Detroit Conference
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Commission on Archives & History

Conference Cane

The Detroit Conference Cane was implemented in 1904 to recognize one hundred years of Michigan Methodism. Its creation coincided with the founding of the Conference Historical Society, now the Commission on Archives & History.

Detroit Conference CaneThe cane is presented to and held by the oldest ordained elder of the Conference who has served in the Conference for at least thirty-five years and lives within the boundaries of the conference. Each recipient holds the cane for the remainder of their life, and upon their death it reverts to the Conference. Each recipient's name is placed on a plate added to the cane.

The body of the cane is made from wood from the church in Adrian where the Detroit Conference was founded. The cane contains wooden inlays from the first Methodist Church building in River Rouge, the desk of Seth Reed, the tree that overlooks the grave of Barbara Heck, wood from the pulpit of Robert Strawbridge, and the building in which Judson Collins converted to Methodism.

Francis Asbury Blades

Francis Asbury Blades
7 August 1821 - 24 April 1906
Conference Cane: 1904
Age at death: 85 years, 8 months

Seth Reed

Seth Reed
2 June 1823 - 24 March 1924
Conference Cane: 1905
Age at death: 100 years, 9 months

No Photo Available

Philip J. Wright
17 May 1839 - 15 February 1928
Conference Cane: 1924
Age at death: 88 years, 8 months

David Casler

David Casler
3 February 1840 - 17 January 1929
Conference Cane: 1928
Age at death: 88 years, 11 months

David Millar

David Buchanan Millar
7 June 1840 - 12 February 1941
Conference Cane: 1929
Age at death: 100 years, 8 months

James Jacklin

James Edward Jacklin
1 January 1847 - 23 November 1943
Conference Cane: 1941
Age at death: 96 years, 10 months

No Photo Available

Samuel Graves
22 March 1852 - 27 February 1948
Conference Cane: 1944
Age at death: 95 years, 11 months

George Tripp

George Francis Tripp
13 March 1861 - 25 March 1949
Conference Cane: 1948
Age at death: 88 years

[Finding Aid]
No Photo Available

Thomas Madden Mott
11 June 1857 - 9 November 1950
Conference Cane: 1950
Age at death: 93 years, 4 months

No Photo Available

Carl S. Risley
29 December 1870 - 5 May 1953
Conference Cane: 1951
Age at death: 82 years, 4 months

No Photo Available

David Newton Earl
14 July 1855 - 14 July 1953
Conference Cane: 1953
Age at death: 98 years

Edwin D Dimond

Edwin Darius Dimond
12 January 1862 - 14 December 1958
Conference Cane: 1954
Age at death: 96 years, 11 months

No Photo Available

James Thomas Moyle Stephens
3 January 1870 - 31 March 1960
Conference Cane: 1959
Age at death: 90 years, 2 months

H. Addis Leeson

Henry Addis Leeson
17 March 1871 - 25 February 1964
Conference Cane: 1960
Age at death: 92 years, 11 months

Richard Williams

Richard Charles George Williams
5 September 1876 - 16 January 1966
Conference Cane: 1964
Age at death: 89 years, 4 months

Charles Bragg

Charles Irwin Bragg
21 February 1877 - 18 February 1967
Conference Cane: 1966
Age at death: 89 years, 11 months

William A Gregory

William A. Gregory
31 January 1878 - 18 July 1971
Conference Cane: 1967
Age at death: 93 years, 5 months

No Photo Available

Frank Marshall Purdy
11 March 1878 - 29 May 1973
Conference Cane: 1971
Age at death: 95 years, 2 months

Henry Voelker

Henry I. Voelker
29 January 1881 - 25 April 1975
Conference Cane: 1973
Age at death: 94 years, 2 months

Russell Hopkins

Russell D. Hopkins
31 December 1884 - 2 January 1984
Conference Cane: 1975
Age at death: 99 years

Benjamin Holmes

Benjamin F. Holme
29 September 1894 - 8 December 1989
Conference Cane: 1984
Age at death: 95 years, 2 months

Myron Everett

Myron Robinson Everett
1 September 1899 - 3 June 1993
Conference Cane: 1990
Age at death: 93 years, 9 months

George Jones

George MacDonald Jones
23 June 1907 - 16 July 1998
Conference Cane: 1993
Age at death: 91 years

Walter Saxman

Walter Cloyd Briney Saxman
6 July 1907 - 26 February 2002
Conference Cane: 1998
Age at death: 94 years, 7 months

Ira Wood


Ira Leslie Wood

15 March 1909 - 26 June 2003
Conference Cane: 2002
Age at death: 94 years, 3 months

Alvin Burton

Alvin Burton
17 August 1905 - 2 August 2005
Conference Cane: 2003
Age at death: 99 years, 11 months

Konstantin Wipp

Konstantin Wipp
15 November 1912 - 3 August 2012
Conference Cane: 2005
Age at death: 99 years, 8 months

Tex Rickard

William David "Tex" Rickard
30 July 1921 - 8 November 2013
Conference Cane: 2013
Age at death: 92 years, 3 months

Donald O Crumm

Donald Otis Crumm
14 December 1925 - 20 September 2014
Conference Cane: 2014
Age at death: 88 years, 9 months

Arthur Spafford

Arthur Lloyd Spafford Jr.
6 April 1926
Conference Cane: 2014