Civil War governor Austin Blair (1818-1894) came to Jackson, Michigan, from New York in 1841. In 1842 he moved his law practice to Eaton Rapids. At that time the area was made up mostly of farmers, and Blair was paid for his services with produce and firewood. He lived in a frame house that once stood near this site. In 1843, while a resident of this town, he was elected Eaton County clerk. Poverty and the deaths of his infant daughter and his wife led him to resign as county clerk and return to Jackson.