Mary Lowery Biddle
- Born: 10 May 1802, Pennsylvania
- Marriage (1): Robert Richart
- Died: 21 Oct 1877, Macon, Lenawee County, Michigan at age 75
- Buried: Macon Village Cemetery, Macon, Lenawee County, Michigan
Mary Biddle died of phthisic (aka Asthma).
Richart Family Notes: "Mary Lowrey Biddle and husband Robert Richart . . . [settled] in Macon, MI. [They came] "in 1846 or 47 from McEwensville [Northumberland County], PA. They arrived at the home of Gabriel Mills, a pioneer of 10 or 15 years before where they stayed overnight on August 31st which was Mary Ann's 16th birthday. . . . They took a boat of some kind at Erie, PA. But what kind of transportation they had to cross that mountainous country I do not know.
"Mary . . . was an invalid as far back as I can remember, and her easy seat all that distance from her home in Pennsylvania to Macon, MI was a wooden rocking chair, an old armed chair. She had lingering consumption, or what is called tuberculosis today. Grandfather Richart died a few years before she did. The records of their births and deaths are on their stones in the Macon Cemetery as well as [those of] the Biddle brothers living in Michigan and her sister Hester's family."
The following includes early Macon history:
Mrs. Mildred Moore, "Memoirs of Macon." [Macon, MI: Macon Community Club, 1959.]: In about 1827, John Pennington I and his family came over the "trail" [now the Tecumseh-Saline road from Detroit through Ypsilanti and Saline] to make their home in Raisin Township, Lenawee County, near the home of his brother-in-law, Darius Comstock. It was Spring, and the heavy "prairie schooner" wagon was weighted down with household belongings and farming equipment essential to starting a new home in the wilderness. For miles the wagon wheels cut hub deep through the mud as the two team of oxen struggled over the difficult route. For miles they had been unable to quench their thirst or that of the oxen, since the land was swamp broken by hills. Pushing over the summit of Mooney Hill, the smell of fresh water assailed them to the left a short distance over the top of the hill and to the left. The oxen dashed for the water, the rear team of oxen crowding forward and drinking along the front team. The water was a lake of deep water. [Macon's bottomless pond can be seen today , greatly diminished in size, but still fairly deep just over the fence across from the former Earl and Carrie Payne home on the Tecumseh-Macon road, owned in 1959 by Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Goodin. The pond is in the woods owned in 1959 by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Lopshire].
"In spite of all efforts to save it, one of the oxen was drowned and another nearly so. Night was approaching and Mr. Pennington was unable to continue his journey. The family made camp for the night on higher ground a short distance to the east of where the ox drowned [approximately across from where the Methodist Church now stands and on the site of the former Presbyterian Church; later, where the Mary Martha Chapel stood. The next day Mr. Pennington and his family resumed their journey into Raisin Township. But Pennington was impressed with the appearance of the land through which he had passed. After getting his family settled, he came back along the trail and took up 160 acres of land in Sections 5 and 8. He was the only settler between Saline and Macon.
"In 1829, part of his family moved into a shanty he had erected [where the home of Arthur Lopshire now  stands. During the winter of 1829-1830, he chopped off and cleared 23 acres of timber. In the spring of 1830, he plowed and planted a portion of the cleared acreage [the first ground plowed in the township]. Thus, Mr. Pennington and his family became the first settlers of what was to become Macon. In 1830, he took up another 160 acres adjoining his initial 160 acres. Pennington died in 1860. The village of Pennington's Corners [named for Pennington and the number of crossroads coming through it] was located on the land that Pennington acquired from the government. In about the same year following Pennington's arrival in what was to become Macon, Dr. Joseph Howell, Peter Sones, James Collins, William Hendershot, James and Gabriel Mills, Ira Stewart, Peter Miller, John Herriott, Simon Davidson, Daniel Clarkson, William Cadmus, Abraham Wheeler, Curtis Byrd, and Capt. Isaac Mills arrived and took up land as well.
