We can see on this map land of brothers Ray Noyes and Paul Noyes, sons of James Allen Noyes, adjoining land of Orrin Ellie Harmon in Barton County, Missouri.
James Allen Noyes moved to Barton County during the infancy of Liberal, Missouri.
We can see on this map land of brothers Ray Noyes and Paul Noyes, sons of James Allen Noyes, adjoining land of Orrin Ellie Harmon in Barton County, Missouri.
James Allen Noyes moved to Barton County during the infancy of Liberal, Missouri.
From a “History of Kalamazoo County”:
Dr. Nathan M. Thomas came from Jefferson County, Ohio, in June, 1830, and began the practice of his profession, being the first practising physician in the county. He lived on “the West-side,” until 1832, when he removed to the village of Schoolcraft, where he has since resided, having, for a long time, an extensive practice, always taking an active part in the policies of the day, and widely known as a zealous advocate of the anti-slavery cause. His house was one of the stations of the “underground railroad” when the sable fugitives from bondage were accustomed to travel that important thoroughfare. Stephen Vickery, who afterwards repeatedly represented the county in the Legislature of the Territory and the State, taught a school at “Insley’s Comers” in the winter of 1831-2, where a school had been taught the previous winter by the Rev. T. W. Merrill. On”the West-side” were also William Duncan, prominent in good works while he lived ; Delamore Duncan, then Sheriff of the county; Col. Abiel Fellows and sons; Erastus Guilford, John Insley, Samuel Hackett, John and James Knight, Christopher Bmr, Stephen Hoyt and sons, Isaac Sumner (then Register of Deeds by appointment of Gov. Cass), Abner Calhoon, John Kelly, the Nesbitts, the Barbers, Josiah Rosecrantz, Joel Clark and sons, Erastus Williams, Towner Savage, P. J. McCreery, Bazel Harrison and sons.
On the north end and at “Virginia Comers,” were Stephen Leverich, Richard Holmes, Aaron Burson and sons, Nathan Cobb, John Brown and Dr. David E. Brown, for many years a practising physician.
On the east side and Gourd Neck, were James Armstrong, Ellas Rawson, Henry and Peleg Stevens, Rev. Benjamin Taylor, James Noyes, Joseph Bair, John McComny, Robert Frakes and sons, William Robinson and the Mcllvains.
On one of the last days of April, about ten at night, an express arrived from White Pigeon with dispatches to the effect that the Indians under Black Hawk had fought and defeated the United States troops in Illinois; that the fort at Chicago was probably taken, and that all the white settlements in the West were in great danger, and calling on the militia of Kalamazoo county to muster forthwith and march to Niles, the point of rendezvous for the Michigan troops. Dr. David E. Brown had previously been commissioned Colonel; Isaac Barnes, of Gull Prairie, Lieut. Colonel, and H. B. Huston, Major, of a regiment of militia. Col. Brown, and as many of the settlers as could be got together, were hastily convened in the new tavern then just erected, under an excitement that at this time seems rather amusing. E. L. Brown volunteered to take the dispatches to Kalamazoo and Gull Prairie, where he arrived about daylight in the morning. The regiment of three or four companies of about 60 men each, Capt. James Noyes and Capt. Ephraim Harrison commanding two companies of the prairie men, speedily mustered at Schoolcraft, and in a few days marched for the seat of war, camping at night of the second day near the village of Niles. In the morning orders arrived for the return and disbanding of the regiment, as there were no provisions for them, and they would probably not be wanted. On this expedition the venerable John Howard, of Dry Prairie, who was present at the taking of Cornwallis, drove one of the baggage wagons.
So ended the part of Kalamazoo County in the Black Hawk war. But it had the effect to stop all emigration for that spring; and in the following summer came that new and terrible scourge, the Asiatic Cholera. It had no victims in Kalamazoo County, but in all the large towns in the Territory numbers died of it, as did some of the best citizens of Marshall and Nottaway Prairie, and the whole country was full of gloom.
James Noyes Sr., b. 1793 Sep 13 at Worcester Co. Massachusetts, died 1864 Aug 26 at Pavillion, Kalamazoo, Michigan was married to Sally Marble and Susan Waters. Direct line concerning this blog is through his son James Allen Noyes.
James Noyes was a member of the Alphadelphia Association commune.
He is observed here holding a photo, one not in possession of the family.
From the 1869-1870 “Kalamazoo County Directory with a History of the County from its Earliest Census” compiled and published by James M. Thomas. The James Noyes mentioned was the husband of Sally Marble and father of James Allen Noyes.
“On one of the last days of April, about ten at night, an express arrived from White Pigeon with dispatches to the effect that the Indians under Black Hawk had fought and defeated the United States troops in Illinois; that the fort at Chicago was probably taken, and that all the white settlements in the West were in great danger, and calling on the militia of Kalamazoo county to muster forthwith and march to Niles, the point of rendezvous for the Michigan troops. Dr. David E. Brown had previously been commissioned Colonel; Isaac Barnes, of Gull Prairie, Lieut.Colonel, and II. B. Huston,Major, of a regiment of militia. Col. Brown, and as many of the settlers as could be got together, were hastily convened in the new tavern then just erected, under an excitement that at this time seems rather amusing. E. L. Brown volunteered to take the dispatches to Kalamazoo and Gull Prairie, where he arrived about daylight in the morning. The regiment of three or four companies of about 6O men each, Capt. James Noyes and Capt. Ephraim Harrison commanding two companies of the prairie men, speedily mustered at Schoolcraft, and in a few days marched for the seat of war, camping at night of the second day near the village of Niles. In the morning orders arrived for the return and disbanding of the regiment, as there were no provisions for them, and they would probably not be wanted. On this expedition the venerable John Howard, of Dry Prairie, who was present at the taking of Cornwallis, drove one of the baggage-wagons.
“So ended the part of Kalamazoo County in the Black Hawk war. But it had the effect to *top all emigration for that spring; and in the following summer came that new and terrible scourge, the Asiatic Cholera. It had no victims in Kalamazoo County, but in all the large towns in the Territory numbers died of it, as did some of the best citizens of Marshall and Nottaway Prairie, and the whole country was full of gloom.”
I am assuming that the house of James Noyes, mentioned below, is that of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell.
