Two of us who created of this Web site are in Mrs. Washburn's fourth grade class at Holland Elementary School. Our class wrote short reports about people important to Michigan. We decided to publish the reports that we wrote as well as those written by our classmates.
Click on a name below or scroll through them all to read the facts about people important to the state of Michigan.
|Tim Allen||Gordie Howe - 2 reports|
|Lewis Cass||Earvin "Magic" Johnson - 3 reports|
|Ty Cobb||Charles Lindbergh|
|The Dodge Brothers||Madonna|
|Thomas Edison - 3 reports||Walter P. Reuther|
|Henry Ford - 5 reports||Sojourner Truth - 2 reports|
|Gerald Ford - 2 reports||Stevie Wonder|
To help us make this list of people more
complete we encourage you to send us your class' reports. We can
review them and add them to this list if appropriate. Or send us
the URL to your page and we will provide a link to it.
(Sorry, email address is outdated.)
By Michael N.
The person I am writing about is Tim Allen. He was born on June 13, 1953, in Denver, Colorado. He moved to Birmingham, Michigan when he was 13 years old. He graduated from Western Michigan University in 1975 with a degree in TV production. In 1979 Tim Allen became a Standup Comic. He has his own TV show called, Home Improvement. He is a famous movie star. He starred in The Santa Clause, Jungle 2 Jungle, and Toy Story.
I think Tim Allen is funny when he messes up on his show. His show is played in Detroit, Michigan. Tim Allen still lives in Michigan and in California with his wife and his daughter.
By Melissa P.
After the War of 1812, Lewis Cass became governor of the Michigan Territory. He hoped that the territory's population would soon reach the number necessary for statehood. However, new settlers required new lands to settle on. Now governor Cass hoped to buy even more land from the Native Americans. This would encourage more settlers from the east to make the trip to Michigan. In September 1819, Cass called a meeting of Michigan's chiefs to be held near what is now Saginaw. A huge council house was built, and almost 4,000 Native Americans came for the discussions. Cass told the Indians that the government wanted to buy 6 million acres of land. In return, he offered the Indians $3,000 in silver coins. When the Indians hesitated he reminded then that the President, "the Great White father in Washington has whipped the English Kings and the Indians too". Some of the Indians began to consider the offer. Michigan's Indians had been weakened by their losses during the war of 1812. Their British allies had left Michigan forever. At the same time, these Native Americans had grown more and more used to non-Indian goods such as guns, needles, pots and pans. Perhaps it made sense after all to accept the silver that Cass had offered. Also Cass was Michigan's governor from 1813 to 1931.
By Domnique, A.
Mr. Cobb was born December 18, 1886, in a small community in rural Georgia. He was famous for setting many records in professional baseball, such as 96 stolen bases in a single season. He also won 12 American league batting championships. Mr. Cobb died at the age of 74. He died in a hospital in Georgia. He left his wife and three children when he died. His wife was a housewife. He was the manager of the Detroit Tigers professional baseball team. He was also a captain in the U.S. Army. He made a wise investment in the Coca Cola Company. He was also voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
FRANCIS AND HORACE ELGIN
By Lee D.
Two brothers were important to Michigan. Their names were John Francis Dodge and Horace Elgin Dodge. They were born in Niles, Michigan. John was born in 1868 and died in 1920. Horace was born in 1864 and also died in 1920.
The Dodge brothers started in business by making bicycles in Windsor, Canada. They moved to Detroit and opened a machine shop. By 1901 they were making transmissions and engines for Oldsmobile. In 1903 Ford Motor Company started. The Dodge brothers built all the motors for the Ford car. After they refused to work for Henry Ford they opened their own car company. The Dodge plant opened in Hamtramck, Michigan in 1914. They produced one of the first American automobiles with an all steel body.
Horace Dodge invented many improvements for cars including an oven for baking enamel on a steel body. The Dodge company became part of the Chrysler Corporation in 1928.
By Kristina R.