"A thriving little settlement grew within three years. In 1833, Dr. Joseph Howell and Israel Pennington took up a petition to have the township set off from Tecumseh. The township was named Macon [Ma'con] after the name of a small stream that flowed from the northwest to the southeast corner of the township. The stream had its source in Snake Lake in Clinton Township, and flowed into Lake Erie in Monroe Township. The stream was named by a group of French surveyors who had worked their way up the streams from their fort at Monroe, exploring the surrounding territory. The village of Macon is the only one in the United States that uses the French pronunciation of Ma'con, rather than the pronunciation of 'Makin'.
"Israel Pennington, a son of the founder of Macon, was its first Postmaster. He had a large nursery and apple orchard on the Saline road north of Macon; the large pine trees still  standing are what is left of the nursery. It was the first nursery established west of the Allegheny Mountains. By 1874, the map of Macon shows the wagon shop, owned and operated by William Richart and located on the corner of Clinton and Ford roads. Cal Davenport and Sylvester Thomas were progressive farmers who owned and operated the first threshing machine in the township. At one time, Macon had four shoe shops where shoes were made, repaired, and copper-toed. The Krellman shoe shop was located at the point in the woods on Ford road just south of the Macon-Tecumseh road. The Langan shoe shop occupied the site at the point of the "flatiron" or "Y" formed by the intersection of the Clinton and Tecumseh roads. The Armigost shoe shop was west of where the gas station now  stands. It was run by Robert Culley who also had a copper shop in the same building. A broom factory was located on the David Boyd farm on the east side of the Ridge road.
"There was a hotel on the east side of Ridge road on the Harmon farm at the end of the Macon-Clinton road. The shingle factory was also located on the east side of the Ridge road, just south of Pennington road on the Nathan Greenfield farm. Mail was first left at the Easlick farm to be collected once or twice a week by the settlers on the surrounding farms. In 1858, the Lake Ridge post office, located a mile south of the shingle factory on the Ridge road near Welch road, was built by William Davenport.
"A cheese factory was built at the foot of the hill on the Lester Coller farm, about one-half mile south of Macon on the Tecumseh-Macon road. For many years the cooperative creamery and cheese factory was managed by John Roberts. At least a dozen wagons came daily, loaded with cream from the surrounding farms. Butter was made and sold to nearby towns. A large ice house was built near the Creamery [near the Paul Kollar farm] and winter employment provided by to the men who sawed iced on the nearby lakes. Albert Maples lived in the home now  owned by Mrs. David Bush. It had two small rooms in the rear of his residence, where he made furniture, picture frames, and coffins. The coffin shop was the only one for miles around, and Mr. Maples made coffins for the surrounding towns, including Clinton and Tecumseh.
"Macon had several doctors. Dr. Joseph Howell had his home where Mrs. Mary B. Howell now  lives, just east of the village on the north side of the road. His home was the first frame house in Macon. Dr. George Howell lived in the home of Frank and Clara Hendershot [now, in 1959, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Betzoldt on the north side of the Clinton-Macon Road]. Dr. Wood (who kept his cadaver in the waters of Macon Creek) had his home and office across the road from the Melvin Travis home on the Tecumseh-Macon road. Later, he sold this home to Dr. W. S. Morden who was in Macon several years before moving to Saline. Dr. J. W. Beardsley was the last doctor, having purchased his practice from Dr. Morden. Dr. Beardsley's family lived in the home west of the Carl Thomas home on Short Street.
"Milan Sage gave employment to many in the village when he built and ran the first saw mill and tile mill, where Boysville is now  located on the north side of Clinton-Macon road; 3/4ths of a mile east of Macon's main corners. Part of the structure of the original mill was reconstructed into the school of Boysville."
Richart Carriage Shop History [Vertical Files, Research Center, Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village: "The Richart's home in Macon was about ten miles southeast of Calvin Wood's tavern at Clinton." [See notes under Robert Richart.]
Noted events in her life were:
1. Residence: Macon, Lenawee County, Michigan.
Mary married Robert Richart. (Robert Richart was born on 7 Apr 1795 in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, died on 20 May 1875 in Macon, Lenawee County, Michigan and was buried in Macon Village Cemetery, Macon, Lenawee County, Michigan.)