From Pioneer Collections, Michigan State Historical Society:
In the summer or early fall of 1829, William Toland, of Ypsilanti, came to this region, and in conjunction with Josiah Rosencranz, “broke up” eighteen acres of land, and sowed it to wheat, on what was afterwards called “Toland Prairie.” Sticking his stakes and building a log house on what i now the Whitbeck farm, he removed here with his family a month or so later. James Noyes came from Ann Arbor, soon after Toland had finished his house, and locating just west of him, erected a log cabin on his land, which he afterwards sold to John Moore, who turned publican. His house was long known as the “White Cottage.”
A mention of James Noyes is found in the History of Washtenaw County, Michigan” by Chas. C. Chapman & Co., published in 1881.
In August, 1827, Elisha W. Rumsey died in the house built by Mr. Osterhaut, and the tavern was occupied about this time by Oliver Whitmore. Mr. Rumsey was captain of the first militia company organized in this county, and the first training by the militia was in 1825. One small company then comprised the entire militia of this county. His brother, Judge Henry Rumsey, bought 80 acres of land from James Noyes, in 1825, including the grounds of the University of Michigan.”
E. W. Rumsey was a co-founder of Ann Arbor, Michigan. But when I look him up I find that Elisha Rumsey was instead Walker Rumsey of Bethany, Genesee County, NY. And he was running from the law when he first arrived in Michigan.
…he bought pork at Canada and packed it. Rodney Taylor helped him cut and pack it, and send it to Albany. In this way he became acquainted with Trotter & Co., the firm in Albany who bought his pork, and who sent him $3000 to buy cattle with. He advertised for the farmers to bring in their cattle on specified days at the center of Bethany and Stafford, but he failed to appear. Some time before this his wife and he had become acquainted with Ann Sprague, a grass widow of prepossessing attractions. Now, Rumsey, after receiving the $3000, went with Ann Sprague to Canada with his pockets full of money. After getting there he found, if caught in that country, it would be worse for him than if caught in the states; hence, he now starts for Michigan.
Rumsey wasn’t committing bigamy, his wife had died by this time. He was found in Michigan and taken to Albany to jail twice before the matter was finished with. Because of this matter, he changed his name.
There’s an interesting bit on Judge Henry Rumsey from the website of the Ann Arbor Fraternity No.262:
Among the founding members of the Western Star Lodge was Mr. Henry Rumsey, the blood brother of one of the two men who founded the city of Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor was founded in 1824 by John Allen of Virginia and Elisha W. Rumsey of New York, who traveled from Detroit by one-horse sleigh with the purpose of establishing a town and selling land. John Allen sold the house he originally built in the area; at the corner of what is now Huron and First Streets, to his brother James in 1824. James Allen constructed on the log cabin home and increased its size to open it as “Allen’s Tavern,” which became well known as “Bloody Corners” because the building had a vivid red paint finish. It was in this very tavern that in 1827 the first Masonic Lodge in the area was formed by a number of local Freemasons including Henry Rumsey, brother of Elisha Rumsey. Western Star Lodge No. 6 received dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Michigan on January 16, 1827.
One thus can envision the bright red tavern of James Allen, who co-founded Ann Arbor with Elisha (nee Walker) in 1824.
I’m assuming that the James Noyes referred to here is the elder, born 1771, married to Rebecca Russell. They had settled in Michigan by 1824 with their family, and lived in Ann Arbor after its founding. His son James Noyes and Sally Marble had James Allen Noyes in 1826. I’m thinking that in all probability, the middle name of Allen was given James Allen in honor of the Allen family.
The following portion from a talk given to the Washtenaw County Historical Society, in 1997, by Dean Emeritus Russell E. Bidlack, School of Library Science at the University of Michigan, further reveals that the Allens were also on the run when they came to Michigan, and that Ann, the wife of John, didn’t think much of Ann Arbor.
John Allen was a widower with two children of his own which was fine except he was very much in debt as a result of some bad investments made by his father, Col. James Allen.
I can’t go into the story of John Allen today but debts that John assumed for himself for a while on behalf of his father amounted to $40,000, a horrendous amount of money.
Before the marriage, however, documents on file in the court records of Augusta County prove that John transferred the debts, along with his own farm his father had given him earlier, so that when the creditors foreclosed and took everything, it was the father that had owed the debts for the most part…
John, with Ann, moved to his unclaimed farm. His two children were with his parents, Col. James and Elizabeth Allen. Throughout their youth they were with their grandparents.
And, when Ann went with John to John’s farm, she left her two sons with James McCue, who had immediately declared himself their guardian, with a $10,000 bond, so they would be protected from their new step-father.
On May 10, 1823, Ann Allen gave birth to her only child by John, a daughter, Sarah Ann, the daughter whom I described earlier from the letter. She was named for her grandmother who happened to die the same year in Virginia.
That autumn Ann with her new daughter moved back to James McCue’s home, while John went on a money-making venture to Baltimore.
The stories passed down by different branches of the family vary somewhat. I have one written record along with the traditions but we know in any case that John took a herd of cattle to Baltimore.
That was the way you took cattle to market in those days. It’s 200 miles to Baltimore from the Staunton area yet to go to market you had to drive the cattle. He must have had some help, a boy or something. Of course these were not really his cattle. Either he had bought them on credit, which is one version, or the cattle actually belonged to the neighbors who couldn’t afford to take only one or two to market. According to the other version it was customary to get a herd together in the fall and somebody would volunteer to take them.
In any case everybody expected John to come back but he did not. Weeks, months passed. According to an account written by the son of James McCue, who grew up with Ann’s two sons, it became a general rumor that he’d been murdered.
Actually, he had sold the cattle for several hundred dollars. He was now 27 years old. He set out for Buffalo. He heard that you could buy government land for $1.25 an acre in such places as Ohio or Michigan Territory and somewhere he had read about how you could buy $1.25 land–lay out some lots, give some lots to merchants, mechanics blacksmiths and so on and start a town.
You could start a town and your property would increase in value so he had this in mind…
Meanwhile, back in Virginia, the rumor about murder had been cleared up. The tax collector in 1824 wrote one word after John’s name–absconded. That ended John’s career in Augusta County.
After spending November and December, 1823, in Buffalo and getting some advice there, John decided to go to Detroit. It was too late to cross on the lake so he hired a Frenchman to guide him through Canada.
…while in Detroit, I’m sure it was in a tavern–there were five of them in Detroit at that point–he became acquainted with another man who was also looking to buy land but definitely in Michigan Territory.
This was a man named Elisha Walker Rumsey…
…Governor Cass may have told him about a trip he had taken along the Huron River and he had discovered there was a very nice spot on the Huron with oak openings that would be a mighty nice place for a village.
