Albion Interactive History / People / Clarissa Brockway

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People

Brockway, Clarissa Porter, 1817
    Died July 4, 1871

Clarissa Porter was born in Ovid, New York, in 1817. In 1836, Clarissa, then living in Mount Clemens, married William H. Brockway, a Methodist Episcopal minister. She became a valuable helpmate, sharing both the privations of a pioneer preacher’s lot and the triumphs of his later years. The privations included being left alone for long periods of time as her husband traveled from one settlement to another.

The Brockways made their home in Sault Ste. Marie for several years while William ministered to the white settlers and especially to the Chippewa Indians throughout the Upper Peninsula. They eventually built a mission which was poorly funded by the United States government. Clarissa worked hard at the household affairs of the mission (with ten to twenty children present at any time) to make ends meet.

The Brockways left Sault Ste. Marie in 1847, settling in Albion in 1848 when William was elected agent of Albion College. The Brockways amassed a great deal of land and became prominent citizens of the town. Clarissa bore four children, three of whom lived to adulthood. Daughter MaryBrockway married Samuel Dickie, who later became president of Albion College.

Clarissa died on Independence Day, 1871.

Sources: The Albion Leader, February 4, 1909; “The Brockway Story” by Martha Brockway Gale

Sources: Albion Transcript, April 29, 1897;Albion Recorder, May 1, 1897

From: Albion AAUW. Some Notable Women of the Albion Area. Albion, Michigan: American Association of University Women. 1998.