Treasure Hunter Unearths Fascinating Piece of Battle Creek History Near Detroit
A Michigan man who was searching for artifacts in a dumpsite near Detroit a couple of years ago found something amazing with historical ties to a city nearly 120 miles away.
James Stottlemeyer is from Clarkston, Michigan, and is an avid treasure hunter. He says he got into treasure hunting at an early age, always looking for fossils as a kid. When he was about 12, James borrowed his uncle's metal detector for the first time and began finding wheat pennies, relics, and even a ring from the Civilian Conservation Corps. which got him hooked on the hobby right in his own backyard.
On April 8, 2019, James says he made one of his favorite treasure hunting finds and it has a connection to the city of Battle Creek. He happened to spot it on the surface at that dumpsite near Detroit, surprisingly. He went home and cleaned it for about an hour with a toothpick before he could read what it said. It is a pin from an attorney named Nathan H. Briggs who worked in the city in the mid-to-late 1800s.
It's a little hard to read but you can make out "N.H. Briggs" with "Battle Creek Mich." below.
From there, James did some research and learned about the man to who it belonged. Here is what he was able to uncover...
Nathan was born in Sturgis, Michigan in 1848 and spent time working at his brother's store as a merchant when he was young. He decided to study law after reading law textbooks. He learned enough to pass the course in law school at the University of Michigan in only a year, thanks to the law book reading he did at his brother's store. He graduated in 1867.
Briggs worked as an attorney in Battle Creek until 1879 when he became a Superintendent and General Counselor of the Sioux City and Dakota Railroad for two years. He then worked again as an attorney until 1883. In 1887, he joined the Supreme Court and was involved in many big cases, the biggest being the People Vs. Nye.
Nathan passed away from a heart attack in 1914. It tragically happened in the middle of the street while he was on his way home from church. He donated most of his fortune to his maid instead of his child, which included his house and much of his money.
Thank you for sharing this amazing story with us James! And if anyone happens to have more photos or information about Nathan H. Briggs, he would appreciate it. Leave them in the comments below this article on Facebook or send us an email so we can pass it along to James.