From The Beginning…..City of Lansing

In 1790, Hugh Heward became the first pioneer who canoed Grand River in discovering the dense forestry area. The land that is Lansing today was issued to be the “Township 4 North Range 2 West.” It was the last piece of land to be studied and make a city, but not until October 1830. There would be no road entry to this area for decades.

When It All Started

Before Lansing became the capital of Michigan, it was a dense area of wilderness. In 1835, two brothers from New York were the first pioneers who plotted on known as REO Town today and named it “Biddle City.” Majority of the land was underwater and the human population was little to non existent. The brothers went back to Lansing, New York to tell the residents about the newly discovered land to see who would invest in the plots of it. They told the residents that the new “city” included 65 blocks that included church and an academic square. After 16 men invested in the plots, that later realized that they were scammed by the brothers. Many of them were disappointed and became residents of now Metropolitan Lansing while the others changed the area name to Lansing Township. The name was inspired by their hometown of Lansing, New York.

Austin Blair

He was born in 1818 in Tompkins County, New York. During his younger years, he worked on the farm with his father. In 1841, Blair was admitted to practice law and that same year he moved to Jackson, Michigan. He was chosen to be a member of the Judiciary Committee and was responsible for revisions of laws and statutes. Since he sat on these committees, he was forced to associate himself with the Whig Party and he didn’t agree with their methods. He was a pro slavery advocate and didn’t want the Whig party to sway his decisions, so he refused to affiliate himself with them. Austin Blair was the first Republican politician of Michigan who was pro slavery during the outbreak of the American Civil War.¬†Blair was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Jackson County in 1852 and two years later he was chosen to be the State Senator. He was a part of the incoming administration of 1855, holding a parliamentary position in the Senate.¬† In 1854, Blair was considered one of the founding fathers of the Republican party in Jackson, Michigan. He was on full swing with the committee and acted as a sole member. This same year he was able to construct guidelines and principles with being a member of this party. There were some individuals who opposed their bill because Republicans weren’t prepared for the job, but it passed when slavery was abolished. Abraham Lincoln nominated Blair to be a delegate to the National Convention in 1860.