James Noyes and Rebecca Russell

“James Noyes was a circuit rider and clergyman. He preached in several New England states. He also preached among the Indians in Canada and Michigan during his later life. He was one of the first Methodist ministers in Michigan according to his youngest daughter, Eliza Ann, and was a great student of history.”

SOURCE: Noyes Family Genealogy – Generation No. 5 – James Noyes and Rebecca Russell. Compiled by Nancy Benton from Family Bible copied by Sarah Melissa Noyes Slater Anderson.

Rebecca was a Scotch Puritan. Her father was at the battle of Bunker Hill and had his leg broken in that battle. According to James Allen Noyes, born 1826, his grandmother was much beloved by her grandchildren.

Rebecca had three sisters–Patty Dunbar, Hannah Russell, Lydia Houghton and Betty Worthington. She had one brother, Peter Russell.

There is an old daguerreotype that is still in excellent condition. This, along with a silhouette of her husband James, was given to Eliza Ann Rowe, to Sarah Melissa Anderson, to Grace Noyes Pinkerton, to Nancy Bryant Benton. (It is still in excellent condition in 1998).

SOURCE: Nancy Bryant Benton

James Noyes b. 17 Nov 1771 at Winchendon, Worcester, Massachusetts, died 13 Oct 1835 at Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan at the age of 63, and was buried at Gourdneck Prairie Cemetery, Schoolcraft, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He married Rebecca Russell b. 3 Aug 1773 at Worcester County, Massachusetts. She died 17 March 1853 at Fremont, Steuben, Indiana at the age of 79.

James was a son of James Noyes and Elizabeth Brown. Rebecca was a daughter of Samuel Russell and Lydia Wheeler.

Their children were:

  1. James Noyes b. 1793 Sep 13 at Worcester Co., Massachusetts marries Sally Marble
  2. Elizabeth Noyes b. Dec 16 1795 at St. Johnsbury, Caledonia, Vermont. Dies Aug 26 1835 at Pavilion, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  3. George W. Noyes b. Sept 7 1798 at Coos County, New Hampshire, dies Nov 23 1826 at Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He married an unknown woman.
  4. Rebecca Noyes b. July 9 1800 at Grafton County, New Hampshire. Dies Nov 28 1874 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois.
  5. John Wesley Noyes b. June 14 1802 at Grafton County, New Hampshire. Dies Oct 25 1888 at Fremont, Steuben County, Indiana. He will marry Dolly Rowe in 1827. They will have at least 11 children, including Mary Jane Noyes b. abt . 1831, Enos B. Noyes b. abt. 1834 who marries Sarah E. Farnham, Hannah Noyes b. abt 1837, Eunice Noyes b. abt. 1841, and Clark Noyes b. abt. 1848
  6. Dan Y. Noyes b. June 7 1803 at Grafton County, New Hampshire, dies July 1828 in Rochester, Monroe County, New York.
  7. Eunice Noyes b. July 24 1806 at Grafton county, New Hampshire, dies May 3 1809.
  8. Ward Noyes b. Aug. 18 1808 at Grafton County, New Hampshire. He dies at an unknown time in California.
  9. Eunice Noyes b. Sep 7 1810 in Grafton County, New Hampshire, will die March 10 1894.
  10. Mary Ann Noyes b. Jan 16 1814 at Ontario, Wayne, New York. She will marry Clark (A. C.) Briggs born abt 1812 in Vermont.
  11. David R. Noyes b. Jan 7 1815 at Ontario, Wayne County, New York, will die in Illinois. On March 30 1839 in Vermilion County, Indiana he marries Eliza Jane McElvain who was born abt 1818 in Ohio. They have at least 3 children: Cordelia J. Noyes b. abt 1841, William B. Noyes b. abt 1845 and George W. Noyes b. abt 1848.
  12. Chauncey H. Noyes b. Feb 2 1818 in Ontario, Wayne Co., New York, will die June 11 1892 in North Dakota. On Feb 3 1848 in Fremont, Steuben, Indiana, he marries Joana Masters b. abt. 1828 in PA. He was an Alphadelphia Association member.
  13. Eliza Ann Noyes b. April 14 1823 in Ontario, Wayne County, New York, marries Philip Rowe who was born abt 1825 in New Jersey. Their two children were Harry b. abt. 1862 and Alice b. abt. 1865.

* * * * *

Noted events in his life were:

• Birth, 17 Nov 1771, Massachusetts, Worcester County, Winchendon.
Date from Family Record of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell.

Birth place from Noyes Family Genealogy – Generation No. 5 – James Noyes and Rebecca Russell, as compiled by Nancy Benton from Family Bible copied by Sarah Melissa Noyes Slater Anderson and Nicholas Noyes Genealogy Vol. 1, page 319..

• Note.
James was the eldest son and one of five children of James NOYES and Elizabeth BROWN, born when the elder James was 28 yoa.

• Occupation: Minister, Methodist Episcopal Church.
James was a Methodist Episcopal Minister in his early years, according to John Wesley NOYES’ bio in the History of Steuben Co. IN 1885.

James’ father was also a minister.

• Marriage: James NOYES marries Rebecca RUSSELL., 29 Apr 1793, Massachusetts, Worcester County, Winchendon.
James was 22 and Rebecca was 20 when they married. James’ father would later marry Hannah RUSSELL c. 1800, a sister of Rebecca. His sister Sally married Peter RUSSELL.

• Children: Possible unknown child.
I have not noted in the accounting below a possible unknown female child. The 1800 census shows two females under 10, one of whom is Elizabeth born 1795. The 1810 census shows 2 females 10 to 15 who would be Rebecca and the unknown female. The female in the 16 to 25 category would be Elizabeth. This female is not given as having been recorded in the Noyes Family Bible.

• 1st Known Child Born, 13 Sept 1793, Massachusetts, Worcester County.
James Sr. was 21 and Rebecca was 18 when James Jr. was born.

• Residence: Vermont, Orange County, Newbury.
A bio of John Wesley NOYES gives his parents as moving from MA to Newbury VT, then to Grafton Co., NH. After this they went to NY in 1811 and finally Kalamazoo Co., MI in 1833.

• 2nd Known Child Born:, 16 Dec 1795, Vermont.
James Sr. was 24 and Rebecca was 21 when Elizabeth was born.

