|Headline from Kalamazoo Gazette, July 9, 1916
I am reminded of the importance of looking closely at all of the family members and their actions and activities. Rufus Holton Darling was born about 1816 and died in 1857. He had several children including a spinster daughter, Miss Emma (Emily) Darling (1852-1918). The Kalamazoo Gazette, dated July 9, 1916, mentions that,
“These were the early days in the history of Kalamazoo and it is only a few who now remember that the first store built in Kalamazoo was that of Goss and Darling on Main and Burdick street, built by Rufus H. Darling and David Swayze. This corner was only at that time a wooded spot.”
I had known that Rufus operated the Goss and Darling general store, but didn’t know that it was the first store built in Kalamazoo and that Rufus and his father-in-law, David Swayze built it.
Later in the article, Miss Emma reflects,
“My father had the contract for building the Michigan Central railway from Michigan City through to Grass Lake and on its completion a banquet was given for which [she had] the original invitations sent to [her] parents.”
I knew that shortly after the Michigan Central railway came through Kalamazoo, Rufus worked for them. However, I didn’t know that he actually built the railroad through Kalamazoo.
The article goes on to describe the excitement of the first train that arrived in Kalamazoo on a Sunday morning and how its arrival emptied the churches that day. It is a great article and a great find that fills in more of the detail regarding Rufus and family.
for having the Kalamazoo Gazette in its records.