Theodore Horatio Eaton Jr.

Theodore Horatio Eaton Jr.

Theodore Horatio Eaton Jr.
Born: Jan. 16, 1842 Skaneateles, Onondaga County, New York, USA
Death: Nov. 6, 1910, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA


THEODORE HORATIO EATON (Junior) of Detroit, the son of Theodore H. Eaton, whose biography appears elsewhere in the work, and Anne Eliza Gibbs, was born in Skaneateles, New York, January 16, 1842, in the home where his mother spent her childhood, and where his parents were married in 1839 and lived until May, 1842. He died in Detroit on November 6, 1910, following a short illness.He was taken to Detroit when four months old, and his father’s large residence on Jefferson avenue, near Russell street, was completed in 1852 when he was ten years old. This remained his home until his death fifty-eight years later, and was occupied by his widow and children for only a few years afterward. It is still owned by his family and occupied in the capacity of a hospital.

Mr. Eaton was educated at the school of the Rev. M. H. Hunter, on Grosse Ile during the earliest days of his boyhood, with others who have since gained considerable prestige in the city and in later years were known as the “Hunter Boys.” Mr. Eaton was president of this alumni society 1885-1890. He also was a student at Burlington College, New Jersey. Another one of the schools he attended 1858-59 was the French Institute of Monsieur (the Professor) Elie Charlier, located then at 48 East Twenty-fourth street, New York city, and thereafter he went abroad for study and business training before entering his father’s chemical business in the year 1859. Instead of electing to attend a university he visited the dye and chemical institutions of England, Switzerland and Germany, which was the basis of his knowledge of those trades in later years, making in all four trips abroad. In 1866 he was admitted to the partnership known as Theo. H. Eaton & Son, then located at the corner of Woodward avenue and Atwater street, which remained his office to the time of his death. He received an excellent business training under his father who was one of the most prominent business men of the city. Later it was necessary for him to give more and more time to his personal affairs and Mr. Benjamin F. Geiger acted as his manager in the chemical business. At Mr. Geiger ‘s death in 1905, Mr. Eaton’s nephew, Rufus W. Clark, Jr., took his place and developed the business until and after Mr. Eaton’s death in 1910 when it became known as Eaton-Clark Company. In 1920 Mr. Clark was succeeded as president of the company by Mr. Eaton’s son, about whom an article appears elsewhere in this work.

Mr. Eaton was married in 1880 at Augusta, Georgia, to Miss Louise Casey, to whom a son, Louis, was born. He died in infancy, September 21, 1882, and his mother died September 15, 1882. At this time Mr. Eaton was a vestryman of St. Paul’s church, of which his father was senior warden, and in 1888, at his father’s death, he succeeded him and remained senior warden for twenty-two years, until he died. In 1895 he built, in memory of his mother, the new St. Paul’s Chapel at the corner of Woodward and Hancock, which was opened by Bishop. Davies on February 6, 1896. The building was so located that space was left for the erection of a cathedral adjacent which was planned at that time, and completed just a few months after Mr. Eaton’s death. During the construction of the cathedral Mr. Eaton drove up to supervise it regularly every morning before going to his office. He broke ground for it, he attended the laying of the cornerstone, but did not live to see its ultimate completion. A few months before his death Mr. Eaton ordered a beautiful carved reredos, dean’s chair, and altar railing to be erected in memory of his father, former senior warden of the church. These memorials now stand and above them a magnificent stained window in memory of Mr. Eaton of this review given by his widow and children. This same window was earlier selected by Mr. Eaton himself with a view to putting it in later on.

Bishop Charles D. Williams delivered a memorial address in the cathedral on Sunday, April 19, 1911, of which an extract shows better than the editor could review Mr. Eaton’s life and interest: “He was in a large manner public-spirited; interested in all the best things that concerned the public welfare; generous and benevolent in his gifts everywhere and always, but the first and foremost of his public narrative was his devotion and loyalty to his church—St. Paul’s cathedral was the dream of his heart—but, by one of those strange dispensations of Providence, it was not to be, that he should see the completion of his cherished plans. It stands here largely as a memorial, not only of his benevolence, but of his thought and of his care.” An appropriate sermon in memory of Mr. Eaton was also delivered on this occasion by the Rev. Samuel S. Marquis, D. D., then dean of the cathedral.

The vestry of St. Paul’s adopted the following tribute to Mr. Eaton’s memory: “His simple and unostentatious manner of living in an era of luxury and display, upright and patriotic as a citizen and deeply concerned in the welfare of his country, state, and community, cultivated, refined, and courteous in his social intercourse with his fellows, pure, affectionate, and exemplary in his life, loyal and devoted to his church—the type of the true Christian gentleman.”