• 3rd Known Child Born, 17 Sept 1798, New Hampshire, Grafton County.
James Sr. was 26 and Rebecca was 23 when George W. was born.

George W. is in my notes as being born 1798 in Coos, NH, however Coos Co. was not formed from Grafton Co. until 1803.

1800 Franconia, Grafton, New Hampshire
Noyes, James
State: New Hampshire Year: 1800
County: Grafton Roll:
Township: Unknown Townships Page: 389

James NOYES 2 – – 1/ 2 – – 1

The two males under 10 would be James and George. Rebecca, born 1800, could be one of the two females under 10, the other being Elizabeth, but because an unknown female in the appropriate age category again appears in the 1810 census I don’t place her here. James and Rebecca Russell NOYES are 26 to 44.

There were no other NOYES in Franconia.

• 4th Known Child Born, 9 Jul 1800, New Hampshire, Grafton County.
James Sr. was 28 and Rebecca was 24 when Rebecca was born.

• 5th Known Child Born, 14 Jun 1802, New Hampshire, Grafton County.
James Sr. was 30 and Rebecca was 26 when John Wesley was born.

John is in my notes as born in Coos Co. NH, but Coos County was not formed until 1803 from Grafton County.

• 6th Known Child Born, 7 Jun 1804, New Hampshire, Grafton County.
James Sr. was 32 and Rebecca was 28 when Dan Y. was born.

• 7th Known Child Born, 4 Jul 1806, New Hampshire, Grafton County.
James Sr. was 34 and Rebecca was 30 when Eunice was born. Eunice is the individual who crafted the silhouette of James Sr.

• 8th Known Child Born, 18 Aug 1808, New Hampshire, Grafton County.
James Sr. was 36 and Rebecca was 33 when Ward was born.

• Child’s Death, 3 May 1809, New Hampshire, Grafton County.
Eunice died at 2 years 10 months and 9 days.

1810 Concord, Grafton, New Hampshire
Timothy NOYES 2 – 1 – 1 / 2 2 – – 1
Thomas COLBY
Elisha SMITH
Ebenezer QUIMBY
Qilliam QUIMBY
Elephalt? NORTHEY
Benjamin MORSE
Farnum MORSE
James NOYES 3 1 1 1 / – 2 1 1

The 3 males under 10 in the James NOYES household would be Ward, Dan and John; 1 male 10 to 15 would be George; 1 male 16 to 25 would be James Jr., 1 male 26 to 44 would be James Sr.; 2 females 10 to 15 would be Rebecca and an unknown female, 1 female 16 to 25 would be Elizabeth. Eunice, who was born in 1806, isn’t shown. She was perhaps mistakenly placed and is the unknown female in the 10 to 15 category. However, neither is James NOYES’ wife, Rebecca observed in this census. Unless the census is in error, Rebecca is probably living with her toddler daughter, Eunice, in another household.

• 9th Known Child Born, 7 Sept 1810, New Hampshire, Grafton County.
James Sr. was 38 and Rebecca was 34 when their next daughter after Eunice’s death was born. They named her Eunice. It was common at the time to name a child as a namesake of a sibling who had died in youth.

• Migration, 1811, New York.
The James NOYES family moved to NY from NH, Grafton Co.

• 10th Known Child Born, 16 Jan 1812, New York, Ontario County.
James Sr. was 40 and Rebecca was 36 when Mary Ann was born.

• Child’s Marriage: James NOYES Jr. marries Sally MARBLE., 6 Sept 1815, New York, Ontario County, Phelps.

• 11th Known Child Born, 27 Jan 1815, New York, Ontario County.
James Sr. was 43 and Rebecca was 39 when David R. was born.

• 12th Known Child Born, 2 Feb 1818, New York, Ontario County.
James Sr. was 46 and Rebecca was 42 when Chauncy was born.

1820 Phelps, Ontario, New York

Excerpt from the 1820 ONTARIO CO. PHELPS NY CENSUS, in which James’ surname is spelled NOYS:

William KING
Charles HUDSON
Daniel PAGE
William CATLIN
Michael JONES
James NOYS 2 1 1 1 – 1 1 1 1 – 1 – 2 – 1

In the James NOYS household there are 2 white males to 10, 1 white male 10 to 16, 1 white male 16 to 18, 1 white male 16 to 26, 1 white male 45 and up, 1 white female to 10, 1 white female 10 to 16, 1 white female 16 to 26, 1 white female 45 and up, 2 persons engaged in agriculture, 1 person engaged in manufacturing.

The 2 white males to 10 would be Chauncy b. 1818 and David b. 1815, 1 white male 10 to 16 would be Ward b. 1808, 1 white male 16 to 18 would be Dan b. 1804, 1 white male 16 to 26 would be John or George. The older male is James Sr. 1 white female to 10 is Mary Ann b. 1812; 1 white female 10 to 16 is Eunice b. 1810; 1 white female 16 to 26 is Rebecca b. 1800 or Elizabeth b. 1793, 1 white female over 45 and up is Rebecca.

The possible unknown female in the 1800 and 1810 census is no longer observed.

• Brother’s Death, 23 Apr 1822, Maine.
Death of his brother, Ward, in Maine. His other full brother, David, is said to have also moved to Maine in 1804.

• 13th Known Child Born, 14 Apr 1823, New York, Ontario County.
James Sr. was 51 and Rebecca was 47 when Eliza Ann was born. She was their last child.

• Migration, 1823-1825, Michigan.
Circa 1823 to 1825, the James NOYES family migrated from NY to MI. It was after this that he would begin his preaching in Michigan and Canada.

Dan Y. did not apparently move with the family as he would die in a few years in New York. George W. and James Sr. did move with the family. John Wesley didn’t make the move from NY until 1834. Eunice is given as marrying in Ontario NY in 1828 so, being aged 17 to 19 during the time of the move, she may have chosen not to migrate with her parents to Michigan, remaining perhaps with one of her brothers in NY.

• Tax List, 1825, Michigan.

There are two listings for a James NOYES in the Wayne-Washtenaw area in the 1825 Tax List. One would be likely James NOYES SR., and the other Jame NOYES Jr. I don’t know which would be which.

