One: Burr Oak Openings - First July 4th

(This chapter division has been created for online presentation purposes and does not appear in the original.)

Burr Oak Openings

Manchester is celebrating a birthday in this year of 1967. Just one hundred years ago J. D. Corey introduced a bill to organize Manchester as a village. That was on Feb. 28, 1867, and it was approved on March 16, 1867. The charter granted in 1867 was set aside in 1879, and the village affairs were carried on under the authority of the State of Michigan.

The first election of village officers was held at the Union Hall on March 18, 1867, when Newman Granger was elected President. Alvinza S. Doty was the Recorder and Philetus Coon the Treasurer.

It should be remembered that long before Manchester received its charter it was a busy thriving community. Its history dates back to the early 1800's when southern Michigan was a country of rolling hills, rivers and "burr oak openings."

Burr Oak Openings

It was James Fennimore Cooper who wrote of the "burr oak openings" in one of his visits to this part of the country as: "a small variety of a very extensive genus...which stand in copses and separated by vacant spaces, that bear no small affinity to artificial lawns, being covered with verdure." The grasses were credited to the Indians who lighted fires periodically to clear their hunting grounds.

Indian History

The nomadic Indian tribes had settlements throughout the area. Where to begin with Manchester's history is difficult to decide, but there should be some mention made that these people once had this as their happy hunting ground.

They cannot be ignored especially when, as late as October 3, 1965, the skeleton of an Indian woman in her late 20s or 30s was discovered by Jan Huber, 12, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Huber.

"It's an Indian," said Dr. Donald Huelke of the University of Michigan when he looked at the skeleton which was found in a pit near the Schaffer Airport in the southwest part of the village.

The skeleton was well preserved, Huelke said, probably because of the sandy soil in which the woman was buried. It was found about two and a half feet below the ground level--the level where most Indian skeletons are found. "The Indians didn't have tools to dig much deeper," Huelke said.

So few had a chance to see the bones before they were whisked off to the University to find out how old the skeleton was that it was decided that she should return. The Manchester area had been her home a thousand years ago--add or subtract a couple of hundred years.

She was brought to the historical room at the Manchester Township Library and dubbed Umma. It was a toss-up whether to call her Minnie Ha Ha--which wasn't quite fitting--or Umma. The last was what was printed on the end of the box the skeleton arrived in. Of course, Umma stands for University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, too.

The big reason for bringing Umma back was to give some 1,000 children a chance to see her. They might never get to the museum. This was first hand history and children from the four townships flocked to the village, which is tucked off in the southwest corner of Washtenaw County--and even that is an Indian name. With her in her glass case, lined with sand from the Schaffer pit is the typed article, "A Burial from Manchester, Mich." Since leaving Manchester Umma toured other villages in the county before she settled down--UMMA.

Much has been written about the Indians. Central Michigan was the home of the Pottawattomies. Their territory extended from northern Indiana and southern Michigan as far as the Shiawasee River. The Hurons occupied the eastern part of the state, the Chippewas the Saginaw Valley and north, and the Ottawas the western part. The Pottawattomies were pushed by other tribes until they made a final stand on the bank of the "Washtenong Sepe," (Grand River), and drove the invaders back.

An Indian trail left the Great sauk Trail from Detroit to Chicago (now US 12) and crossed the township on a diagonal on the old John Fisk farm. It is said that the trail was so worn and packed that for years it was impossible to grow grass on it.

According to The History of Manchester by Annetta English, the trail crossed Iron Creek west of the present highway and then east to avoid a steep hill on the late John Martin farm, and then across the southwest corner of Section 21 to Section 16 where Miss English writes that she saw the worn pathway still on the land (side hill) too steep for the plow.

The Indian roamed the area hunting and fishing everywhere and Indian arrows and some of their stone tools are in many of the old homes in 1967.

One of their planting grounds was on Section 29 at the head of what is now the Iron Creek mill-pond. The ground is rich and there is a spring, which in the driest season has a "flow as large as a man's arm."

