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HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONS CONNECTED WITH WYANDOTTE AND VICINITY

BY DR. E. P. CHRISTIAN

Major John Biddle. This tract comprised 2,200 acres, with two miles frontage on the river and the same depth. As regards Major Biddle's occupation of it, I shall quote from a letter from Mr. William Biddle, a son of the major, since the transfer living on Grosse Isle. He says: "My father purchased from the government and the patent was given, I think, in Madison's time. It was sold to the Eureka Iron Co. in 1853 or '54, I think, for $20 per acre, or $44,000. My father built his homestead in 1835, and in 1836 moved his family from Detroit into the same. We lived there ten years. The property was heavily timbered, immense oaks and other forest trees covering nearly the whole tract. There were fields on the river bank running from what was then George Clark's farm on the north, to the land now owned by George Payne on the south, and extending in width to the road. There were also two fields, one at the north end of the house and the other at the south end, of about the same width as those on the river. However, my father's love for trees was so great that what he considered a clearing afforded great amusement to practical farmers and others passing the house. We were chiefly dependent in those early days on runaway slaves for farm laborers, sometimes having as many as fifteen on the place, the proximity to Canada offering them an inducement. "There were large numbers of Indians at times on the farm. They were Wyandottes, but I do not know of what particular branch. They had a burying ground just at the site of the saw mill below the works (rolling mills) and another somewhat back in the woods, about a mile south of our house. * It was in the latter that the chief Walk-in-the-Water was buried, but his remains, so we were told, were removed to the east to grace a museum or to gratify some antiquarian. This latter cemetery was burned over at an early day. "

Michigan


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