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From 1825 to 1875. 








In offering this little volume to the pioneers of Cass 
County and their descendants, the author is spared 
man}' fears as to its reception, by the knowledge that 
it will be read for the facts and incidents it contains, 
rather than for criticism of the style of their presen- 

It is not all he wished to make it, but is as com- 
plete and accurate as he could make it in the time 
alloted, and will at least serve as a starting point for 
future historians. 

The work was undertaken last season upon the 
urgent and repeated reque3ts of many old settlers 
and those who were interested in establishing the 
Cass County Pioneer Association and Museum, and 
his exclusive time and attention has been given to its 
preparation since that time. 

All the early settlers and publications that could 
be reached^^have been consulted, and the aggregate 



of their recollections and information is before you 
in a condensed form and with some attempt at chro- 
nological connection. 

His earnest thanks are due and tendered to the 
gentlemen of the local press, the County and Town- 
ship officers and many other friends too numerous to 
specify, to whom he is under great obligation for 
advice, information and substantial aid. 

He is not a professional writer or speculative book- 
maker, and has constructed this work rather as a 
conservatory of facts and incidents that are in peril 
of being lost upon the death of the actors therein, 
than as a bid for literary fame by 



Michigan derives its name from the two words in 
the Chippewa language, MHcliaw and Sagiegan, 
meaning great, and lake. These words were ap- 
plied by the members of that tribe to lakes Michigan 
,and Huron, which at the time of the first explora- 
tions were supposed to be one. The land which 
these lakes so nearly surrounded, was called Mich' 
sawgyegafi,, meaning a lake country, hence the 
name, Michigan. 

Of the earlist explorations by the French, little is 
definitely known, as the records are very limited and 

In 1610 a partial exploration was made, but no 
record of its details or extent have been preserved. 

In 1632 Father Sagard visited the country along 
the shores of Lake Huron, and in 1634 a party of 
Indians, belonging to the Huron tribe, visited Que- 
bec, and on their return were accompanied by the 
Jesuits, BrebcEuf and Daniel, who located up on the 



shore of Lake Huron, and instructed the natives in 
reUgious matters. 

In 164 1, a number of Frencli Jesuits came up the 
St. Lawrence river in bark canoes, thence up the 
Ottawa, crossing over to Lake Nipising, thence 
down the French river to Georgian Bay, and passing 
the islands of Lake Huron, reached the Falls of St. 
Mary, where they established a mission. 

Rene Mesnard made an exploration of the country 
around Green Bay and Lake Superior in 1660, 
reaching in October of that }'ear a bay on the south 
shore of Lake Superior, which he named St. Ther- 
essa. After remaining there about eight months, 
he was lost in the forest. His cloak and breviary 
were afterwards found among the Sioux Indians, b}^ 
whom he was probably murdered. 

In 1666, a mission was established at the Falls of 
St. Mary, now called Sault Ste. Maria, by Father 
Allouez, and in 1668 he was joined by Fathers Dab- 
Ian and Marquette. During the next three years they 
made an exploration of the country along the shores 
of Lake Michigan, making the entire circuit of that 

In 1671, Marquette built a Fort and Chapel at 
Mackinaw, (formerly spelled Michilmackinac) and 
from this time Michigan properly dates her settle- 
ment, although for many years the only white inhab- 
itants, resided in solitary Forts at wide spread dis- 
tances from each other, at points where the Indians 
were in the habit of resorting from the fatigues of . 
the chase, and which afforded the most ready com- 
munication by canoes, with the inland streams of 


the country, and served as shipping points to the 
headquarters of the fur trade, at Quebec and Mon- 

From the peculiar location of Mackinaw, situated 
on the natural highway, between the St. Lawrence 
and the Mississippi, its importance has ever been 
highly estimated. Its founder, Peere Marquette, in- 
duced a party of Huron Indians to make a settlement 
there in the year of its location, intending it as a 
nucleus for a future colony. It soon became an im- 
portant rendezvous for the traders, merchants, sold- 
iers, couriers de bois^ missionaries, and Indians of the 

As early as 1688, the Ottawas and Hurons had 
villages in the vicinity of the chapel and fort, and 
the former had commenced to build a fortification 
on rising ground near by. 

Near the village of the Hurons, the Jusuits had a 
college adjoining the chapel, enclosed with pickets, 
in which they exercised their influence for the con- 
version of the Indians. Their efforts for that object 
were, however, in the main unsuccessful, according 
to their own acknowledgments; and to be per- 
mitted to administer the sacrament to their dying 
children and aged Indians, was the utmost hmit to 
which they could bring the minds of the savages. 

The English and French being rivals in the fur 
trade, it became an important object with the former 
nation to secure a monopoly of the traffic in this 
important article of commerce. A trading expedi- 
tion of the English, with the aid of the Otagamies 
or Fox Indians, who then inhabited the banks of the 


Detroit river, arrived at Mackinaw in 1686. This 
tribe was unfriendly to the French, and the English 
as a matter of polic}- strengthened their relationship 
by presents and promises to them. At this time no 
permanent settlement had been made at Detroit, the 
French having a safer and more direct route from 
Montreal to the upper lakes through the Ottawa 
and Grand rivers. The present location of Detroit 
had long been looked upon as a valuable point for a 
settlement and a base for the fur trades, as it com- 
manded a broad tract of country across the peninsula 
and was the key to the upper lakes. 

While the English were looking with eager eyes to 
the acquisition of this point, they were anticipatd by 
the French, who called a grand council at Montreal 
for the purpose of negotiating a treaty to that 
effect. This council was one of great pomp and 
ceremony, and was composed of the principal chiefs 
of the different tribes from the St. Lawrence to the 
Mississippi, the Governor General of Canada and the 
most prominent men of the country. It is said to 
have been one of the most imposing assemblies that 
was ever collected together in the wilderness. 

At this meetino^ the ris^hts of the two claimants 
were fully discussed. The Iroquois claimed that 
the country belonged to them, and as they had for- 
bidden the English to make a settlement there, they 
wished the French also to respect their rights. To 
this the Governor General of Canada replied that 
the country neither belonged to the English nor the 
Indians, but to the King of France, and that already 
there was an expedition on the way to establish a 


colony on the banks of the Detroit. In accordance 
with this determination a settlement was made on 
the present site of Detroit in July, 1701, by Antoine 
de la Motte Cadillac, acting under a commission 
from Louis XIV, upon a grant of fifteen acres 
square. He was accompanied by a Jesuit mission- 
ary and all the necessary means to establish a 

Before that period Detroit had not been unknown. 
As early as 1620 it was the resort of French mis- 
sionaries, and when first visited by the French the 
present site was occupied by an Indian village called 
Teuchsa Gronde. 

Cadillac erected a fort surrounded with pickets, 
enclosing a few houses occupied by the French 
traders and soldiers attached to the post. The es- 
tablishment was a rude, frail affair, equipped with 
small cannon, which were better adapted to overawe 
the Indians than for effective defense. 

While the French were extending their settlements 
along the frontier of Michigan, they were surround- 
ed and assisted by the powerful Ottawa, Huron, 
Potawotamie and Menominee tribes of Indians; 
while the Foxes of Iroquois descent adhered to the 
English, and soon made their power felt against the 
French settlements. These Indian confederations 
have always been of a capricious character, the sav- 
ages having an eye to the main chance — that of help- 
ing themselves — rather using the whites to farther 
their own designs than for any real benefit they gave 
them as allies. 

Three years after the founding of Detroit, the 


Indians were invited to Albany by the English, with 
a view of negotiating with them for the country. 
A number of Ottawa chiefs visited the place, and 
came back with altered feelings. During this visit 
they were persuaded by the English who still wished 
to obtain possession of the post, that the French set- 
tlements on the lakes were intending to wrest the 
country from their hands, and acting upon this con- 
viction, they set fire to the town. The fire was dis- 
covered before an}' serious damage was done, and 

About the same time, another party of Ottawas 
returning from a successful expedition against the 
Iroquois, flushed with victory, paraded themselves 
in front of the fort and endeavored to induce the 
other Indians to join in its demolition. M. deTonti, 
then the French commandant, dispatched an officer 
for the purpose of dispersing this hostile band, in 
which he succeeded, putting them to flight. In the 
hurry of their departure they abandoned the Iroquois 
prisoners whom the}' had captured; these were sent 
back by the French to their tribe. 

From this time until 171 2, the infant settlements 
of Michigan, rested in comparative quietude. The 
Iroquois occasionally sent out marauding parties 
against the French and Indians, and several of the 
Jesuits had been murdered with the most wanton 
cruelty by these bands of savages. In May, 1712, 
the Ottogamies, then comparatively an obscure tribe, 
but who it appears were in secret alHance with the 
Iroquois, perfected a plan to demolish the town of 
Detroit. They were doubtless induced to do this by 


the Five Nations, backed by the English, who wished 
to destroy the post and erect one of their own on its 

Accordingly on the 13th of May, the siege was 
commenced, but the plans which had been carefully 
and secretly made, were divulged by a convert to 
the Catholic faith before they were full}' matured ; 
and the commandant of the fort dispatched cour- 
iers to the wilderness to notify the friendl}' Indians, 
who were absent on a hunting expedition, but readily 
came to the summons painted and equipped for war. 
After a siege of nineteen days, the aggressive party 
were so badly beaten as to retreat some distance 
from the fort, closely followed by the French and 
friendly Indians, and after another four days fighting 
and killing about a thousand of their warriors they 
were fully conquered; the women and children, 
whose lives were spared, were divided as slaves 
among the victorious party. 

The most prominent individuals at the trading 
post besides the commandants, were the French mer- 
chants who generally had their houses near the forts. 
The old French merchant was the head man of his 
settlement. Careful, frugal, without much enter- 
prise, judgment, or rigid virtue. He was employed 
in procuring skins from the Indians and traders in 
exchange for manufactured goods. The policy of 
these traders was to exercise their influence with 
paternal mildness, so as to prevent rebellion, to keep 
on good terms with the Indians in order to secure 
their trade; and they frequently fostered a large 
number of half breed children, who were the off- 


spring of their licentiousness. The Couriers des 
Bois^ or rangers of the woods, were either P'rench 
or half breeds; a hardy race, accustomed to labor 
and privation,* and conversant with the character 
and habits of the Indians, from whom they procured 
their cargoes of furs. They were equally skilled in 
propelling a canoe, fishing, hunting, and trapping. 
If of mixed blood, they generally spoke both the 
languages of their parents, and knew just enough of 
their religions to be regardless of both. Employed 
by the aristocratic French companies as voyageurs 
or guides, their forms were developed to the fullest 
vigor by propelling the canoe through the lakes and 
streams, and by carrying heavy packs of goods 
across the portages of the interior, by straps sus- 
pended from their foreheads or shoulders. These 
voyageurs knew every rock, island, bay and shoal of 
the western waters. 

The ordinary dress of the white portion of the 
French traders, was a cloth passed about the middle, 
a loose shirt, a blanket coat, (called a molton), and 
a red worsted cap. The half-breeds were demi-sav- 
age in their dress as well as in their character and 
appearance. They sometimes wore a surtout of 
coarse blue cloth reaching down to the knees, elk- 
skin trowsers, the seams adorned with fringes, a scar- 
let woolen sash tied around the waist, in which they 
carried a broad knife, used in dissecting the carcas- 
ses of anirpals taken in the chase, buckskin mocca- 
sins, and a cap made .of the same material with the 
surtout. Affable, gay, and licentious, these men 
were employed by the French merchants, as guides, 


canoe men, steersmen, or rangers, to go in their 
canoes, into the remotest wilderness, to barter their 
European goods for peltries, depositing them at the 
several French depots on the lakes, whence they 
were transported to Quebec and Montreal. 

In 1 75 1, the fort at Detroit as well as those on the 
upper lakes, was in a weak condition. About thirty 
farms, owned by the French, were scattered along 
the banks of the river, and the colony contained a 
population of about five hundred souls beside the 
Indians of the three villages, who could command 
four hundred warriors. Detroit at this time was the 
most important depot of the French on the north- 
western lakes. Its progress under the French was 
ver}^ slow, from the fact that it was controlled by 
exclusive companies, whose only purpose was to en- 
rich themselves; preferring to keep the people in 
ignorance that they might have the better control of 
their labor rather than to let them become free-holders 
in the soil. At the same time keeping the true state 
of affairs from the French crown, that they might 
further their own selfish purposes. 

The fur trade of the great lake region afforded 
them the largest opportunities for gain. Large ca- 
noes, laden with packs of European merchandise, 
were sent periodically through these lakes for the 
purpose of trading for peltries with the Indians, and 
these made their principal depots at Detroit and Mack- 
inaw. In order to protect the interests of traders, 
licenses were granted by the French King, and unli- 
censed persons were prohibited from dealing with the 
Indians, in their own country under the penalty of 


death. The ordinary price of these Hcenses was six 
hundred crowns each, and they were mostly pur- 
chased of the Governor General by the mercbants, 
and by them sold to the traders and Coureurs des 
Boh, The privilege granted in a sin^,^e license was 
the loading of two large canoes, each of which was 
manned by six men, and freighted with merchandise 
valued at a thousand crowns. This was furnished 
to the traders at an advance of about fifteen per cent, 
above the price it would bring in cash at the colonies. 

The actual profit on these voyages was about one 
hundred per cent., most of which accrued to the 
merchant, while the trader endured all the fatigue. 
On the return of the expedition, the merchant took 
from the gross proceeds six hundred crowns for his 
license, one thousand crowns for the prime cost of 
his goods, and from the remainder forty per cent, as 
bottomry, while the balance was divided equally be- 
tween the six Courieiirs des Bois^ whose share for 
all the trials and privations undergone while on the 
voyage, often proved a mere pittance. 

At the capitulation of Quebec, September i8th, 
1760, Detroit, Mackinaw and all the present terri- 
tory of Michigan was ceded by the French to the 

Before the conquest of the country, Michigan pre- 
served no distinct and independent character and was 
far removed from the seat of war. The eastern line 
of the State was a ranging ground for Jesuit Mis- 
sionaries and traders in their religious and mercan- 
tile operations through the wilderness. The few 
deasantry scattered around the military posts, culti- 

'^^<CASS COUNTY. 1 5 

vating their small patches of ground in quietude and 
happiness. The interior had been but little explored 
save by the wood ranger or Jesuit, who traveled 
through the Indian trails, which wound along pleas- 
ant landscapes, here stretching on a sunny hillside, 
and theri overshadowed by silent primeval forests. 
Drafts indeed had been rnade by the French govern- 
ment to forward their campaigns, and a number of 
soldiers, drawn from the lake country, were present 
at Braddock's defeat. Hostile bands of warriors 
were also sent on in emergencies, from the lake 
shores, to devastate the English settlements, but peace 
in the main as yet, smiled on its dominions. 