Back in 1805, when the Territory of Michigan was established, the Indian danger west of the Ohio River was not entirely past. But, by the 1830's the Indians had nearly all moved from the Washtenaw County area.

The early settlers had contact with the Indians but they were friendly. These occurred mostly when the bands of Indians would travel over the territory to receive supplies or government payments for land. It was at these times that the curious Red Man would peek his face up to the window of the pioneer home or maybe ask for food.

No one could blame the Indian if he was a little homesick for this area as he made visits to the four townships, Manchester, Sharon, Bridgewater and Freedom as late as the end of the 1840s. Maybe his heart was a little heavy for the happy hunting grounds--gone forever. Theirs was an annual trek to Fort Malden in Canada for the treaty meeting. They liked to swap trinkets with the settlers and they were good at the business. The besetting sin of the Indian was, and is, his intense love for "scootawaubu" or "fire water." Nothing quenches his craving for whiskey.

A story is told about a farmer who had a bottle of whiskey. At the end of a hard, busy day he and a friend went after the bottle which had been carefully hidden. He lifted the bottle and took a drink, then looked at his friend, "I've heard the story of Christ changing the water into wine but it takes the Indian to change whiskey to water." Apparently the Indians had been watching, drank the whiskey and filled the bottle with water and put it back.

By the end of the 1840's, the Indian had been transferred to new reservations outside the state.

Raisin River

The Raisin River which runs through the village of Manchester is one of four in Washtenaw County. Its name is derived from the dense cluster of wild grapes which lined both banks in the early days. The Raisin River begins in Wheatland township, Hillsdale County and empties in Lake Erie, two and a half miles below Monroe. It is the most serpentine stream in the peninsula. It meanders for some 140 miles, but a direct line from beginning to end would be only sixty miles. It is one of the most important streams in Michigan as it passes through Sharon, Manchester and Bridgewater in Washtenaw County.

The other three rivers are Huron, Grand and Saline in Washtenaw County.

Manchester Township

The Township of Manchester, or Mashawesid Senibawegin, forms the main section of the Burr Oak Plains of Washtenaw. The lakes are Iron Lake, Half Moon, Lower, Mud, Holmes, Twin, Mountain Lake and Sigwan Kitchigami, a small pond near Iron Creek.

Manchester and Bridgewater Townships were settled about the same time, both prior to 1832, within the boundary of Dexter Township. Col. Daniel Hixson and his wife were the first settlers in the new township and their farm was near the Clinton line. Manchester and Bridgewater were divided in 1836, and Manchester Township's first Supervisor was James H. Fargo.

By 1833 pioneers began to filter into the new settlement and many young businessmen from the East chose Manchester in preference to Ann Arbor as a location.

Soulesville

Among those early venturesome people was a man by the name of James Soule. He was an aggressive individual who built a bridge over the Raisin River, a dam and a sawmill, at what is now the eastern part of the village of Manchester.

Soule was born Feb. 2, 1783, at Nine Partners, New York. He learned the carpenter trade and worked at that business for 12 years in Chenango County. In 1805 he was married to Abbie Dillingham at Bedford, N.Y. He manufactured pearl ash for some time, but a decline in prices ruined him financially. After the death of his first wife he moved to Monroe County and married Fannie Noyes. In 1833 he took a large tract of land in Washtenaw County and named it Soulesville at what is now Manchester's east side of the village. After he developed the land and sold it, he bought another large tract near Milton, Wis. in 1843. There he died on March 20, 1873, at 90 years. Soulesville was, for a long time, in School District 1, and Manchester proper was in School District 2. Now it is combined.

Manchester Platted

John Gilbert of Ypsilanti had a good eye for business. He recognized this as an ideal spot for a growing village. Then he patented the lands. Emanuel Case was contracted to construct the grist mill on the Raisin. The lumber, hewed timber, was got out by W. S. and Elijah Carr. Harry Gilbert aided Case in the construction work. The original plat consisted of 22 blocks, now the Main Street section.

First Woman

The first woman in the village was Mrs. Henry Annabil. She came here with her husband who ran the Soulesville sawmill. Though he died soon after they arrived, she remained. The other early settlers included William S. Carr, Ben. Case, Elijah G. Carr, Emanuel Case and J. Soule.