Thomas Edison's middle name is Alva. He was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. When he was seven his family moved to Port Huron, Michigan. At age twelve he got a job selling newspapers, candy and other food on passenger trains between Port Huron and Detroit. He invented the light bulb, phonograph, and improvements on the telegraph, telephone, and motion pictures. Edison got 1,093 patents in the United States. The most anyone has gotten in the U.S..
Thomas Edison married his first wife, Mary Stilwell, on December 25, 1871. In the past she had worked at one of his companies. They had three kids, Marion Estelle, Thomas Alva Jr. and William Leslie. Mary died in 1884. Edison met Mina Miller in 1885, the daughter of a wealthy Ohio family. The next year he married her. They had three kids, Madeline, Charles, and Theodore. Of his six kids, Charles became the most famous. He was secretary of the U.S. Navy in 1940 and became governor of New Jersey from 1941 to 1944.
Edison kept working and experimenting while also suffering from several sicknesses in his last years. He died in his bed, at his home in Llewellyn Park, New Jersey on October 18, 1931. There are four historical sites and museums that honor him. They are his birthplace in Milan, Ohio and his winter home in Fort Meyers, Florida, the Melno Park Laboratory, which Henry Ford moved to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. The National Park Services takes care of Edison's National Historic Site at West Orange, New Jersey.
EDISON, THOMAS ALVA
By Justin B.
Thomas Alva Edison was born in 1847, he died in 1931.
Edison made the first practical light bulb in 1879.
He made the first movies in 1893. They only lasted 15 seconds. Only one person could watch at a time. They had to use a machine called a kinetoscope.
The very first sound recordings were made in1877. The first words ever recorded were, "Mary had a little lamb", spoken by Edison himself. He called this invention a phonograph.
He did this without electricity. He took a waxed cylinder and he laid a needle on it. He connected a small hose to the needle. The smaller hose was connected to a bigger hose with a funnel at the end. He spoke into the funnel and the sound vibrations moved the needle. They made grooves in the wax.
He also developed a better microphone that improved the sound of the telephone.
Thomas Alva Edison was a great American inventor. His inventions made and improved everyday things.
EDISON, THOMAS ALVA
By Shannon S.
Thomas Alva Edison was one of the greatest inventors in American history. He was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan , Ohio. Thomas Edison had one older brother named William Pitt Edison and a sister named Fannie Edison.
Thomas Edison only attended formal school for three months. After that he was home taught by his mother. Also at the age of 15 he had an accident that injured his ears and later made him become deaf. But these things did not stop him from becoming a great and famous inventor.
During his life he patented over 1,150 inventions. Some of his most famous inventions were the telegraph systems, typewriter, mimeograph, phonograph, kinetoscope, and the most notable invention, the electric lightbulb. In New Jersey, Edison built two research laboratories named Menlo Park and West Orange. In these labs teams of workers worked on problems instead of working alone. This was the beginnings of today's research labs.
In Michigan at Greenfield Village and Museum they have areas dedicated to Edison. For example, a re-creation of Menlo Park. They even have Edison's last breathe in a bottle.
In 1873 Edison married Mary Stilwell and had three children named Thomas Alva Jr., William Leslie, and Marion Estelle. Mary died in 1884. He then remarried in 1886 to Mina Miller and had three more children, Charles, Madeline and Theodore.
Thomas Edison was greatly admired and best friends with Henry Ford. He died in 1931. Many people thought he was a genius and so do I. So every time you turn on a light switch and a light bulb goes on you can thank Thomas Edison.
By Angela H.
Henry Ford was born July 30, 1863 in Dearborn, Michigan. Henry was first of six children born in his family. Henry went to school in a one room schoolhouse.
Henry lived on a farm but he didn't care much for farm work. He liked fixing machinery. In 1888 Henry got married to Clara Bryant. They had one son named Edsel Ford, he was born in 1893.
Henry moved his family to Detroit, Michigan to become an engineer. In 1891 he became an engineer. In 1896 he invented the Quadricylce and the Duryea. In 1903 Henry developed the Ford Motor Company.
In 1908 he invented the first assembly line and the Model T Ford, sometimes called the Tin Lizzy. It only came in the color black. His great success with the Model T Ford made him the first millionaire in the United States. In 1928 he invented the Model A car.