1825 NOYES JAMES Wayne-wshtnwco MI 799 Tax List 1825 Tax List MI Early Census Index MIS2a927036

1825 NOYES JAMES Wayne-washtenaw MI Ann Arbor Tax List MI Early Census Index MIS2a927044

• Child’s Death, 23 Nov 1826, Michigan, Kalamazoo County, Ann Arbor.
Death of George W. at 28. He had also moved to Michigan with the family and had a saw mill operation in Ann Arbor.

1824-1826 Deeds, Washtenaw Co., Michigan

I have the following deed listings for James NOYES, but don’t know whether theyare for James NOYES Sr. or Jr.

NOYES JAMES 34 1 S 6 E 19 80.0000 02 1888 1826/02/22
NOYES JAMES 28 2 S 6 E 19 79.1400 02 907 1824/10/20
NOYES JAMES 14 2 S 6 E 19 160.0000 02 1514 1826/01/06
NOYES JAMES 3 2 S 6 E 19 58.9800 02 1889 1826/02/22

• Census, 1827, Michigan, Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor.
The 1827 Ann Arbor census shows a James NOYES. I don’t know if this is James Sr. or James Jr.

• Child’s Death: Death of Dan Y., Jul 1828.
Dan Y. is given as dying in Rochester, New York in July 1828 at about the age of 25.

• Images: Cut silhouette of James Noyes, c. 1820s.
A silhouette of James, made by his daughter Eunice, is still in excellent condition in 2002 and owned by Nancy Bryant Benton, his g-g-g-granddaughter.
Source: Nancy Benton

The image was not likely made until at least after 1821 when Eunice was 15. In 1821 James was abt 50. As Eunice perhaps stayed in NY when her family moved to Michigan, marrying in NY in 1828, the silhouette may have been made c. 1823 to 1825 before the NOYES family migrated to Michigan.

Silhouette of James Noyes at https://evermore.imagedjinn.com/images/jamessilhouette.jpg.

1830 Kalamazoo County, Michigan

James NOYES is given at Ancestry.com in the census index as being in the 1830 Kalamazoo Co. census. I am unable however to locate the census for Kalamazoo in the Michigan Territory.

• Migration, 1833, Michigan, Kalamazoo County.
The James NOYES family moved to Kalamazoo in 1833.

• Child’s Death, 26 Aug 1835, Michigan, Kalamazoo County, Pavilion Township.
Elizabeth dies at the age of 40, followed by her father’s death in Oct.

• Death, 13 Oct 1835, Michigan, Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo.

Following his daughter Elizabeth, who had died in August, James died 13 Oct 1835 at the age of 63.

Date of death is from Family Record of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell.

Place of death from Noyes Family Genealogy – Generation No. 5 – James Noyes and Rebecca Russell, as compiled by Nancy Benton from Family Bible copied by Sarah Melissa Noyes Slater Anderson, and Nicholas Noyes Genealogy Vol. 1, page 319..

I’m unable to locate Rebecca in the 1840 census. She is found in the 1850 census living with Enos Beall, beside the household of her son, John W. Noyes.

In the 1850 16 August Census of Fremont, Steuben, Indiana, Rebecca was living with Enos BEALL, a partner of her son, John Wesley.

126/126 John W. NOYSE 47 tavern keeper $3500 b. NY
Dolly 40 b. NJ
Mary Jane 19 b. NY
Enos 16 Farmer b. NY
Hannah 13 b. MI
Eunice 9 b. MI
Clark 2 b. IN
Babe without a name 2/12 b. IN
127/127 Enos BEALL 43 (illegible) judge $7250 b. NY
Hannah 44
Therisa 6 b. MI
Dyson 3
Ellise AUSTIN 16
Rebecca NOYSE 77 b. ME (?)

Rebecca died March 27 1853 in Fremont, Steuben, Indiana.

• Cemetery: Michigan, Kalamazoo County, Schoolcraft, Gourdneck Prairie Cemetery.

View the Gourdneck Prairie Cemetery listing at https://evermore.imagedjinn.com/images/gourdneckprairiecemeteryl.jpg.

Gourdneck Prairie Cemetery–Sec. 14, East side of Portage Road, next to Schoolcraft Township Hall, Schoolcraft Township.

View location of cemetery at the Rootsweb Kalamazoo County Cemeteries website at http://www.rootsweb.com/~mikalama/cemmap2.htm#southw

View cemetery marker at the Rootsweb Kalamazoo County Cemeteries website at http://www.rootsweb.com/~mikalama/cemetery2.htm#Gourdneckpriecm

• Accessory Document: Noyes-Russell Family Record.

View the Noyes-Russell record at https://evermore.imagedjinn.com/images/recordnoyesrussell.jpg.
Copied by Sarah Noyes Slater from the family bible.

Alphadelphia Association, a 1958 Paper by Catherine Livingston

The below history of the Alphadelphia Association by Catherine Livingston is from 1958. Thank you to Nancy Benton for supplying the paper, which I have transcribed.

* * * * *






I wish to express my appreciation for the privilege of reading these interesting and valuable documents which were loaned to me through the generosity of Mrs. F. J. Buckley of Kalamazoo. Mrs. Buckley purchased this material from Ethan Keith and Hannah Towne (nee Keith) who deserve much credit for preserving it all these years.

I obtained the material for this paper from the Day Book, Stock Book, Journal, Ledger and Journal of the Alphadelphia Association. Much information was obtained from reports of committees and correspondence between officials of the Association and interested persons.


In southeastern Michigan in the early 1840’s, a great deal of interest in the socialistic teachings of Fourier was stimulated by Dr. H. R. Schetterly, a resident of Ann Arbor. In consequence a convention was held December 14, 1843 at the school house at the head of Clark’s Lake, Columbia, Jackson County. Fifty-six persons from the counties of Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Conescoe, Jackson, Eaton, Calhoun and Kalamazoo assembled. After a three day session lasting from morning to midnight a skeleton constitution was adopted and a committee was selected to choose a site for a domain.(1)

The committee first visited Union City on December 22, 1843 and reported ample water power from the Coldwater River, beautiful scenery and productive soil. They found they would have to buy much of the land from private individuals at high price. Furthermore they “found that a very unfavorable prejudice existed here against the association, because one had invested his farm in the La Grange Association and could not immediately get it out again, nor get the value of it in money.” (2)

The committee next visited Kalamazoo County and a very enthusiastic report was sent from Galesburg December 27, 1843. The advantages of this location are described by the following report (abridged).