He was yearly elected as delegate to the church conventions, in which he took deep interest. Next to his family and his church, his greatest affection and interest was in the Society of the Colonial Wars, in the State of Michigan, of which he was a charter member in November, 1897, then elected its first deputy governor, which office he held until May 7, 1900, when he was elected governor of the Society. This office he held for a period of three years, and again in 1908-1909. He was a delegate to nearly all the sessions of the general assembly and whether in office or not, he was constantly solicitous for the welfare of the Society (Extract from Resolution of the Michigan Society, following his death). Coming from a long line of New England ancestors Mr. Eaton naturally affiliated with many of the patriotic and hereditary societies. He was a member of the Huguenot Society of America, the sons of the American Revolution, Colonial Governors, The New England Society, Detroit Board of Commerce, The Detroit Club, Country Club, and the Detroit Boat Club. He was a director of the Detroit Iron and Steel Company and advising director of the Security Trust Company. He was a republican and an Episcopalian. He enjoyed his recreation gardening on his summer estate at Kingsville, Ontario, Canada, where he spent about twenty
summers, and in driving his selected teams of coach horses.

On September 19, 1888, Mr. Eaton married Miss Eliza Walton Clark of Albany, New York, daughter of Rev. Rufus Wheelwright Clark, D. D., and Mrs. Clark, who was Eliza Walton. Mr. and Mrs. Eaton were married in Glenside Park, Murray Hill, New Jersey, by the latter’s brother, Rev. William Walton Clark of Brooklyn, New York: Their children were: Theodore H. Eaton, Jr., born June 22, 1889, and who died May 5, 1891; Margaret Montgomery, born May 9, 1892, was married April 17, 1920, to John Weeden Grout of New York city, formerly of Detroit; and Berrien Clark Eaton, born August 3, 1893, who married in Chicago, August 15, 1917, Miss Gladys Hambleton. Two grandchildren of Mr. Eaton are living, Berrien Clark Eaton, Jr., born February 12, 1919, in Chicago, and Margaret Louise Grout, born April 8, 1921, in New York.

The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1701-1922, Vol. 3, edited by Clarence Monroe Burton, William Stocking, Gordon K. Miller, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co, Detroit-Chicago, 1922, pp 193-194

Burial: Elmwood Cemetery

Detroit Wayne County Michigan, USA

Plot: Section I


Henry Porter Baldwin

Henry Porter Baldwin

Henry P. Baldwin

A wealthy businessman and banker, Henry Porter Baldwin served two terms as Governor of Michigan and became the fourth Governor to become a U. S. Senator.
Baldwin was born in Coventry, Rhode Island in 1814. He was orphaned at the age of 12 yet he was a clerk in a mercantile establishment. He went into business for himself in 1834 at the age of 20. In 1835, he married Harriet M. Day. He later married Sibyle Lambard (1866) and they had seven children

The Baldwin’s moved to Detroit in 1838. He established a successful shoe manufacturing business. He later became a banker and manufactured chewing tobacco. Both Mr. And Mrs. Baldwin were active in the community, giving both their resources and time to charitable and cultural activities.

Baldwin was an active Republican and was elected to the state Senate from Wayne County in 1861. In 1868, he was elected Governor and was re-elected in 1870. During the second term as Governor, a devastating fire swept across Michigan from Holland and Manistee on Lake Michigan to the Saginaw Bay and the Thumb Area. Thousands of people were left homeless and destitute. A relief fund of over $450,000 was raised and Baldwin’s personal contribution was over one-third.

Upon completing his second term as Governor on January 1, 1873, Baldwin retired to private life. After the death of U. S. Senator Zachariah Chandler in 1879, he was appointed by Governor Croswell to fill the vacancy. He was unsuccessful in his 1881 bid for election to the Senate seat. Baldwin, who was an easygoing and generous man, died on New Year’s Eve in 1893.

Resolutions of St Paul’s Church Detroit January 2nd 1893

At the regular meeting of the rector wardens and vestrymen of St Paul’s Church in the City of Detroit held January 2nd 1893 the following minute was made and entered upon the records.