Henry turned Ford Motor Company over to his son Edsel in 1919. His son died in 1943 and Henry took over Ford Motor Company again.
In 1945 he made his oldest grandson, Henry II, president of Ford Motor Company. In 1947 Henry Ford died, he was 84 years old.
Many historic sites are dedicated to Henry Ford such as the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Florida and the Henry Ford Museum at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.
By Jared V.
Around the year 1884, my great, great, great uncle Matthias Assenmacher was asked by his landlord to look for another house to rent. The landlord wanted to give the forty acre farm to his son, Henry Ford. He was hoping Henry would settle down to farming and forget about the machine business. That plan failed, but Henry Ford's success can be seen to this day, 1998, with Ford cars on roads all over the world.
Henry was born on July 30, 1863 in Dearborn, Michigan. When he was small, he helped out on the farm. But he was really fascinated with machines and watches! Since he was 16, Henry had jobs like a mechanic, watch maker, steam-engine and farmer. He married CLara Jane Bryant in 1888 and had one son named Edsel. After 2 years, he took a job at the Detroit Edison Company as an engineer. All the while he spent his spare time working on his automobile.
In 1896, Henry Ford finished his first working car. By 1903 Ford organized the Ford Motor Company. His plan was to make simple, sturdy cars that average people could afford. He became a leading automotive pioneer by using an assembly line for mass production. This saved time and money as the parts moved along a belt to the workers who had only one job to do. He eventually produced his own parts as well as glass and steel.
Henry Ford did a lot for his workers too. He paid them more than twice what other workers made at that time. He shortened their work day to only 8 hours. He also started a profit sharing plan which set aside part of the company's profits for his employees.
Henry Ford did many other things in his life. He built a hospital in Detroit. He set up Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn with exhibits in history, science, industry and art. Henry and his son set up the Ford Foundation which gives money grants for education and research.
Henry Ford died in Dearborn on April 7, 1947 at the age of 84.
By Samantha W.
Ford is the name of the family that built the Ford Motor Company into one of the largest industrial companies in the world. Henry Ford developed the Model T and sold it at a price the average person could afford and he also invented the assembly line.
He began building his first engine in about 1890 and finished his first gasoline engine in 1893. He completed his first automobile in 1896. It is on display at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Henry had one son, Edsel Bryant, born in 1893. Henry semi-retired and Edsel took over as president of the company in 1919. Henry took back the presidency when Edsel died in 1943. His grandson took over as president in 1945.
Henry died in 1947 in Dearborn, Michigan.
By Ravinder G.
His full name is Henry Ford. Henry Ford was born on July 30, 1863. He is most known as an inventor and an industrialist who made the modern automobile affordable for American families and he also founded the American automotive industry. He completed his first car in 1896.
Henry Ford married Clara Bryant in 1888. Their son Edsel Ford was born November 6, 1893. Henry Ford was the owner of Ford Motor Company until 1919 when he turned the company over to his son Edsel. Mr. Ford became the president again in 1943 after his son's death.
When the United States entered the war in 1917 his plants switched to war production. In 1891 Henry Ford became an engineer at the Edison Illumination Company in Detroit. Mr. Ford incorporated Ford Motor Company on June 16, 1903 which was capitalized for $100,000 with 12 stockholders.
There is a Henry Ford Museum, the Henry Ford Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Estate - Fairlane in Dearborn, Michigan.
Efficient production line methods enabled him to cut the costs of this products while simultaneously increasing wages so that his employees were the highest paid in the industry.
Henry Ford was 83 years old when he died in Dearborn, Michigan on April 7, 1947.
By Natalie C.
Henry Ford was born in 1863 and died in 1947. When Henry was 12 his mom died. He had helped on his family's farm in the summer and winter a lot. For school he attended only a one room schoolhouse.
Ford was the first man to invent the Ford car. He built his first car in a shed behind his house. In 1899 Ford helped organize the Detroit Automobile Company which built cars to order. In 1903 Henry organized Ford Motor Company with only $28,000 raised in cash. This cash came from 12 other stockholders.
