Erik Larson’s Thunderstruck intertwines the story of the unlikely murderer Hawley Crippen of Coldwater, MI and Guglielmo Marconi’s invention of the telegraph. As I got into the book, I said to my husband, “Don’t you have an ancestor in Coldwater?” His answer, “Yes, why?” “Well, because it says here that there’s a picture in the Coldwater library of early settlers.”
Dr. S.S. Cutter - middle row, right
Dr. Stephen Starr Cutter was born June 9, 1819 in Enfield, Tompkins County, NY. In 1842 he moved to Coldwater, MI where he continued to study and practice medicine, as well as being involved in educational, town and state affairs. He served on the Special Commission on Penal, Charitable, and Reformatory Institutions that produced as one of the recommendations for a State Public School at Coldwater for pauper and indigent children.
A call to the Coldwater Library resulted in the librarian knowing exactly which photo my husband referred to, and she put him on hold while she went to retrieve it from the wall. Yes, Stephen Starr Cutter was one of the photos. Did we want a copy sent? “No,” my husband replied, “I think we need to drive there and see it ourselves.” And that is how we ended up visiting Coldwater, Michigan.
Since we are from the Finger Lakes Region of New York it was interesting to discover that a large number of Coldwater’s early settlers were from the Rochester, NY area. We enjoyed our stay and genealogy research experience in Coldwater, and of course had to drive down Cutter Street. If you have ancestors who lived in Michigan, you are in for a research treat.