This Tiny Village

One of the oldest available pictures of Main Street.

A few log huts were erected. The ground was muddy and covred with tree stumps. There was a store where the Union Savings Bank stands, there were no roads--no place very inviting to settle down for a day. Yet, this was Manchester in the 1830s.

This was the country that was to be transformed from a wilderness to an Eden. This had been the haunt of the wild beast and the untamed savage. This was to be the home of cultured and thrifty people. This was an area where forests were growing--where they might decay. But sawmills were coming and the railroads would be built and the lumber would be used here and shipped to other points east.

In years to come, more luxuriant homes would replace the log cabin, hotels would be built and the line of crudely built frame stores would be replaced by stately, sturdy, brick buildings. And all these brick structures stayed. Main Street has, for the most part, the same skyline as when these brick buildings were first constructed. Bricks for them were made right in Manchester.

Other Plats Added

The second plat was added in 1837. This was in two parts--one on the west side, and another on the east side of the river. Other additions were made from time to time, the Granger and Morgan addition south of City Road, the Torrey addition, the Case addition, south of the New York Central railroad, the Cowan addition, north of the Ypsilanti branch of the railroad and the Corey addition on Ann Arbor Hill. The Case addition south of the L. S. & M. S. R. R. was laid out in half-acre lots by Barnabas Case.

Warren Kimble's stone boat factory stood just east of the river and south of the Main Street bridge.

Business Section

Manchester House was at the corner of Main and Clinton. Note watering trough for horses.

Exchange Place from the river to the Goodyear House, was the business center of the village although on the eastern extension of the street there were a number of brick houses devoted to mercantile business with other blocks being erected.

The first brick building was a general store owned by W. S. Carr and built in 1837. Log lime was used for mortar. Factory made cotton cloth cost $0.24 a yard and tea cost $1.25 a pound. The first brick store on the east side of the river was that of J. D. Corey and is now the corner tavern. The second brick store erected on the west side was that of John Keyes in 1838.

The store occupied by Case & Corey was built in 1852 by Andrew Spafford. The "Gleeson Block" was built in 1863 by J. Gleeson, and Chauncey Walbridge built the store west of the Gleeson block. The Hoy Block was built in 1866, the Goodyear Block in 1869; Goodyear House in 1869. The Kirchgessner and Lehn Blocks were erected in 1873, and the Bank Block by Peabody and Baxter. The Conklin Block, on the north side of Main Street next to the river on the east,was built by Dr. Amariah Conklin in 1880-81. The northern part of the Daly & Unterkircher Block was occupied by Postmaster Walbridge, who purchased it from Unterkircher. That was the site of the post office (now Brown T.V. Service) before it was moved to the present location on Madison Street.

The Burkhart Block was immediately south of the post office. In March, 1881, Conrad Lehn and John J. Clarkson erected a large building on the north side of Exchange Place which was occupied by Mack and Smith, according to the Washtenaw County History.

By 1838 the town had added a cabinet shop and a distillery was run by Barnabas Case. He must have been a shrewd character for he replied to an apostle of temperance who questioned Case on the propriety of establishing a distillery in this way: "I am doing more for the cause of temperance than he who advocates total abstinence. I sell the pure article; it will hurt no one. Manufactured as it is on the banks of the pure water of the Raisin, it is as pure as the water you drink. No one need fear of being injured by it."

Michigan a State

When Michigan officially became a state in 1837, Manchester officially became a township. On Monday, April 23, less than a month after the legislature had separated Manchester from Bridgewater, (the two townships having formerly constituted the township of Hixon), the organizational meeting was held at the schoolhouse. James H. Fargo was elected township supervisor.

Wildcat Bank

Like many other villages, Manchester was to receive its share of hardship through the "wildcat" bank which was established about 1836. It complied with the banking bill of 1835 by backing thirty per cent of its capital in gold and securing the remainder of the circulation in real estate. There was one catch. It shared its specie with the bank in Sharon. George Howe was president, and James Erwin, cashier.