I think that was exactly where Elisha and John set out for in their sleigh in February, 1824, to explore. I think they knew what they were looking for. In any case, they chose the spot that became Ann Arbor and began building.
How Ann and his parents learned of his whereabouts, I’m not sure when it happened. I know they received a letter in August 1824.
It happened that John had an aunt, Jane Trimble, his father’s sister. If you know your Ohio history, there was a Governor Trimble–that was her son. She was back in Virginia visiting relatives. She wrote her son back in Ohio on August 24, 1824.
She said that Col. James Allen had been to the McCue home where she was visiting. (Her daughter had married James McCue.) She said a letter had arrived directing John’s father which way to go to Ann Arbor. The wording suggests to me that this was not the first news the parents had about John’s whereabouts.
Ann, too, had received a letter, included in the one to his father, telling her he wanted her to come to Ann Arbor and bring their daughter. He knew very well that her two sons would not be able to come–the guardian would keep them in Virginia.
The parents were expecting to go because in the foreclosure of all James Allen’s land he had been given until October 1, 1824, to move out of the mansion. A colonel in the militia, an elder in the Presbyterian Church, had come to this bad end….
They went by covered wagon. Happily, Turner Allen kept notes and later wrote a detailed account of the journey, exactly how they went, difficulties they had–the wagon tipped over at one point. They had four horses to pull the wagon, three to drive.
Ann rode almost all the way according to her own statements, carrying her daughter in her lap. She was an experienced rider as were all Southern ladies according to Dr. Faust, primarily because the plantations were so far apart and horseback was the only logical way of transportation. How did they ride? Sidesaddle. Imagine Ann on this almost two-month trip riding side saddle.
Ann greatly feared Indians. Turner Allen told about one time when they were camping near Indians and Ann said, “Their cattle even low savage.”
They arrived in Detroit. John was there to meet them; then they went to the new settlement and they arrived October 16, 1824. (Once I wrote October 24 for which I apologize.)
John showed Ann around. I can imagine Ann’s shock. Perhaps the best way I can describe that is to quote from a lady arriving two weeks after Ann. This was Harriet Noble who came with her husband, her husband’s brother and his wife and nine children in all, from New York.
They had been there earlier and John helped them find land near Ann Arbor village. They came to take up their land and build their cabins.
This is what Harriet Noble remembered: “There were six or seven log huts, occupied by as many inmates as could crawl into them. It was too much to think of asking strangers to give us a place to stay in even for one night under such circumstances.
“Mr. John Allen, himself, made us the offer of sharing with him the comforts of a shelter from storm if not from cold. The house was large for a log one but quite unfinished. There was a ground floor and a single loft above. (John’s family was in here along with two or three men he hired in Detroit to help build the huts.)
“When we got our things stored in the place we found the number to be sheltered to be 21 women and children and 14 men. There were only two bedsteads in the house and those, who could not occupy these, slept on feather beds on the floor.
“When the children were put to bed you could not set a foot down without stepping on a foot or a hand. The consequence was we had music most of the time.
“We cooked our meals in the open air, there being no fire in the house except a small box stove. The fall winds were not very favorable for such business. We would frequently find our clothes on fire.
“We did not often get burned but when one meal was over we dreaded to start the next. We lived in this way until our husbands got a log house with a roof on. That took them six weeks.”
I imagine Ann was fretting during this period.
The cabin that had been built by John Allen lasted until they could build a cabin for his parents. Then John’s two children by his first wife moved in with their grandparents, as they had always lived with them. John built a fireplace and in February 1825 he wrote a letter to Aunt Jane Trimble, which happily survives.
I’ll quote a paragraph. As I talk about him imagine a man who is always optimistic, always striving to be a leader, dreaming great dreams, imagining he would be wealthy as his father once had been, confident.
“We live in a small log house, one room down, one room upstairs or rather up ladder, with a good fireplace and cooking stove by which Ann does the work of our family with ease and none to fret or put her out of temper. When the business of the day is through with and we’ve seated ourselves around the fire there is none to disturb us. We lie down and rise up contented and happy.”
I would love to have a letter written by Ann about this.
Ann was deeply religious. She was a Presbyterian. She read a great deal of Presbyterian literature along with other literature.
She was certainly ill-prepared to be a pioneer wife. She did not find any Southerners in Ann Arbor; the rest of the settlers came from New York and New England. Except for her mother-in-law, she was alone among Yankee settlers.
She was sometimes referred to in later years as being melancholy. I suspect she had good reason. She had never performed domestic labor before and here she found herself a pioneer among Yankee women who were accustomed to not only working in the house but outdoors as well.
Furthermore, she had a growing feeling of guilt that she had left two little boys, motherless, back in Virginia. As weeks and months passed she wondered whether they would even remember her. I suspect Ann Allen had relatively few happy days in her 18 years in Ann Arbor.
One time she wrote to her son, Thomas, when he had suggested he might come to Ann Arbor to live. She urged him not to. She said the settlers are nothing but scapegoats who have made their place as a refuge from creditors for unlawful deeds. Unprincipled, they live by art and cunning. He who can outwit his neighbor is the better man–her view of Yankees.
John Allen took up Yankee ways himself. He began condemning slavery. He had owned eight slaves that he lost in the father’s debts. I suspect Ann never saw the evil in slavery.
James Noyes, born Sep 13, 1793 at Worcester County, Massachusetts, died Aug 26 1864 at Pavilion, Kalamazoo, Michigan. On Sep 6, 1815 he married first, at Pavilion, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Sally Marble. She was born Sep 6 1796 in Massachusetts and died at the age of 41 on Aug 10 1838 at Pavilion, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
James Noyes was the son of James Noyes and Rebecca Russell. Sally Marble was the daughter of Ephraim Marble and Anna Dunham.
James was in the War of 1812 and the Black Hawk Indian War. In both he was a musician and played the fife and flute. He was a great student of history…Captain James NOYES of Gourdneck Prairie and Ephraim HARRISON of Prairie Ronde were captains of the Prairie troops.
SOURCE: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections Vol XXX
In 1825 there were nine small houses in Ann Arbor, MI, located and occupied as near as can be ascertained as follows: Elisha W. RUMSEY occupied the “Wasterman Coffe House” and John ALLEN the block house. A long house with a frame addition stood on the northeast corner of Main and Ann Streets. Two small houses stood on opposite sides of Main Street near where Guffy’s Store now stands and were occupied by the two brothers, James and George W. NOYES.
