Famous Sons and Daughters of
Lenawee County, Michigan
(and other connections....)

Johnny Appleseed in Lenawee Co?

An Irish Lullaby

Butch Cassidy in Michigan?

Governor Charles Croswell
see also:Biography of Charles Croswell.

Governor William Greenly

Congressman Henry Cassorte Smith

U. S. SenatorJerome Bunty Chaffee

Congressman and Probate Judge Fernando C. Beaman

Congressman Earl Cory Michener

Congressman Nathaniel Buel Eldredge

Michigan Attorney General Clare Retan

Justice John E. Bird



Newspaper clipping; no paper name nor date known;

Did Lenawee Have Visit From Johnny Appleseed?

It's an interesting bit of conjecture that John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) whose contribution to the horticulture of the Middle West in pioneer daysis commented upon elsewhere on this page may have visited Lenawee County.

In "Man and Myth" by Robert Price, a well documented account of Chapman's activities in which Dr. Harland Hatcher, president of the University of Michigancollaborated, Mr. Price writes that one of the Chapman apple nurseries begunabout 1828 "stood for years at the mouth of the Tiffin River above Defiance,Ohio." The Tiffin River is known in Lenawee County as Bean Creek, has itsorigin at Devils Lake and flows southward through Hudson, across Medina Township,through Morenci and on southward into Ohio.

In "Bean Creek Valley", written by James Hogabaum and published in Hudsonin 1876, Mr. Hogabaum relates an amusing incident in the early settlementof Medina and Canandaigua and the competition between them. The two placesare only about a mile apart.

Mr. Hogabaum writes:
"In the fall of 1836 an itinerant fruit tree vender brought some apple treesto Canandaigua to sell to the farmers of Medina and Seneca. He had 50 morethan he could dispose of, and these he buried in Cavender's field. In thewinter, a Medina man coming by the field discovered the tree tops coveredby snow, and asked Burns Cavender what it meant. He (Cavender) said thatGregg (the inn keeper) had thrown a drunken Indian out of his bar room. Hehad died from exposure and his body was buried lightly and covered with brush. "The Medina man went home, revolving in his mind the tragic death of the Indian.He called a secret council, and it was determined that the matter must beinvestigated and Gregg punished. In the dead of night six of Medina's mostvaliant sons sallied forth, armed with axes and spades. They came to thespot and attempted to removed the brush, but the butts of the trees had sunkin the mud and frozen down. The axes were called in, and the brush cut evenwith the ground. Then the digging commenced, and in the course of an hour'shard work the bodies and trunks of the trees were exhumed. They went homesadder and wiser men, desiring above all things to keep the agency a secret.But "murder will out" and they had to pay for the trees, and what was ofmore consequence be jeered at by the Canandaigua folks."

Mr. Price relates in "Man and Myth" that in 1836, John Chapman was briskly expanding his apple tree enterprises into northern Indiana. It is purely conjecture,but he might have made part of that trip up the Tiffin River from Defiancewith a pay load. Defiance is only about 40 miles south of Medina. Or the"itinerant fruit vender" might have purchased trees from the Chapman nurseryand moved into Lenawee County to sell them.

In any event, what happened in the Canandaigua-Medina incident of 130years ago is interesting reading.


Butch CASSIDY's Mysterious Michigan Ties

Found in the Sept/Oct 1993 Vol 7, Issue 2 of the Family Researchers Newsletter. Printed here with their permission.

Most Western history experts now seem to agree that Butch Cassidy was not killed in an ambush in South America after all, but made his way to the Brazilian coast where he caught a ship for Europe and then the United States, ending up in Michigan.

James DULLENTY, a bookstore owner and newspaper reporter in Kennewick, Washington, has been researching why "CASSIDY" (alias William T. Phillips) claimed Celia MUDGE as his mother and Sundusky, Michigan, as his birthplace ~~~~Should this read Sandusky??~~~~ He also, has found a mysterious link to a farm woman in Michigan.

It was in Adrian, Michigan on May 14, 1908, that one Gertrude M. LIVESAY of Morenci married William T. PHILLIPS, a stranger in town, who claimed to the son of Laddie J. PHILLIPS and Celia Wakath MUDGE.

This same information was used when PHILLIPS joined the Elks and Masonic lodges in Spokane, Washington, where he and Gertrude lived most of their marriedlives. When PHILLIPS died in 1937, his widow put the same information ormis-information on his death certificate. But why? It is said that most of PHILLIPS' intimate friends in Spokane knew him to be the Butch CASSIDY. It is known that he made three trips to Wyoming and other Western states where his robberies had taken place and his cronies were still living. It was reported that he was eventually recognized as "George CASSIDY", the name he was known by in those days, who had come back, in all likelihood, to look for his caches of loot.

This article, in part, was acquired through Lenawee County Clerk's office, Adrian, Michigan.

However, there continue to be differing views concerning Butch Cassidy's reported demise and later years, if he indeed survived the South American ambush. The Deseret News of Salt Lake City published on 16 August 2011, an article entitled "Butch Cassidy Imposter Exposed" which refutes some of the earlier claims.

From newspaper article dated March 18, 1981:
Irish favorite is lullaby from Adrian.
By Robin Lucie, Daily Telegram Staff Writer

"Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-ra-ly, too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra, hush now don't you cry.
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-ra-ly, too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra, its an Irish lullaby."

