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Tag: #PortHuronHistory

The First Land Sales in Port Huron, Michigan

Edward Tiffin Portrait
Edward Tiffin

Tiffin and Michigan Land

After the War of 1812, the federal government conducted surveys of land to be used for military bounties in parts of the Northwest Territory for soldiers who fought in the war.  Each soldier to be given 160 acres.  Edward Tiffin, Surveyor General for the Northwest, issued a letter dated November 30, 1815, to Josiah Meigs, Commissioner of the General Land Office, in which he reported unfavorable conditions in the Michigan Territory describing the land as “so bad that there would not be more than one acre out of a hundred, if there would be one out of a thousand, that would in any case admit of cultivation.”

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The McMorran Dock

HM.Grocery.Receipt

Image:  Henry McMorran receipt, circa 1876. Source:  John Stillson Probate File

In life we all get our start somewhere.  In most instances, that start begins with experiences and connections we share with people.  Henry McMorran’s start is no exception.  As I discussed in an earlier blog, Henry worked for W.H.B. Dowling as a clerk until his business closed in 1860.  During the Civil War period from 1861 to 1865, Henry went to work as a clerk for two men, John Stillson, who was engaged in the lumbering and mail stage business in Brockway & Port Huron, and Myron Williams, who is known for having been heavily involved in the lumbering and vessel building trade in the Marysville area with his son-in-law, Nelson Mills, starting in 1850.  In 1862, Myron sold his interest in the lumber mills to Nelson and focused entirely on his vessel business.

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The “Henry McMorran”

Articles of Association

The Port Huron and Northwestern Railway Company

In March of 1878, in Port Huron, Michigan, D.B. Harrington, John P. Sanborn, Henry Howard, Fred L. Wells, Charles A. Ward, William Hartsuff, James Beard, Henry McMorran, Silas S. Ballentine, Peter B. Sanborn and Charles R. Brown, came together to form the Port Huron and Northwestern Railway Company.  They formed the company to construct a railroad with a gauge of three feet that would travel in the city of Port Huron as well as through a portion of St. Clair, Sanilac, and Huron counties to the village of Port Austin.  Their goal was to use the road to transport people and goods throughout the area to benefit the local business community.

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Those of Us Who Try…. DO: Part II

There was more to R.C. Mudge than just making paper garments.  He enjoyed music, acting, and giving to those less fortunate than himself.  In 1889, he printed a piece of piano sheet music titled “The Paper Vest Gallop” composed by J.E. Fancher from the sulphite paper used to make his paper garments.  He gave out free copies to anyone in the Port Huron community who requested one.  At the time, the cost of a piece of sheet music was 50 cents.  Today, that would equate to $12.50.  The sheet music survives and is part of the Lester S. Levy Sheet Music Collection at the John Hopkins Sheridan Libraries & University Museums archive.  In addition to printing off and giving out free music, Mudge was praised many times by the Port Huron community for donating paper blankets to the Port Huron Hospital and Home Association and paper vests to local mail carriers.

Paper Vest Gallop

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