Immediately after the capitulation at Quebec, a 
detachment of troops under Major Rogers, was sent 
to take possession of Michigan. When nearing 
the Detroit river, they were met by the celebrated 
Indian Chief, Pontiac, who was for the first time 
then brought ,to the public notice, but afterwards 
became celebrated for his bravery, far-seeing, deep 
planned, and well executed expeditions. He was the 
chief of the Algonquin Confederacy; the autocrat of 
the savages along the lakes, distinguished for his 
noble form, commanding address and proud demeanor. 
He seems to have allied to himself the respect and 
confidence of all the Indians in this region, and was 
a marked example of the grandeur which is some- 
times found among the savages of the American 
forest, with as. it afterwards proved, a vein of treach- 
ery running through his organization. He was the 
avowed friend of the French and enemy of the Eng- 
lish, and combined all those traits of character which 


distinguish men among civilized states, whether in 
the forum or in the field. He was grasping in his 
projects, his courage was unconquerable. His pride 
was the pride of the proudest chief of the proudest 
nation on earth. As an orator, he was more remark- 
able for pointedness and vigor, than for burning elo- 
quence. He had watched .with jealousy the progress 
of the English arms, and had imbibed a hatred for 
the English, which had been handed down in his 
race. He had seen them pushing their conquests 
through the country, destroying his people, driving 
the game from the hunting grounds, which had been 
bequeathed them from their forefathers, and crimson- 
ing the land with the blood of his companions and 
friends — the French. About eight miles above 
Detroit, on an island, he made his summer residence, 
and in winter had his lodging place at an Ottawa 
village opposite, on the Canada shore. When he 
was informed of the advance of Major Rogers, who 
commanded the first English detachment that ever 
advanced into his quarters, he was aroused like a 
lion in his den. 

On the 7th of November, when Rogers arrived at 
the rnouth of the Chogage river, he was met by a 
party of Ottawa messengers who requested him to 
halt his forces until Pontiac came up, which was 
done. Pontiac's first salutation was to ask ''how 
he dared to enter his country without his permis- 
sion." He was informed by Rogers that there was 
no design against the Indians, but their object was 
to remove the French, who had been an obstacle in 
the way of peace between the English and Indians. 


With this information friendly messages were 
exchanged, also several belts of wampum. 

On the next morning Pontiac appeared at the 
English camp and informed Rogers that he had 
made peace with the English, and, as a pledge, both 
smoked the calumet. 

Pontiac immediatel}^ sent messengers ahead in- 
structing the Indians to let the English pass, and 
accompanied Rogers to the Detroit river, furnishing 
him with venison, turkeys, and parched corn, and in 
return received wampum and ammunition. 

On the arrival of the English in the vicinity of 
Detroit, a dispatch was sent to the French com- 
mandant, and after some parley the post was turned 
over to the English, the citizens taking the oath of 
allegiance to that government and the French sold- 
iers being sent to Philadelphia. 

Major Rogers having made a treaty with the In- 
dians of the country, advanced toward Lake Huron, 
leaving Captain Cempbell in command at Detroit. 

It was his intention to take possession of Mack- 
inaw also, but the ice prevented him from going by 
^ waten, and not being prepared with snow shoes to 
cross the country, he returned to Detriot, and on 
the 2 1st of December, 1760, started for Pittsburg, 
leaving Captain Campbell in charge of the station. 
Thus the French power in Michigan was forever 

The social condition of the settlers was not much 
improved by the transfer from the French to the 
English, Schools were unknown and the instruc- 

— 2 


tion of the children continued to be derived from the 
Catholic priests. 

Coin as a circulating medium, was introduced by 
the English in lieu of peltries, which had been used 
by the French. 

Although the English government had succeeded 
to the dominion of the northwestern lakes, it did not 
inherit the friendship of the Algonquin tribes in that 
quarter. These tribes from the first regarded the 
whites as intruders, and the smile which played upon 
the countenance of Pontiac when he first met the de- 
tachment of Rogers, only tended to conceal a settled 
hatred. His professions of friendship to the English 
were doubtless a matter of policy until he should 
plot their destruction. 

The French had been friends to his race. They 
had lodged in the same wigwam; drank at the same 
stream; they had hunted and fought side by side, 
and were mixed in blood. No sooner, therefore, 
were the English established on the lakes, than he 
projected the design of undermining them in this 
quarter by destroying their forts. 

His plan w^as to attack all the English posts at 
the same time by stratagem, to massacre the garri- 
sons, take possession of the points, and oppose the 
advance of the British upon the northwestern waters. 
He presumed, on good ground, that the success of 
the Indians in this enterprise, would establish their 
confidence and combine them in one general confed- 
eracy against the English government. His distaste 
for the English had been greatly augumented by the 
cold indifl:erence of the traders and soldiers, which 


contrasted unfavorable with the sociability and kind- 
ness of the French. Some of his own tribe, the 
Ottawas, had been disgraced by blows from the 
English intruders. As soon as the plan of his polic}^ 
had been matured, Pontiac called a grand council of 
warriors at the river Aux Gorce, and there addressed 
them with great vigor and eloquence. Taking ad- 
vantage of the superstition which is natural to the 

.Indian character, he related dreams as having 
occurred to himself and others, to the eftect that 
''they were to drive these dogs in red clothing from 
the land.'' The speech of Pontiac had its full effect; 
for the motives urged, appealed to the pride, interest, 
superstition and nationalit}' of the savages. Belts 

. and messengers were soon after sent to the Indians 
along the whole frontier, stretching a thousand miles 
along the lakes, in order to secure their co-operation. 
He was joined b}' six other tribes, and on the 8th of 
Ma}', 1763, the attack was simultaneousl}' commenced 
on the forts LeBceuf, Venango, Detroit, Mackinaw, 
St. Joseph on the St. Joseph river, Pittsburg and 
Niagara, all of which fell except Pittsburg, Niagara 
and Detroit. The plan had been so carefully laid as 
to create no suspicion in the minds of the English. 
It broke like lightning from a midnight cloud. 

Detroit, from its location, was deemed the most 
important post, as it commanded an extensive region 
of nav igation and trade upon the upper lakes, and 
stood as a gate to the northwestern waters. The 
possession of this post wonld break the allegiance of 
the French inhabitants on the river, and form a chain 
of operation for the savages from Lake Michigan to 


Buffalo and Pittsburg. Pontiac determined to super- 
intend its capture in person. At that time it was 
garrisoned by one hundred and twenty-two men and 
eight officers, of whom Major Gladwin was com- 
mander. Anchored in front of the fort were two 
armed vessels, and the fort was protected by three 
mortars, two six pounders and one three pounder. 
These were badly mounted and better calculated to 
terrify the Indians than for substantial defense. 
Within the limits of the town were also about forty 
persons connected with the fur trade who were sup- 
plied with provisions and arms. 

Pontiac 's plan for the destruction of the fort exhib- 
ited remarkable cunning as well as strategy. He 
instructed his warriors to cut off their rifles so as to . 
conceal them under their blankets, gain admission 
to the fort, and at a preconcerted signal, rush upon 
the troops and open the gate for their companions on 
the outside, who would stand ready to co-operate 
with those within. In order to carry his plan into 
execution he encamped near Detroit and sent word 
to Major Gladwin that he and his warriors wished to 
hold a council the next day for the purpose of 
'^brightening the chain of peace." 

The council was granted for the 8th of May, 1763, 
On the evening of the 7 th an Indian woman who 
had been employed by the officers of the post, on 
coming to return some work she had been doings 
lingered around creating the impression that all was 
not right, and upon being questioned told them they 
had always been kind and she wished them no harm. 
After assuring her that any information she might 


give would not turn to her disadvantage, she gave 
them the details of the plot. The officers consider- 
ing it more for the purpose of fright than anything 
else, put but little confidence in the story; but that 
night everything was put in readiness in case her 
prediction should prove true. The next day Pontiac 
and his warriors were received in the usual manner, 
and when it came to the point where he was to make 
the signal, the officers unsheathed their swords and 
demanded to know why the}' had come thus armed, 
at the same time opening one of their blankets, dis- 
playing a shot gun. The Indians were taken wholly 
by surprise. Major Gladwin opened the gate telling 
them to leave before his young men fell upon and 
slaughtered them, but as he had promised them pro- 
tection he would fulfill his word. As soon as the 
savages were beyond the gate, they gave a yell and 
fired on the garrison. They then proceeded to the 
common where an English woman and her two sons 
lived, whom they fell upon and massacred. The 
cannibalism of the savages at that time is exhibited 
in the fact that a respectable Frenchman was reques- 
ted to repair to their camp and partake of some 
soup. He complied with the invitation, and after he 
had eaten, was informed that he had feasted on a 
part of the English woman. A Frenchman and his 
family, living three miles up the river, were also 
butchered with the exception of one. For some 
time a desultory warfare was kept up by the Indians, 
firing from behind the buildings in the vicinity of the 
fort. These were demolished or burned by the order 
of the commandant of the post, when they retired 


behind a ridge, sallying out when the opportunity 
seemed favorable. Major Campbell was much 
respected by the French and Indians for his kindness, 
and it became an important object with Pontiac to 
get this officer into his posession to secure the down- 
fall of the fort, and for this purpose he induced some 
French residents to seek an interview with the Major, 
informing him that Pontiac wished him to come 
to his camp that they might terminate the war 
and smoke the pipe of peace, and at the same time 
Pontiac gave the most solemn assurance of his safety. 
Under this promise, he, in company with a Lieuten- 
ant repaired to the camp, where at first the}^ were 
well received. The crafty chief however did not 
comply with his promise and the English officers 
were detained. The Lieutenant shortl}' after made 
his escape and returned to the fort in safety. The 
Major was offered his liberty for the surrender of 
the fort, but Pontiac's previous treachery had weak- 
ened all confidence in his word, and the proposition 
was spurned with indignation. The captivity of 
Major Campbell had an unfortunate termination. 
An Ottawa chief of note had been killed at Mack- 
inaw, and his nephew hastened to Detroit for revenge, 
where he found Major Campbell and immediately 
dispatched him with his tomahawk, and fled to Sag- 
inaw to escape the vengeance of Pontiac. 

The siege of Detroit was uninterruptedly kept up 
for eleven months with varying success on the part 
of the besiegers, when it was relieved by General 
Bradstreet with three thousand men. Twice the 
effort to relieve them had been made previously. 


Once the whole detachment were either killed or 
taken prisoners by the Indians ; the second time they 
arrived in safety after successfully repulsing the Indi- 
ans from boarding their vessel, but the reinforcements 
were so few in number as to prove of no materic?J 

Pontiac''s abilities were fully demonstrated during 
the protracted struggle. He issued bills of credit, 
made of bark, with a beaver, the to tern of his tribe 
drawn upon them, in exchange for the products of 
the French. These bills were faithfully redeemed. 
The neutrality of the French was a drawback to his 
success, and he did everything in his power to bring 
them to his side. Councils were called at which he 
made speeches, relating in glowing style how he and 
his young men had helped them to defend their 
country against the English, and accused them of 
carrying his plans to the enemy. And as a last resort, 
throwing down a belt and saying to them, '4f you 
are French and with us, take that belt; if not, we 
declare war against 3'ou." But all to no avail; the 
French stood fast to their oath of allegiance. The 
armed vessels in the river were another source of 
annoyance to him, and he determined to burn them. 
For this purpose the barns of many of the inhabi- 
tants w^ere thrown down and made into a raft, and 
filled with pitch and other combustibles that would 
burn readil}'. The whole mass was towed up the 
river and fired, under the supposition that the stream 
would carry it down into contact with, and set fire 
to the vessels. The English,, however, were aware 
of the plan, and had anchored boats above the ves- 


sels connected with chains so as to ward off the 
blazing mass. The plan was successful and the 
bvirning rafts floated harmlessly down the river. 
Upon the arrival of General Bradstreet, it became 
evident to the Indians that they could not succeed 
against so heavy a force; they therefore laid down 
their arms and concluded a treaty of peace. Pontiac, 
however, stood aloof and took no part in the negotia- 
tions, and soon after retired to the Illinois, where he 
was assassinated by an Indian of the Peoria tribe, 
about the year 1767, thus ending the career of a 
most remarkable man. 