Those words, sung by Bing Crosby in the Oscar winning movie "Going MyWay" in 1944, were written by a born-and-bred Adrian man, James Royce Shannon. Shannon, born in Adrian May 13, 1881, was named "one of Adrian's most famous sons," in a Daily Telegram article dated May 5, 1949.

He wrote the Irish Lullaby in 1913 to be used by Chauncey Olcott in hisplay "My Little Dudeen". The song was revived 30 years later and sung byBing Crosby in the picture "Going My Way" for which the song is now known.In the Bing Crosby movie, the song was titled Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra.

In 1944, "Going My Way" won four Oscar awards for best picture, best director,best actor, and best supporting actor.

Shannon received his early education in Adrian and mastered the pianoas a child. He also sang in the choir at Christ Episcopal Church in Adrianas a boy.

He toured Europe and the United States as a young man in a theatrical company he organized himself. He later directed and managed musical shows and stage productions for a decade.

He also was a dramatic critic for The Detroit Free Press for some time.

Another song to his credit is the Missouri Waltz.

Shannon died May 19, 1946, a talented composer, according to the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.


Governor Charles Miller Croswell
~Born October 31, 1825 In Orange Co, N. Y.
~1862 Republican Mayor of Adrian, Mich.
~1863-66 and 1867-68 member of the Michigan State Senate
~1987-1874 member of the Michigan State House of Representatives from Lenawee County
~1873-1874 Speaker of the Michigan State House of Representatives
~1877-1880 Governor of Michigan
~died in Adrian, on December 13, 1886, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery.     

William L. Greenly (1813-1883).
Fifth Governor of the State of Michigan, 1847-1848

~1813 born in Madison Co, N.Y.
~1836 settled in Adrian
~1837 elected State Senator
~1845 elected Lt. Governor
~1847 became acting Governor when Gov. Felch resigned
~1859-1865 Greenly served as Justice of the Peace in Lenawee County, Michigan.
From the Portrait and Biographical Album; Ingham & Livingston Counties, Michigan; page 121


Hon. Fernando C. Beaman
~Probate Judge 1857-1861, and 1872-1880
~1854 he attended the Jackson convention which organized the Republican party in Michigan
~1860 he was elected to Congress in the 2nd District
~1872 he was elected president of the First National Bank of Adrian
and held the position until the bank went into voluntary liquidation
~November 13, 1879 Judge Beaman was appointed to the office of United States Senator
to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Hon. Zachariah Chandler, but owing to ill health
did not accept the position.

abstracted from the Michigan Historical Society Records, Vol. 8; PROBATE JUDGES OF LENAWEE COUNTY, page 168.


Jerome Bunty Chaffee

~1825 born Niagara Co, NY
~dry goods merchant in Adrian
~moved to St. Joseph, MO; opened a bank there
~moved to Kansas and was part of a lnad company
~1859 one of the first settlers of Denver, CO
~1876 elected to U.S. Senate from Colorado
~his daughter married U. S. Grant, Jr.
~1884 Chairman of the Republican National Executive Committee
~Chaffee Co, Colorado was named for him


SMITH, Henry Cassorte

~1856 born in Canandaigua, Ontario County, N.Y.
~1857 moved with his father to a farm near Palmyra
~1878 graduated from Adrian College
~1880 admitted to the bar and practiced in Adrian
~1896 delegate to the Republican National Convention at St. Louis
~1899-1903 elected as a Republican to the Fifty-sixth and Fifty-seventh Congresses
~ practiced law in Adrian
~died there on December 7, 1911; buried in Oakwood Cemetery.

From the Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949; page 1827


MICHENER, Earl Cory, 1876-1957

~1876 born Seneca County, Ohio
~1889 moved with his parents to Adrian
~1898-1899 Spanish-American War served as a private in Company B,
Thirty-first Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry
~1903 was admitted to the bar and started practice in Adrian
1919-1933 elected as a Republican to the Sixty-sixth and to the six succeeding Congresses
~1935-1951 elected to the Seventy-fourth and to the seven succeeding Congresses
~continued to practice law in Adrian until his death there July 4, 1957; buried in Oakwood Cemetery.


ELDREDGE, Nathaniel Buel

~1813 born in Auburn, N.Y.
~1829 appointed as a cadet to the United States Military Academy at West Point
but was financially unable to accept; attended Fairfield Medical College; practiced medicine in Commerce, Oakland County, Mich.
~1845 clerk of the Michigan Senate
~1848 member of the State House of Representatives
~1852-1856 Probate Judge1852
~1854 was admitted to the bar
~during the Civil War was enrolled as captain of Company G, Seventh Regiment,
Michigan Volunteers, June 19, 1861; promoted to major August 7, 1861,
and to lieutenant colonel April 1, 1862; was honorably discharged January 7, 1863
~1874 elected Sheriff of Lenawee County
~1883-1887 served as Democrat to the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Congresses
~died in Adrian, on November 27, 1893; buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
abstracted from the Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949;page 1124


Clare Retan
~1926 Attorney General for the State of Michigan
~buried Calvary Cemetery, Hudson, MI

Lenawee Home Page  Top  

http://migenweb.org/lenawee/famous.html - Lenawee County Michigan

© Copyright 2004-2018 Mary Teeter
All Rights Reserved.