Courtney Columbus Douglass

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Courtney Douglas [is] the representative and manager of the C.C. Douglass estate and interests in the Northern Peninsula of Michigan, is a well known resident of Houghton, Houghton County, Michigan. He was born in 1862 at Algonac, St Clair County, Michigan, and is a son of Columbus C. and Lydia Reed (Smith) Douglass.

Columbus C. Douglass was born at Fredonia, New York, about 1812 and was a son of Christopher Douglass, who removed to Mount Clemens, Michigan about 1833, being originally from New London, Connecticut. A year or two later he removed to Walworth County, Wisconsin, where he resided until his death. Columbus C. Douglass first came to the Northern Peninsula in 1838, acting then as assistant to his cousin, Dr. Douglass Houghton, who was appointed the first State Geologist of Michigan. Dr. Douglass Houghton was born at Fredonia, New York and was a professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York, when he was requested by the Governor of the Territory of Michigan to deliver a course of lectures at Detroit. Dr. Houghton accepted the commission and went to Detroit in 1830. He continued his geological surveys and examinations up to the time of his death, by accidental drowning near Eagle River, Michigan, in October, 1845.

Columbus C. Douglass, who had been his cousin's assistant, then prepared himself to continue these interesting and valuable explorations, by taking a number of special winter courses at Boston, in geology, mineralogy, mining and chemistry. At one time he was at the head of several exploration and mining companies, and he was also engaged in securing land and developing mining interests. He was particularly successful in interesting outside capital in the development of the resources of this rich country. Shortly after the death of Dr. Houghton, Mr. Douglass formed a co-partnership with Ransom Shelden, his brother-in-law, and they engaged in mercantile enterprises, continuing the acquisition of lands and the development of the country's resources. This partnership continued until the death of the principals and the two estates are still jointly interested in the real estate acquired during the co-partnership. To further the interesting of outside capital, Mr. Douglass had, in 1862, taken up his residence in New York City. His death occurred at London, England, in 1874.

The wife of Columbus C. Douglass was Lydia Reed Smith, who was born at Algonac, St. Clair County, Michigan, and who was a daughter of John K. Smith, an attorney, and a prominent man, for many years, in Detroit and vicinity. Mr. Smith was born in Westchester County, New York, and for a period practiced law near Plattsburg, and was there also interested in the lumber business, which was practically destroyed at the outbreak of the War of 1812. He then removed to Detroit, which at that time was a small trading post, and went later to Algonac, 45 miles above, on the St Clair River, where he acquired some property and became a prominent man. Our subject's only sister, Mrs. N.Y. Worrall, resides at Philadelphia.

Courtney C. Douglass was educated at New York, and attended school at Flushing, on Long Island, and at South Williamston and other points. For several years he was connected with New York City banking houses, and came to Houghton in 1887 to represent the Douglass interests. With his family, he [resides 1903] at Houghton.


Courtney Columbus Douglass
Birth: 18 May 1862; Algonac, St. Clair County, Michigan, USA
Death: 17 Jul 1924; Houghton, Houghton County, Michigan, USA

See also:
 Douglass House, Houghton



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