The Ottawas, Potawotomies and Chippewas made 
a common cause in avenging his death by waging 
war with and nearly exterminating the tribe of his 

While these events were passing at Detroit, others 
of no less importance or destructive in their charac- 
ter were occurring at Mackinaw. They were set 
in motion by the master mind of Pontiac, who had 
plotted the overthrow of the other posts on the lakes. 
At that time the fort at Mackinaw was in the middle 
of a two acre lot enclosed with cedar pickets. On 
the bastions were planted two small brass cannon, ta- 
ken some years before by a party of Canadians in an 
expedition against the trading post of the Hudson 
Bay company. The stockade contained about thirty 
houses, also a chapel, in which mass was regularl}' 
held by the priest missionary. The inhabitants de- 
rived the principal part of their support from the 
traders who congregated here on their voyages to 
and from Montreal. The furs were collected here 

for transportation from the upper lakes, and outfits 
prepared for Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, the 
Mississippi, and the remote Northwest. It contained 
in 1763 about thirty famiHes. The garrison at that 
time was composed of ninety-three officers and sol- 
diers ; there were also four English merchants at the 

On the 3d of June a large collection of Indians had 
gathered in the vicinity of the fort, under various 
pretexts. As a ruse a game called baggatiway was 
proposed between the Chippewas and Sacs for a 
high wager. It was played with a bat and ball. 
Two posts were planted in the ground some distance 
apart, each party having its post. The game con- 
sisted in propelling the ball, which was placed in the 
center, toward the post of the adversary. The de- 
sign of the Indians was to throw the ball over the 
pickets and in a natural manner all rush for it in the 
heat of the game, thus securing an entrance to the 
fort. This stratagem was successful. Major Eth- 
ington, the commandant, was present at the game, 
and laid a wager on the side of the Chippewas, 
while all the garrison who could be induced were 
drawn outside the pickets for the purpose of weak- 
ening the defenses of the fort. In jthe midst of the 
game there was an Indian war yell, and the crowd 
of Indians who had rushed for the ball within the 
pickets were seen cutting down and scalping those 
within the fort. The massacre of the garrison, and 
the destruction of the fort by burning, completed 
their project. A number of canoes, filled with Eng- 
lish traders, arrived about the same time. These 


were dragged through the water, beaten, and 
marched by the Indians to the prison lodge. After 
the fall of the fort, the savages fearing the English 
and Indians who had not joined in the plot, divided 
their forces, a part going to the Island of Mackinaw, 
the remainder to assist Pontiac in the siege of De- 

During the whole period of the American Revolution 
Michigan was in a state of quietude, being composed 
of a part of the Canadian Territory and far removed 
from the active scenes of war her people rested in 
comparative peace. Although serving as a maga- 
zine of arms for the savages, and a mart where the 
price of scalps was paid, it exhibited no prominent 
events which gave interest and coloring to the page 
of history, from the fact that it was not the theatre 
of action. The war which was waged in the East- 
ern part of the country was, however, brought to 
a termination by Washington, and the treaty of 
1783 included Michigan within the American bound- 
aries. The important ordinance for the organization 
of the Northwestern Territory was passed in July, 
1787. This ordinance has been the basis for all 
Territorial Governments since that time. It was 
drawn by Nathan Dane, of Beverly, Massachusetts. 
The Territory was made into one District, subject to 
a division at the will of Congress. It was provided 
that until the free white male inhabitants, should 
amount to five thousand, the government should be 
vested in a Governor and three Judges, who, as well 
as Secretary, should bfe appointed by Congress. 
The Governor and Judges were empowered to adopt 


and put in force such laws of the orginal States as 
might be suited to the circumstances of the District, 
these laws to be in force until superseded by acts of 
Congress. The Governor was also vested with the 
power of dividing the Districts into Counties and 
Townships, and of appointing civil officers for the 
same. It was provided that w^hen the free male in- 
habitants reached five thousand in number, a legisla- 
tive council should be established. This council was 
to be composed of five members, who were to hold 
their office for two years, unless removed by Con- 
gress, and were appointed in the foUow^ing manner: 
the House of Representatives was authorized to 
nominate ten persons, each possessed of a freehold of 
five hundred acres of land, and out of this number 
Congress was permitted to appoint five as members 
of the legislative council. The council had power to 
enact laws, in connection with the General Assem- 
bl}', and to elect delegates to Congress. In 179S, 
the Northwestern Territory assumed the second 
grade of territorial government, and the Territory 
of Michigan, as aftervvMrds established, comprised 
one County, that of Wayne. It then sent one Rep- 
resentative to the General Assembly of the North- 
western Territory, then held at Chilicothe, Ohio, 
and for this purpose the first election was held in 
Michigan under the American Government. A 
Court of Common Pleas was established, and the 
General Court was periodically held at Detroit. In 
1802 the peninsular portion of Michigan was at- 
tached to Indiana, by an act of Congress which au- 
thorized the erection into a State of that portion of 


the NorthwCwStern Territory which constitutes the 
State of Ohio. Up to this time the people had paid 
but little attention to agriculture, but had devoted 
themselves to the procuring of furs and trading with 
the Indians; and when we contrast the difference 
between that time and this, and the improvements 
that have been made, the change seems almost mir- 

On January nth, 1805, by an act of Congress, 
Michigan was erected into a separate Territory, 
the Government to be established on the plan which 
had been prescribed by the ordinance of 1787. 
William Hull was appointed Governor, Augustus 
B. Woodward and Frederick Bates Judges of the 
Territory. On the second Tuesday in July, 1805, 
the oaths of office were administered to the several 
officers, and Michigan commenced its governmental 
operations. This was done, however, under ver}' 
unfavorable circumstances. On the nth of June 
the town of Detroit had been consumed by fire. It 
at that time covered about two acres of ground, and 
was very compactly built, with streets but fourteen 
feet wide, and as a matter of defense the village was 
environed with strong and solid pickets. The 
houses being so closely built, and composed of com 
bustible materials, were soon swept away by the 
conflagration, and when the officers arrived they 
found the body of the people encamped on the pub- 
lic grounds, while some had taken refuge in the 
country on the banks of the river. 

Judge Woodward drew up a code of laws for the 
government of the territory, known as the '' Wood* 


ward code." The administration of justice in the 
early days of the territory had to conform to the 
character of the people and appears somewhat amus- 
ing at this day of greenback currency. In one case, 
the defendant was to perform a certain number of 
day's work, in another, the plaintiff was to deliver a 
certain number of cords of wood on the bank of the 
river, as penalties for nonfulfillment of contracts. 

In 1804, a land office was established at Detroit, 
more for the purpose of adjusting titles that had 
been granted by previous administrations, than for 
sales; for as yet the Indian title had not yet been 
sufficiently extinguished to warrant the opening of 
lands to market. 

From the time that the Americans took posses- 
sion of Michigan until the close of the war of 181 2, 
their possessions were anything but peaceful, sur- 
rounded on all sides by Indians acting under the im- 
pression that their lands were to be taken from them 
in case of their success, and urged on by British 
emissaries, whose object was to repossess the 
country they had ceded by the treaty of peace at 
the termination of the Revolution. It was the object 
of the British government to combine all the savage 
tribes in one grand confederacy for the extermina- 
tion of the Americans. Even before war was 
declared, their agents were busy among them dis- 
tributing presents and giving council. Tecvimseh 
believing the British to be their true friends greatly 
aided in bringing the Indians to their wishes. Te- 
cumseh is described as a man much after the style of 
Pontiac, five feet ten inches high, well proportioned, 


and commanding in his address. He combined the 
qualities of the statesman and the warrior. His 
counsels were listened to with respect, both by the 
Indians and the British. He held under the English 
government a commission as Brigadier General. He 
was in no way inflated by the tawdry tinsel that per- 
vades military circles, but confined himself to the 
dress of his tribe. At one time when he had given 
important information, he was presented by General 
Brock with a sash from his own person as a token of 
honor. Tecumseh handed it to another saying, that 
he was an older and better warrior than himself 
His purposes were unselfish, devoting himself to the 
benefit of his people, and in no way aggrandizing or 
turning anything to his own personal benefit. He 
fell at the memorable battle of the Thames. The 
war of 1 812, fell with great force upon the people of 
Michigan. Situated on the confines of civilization, 
and in the immediate vicinity of the strongholds of 
the enemy, they suftered all the hardships and hor- 
rors of border warfare. General Hull, at this time 
acting Governor of the territory, was clothed with 
full discretionary power to act as he thought proper, 
either oftensivel}' or defensively. This power was 
granted because he was supposed to know the char- 
acter of the country and the nature and strength of 
the enemy better than any other person, and had 
served with credit under Washington. 

Some blame should be attached to the general 
government for not notifying the outposts of the dec- 
laration of war against Great Brittain at an earlier 
day, as the enemy was in possession of and acting 


upon the information sometime before it was known 
to our officers on the frontier. 

For the purpose of defending Michigan and inva- 
ding Canada, an army of twelve hundred men was 
drafted in Ohio by order of the President and, collec- 
ted at Dayton, and this force was considerably augu- 
mented by volunteers. This army was divided into 
three regiments under Colonel's Mc Arthur, Cass and 
Finelly. To these was added a fourth regiment 
composed of militia and regulars numbering about 
three hundred men, under the command of Colonel 
Miller; the whole force was placed under General 

This army was ordered to immediately repair to 
Detroit, and started about the middle of June. They 
had to cut their wa}^ through the trackless wilder- 
ness and swamps, and after many hardships arrived 
at the point of destination, on the third of the same 
month. General Hull had been to Washington for 
the purpose of removing some of the embarassments 
in his way, and on his return had dispatched his bag- 
gage, documents and disabled soldiers in a vessel via, 
the Maiden channel. On her appearance at that 
point the vessel was captured, and news of the dec- 
laration of war first broke upon the astonished crew 
from the lips of the British as they boarded the 
American vessel. 

For some time after the arrival of the army at 
Detroit, the time was employed in cleaning up the 
arms that had become rusted and dirty in their march 
through the wilderness, and recrpiting the men. 
The army under General Hull was very anxious to 


attack Maiden immediately, as it was known at that 
time to. be in a weak condition but daily expecting 
reinforcements. This would have been in accordance 
with the policy of the war department, and the pos- 
session of Maiden would have been of immense 
advantage in future campaigns. 

Having made arrangements for the expedition. 
General Hull with his army, crossed over to Sand- 
wich on the 1 2th of July, and established a fortified 
camp. Here he issued a proclamation which was 
from the pen of Colonel Cass, and was of an ener- 
getic and impressive character, and backed by the 
bayonets of his army had the effect of keeping the 
Canadians and Indians, who were opposed to the 
American cause, on neutral ground. He also issued 
an invitation to them to come over to the American 
side, stating the advantages that would accrue to 
them under a republican form of government, and 
many of them availed themselves of the privilege. 

On the 17th of July, while Hull was lying at Sand- 
wich in a state of torpidity, a detachment of the 
enemy was sent to Mackinaw, and the first intima- 
tion that Lieutenant Hanks, the commander of the 
post, received of the declaration of war was the sum- 
mons to surrender, with the British under the walls 
of his fort; and as the force under his command 
numbered but fifty, while the British and Indians 
numbered over one thousand, his only course was to 
surrender it. 

General Hull delayed making an attack upon 
Maiden until it was reinforced and became inexpedi- 
ent, and on the 9th of August recrossed the river to 


Detroit. His pretext for not making the attack was 
the want of heavy artillery which he was daily ex- 
pecting from Detroit, but, as subsequent events 
show, it was from a want of pluck. 

•On the 14th of August General Brock, one of the 
most able and energetic of the British commanders 
in Canada, arrived at Maiden, and on the 15th 
marched up to Sandwich, and immediately upon his 
arrival at that point summoned General Hull to sur- 
render. Hull with some spirit refused, and on the 
1 6th Brock crossed over the river under cover of 
his armed vessels, landing near Springwell, and im 
mediately marched upon the fort. Hull in the 
meantime called in the troops that had been sent out 
to harass the enemy in their approach, and soon 
after hoisted a white flag, in token of surrender. 
Negotiations immediately commenced. The regular 
troops were surrendered as prisoners of war, the 
public property given up, and the militia ordered to 
return home and not to serve again during the war, 
unless regularly exchanged. 

Thus ended the inglorious campaign of General 
Hull on the frontier. He was afterward tried be- 
fore a court martial for treason and cowardice. 
The court gave a verdict of acquittal on the first 
count, but condemned and sentenced him to death 
on the second, at the same time recommending him 
to the mercy of the President of the United States. 
His life was spared by the Executive, but he was 
dishonorably dismissed from the service. 

After the capitulation of Detroit, the English es- 
tablished a provisional government over Michigan 



and left a small force in charge of the post at 
Detroit. The Indians who had assisted them claimed 
large rewards for their services, and were permitted 
to ravage the houses of the defenseless inhabitants^ 
who were compelled to submit to the atrocities .of 
the savages or exile themselves, in self defense, to re- 

mote regions. 

From the time of Hull's surrender until the de- 
cisive victory of Commodore Perry on Lake Erie, 
Michigan was in a state of unrest. Surrounded on 
all sides by British troops and their allies, the savages, 
all communication by water cut off by the British 
squadron, their condition was anything but enviable. 
Among the fruits of that brilliant victory, came the 
opening of communication with the army in Ohio 
and the dawn of better days for the pioneers. 

On the 23d of September General Harrison with 
his army set out for Maiden. On his arrival at Am- 
burstburg, instead of finding British arms to oppose 
him, he met the Canadians with their wives and 
daughters, bearing in their hands emblems of peace, 
who had assembled to solicit his protection. Gen- 
eral Proctor had evacuated Maiden after having 
burned the fort and store houses, and retired to 
the Thames, about eighty miles from Detroit. The 
American forces took possession of Detroit and im- 
mediately marched in pursuit of Proctor, and the 
battle of the Thames, in which Proctor was defeated, 
concluded the brilliant campaign of General Harri- 
son on the Northwestern frontier. This was the 
most directly effective battle fought during the 
whole war, so far as Michigan was concerned. 


General Proctor had been advised by Teciimseh to 
make a stand at Maiden, but this advice was disre- 
garded and he proceeded to the point above de- 

The British troops and Indians numbered about 
twenty-four hundred, while the American army 
comprised twenty-seven hundred, of whom one hun- 
dred and twenty were regulars, thirty were Indians, 
and the remainder were militia, infantry and 
mounted volunteers, armed with rifles and muskets. 
The victory was decisive. Tecumseh, the grand 
instigator of the Indians to the assistance of the 
British, fell in the engagement. Six brass field 
pieces were recaptured, which had been surrendered 
by Hull at Detroit, and on two of these were en- 
graved the following inscription: '' Swfendered by 
Burgoyne at Saratoga^ 

General Harrison, having effected the object of 
his compaign, left General Cass in command at 
Detroit and moved down toward the Niagara fron- 
tier. The only part of Michigan Territory then re- 
maining in the possession of the British was the Island 
of Mackinaw. This island is about three miles in 
diameter, and was then covered with a dense forest, 
occasionally broken by a small patch of cleared land. 
On one side was the fort adjoining the village, and 
on the other a wilderness. 

Colonel Crogan and Commodore Sinclair, the 
former commander of the land forces and the latter 
in charge of the fleet, set sail in July, 1814, for the 
purpose of reducing this post; but failed in the at- 
tempt, owing to the strength of the defenses and the 


unfavorable character of the ground over which they 
had to pass. This post remained in possession of 
the British until the treaty of peace, February 1 7th, 


In October, 18 13, General Lewis Cass was ap- 
pointed Governor over the Territory of Michigan. 
He had served with distinction through the war and 
seemed in every wa}^ well qualified for the position; 
nor was this confidence misplaced, for to no other 
one man do the people of Michigan owe so great a 
debt of gratitude as to Governor Cass. Clear- 
headed, bold and energetic, he found the country in 
a state of dilapidation, with morals corrupted by 
long contact with warfare and its attendant evils, 
the people demoralized by the devastations of the 
British and their savage allies — ^in fact a worse state 
of affairs could hardly be imagined than existed 
when he assumed the reins of government. He 
brought order out of chaos, and immediately began 
a system of improvements, and prosecuted them with 
an energy worthy the cause he had undertaken. 