SOURCE: Pioneer Society of Michigan, Vol I, page 334 (1874-76)
James NOYES came in October of 1830 from Ann Arbor, and settled NE/2, NW/4. Sect 23, where he built a log house and made improvements. He sold this land in 1831 and bought new lands in the township of Brady, on which he erected a sawmill, which, with his farm, he put into the Alphadelphia Society. On the disbanding of the society in 1848, he retained his property. He died at his home in Brady many years since. (p.353).
SOURCE: History of Kalamazoo County, MI, Its Prominent Men and Pioneers, 1880
The Alphadelphia Assn believed in pastoral communion. Coming down through the ages into our own time, we find Charles Fourier of France teaching this principle in America through Dr. H.F. Schetterly, a German, who lived in Comstock. A group of sturdy pioneers took up Alphadelphia society. Among them was James NOYES, born 1793. To live together in harmony was the object; to live and work and enjoy the benefits of each other’s society and the fruits of their own labor like a happy, united family. After four year’s trial, it was a total failure. There were 300 members all together. A large number put their farms into the Association. Others put in various kinds of property. James NOYES put in his saw mill which was valuable in furnishing lumber to the Society. From their first meeting on the domain March 21, 1844, until the last entry on the journal on April 30, 1848, the presidents were Anson GELMUTTER, B. WRIGHT, Harry KEITH, Lymann TUBBS and James NOYES.
SOURCE: The Alphadelphia Association–Its History in Comstock, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan
James NOYES was an agent for the Indians when he lived at Pavilion, MI. The three children who survived (Elizabeth, James and Sarah Melissa) always told of the good times they had playing with the Indian boys and girls and of how many playmates they had during the time that the Alphadelphia Society existed and all the people lived in one community.
James NOYES conducted a part of the underground railroad which helped escaping slaves get to Canada and freedom. Slaves were kept in his barn by day and then taken on by night to the next station. His second wife was a southern sympathizer, so this caused a great deal of friction. Son James Allen left home.
SOURCE: Nancy Benton
Children of James and Sally were:
After Sally’s death in 1838, James married in 1839, Susan WATERS, b. 1815 in NY. Their children were:
Census data for 1820 is yet to be found on James. By 1825 we find him on a Michigan tax list.
1825 NOYES JAMES JR. Wayne&wshtnwco MI 799 Tax List 1825 Tax List MI Early Census Index MIS2a927045
1825 NOYES JAMES JR. Wayne-washtenaw MI Huron Tax List MI Early Census Index MIS2a927046
He purchased land in Washtenaw County, Michigan in Feb. 1826.
In 1830 he is at Ann Arbor, Washtenaw, Michigan.
An unidentified 20 to 30 year old male is in the household.
John A. ENSWORTH
James NOYES 1 – 1 – 1 1 | 1 1 1 – – 1
NOTE: 1 male under 5, 1 10 to 15, 1 male 20 to 30, 1 male 30 to 40, 1 female under 5, 1 female 5 to 10, 1 female 10 to 15, 1 female 30 to 40.
1 male under 5 would be James Allen. Male 10 to 15 would be Ezra. James is the 30 to 40 male. I don’t know who the 20 to 30 male is. 1 female under 5 would be Maryette. Female 5 to 10 would be B. J. Female 10 to 15 would be Elizabeth. And then Sally Marble.
John C. CARPENTER
James father died in 1835.
He is in the 1837 Kalamazoo census.
1837 NOYES JAMES Kalamazoo County MI 002 Pavilion Township MI 1837 Kalamazoo County Census Index MI17593
Sally Marble died in 1838.
Possible land deeds for James in 1839, May 1.
NOYES JAMES 9 4 S 9 W 19 80.0000 01 10265 1839/05/01
NOYES JAMES 9 4 S 9 W 19 80.0000 01 10266 1839/05/01
In 1839 James married his second wife, Susan Waters.
The 1840 census.
1840 Pavilion, Kalamazoo, Michigan
pg. 253 (ancestry.com 1)
John B. CHIPMAN
James NOYES 1 – 1 1 2 – 1 | 1 – 1 1 1
NOTE: 1 male under 5, 1 male 10 to 15, 1 male 15 to 20, 2 males 20 to 30 1 male 40 to 50, 1 female under 5, 1 female 10 to 15, 1 female 15 to 20, 1 female 20 to 30
1 male under 5 would be George W. (son of Susan Waters and James Noyes), 1 male 10 to 15 would be James Allen. 1 male 15 to 20 would be? 1 of the 2 20 to 30 males would be Ezra, James is the 40 to 50 year old male. 1 female under 5 would be Sarah Malissa, 1 female 10 to 15 would be Maryette. 1 female 15 to 20 would be B. J. 1 female 20 to 30 would not be Elizabeth if she was married before 1839. Though Susan’s birthdate is given as 1815, this female would be her.
James NOYES is observed living near Martin MCCAIN. The wife and son of his son Frank L., by Susan WATERS, were buried in the MCCAIN cemetery.
There then followed a terrible succession of deaths. The first namesake of James had already died in 1823 at the age of 2 of malaria. Dan had died at 3, in 1835, of malaria. Delia had already died in 1837, at the age of 4, of malaria. Now, in 1841, Ezra died at the age of 23. In 1843, Maryette died at 14, then B. J. also died that year, at 19, of malaria. Daniel T. died in infancy in about 1843.
The first meeting of the Alphadelphia Association, which would be a Fourier-based socialist experiment in community, was March 21 1844.
During the McCarthy years, the Noyes family destroyed documents from the Alphadelphia Association and other materials concerning involvement of family in other utopian communities. Barbara Triphahn, a descendant of Charles Luke KEITH (also a president of the Alphadelphia Association) responded to a posting of mine on the internet requesting contact with anyone who might have information on the Association. She supplied a number of newspaper articles from the early 1900s and the Alphadelphia Society Constitution, links to which are in the Alphadelphia Association section.
Thanks also to Nancy BENTON, for a copy of the paper the “Alphadelphia Association” prepared by Catherine Livingston in 1958, whose research was based on documents loaned to her through Mrs. F. J. Buckley of Kalamazoo who had purchased records from Ethan Keith and Hannah Keith Towne. The paper has been transcribed and is again linked to in the Alphadelphia Association section.
