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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
WILLIAM A. BURT,

BY GEORGE H. CANNON.
June 7, 1882.

In 1828 he built the Dexter mills at a place of that name some nine miles west of Ann Arbor. In order to reach there a team and wagon were necessary to convey his tool chest and effects across the country. A neighbor was engaged for that purpose, and it is worthy of note that among the essential articles deemed necessary for that outfit was a barrel of whisky.
The customs of the country in reference to its use have of late years greatly changed. In that day the center-table of the clergyman and deacon, as well as those of lesser note, had upon it the familiar glass tumbler and decanter, and a plentiful supply of the exhilarating liquid was deemed an essential factor in the raising of all large buildings. In 1831 Mr. Burt was elected county surveyor and served three years; having in the meantime been appointed district surveyor by George B. Porter. The place upon which he resided had been named Mt. Vernon, and on January 14, 1833, he received the appointment of postmaster of the newly established office. April 23, of the same year he was appointed associate judge of this judicial district. During the season of 1833, Mr. Burt was engaged in the erection of the mills at Frederick, near Mt. Clemens; and in the autumn, November 23, he was appointed U. S. deputy surveyor. He at once locked up his chest of tools, and thereafter, until his retirement from active business, devoted his time and energies to the public land surveys. His first work was subdividing several townships, situated westward of the now village of Lexington. This work was done during the winter season. The snow came on deep, and the region of country presented many difficulties. It was not a financial success. To do such work in such a season of the year, in our day, would be justly deemed a formidable undertaking. The next season, 1834, he made the survey of a railroad line from Detroit to Ypsilanti.

Michigan


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