The only access to the Territory at that time was 
through the black swamp, then an almost impass- 
able morass, and the military road along the Detroit 
river, and this was made almost impassible by the 
refuse of war strewn along it during the occupation 
by the British. The interior was one dense wilder- 
ness, only inhabited by the Indians and an occasional 
French trader on the streams. Frenchtown and 
Detroit were the two principal settlements on the 
lower peninsula, and these had been nearly destroyed 
during the war. Governor Cass immediately set 


about reorganizing the Territory, building up its in- 
terests, and forming amicable relations with the 
Indian tribes. 

On the 1 6th of February, 1819, Congress passed 
an act for the election of a delegate to Congress 
from the Territory. As yet no land had been 
brought into market, from the fact that the Indian 
titles had not been fully extinguished, consequently 
there was no inducement for settlers to come in. 
But in 1819, a treaty at Saginaw was effected, by 
which a considerable part of the eastern portion of 
the Territory was ceded and brought into market. 
This produced a new era in its progress, inciting 
immigration and settlement by the low price and 
easy terms of payment, it soon brought into the 
country a large increase of population, and in 1820 
this population had increased to eight thousand eight 
hundred and ninety-six. A serious drawback had 
been imposed on the settlement by a report of the 
commissioners who had been sent out by Congress 
for the purpose of locating two million acres of 
land for the soldiers of the war of 181 2. They 
returned without locating, and reported the country 
to be low, sterile, and filled with swamps. 

In 1820 Detroit contained a population of fourteen 
hundred and fifteen inhabitants, and was then a point 
of considerable activity and business. The Island 
of Mackinaw, which was at that time the principal 
mart of the tur trade, had a population of four hun- 
dred and fifty, which was augmented to two thou- 
sand at certain intervals, by the accession of voy- 
ageurs^ Indians, and traders, on their return from 


their hunting and trading expeditions to the forests 
of the upper lakes. Walk-in-the-water was the only 
steamboat that plied on the lakes, and this was 
deemed sufficient to transact all the commercial 
business of the Territory^ This boat made her first 
trip to Mackinaw in 1819. 

On the 24th of May, 1820, Governor Cass started 
on an exploring expedition to the upper country, 
which he had determined upon and made prepara* 
tions for, during the preceding year. The objects 
were to examine the soil, the number and condition 
of the Indian tribes, and their character,- to investi- 
gate the mineralogical resources of the country, espec- 
ially the copper mines of Lake Superior, to collect 
the material for a map, to select the site for a garri- 
son at the foot of Lake Superior; and also to perfect 
treaties with the Indian tribes in that quarter. For 
that object a memorial had been forwarded to Mr. 
Calhoun, then Secretary of War, which was .favora- 
bly received, and the expedition encouraged. An 
escort of soldiers was furnished, the commanders of 
the garrisons along the route instructed to facihtate 
its progress, and a mineralogist, topographical en- 
gineer and physician were appointed to assist in car- 
rying out the work. 

The expedition was provided with bark canoes 
manned by Canadian voyageurs and Indians. They 
coursed along the track which, although yet an 
unbroken wilderness, had nevertheless been made 
memorable ground by the wars of the savages and 
the hardships and adventures of the early traders, 
feoldiets and missionaries of the French government. 


The disaffection of the Indians on the upper lakes 
toward the United States, continued to exist in a 
great degree, and their attachment to the English 
was fully exhibited during this expedition. 

By the treaty of 1795, the United States were 
entitled to all the land in the Nortwestern Territory 
which had been granted by the Indians to the French 
and English governments, and on that ground the 
American government claimed the concession which 
had formerly been made to the French at the Sault 
de St. Marie, through which it had been occupied 
as a militar}^ post, 

A council was accordingly held for the purpose of 
establishing this grant, and the object distinctly stated 
to the Indians through an interpreter. They were 
opposed to the proposition of Governor Cass, and 
endeavored to evade it by denying their knowledge 
of the original grant; and when the fact was pressed 
upon their conviction, they exhibited great dissatis- 
faction and gave a qualified refusal. Some of the 
chiefs were in favor of allowing the grant, provided 
it should not be used as a garrison, alleging as a rea- 
son, that their young men might prove unruly and 
kill the cattle, if any should stray away from the 
post. This was intended and received as a threat, 
and Governor Cass in answer told them that so far 
as the establishment of a garrison at the Sault, he 
would spare them all trouble, for so sure as the sun 
rose and set, there would be an American garrison 
at that point, be their decision what it might. 

The council on the part of the Indians, was com- 
posed of chiefs dressed in costly broadcloths, epau- 


lets, medals, silver ornaments, and feathers of British 
manufacture, by which it was understood that Eng- 
lish diplomacy was controlling their deliberations. 

The council was employed several hours in ani- 
mated discussion, and the last chief who spoke, a 
Brigadier in the British service, drew his war lance 
and struck it furiously into the ground, and, pulling 
it out, kicked away the presents that had been laid 
before him, and the council broke up in confusion. 
In a lew minutes the British flag was seen flying over 
the Indian encampment. 

Governor Cass immediately ordered his men under 
arms, and proceeding to the camp with an interpreter, 
took down the insulting flag, telling them at the 
same time that that was an indignity they should not 
be permitted to offer on American soil ; that the flag 
was an emblem of national power; that two stand- 
ards could not float over the same land, and they 
were forbidden to raise any but our own, and if they 
should presume again to attempt it, *'the United 
States would set a strong foot upon their necks and 
crush them to the earth." 

The firmness o{ the Governor produced the 
desired effect. In a few minutes the Indian encamp- 
ment was broken up, the}^ taking to their canoes on 
the river. The Americans numbered sixty -six men, 
of whom thirty were regulars, and the savages could 
muster seventy or eighty well armed wamors. Some 
time having elapsed and no demonstration on the 
part of the Indians being made, the soldiers were 
dismissed to their tents. An overture was soon 
made by a few of the older chiefs who had not been 


present at the former council, and in the evening a 
treaty was conchided, in which they ceded to the 
United States four miles square on the Sault, reserv- 
ing to themselves the right to fish in the river and 
camp on its banks. The calumet having been smoked 
and the shaking of hands concluded, the signatures 
of the Indians were obtained to the treaty, for which 
they were paid on the spot, in blankets, knives, broad- 
cloths and silverware. 

In 1 8 18, upon the erection of Illinois into a State, 
the limits of Michigan were extended by the annex- 
ation of all the territory lying north of that State 
and the State of Indiana. 

In 1823, the Territory of Michigan was vested 
with a mofe compact form of government b}' an act 
of Congress, providing for the establishment of a 
Legislative Council, which was to consist of nine 
members. These members were to be appointed b}' 
the President of the United States with the consent 
of the Senate, out of eighteen candidates elected by 
the people of the territory, and, with the Governor, 
were vested with the same powers which had been 
granted by the ordinance of 1787. 

On the 7th of June, 1824, the first Legislative 
Council of Michigan, was held at the Council House, 
in Detroit. Governor Cass, at that time, delivered 
his message, in which he briefly reviewed the history 
of the Territor}' and its progress, and marked out 
what he considered a proper line of policy in its 
existing condition. 

With the opening of the Erie canal of New York, 
in 1825, Michigan received an impetus of immigra- 


tion, such as she had not known before. This ave- 
nue opening up the way to her fertile soil from the 
remote Atlantic seaboard, emigrants from the sterile 
and mountainous New England, as well as from the 
sections intervening, came pouring in, and from this 
time Michigan properly dated her prosperity. 

In 1827, Congress granted the right of electing 
members of the Legislative Council to the people, 
and the representation was ordered to be apportioned 
among the several counties and districts according to 
their population. 

Grovernor Cass in 1820, at Chicago, effected a 
treaty with the Indians for the lands south of Grand 
river, and also another at Carey Mission in 1828, for 
the remainder of the lands in Michigan, except cer- 
tain reservations. 

In 1830, the population of Michigan had increased 
to thirty-one thousand six hundred and thirty-nine. 
In 1 83 1, Governor Cass resigned his office for the 
purpose of accepting a seat as Secretary of War in 
President Jackson's Cabinet, after occupying the im- 
portant position of Governor of the Territory for 
eighteen years. During this time his entire ener- 
gies had been devoted to strengthening the founda- 
tions of the prosperity of Michigan and increasing 
the wealth of the United States by perfecting treat- 
ies with the Indians, developing the resources and 
defining and establishing the legislation of the Ter- 
ritory. He found the country weak from the devas- 
tations of war; he left it strong. He had given gen- 
eral satisfaction to the people, in effecting substantial 
improvements for the benefit of the State. Although 


endowed with few of the briUiant qualifications of 
an orator, he possessed the solid and discriminating 
judgment of a statesman; discreet, sagacious, pru- 
dent, poHtic, he sought only the best good of the 

Governor Cass was succeeded the same year by 
George B. Porter, a lawyear of Lancaster, Pennsyl- 
vania. He was appointed by President Jackson; 
although not possessing talent, he was acknowledged 
to be an active and thorough business man. The 
administration of Governor Porter was marked by 
no extraordinary measures effecting the condition of 
Michigan, with the exception of the erection of Wis- 
consin, which had formerly been attached to it, and 
the Black Hawk (or Sac) war. 

In April, 1834, a census was taken, when it was 
found that Michigan contained a population of eighty 
seven thousand two hundred and seventy-three. 
During this year, the gubernatorial chair was again 
left vacant by the death of Governor Porter, and 
Stephen T. Mason, then Secretary of State, suc- 
ceeded him as Governor, in which capacity he re- 
mained until elected by the people in 1836, with the 
exception of a part of 1835, when the chair was 
occupied by John S. Horner. 

On the nth of May, 1835, Michigan acting under 
the ordinance of 1787, which empowered the terri- 
tories when their population reached sixty thousand, 
to organize into a State, called a convention at De- 
troit, framed a constitution and elected State officers. 
This constitution was rejected by Congress. But a 
conditional act passed, which in effect was for Mich- 


igan to give up the disputed fifteen mile strip, as 
claimed by Ohio, in accordance with her boundary 
lines as established on her admission into the Union. 
Michigan indignantly refused to comply with the 
provisions of this act, assuming that Congress had no 
right to dictate terms other than those laid down in 
the original compact. 

In September, 1836, another convention was called 
at Ann Arbor, for the purpose of considering this 
act, when it was rejected. Local prejudices sprang 
up and public feeling was aroused. Some were in 
favor of coming in on any terms, while others fav- 
ored staying out until their rights were fully recog- 
nized. On the ground of expediency another con- 
vention was called on the 1 7th of December of the 
same year, when the condition was recognized. The 
basis of this accession was to secure the benefits of 
the Union and share in the division of the surplus 
revenues. The question then arose as to whether 
this convention was empowered to accede to the 
terms as imposed by the act of Congress for the 
admission of Michigan. The President did not deem 
himself authorized to issue his proclamation on the 
action of this convention, but determined to lay the 
whole matter before Congress. This body after a 
protracted discussion, admitted Michigan as a State, 
on the 26th of January, 1837. In lieu of the dispu- 
ted territory, Michigan was granted the Upper 
Peninsula, which, at that time, was considered of but 
little value, except for its fisheries and fur trade. 
The details of the dispute between Ohio and Mich- 
igan, in regard to the territory claimed by each, are 


given at some length in a separate chapter, under the 
head of the " Toledo War.'' 

The limited space we have to devote to this part 
of our subject, prevents carrying it farther, although 
it by no means loses interest at this point, but is well 
worthy the attention and study of both the student 
and general reader. 


By the ordinance of 1787 it was laid down that a 
line running 'due east and west, touching the most 
extreme southern point of Lake Michigan, should be 
the dividing line between the two tiers of States that 
were to be erected out of the Northwestern Ter- 
ritory. In accordance with this, in 1802 Ohio, by 
an act of Congress, was admitted as a Territory, but 
put in her constitution the proviso that if the line 
drawn due east and west should extend so far south 
as not to touch Lake Erie, or if it should touch 
Lake Erie south of the mouth of the Maumee river, 
then in that case, ivith the assent of Cong-resSy the 
northern boundary of the State should be the line 
running from the most extreme southern point of 
Lake Michigan to the most northernly cape of Mau- 
mee bay, and under this provision she was admitted ; 
although by an act of Congress in 1805 admitting 
Michigan under the original boundaries, it can not 
be said that Congress assented to the conditions as 
laid down by Ohio, and in 1807 Ohio instructed her 
Representatives in Congress to use their influence to 


obtain the passage of a law defining their northern 
boundary in accordance with the proviso in their 

In 181 2 two lines were run by order of the Sur- 
veyor General, one in accordance with the original 
plan, called the Harris line, and the other to corres- 
pond with the Ohio proviso, called the Fulton line. 
The point with Ohio was to secure the mouth of 
the Maumee river, then, as has since proved correct, 
deemed important on account of its commercial loca- 
tion, being at the starting point of the Wabash 
canal and one of the principal shipping points on 
Lake Erie. 

Michigan continued to exercise jurisdiction over 
the disputed territory without serious opposition un- 
til 1834, although Wood County, soon after its 
organization in 1820, attempted to control the ter- 
ritory in dispute. 

In 1834 Ohio sent a memorial to Congress, set- 
ting forth her grievances, and in 1835 passed an act 
defining the northern limits of William, Henry, and 
Wood Counties, according to their proviso, all going 
to show that Michigan up to this time had jurisdic- 
tion over the disputed territory. By the same act 
the Governor was empowered to appoint Commis- 
sioners to survey the northern boundary in accord- 
ance with the proviso. 

The Commissioners undertook the work, but were 
prevented by the people of Michigan. This brought 
Ohio to her feet. An extra session of the Legisla- 
ture was called by the Governor on the 8th of June, 
1835, at which the County of Lucas was organized, 


a considerable portion of which was made up of the 
disputed territory. This, however, did not quiet 
the difficulty. In the spring of 1836 two sets of 
officers were elected, one acting under the laws of 
Michigan, the other under the laws of Ohio. The 
Sherift' of Monroe County, at the head of a posse of 
men, marched in and arrested and carried to Monroe 
the local officers elected and acting for Ohio. 
Thereupon Governor Lucas levied troops and en- 
camped at fort Miami, above Toledo. At the same 
time acting Governor Mason called out the militia 
of Michigan, and, placing himself at their head, 
marched to the front. Not finding the enemy, he 
pushed on and took possession of Toledo. 

