PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

1865 Newspaper Notes — Ypsilanti Commercial

Posted by ppna on February 20, 2008

Here are my Notes for the Year of 1865 – This time its from the paper ‘The Ypsilanti Commercial”


The dates represent the date of the Newspaper not the date of the event.

Italics are my comments:


Community News

  • Jan 13 The Colored People of Ypsilanti – 2 churches, Methodist and Baptist bought old Presbyterian church for $1200 hope to get help from citizens of city to pay for.  School built by city.
  • Lots of Burglaries of Houses
  • Mad Dogs in the neighborhood of Mr. Gortons five miles south & also in the Tuttle neighborhood.  Speculation gone mad from want of water.  As I said before there are numerous posts of mad dogs and dogs running wild in Ypsilanti’s History.
  • April 10th (from YC April 14th) Celebration of Lee’s Surrender:  loud cheers & noise makers throughout town.  Boys firing canon and canon exploded (nobody killed).   Huge bon-fire at night.  Speeches by S.M. Cutcheon, Hon Chancy Joslin  and others.  Ed. Made at Joslin because he was a democrat against the war.
  • April 15th (from YC April 22nd) News of Lincoln’s death arrived.  Mayor ordered suspension of business & to drape the city in mourning.  Black flags flown at ½ mast, tearful people gathered on corners. City observed the funeral services the same time as the national funeral on Wednesday April 19th 12pm.  Business ceased and services were held at the Presbyterian church and the Union Seminary.  It was a mournful rainy day.
  • June 17: Horse attached to Brewery Wagon of Wise & Campbell ran loose after being startled.  John Campbell run over  Nothing like being run over by a wagon full of beer.
  • July 1:  Fire at Widow Talcott’s corner Ellis & Ballard.
  • July 8:  4th of July ‘dull’ day the denizens at Forest ave got up some fireworks.  Hon S.M. Cutcheon, Rev Mr. Hewitte & Professor Estabrook gave speeches Apparently the 4th of July celebrations in Ypsilanti weren’t anything much (except for the very 1st 4th of July celebration hosted by Woodruff) most people went to Ann Arbor on the 4th of July.   
  • Temperence meeting –  Mr. Hewitt presented the facts 25 Saloons $50,000 sold a year as opposed to $10,000 raised by churches.  I wonder what the 2007 intake of money for booze compared to Churches in Ypsilanti was.  My guess, a lot more than 5 to 1.
  • Sept 25 City gathered $1500  to start building Museum at Normal School
  • Javis wouldn’t sell land to Catholic Church for a cemetery (didn’t want neighbors upset) so they brought in a 3rd party who bought the land then turned it over to the Church.
  • School edifice to be erected on the east side of River nearly opposite Dr. Davis.
  • 5th ward Primary school – river street
  • Mary G. Seaver – residence River St. North of Forest Colored school
  • Aug 19  Gen Grant Train stopped in city at 5pm last Tuesday (15th) Shook hands for 10minutes


Community Members

  • Feb 10th – Charles Kellogg laid to rest.  I’ve been trying to find a link between the Kellogg and Post families in Ypsilanti and those in Battle Creek but I haven’t as of yet.
  • Feb 24th Charles Worden Died – 40 years old – boot & shoe business, had tin & hardware business
  • Lucy E. Follett died Nov 24th of Typhoid fever at age 18.  Daughter of Mrs. E.N. and Benjamin
  • Mr. J. Forsyth arrested Mr G. Pattice on a charge of violating city ordinance by using profane and insulting language.  Mr. P. Didn’t appreciate being arrested and bid defiance.  Mr. F. then rearrested Mr. P.
  • May 13: A.H. Goodrich & D.L. Quirk are enclosing their residence on Huron with a new fence mainly wood but molded & sanded to imitate cast iron at a cost of $30 a rod.
  • Eli Dickinson “Father Dickinson” born 1793 Phelps county Ontario 16 years ago found as almost hapless cripple – Files saws
  • Benefit concert to get Mr. A. George an artificial arm