“Your committee arrived here on Saturday, the 23 ult., and rejoice to say that an ardour now exists amount the people in this place for entering into Association which never can be cooled under their

(1) Taken from the Primitive Expounder of Jan. 5, 1844

(2) From the report of the committee (Dr. H. R. Schetterly, John Curtis and Wm. Grant) to the Fourier Convention to be held at Bellvue Jan. 3, 1843


wishes shall have been realized.

The Kalamazoo River is a large and beautiful stream, nine rods wide and five feet deep in the middle, flowing at the rate of about four miles per hour, and with eight feet fall which can be obtained by digging a race. This will propel a hundred run of millstones in the dryest season.

The mansion and manufactories will stand on a beautiful plain, always dry, from fifty to sixty rods wide, being skirted on the south by a range of hillocks about twenty feet and running parallel with the river. The plain above the hillocks extends for miles, being covered with the most thrifty timber your committee ever beheld, consisting of Whitewood, ash, oak, beech, elm and maple. The hard maple being two to three and a half feet in diameter and some of the black walnut are fourteen feet in diameter.

There is a large spring of purest water about a half a mile distant from the place where our mansion will stand, furnishing water sufficient for drinking and culinary purposes, in all our manufactories and the mansion and supplying, besides, our daity with fresh water.

Cobblestones are found in sufficient quantity for foundations and building a dam, easily accessible. Beds of clay and sand exist where excellent brick have been made. There are indications of iron ore on the domain and in its vicinity but no investigation has been made. In fact everything that an association can want is found here except gold beds, sandstone and limestone. Nature seems to have destined this precise spot for such an association as we are about to form. Your committee feel that they are unable adequately to describe the advantages of this location.”


After looking over the amount of water power at Bellevue, the committee decided it was insufficient for the needs of the Association. When these reports were laid before the Convention, Galesburg was the site chosen for the domain.

The constitution was then perfected and adopted, signed by fifty-one members, nearly all fathers of families, respectable and thrifty farmers, mechanics and manufacturers. The officers of the Convention gave notice the Association “will open books to receive subscriptions for membership and stock on the first Monday of February next…during six days.” (3)

The first meeting on the domain was March 21, 1844 at the house of Harvey Keith. Anson De Lamatter was chosen president and Henry H. Rending was chosen secretary. The constitution provided the business of the Association shall be the prosecution of Agriculture, Manufactures, the Mechanic Arts, Commerce, Education, the Arts and Sciences and Domestic Industry, in all their branches.” (4) It also provided, “the Lands, Buildings, Flocks, Herds, Machinery and Implement of every kind shall be represented by stock and divided into shares.” (5) The officers and directors worked tirelessly to carry out these provisions and further the interests of the Association.

From the first the controlling spirit was Dr. Schetterly. He was a small, dark, slender man with dark hair, eyes and complexion. He was very talented as a speaker and soon won his way into the hearts and homes of the old pioneers of Comstock. He pictured the life of healthfulness and enjoyment, of unselfishness, of Spartan fidelity and frugality

(3) From the Primitive Expounder of Jan. 5 1844

(4) From the Constitution of the Alphadelphia Association

(5) Same as above.


that could be had upon accepting the views of Charles Fourier. If it seems difficult to understand how he could influence these old settlers noted for their practical hard sense and shrewd discernment of men and things, it must be remembered their pioneers surroundings fostered this very feeling of brotherhood he advocated. They were already helping one another at raisings, at clearing land, husking corn. They lived as harmonious and happy as if they were members of one family; so when Schetterly came among them, his work was easy. (6) Among the names found on the membership roll are these from this vicinity: Byran Tubbs, Roswell Ransom, E. M. Clapp, Joseph Flanders, Harvey Keith, Wm. Earl and Dr. Ezra Stetson.

The minutes of the early meetings of the Board of Directors is filled with reports of committees on membership and inventories of personal property and appraisals of (unintelligible) (7). By May 2, 1844 the Board takes this report: “Certificates of stock have been issued for 2412 acres amounting to $26,225. We have 70,000 feet of lumber on hand and a sawmill operating day and night. Thirty cows, twelve horse teams, nine yoke of oxen, forty-eight hogs and one hundred and eleven sheep are on the domain. We have nine wagons, ten ploughs. Provisions: twenty-three barrels of pork, thirty-three barrels of flour, 250 pounds of lard, 260 bushels of potatoes and twenty-three tons of hay.” (8)

(6) From an article by (unintelligible) Van Buren in Mich. Pioneer Co.. V. 5

(7) I have examined descriptions in longhand of land turned over to the Assoc. All abstracts covering this property contain a “Trust Deed” between members of the Assoc. and Lyman Tubbs and Harvey Keith who became legal trustees because the Assoc. failed to get a charter.

(8) Report of Board of Directors of A.A. May 2, 1844


While the Directors were gathering people and property into the fold, Schetterly was in Detroit at the state capital attempting to get a charter. In a letter to Harvey Keith and Lyman Tubbs, he said:

“To you it is known I am here a lobby member in behalf of our dear Association. The petitions and memorial were referred to the committee of the house of incorporations and the members are ready to report in our favor…The committee will draft the Act before Monday and then comes the tug of war.”

In spite of his efforts the charter was never granted so Lyman Tubbs and Harvey Keith became legal trustees of the Association, with power to transact business of the Association. The real estate and personal property was appraised by competent judges and given a value of fifty dollars a share. Investments in the Association varied from four thousand dollars down to twenty dollars.

The constitution provided, “After an amount sufficient to pay the Taxes, Insurance and repairs shall have been deducted from the total income of the Association, one-fourth of the remainder shall be paid to the stockholders and three-fourths to the laborers, annually.” The first year’s work earned a total profit of $6,248.41. This gave $5.68 to the stockholders and $.388 per day to the laborers. Boarding per week came to $.64 and 1/6 per week.