As soon as the inspector, Commissioner Alpheus Felch, had approved the local bank and headed for Sandstone, the gold was loaded for Sharon, too. According to the reports it was some race. When the dust cleared, Mr. Feich's coach and four stood exhausted at the door of the Sharon bank, and there was no gold in the safe.

The people lost much, but they gained in return for all their losses and trouble some very valuable experience. Reuel Ambrose was president of the Sharon Bank and S. Baldwin was the cashier.

The Manchester 'Wildcat" bank was incorporated for $100,000. George Howe was president and Andrew G. Irwin, cashier. It stood on the location of the Dr. L. C. Kent residence. Dr. Klopfenstein sold it off the lot to Joseph Faulhaber Sr. who moved it to S. Macomb St. where it was stuccoed. It is now owned by the Leon Balls.

Manchester Enterprise

The story of Mat D. Blosser, publisher-editor of the Manchester Enterprise for 72 years, is a colorful one. He was born in Tecumseh, Sept. 3, 1846, and died April 17, 1941. His parents were Peter F. and Sarah Baylis Blosser. They came from Lockport, New York, in the fall of 1844, bringing their 7-week-old infant son, Thomas Baylis.

Thomas and Ann Baylis and their children had preceded the Blossers to Tecumseh. Baylis, a millwright, came to Michigan to oversee the building and maintaining of flouring and grist mills. The Globe Mill was already established in Tecumseh, so Baylis and his son Lyman, and son-in-law Peter Blosser (also a miller) were employed there.

In Sept. 1846, when Mat was a small boy, his parents came to Manchester. He remained in Tecumseh with his grandparents as his mother was a semiinvalid most of her life.

The Tecumseh Herald, a weekly newspaper, employed three young boys, George and Charles Spafford and Mat Blosser. After they learned the printing business George Spafford and Mat Blosser came to Manchester. With the help of others the Manchester Printing Co. was organized and the first weekly paper rolled off the press on October 17, 1867, with Geo. Spafford as editor-publisher.

A year later, Nov. 26, 1868, at the age of 22 years, Mat Blosser purchased the business and assumed entire control of the Manchester Enterprise. He continued to be active until December, 1939. He established a record of one person in the same business for 72 years.

Previous to coming here Mat became interested in a cigar factory in Tecumseh and learned the trade of making cigars. Equipped with two means of earning a livelihood, printing and cigar making, he sought members of their family living in the east and spent time in Buffalo and Lockport, New York and finally New York City, but when the opportunity arose he went into printing.

He married Mary Etta Harris, 19 years, of Grass Lake. She was the daughter of Burlingame and Sarah Harris. They had lived in Manchester for a while after coming from Syracuse, New York. Etta (as she was called) attended the Ward School. Mr. Harris was in ship building in New York State.

Peter Blosser became affiliated with J. D. Van Duyn and Dr. J. A. Lynch in their druggist-grocery business. But in 1875 he joined his son in the printing business where he worked as a pressman, had charge of the mailing list and also the book bindery.

For some years Mat published a German text book. It was printed in Chicago, but the binding was done at the Enterprise office. In those days,magazines were not plentiful and families often had them bound for their libraries. Blossers were no exception and volumes of Century, Cosmopolitan and St. Nicholas were among those they bound for their home along with the files of the Enterprise.

The Blosser children, Fred, Margaret and Maree were associated with the local paper. Fred started at an early age and made this business his life work. He was employed in Jackson, Sioux City, Iowa and Seattle, Wash. He returned to Manchester in 1917, and worked with his father until in October 1928, he went to Tucson, Arizona,because of ill health where he died a short time after his arrival. His father was 82 years at that time.

Mr. Blosser was one of the early members of the Michigan Press Association and very active in it. In those early years, the association arranged some extensive trips both east and west. Reports of Mr. and Mrs. Blosser's trips from Seattle and California to the rugged coast of Maine were always shared with their readers. He took in the world's fair in Philadelphia in 1876 and reported on the novel exhibition.

