THE FOUNDING OF JACKSON

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Stone commemorating Horace Blackman’s founding of Jackson

In the summer of 1829, Michigan’s first pioneer was Horace Blackman, whom went in search of a good location to settle in Michigan. Upon looking at surveying records, He set out accompanied by Capt. Alex Laverty and Indian guide, Pee-we-tum. Blackman decided to establish his settlement off of the Grand River in a location that would become Jackson. Upon returning to Ann Arbor and heading off to Monroe to purchase the land, he would return with a few other interested settlers including his brother Russell Blackman, Isaiah Bennett, W.R. Thompson and Benjamin Packard. They would eventually decide to name the new settlement, Jackson after the President of the time, Andrew Jackson. The name did change a few times in the early settlement though, starting with Jacksonopolis, Jacksonburgh and finally Jackson. By 1830, over thirty families were settled in Jackson.(1) People moved to Jackson because of their rich mineral deposits. Important deposits included iron, coal, fire clay and large quarries of excellent limestone. Jackson was also located on the Territorial Road which was a huge boom to the territory of Jackson.(2)