7-27-15-Mattie AxtellThe 365 Project, Monday, July 27, 2015

Beginning in the 1970s numerous new subdivisions replaced the farm fields and cow pastures that had dominated the Troy Township landscape. This week the 365 Project will explore the people and stories behind the names of some of Troy’s residential streets and avenues.


Many of the pioneers who carved farmsteads from the heavily forested land in troy Township arrived from upstate New York. In the 1800s a pioneer could purchase an 80 acre parcel and the promise of fertile soil for $100.


  • Axtell Mattie Axtell, the daughter of Ephraim and Fanny (Morris) Axtell, was born on February 16, 1870 in Macomb. As a young woman, she married Harry Wattles of Troy Township. Their only son, Morris, served as Troy Township Supervisor and oversaw the construction of the 1927 Township Hall.


  • Butler Alva Butler sailed from Buffalo New York to Detroit in 1822 and purchased an 80 acre parcel in Troy Township in 1824. He married Hulda Bissel that same year. Butler was elected as a road overseer for his district in the first Troy Township election in 1827.


  • Hill Elisha Hill a native of New York State came to Troy Township at the age of 21 in 1832 with $109.50 and an “old team.” He purchased a quarter Section of land in Section 13 for $950 with a down payment of $50, and received 20 cents/bushel for his first crop of oats. To support his family, Elisha also chopped wood for 3 shillings/cord. A successful farmer, he built a brick home, which still stands, on John R.


  • Perrin Calvin Perrin, a native of Ontario County New York settled in Section 32 (southwest corner) of Troy Township around 1832. He died there and was buried in the Perrin burial ground. Perrin Cemetery is on Coolidge between 14 and 15 Mile Roads.



Mattie Axtell Wattles with baby Morris


Sources: THV Biographical files




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