By Julie K.
Gerald R. Ford was born as Leslie L. King Jr. on July 14, 1913. His mother, Dorothy King, divorced the next year and she moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan where she married Gerald R. Ford. The stepfather adopted the boy and gave him his name. Ford went to South High School in Grand Rapids where he won all city, all state football honors. He went to the University of Michigan and became a star linebacker and graduated in 1935. He turned down offers to play for the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. He went to Yale University Law school. He went into the Navy and eventually became lieutenant commander. Then he went back to practicing law.
In 1948 he married Elizabeth Bloomer and they had four children. He was elected to congress in 1948. In 1973 he was chosen Vice President of the United States. Ford became President of the United States in 1974 after President Nixon resigned. So that made him the 38th President. Then Ford lost the election in 1976 to Jimmy Carter and retired to Michigan and California.
By Beth O.
My report an famous people in Michigan's History is on Gerald Ford.
His full name is Gerald Rudolph Ford. He was born on July 14, 1913 in Omaha, Nebraska. His father's name is Leslie Lynch King, whom Gerald Ford was named after. When he was 2 his parents divorced. His mom remarried to Gerald R. Ford who adopted her son and gave him his name. His mom died in 1967.
He won all-city and all-state honors in football. When Ford graduated with a liberal arts degree in 1935, he refused offers from the Green Bar Packers and the Detroit Lions to play professional football. He decided instead to coach football and boxing at Yale University. Ford coached at Yale from 1935-1940. In 1938 he began to take law courses, and he was in the top third of his class when he received his degree from Yale Law School in 1941.
A natural athlete, Ford kept up his interest in sports and fitness. Past the age of 60 he still liked to swim daily; and he skied, golfed, and played tennis. Ford was admitted to the bar in 1941 and practiced law for a short time before joining the United States Navy in April 1942. He served for 47 months. Ford had the rank of lieutenant commander. He returned to Grand Rapids and his law practice; but he was interested in politics. His war time experience made him think more about the role of the United States in the world.
In 1948 Ford ran against Bartel Jonkman. Ford won by a 2 to 1 margin. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He continued to win 12 more elections. In 1968 Ford served as a member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Ford was sworn in as 40th Vice President of the United States. When President Nixon resigned Ford became President. On August 20th Ford selected Nelson Rockefeller to be Vice President and he was sworn into office on December 19, 1974. This was the first time in history we had a President and a Vice President not elected by the people of the United States.
On September 8, 1974 Ford granted a pardon to Nixon for all crimes he might have done while in office. A lot of people did not like this. There were two attempts on Ford's life in 1975. He was not harmed in either incident. In 1974 Ford was the first American President to visit Japan. Ford ran for re-election in 1976 which he lost. In 1980 Ford was asked to run as Ronald Reagan's Vice President, but he decided not to.
Through friends he met his wife Elizabeth (Betty) Blommer Warren. She was born in Chicago, April 8, 1918. She and Ford were married October 15, 1948. They had three sons and a daughter. They are Michael Gerald born 1950, John Gardner born 1952, Steven Meigs born 1956, and Susan Elizabeth.
By Brian V.
Gordie Howe was nicknamed "Mr. Hockey".
Gordie Howe was born on March 31, 1928. He was born in Floral, Saskatchewan. He played hockey for thirty four years.
Howe was the first player to score 1,000 goals. He played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1946 to 1971.
Howe set all kinds of National Hockey League records. Later, Wayne Gretzky, "the Great One", would break all of them.
Gordie Howe won six National Hockey League scoring titles and won the Hart Trophy as Most Valuable Player six times. Howe was inducted into Hockey's Hall of Fame in 1972.
Howe's jersey is one out of five that is retired.
Gordie Howe retired from hockey in 1980 at the age of fifty two.
By Jeremy V.