The Blossers were zealous members of the Masonic fraternity. Peter was a Knight Templar of Adrian Commandery, Fred a member of the Adronriam Council here and Mat a 32nd degree Mason in Detroit.

Mat Blosser made himself a friend to those who lived here and put out a welcoming hand to those who made Manchester their adopted home. He was noted for his willingness to work to promote the best interests of the community.

His daughter Margaret learned to hand set type at the age of 12 and her free time from school was spent helping. After graduating from high school, she was taken into the office as compositor and continued to work until 1900. Daughter Maree also had her duties and on publication day everyone had to help hand fold the papers. It was not uncommon to have villagers tease Mr. Blosser about "his homemade office force."

In the history of the Enterprise written by Margaret Blosser Burtless in 1952, she recalled the early days of the printing office. She remembered visiting it as a small child when it was located in the back room over what is now Brown's TV store. At that time the building was the Wm. Baxter store. Mrs. Burtless remembered seeing her father printing the newspaper on a hand press.

A few years later the equipment was moved to the second floor at the left of the stairway, in what was then the Goodyear building. It was later owned by the Arbeiter Society and is now owned by the American Legion. In 1904 Mr. Blosser purchased the building on the east side of the river on the south side of the street. This is the building which the Blosser family sold to Fred and Ellen Buss for a restaurant. At this time the Manchester Enterprise office has been moved to 111 E. Main St. and is operated by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Macomber.

Two grandchildren of Mat Blosser are living in this community. Mrs. Rolland Grossman and Mrs. LoRen Trolz are both very active in community affairs and have contributed in many ways to the growth and welfare of this area by giving freely of their time and energy to promote many worthwhile ventures. And when they help on Community Chest or a cancer drive they are not following in the path of strangers-long ago grandfather Blosser set the pace.

From the Manchester Enterprise of Years Ago

In l833, Wait Peck, who had taken up the farm land which later was the Walter Frey farm, took some logs to the sawmill on the north bend of the Raisin, just across the river from Mann's grist mill.

Mr. Annabil operated the sawmill and Mr. Peck asked where he could get a drink of water. "Go over to the house and my wife will get you one," said Mr. Annabil. Mr. Peck cried, "You don't mean to say there is a white woman in these parts!"

"Certainly, go over and see," said Annabil.

The log cabin stood just south of the site of Morscheuser's house (where Del Ludwig lives today) and Mr. Peck was soon rapping on the door. The cheery "Come in" was according to the custom of the time. Throwing open the door, he stood gazing with delight at the pretty little lady. At last he recovered his surprise and told her that she was the first white woman he had seen in a year. That summer he built a house and returned to Connecticut to bring his bride to the new west.

Mrs. Annabil was the first white woman in Manchester. Her sister, Catharine Dudley, was the first white child. She was 15 and lived a year with the Annabils until her parents came here and settled on the farm, which later became the Ray Trolz farm.

Catharine became the wife of James Hendershot and lived in the house where Hugh Walsh lives on Adrian street. Mr. Hendershot was a blacksmith and did the iron work for the first mill in the community.

From the Manchester Enterprise of 1868---The Literary and Debating Society of Manchester High School held its meeting on Tuesday and debated the question: Should the United States repudiate its National debt.

Affirmative: J. D. Corey, E. Norris and James Kelly.

Negative: G. R. Palmer, Rev. I. Bloomer and Dr. E. Hunter

Dedication* We learn that Professor Dunn of Hillsdale College dedicated the Freewill Baptist church of Iron Creek to the worship of God last Thursday. He was assisted by Rev. Maynard of Macon, Rev. Botes of Augusta and Rev. John Thomas of Dover. We understand they raised money and pledges sufficient to clear the house of debt.

March 4, 1869---an editorial---Manchester needs a bank. Among other things, he says: "We need a bank where a responsible mechanic, farmer or manufacturer might borrow money (with proper security) at a reasonable rate of interest, say ten or twelve percent, not a fraction above the latter.

The Old Cemetery

Looking toward the old cemetery on the bend of the Raisin.

