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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Albert Baxter

Albert Baxter

GRHC - June 16th, 2010

(1823-1905) The father of Grand Rapids history, in his own words.    



Author of the treasured, 1891 History of Grand Rapids, Baxter penned and included his own modest biography. A brief portion follows:

Albert Baxter was born August 3, 1823, in a log cabin by the banks of Mad River in Moretown, Vermont.  His parents were poor, his father a farmer. In their poverty they were not envied, for they came honestly to that estate. 

Soon after he was twenty years of age he started west and reached Milwaukee with about $2.50 in his pocket. His savings, loaned to a friend, were lost.  In 1846 he came to Grand Rapids; loaned to a needy friend the little more that he had earned, and lost that.  February 22, 1849, he married Elvira, daughter of Joel Guild.  A daughter born of this union died young. 

In the summer of 1854 he abandoned his carriage-making and painting shop; and spent the next three quarters of a year in Vermont, in a fruitless effort to win back the health of his invalid wife who died in June of 1855.

That August he entered the newspaper office of the Grand Rapids Eagle, as business and editorial assistant and stayed until July of 1860; he again entered the Eagle office in 1865 and occupied the editorial chair for twenty-two consecutive years.

Financially he has been unsuccessful; with misfortune he is familiar, and likewise has personal knowledge of the distresses of many other people.  The result of his latest work - the most exacting, onerous and vexing labor of his life - is comprised within the lids of this book.


Full Details

TitleAlbert Baxter
KeywordsGlance at the Past, history, Albert Baxter, WYCE, Grand Rapids, Historical Commission, Podcast
Pubdate StringJune 16th, 2010

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