Gordan Howe was born the sixth of nine children to Albert and Katherine Howe in Floral, Saskatchewan in 1928. His playing height was 6 feet. His weight was 204 pounds. Gordie was captain of the Detroit Red Wings from from 1958-59 through 1961-62. Gordie won four consecutive scoring titles. In 1973 Gordie Howe shocked everyone by coming out of retirement to join his sons Mark and Marty on the World Hockey Association's Aeros. In 1977 he became the first player to score 1,000 career goals. He skated 25 years for the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. Howe was a right wing. He won six scoring titles. He holds the record for the most seasons played with 26.
Gordie Howe leads the National Hockey League with the most goals at 801 until Wayne Gretzky broke the record in 1994. Also in 1977 Howe joined The New England Whalers and remained with the team through it's 1978 move to Hartford and the N.H.L.. Howe retired in 1980 at the age of 52. Howe had a remarkably long career covering over five decades. For all these reasons Gordie Howe is called "Mr. Hockey". He still live here in Michigan.
JOHNSON, EARVIN Jr.
By Clayton L.
My famous person of Michigan is Earvin Johnson Jr., better known as "Magic" Johnson. Earvin was born on August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan. He was the middle child of seven children.
He was given the nickname Magic by a sportswriter in Lansing. Magic earned his name, the young star played a great game scoring 36 points, 18 rebounds, 14 assists, and 5 steals all in one game. He played for Michigan State University and won the NCAA Championship. He turned pro with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1979.
During the 1981-82 season Magic became the third player to have more than 700 points, assists, and rebounds in the same season. He has been named the NBA's most valuable player three times.
Magic played with the U.S. Olympic basketball team winning the gold in Barcelona.
One of Magic's happiest days is when he married his wife named Cookie. Magic and Cookie have a son named Earvin Johnson III.
One of Magic's saddest days was when he announced that he was HIV positive on November 7, 1991.
Magic Johnson used to play professional basketball now he works with the Special Olympics to help mentally retarded children and he also heads the Magic Johnson Foundation dedicated to AIDS research. He speaks and educates people about HIV and AIDS and what you can do to avoid AIDS.
By Matt S.
Earvin Johnson was born in Lansing, Michigan. He had 3 brother and 5 sisters. He also had a stepbrother named Michael who lived with the family part of the time.
His father Earvin Sr. was born in Wesson, Mississippi. His father worked two full time jobs, one of which was in the automobile industry. His mother's name was Christine.
Earvin got his nickname "Magic" in high school. He got many offers to go to many different colleges, but decided to go to Michigan State University. He played college basketball. When he graduated from college Magic decided to move to Los Angeles, California to play professional basketball which he's known for.
He played for the Dream Team four years ago in the Olympics. After the Olympics he met his soon to be wife. After they married they had two children.
Soon afterwards they found out Magic was diagnosed with HIV. Even though he was diagnosed it did not break the family up. They are still together living in Los Angeles.
By Chris S.
Magic Johnson is one of the best National Basketball Association players. He was born in August, 1959. He grew up in Lansing, Michigan. He started to play great even as a 15 year old kid. His real name is Earvin Johnson. They call him "Magic" Johnson because he is amazing. He got that name in high school. His high school team and college team always seemed to win when he was in the line-up. He attended Michigan State University. He led the Spartans to a 25/5 record.
Magic Johnson started professional basketball in 1979. He led the Los Angeles Lakers to win five NBA championships in ten seasons. He is 6 foot 9 inches tall and he was the tallest point guard in the league history. He was an 11 time All-Star. He retired in 1991 when he found out he had tested positive for the HIV virus. He came back to basketball as a player and a coach before he retired again. He also played basketball in the 1992 Olympics.
He is married and has a family. He is now a successful businessman and works in his community. He is one of the greatest players. I am proud he is from Michigan.
By David H.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born February 4, 1902 in Detroit, Michigan. He died in 1974. Charles was an U.S. aviation pioneer who made the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He flew from New York all the way to Paris in 1924 in the monoplane called the Spirit of St. Louis. This flight brought him world wide attention.
Charles had a book called the Spirit of St. Louis. The book won a Pulitzer prize in 1954.
Charles was married to Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Anne was born in 1906 and was also the author of many books. Charles had a family, he had a little boy that was two when he was kidnapped and murdered. That was in 1932. After that Charles moved with his wife to Europe to get away from the publicity.
