The first marriage in Delta Township occurred in the summer of 1838 between Addison Hayden and Mary Chadwick. A brief notice was printed in the Grand River City Courier the following day: “Married – At Grand River City by Samuel Preston Esq at the house of the bride’s father Mr Addison Hayden and Miss Mary Chadwick both of Grand River City (3)”
In her recollections to the Pioneer Society of Michigan, Mrs. Ingersoll shared the following story:
“An incident occurred in connection with this event which is worth preserving and is related by the wife of Esquire Preston as follows, “Mr Hayden called and inquired for the Squire I told him he was gone to Mr Nichols. By and by he came home and told me that Mr. Hayden wanted him to marry him. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘you can’t go for your clothes are too ragged.’ But the boys came to the rescue and brought out their clothes and Mr Preston tried them on. One could supply a coat another pants another a vest and the outfit was complete excepting a hat Jason was a pretty spruce young man and had a fur hat which he kindly loaned. This put on the finishing touch On his way to the house Mr Preston thought of a second dilemma worse than the first. He was not a praying man and how could he perform the marriage ceremony without prayer. After a while he hit upon a plan he would invite ES Ingersoll to assist in the services. All passed off pleasantly no one suspecting the perplexities the justice had labored under (1).”
Addison Hayden was born c.1796 in Connecticut was head mechanic at the mill at the time of the marriage. He went on to become the Eaton County Surveyor from 1842-44, 1850-52, 1854-55 and then the Township supervisor from 1846-52 and 1854-55. He left the Township in 1856 to become the Supervisor of North Star Township from 1856-58 followed by the Gratiot County Surveyor from 1857-58 (2).
Mary and Addison Hayden had 10 children. Addison past away in 1872 and Mary followed in 1874.
- History of Ingham and Eaton Counties by Samuel w. Durant, https://books.google.com/books?id=eoz2jflPnDMC&dq=history%20of%20ingham%20and%20eaton%20counties&pg=PA453#v=onepage&q=delta&f=false
The steel span bridge with wood floor spanning the Grand River along Webster Road was built in either 1891 or 1892. The wooden floor was re-planked in 1898. Eventually a concrete floor was installed and the steel structure was finally torn down in July 1965 followed by the pouring of new concrete supports. Then, according to The State Journal (9/1/1966), “the project was delayed for a year when federal funds were held up pending passage of a Michigan expressway billboard law complying with federal regulations.”
Work resumed on the current structure in August 1966 and work was expected to be completed by November of 1966. The current structure is made up of concrete supports, topped with 58 25-ton concrete beams each spanning more than 70 feet. The beams were lifted into place with a crane operating on the river bed which was built up into a mud flat for the construction.
During the construction, work was also completed to move “W. Willow Highway slightly to the south, eliminating the T-intersection at the south end of the bridge (TSJ, 9/1/66).” This work cleared space for the eventual construction of the canoe launch at Delta Mills Park.
Earlier bridges had spanned the Grand River prior to construction of the Steel span bridge in the 1890’s. A motion was passed during the first Township meeting on April 4, 1842 to “raise $100 for roads and bridges, and that first the bridge debt be liquidated and the balance appropriated by the highway commissioners (1).” In October of 1857 the Township Board authorized “the township of Delta to raise by tax a sum not exceeding $1000 to build a bridge across Grand River in said township at or near the quarter line of section 3.” Then in January of 1859 Delta Township resident, Alonzo Baker, was authorized, “to build a dam across Grand River on the northwest quarter of section 5 in Delta (1).”
- Durant, Samuel W. History of Ingham and Eaton Counties, Michigan with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Their Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: D.W. Ensign, 1880. Archive.org. Web. 31 May 2016. <https://archive.org/details/cu31924028870322>. p. 454
Have more to add? Or pictures of the bridge? Share them in the comments or email Tom Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Musgrove Evans, a government surveyor, originally platted Delta Township in 1827. Although it was not until 1835 that the first Township settlers arrived.
Musgrove Evans was born December 17, 1785, in Pennsylvania. He is most well known for his work as a surveyor and pioneering the settlement of one of Michigan’s first settlements, which became known as Tecumseh in Lenawee County (1). Evans was a surveyor and civil engineer who first explored the area in 1823 (2) after seeing an advertising campaign conducted in the East by Michigan’s Territorial Governor, Lewis Cass, in hopes of securing contracts to survey military roads that were to be built on routes used by Native Americans.
Evans eventually helped found the city of Tecumseh, Michigan. He built the first grist and saw mill in the town, and established the first mail route between Detroit and Chicago. After his first wife’s death in 1832 Evans began exploration in Texas and by 1834 he had relocated his family to Texas (2).
- http://historictecumseh.org/history/city-of-tecumseh/, 4/26/16
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