James Noyes was, it appears, the last president of the Alphadelphia Association, following Anson Delamatter, Benjamin Wright, Harvey Keith, and Lyman Tubbs. On April 30 1848 the last journal entry for the association was made though the association itself continued for several more years.
The 1850 census shows James’ family in Pavilion, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
In the time since James’ marriage to Susan in 1839, and the 1840 census, 3 of the children born to James and Sally MARBLE have died, and James Allen and Sarah have abandoned the household, James to leave the area, and Sarah living with her sister Elizabeth.
They are living next to Peter WESTBROOK, widowed husband of Fanny, sister of Sally Marble NOYES (now deceased). Fanny had died in 1849.
1850 KALAMAZOO CO. PAVILION MI CENSUS
25 ?/1573 Peter WESTBROOK 58 $700 MA
26 Ethan 18 b. OH
27 William 10 b. OH
28 ?/1574 Ephraim 30 $300 b. OH
29 Jane 17 b. OH
30 Nancy MOON 19 b. OH
pg. 220, Roll M432_353, Image 216
5-9 1571/1575? A. CALKINS and family
10 1572/1576 James NOYES 58 m farmer $1200 b. NY
11 Susan 35 f b. NY
12 George W. 7 m b. MI attended school
13 Franklin 5 m b. MI
14 James 2 m b. MI
15 1573/1577 Elsy HILL
16-23 1574/1578 A. H. HOUGHTON and family
24-28 1575/15? Lyman S. EARL and family
29-35 1576/? Chancey DEAN and family
36-38 1577/? George HAMILTON and family
39-42 1578/? George CULVER and family
More deaths followed. Mary R. died about 1850, before the age of 3. Daughter Elizabeth died in 1850 at the age of 31.
Though the last journal entry of the Alphadelphia Association was in 1848, the had a meeting August 1 1857 for the purpose of disposing of the deeds of members in attendance. Then on August 11 there was a meeting for the purpose of disposing of the Association’s books as the secretary was moving to Kansas. Noyes did not attend this meeting. Present were C. L. Keith, H. A. Taylor, C. R. Cridland and D. Taylor, witnessing the remark, “And thus ended the Alphadelphia Association.”
The 1860 census at Pavilion, Kalamazoo, Michigan shows the Noyes family.
David McCANE and Marian and family
Del CHIPMAN and family
Lawrence WALLACE and family
James NOYES 66 farmer $2200? $463 b. MA
Susan W. 48 b. NY
Geo. W. 20 farmer $150 (personal) b. MI
Jno W. 11
Arilla W. 9
Jean N. 6
Andrew MADISON 33 laborer
The grave site of James Noyes in Pavilion is yet to be located.
I’ve no record of when and where Susan Waters died, or where she is buried.
“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:
* * * * *
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..
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
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
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:
Elas R. DENING?
Horace D. WILLIAMS
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
Therisa 6 b. MI
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.
Pioneer Collections, Volume 5
By Pioneer Society of the State of Michigan
W. S. George & Co. State Printers & Binders
ITS HISTORY IN COMSTOCK, KALAMAZOO COUNTY
BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN.
The theory of holding property in common was advanced by Pythagoras, and was fully advocated and given to the world by the great Plato in his “Republic.” The idea of man’s living in common with his fellows is essentially primitive. It is certain that man early sought, not only the “elixir of life” and the “philosopher’s stone,” but the “golden mean of life,” where labor bestowed her rewards on the true principle of merit; and health, virtue, honor, and happiness followed in her train. The earliest efforts of industry have been to eliminate the evils that beset her path, and to get rid of the ruinous efforts of competition, that evil genius of society, by the substitution of a healthy emulation, that labor should ever be honored, and that wealth or capital which she creates, should ever be subservient to her. Philosophers have ever striven to find the mode of life that would endow man with the most health and happiness. The poet has sung—
“He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man’s door,
Embittering all his state.”
From Abraham on the plains of Mamre, to the shepherds tending the flocks among the Judean hills, long before “they hung their harps on the willows and sat down by the rivers of Babylon and wept,” all through those periods of history, we find a tendency to pastoral communism. Coming down to the middle ages we find the monks occasionally trying communistic life. And reaching our own time, we shall have Louis Blanc, Saint Simon, and Charles Fourier in France, Robert Owen in Scotland, and his son, Robert Dale, in America, giving to the world the theory and practice of what is commonly known as socialism in Germany, communism in France, and Fourierism in America. From these, which essentially are one, .communists, Alphadelphians, and the late cociperationists, with various other theories and theorists.
ORIGIN OF ALPHADELPHIA ASSOCIATION IN COMSTOCK.
On the 14th day of December, 1843, pursuant to a call for a convention published in the Primitive Expounder at Ann Arbor, 56 persons from the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw, Genesce, Jackson, Eaton, Calhoun, and Kalamazoo, assembled in the school-house at the head of Clark’s lake in Columbia, Jackson county. The object of the convention was to organize and found a domestic and industrial institution. These 56 men after a laborious session of three days, each session extending from morning to midnight, adopted the outline of a constitution which was referred to a committee of three composed of Dr. H. R. Schetterly, James Billings, and Franklin Pierce, for revision and amendment. A committee consisting of Dr. H. R. Schetterly, John Curtis, and Wm. Grant was also appointed to view three places designated by the convention as suitable for a domain. The convention then adjourned to meet at Bellevue, Eaton county, on the 3d day of January, 1844. when they would receive the reports of said committee on location, and revise, perfect and adopt their constitution. The committee on location went forth like those men of old, “to spy out the land,” to select a goodly region suitable for a domain. The adjourned convention met on the day appointed and after listening to the reports of the committee on location, they chose the southeast quarter of the township of Comstock, county of Kalamazoo, as a permanent home, whose advantages the committee set forth in the following terms:
“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, without flowing any land worth mentioning, by digging a race one mile and a half in length, it will propel 100 run of stone in the dryest season. The digging is easy and may be nearly all done with scrapers and teams.” They then speak of “the place where the mansion and the manufactories will stand;” on a beautiful plain descending gradually toward the river, a plain 50 to 60 rods wide, skirted on the south by a range of hillocks about twenty feet high and running parallel with the river. Beyond these, some 10 or .’l0 rods, is a gentle, undulating plain, extending south, east, and west for miles, and being covered with the most thrifty timber your committee ever beheld, consisting of whitewood, black, white and blue ash, white and red oak, two kinds of beech, and two cf elm, black walnut, soft maple, some cherry and especially hard maple in large quantity and the best quality. “There is a spring, pouring out a barrel of water per minute, one-half a mile from where the mansion and manufactories will stand.” They say cobble stones for buildings and dams are plenty on the domain; and sand and clay for making brick, in abundance. “Iron ore is known to exist on the domain, but its extent is not yet found out. The Michigan Central railroad will run l| miles north of the proposed site of the mansion. They found no cause for fever here; there were only two out of 150, in seven years, who died of fever. “The soil of the domain is exceedingly fertile and of great variety, consisting of prairie, oak opening, timbered and bottom land along the river, and about 3,000 acres of it have been tendered to our association as stock to be appraised at the cash value. Nine hundred acres of this land has been cultivated and nearly all the rest has been offered in exchange for other improved lands owned by members living at a distance.
