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p16210coll4

About this collection

Henry Howland Crapo (1804-1869), after a successful career in New Bedford, Massachusetts, as a teacher, clerk, publisher, and horticulturalist, began in the 1850s to invest in Michigan public lands.  He purchased pine lands in Lapeer County, and in order to develop them, he and his family moved to Flint in 1858.  He built a sawmill and built a rail connection to Detroit, and his lumber output soon made him wealthy.  He served as mayor of Flint, as state senator, and, from 1865 to 1869, as governor of Michigan.  He also drained land near what is now Swartz Creek and established Crapo Farm, which passed to his son William Wallace Crapo and his descendants and remained in the family until 1955.  His grandson William Crapo Durant organized the Buick Motor Company, largely with investment capital from family members.  Most of Henry H. Crapo's papers went to the Michigan Historical Collections (Bentley Historical Library) in 1935.  This collection consists of various letters, paper ephemera, and photographs donated by descendants of Crapo.  The collection includes some biographies and letters of Crapo's son-in-law, Dr. James C. Willson; photographs and other material concerning Crapo Farm, and miscellaneous other material.

 
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