Notable Persons

Elijah Woodworth 

Elijah Woodworth Portrait

Pen and ink drawing of Elijah Woodworth about 1841

Elijah Woodworth was born 26 Jan 1792 in Mayfield, Montgomery Co., N.Y., Afterwards a resident of Cayuga County, and a soldier in the war of 1812, removed to Michigan from Aurelius, Cayuga Co., in the fall of 1835. His route lay through Canada, and the journey occupied twenty-one days of time. During the winter the family remained in Jackson County, with Mr. WOODWORTH's cousin, George WOODWORTH. In March 1836, Elijah WOODWORTH cut his road part way through Leslie, and finally arrived in the township. He crossed Grand River on a raft. He says:

"My nearest neighbors north were at De Witt, Clinton Co.; south, four miles, and east and west none but natives that I knew of. During the summer new-comers in pursuit of homes found my habitation. Each had his name booked as he came to the door, and his turn of choice of land followed his registry.”

The settlement was first known as Meekersville and later known as Leslie.

Elijah’s first wife passed away and he remarried within a few months which upset his family greatly.

Elijah was a very religious man for the most part. In reading his diary he seems to be one with many interests and beliefs. Elijah was the first person arrested in Ingham County for disturbing a meeting of the Methodists. He would call out people to debate the Bible on street corners.  

Elijah passed away 23 Dec 1886, in Wheatfield Township, Ingham County, Michigan.

Before his death Elijah made detailed plans for his funeral. He also had his headstone placed and authored the text on it.

Woodworth Plaque

Woodworth Tombstone

Holling Clancy Holling 


August 2, 1900 – September 7, 1973

Born in 1900 in Jackson County, Michigan he attended Leslie Schools.  Holling graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1923. A number of his early works were first published by P. F. Volland & Co. He worked in the taxidermy department of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and spent time working in anthropology under Dr. Ralph Linton.

During this period, he married Lucille Webster and within a year of their marriage accepted a position as art instructor on the first University World Cruise, sponsored by New York University. For many years, Holling dedicated much of his time and interest to making books for children. Much of the material he used was known to him firsthand. His wife, Lucille, worked with him on many of the illustrations.

The Leslie Area Historical Society has one of the largest collections of Holling memorabilia and artifacts.  A research specialist Joan Hoffman who is an expert in Holling and his life is on staff.

Paddle to the Sea Book Cover

David James Latter 

David James Latter

David James Latter Basketball

David Latter was an American professional basketball player and baseball player.

David was a standout in both a Basketball and Baseball Player. He excelled in both sports in High School.  His skills were well documented in the media and his abilities were acknowledged. In High School Basketball, he was second in the league in points in 1938.   He was well known through-out the league for his skills.

After High School he played minor league baseball with both the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers farm teams.   In 1941 at 18 years old David signed with the Detroit Tigers and pitched for the Muskegon Club and the Texarkana Twins farm teams. In 1948-1952 David played for the New York Yankees farm teams the Binghamton Triplets and the Beaumont Roughnecks.

David played in the National Basketball League for the Detroit Gems and in 1946 -1947 he was the top scorer for the season. He scored 321 points. In 1947-1948, he played for the St Joseph, Missouri Outlaws.  However, in 1948-49, he came back and played for the Detroit Vagabond Kings. 

David Latter passed away in 2000.

Voltairine de Cleyre 

November 17, 1866 – June 20, 1912

Born in the small town of Leslie, Michigan, she moved with her family to St. Johns, Michigan, where she lived with her unhappily married parents in extreme poverty. Her father Hector Auguste de Cleyre named her after the famed French Enlightenment author Voltaire.

At age 12, her father placed her in a Catholic convent school in SarniaOntario, because he thought it would give her a better education than the public schools. This experience resulted in her embracing atheism rather than Christianity. Of her time spent there, she said "it had been like the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and there are white scars on my soul, where ignorance and superstition burnt me with their hell fire in those stifling days". She tried to run away by swimming across the St. Clair River to Port Huron, Michigan and hiking 17 miles, but she met friends of her family. They contacted her father and sent her back to the convent.  Family ties to the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad, the harsh and unrelenting poverty of her childhood and being named after the philosopher Voltaire, all contributed to the radical rhetoric that she developed shortly after adolescence. After schooling in the convent, de Cleyre moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. She got involved in the strongly anti-clerical freethought movement by lecturing and contributing articles to freethought periodicals, eventually becoming the editor of freethought newspaper The Progressive Age.


Portrait of De Cleyre


Flier advertising a memorial event held a few days after De Cleyre's death

During her time in the freethought movement in the mid and late 1880s, de Cleyre was especially influenced by Thomas PaineMary Wollstonecraft and Clarence Darrow. Other influences were Henry David Thoreau and labor leaders Big Bill Haywood and Eugene Debs. After the 1887 execution of several Haymarket protesters in Chicago, although the police were documented as causing the deaths at the riot, she became an anarchist. "Till then I believed in the essential justice of the American law of trial by jury", she wrote in an autobiographical essay, "After that I never could".

De Cleyre died from septic meningitis on June 20, 1912, at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital in ChicagoIllinois

Judge Arthur J. Tuttle 

Judge Arthur J Tuttle Portrait

November 8, 1868 – December 2, 1944

Born in LeslieMichigan, Tuttle received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree from the University of Michigan in 1892 and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Michigan Law School in 1895. He was in private practice in Leslie and Lansing, Michigan from 1895 to 1899. He was prosecuting attorney of Ingham County, Michigan from 1899 to 1902 and a member of the Michigan Senate from 1907 to 1910.  He was United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan from 1911 to 1912.

On August 2, 1912, Tuttle was nominated by President William Howard Taft to a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan vacated by Judge Alexis Caswell Angell. Tuttle was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 6, 1912, and received his commission the same day. Tuttle served in that capacity until his death on December 2, 1944. He was the last federal judge who continued to serve in active service appointed by President Taft. He was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Leslie.