The convention there perfected, engrossed, and adopted their constitution, which was signed by 51 members, nearly all fathers of families and respectable and thrifty farmers, mechanics, and manufacturers. This number might easily have been doubled in Bellevue and vicinity, but the convention thought proper to restrict the membership, for the present, to those who had taken an’ active part in the enterprise. The following is a list of the officers elected at this Bellevue convention: President, Dr. H. R. Schetterly of Ann Arbor; vice-president, A. Darrow of Bellevue; secretary, E. S. Camp, of Marshall; treasurer, John Curtis, of Norville, Jackson county; directors, G. S. Avery and Alanson Meech, Bellevue; Harvey Keith, Wm. Earl, and Dr. Ezra Stetson, Galesburg; Wm. Grant, Sandstone; Amos Picket, Anson Delamatter, and C. W. Vining, Columbia, Jackson county; Charles Mason and H. B. Teed, Battle Creek.
We pass on in our history and find the next scene laid in the township of Comstock, Kalamazoo county. The beginning of the history here consisted of the visit of the committee on location, of whom we have spoken. At that time the pioneers of this part of the county had enlarged their clearings into good farms. They were getting out of the woods and began to enjoy the fruits of their hard toil in making their improvements. It was at this time, December 23, 1843, that this committee came among them. Dr. H. R. Schetterly was the controlling spirit of this party, as well as of the association. He was a ‘German, and had imbided the views of Charles Fourier. He was a small, slender man, with dark hair and eyes and complexion; was a man of talent and an enthusiast on his special theme of Fourierism. With a Burrlike persuasiveness he soon won his way into the confidence, the homes, and the hearts of the old pioneers of Comstock. In the public meetings he held here, he pictured to their imaginations a life as picturesque as a Cooper could draw—a life of Arcadian healthfulness and enjoyment; of Spartan fidelity and frugality; a life in whose calendar the selfish “mine” and “thine” would not exist, for all would be absorbed in the more humane and harmonious “ours.” He was an able and effective speaker, and could use the philosophy, the learning and logic of Fourier and! Owen with most convincing effect upon his hearers. We can imagine the glowing picture he drew of the pastoral and happy life there was in store for his adherents, in their future mansion-home on the banks of the beautiful Kalamazoo. Here, surrounded by his wife and dear ones, the pioneer would realize the truth of the poet:
“Here on the fertile, fair domain,
Unvexed with all the cares of gain,
In summer’s heat, and winter’s cold,
He fed his flock, and penned his fold;
His hours In cheerful labor flew,
Nor strife, nor hate, nor envy knew.”
From the first appearance of this disciple of Fourier among them, the settlers were unusually interested in his new theory of living; and before he had been here three days, many of them were enthusiastic Fourierites, and anxious to join the association. Viewing the matter in the sober, calm reflection of to-day, we would as soon think of trying to cheat old Prof. Playfair, by inserting passages of a “Fourth of July oration” into the demonstration of a proposition of Euclid, as that this little black-haired German socialist should make Fourierites of such sturdy old pioneers as Lyman Tubbs, Amos Wilson, E. M. Clapp, Harvey Keith, David Ford, Joseph Flanders, Dr. Ezra Stetson, Wm. Earl, Roswell Ransom, James Noyes, Hannibal Taylor, C. L. Keith, P. H. Whitford, and scores of other early settlers who, like them, were noted for their practical hard sense, and shrewd discernment of men and things. But the truth is, the Fourierites came among them just at the right time, for the common hardships and suffering, which all alike had passed through, had established a genuine brotherhood among the old settlers. Their property, although not held in common, caused no envy, and created no distinctions. Their conditions and surroundings were such as to foster a feeling of brotherhood. They helped each other not only at raisings, but in clearing off their kinds, in husking their corn, and through all troubles, and over all difficulties. Wherever their aid or kindness could be of any avail, it was cheerfully given. If they were not all poor alike, there was no wealthy class, no special strife or rivalry, but they lived together, in the same community, as harmonious and happy as if they were members of one family; so that when Dr. Schetterly came here to found his domestic and industrial association, which was now called “Alphadelphia,” he found many of the settlers, if not altogether, almost Alphadelphians to begin with; and hence his work here was comparatively easy in his school of reform. As evidence of this, we quote the first part of the report of Dr. Schetterly concerning the success of his labors, as one of the committee on location, in Comstock. Jt is as follows:
“Galesburgh, Kalamazoo Co., Dec. 27, 1843.
“To the Fourier Convention to be held at Bellevue: Your committee arrived here on Saturday evening the 23d ult., and rejoice to say that an ardor now exists among the people in this place for entering into association which never can be cooled until their wishes shall have been realized. Two meetings have been held, of three hours’ duration each, by your committee, and attended by crowded audiences, and more information is still solicited.” Further on he quotes David Ford as saying; “No man must oppose a project so fraught with principles calculated to promote the bes^ interests of mankind.”
Under such favorable auspices the work of founding an association in Comstock was soon effected. It was first intended to build the mansion on the south side of the river; but the other side was afterwards selected for this purpose. The domain was intended to include the southeast quarter of the township of Comstock. The first year of the organization the association had possession of nearly all of section 23, the west half of 24, and a large part of the north halves of sections 25 and 26. The first meeting on the domain was held in the house of Harvey Keith, at 8 o’clock A. M., March 21, 1844. The directors were Spencer Mitchell, Anson Delamatter, John Curtis, H. G. Pierce, John White, Henry H. Reading, James Weeks, Wm. S. Mead, Albert Whitccmb, H. R. Schetterly, David Ford, and Benjamin Wright. The name of the association was to be “Alphadelphia, or First Brotherhood;” its officers, a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, and twelve directors. At this f.rst meeting the above directors chose for president, Anson Delamatter; secretary, Henry H. Reading; and the association went to work. I cannot find the treasurer’s name, nor the vice-president’s. The meetings were held in the house of the resident members until the mansion was built. The Comstock members lived in their own houses, and those who came from abroad were accommodated with such homes as they could get, until a long shanty was built on the north side of the river, which was occupied as a general “tabernacle” by the new members until the mansion was erected in the fall of 1844. This building was originally some 20 by 200 feet, and two stories high.