The first year much of the work consisted of farming and building the mansion. This building, twenty feet wide by two hundred feet long and two stories high stood on the present site of the county farm buildings a mile west of Galesburg. All details of work was voted on in Director’s meeting. (9) The laborers were divided into groups according to their pre-

(9) Taken from the day book June 11, 1844, p. 553 (?) Voted, that teamsters of the Assoc. shall not be permitted to change or mismatch any team placed in their hands without the written consent of the superintendent of the farming interest. Also voted, that Mr. Whitcomb be requested to select men to work out the road tax and to invite the Pathmaster to lay out work on the bridge sufficient to repair the railing.


fressions, each having a chairman who recorded the number of hours spent on any task. It was his duty to organize the labor of old men, boys and women with that of an able-bodied man on the same job. (10) The piece work system was adopted upon recommendation of George Eskico (?), a member of the state legislature who was interested in the “defending of the poor and labouring men.” He stated the uncertainty of the quantity of work to be done by each person should be avoided and the sooner a piece work system was adopted the better. He opinioned, “Compliments on work will produce more and better work, also.”

Samuel Denton, another member of the legislature wrote from Ann Arbor, suggesting a group of men work on the railroad which Dr. Schetterly had been promised would locate not more than one-quarter mile from the mansion. (11) Many kinds of work occupied the members. On May 29, 1844 the Board of Directors authorized the secretary to write to Nash Norton of Adrian to see whether he will come to the Domain immediately and go to making brick. Mrs. John Porter of Ann Arbor had experience and was to direct the women in the straw bonnet-making business. (12) Charles Cridlander of Hickory Grove wished to join the association and bring 5000 to 8000 grafts of apple trees as his contribution. A silk manufactory was suggested as a means of gainfully employing the women and children. The management of the interior of the mansion and the flower gardens was superintended by a council of ladies. The day book is filled with items that tell of the varied tasks performed.

(10) See Appendix for interesting hourly ratio of different departments

(11) From Day Book of May 3, 1844, Voted, that a team be sent to Jackson to carry Messers Schetterly, Rending and Mitchell to the railroad at Jackson.

(12) A letter from John Porter gives directions for preparing the straw of winter rye, using only two or three middle joints. It took fifteen hours to make a hat.


The members of the Association enjoyed religious freedom. Rooms were provided for each denomination to conduct services. Further the constitution provided a lot was to be set aside for each denomination when there were enough members to justify the building of a church.

The first school was taught by James Allen Knight on the south side of the river. (13) The children crossed by boat each day. Mr. Avery, the Shaker (?), taught on the north side. The support of free schools was provided for in the constitution, a certain per cent of the dividends making up an educational fund. (14)

Dr. Schetterly worked zealously to spread his views on law reform through (?) the servitude of the laboring class. To this end he planned to set up and pring a newspaper, the “Alphadelphia Tocsin”. After much delay in obtaining a printing press (15), the work was started with Dr. Schetterly and Rev. Richard Thornton as editors. The subscription list was built up by writing postmasters of many towns for possible subscribers. (16) The last issue of the “Tocsin” was published Nov. 12, 1846. Then R. Thornton bought the subscription list for seven dollars to be paid in printing. “The Primitive Expounder” was published at Alphadelphia for a time, also. (17) These papers were given to all members of the state legislature to influence their votes.

(13) From report of committee on school June 3, 1844. Resolved, that this Association build a schoolhouse on the south side of the river on the Tubbs place, said house to be built of boards, twenty feet square, and commence school as soon as house can possibly be built.

(14) See the Constitution in the Appendix. Article III, Sec. 4,5,6,7.

(15) Schetterly, in letter to Harvey Keith, says they can have a printing press from Buffalo for nine months credit by giving the Detroit Free Press as reference. Instructs the secretary to ask Harmon of the Free Press to write Isaac R. Crary (?) of Marshall as to B. Wright’s (agent for Assoc.) responsibility.

(16) Isaiah Butler, Auburn, Mich. ordered one dozen “Tocsin” to notify friends of his daughter’s death.

(17) For every hour’s labor “The Expounder” earns the Assoc. ten cents. From a report on “Expounder” by R. Thornton.


But the affairs of the Association were not running as smoothly as might appear on the surface. James Billings wrote from Ann Arbor, “I fear things are not managed right and honorably at the domain”. Calvin White writes, “the idea around Martin is that the Association was formed for aristocratical and dishonest purposes, and some supposed it to be an infidel get-up and some a universalist concern”. There was much bickering and distrust among certain members. The Council of Arbitration had many trials of theft and dishonesty to settle. A man who got the use of two horses and a carriage for one day by false pretenses was fined thirty-six hours worth of labor. Another fine of seventy-nine hours was imposed by the Council for spreading a false report about a family. Some were accused of taking wheat and tools belonging to the Association for their own use. (18)

Quarrels were frequent and many had withdrawn from the Association by the time the last entry was posted in the day book April 30, 1848. (19) People whose ancestors were members feel the failure was due to poor management and the weakness of human nature. The industrious and conscientious objected to supporting the indolent and greedy.

There are minutes of a meeting held August 1, 1848 for the purpose of disposing of the deeds of the members in attendance. Still later, August 11, 1857, a few members met for the purpose of disposing of the books of the Association as the secretary was moving to Kansas. Between these two dates there is no clue to any activity of the Association. C. L. Keith, H. A. Taylor, C. R. Cridland and D. Taylor attended the last meeting and witnessed this remark, “And thus ended the Alphadelphia Association”.

(18) Dr. Schetterly was convicted of appropriating goods to the amount of two hundred dollars. This item was found in the Day Book: Dr. Schetterly ran away this day, Sunday, June 21, 1846


Report of the committee to organize and equalize Labor

Assuming the farming business as a standard of comparison and eight hours to be a days work, without fixing any definite price per day, we would propose the following inverse rates by which the dividend shall be made on the different departments of labor.

Male Labor Female Labor
Farming 8 Cooking 12
Teaming 10 Housework 12
Carpentry 6 Tailoring 10
Joinery 6 Dressmaking 12
Blacksmithing 6 Common sewing 16
Shoemaking 8 Dairy Work 12
Masonry 6 Washing 8
Gardening 8 Ironing 10
Chopping 7 Nursing 12
Wagon Making 6 Teaching 10
Writing, Clerk 8 Straw-work 16
Physician 8 Spinning 16
Agents 8 Weaving 10
Teaching 6
Sewing 7

We have proposed the above work on the supposition of full and skillful work. In the case of boys and girls and all others not willing or able to do full and skillful work, we recommend the leader of the group to estimate the value of their work and set down hours accordingly.

In order to realize the advantages to be derived from economy, there should be a division of labor.

Let the washing and ironing be all done at one place…If the clothes are all marked and were all washed in one place with the aid of steam and labor-saving machinery, a great economy of time and labor would be realized.

