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A HISTORY OF LEXINGTON
The writing of a history has been likened to a game of building blocks and it is rarely the case that any two builders will work out the same pattern. What is interesting to one person is commonplace to another, and if one were to write only of the laudable things and withhold all revelation of faults, the result would be a mere silhouette rather than a true picture.
Dr. Walter P. Brown who came to Lexington in 1853, and who had a natural wit and philosophy rarely equaled was often heard to remark that "Nature has endowed Lexington with more beauty than any place in Michigan. There will be a perfect town here some day."
To make it a perfect town all must unite in adding more blocks to the splendid building established by those settlers of one hundred years ago, and in order to build sanely, with true patriotism, each should get to the root of the town’s history and traditions.
There are probably in Lexington today a number of people who know little about the past history of the village, its early struggles and triumphs. The man who has no knowledge of the history or traditions of his family, his town, his state or his country, and regards these things of no account, can never rise to the higher levels of citizenship.
When in 1805 Sir Walter Scott wrote his "Lay of the Last Minstrel," he inserted this powerful appeal for patriotism:
"Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go mark him well,
For him no minstrel raptures swell,
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish could claim,
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch concentered all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And doubly dying shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonor’d and unsung."
We who live in Lexington today owe a great debt to those before us who forced their way into a vast wilderness to discover its wealth of natural resources, and who wrought it into the village we enjoy today.
What has been done in the past is both an incentive and a challenge to the present generation to carry on to still greater achievements.
We should feel proud in the fact that we are successors of those brave men and women who redeemed from a savage wilderness this splendid region and hung upon it like a jewel of decoration the beautiful village of Lexington.
An earnest endeavor has been made to trace every family and tradition connected with the early history of Lexington. If there are omissions, it is because records could not be found, so those who read are asked to bear with any shortcomings.