The first cemetery for Manchester was in the northwest section of town on the bend of the Raisin. In the history by Annetta English, she mentions that "the first death was that of Henry Annabil, who lived in a log house on Water Street. He ran the sawmill on the east bank of the river. His grave was made in the woods on Ann Arbor Hill prior to establishing a cemetery, but later the body was removed to the cemetery on the bend of the River Raisin.

"The cemetery was used until 1856 and a bier was used to carry the coffin from the gate to the grave.

"Many have been removed to Oak Grove but a few graves remain, marked by head-stones and some with unmarked graves. One unmarked grave is that of Mrs. William Johnson's first husband, Mr. Taylor and father of Miss Martha Taylor and Mrs. Wm. Rushton. He was killed by a falling tree in 1852.

"Among those buried there is Charlotte Mosely, whose mother was Rhoda Root, a daughter of Dr. Eleazar Root who died in 1852 at the age of 15. Miss English's father was a pall-bearer for the first time.

"Henry Byron died in 1856 aged five months. This child was the son of Calvin Townsend, a lawyer here at the time. Later he went to Rochester, N.Y. to live where he wrote a text book on Civil Government. He was blind the later years of his life.

"William W. K. Marshall died at the age of 30.

"Artemas Kief is buried there as is his stepdaughter, Emily Caldwell, Alonzo Fargo's wife. The land for the cemetery was given by Mr. James H. Fargo.

"John Coon died April 3, 1841, aged 64, and Sarah Coon died Nov. 27, 1847, aged 71 years.

"Also buried there are the parents of Lorenzo H. and Philetus Coon, who lived in a log house on the site of the brick house where later George Huber lived on the Spafard Plains."

Others who are buried there include Alexander Falconer and his wife Isabel and Elsie, daughter of John and Susan Falconer and Nancy, wife of John Falconer.

Elba Post Office

Newcomers in this area might be surprised to know that just three miles west of Manchester on Austin Road was the hamlet of Elba back in 1833. This burr oak opening later known as the "Spafard Plains" once promised to become a busy community. Most important it was a stage coach stop and post office. The school was located on the same site as the one which stands today which has been remodeled into a dwelling.

The blacksmith shop and stage coach stop were directly across the road on the Spafard farm, now owned by the Martin A. Keasals. Mrs. Frank Spafard, who spent long hours digging into the history of the area, says that the first post office was established in 1833 in the home of Alanson Harvey Squiers and was known as "Noble." It was located near the west line of the township on land now owned by Mrs. Gaita (Waters) Cathey. When Squiers resigned, Dr. Bennett F. Root, was appointed postmaster and the Elba Post Office was located in the east wing of his home. The last location of the Elba Post Office was on what was later known as the John F. Spafard farm, now owned by Mrs. Lillian Washburn.

The Spafards have a letter written by their great-grandfather, T. L. Spafard, sent through the Elba Post Office in 1846 to his brother, Andrew Spafard, in Massachusetts. The letter was sealed with wax (no envelopes) and postage was ten cents.

Early abstracts of this section are designated Bridgewater instead of Manchester. Both Manchester and Bridgewater Townships were settled about the same time and prior to 1832 were both within the boundary of Dexter Township.

The Erwin Pauls live on the site of the first Baptist Society where meetings were held at the home of James Stevens as early as Feb. 17, 1836. Sections six and seven were platted into lots for a nucleus for a village, before 1838. It can only be speculated that lack of water power might well have hampered further development.

The three Row brothers were the first pioneers to take up land from the government. They came from Dutchess County, New York in 1832. They settled on parts of the Keasal, Washburn and Joseph Holzhoffer farms. After two years they relocated in Sharon. Rowes Corner in Sharon Township still bears their name. So does the cemetery.

Although there are no records of a school prior to 1839, A. D. English was quoted as saying that his mother had pointed out the site of the school where she first attended-just a few rods south of the four corners on the present Willis Hassett farm.

On May 27, 1837, School Inspectors set off sections 3, 4, 5, 6 and the north half of sections 7 and 8 in the Township 4 south range 3E. be set off and constituted as District No. 3. Just two years later, Jan. 18, 1839 the district was revised and became known as fractional district No. 4 of Manchester and Napoleon.

