Albion Interactive History / People / Benjamin Packard

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People / Albion College

Dr. Benjamin H. Packard, 1788
President Board of Trustees


Dr. Benjamin H. Packard was one of the pioneers from the East, born 10 July 1788 in Royalton, Vermont, the son of a Lieut. Benjamin Packard.

The young Packard, when only 21, ran away from home in 1808 with his brother Silas and that “their father, Lt. Packard, advertised a one cent reward for their return.”

Benjamin turned up in Royalton, New York which got its name from Royalton, Vermont, some time before 1817. He was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, by 1828 and in the town which was the predecessor of Jackson by 1829. In fact, Packard was one of several men who started the first settlement in Jackson County – the town was calledJacksonopolis at first and then Jacksonborough – in the spring of 1830, but he still regarded Ann Arbor as his residence. By February 1835, a month before joining Pilcher and Colclazer inseeking the college charter, he was a resident of Spring Arbor and the owner of 162.77 acres of land which he had boughtfive years before from the United States government.

Dr. Packard’s personal relationship to Elijah Pilcher was enhanced as the years went by – as we have already indicated – since his daughter, Caroline Matilda, born 21 November 1818, became the wife of Mr. Pilcher when she was 17.

Dr. Packard was elected president of its Board of Trustees on October 29, 1835. From 1843 to 1847 he was a member of the Board of Trustees.

Source: Gildart, Robert. Albion College, 1835-1960, A History. Chicago: Donnelley Lakeside Press, 1961.