Business News

  • Jan 20: Company organized with $100,000 to build a factory.  Owned by I.N. Conklin, D.L. Quirk, C. Cornwell, A. Dow, M.L. Shutts, Elvira Follett. Factory to be built on the Eagle Mill Property just below the upper bridge opposite Plaster Mill, (20 foot fall at that point of river) ½ factory at Eagle Bridge, ½ factory at Phillips Bridge.
  • March 24 Ypsilanti Woolen Company – Ground is broken.  Mr. Robert Hemphill is devoting all his attention to the work of erecting a suitable building, Hail to the first Ypsilanti Factory
  • Host of Follett house makes $36,000 on land speculation in PA (paid $800.00 for land)  I have read that one of Ypsilanti’s problems during the development of Ypsilanti was that so much land and factories were owned by so few people that new investors and entrepreneurs wouldn’t settle in Ypsilanti.  This same problem sent a lot of Ypsilanti investment monies out of the city for speculation in other parts of the country.
  • Oil Company formed with $25,000 by Messrs.  D. Showerman, Philo Ferrier, C. Yost, and C. Stuck for speculation in PA.
  • Dickinson & Lambie dissolved & Dickinson & Shutts formed to continue selling clothes in Jackson.
  • John Lambie takes Shutts place in the lathe and turning factory of Dickinson, Batchelder and Shutts.
  • Dickinson & Lambie are to leave the city 1st of March did well but are moving business to Jackson.
  • Gardner Cross – Giving up hardware business at Depot
  • Alva Worden inventor “horse nets” expects to make 3000
  • Woolen Mill tour  D.L Quirk supervised building.  33’x103’x66’ Mr C. Cornwell director of putting in Machinery Cost $50,000 – All steps of production from Raw Wool – Sort, Card, and Weave will employ around 5
  • March 10th    Paper changes name from True Democrat to Ypsilanti Commercial
  • June 3rd. New Soda Fountain at Smith & Bros
  • Batchelder Bros – Marble works on Washington makers of Tombstones
  • David Edwards & A. Cooper owners of Larzelere block corner of Congress & Washington opposite the Hawkin House have a 1st class Sash & Blind factory
  • Corner of Congress & Adams purchased ample ground for Lumber Yard
  • August 5 Wool trade – ML Shutts bought 50,000lbs,  Ypsilanti Woolen mill Co. 26,000lbs C.Yost 47,000lbs
  • Cornwell & Barnes putting up a brick block to be used as a store house in the rear of Shutts & Ferriers Foundry 100’ x 30’ 3 stories
  • Ypsilanti Woolen Mill overhauled
  • Aug 26th Paper Mill Visit ——– read more in paper If you are interested in the Paper Mill check out the Aug 26th paper there is a very good article on the mill.
  • Cornwell & Barnes about to open a rag warehouse at depot 100’ x 33’ 3 stories 12-13 women will sort rags for the paper mill.  Paper mill built in 1858 ~$40,000  Mr. Mason  
  • Leonard foreman mill employs 35-40ppl





Real estate sold and reported in Ypsilanti in 1865.  If you own one of these houses or live in the area perhaps you can comment on the current state of the house. Or is you can give an address of these buildings please comment and I’ll enter it.



  • John McCarty sells house and lot on oak to J.W. VanCleve $1,000
  • Redman Smith house & lot on Oak to C.L. Yost $1200
  • Mrs. Madison cook house and lot on Huron to J.S. Jenness $2700
  • J.S. Jenness house and lot on Huron to Mrs. Sarah Gay $3250
  • L.D. Norris, his former residence, house and 4 lots on River $3000
  • J.R. Campbell house & lot on River $2500
  • Wm. M. Roberts boarding house in Brick Block corner of Huron & River ? to Mr. Leech of A2 $4000
  • J. Vancleve house & lot on River to J.N. Scott.
  • Mrs M Drake to John S. McDowell river st $1800
  • Thomas Philips to Mr. Bigler Corner of River & Oak $1200
  • T. Ellis lot on Washinton to N. Phillips $700
  • A.S. Welch House & 14 Acres of Land on Forest to S. Post $9550
  • Follett house sold for $10,000 to Mr. Wm. Antisdel of Detroit (cheap price)
  • Newell block for sale. March 17th
  • Asa Dow sold house on Huron to A.H. Goodrich for $14,000 including furniture (avg houses sold for around $4000)
  • Hawkins House sold to John Beetle. 
  • Bush & Horner purchase Dickinson Property directly south of their mammoth Agricultural and Grocery.  Removed 1st house & refitted the Dorr house, a former nuisance and then moved it to Ninde to use it for a store house.




2 Responses to “1865 Newspaper Notes — Ypsilanti Commercial”

  1. Robert Anschuetz said

    I like these summaries! A lot of work must have gone into them. Some things change – others remain the same.

  2. Thank you

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