The Ohio Legislature on the 19th of June, 1835, 
passed an act raising the sum of three hundred 
thousand dollars for the purpose of defraying the 
expense of establishing her northern boundary. 
About this time two Commissioners, Richard Rush 
and Colonel Howard, were appointed at Washing- 
ton for the purpose of settling the difficulties between 
the belligerents, in which they were successful, giv- 
ing to Ohio the territory in dispute, and to Michigan, 
in lieu thereof, the Upper Peninsula, thus ending the 
controversy of many years standing. 


With the early settlement of this country the dis- 
covery was made of a previous settlement by a peo- 
ple long since extinct. The only records remaining 
of this ancient people, or their habits, are the mounds, 
earthworks, and relics they have left behind them. 
That they were an agricultural people seems evident 
from the fact that these relics are always found on 
or near the most fertile land the country affords. 
That they were unlettered, also seems evident, for 
among all the relics that have been discovered 
nothing appears to show that they had any written 
language. And how, when, or for what purpose 
these mounds were built, will perhaps remain in the 
future as it has in the past, a mystery beyond the 
explanation of our most learned, yet a fertile source 
of speculation for all who may have a taste for delv- 
ing in the pre-historic age of the country. 

Many theories have been advanced by the variovis 
authors who have written on the subject, but we 
find after a careful perusal that they all come to one 
conclusion, and leave the reader just where he began; 
and the same mystery enshrouds this ancient people 
and their works that to the early settlers was inex- 
plicable. Perhaps science in her rapid strides may 
in the future throw light on this important subject 



that will give us an idea of their character and 

The earthworks of this county are of two kinds ; 
one the common mounds to be found in nearly ever}' 
township in the count}^, and considered the most 
primitive in their character of any of the earthworks 
in existancCy and a few of what seem to have been 
pleasure grounds or flower gardens. One of this 
latter kind was discovered by Squire Edwards on 
Pokagon prairie, when he came there in 1826. It 
is described as a low mound of considerable size, 
with well define 1 walks radiating from the center in 
all directions, and in several other parts of the county 
we have been informed that formations of like char- 
acter existed in an early day, but, owing to their 
being located on the most fertile soil, they have been 
obliterated by the hand of the practical agriculturist. 

These seem to be entirely difterent from the work 
oi' the Indians, although deemed by some to be one 
and the same, but with the Indians, everything was 
planted in parallel rows, each year planting in the 
same row and raising the ridge with each successive 
cultivation, following this system until the land be- 
came so exhausted that it would no longer produce 
remunerative crops, when a new piece was taken 
alongside and the system repeated, thus giving no 
correct impression of the extent of their agricultural 
operations, for by their manner of planting, it may 
have been carried on for many years, and when it 
became sodded over with the natural grasses of the 
country, it looked as though it all might have been 
under cultivation at one time. 


The mounds of this county, in common with nearl}' 
all that are found north of the 4 ist degree of latitude, 
are of the most primitive character and in no wise 
compare with those found farther south. Their com- 
position is universally of the surface soil without any 
admixture of foreign ingredients whatever, and 
apparently taken from the adjacent locality in such 
small quantities as to make no appreciable depression, 
thus creating with some investigators, the impres- 
sion that it had been brought long distances for the 
purpose of building these mysterious monuments. 

Who the people were that built these works or 
what was their purpose, is beyond the province of the 
author of the present day to divine. A number have 
been opened in ditferent parts of the county, in 
nearly all of which something has been fovmd: in 
some bones and rude implements, in others, a coarse 
kind of crockery ware with traces of charcoal and 
ashes in the bottom, but nothing in any of them that 
leads to any satisfactory conclusion. 

The Indians have a theory that these mounds were 
used b}^ their forefathers for two purposes; those 
having bones in them were monuments of important 
battles and covered the bones of the braves that fell, 
while those not having these relics, were used for 
abode, similar to the dug-outs in use in some parts of 
the west at the present time. But this does not seem 
at all likely, for those used for habitation would nec- 
essarily have to be hollow on the inside and would 
not have preserved their round, comely appearance, 
after the long space of time that has elapsed since 
their construction. 


When father Alloues and Dablou first visited 
Green Bay, in 1670, for the purpose of estabHshing 
a mission, they found the country in the possession 
of a tribe of Pottawatomie Indians. The extent of 
their possessions or the number of their tribe is not 
given, but from the important position they after- 
wards occupied, it is safe to presume that their 
possessions were wide spread, and their tribe numer- 
ous. This is the first record we have of the 
existence of this people or their whereabouts. 

In 1675 Marquette made the voyage in open 
boats up the west shore of Lake Michigan, for the 
purpose of estabHshing missions among the Indians. 
He first landed where Chicago now stands, and it 
being late in the fall, went into winter quarters. 
On this voyage he was accompanied by Illinois and 
Pottawatomie Indians. This is the first trace of 
the Pottawatomies coming as far south as the ex- 
tremity of Lake Michigan. How soon after this 
they left their home on Green Bay to inhabit a more 
genial clime, or whether the change was made 
gradually or at once, history does not state. But a 
portion of them settled on Saginaw bay, others on 
the banks of the Detroit, and still another portion 


located on the east shore of Lake Michigan, in the 
vicinity of the St. Joseph river, while still another 
portion settled in northern Illinois. The precise 
dates of these migrations can not be given, but that 
they v^ere in the vicinity of Detroit and on the St. 
Joseph river about the middle of the last century, 
and have not been known at Green Bay in the last 
hundred years, is recorded. It was a powerful tribe 
and constituted about one-fourth of the Algonquin 
confederacy, and was among the last to give up its 
place to the encroaching white man. 

The Algonquin confederacy was one of the most 
powerful combinations that was ever formed among 
the Indians of the West, and made its power felt in 
their alliance with the French against the English 
under the leadership of Pontiac. The Ottawas, 
Pottawatomies, and Chippewas were closely related 
in all their operations, and made common cause in 
avensring: the death of Pontiac, to the extermination 
of the Illinois, once the most powerful race that in- 
habited the prairie country. The extermination of 
the Illinois gave them almost unlimited sway, and 
their possessions were extended far into Wisconsin 
on the north, south to the Wabash and east to Lake 
Erie. The Sac and Fox Indians west of the Missis- 
sippi river were their constant enemies and an 
almost continual warfare was kept up between the 
two contending parties for the possession of disputed 

To what extent the Pottawatomies assisted the Brit- 
ish in the war of 1812, is not definitely known, but 


that some of their young braves did take part against 
the Americans is a well established fact. 

During the Black Hawk war of 1832, as a tribe, 
they remained loyal to the United States, but it was 
with great diflBculty that the young men could be 
restrained from participating with the Sacs and 

When the settlers first came to this county, they 
found it occupied by three bands of this tribe of 
Indians, comprising in all, about four hundred. In 
the western part was the Pokagon family of about 
two hundred and fifty, occupying the prairie that 
still bears the chief's name. In the northeast was 
Weesaw's band, of about one hundred, occupying Lit- 
tle Prairie Ronde, and in the southeast, the Shave- 
head family of about fifty, with their summer quarters 
on Baldwin's prairie. 

These people were domestic in their habits, fol- 
lowing the pursuit of agriculture as well as the chase 
in obtaining a livelihood. Their farms (or more 
properly gardens,) were usually in the timber border- 
ing on the prairies. These were fenced against their 
ponies (the only stock they kept,) by felling the 
small timber into a windrow on three sides, and on the 
fourth side, next to the prairie, poles laid in crotches, 
formed the protection to their crops. The timber 
within the enclosure was girdled sufficiently to kill 
it, and the tops cut off* thirty or forty feet above the 
ground. Their mode of cultivation was of the most 
primitive character, and performed almost wholly by 
the hoe, from the breaking up of the sod to the cul- 
tivation after planting. And each succeeding year 


the grain was planted on the same spot as the pre- 
ceding year, and the cultivation continued until it 
would no longer produce, when another place was 
selected and the process repeated. 

Of their productions, corn was the staple; while 
pumpkins, potatoes and melons, all of small varieties, 
were raised in limited quantites. The manner of 
securing their corn was to thoroughly dry it at har- 
vest time, and store it away in holes in the ground. 
For this purpose a quantity of bark was peeled each 
year and kept for ready use, and when it came time 
for securing the crop, a place was selected in a con- 
venient thicket of brush, the sod carefully removed 
and placed handy by, while the soil was carried in 
baskets and thrown in the nearest stream, for the 
purpose of leaving no trace of their concealed treas- 
ures. When the hole was finished, it was filled with 
dry combustible material and burned out, after which 
it was lined with bark, the corn put in and covered 
w4th the same material, when the sod taken off, would 
be replaced, making a secure compartment against 
the elements, as well as against any light-fingered 
gentry that might be passing that way. How long 
grain could be kept in this manner, is a matter of 
conjecture, as with the Indians it seldom rested be- 
yond one winter. But that the period might be and 
was farther protracted is illustrated by the fact that 
in the spring of 1827, a squaw and her son came to 
the house of Baldwin Jenkins, from the north, and 
opened one of these bins within a few rods of the 
house, and took out the contents, which was in good 


condition, the family not having once suspected that 
the treasure was so near their door. 

After securing their crops, the band would start 
on a hunting expedition, which would occupy the 
entire winter. The hunting grounds were some dis- 
tance from the summer quarters, and periodically 
changed, for the purpose of letting the game accu- 
mulate, showing a providence that is rarely accred- 
ited to the Indian. In the spring they would repair 
to their sugar-making ground and occupy the season 
in making and storing a supply of sweets for the 
year, after which thc}^ would return to their sum- 
mer residence. The corn was reserved until this 
time, unless the chase had been unsuccessful, or other 
untoward circumstances drove them to break in upon 
their stores. 

Of their habits and customs but little new can be 
said. Their language was expressive and composed 
of but few words, each of which had numerous 
meanings, and in talking, was accompanied with ges- 
tures as expressive as the language itself. Their 
marriages were contracted by the parents, without 
ceremony, the friends came together bringing such 
presents as were suitable to the standing of the couple. 
If after living together for a time, they found their 
temperaments were not compatible, or if from any 
other cause, they wished to separate, they were free 
to do so and could be married again to their liking. 

Their manner of burial has been commented upon 
by many writers, and much speculation indulged in 
upon the subject. The peculiar manner of disposing 
of the dead, some hung on trees, others in a' sitting 


posture, others in pens, while a lew were entombed 
in troughs hollowed out from the trunks of trees, 
some with all their worldly goods surrounding them 
and a supply of provisions kept by them for a long 
time, has given rise to manj' theories on the subject. 
But with the Indians, these all had a special mean- 
ing, and any one of the tribe passing through a 
strange land could tell the rank, or if the subject had 
committed any serious crime, or was a noted brave, 
it was as plain to them as the marble tablet is to us. 
This is illustrated by the fact that in some of their 
earlier journeyings around the south end of Lake 
Michigan, a woman whom they all respected, named 
Me-mis-no-qua, (brave lady), was taken sick and 
died, and the last words she said were ''here let m}' 
people eat." A tight pen was built over her grave, 
in which was deposited a quantity of dried venison, 
berries, etc., that any of the tribe coming that way 
hungry, could stop and eat. This was kept up as 
lon«: as the tribe continued to travel on that trail. 

Many of the early settlers will remember how the 
Indian babies were strapped to a board — a seemingl}' 
inhuman practice — but by them deemed necessary, 
as they reasoned that to keep the child straight would 
make straight men, which was the pride of the 
nation. Any one who has seen their children thus 
treated, and noted the smiles of the little fellows 
when the bells tinkled on shaking the board, and the 
convenience of disposing of them against the wall, 
or any out of the way place, does not wonder at the 
mode as practiced by these simple people. 

Their manner of disposing of old or decrepit per- 


sons, was as summary as effective. Whenever they 
became useless or could not take care of themselves, 
they were put out of the way. A case of this kind 
occurred in the spring of 1830, near the northeast 
corner of Young's Prairie, where a band had win- 
tered, when the party were ready to move, one old 
squaw was unable to go along. A committee took 
her in charge, cut a hole in the ice and deposited her 
therein, when the band proceeded on its way. 

In July, 1829, John Baldwin (for whom Baldwin's 
prairie was named) had some difficulty with the In- 
dians in regard to a yoke of cattle, which he had 
bought of them and paid for in whisky. It is 
claimed by some that a 3^oke of oxen was bought of 
the Indians, by others that the Indians shot an ox 
for Baldwin, crippling him, when Baldwin compelled 
them to buy the ox, and afterward bought it back 
and paid for it in whisky as stated. The Indians' 
ground for complaint was that the whisky was 
watered so much that it would not make them 

One night, in harvest time, they came after he 
had gone to bed, armed with clubs, gained admit- 
tance and demanded that the matter be made right. 
Baldwin denied the charges, jumped out of bed and 
toward the fire-place where he had a stick of timber 
drying for a scythe snath, which he hoped to get to 
defend himself with. The Indians anticipated his 
movement, and were ahead in tirne to fell him with 
a club. He called to his son, Joel, a young man 
sleeping in an adjoining room, for help, who, coming 
to the outside door, found it guarded by Indians. 


He then went in and jumped through a small 
window between the two rooms, but was caught by 
the Indians, who pulled his shirt over his head, at 
the same time assuring him that if he was quiet no 
harm would befall him. The Indians continued to 
beat Baldwin until they supposed him dead, after 
which they drew him into the doorway, and on leav- 
ing each one jumped upon his body, at the same time 
uttering an unearthly yell. 

After the Indians left, the young man, with the 
assistance of the children, got his father onto the 
bed and found that he still breathed. Leaving him 
in charge of the children, Joel mounted a horse and 
aroused the neighbors, little thinking that he would 
be alive on getting back. But when the neighbors 
came in, it was found that he still lived. Dr. 
Loomis, of White Pigeon, was sent for, who dressed 
his wounds, which were mostty on the head, one 
side of which was half skinned and the balance 
badly beaten up. 