Marvin and Lovina Howard deeded 36 square rods of land in the southwest quarter of section 5 to be used for a school site. A frame school was built by Thomas Spencer and cost $350 when it was completed in Sept. 1839. In 1842 it was plastered. The cost was $42.60.

School officers were A. H. Squires, H. L. Luce and Thomas L. Spafard. The first teacher, L. W. Thompson received $17 a month. Of the list of children who attended that school only two families have descendants residing in Manchester. They are Palmers and Spafards.

The frame school was used until the early 1860s when it was sold and moved. The new school was erected between 1860-65. John Feather built the cupola for $100.

Ward School on West Main Street.

The winter term started the last of October and concluded in February, and the summer term began in April and ended in August. Teachers were examined by the School Inspectors at the county clerk's office and if they qualified were given a two-year teaching certificate. No high school diplomas or college degrees were required. Men usually taught in the winter and women in the summer.

Women teachers often received $2 a week plus room and board and they were required to teach from the primer to algebra and often psychology in the early times. Teachers were paid by rate bills and they boarded at the homes of those sending children to school. The rate bill was divided proportionately among parents and the assessor was responsible for collecting the amount plus an additional five percent for his fees. He had 60 days to collect.

If a person refused or neglected to pay, the assessor could seize any of his goods or chattels wherever found in the county in which the district is located. In the records, mention is made that one person worked it out by helping the assessor with threshing.

An interesting note is that when the late Mary Huber Waltz was 10 years old and helping with the evening chores she saw a bright light in the schoolhouse window. With her father and brother they hurried across the road and broke into the school. Some green wood had been left setting against the stove and it had caught fire. Only the wood burned.

Christmas and Commencement exercises were the chief amusements and box socials were fund raising projects. Electricity was added along with a new oak floor in 1936. The old school, no longer in use, was converted into a dwelling in later years.

Manchester's First July 4th

This community celebrated its first "fourth" of July Celebration on July 4th, 1839. Willis L. Watkins found an old poster printed on a sheet of handmade paper which probably at one time was white. Manchester has had some notable celebrations in years past, and no wonder, when the example was set by such elaborate preparations in 1839.

This poster read: "At a meeting of the Committee of Arrangements at the home of Albert Howe, for the purpose of making the necessary arrangements for celebrating the approaching Anniversary, adopted the following order of the day:

"At half past 10 o'clock A.M. the procession will form under the direction of the Marshal, in front of Albert Howe's (Manchester) Hotel, in the following order:

  1. Marshal of the day.
  2. Martial Music.
  3. Citizens and Strangers.
  4. Revolutionary Patriots and Soldiers.
  5. The Clergy.
  6. Orator and Reader of the Declaration.
  7. Committee of Arrangements.
  8. Ladies.
  9. Choir of Singers.

"The procession will march down Exchange Street to Washington Street, up Washington to Boyne, up Boyne to Macomb Street, down Macomb Street to Exchange Street, up Exchange to the Hotel. On arrival at the Hotel, the ladies and the choir of singers will be received in their appropriate places in the procession.

"The procession will then proceed to the place prepared for the exercises; on arriving at the place the procession will open to the right and left, and face inward, and march to the seats in inverted order.

"At the close of the exercises, the procession will form in the order specified in the bills of the day, and march to the Hotel, where dinner will beserved by Mr. Albert Howe.

"The committee invited the few remaining veterans of that band of heroes, who achieved our independence, residing in the vicinity, to unite with our citizens in celebrating the period of their trials and sufferings and their victories. They also solicit the citizens of this and adjoining towns, to unite with them in commemoration of this birthday of our Independence.

Caleb Clark
Emanuel Case
George Roberts
C. Howell
John D. Kief
J. H. Fountain
J. D. Corey
J. R. Sloat
Oliver Kellogg
Wm. S. Driggs
N. Morse
Lewis Allen
J. S. Clark
James Soule
B. Case
Benj. French
Theron Brees
William S. Carr
U. M. Carter

"Committee on Arrangements, Manchester, June 15, 1839"