Henry Schoolcraft no doubt has a reputation around Michigan all these years later. The American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist, was famous for his 1832 expedition to the source of the Mississippi River along with publishing is six-volume study of Native Americans published in the 1850s. He also served as United States Native American agent in Michigan back in 1822. I knew moving to this side of the state there was a buzz about Schoolcraft, being that I live next to the village. But there are things even to this day that I'm discovering about Schoolcraft.

A graphic was recently posted on Reddit showing the Etymologies of United States counties. Etymology is the origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning. Taking a look at the US map, one major thing sticks out from the 12 categories. Schoolcraft is the only individual responsible for the naming of multiple counties in a state. In Michigan alone he was responsible for the naming of Alcona, Algoma, Allegan, Alpena, Arenac, Iosco, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Lenawee,  Oscoda and Tuscola counties. Apparently the way he came up with the names was creating faux native sounding names by combined words and syllables from Native American languages with words and syllables from Latin and Arabic.

When you look at the map you really see the impact he made on the state. What did Ole Hen get for his troubles? A tiny little village in Southwest Michigan named after him. Oh and a county was later named after him, Schoolcraft County, located in the Upper Peninsula.

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