The first school was taught by James Allen Knight, in a log building on the south side of the river. The pupils lived on the other side of the stream and crossed it in a boat used for that purpose. Afterwards Mr. Avery, the Shaker, taught school on the north side and was succeeded by Miss Nancy A. Tuttle, who married Levi S. Blakesly, the printer. Miss M. Hanchett also taught school there. They had no lawyer; they settled their difficulties by arbitration, and saved money and much trouble. Philander H. Bowman, of Jackson, was the physician; James Hoxie, of Bellevue, was the leading carpenter, Leonard Luscomb was the tailor, G. O. Ball and John Wetherbec, the shoemakers, Nelson Tubbs, the blacksmith, and C. L. Keith, the wagon-maker. The editors were Dr. Schetterly and Rev. Richard Thornton; the printers, Levi S. BlakesLy and C. W. Sawyer. The paper was called the Alphadelphia Tocsin. Mr. Thornton also published here the Primitive Expounder, which he had formerly published at Ann Arbor. This was a staunch Universalist journal. Most of the leaders of this movement wore Universalists, and the preaching at Alphadelphia was mostly from ministers of that denomination. Revs. R. Thornton, J. Billings, and E. Wheeler officiating in that capacity generally. They also had preaching from ministers of other denominations. Their constitution says: “The religious and political opinions of the members are to- be unmolested and inviolate; and no member shall be compelled to support, in any way, any religious worship.” It furthermore provides for “the support of all resident members whose stock is insufficient to support them, in case of sickness or any other cause.”
The constitution was explicit and ample on the subject of education, general health, and moral reforms. Any person of good moral character, of 21 years of age, could be admitted to membership by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided he had six months’ provision for the future, or the means to furnish it. They were to reward operatives in proportion to the labor or skill bestowed, and they were to equalize the labor and skill of males and females. The latter could become members at the age of 18, by the requisite vote of the members.
The organization having been thoroughly effected, the mansion built, the property, both personal and real, of every member, having been appraised by competent judges appointed for that purpose, and the amounts entered upon the books of the association as credit to each member for so much stock, at fifty dollars a share, Alphadelphianism was then ready to drive its teama-field and turn its first furrow. Then tl»e busy hive of Alphadelphians could go forth to work, each in his or her special vocation; some as farmers, some as housewives, others as doctors, teachers, editors, and printers; some as mechanics, teamsters, tailors, brickmakers, men of all work, till all the professions, trades, callings, talents, skill, and labor of the association that could be made available, was turned into its proper Held of usefulness. This was the great object for which the organization was effected, to live and work together in harmony and enjoy the benefits of each other’s society and the fniits of their own labor, like a united, happy family. How far they succeeded in accomplishing this, their four years’ trial, that ended in a total failure, plainly tells.
From the old census list taken by C. L. Keith, in May, 1845, I find the number of male and female residents on the domain to be 188. There must have been at this time, counting resident and non-resident members, over 300 in all. The total value of the association’s real estate, as appraised March 9, 1846, by Lyman Tubbs and E. M. Clapp, of the general council, was $43,- • 897.21. The first death on the domain was that of the son of S. W. Vinton in 1844. The first marriage was in October, 1845, when Rev. Asa Bushnell made one for life, our old pioneer friend P. H. Whitford and Miss Emeline A. T. Wheelock. The Alphadelphia poet, C. H. Bradford, sonnetized the happy pair in the columns of the Primitive Expounder, where you will find a poem on the occasion of their marriage called the “Socialist’s Bride.” We have heard Mr. Whitford remark that he “went into the association with a yoke of oxen and came out with a wife and a buggy.” We don’t know how valuable the buggy was, but every one of his old friends will say that he left the Alphadelphia domain with a great prize—his estimable wife.
A large number put their farms into the association; others put in various kinds of property; James Noyes put in his saw-mill, which was valuable in furnishing lumber to the society. That some of them lost much of what they put in; and that others sacrificed a great deal to get their farms back, or in taking “what they could get,” as an equivalent for the property they had brought there; and that some lost all they put in; and that some went away richer than they came: I believe one and all of these to be true.
From their first meeting on the domain, March 21, 1844, till the last entry on the journal of the association, April 30, 1848, the presidents were Anson Delamatter, Benjamin Wright, Harvey Keith, Lyman Tubbs, and James Noyes. The first entry on the day book is—
1844. July 23. Sold to H. G. Pierce.
Two pair of hose at 2s 6el 0.63
One spool stand at Is 6d 19
Two spools of thread Us 3d 03
The last entry is—
1848. April 30. David Ford, Dr.
To use of Rogers’ farm and pasturage $40.00
The last family on the domain was Hannibal A. Taylor’s; when the county purchased the property in the spring of 1848, Mr. Taylor delivered it over to. the purchasers as a “county house and farm.” Dr. H. R. Schetterly, the guiding genius of the association, left with his family (just before Mr. Taylor did) and went to an institution of like character, called the “La Grange Phalanx,” in Indiana. From La Grange he went to another society of the game nature in Wisconsin, called the. “Wisconsin Phalanx.” From Wisconsin. he came to Michigan to take charge of the government light-house at Grand Traverse. Here he was some few years ago, and this is the last trace we have of Dr. H. R. Schetterly, the founder of the Alphadelphia association, in 1844, in Comstock, Kalamazoo county, Michigan. Most of the information contained in this history, I have received from C. L. Keith and Hannibal A. Taylor (old Alphadelphians) and from the books and papers of the association which they have in their possession.
That this system lacked the elements of success is as clear now to the minds of the old members as that effect follows cause. In trying to get information from some of the old pupils in this Alphadelphia school, they would shake their heads and reply, “Better let that be, we don’t tell tales out of school.” Others would say, “We can’t tell you anything about it. When we left we banished every memory of the old domain from our minds and have not wished to recall them.” Another would answer: “Too many large families, poor and hungry, who could do no work, or were incapable of supporting themselves, got among us and were a continual expense—a hole in the meal bag from first to last, to the association.” The incompatibility of such a system with Yankee ambition, independence, and individual enterprise ever has caused and ever will cause its failure.