Household labor might also be divided to good advantage, which would save the liability of disputes and heartburnings (?) because some may be


thought to be willing to shirk and not do their part.

Groups of spinners should be under the direction of a discreet and skillful leader and all should work in one place until the work is done.

In the ratio set down for the physician we propose to allow him two hours each day to be devoted to professional studies in order the better to prepare him for the practice of medicine in a skillful manner.


Thomas Wheeler
Mr. Ford (absent)



Transcriber’s note: This is all very difficult to read

Box I:
Folder 1 – 1 ms. copy of constitution;
1 printed copy of constitution
1 fragment of constitution;
Folder 2 – Article of Agreement, 6 items
Folders 3-4-5-6 – Correspondence, (?) 1843 to Dec. 1845, 83 items
Folder 7 – Report, Dec. 27, 1843 of the Committee sent out to select a site for the Association
Folder 8 – Roll of original members, March 1844
Folder 9 – Copy of census, May 1844
Folder 10 – Reports of the General Council, 1845 and 1846
Folder 11 – Reports of Committees, 1843-1844, 17 items
Folder 12 – Council of Arbitrarion Report, 1844
Folder 13 – Council of Arbitrarion Reports, 1845-1846, 11 items
Folder 14 – Proposals for membership, general meeting, 1844, 31 items
Folder 15 – Proposals for membership, undated, 2 items
Folder 16 – Agreements to leave, 1845-1847, 10 items
Folder 17 – Appraisals of property of members on joining, 10 items
Folder 18 – Supplementary agreements between members and association on certain items of property, 18 items

Box II:
Folder 1 – Labor record books of individuals’ services;
1 Blacksmith shop record book;
W. A. Taylor Labor Book;
Labor records of association members, May 1845 to June 2?, 1845;
Index of time book;
Labor records of association, April 7, 1844 (? to May 8, 1845 (?);
Roll of female laborers, undated
Folder 2 – Papers on building of mansion, 3 items
Folder 3 – Tocsin accounts, 4 items
Folder 4 – Tocsin subscription list
Folder 5 – Record of stock holdings, 4 items
Folder2 6-7-8-9 – Stock certificates of the Alphadelphia Association, 167 items
Folder 10 – Orders on the council to pay, 1844, 1845, and undated, 17 items
Folder 11 – Receipts, 1844-46 and undated, 23 items
Folder 12 – Treasurer’s Report, March 14, 1846
Folder 13-14-15 – Bills allowed, 1844-1846, 178 items
Folder 16 – Miscellaneous accounts, 16 items
Folder 17 – Miscellaneous papers including minutes of final adjournment May 11, 1857, 6 items



Additional items:

Primitive Expounder, V. ? #5 and #23

Primitive Expounder, extra, Jan 5 1844, containing constitution of Alphadelphia Association

6 bound volumes:
Account Book, 1844-1845, of individual members’ accounts with the association
Day Book, July 24, 1844-April 30, 1848
Labor Records of members of Alphadelphia Association, 1844-1845
Account book, July 23, 1844-Mary 2, 1848
List of stock certificates and fractional certificates and transactions thereof, 1844-1845
Minutes of the Director’s meetings, March 21, 1844-Aug 1, 1844 (plus some accounts and appraisals of property)

April 8, 1959



Report of Committee sent out by (?) to examine and select a domain for the Association

Original minutes of the first annual meeting of Alphadelphia Association

May 2, 1844 Report of the Board of Directors

May 3, 1844 Report of committee on printing press

May 4, 1844 Address of the officers to members and stockholders

May 9, 1844 Interpretation of Constitution by Elron S. Camp

June 3, 1844 Report of committee on business with E. A. Taylor

June 3, 1844 Report of committee on school

June 21, 1844 Report of Welland (?) W. Noyes to Board of Directors

June 21, 1844 Report of C. H. Noyes to Board of Directors

June 27, 1844 Report of E. S. Camp Live stock

July 10, 1844 Report of general agent on business with Sawyer & Hodgeman

July 12, 1844 Report of general agent on business at Allegan

May 30, 1844 Report of general agent on trip to Allegan County

May 30, 1844 Report of engineer on north side

May 30, 1844 Report of engineer on south side

May 30, 1844 Report of committee on cemetery

May 30, 1844 Tabular proposals for membership & stock to Alphadelphia Assoc.

May 30, 1844 Memorandum of appraisal of property on the domain of the Assoc.

May 30, 1844 Report of committee to organize and equalize labor

M.. ? 1845 Amos Wilson’s contract for saw mill

M.. ? 1845 H. R. Schettery’s estimate of cost of digging a (unintelligible) on south side

May 7, 1844 J. Billings’ proposal for an agency for the “Tocsin”

Sept. 1844 Whitford’s report re Ten (unintelligible) baskets

Nov. 1844 Article of agreement to withdraw of requested

Nov. 1844 C. W. Vining’s report of produce used by J. Flanders & L. Tubbs

July 13, 1844 Report of committee on damage to Flanders’ house

1845 Report on printing Expounder by Thornton



Feb. 1845 “Evils of Juris prudence” from D. P. Putter, Dundee to Editor of Tocsin

Dec. 1844 “Moved to Schoolcraft” from Joseph F. Beck, Richland to Editor of Tocsin

Oct. 1845 “Discontinue subscription” from C. H. Persons, Iosco to Editor of Tocsin

Oct. 1845 “Subscription” from Chauncey Adams, Brighton, IN to Editor of Tocsin

Sept. 1845 “Subscription” from John J. Merrill, Springfield, Oakland Co. to J. A. Knight, Galesburg

