24 March 2011

Buying the Farm

Around the year 1835, Booth Perry, a farmer originally from Connecticut, arrived in the sparsely populated Michigan Territory seeking to start a new life. He and his wife likely came from New England to western New York via the Erie Canal, which had opened up only ten years prior. From the canal's terminus in Buffalo, they then would have crossed Lake Erie to reach Michigan. Booth Perry had in his possession a document granting him ownership of a 40 acre parcel of land west of Detroit. This was a land grant provided by the United States Government.

The plot of land is described in this grant as "the North East quarter of the North West quarter of Section Twenty Seven, in Township Two". Township Two was Nankin Township, which was divided, like most of the lands in the Midwest, into 640 acre sections. Each section was subdivided into 16 forty acre parcels. Booth Perry now owned one of these parcels of fertile farmland.

Ten years later, in 1845, Booth Perry, for whatever reason, sold this land. I found the record of this transaction in the microfilmed Deed records of Wayne County, Michigan. (Wayne County Deed Book 26:137; FHL 947,901) On 26 November 1845, Booth Perry sold the same 40 acre parcel of land to Mitchell Raymo of Nankin for the price of $500. This was Mitchell's first transaction in the property records of Wayne County.

At that time Mitchell Raymo was 32 years old and married to his second wife, Margaret (Denniston) Mains. He had two daughters by his late first wife Laura, and two young sons with Margaret; four year old Theodore Raymo and his little infant brother Leonard Raymo.

In this 1876 map of Nankin, Michigan you can see "the North East quarter of the North West quarter of Section Twenty Seven" was by that time owned by T(heodore) Raymo and was the site of the Raymo farmhouse.

1 comment:

  1. Carmen Grayson12 April, 2011 15:59

    Re: Michigan. Have been brain-deep in research for many years that covers the 1790-1865 period, much of it in the form of family correspondence of the General Montgomery Meigs-Commodore John Rodgers family.

    I'm working on a section that discusses Michigan in the 1840s, specifically Detroit-Dearborn and mentions farmland in Kalamazoo. The subject is Union Quartermaster General, Montgomery Meigs, who was in the Corps of Engineers building the fort at Detroit between 1842 and 1849. I ran across a detailed explanation to family members of how to travel from Washington, D.C. to Detroit both in 1843 then, later, in about 1848. No more stagecoach or even lake boats, train expansion etc.

    Meigs, fearing that the Corps of Engineers was going to downsize in the mid-1840s price a large farm in Kalamazoo but decided that he couldn't afford the $5,000 asking price, even with the help of his well-to-do physician father.