Baldwin recovered from his injuries, put in a bill 
against the Indians for damages to the agent and 
was allowed nearly three thousand dollars, which 
was taken out of their annuities. 

Topennebee was the acknowledged leader or 
Grand Sachem, and held sway over the various 
tribes of Pottawatomies of the Northwest. In 1795, 
as head chief, he signed the treaty which ceded all 
of Southern Ohio to the United States. His name 
also appears on various other treaties at different 
times, in which the cession of lands was made, in 
Northern Ohip, nearly all of Indiana and Michigan, 


and parts of Illinois and Wisconsin. His name in 
the Indian language signifies peacemaker, and from 
the characteristics of the man it would seem that he 
merited the appellation. 

At the time of the threatened invasion by Black 
Hawk the Indians were in council near Niles, when 
Topennebee advised his people to keep on neutral 
ground, assigning as a reason that they would soon 
have to remove beyond the Mississippi, and it would 
be better for them not to take sides with either party. 
When he was through Op-to-go-me — Half Day — 
arose and said the reason for such advice as this was 
that Topennebee was a coward. At this the old 
chief threw over to him a butcher knife, at the same 
time bidding him to defend himself. At the first 
thrust Topennebee drove the knife nearly through 
his body, and for years a white flag was kept flying 
over the dead Indian's grave. He, in common with 
the other members of his tribe, was removed to the 
West in 1838. 

Pokagon was next in command to Topennebee, 
and by many was considered the ideal red man of 
the forest, but by the Indians, in early times, he was 
held in derision and received his name (signif3'ing 
rib) from the fact that at the massacre of Chicago 
he killed a pregnant white woman and cut her under 
the ribs, extracting the child. His original name 
was Saqoquinick. He married a daughter of To- 
pennebee's brother, which, with being a good talker, 
placed him in the position of chief of his band and 
second in command of the Pottawatomies. His home 
was on the west side of the prairie that bears his 


name. He early became a convert to the Catholic 
faith and adhered to it through life, and set a good 
example for his band by abstaining from spirituous 

By the treaty at Chicago, in 1833, Pokagon and 
his band were exempted from being removed be}'ond 
the Mississippi in common with the other Indians. 
His objection to being removed was the fear that 
they would lose the faith and civilization they had 
attained, and refused to sign the treaty unless the 
privilege of remaining was guaranteed him. 

When the other Indians were taken away Poka- 
gon purchased a large tract of land in Silver Creek 
Township, where he remained until his death, in 
1 84 1. He gave largely of his possessions to the 
Church of his faith. 

In 1839 Pokagon was taken very sick and thought 
he was going to die, whereupon he sent for a priest, 
who on coming, refused to confer absolution unless 
forty acres of land were deeded to him. This Poka- 
gon acceded to, the priest making out the papers; 
but upon the recovery of the chief, a short time 
after, the deed proved not to be for forty acres, but 
about seven hundred, and a lengthy litigation was 
necessary to recover it back. 

Weesaw, the third in command of the Pottawato- 
mies, occupied the Northeastern portion of the 
county, making his home in the summer season on 
the farm now owned by B. G. Buell, Esq., on Little 
Prairie Ronde. His winter quarters were on the 
Dowagiac creek, on the farm of Hon. George New- 
ton, where he had wigwams for the twenty families 


constituting his band. He made sugar in the 
northwestern portion of the township of VoHnia, 
near the farm of the late Daniel C. Squiers. 

Weesaw is described as a man fully six feet high, 
finely formed. His carriage was proud and erect, 
and when dressed in his suit of blue broad cloth, of 
which he was very proud, he made a fine appear- 
ance. His favorite mode of dressing, however, was 
in the true Indian style, and as described by those 
that saw him, with a large silver ring in his nose, 
one in each ear, a breast-plate of the same material 
as large as a pie tin, his leggins adorned with a row 
of bells, that tinkled at every step, a blue sash, tied 
around his body, and a turban on his head of the 
same gay color, all combined to give impression 
of true Indian grandeur. He had three wives, of 
whom one was the daughter of Topennebee, and 
was the favorite, and on marches and important oc- 
casions was allowed to take the station nearest 

Weesaw was a friend of the whites, and always 
evinced a desire to cultivate their acquaintance and 
friendship. In 1827, while the surveying party were 
working north of the big swamp, their packer got 
lost and could not find them for several days, in 
which time provisions ran very low and it became 
necessary to send out two men to procure supplies. 
Mr. Orlean Putnam and another man were detailed 
for this purpose, and went to Weesaw's encampment 
on Little Prairie Ronde to procure the necessary 
supplies, arriving just at night. On making their 
wants known, the utmost hospitality was shown 


them, and immediately the squaws set about pre- 
paring food to be taken to the party. They were 
given a separate tent to lodge in, and at the same 
time asked to guard the fire arms that were brought 
to their place, as there was a general drunk among 
the braves of the band, and a number of times dur- 
ing the night the squaws came and peeped in to see 
if all was safe. In the morning Weesaw and his 
favorite wife accompanied the party some distance 
on their way, assisting them in carrying the provis- 
ions. At this time there was no white inhabitant 
nearer than Pokagon prairie. 

In the spring of 1830 or 1831 Weesaw wished to 
move from his winter quarters to the sugar making 
ground, but owing to the indisposition of one of his 
wives, who had been badly hurt in a drunken brawl 
by an Indian who had with a sharp stick prodded 
nearly all the joints in her body, making it impossi- 
ble to move her with their means of conveyance, he 
came to Jonathan Gard for assistance, and wished 
him to take his ox team and move her. Mr. Gard 
fearing that in her critical condition something 
might happen and blame be attached to him, evaded 
the chief, by telling him that the oxen were in the 
woods and he did not know where to find them. 
To this Weesaw replied, '' me find them," and im- 
mediately set out in pursuit of the oxen, and on the 
next morning drove them up. A long sled was 
prepared, with litter, and the squaw carefully loaded 
on; but in going through the woods they came to a 
large log that it was impossible to get around. Mr. 
Gard improvised a bridge of such small poles as 


they could pick up, and instructed Weesaw as the • 
sled came to a balance to ease it down, so as not to 
jar or hurt her. The idea struck him so forcibly 
that he clapped his hands for joy at its success. 
The trip was made in safety, but the poor woman, 
owing to the serious nature of her wounds, lived but 
a few da3'S after her removal. 

Weesaw held, or assumed to hold, for a number 
of years a grant of three miles square on the south 
side of Little Prairie Ronde,^ taking in a portion of 
Gard's prairie and the creek intervening, but no at- 
tention was paid to his claim by the settlers, and 
about 1832 he removed his band to the western part 
of Berrien County. 

Shavehead and his band of nine families occupied 
the southeastern part of the county, and a portion of 
the time wintered east of Young's prairie. This 
chief received his name from the peculiar manner in 
which he wore his hair, it being nearly all shaved 
off, leaving only a lock on top and a small portion 
on the back of his head, which was trained down 
behind, giving him a very peculiar as well as savage 
appearance. He was of a sullen, morose disposition, 
and always seemed to feel that the settlement of the 
country by the whites was an intrusion upon the 
Indian's rightful domain, and treated them accord- 
ingly. This was carried so far on several occasions 
that it came near costing him his life for his im- 
pudence and indiscretion. At one time he came to 
the house of Reuben Pegg, on Young's Prairie, 
while that gentleman was from home, and demand- 
ed of Mr^ P. some tallow to use on his gun, which 


she told him she did not have. This so enraged him 
that he threatened her until she was frightened nearly 
to death. Mr. P. coming home soon after and being 
informed of what had transpired, cut an ox gad and 
followed after and overtook the Indian near old Mr. 
Green's, when he gave him a severe castigation with 
an admonition to keep scarce in the future. On 
another occasion as Mr. Savory, of White Pigeon 
Prairie, was returning home from Carpenter's Mill, 
where he had been to get a grist ground, his team 
was stopped in the woods by this Indian, who stepped 
from behind a tree and took hold of the leaders, at 
the same time demanding a bag of meal for the priv- 
ilege of passing through his country. Mr. S. told 
him to let go of the horses and come and take what 
meal he wanted, which Shavehead proceeded to do, 
but hardl}^ got his head over the side of the wagon- 
box, when it was struck with the butt of the heavy 
laden whip in the hands of the driver, knocking him 
senseless to the ground and falling between the for- 
ward and back wheels of the wagon, from whence 
he was dragged by Mr. S. and left lying beside the 
trail more dead than alive. Many incidents of like 
nature could be related going to show the character 
of the man, but these will be sufficient. He never 
signed any of the treaties releasing the Indian title 
to the lands, consequently was cut off from their 
annuities, which perhaps may account for his manner 
of treating the whites. He died in 1837 ^^ 1838, 
near Paw Paw^ this State, A lake on section 19, 
of Porter township, commemorates his name. 



The following sketch of the first white settlement 
in the St. Joseph Valley, (except by the French), is 
taken from the historical address delivered by the 
late Judge Bacon, before the Old Settlers^ Society, at 
Niles, in 1869: 

'^ This event so important in the history of the 
country, and which was in fact the pioneer step in 
the way of settlement, deserves particular notice. 
It was barely ten years since the massacre at Chi- 
cago, and about the same time after the memorable 
battle of Tippecanoe, and the disastrous defeat of 
our army at Brownstown, when this Mission was 
established. Emigration had in a great measure 
stopped. Very few dared to venture beyond the 
older settlements, until he, (McCoy), whose name 
we have just mentioned, boldly entered into the heart 
of the Indian country, and began his mission school 
among the Pottawotomies, who dwelt on the river 
St. Joseph. The fact was soon made known through- 
out Indiana and Ohio, and at once adventurers began 
to prepare to follow the example of the missionary, 
who had led the way. If McCoy had not founded 
Carey Mission, Thompson and Kirk might never 
have crossed the Elkhart. 


"The Rev. Isaac McCoy was born June 13th, 
1788, near Uniontown, in the State of Pennsylvania. 
When six years of age, his parents moved to Jeffer- 
son county, Kentucky. In October, 1803, he mar- 
ried Miss Christiana Polk, daughter of Captain 
Charles Polk, of the last named State, and in March, 
1804, after having been licensed to preach, he and his 
wife emigrated to the town of Vincennes, in the 
State of Indiana, where he began his labors as a 
missionary among the Indians, and accordingl}' 
removed into the neighborhood of their village on 
Raccoon creek, and there erected a double log cabin 
and opened his school. His devoted wife was a 
faithful helper, and she with their seven children fol- 
lowed and shared with him his privations and toils. 
In 1820 he removed his school to Fort Wayne, and 
there, for two years, devoted himself to his chosen 
work, and from thence removed to Carey on the St. 
Joseph river, as has been stated. 

" Permit me now to call 3^our attention for a few 
moments, to Mrs. McCo}^, and to a few incidents in 
her eventful life. She was born in Shelby count}, 
Kentucky. She was one of four children, who with 
their mother were captured by the Indians and car- 
ried by them to Detroit, and they with other captives 
were ransomed by British officers and kept for three 

'' At the time. Captain Polk was from home in a 
scouting party against the Indians. On his return 
he found his house in ashes and his wife and children 
gone. He made immediate pursuit, but in vain; the 
savages made their escape, and he returned not to a 


home, but to the place where his dweUing had once 
stood, to mourn their loss. 

'^ At the end of three years, he found his wife and 
children at Detroit all well. He paid their ransom 
and brought them back in safety to Kentucky. I 
cannot speak at this time of the sufferings and 
terror which attended their capture and captivity by 
the savages. It can never be fully told, or even imag- 
ined. They were seized, hurried off, and compelled 
to keep up with their captors in their flight. 

''After their removal to Fort Wayne, and w^hile 
their school was in successful operation, Mrs. McCoy 
knowing that she could not receive such attention 
as her situation would soon require, deemed it best 
to return to Fort Harrison, and there remain for a 
time among her friends. 

''Accordingly in June, 1821, she, together with 
her three youngest children, set out in a canoe to 
descend the Wabash, to the place last named. The 
distance was between three and four hundred miles. 
Mrs. McCoy sat up the first night, and by the light 
of a fire built on shore,* watched her three sleeping 
children and protected them from the mosquitoes. 

"In the month of September following, she re- 
turned to Fort Wayne on horseback, carrying in her 
arms her infant child, not yet two months old. The 
distance she traveled was about one hundred and 
eighty miles, and the road lay across and through a 
new country, much of it was a wilderness and inhab- 
ited by savages only. Most of the time she slept in 
the woods with no shelter but a tent. 

"On the 14th of May, 1822, McCoy visited the 


Indian villages upon the river St. Joseph. He held 
a consultation vi^ith the chiefs and a site for the mis- 
sion buildings was selected. He returned to Fort 
Wayne on the 23d of May, and carried with him 
three Indian children for the school. On the 9th of 
October, 1822, Mr. McCoy, with Mr. Jackson and 
his family, four hired men and some of the oldest In- 
dian boys, in all twenty persons, left Fort Wayne 
for the purpose of erecting buildings at the Mission 

'' They brought with them two wagons drawn by 
oxen, one four horse wagon, and five milch cows. 
They arrived on the 19th of October, wet with rain, 
and worn down with fatigue. They immediatel)' 
began their work, cutting down trees and hauling 
them onto the ground and fitting them to be laid up 
into the four walls of a house. McCoy, though not 
fully recovered from an attack of fever, labored with 
the men and directed the work. 

''On the 1 1 th of November, the buildings were 
in such a state of forwardness, that McCoy left the 
party to go on with the work and he set out on his 
return to Fort Wayne. It was November weather, 
stormy and cold. He was wet every day with rain, 
and riding through the wet bushes, and at night slept 
on the ground, or in a deserted wigwam. The mis- 
sionary, famishing with hunger and shivering with 
cold, reached home after a ride of three days. 

'' Preparations having been made for the final re- 
moval, l^IcCoy with his wife and five children, Mr. 
Dusenbury, an assistant missionary, six laboring 
men, and eighteen pupils and Indians, making in all 


thirty-two persons, moved off from Ft. Wayne on the 
9th of December, 1822. They were stowed away in 
three wagons drawn by oxen, and one wagon drawn 
b}^ four horses. They drove with them fifty fat 
hogs, and five cows. Beds, bedding, clothing, and 
provisions were packed in the wagons. Some of 
the men and boys rode on horse-back, the balance 
were obliged to plod along on foot. A large tent 
was carried along, which at night and on very 
stormy da3^s afforded shelter for the whole party. 
The weather was cold, and there was three inches 
of snow on the ground, and ice had already formed 
in the swamps and on the streams. For many miles 
the road was through a low level country, having a 
clay soil, and covered with heavy timber. 