By Natalie K.
Madonna Louise Ciccone was born in Bay City, Michigan on August 16, 1958. She graduated from Rochester Adams High School. Madonna moved to New York hoping to become famous. She worked in a doughnut shop, she danced in Alvin Ailey Organization. She even did some small movies to pay for her rent. Then in the early 1980's she finally made it to the top. She's now known as the "Material Girl". She's also known for her singing, dancing and movies. She was married to actor Sean Penn in 1985, They are now divorced. She now lives in Miami, Florida with her 16 month old daughter and Madonna loves being a mom.
REUTHER, WALTER P.
By Danny G.
Walter Philip Reuther was born on the day before Labor Day, 1907 in Wheeling, West Virginia. His parents were born in Germany. He had three brothers and one sister. When he was 14 he went to Detroit, Michigan to work in an automobile plant.
Walter Reuther was famous for being the president of the United Automobile Workers. Walter believed in labor unions all his life. A labor union is a group of workers who unite to get better money and better things. In 1937 Reuther and other union people were beaten up at the famous "Battle of the Overpass" by men hired by the Ford Motor Company. Walter died in 1970 in a plane crash with his wife May on the way to Black Lake, Michigan. They had two children, Elizabeth and Linda.
By Tiffany D.
Sojourner Truth was born on a Dutch farm in Ulster County, New York. The farm was owned by Colonel Johannes Hardenbergh. When he saw her he said she'd made a sturdy worker, for he owned the biggest farm in Ulster County.
When Sojourner was born, she was given the name of Isabelle which she shortened to Belle. She never did know what day, month, or year she was born. Slaves birthdates were never recorded because it never was important to the owner and her parents had no way of knowing the calendar year. He birth was probably around 1747.
By 1828 New York had freed all of its slaves. By that time Sojourner had known many masters. Being sold at an auction at the age of 15 or 16, she had watched her parents die of neglect, hunger and old age.
She had been forced to marry some one she did not love and to bear children to increased stock for her master. At the age of 46 she left her domestic servant job and set out to preach the work of God and teach against slavery.
That is where she took the name of Sojourner Truth - to declare the truth unto the people. She quickly became an outstanding figure at religious and anti-slave meetings with such leading abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison. She could electrify her audiences and at the same time manage to irritate those who disagreed with her.
Sojourner Truth worked helping black Americans gain freedom as they came north from the south looking for work or freedom. She became a legend in her time in a fight that still continues today. Sojourner died in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was buried next to the Kellogg's Company.
By Lauren W.
Sojourner Truth was born around 1897 in Ulster County, New York. Her given name was Isabella (Baumfree) Van Wagner after her "owner". In 1827, New York State freed all slaves which meant Isabella could go and do whatever she wanted to. She left Ulster County with two of her five children and went to New York City where she became a crusader against slavery and later for women's rights.
She preached for 34 years in 21 states and attended the first national women's rights convention in the United States. In 1864, she visited Abraham Lincoln in the White House.
After the Civil War, she devoted herself to finding jobs for former slaves and worked to bring a better standard of living to all black people. She died on November 26, 1883 in Battle Creek, Michigan. Little is known about her children.
By Jessica S.
Steveland Morris was born on May 13,1950 in Saginaw, Michigan. Steveland Morris is famous for being a blind composer, singer and a recording star. Steveland Morris had a wife and they had no children. They divorced and he married Syreeta. When they were together Syreeta and Steveland both sang.
One interesting fact is that Stevie had 10 Musical Awards all together. Another interesting fact is that he has five brothers and a sister.
He was born premature and his early birth lead to total blindness. One last interesting fact is that one day Stevie was in the car with his cousin and Stevie went to sleep. His cousin was driving in back of a logging truck. I t was weaving from side to side so he decided to pass the truck. When he was trying to pass it, the truck started going faster and a log fell out and hit Stevie Wonder in the head. He got a big cut and went into a coma for about 8 days.
One more thing is that he is still composing albums and travels around the world.