Mar. 1845 “Delay in Publishing” from D. H. Rowland, Northville to Dr. Schetterly

Mar. 1845 “Purchase of Nash farm” from G. D. Hill, Ann Arbor to Dr. Schetterly

April “Mortgage” from David Reynolds, Aurora, IL to J. W. Cothern, Galesburg

Dec. 1844 “Law reform” from Samuel Denton, Ann Arbor to Schetterly, Galesburg

Nov. 1845 “Subscription” from L. Weed, Auburn to Editor, Tocsin

Dec. 1845 “Doctrine of reform” from S. B. Hooker, Wayland to Editor, Tocsin

Nov. 1845 “Join Assoc”.” from Isaiah Butler, Auburn to J. A. Knight, Galesburg

Oct.? 1845 “Subscriptions” from Leonard Weed, Auburn to Editor, Tocsin

May “Delay in receiving paper” from J. C. Richmond, Farm River to Editor, Tocsin

Aug. 1844 “Publish manuscript” from Samuel Denton, Ann Arbor to Schetterly

Feb. “Subscriptions” from N. J. Daniells, West Bloomfield to Publisher of Tocsin

May “Subscriptions” from L. Smith, Litchfield to Publisher of Tocsin

Feb. 1845 “Ideals of Assoc.” from Abrahm Laing, Raisin to Publisher of Tocsin

Mar. 1845 “Club of subscriptions” from Abiel Silver, Edwardsburg to Publisher of Tocsin

Jan. 1844 “Charter” from Dr. Schatterly, Ann Arbor to Harvey Keith, Galesburg

Feb. 1845 “Subscription” from David R. Noyes, Schoolcraft to R. T. Roice, Galesburg

July 1845 “Join Assoc.” from John J. Merrill, Springfield to J. A. Knight, Galesburg

Jan. 1845 “House rent” from H. A. Moore, Ann Arbor to Schetterly, Galesburg

Mar. 1845 “Penna. property” from Chas. C. Taylor, Ann Arbor to Schetterly

Oct. 1844 “Illness” from Wm. Grant, Springarbor to Schetterly

Nov. 1844 “Printing press” from P. Tabor, Rollin to Schetterly

Oct. 1844 “Mich. Senate” from Samuel Denton, Ann Arbor to Schetterly

June 1845 “Charter” from George Eckles, Detroit to Schetterly



Jan. 1845 Benjiman Wright, Lumber and hardware

April 1844 John Waite, Miscellaneous

April 1845 P. N. Bowman, Physician services

Feb. 1845 Daniel S. Chase, water ?

June 1845 S. P. Jewett Dry goods

June 1845 Wm. S. Nead (?) Dry goods and hardware

June 1845 Testus Hall, Hardware

Jan. 1845 Richard McOmber, Work done

Nov. 1844 Chas. R. Cridland, Fruit trees

April 1845 Spencer Mitchell, Household supplies

April 1845 H. P. Pierce, Household goods taken away

Sept. 1844 Samuel Chadwick,Repairing house in Ann Arbor

Sept. 1844 Luke Keith, Lumber

1845 W. W. Noyes, Sawmill

Jan. 1845 Horace Moore, Taxes ($4.35) on house in Ann Arbor

Jan. 1845 I. Ladington (?), Paper for printing

Aug. 1844 Elias Lew, Household supplies

Aug. 1844 H. R. Schetterly, Furniture from H. (?) Clapp

April 1845 W. S. Mead (?), Goods bought at Ann Arbor

July 1844 R. Thornton, Printing

Feb. 1846 Wm. Wallace, Carding

May 1845 Homer Stickney, Freight from Marshall

July 1845 R. Ransom, Goods

Dec. 1844 C. A. Lockhart, Shoeing

Feb. 1845 C. A. Lockhart, Repairing machinery

Oct. 1845 Walbridge, Lumber

Aug. 1845 Denison & Denison, Goods

Sept. 1844 Jacob Miller, Goods

June 1844 Platt Gilbert, Goods


Nov. 1844 S. Percival, Cloth for coat

Oct. 1844 S. Percival, Comstock, Trade dry goods for wheat

Oct. 1844 Chester Buckley, B. Creek, Trade wheat for lamp oil

Oct. 1844 C. W. Vining, Cattle and household goods

Oct. 1844 Seth Wheelock, Tools

April 1846 Caleb Damer, Lumber

Mar. 1845 David Ford, Sawing

April 1844, Gray & Burgess, Dry goods

June 1844 Henry H. Reading, Account of Labor and Goods

Sept. 1844 Tom Flanders, Baskets

Sept. 1844 Joseph Flanders, Grain and lumber

1845 Assoc., postage bill

July 1844 Harvey Keith, Bill of lumber

Nov. 1844 Assoc., Freight on printing press

Sept. 1844 P. H. Whitford, Sale of Flanders’ baskets


H. Becker
Andrew J. Ido
J. W. Cothern
W. S. Kend?
P. H. Whitford
Salmon King
Harvey Keith, Twp. Treas.
H. A. Moore
C. W. Vining
Zenas Nash
Alex Buell
L. Van Dewalker
James N. Parson, Sec. Ins. Co.
G. A. Lockhart
Jewell & Rockwell, Battle Creek
Eli Clinton
Henry Ralph, Twp. Treas. Charleston
Ralph Tuttle, Treas. Comstock
Caleb Kirby


H. G. Pierce
Festus Hall
W. W. Noyes
Leonard Lascomb
James Hozzie
H. B. Hall
F. C. Brooks


Cancelled Certificates

Henry D. Hall
Alfreda Keith
Erastus Weeks
C. W. Vining
Rebecca Hall
Charles Bradford
James Noyes
John Curtis
James Hoxsie
Harvey Keith
F. C. Brooks
Harrison G. Pierce
John A. Knight
Richard McOmber
Charles Bradford
George Owrall (?)
Samuel Hinkle
Wm. Grant
Joseph Patch
N. K. Matthews
Corydan(?) E. Sawyer
Thomas Wheeler
J. T. White
Peter H. Whitford
John Rogers
Amos Wilson
Elias Low
Joseph Flanders
E. Hunt
Isaac Springsted
William Earl
Decatur Holden
Elmon S. Camp
Ezra Briggs
B. D. Arnold
David Ford
Wm. S. Mead
Susan T. Mead
Lyman Tubbs
Joshua Robinson
James Thompson
James L. Earl
Jabes Rogers
Peter Crowhurst
Warren Wilcut
Martha Matthews
Gideon Matthews
Jacob Miller
Horatio N. Tubbs
John C. Walden
Charles B. Cridland
J. C. Brooks
H. A. Taylor



Transcriptionist note: These names were almost impossible to read because of deterioration of typewriter or xerox ink