We have space for but few incidents. “Uncle” Lyman Tubbs was regarded as the patriarchal Abraham, of the brotherhood. Wise in council, clear in his views, able in speech, he was of great value to the organization. And if in denouncing chicanery, he called it “tri-kany,” or in telling them they were passing through a crisis, he said through a “cri-pus,” he conveyed all the full sense and meaning of the words if he did not pronounce them according to the Websterian style. At one time the brotherhood lived a good while on buckwheat cakes. This gave the poet, Bradford, an occasion to court his muse. Here is a verse that still lingered in the mind of an old member:
“And If perchance a luckless wight
Should from his dinner bilk.
His supper then was sure to be
Cold buckwheat cakes and milk.”
The school teacher, James Allen Knight, was passionately fond of taking down “the fiddle and the bow,” and regaling his leisure hours with the sweet Cremonan strains that he knew how to make from the sensitive strings. Hut into the adjoining room of his friend Avery, the Shaker, these strains did not come in such sweet measure. What was pleasure to the fiddler was becoming torture to him who was compelled to listen to the fiddling. We give a verse of a poem that appeared in the Tocsin at this time, entitled
THE FIDDLER’S LAMENT.
“Oh Allen, oh Allen, how you do torture me,
Surely you’ll kill me dead as a stone;
All the while sawing, and rasping, and scraping me,
Surely you’ll scrape all the flesh from my bones.”
It is no discredit to any of the Alphadelphia association that they belonged to it and helped to carry out its contemplated reforms. Their object was the noble and beneficent one of aiding their brothers in other parts of the country to
“Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in the good for all mankind.”
Article source, Nancy Benton. Transcribed by me.
* * * * *
Farm Society Sought Utopia in 1844; Lasted Four Years
Alphadelphians Attracted Much Attention Through Their Colony Founded in Comstock Township
Kalamazoo Gazette, October 18 1925
The theory of holding property in common through the operation of a domestic and industrial domain, was tried out in Kalamazoo county following organization of the Alphadelphia Association at Clark’s lake in Jackson county on Dec. 14, 1843. It crumbled after four years.
Fifty-six men held a three-day session at that time and adjourned to meet at Bellevue in Eaton county on Jan. 3, 1844 when reports of committees on location of the proposed domain were to be received. At this last meeting the southeast quarter of the township of Comstock in this county was decided upon.
PLANS WERE PERFECTED
The convention then adopted its constitution which was signed by 51 members, nearly all the heads of families, and thrifty farmers, mechanics, and manufacturers. This number might easily have doubled but it was considered wise to limit the membership. Dr. H. R. Schetterly, Ann Arbor; A. Darrow, Bellevue, vice president; E. S. Camp, Marshall, secretary; John Curtis, Jackson, treasurer.
Pioneers of this section were getting the land well cleared and raining good crops when the Alphadelphian committee appeared among them on Dec. 23, 1843. Dr. H. R. Schetterly was the controlling spirit. He was a German–a small, slender man with dark hair and eyes. He won his way into the confidence of the Comstock pioneers. The settlers were interested in the new method of living that he pictured and many were anxious to join the association. Among the county residents who joined the movement were Lyman Tubbs, Amos Wilson, E. M. Clapp, Harvey Keith, David Ford, Joseph Flanders, Dr. Ezra Stetson, William Earl, Roswell Ransom, James Noyes, Hannibal Taylor, C. L. Keith, P. H. Whitford and scores of others.
HELPED EACH OTHER
Their property, though not held in common, caused no envy and created no distinctions. They helped each other not only at raisings, but at clearing off their lands, husking corn and through all their troubles and over all difficulties. Thus when Dr. Schetterly came to the community he found them already “Alphadelphian” (last line article appears to be snipped).
Organization was soon perfected. The Comstock members lived in their own houses and those who came from other points were sheltered in such homes as they could get until a long shanty was built on the north side of the river which was occupied as a general “tabernacle” by the new members until the mansion was erected in the fall of 1844. This building was originally 26 by 200 feet and two stories high.
The first school was taught by James Allen Knight in a log building on the south side of the river. The pupils crossed the river by boat. Philander H. Bowman of Jackson was the physician; James Hoxle, Bellevue, the leading carpenter; Leonard Liscomb was the tailor; G. O. Ball and John Wetherbee, shoemaker. The colony’s paper was called the “Alphadelphian Tocsin,” and was edited by H. R. Shetterly and Rev. Richard Thornton. The latter also published at Comstock “The Primitive Expounder,” which he had established at Ann Arbor. This was a staunch Universalist journal.
Most of the leaders of the movement were universalists and the preaching at Alphadelphia was largely by ministers of that denomination. They included Revs. Thornton, J. Billings and E. Wheeler. They also had sermons by other ministers and ‘relgious and political opinions of members were unmolested.”
The organization having been thoroughly effected, the Alphadelphians were ready to drive their teams into the field and turn the first furrow. Each of the busy community was to work his special vocation, till all the professions, trades, callings, talent, skill and labor of the association that could be made available was turned into its proper field of usefulness. This was the object of the domain. But it failed to succeed and crumbled after a trial of four years.
DOMAIN FELL TO PIECES
The census of May 1845, showed 188 male and females on the domain which with non-resident members, probably made a total of 300. Value of the association’s real estate as appraised March 9, 1846 was $43,879. A large number had put their farms into the association: others put in various kinds of property; James Noyes put in his sawmill.
It is said that a majority of the members were disinclined to work, each feeling that they had joined an organization where co-operative effort entitled them to an existence of comparative ease. From the first entry on the association’s books, July 23, 1843 until the last on April 30, 1848, the presidents were Anson Delamatter, Benjamin Wright, Harvey Keith, Lyman Tubbs and James Noyes.
The last family on the domain was that of Hannibal A. Taylor. When Kalamazoo county purchased the property in the spring of 1848, Mr. Taylor delivered it to the purchasers.
Dr. Schetterly, the guiding genius of the association, still had faith in this idea and went to an institution of a similar character in Lagrange. Ind. called the Phalanx. From LaGrange he went to another society in Wisconsin and from Wisconsin he came back to Michigan to take charge of the government (… rest of article snipped).