Oswego County's: Guide To Government

Jesse Crowell


I have been able to gain the following facts relating to the birth life and death of Mr. Crowell. He was born in Bridgewater, Oneida county New York on November 19, 1797 and died at Albion, Michigan September 28, 1872 aged seventy four years ten months and twenty eight days. This record we find in his personal Bible, now the property of Mrs. Smith Chatfleld, soon to belong to the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society by gift of the present owner. We also find the birth and death record of his father and mother, date of their marriage, and that he had two sisters and one brother. One sister, Mrs. Sanford lived here and she and her daughter Frances, cared for Mr. Crowell's home. During his boyhood, his parents removed to Winfield, Herkimer County, but on maturity he went South, spending several years in North Carolina and Georgia. Finally returning to New York, he located in the County of Oswego, of which he was a representative in the state legislature where he acquitted himself honorably and to the entire satisfaction of his constituency. In the year 1835, he came to Michigan and purchased an interest in the entire water power in this place, and the land embracing the original village plat. In 1836, was formed the Albion Company of which he was the agent during its existence and which was dissolved by mutual consent in 1842. While agent of the company he took an active part in procuring the location of the Albion Wesleyan Seminary, now Albion College at this place donating the lands on which the college stands as well as quite a tract outside of the building grounds sixty acres or more. Here it may be well to say that that company eight in number have all passed away, Mr. Crowell being the last. Upon the dissolution of the Albion company, Mr. Crowell with three others of its members, became the owners of the water power on the south branch of the Kalamazoo river, together with the mills located thereon. The interest of the three others was subsequently purchased by himself and another. Hence, Mr. Crowell was directly identified with all of the improvements made thereon with the building of the gristmill stone mill and the construction of the stone dam stone flume to the gristmill and the beautiful willow walk out the race bank, the willows having been planted by his own hands. In fact, almost every important improvement in the village of Albion was either directly or indirectly connected with him and any one writing a history of this village would find it necessary frequently to recur to his name. In all of his business relations be designed to be upright and honorable ever regarding his word as his bond and in fact, but few men pass to his age with as clear and perfect a record as he left behind him. In consequence of heavy repairs and losses, he became somewhat embarrassed financially and in an unlucky hour listened to bad counsel placing himself in the hands of men who made promises only to break them. When he became fully convinced of the fact, he began to fail rapidly. During his last sickness, his attending physician remarked that a post mortem examination would show no disease sufficient to cause death that age and trouble was the sole and only cause. But he has now gone to the place where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest and will be mourned by all good and true men.