'' From the very start they could look for nothing 
but a tedious, comfortless, and wearisome journey; 
most of the party, too, had been sick with chills and 
fever, from which they had not as yet fully recovered. 
Three large rivers had to be crossed. There was 
neither ferry nor bridge; nor was there a cabin or 
house on the whole route. Winter had set in. 
Snow was falling daily, and the mercury was below 
the freezing point when they bade farewell to Fort 
Wayne and attempted to ford the St. Marys. The 
water was deep and the ice was running swiftly, but 
after hours of struggle and toil, the whole party, 
with the cattle, got safely over. They made but 
three miles advance the first day. The snow was 
cai-efully remorved, a fire built, the tent pitched, beds 
made on the ground, and the party encamped for 
the night. They retired early to rest, and arose at 


four o^clock in the morning and ate breakfast b}^ 
candle light. This was their custom during the 
entire journey. Delays and hinderances happened 
daily. Wagons were broken, which must be re- 
paired, cattle strayed away at night and a whole 
day was spent in search of them. 

'^On the night of the 14 th they encamped on the 
bank of the Elkhart. After cutting awa}^ the ice 
they got safely over the river, but not until after a 
day of hard labor and great exposure. 

''Early on the morning of the 17th, McCoy, 
though very unwell, took two men with him and 
went ahead of the party ten miles to the St. Joseph 
and built large fires on each bank, by which they 
could warm themselv^es from time to time as the 
slow and tedious work of crossing was going on. 
Although the water was deep and the ice running 
fast, which -made the crossing dangerous, yet the 
party with their effects got safely over, and en- 
camped for the night. They were now eighteen 
miles from the French trading house at Pare aux 

''On the morning of the i8th of December they 
made a desperate effort, and at night found shelter 
under the roof of the kind and hospitable Mr. Ber- 
trand. They now were within six miles of the mis- 
sion house. On the 19th they came to this place 
(Niles) and forded the river near the foot of Main 
street, crossing it diagonally, and landing near the 
rear of the garden of Mr. Colby. In an hour there- 
after they reached their home in the woods. 

There is a large stream of water which empties 


into the St. Joseph, near the present site of Elkhart, 
which is known as the Christiana creek. It was so 
named by the missionary in honor of his wife, as 
they crossed it the i8th of December. If no other 
monument shall bear her name, this placid stream 
will in all future time remind the beholder of its 
namesake, the gentle Christiana McCoy. 

When the missionaries arrived at Carey, their 
stock of flour was almost exhausted. Two wagons 
drawn by oxen were immediately sent to Ohio, by 
way of Fort Wayne, to procure a supply. It was 
hoped that they would return in a month. It was 
not, however, until the 13th of February that they 
arrived. The family had been on short allowance for 
more than four weeks. They had been able to buy 
from the Indians and French traders only a few 
bushels of com, which was boiled and served as 
bread. It often happened during their Six weeks of 
semi-starvation, that they were reduced to a single 
bushel of grain, and knew not where to go for more. 
It, however, did happen, or rather was ordered, that 
a supply, though a scanty one^ should come. They 
procured a little corn from the traders and natives, 
and kind old Mr. Bertrand most generously divided 
his last barrel of flour with the famishing mis- 

'* The following extracts from the journal give a 
vivid picture of the condition of the family: 

" ' Febiaiary ist. Having eaten up our corn, and 
having only flour enough for one meal, we sent five 
of our strongest Indian boys five miles to an Indian 


trader and borrowed a barrel of flour and a bushel 
of corn. Our teams were absent and the boys car- 
ried it home on their backs. The flour was dam- 
aged, nevertheless it was very acceptable to us.' 

'''February 7th. Ate our last meal of bread for 
breakfast, which was so scarce that we had to divide 
it carefully that every one might have a little. We 
had saved a few pounds for the small children. We 
were without milk and the}^ were suffering. An Indian 
was sent out to try to buy corn. He returned with 
six quarts, which was all he could procure.' 

" ' February 8th. Breakfasted upon corn, which 
we had procured yesterday. Blessed be God, we 
have not 3'et suffered for want of food, because our 
corn is an excellent substitute for bread. But now 
having eaten our last corn, we can not avoid feeling 
some uneasiness about the next meal.' 

" In this extremity McCoy set out on horse-back, 
accompanied by an Indian, who was on foot acting 
as guide, in search of food. He was yet weak from 
sickness, the snow was deep, and it was extremely 
K:old. He had hardly left the house when an old Pot- 
tawatomie widow, who lived near by, having heard 
of their destitute condition, kindl}^ sent Mrs. McCo}' 
sweet corn enough for a full meal for the whole 
family. McCoy in the meantime was slowly work- 
ing his way through the trackless snow, when he 
accidentally met Mr. Bertrand and made known to 
him his business. The kind-hearted Frenchman, 
touched with pity for the starving missionaries, 
generously divided his own stock of flour and corn. 


giving them one-half, (Bertrand's own supply was 
by no means large) and he accompanied the gift 
with a few words of broken English : ' I got some 
corn, some flour; I give you half. Suppose you die, 
I die, too.' 

''On the loth of February, two Indians brought a 
supply of corn, and a few days afterward, two trad- 
ers named Rosseau, having heard of their wants, 
brought them a little flour. In this way they sub- 
sisted until the 13th, when the wagons arrived with 
supplies. They not only brought flour, but brought 
in addition, two boxes of clothing, which had been 
sent from Massachusetts. This timely donation was 
almost as acceptable as food itself to them, who were 
pinched with cold as well as hunger. 

"On the 2 1st of February, Mr. Johnston Lykins, 
after an absence of several months, arrived, to the 
great joy of all. He had at first been emplo3'ed as 
a teacher, \^hen the school was established in the 
Wabash country. He came with the missionaries 
to Fort Wayne, and was an associate with McCoy. 
His ability, integrity and christian devotion, emi- 
nently fitted him for the work in which he was en- 
gaged. He had the entire confidence of McCoy, and 
was equally with him. a principal. 

"He remained at Carey until the establishment 
was broken up, and the success of the Mission was 
in a great degree attributable to his wise counsel and 
administrative talent. 

"In February, 1828, he married Miss McCoy, the 
eldest daughter of the . missionary. Dr. Lykins is 


yet living, and now resides at Kansas City, Missouri. 
''The winter and spring of 1823 were times of 
great suffering with the Mission family. Many of 
them were sick from over-labor, and from exposure 
and privation. McCoy himself was confined to the 
house by fever, and Mrs. McCoy was unwell, not 
having fully recovered from the sickness of the pre- 
ceding summer. 

'' There was great activity among all the employes 
at the Mission in the spring of 1823. The school 
was in full operation. The daily cares of the house- 
hold and family were large. It was no trifling mat- 
ter to look after the never-ending routine of labor in 
the kitchen, where food was prepared for sixty peo- 
ple. A new farm was to be cleared, fenced, plowed 
and planted. Various as were the departments of 
labor, there was order and regularity in all of them. 

''In the month of May, 1823, Major Long of the 
United States army, while on his way to explore the 
sources of the St. Peters, called with his party at 
the Mission. In the report which was made of 
this well-known tour, he mentioned this visit. The 
following extract is taken from it: 

" ' The report which we had received of the flat- 
tering success which had attended the efforts of the 
Baptist missionaries on the St. Joseph, induced us to 
deviate a little from our route, to visit this interest- 
ing establishment. 

" ' The Carey Mission House, so designated in 
honor of the late Wm. Carey, the indefatigable apos- 
tle of Hindostan, is situated about one mile from 


the river St. Joseph. The establishment was erec- 
ted by the Baptist Missionary Society in Washing- 
ton, and is under the superintendence of the Rev. 
Mr. McCoy; a man whom from all the reports we 
have heard of him, we should consider as eminently 
qualified for the important trust committed to him. 
We regretted that during the time we passed at the 
Carey Mission House, this gentleman was absent on 
business connected with the establishment of another 
missionary settlement, on the Grand river of Michi- 
gan, but we saw his wife, who received us in a ver}^ 
hospitable manner, and gave us every opportunity of 
becoming acquainted with the circumstances of the 

^^ ' The spot was covered with a very dense forest 
seven months before the time we visited it, but b}^ 
the great activity of the Superintendent, he has suc- 
ceeded in the course of this short time, in building 
six good log houses, four of which afford comforta- 
ble residences for the inmates of the establishment; 
the fifth is used as a school room, and the sixth forms 
a commodious blacksmith shop. In addition to this, 
they have cleared about fifty acres of land, which is 
nearly all enclosed by a substantial fence. Forty 
acres have already been plowed and planted with 
maize, and every step has been taken to place the 
establishment upon an independent footing. 

'' ' The school consists of from forty to sixty chil- 
dren, and it is contemplated that it will soon be 
increased to one hundred. The plan adopted appears 
to be a very judicious one; it is to unite a practical 
and intellectual education. The boys are instructed 


in the English language — reading, writing and arith- 
metic. They are made to attend to the usual occu- 
pations of a farm, and perform every operation con- 
nected with it, such as plowing, planting, harrowing, 
&c. In these pursuits, they appear to take great 
delight. The system being well regulated, they find 
time for everything. 

'^ ' The girls receive the same instruction as the 
boys, and in addition are taught spinning, knitting, 
weaving and sewing, both plain and ornamental. 
They are also made to attend to the pursuits of the 
dairy, such as milking cows, making butter, etc. 
All appear to be very happy, and to make as rapid 
progress as white children of the same age would 
make. Their principal excellence rests in works of 
imitation. They write astonishingly well, and many 
display great natural taste for drawing. 

'' ' The institution receives the countenance of the 
most respectable among the Indians. There are in 
the school two of the great grand-children of To- 
pen-ne-bee, the great hereditary chief of the Potta- 
watomies. The Indians visit the establishment 
occasionally and appear well pleased with it. They 
have a flock of one hundred sheep, and are daily 
expecting two hundred head of cattle, collected in 
Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky.' 

"Pn the 15th of June, a drove of one hundred and 
twenty-one cattle arrived at Carey. They were a 
part of the drove of over two hundred spoken of by 
Major Long, a part of them having been left at Fort 
Wayne to recruit. The stock was now increased to 
about one hundred and fifty head. They very soon 


had sixty cows for their dairy, and large quantities 
of butter and cheese were made. They had a large 
stock of all the domestic animals, which are kept on 
a well conducted and well managed farm. It was 
commonly reported they had about two hundred 
head of cattle, about three hundred sheep and an 
immense herd of swine. The latter subsisted most 
of the time on nuts and roots, which they found in 
the woods, and were in fine condition. 

'' The Mission was now in full operation but had 
not attained its full growth. New scholars were 
received, additions made of new missionaries, new 
teachers and new laborers. 

'' In November, Miss Fannie Goodridge, of Lex- 
ington, Kentucky, arrived, and became a teacher. 
She was followed, but at a later day, by Miss Wright 
and Miss Purchase, of Ohio, and by Mr. and Mrs. 
Polk, of Indiana. The late Major Britton, who died in 
1862 at St. Joseph, honored and respected by all that 
knew him, was among the teachers. 

'4n October, 1823, Charles Noble, Esq., of Mon- 
roe was commissioned by General Lewis Cass, who 
was then Governor of the Territory of Michigan 
and also Superintendent of Indian Affairs, to visit the 
Carey Mission and make a report of its condition. 
In pursuance of this commission, Mr. Noble came to 
the mission house and there spent three days in mak- 
ing his examination. The result of this visit and 
the opinion of that gentleman, are spoken of by Gen- 
eral Cass in a letter to McCoy, dated December ist, 
in which he said: 

'' ' Your report, and that of Mr. Noble, are en- 


tirely satisfactory. The affairs of your agency appear 
to be in the best condition, and if the experiment is 
ever successful, I am satisfied you will make it so.' 

'' Although this year was one of prosperity, and 
the products of the farm had been as large as could 
reasonably be expected, still there was a lack of 
breadstuff at the Mission. It is true they had gath- 
ered nine hundred bushels of corn and a large quan- 
tity of vegetables, but they had not as yet raised any 
wheat, and flour was transported in wagons from 
Ohio. They were in need of clothing and there was 
a debt of several hundred dollars incurred in the sup- 
port of the Mission. 

" To procure supplies Mr. McCoy left Carey on the 
2oth of December, and proceeded to Washington, 
and from thence in February he went to Philadel- 
phia, New York, Boston, and other places, where he 
made a representation of the condition and wants of 
the mission. Wherever he went there was a gen- 
erous response to his appeals. He received large 
donations of clothing, books, goods, and more than 
two thousand dollars in money. 

"On the 25th of May he embarked at Buffalo, on 
a schooner bound for Detroit, and the mouth of the 
river St. Joseph. He had on board, besides boxes 
of clothing and goods, one hundred barrels of flour, 
twenty-four barrels of salt, and thirty bushels of 
wheat for seed. He left the vessel at Detroit and 
came across the country on horse-back, arriving at 
Carey on the nth of June. He found all well and 
the work going on prosperously. In his long ab- 
sence of five months, Dr. Lykins and Mrs. McCoy 


had managed with ability the affairs of the mission. 
Their stock of flour was again almost exhausted, and 
none could be obtained until the arrival of the vessel 
at the mouth of the river. What occurred at this 
time is thus stated in the journal: 

'"In my absence the labors of the missionaries have 
been greater than they were able to sustain. Laud- 
ably ambitious to keep all matters moving forward, 
and to prevent retrogression in any department, they 
have toiled beyond their strength. Mrs. McCoy's 
health was very poor, and her spirits were more de- 
pressed than I ever knew them. 

'"I found them on a short allowance of bread. 
On the 1 6th we had exhausted all our flour and 
meal, • excepting a few pounds reserved for the 
small children and the sick. All except myself 
were in good spirits in regard to food, hourly ex- 
pecting the arrival of the vessel. I feared that 
contrary winds or other hinderances might cause us 
to suffer, but concealed my anxiety. On the i8th 
we had only corn enough for one day, but our mer- 
ciful God was still near us. 

