land of ills;
The name means ague, fever, and chills.
-Popular nineteenth-century saying
In September 1824 a twenty-year-old Irish immigrant, Walter Oakman, bought 123 acres of land near Ypsilanti. Thirteen days later he died of malaria. His was the first death recorded in Washtenaw County.
In 1829, according to the Portrait and Biographical Album of Washtenaw County, Michigan, schoolboy Daniel Hiscock helped his family clear land for a farm northwest of Ann Arbor. According to the Album, Hiscock “assisted his father in clearing the farm, grubbing stumps for other people, and drove a team comprising four yoke of cattle, at the same time shaking like a leaf with the ague.”