It is with great sorrow that we have heard of the death of the Hon Henry P. Baldwin which occurred on December 31st 1892 and we desire hereby to express our high estimate of his character and usefulness during the many years that he has lived in this city. Since 1838 he has been a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Michigan and from 1843 to 1859 he was a member of the Vestry of St Paul’s Church.  His was a rare example of beneficence integrity and devotion to his Church.  His interest in everything which had to do with the welfare of his fellow men has entitled him to a measure of honor and affection seldom equalled.  To Mrs Baldwin and the members of his family we send our words of deep sympathy as well as our tribute of gratitude and regard

Rufus W Clark Rector
Justin E Emerson Secretary


Born: February 22, 1814
Died: December 31, 1893
Buried: Elmwood Cemetery, Section B, Lot 9

Major John Biddle

Major John Biddle

Major John Biddle

John Biddle was born in Philadelphia in March 1792 to a prominent American family. He was the son of Charles Biddle, Vice President of Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War and nephew of Commodore Nicholas Biddle who later became President of the United States Bank. A brother, Major Thomas Biddle, served in the U. S. Army and another brother, Commodore James Biddle, was a noted Naval officer.

A few years after graduation from Princeton College, John Biddle entered the United States Army, serving for most of the War of 1812 in the Niagara Frontier under General Scott. He was promoted from Captain of Artillery to Major. While in the military, he was assigned to Fort Shelby in Detroit as Commander. In 1821, Biddle left the Army and was appointed Indian Agent at Green Bay.

After returning to the East and finding a bride, Eliza F. Bradish of New York, John Biddle began the political phase of his life becoming prominent in affairs connected with the Territory, the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit. His political accomplishments were impressive. In 1820, he was appointed Associate Justice of County Court, Judge of Probate and Brown County Commissioner. From 1823 to 1837, he served as Register of the Land Office for the District of Detroit, selling farms and lots to new arrivals. From 1827 to 1828, he served as the Mayor of the City of Detroit. From 1829 through 1831, he was the Territorial Delegate to Congress from the State of Michigan. In 1835, he was a member of the Constitutional Convention and President of the first State Constitutional Convention. In 1841, he served in the State Legislature.

In addition to his military and political achievements, Biddle was a civic and cultural community leader. In 1835, he was elected President of the Detroit-St. Joseph Railroad which later became Michigan Central Railroad. Three years later, he became the first President of Farmers’ and Mechanics’ Bank having served as Director from 1829 through 1838.

Biddle displayed an interest in the general religious and philanthropic reforms of his time. He was a member and vestryman of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral and became personally responsible for the expense of St. Paul’s first building. He helped organize the Episcopal Church Society in Detroit on March 8, 1825 and, on November 3, 1830, was elected Vice President of the County Bible Society which distributed Bibles and Testaments.

On July 15, 1831, he was elected Vice President of the Detroit Athenaeum which was established as a club reading room. His was the first name on a notice list of the Association for Promoting Female Education in the City of Detroit (December 4, 1834) and elected as a Trustee of the University of Michigan, an “English Classical School”. The Historical Society of Michigan was organized on July 3, 1828 at Mansion House and Biddle was asked to be the first Vice President (1828–1837). In 1837, he was elected President of the Society. His lecture of September 15, 1830 can be found in the book “Historical and Scientific Sketches of Michigan”. Biddle helped organize and participated in plays which were given in an amateur theater located in the upper part of a large brick storefront at the foot of Wayne Street.

For the people of southeastern Michigan, this man of so many accomplishments is perhaps best noted for his connection to the City of Wyandotte. Land on which the Village of Maquaqua had previously been located was auctioned off in 1818. Biddle acquired 2,200 acres and proceeded to construct his summer estate where he could retreat from Detroit and entertain. The buildings were completed in 1835 and the estate was named “The Wyandotte” after the Indian tribe that had lived on the land. The family moved there from Detroit a year later.

The white colonial-style home was built on the corner of Vinewood and Biddle on the land presently occupied by the McNichol-Ford House (Wyandotte Historical Museum). The front lawn, filled with flowers, went to the road running along the riverbank. It is reported that runaway slaves escaping to Canada and Wyandotte Indians were used for farm labor.

A lack of interest in farming led to the sale of “The Wyandotte” and Major Biddle and his wife left the area to return to his old home in Philadelphia. The property was sold for $44,000 in 1853 to Eber Ward of Eureka Iron and developed into the town of Wyandotte. The house was used as a hotel (some accounts say used as a carriage stop) for the workingmen of the village. A fire partially destroyed the house in 1860. It was moved in 1896 to its present location at 2114 Biddle, the second house south of Spruce. Some changes were made but many original beams and structural details remain.

After selling the property, Biddle went to Paris for a retirement vacation. His wife’s ill health prompted a trip to White Sulphur Springs, Virginia in 1859. He died there on August 25, 1859. Survivors were listed as four “recorded” children: William S., Major James, Edward J. and Margaretta.

Born: 1792
Died: 1859
Buried: Elmwood Cemetery, Section F, Lot 47