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MICHIGAN'S OLD STATE CAPITOL

SUCCUMBS TO THE FLAMES AFTER THIRTYFIVE YEARS OF SERVICE From the Lansing Republican, Dec. 19, 1882

Dr. H. B. Shank, Col. Jones, Judge William Chapman, Judge Pinckney, that fall elected Judge of Probate, with others named, were among the leading citizens of Middle Town. A wooden bridge on - Main street, one on Michigan avenue, and another on Franklin street, were the bridge supply of the town. A line of "elegant four-horse post coaches" to Jackson, and another to Detroit, were the principal means of communication of the State with its Capital. Byron G. Stout was Speaker, and young State Senator Ferry was a favorite among the young people. The Legislature elected Z. Chandler, of Detroit, to succeed Gen. Cass as U. S. Senator. Twelve years later we voted for him in the legislature for his third term. Gen Cass spoke during the campaign on the old State-house square, to a throng of the admiring democracy of central Michigan.
The school building for Middle Town was a one-story wood structure, near the Free-Will Baptist church. A year or two later the present Second-ward brick was erected at the western verge of the population.
A raw, straggling village of perhaps two thousand people, scattered over space enough for a place of 15, 000, reached only by stages, the Capital of Michigan was not the pride of the State. The scream of the first locomotive was yet in the future. A grist-mill and a portable saw-mill, situated where Allen's lumber yard is, and run by the Ramsdells, now of Manistee, the Lower Town foundry, and Parmelee's carding mill, constituted the manufacturing interests of town. There are very few business firms in town unchanged. Dr. Shank remains, but is more interested in the growing professional fame of that young dare-devil boy Rush, than in-his own work. A score or so of the business men remain. Harley Ingersoll began the dry goods business in a few weeks, and still remains in the "Double Mammoth. " A. Cottrell was in the gunsmith business; I. Gillett the jewelry line; Viele sold books. Dr. S. W. Wright kept a general store. Dr. Russell Thayer sold drugs, and his little boy has since been an alderman, and his pretty little daughter is the stately and accomplished Mrs. George B. Hall. The society belles of that day are now marrying off their daughters.

MICHIGAN


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