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 Sarah Eddy <I>Bowen</I> Hussey

Sarah Eddy Bowen Hussey

Death 25 Mar 1899 (aged 91)
Burial Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA
Plot Lot 284, Rt. 5
Memorial ID 15330536 · View Source
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The following is the obituary for Sarah's husband Erastus. Reprinted here to give history on the family.

Calhoun Co Pioneer Deaths as reported in 1889 to the Michigan Historical and Pioneer Society (pgs. 70-85)

Hon. Erastus HUSSEY died at his residence, corner of Washington and Manchester streets, Battle Creek, Jan. 21, 1889, aged 88 years, one month and sixteen days.

Erastus Hussey was born at Scipio, Cayuga county, NY, Dec. 5, 1800. His ancestry can be traced far back in English history, Christopher Hussey the first of the name to come to this country, being a refugee from religious persecution at an early date in the history of this country. The family characteristics are marked, and embrace sociability, benevolence and generosity, combined with a strong love of freedom and equality. These characteristics were very noticeable in the subject of this sketch, and were the prime incentives that prompted him to come to the then-wilds of Michigan territory.

Erastus Hussey's boyhood and early manhood were spent on a farm, on the east shore of Cayuga lake. His educational advantages were limite; only reading, spelling, writing and arithmetic being taught in the schools he attended at certain seasons of the year. He had access, however, to a library of well assorted books on historical and other subjects, of which he availed himself to the fullest extent at his leisure, and thus attained a good knowledge of profane and sacred history, which prepared him for becoming a teacher. By his profession he earned the then munificent sum of $225, with which he started for Buffalo on foot, where he shipped for Detroit, arriving at the latter city Sept. 25, 1824. He became the first actual settler in what is now Plymouth, the northwest township of Wayne county. Returning subsequently to New York State, he married Sarah E. BOWEN, daughter of Benjamin Bowen, also, of Cayuga county, and whose family, like his own, dates back to the early settlers of New England. Mrs. Hussey survives her husband. After a journey back to New York State with his family, Mr. Hussey disposed of his 160 acre farm at Plymouth, which now contained seventy-five acres of wheat land that he himself had cleared, and decided to make Battle Creek his home. He came to this place in September 1838.

Having been formerly engaged in the manufacture of shoes, he entered into partnership with Platt GILBERT in that business and groceries, continuing one year. In 1839 he fitted up a store and engaged in the dry goods business. This he continued several years. In 1843 Henry B. DENMAN became his partner, and afterwards married his daughter. The firm of Hussey & Denman continued until 1847, when it dissolved by mutual consent, Mr. Hussey closing up the affairs. During this same year he built the union block, the first brick stores ever built in this (then) village. He was the first to advocate the propriety of schools supported by general tax, thus making education free.

Mr. Hussey was a trustee of this school system and a director three years. In 1847 he became editor of the Michigan Liberty Press, an organ of the Liberty party in the State, printed by Woolnough & Daugherty, but afterward established on a basis of its own with Mr. Hussey in entire charge. The motto of the paper was "Eternal enmity to all kinds of oppression." The responsibility was great, as, the press and public opinion waged war against any one who interfered with the rights of slaveholders. In politics Mr. Hussey was a Whig, and his first vote was cast for John Quincy Adams.

He took charge of the underground railroad which passed through this section and was a means of running runaway slaves beyond the reach of their masters. In this movement he was very prominent, and became well known the entire length of the line by his indefatigable zeal in the objects of the institution. In 1849 the Liberty Press and all its fixtures were destroyed by fire, and after issuing a few numbers in Marshall, Mr. Hussey discontinued the paper.

Mr. Hussey was active in the political field, was a good debater, and was often called upon to preside at public meetings. In 1849 the Free Soil party elected him to the legislature, where he introduced the bill incorporating the village of Battle Creek, which was passed. In 1850 he was elected county clerk by a union of the Whigs and Free Soilers. In 1852 he was nominated for Lieutenant Governor, on the Free Soil ticket, but was defeated. In 1854 he presided over a Free Soil convention, at Jackson [Jackson, MI], which is said to have given birth to the Republican party. In the fall of the same year Mr. Hussey became a member of the State senate.

In 1859 Battle Creek became a city, and Mr. Hussey was one of the first aldermen. In 1867 he was elected mayor. In 1873 he sold his home, the site being now occupied by the Advent College, and the following year he moved into the present home. Deceased was a member of the Society of Friends, and believed in the inward light, as taught by George Fox that the grace of God was preached to all men, teaching the denying of ungodliness, and that they may live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. He believed that God teaches men directly; that revelation has not ceased, and that all men have a knowledge of right and wrong in themselves through the eternal principle, Christ. For no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and him to whom the Son revealeth Him.

Mr. Hussey's eventful and busy life has ended, and at the ripe age of 89 he lays down the cross to accept the crown. With Mr. Hussey's life disappears one of the living testimonials of Michigan's territorial existence, its experiences and hardships and the rewards which it granted to those who submitted to its early inconveniences and privations. His life was closely identified with the early history of the State and this locality in particular.

Family Members

Gravesite Details Burial Date is listed.





  • Created by: Debra Stanley
  • Added: 13 Aug 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 15330536
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sarah Eddy Bowen Hussey (24 Jan 1808–25 Mar 1899), Find A Grave Memorial no. 15330536, citing Oak Hill Cemetery, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Debra Stanley (contributor 46789848) .