted as the sentiments of the church. The following brethren and sisters are associated together and presented the letters to the clerk: Mahlon COVERT, Sally COVERT, Lewis REYNOLDS, Laura REYNOLDS, Martha J. IVES, Mariah HAZELTON, Harriet BARDEN, and Elijah K. GROUT.

"Br. M. COVERT was appointed deacon, and E.K. GROUT clerk of the church.

"Voted, Brother E.K. GROUT give an expression of his views of a call to the gospel ministry.

"Voted, That Brother E.K. GROUT  be licensed to improve his gift in giving exposition of Scripture from time to time, as the Spirit may divert his mind.

"Voted, That we try to maintain our church meetings once in four weeks, at one o'clock P.M.

"Elder D. HENDEE, Moderator.
"E.K. GROUT, Clerk pro tem.

Of the persons named above who were constituent members of this church the only ones now living (1880) are Mahlon COVERT and his wife.

Calvin STRAIGHT and wife united with the church May 11, 1839, and on the same date it was voted to apply for admission to the River Raisin Baptist Association, and voted also to give Mr. GROUT a license to preach. The church was admitted to the association named in the latter part of May, or early in June, 1939. Mr. GROUT was ordained as a minister Feb. 16, 1841, and became the pastor of the church. At an association meeting held at Napoleon, Sept. 10,1842, Mr. GROUT presented resolutions denouncing slavery, and providing for work against it in the church, also against intemperance in the church. In the spring of 1847, Elder GROUT was given a letter of dismissal and recommendation, and removed to St. Clair County, in which he resided for ten years. June 15, 1847, a call was voted to Elder F. FREEMAN, and it was sent and accepted. March 24, 1849, it was voted to call Elder david HENDEE to serve the church at Leslie one-fourth of his time. He became the pastor, and labored with the church until April 20, 1851. His successor was Elder H.B. FULLER, of Bunker Hill, who was secured in May, 1852, and remained until the spring of 1861, when Elder GROUT again commenced preaching here one-fourth of the time; he continued until Oct. 20, 1866, when he resigned and was immediately succeeded by Rev. Mr. VROMAN as supply. Elders E. RUMSEY and ____PARMENTER also held services. In August, 1867, Elder John DUNHAM was secured as supply for one year. Elders PUTNAM, William H. COX, ____ HAMLIN, and John B. KEMP preached in 1868, and the latter was secured as pastor on the 1st of November in that year. He resigned Jan. 1, 1870, on account of ill health, and services were rendered by Elders RICE, GUNN, and FULLER. Elder W.C. GUNN became the pastor, and commenced his work May 1, 1870, continuing until March 26, 1871. Elder H.B. FULLER supplied the pulpit a short time, and in June, 1871, Elder W.C. ARCHER received and accepted a call, but resigned August 20th following. Rev. U. GREGORY commenced his labors as pastor of the church Sept. 24, 1871, and was installed November 5th following. He was given leave of absence Aug. 4, 1872, to complete his theological course at Rochester, N.Y., and Elder H.M. GALLUP became pastor in September, 1872, remaining until Oct. 6, 1877, when he resigned. On the 21st of the same month Elder H.L. BOWER became the pastor, and closed his labors in September, 1879. The present pastor, Elder John HERITAGE, has been in charge since October, 1879.

In 1856 it was voted to make an effort to build a meeting-house, and a frame structure was commenced, which was not completed for several years. It is the one now in use. In 1871 a parsonage was built, at a cost of about $2000. The present membership of the church is about 130, and the Sabbath-school, of which C.E. PICKETT is superintendent, has an average attendance of about 90.

Free-Will Baptist Church, Leslie
This church was organized about 1873, with some thirty-five members. The first pastor was Rev. William GRAY, to whom the credit of organizing the church is principally due. He served as pastor three years, and was succeeded by Rev. J.S. MANNING, who continued in charge one year. The third pastor was Rev. Milo COLDRON, who stayed a year, and the fourth was Rev. J.F. BOLLER, also staying a year. The present pastor, Rev. F.R. RANDALL, is the fifth in charge, and is now serving his second year. He resides in Burlington, Calhoun Co. A frame chapel was built in the summer of 1874, costing a little over $1000. The present membership of the church is about seventy, and the average attendance at the sabbath-school about forty. The Sunday-school is held every Sunday, while church meetings are held but once in two weeks. Richard HUNTOON is the superintendent of the Sunday-school. The chapel erected by this society is a very tasty structure, situated near the site of the old school-house.

First Congregational Church of Leslie
(Coming soon)

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