Wixom’s First Pioneer

The saga of Wixom began in 1830 when Lewis Norton came to Oakland County from New York State and settled in the southern portion of what is today Wixom.  He built a home and sawmill on a creek, which today, bears his name, Norton Creek.  The creek is an offshoot of the Huron River, which flows through much of southern Michigan.  Mr. Norton’s years in Wixom were few, only two or three, as he moved on to Williamston where he was killed by lightning while taking shelter under a tree during an electrical storm.

Image source: www.lib.msu.edu
Image source: www.lib.msu.edu

About a year after Mr. Norton arrived in Wixom, another pioneer from New York State settled the northeast section of present day Wixom.  Alonzo Sibley, pictured right, played a crucial role in the development and prosperity of Wixom.  At the age of twenty-one, Alonzo migrated to Michigan on a line boat on the Erie Canal to Buffalo, then to Detroit.  Upon arriving in Detroit, he started on foot to Royal Oak.  From there he went to Rochester, then Romeo, and finally Pontiac, which was only a small village at the time.  He then proceeded to Commerce Township where he selected his land.  Mr. Sibley returned to Detroit to purchase the land, 80 acres, from the Government at $1.25 an acre.  During the fall of 1831, Mr. Sibley returned to New York to work during the winter for wages of $12.00 a month.  In the spring of 1832, he returned to Wixom, an purchased a team of oxen to clear his land.

The year1832 brought several more settlers to the community: Ahijah Wixom, who settled in the northern portion of Wixom; Ephraim Burch, a Canadian; Reuben Wright, a native of New York; and Dr. Henry K. Foot, Wixom’s first physician.

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