Cerydan M. SAWYER
Alfleda KEITH
Harvey KEITH
Cornelius W. VINING
Elesta WILCO
Daniel S. SACCO ?
Lucius N. NEWS ?
David FORD
Henry D. HALL
Rebecca HALL
William S. MEAD
Susan T. MEAD
George O. BELL (Note: Impossible to read. May be something like George Owrell on the list of cancelled certificates.)
Erastus WEEKS
William GRANT, Junior
Lyman TUBBS Jr. *
L. S. BLAK—–? *
Samuel S. HINKLE
Laura S. BRADFORD? *
Measer HURS? or Eleaser HUNT? *
James NORSIER? *
Otis McOMBER *
Pliny McOMBER *
Charlotte McOMBER *
Zenas NASH (unintelligible) *
William GOULD *
Thomas W. FISH— *
Charles E. NOYES? * (possibly Chauncy H. Noyes)
John P. B—- ***
Jacob NILLOW? **
Luke KEITH *
Albert ? *
Roswell RANSOM *
James RICHES? *
Jo()? SPRI—— *

* Those with an asterisk don’t appear on the list of cancelled certificates.–jk
** Is not Jacob MILLER who appears higher on the list. *** Perhaps John C. BROOKS on the cancelled certificate list.


The Constitution of the Alphadelphia Association

I have examined the original handwritten document but have abridged it.

The purpose: founding a Foerstic and Industrial Association.


Sec. 6
The capital stock of this association shall be two hundred thousand dollars which may be increased to two million dollars by a majority vote: and shall be divided into shares of fifty dollars each and tenths of a share.

Sec. 9
This Association shall have the power to issues evidences of debt to amount of vie per cent on capital stock.


Sec. 4
Any person may become a stockholder without becoming a member


Sec. 1
After an amount sufficient to pay the taxes, insurance and repairs shall have been deducted from the total income of the Assoc., one fourth of the remainder shall be paid to the stockholders and three fourths to the laborers, annually.

Sec. 2
Dividend due to stock, shall for the first three years be paid in stock certificates, except such stock as shall have been paid in cash.

Sec. 3
This Assoc. shall reward its operatives in proporting to the labor and skill required.

Sec. 4
Whenever the annual dividend on stock shall amount to ten per cent, one per cent of the entire income of the Assoc. shall be deducted. When said dividend shall amount to twenty per cent, two per cent shall be deducted. And when said dividend shall exceed twenty


per cent, an additional sum of ten per cent shall be deducted from such excess which said deductions shall constitute a fund for educational purposes.

Sec. 5
Free schools furnished with suitable apparatus for illustrating the branches taught shall be established…and be maintained throughout the year, on the principle of uniting labor with study and theory with practice.

Sec. 6
Whenever a sufficient amount of funds, arising from the operation of Sec. 4 of this article, shall have been reached, a Seminary of the higher order shall be established, wherein shall be taught in a practical manner all the Arts and Sciences, particularly Mechanics, Chemistry, Agriculture and Manufactures.

Sec. 7
This Assoc. shall provide a public library from the funds created by Sec. 4


Sec. 2
The treasurer shall give security for the faithful performance of his duty.


Sec. 1
Any member that shall be guilty of misconduct may be expelled by a vote of two-thirds of the resident members.


Sec. 1
Every member twenty-one years of age shall have one vote in admitting and expelling members.

Sec. 2
Every male member shall be entitled to one vote in all matters of business.



Stock book
Journal from July 23, 1844 to May 2, 1848
Day Book from July 23, 1844 to April 30, 1848
Time Book
Index to Time Book
Book containing minutes of meetings from Mar. 21, 1844 to Aug. 1, 1844, also appraisals
Ledger of Blake & Keith
Day Book of J. W. and C. L. Keith from July 27, 1853 to Jan. 23, 1854
Day Book of Blake and Keith from Aug. 13, 1852 to July 27, 1853
Account Book in which first entry is “Le Roy April 2, 1831”


Primitive Expounder of Jan. 5, 1844, an extra containing constitution of Association
Primitive Expounder of Jan. 23, 1845, Vo. 1. II, no. 5
Primitive Expounder of July 24, 1845, vol. II, no. 18

Other papers

Original copy of Constitution of Alphadelphia Association
Rules of House of Representatives of State of Michigan

Papers of Council of Arbitration

Aug. 1845 Complaint vs. L. Luscomb and James Thompson
June 17, 1845 Case vs. Richard McOmber
Case of Dr. H. R. Schetterly
Articles of Council of Arbitration

Attached letter

Ann Arbor

April 10, 1959

Mrs. Catherine Livingston
Galesburg, Michigan

Dear Mrs. Livingston:

I was very sorry to have missed seeing you on your visit to the Collections last week. I hope you had time to look through the Alphadelphia materials.

When I visited with you last summer you mentioned that you had done a paper on the Alphadelphia Association. We are very much interested in having a copy of this paper if you have one to spare.

We have not gotten in any additional Alphadelphia material, but we are still looking. I believe I mentioned that we are especially anxious to locate copies of The Tocsin.

I am enclosing a list of stockholders of the Alphadelphia Association. Perhaps you might know some of the descendants of these people who might have copies of The Tocsin or other Alphadelphia material. This list was taken from one of the account books here. It is undoubtedly incomplete as far as listing all members. Many of the names were difficult to make out, which means there are probably misspellings.

I hope you can drop by the Collections again before long.

Sincerely yours,

Robert M. Warner
Field Representative

Family Record of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell Noyes

Courtesy of Nancy Benton

Family Record of James and Rebecca Noyes.

James Noyes was born Nov 17 1771
Died Oct 13 1835
Rebecca Noyes was born Aug 5 1773
Died March 27 1853

James Noyes Jr. was born Sept 14 1793
Elizabeth was born Dec 16 1795. Died July
George W. was born Sept 7 1798. Died Nov. 1826
Rebecca was born July 9 1800. Died Nov 28 1874.
John W. Was born June 14 1802.
Dan Y. was born June 7 1803. Died July 1823.
Eunice was born July 24 1806. Died May 3 1809.
Ward was born Aug 18 1808.
Eunice Second was born Sept 7 1810.
Mary A. Noyes was born Jan 16 1813.
David R. was born Jan 7 1815.
Chauncy H. was born Feb 2 1818.
Eliza A. was born Apr 14 1823.

Jane Noyes. Daughter of Chauncey Noyes. Died Aug 20 1864.

NOTE: I’m unable to read the date of death for Elizabeth here except that it’s in July. I have in my genealogy program that she died Aug 26 1835 and that I got this from a family record. I need to double check her death somehow.