'" The harbor at which the vessel would stop was 
without inhabitant, and we had sent two of our In- 
dian pupils to build and keep up a fire at the place, 
in order that the smoke by being seen from the 
vessel might point out the place of landing. The 
boys were directed to open a barrel of flour immedi- 
ately on the landing of the vessel, and hasten to us, 
a distance of twenty-five miles, with what they 
could bring. On the evening of the i8th, to our 


great joy, and mine in particular, one of the }'oung 
men arrived with a mule packed with flour. We 
brought our property from the lake to the station 
upon the river in pirogues. From that time for- 
ward the mission did not suflfer for bread, nor did 
our pecuniary wants ever again become so great as 
they had been.' 

^' The Mission was prosperous during the next two 
years. The number of scholars increased. The 
farm was greatly enlarged. More than two hundred 
acres were enclosed with substantial fences. About 
three hundred bushels of wheat were harvested in 
1824 and in 1825, a flouring mill was erected which 
was worked by horse power. This was the first 
mill built west of Tecumseh or Ann Arbor. It was 
most necessar}^ for the comfort and convenience of 
the Mission, Prior to this they ground corn on a 
hand mill, which required the constant labor of one 
man to make sufficient meal for daily consumption. 

" The condition of the Mission and its influence 
upon the natives of the surrounding country is clearly 
stated by the late John L. Lieb, Esq., of Detroit, the 
government agent, whose duty it was, among other 
things, to visit annually the Indian schools within the 
bounds of the Michigan superintendency. He visited 
the Carey Mission in August, 1826, and made his 
report to General Cass, from which the following 
extracts are made: 

^* ^ On the 1 5th of August, I proceeded to the 
Carey establishment on the St. Joseph, where I 
arrived on the 21st, and was much gratified with the 



improvement in all its departments. It is a world in 
miniature, and presents the most cheerful and con- 
soling appearance. It has become a familiar resort 
of the natives, and from the benefits derived from it 
in various shapes, they begin to feel a dependence on, 
and resource in it at all times, and especially in diffi- 
cult and trying occasions. There is not a day, I 
may say hardly an hour, in which new faces were 
not to be seen. 

" ^ The smithery affords them incalculable facilities 
and is constantly filled with applicants for some essen- 
tial ser\ice. It is a touching spectacle to see them, 
at the time of prayer, fall in with the members of 
the institution, which they do spontaneously and 
cheerfully, and with a certain animation depicted on 
their countenances, exhibiting their internal satisfac- 

^' ' There are at present seventy scholars, forty-two 
males and twenty-eight females, in various stages of 
improvemnt. Eight of the alumni of this institu- 
tion who have completed the first rudiments of edu- 
cation, have been transferred to academies in New 
Jersey and New York. Two of the boys are learning 
the trades of blacksmithing and shoemaking. The 
remainder of sufficient size are employed occasionally 
on the farm. The girls are engaged in spinning, 
knitting, and weaving. The loom has produced one 
hundred and eighty -five yards of 61oth this year. 
Two hundred and three acres are now enclosed by 
fences, of which fifteen are in wheat, fifty in Indian 
com, eight in potatoes and other vegetable products. 
The residue is appropriated to pasture. 


'' ' There have been added to the buildings since m)' 
last visit, a house and a most excellent grist mill, 
worked by horse power. The usefulness of this 
mill can scarcel}' be appreciated, as there is no other 
of any kind within one hundred miles at least of the 
establishment, and here as benevolence is the pre- 
ponderating principle, all the surrounding population 
is benefited. 

'' ' Numerous Indian families have since my last visit 
settled themselves around, and have from the en- 
couragement, countenance, and assistance of the 
missionar}' family, made considerable progress in 
agriculture; indeed a whole village has been formed 
within six miles of it, under its benevolent auspices 
and fostering care. I visited it to witness myself 
the change in their condition. To good fences, with 
which many of their grounds are enclosed, succeed 
domestic animals. You now see oxen, cows, and 
swine grazing around their dwellings without danger 
of destroying their crops. Here are the strongest 
evidences of their improvement, and not the least of 
the benefits arising from the neighborhood of this 
blessed abode of the virtuous inmates of Carey. It 
is not alone in the immediate neighborhood that the 
efforts of the missionary exertions are felt. In dis- 
tant places, near the mouth of the St. Joseph, and at 
Grand River, the most surprising changes have 
taken place. Strong and effective enclosures are 
made and making, and stock acquired; and at the 
latter place the missionary family have erected 
spacious buildings, including a school^house, and 
improved some land. 


" ' I was visited by numerous chiefs of known and 
approved influence over their tribes, who came to 
express their satisfaction at the establishment and 
inviting me to a conference with them.' 

''In September, 1827, a treaty with the Indians 
was held at Carey. The commissioners on the part 
of the United States were Governor Cass and Gen- 
eral Tipton, and Judge Leib of Detroit was 
Secretary of the commission. The Mission had 
now attained its full growth and blazed forth in all 
its splendor. While negotiations for the treaty were 
pending, the commissioners examined carefully into 
the management of the institution, and most cor- 
dially approved it. 

''It was known from the very beginning that the 
Carey Mission must fall before the white men who 
would immigrate to the country. The Indian title 
to*4:he land would soon be extinguished and then it 
would be purchased by actual settlers. The white 
man and the Indian could not live side by side until 
the latter should be civilized and made equal to the 
former. Accordingly preparations were being made 
at the Mission for bringing it to a close, and its re- 
moval beyond the western boundary of the Territory 
of Missouri. It was not fully wound up until the 
year 1830. 

" The founder of Carey was a man of great energy 
and untiring perseverence; affable, generous, and a 
sincere Christian, he made friends wherever he was 
known. He died at Louisville, Kentucky, in 1846. 
Mrs. McCoy, his most amiable and devoted wife, 
died in Jackson County, Missouri, at the house of 
her son, J. C. McCoy." 



The first thing to which the early settler gave his 
attention, on arriving at his destination in the new 
country, was a habitation for himself and family. 
In some instances the man would come on the 
season before and prepare the necessary shelter, but 
in most cases the family all moved together, using 
the large covered wagon which had conveyed them 
on their journey, for a place of abode until a cabin 
of logs could be erected. A location was usually 
selected behind a belt of timber, and near a spring, 
or running stream, thus securing protection from 
the elements and a supply of that very important 
article, water, at one and the same time. First in 
order came the clearing of a suitable plat of ground 
for the cabin. This done, logs of a proper size and 
length were cut for the body of the building and 
hauled together. Thus far the man could get along 
alone, or with such assistance as his sons or hired 
man could render, but in order to raise the building 
the assistance of the neighbors for perhaps a half 
dozen miles around was soHcited. If the day was 
generally known on which the raising was to be 


done, no invitation was necessary, as the friendliness 
and generosity of the early settlers was of such a 
spontaneous nature that all that was needed was to 
hav^e it known that a new comer was in want of 
help and it was speedily forthcoming. Many in- 
stances are reported of strife between parties as to 
who should be the first on the ground — some coming 
long before daylight, perhaps only to find several of 
their neighbors there before them — and at earliest 
dawn the business of putting up the habitation com- 

First, the two side logs were placed on suitable 
blocks — or if the proprietor was particular to have it 
substantial, stones were used instead — notches were 
cut along for the sleepers to rest in, which were round 
poles faced on one side with an ax, and the four best 
^^ corner men" took their places. 

The post of "corner man" was one of no minor 
distinction, and to be successful he must not only be 
skilled in the use of an ax, but have a mechanical 
eye as well, and be able to make a joint every time, 
as it was of the utmost importance to avoid rolling 
the log back and forth. 

The men were then divided into two parties, each 
choosing a captain, and took their respective stations 
at either encl of the log to be put in place. As soon 
as the building had risen to a height to make it nec- 
essary, the skid and crotch were brought into requi- 
sition, the former formed by placing long straight 
poles from which the bark had been peeled, with one 
end resting on the building, the other on the ground, 
and on these the logs were rolled up to the "corner 


men." The crotch was cut from a sapling three or 
four inches through, having a natural fork at a suit- 
able distance to make it the right length to reach the 
top of the building. The fork was secured by wind- 
ing with hickory withes, which had first been run 
through the fire to toughen them. A two-inch auger- 
hole was bored at right angles with the fork near 
the butt end, in this was placed a pin three or four 
feet long, to push up by, forming an implement that 
was very eftective in raising the logs to their places. 
Many times the excitement would rise to the high- 
est pitch, especially if there was a supply of whisky 
on hand — which was quite common on these occa- 
sions — each party striving to push their end of the 
log up first. In some instances, so much force 
was used as to throw the corner men from their 
positions when the log came against the building. 

The hickory withe can hardly be appreciated in 
this day of ropes, tools and machinery, but then it 
was of the utmost importance. The pioneer on 
starting to the woods, or on a journey, always car- 
ried an ax, and with this he would cut roads, build 
a bridge or mend his wagon, as the case might be 
or circumstances require. A broken axle-tree was 
of no uncommon occurrence, and with the ax alone, 
he would mend his vehicle by cutting a pole and 
tying it fast to the axle-tree with withes, and proceed 
on his journey. The tools required in building a 
house were an ax, saw, and auger, and with these the 
pioneer would do the whole job; in fact, he seem- 
ingly needed no others. 

The cabin being built up to the height considered 


necessary — which was usually that of the tallest 
member of the family — notches were cut along in 
the two side logs, to admit poles laid in crosswise for 
joists. When up to the square, the two end logs 
were extended over about a foot each way, for the 
purpose of receiving a log to rest the first tier of 
shakes against ; and the building of the gable ends 
commenced, a system of architecture much easier to 
take in with the eye than describe on j>aper. 

The lack of lumber and the absence of machinery 
for manufacturing it, made it necessary to do every- 
thing with such material as was at hand ; hence the 
system of ^^ cobbing" as it was termed, by which it 
was meant the forming of the gable ends with logs, 
which were cut of suitable lengths, each pair being 
shorter as the work progr^^sed upward, and sloped 
off to form the pitch of the roof With each pair 
of end logs, a pole ran lengthwise of the building, 
for the shakes to rest upon, taking the place or an- 
swering the purpose of rafters in more modern archi- 

When the ends had been brought to a peak the 
roofing commenced. While one party was engaged 
in putting up the building, another would be busy 
preparing material for the roof, which consisted 
wholly of shakes and poles; the fonner were made 
from some rifty, fi^ee-splitting timber — usually white 
or red oak— -cut three feet long and split from four 
to eight inches wide and one inch thick. These were 
laid in double courses, the first course resting on the 
logs spoken of above, as forming the top of the 
square, and which sometimes were hewn out in the 


form of troughs, thus answering the double purpose 
of supports for the shakes and conductors for the 
rain water. 

After the first course of shakes had been laid, two 
or three short blocks were placed on the roof, one 
end resting against the trough or log that held the 
lower end of the shakes, the ''weight-pole" against 
the other; the "weight-pole" answering the double 
purpose of holding one tier of shakes down and mak- 
ing a base for the next tier above. This process was 
continued until the roof was complete, the last tier 
of shakes projecting over at the comb six or eight 
inches in the opposite direction to that from which 
the prevailing winds came, to prevent storms from 
beating under; and, so far as rain was concerned, no 
shingle or slate roof could have afforded better pro- 
tection — ^the only drawback being that in the winter 
season fine snow would find its way through the 
cracks, and not unfrequently would the pioneer fam- 
ily find, on rising in the morning, an inch or more of 
snow on their beds ; not a very pleasant state of 
affairs to contemplate in this day of air-tight houses, 
but one which was then looked upon as a matter of 
necessity and the situation accepted accordingly. 

When the cabin was up and covered, the assist- 
ance of the neighbors was no longer needed, and 
the pioneer proceeded to finish off the building 
without the aid of architect or joiner. 

The first thing now to be considered was an 
entrance way, for as yet the building stood entire, 
without an opening in it— if we except the numerous 
cracks, between the logs. In putting up the building, 


two notches large enough to admit the point of a 
saw, had been made where the door was designed 
to be. From these he sawed down in two parallel 
lines sufficiently far apart for the width of the door. 
Half way down it would frequently be of double 
width, to admit of a window being placed beside the 
door. When the logs were cut out of the way, 
^' cheek pieces" were prepared by splitting out tim- 
bers the suitable length and width and hewing them 
to a uniform thickness, and if an extra nice job was 
wanted, a drawing; knife would be used to finish up 
with. These were pinned to the ends of the logs, 
forming a casing and support. 

The place for the window was cased up in the 
same manner, and if the proprietor possessed glass 
enough to fill a six light sash, he was considered 
very fortunate; if not, oiled or greased paper was 
used as a substitute. The light coming through 
this semi-transparent material could hardly be said 
to equal that transmitted by the best French plate 
glass, yet it answered its day and purpose. 

Upon the door the pride and ingenuity of the 
proprietor was fully displayed, as the finish of this, 
so far as looks went, was considered of more im- 
portance than any other part of the house. Planks, 
or boards, were split from some soft-wood tree, the 
preference being always given to the basswood, as 
the second growth of this timber splits very straight 
and even, requiring less work to bring it to the 
required thickness than any other. Battens or 
cross-pieces were prepared in the same way, then 
the whole Was pinned together in a manner that 


looked as though they were preparing a habitation 
for their great-grand-children instead of a temporary 

The hinges for hanging were formed by making 
two eyes of wood, six or eight inches long, with one 
end large enough to admit of an auger hole through 
it, the other brought down into the form of a pin 
and driven into a hole bored into the logs of the 
house. Two cleats were then pinned to the door, 
projecting over at one end with holes through them 
to correspond with those in the eyes, a round stick 
whittled out with a knot on one end to keep it from 
dropping too far through, the whole being put to- 
gether, the hanging was complete, a structure not to 
be wafted by every gentle breeze, or damaged by the 
undue slamming of any unruly member of the 

The latch was made of a thin piece of board, an 
inch and a half wide and hung at the back end on a 
pin, working through a slot in another piece fastened 
to the door and into a catch fastened .to the door- 
cheek, and if any nails were to be had they were 
used in these finer parts, to hold the small pieces, 
catch, etc., but if they were not to be had the whole 
was put together with pins. The latch was worked 
from the outside by a string, one end of which was 
fastened to the latch inside and passed through a hole 
above; and all that had to be done at night to make 
everything secure, was to pull the string through on 
the inside. The favorite material for the string was 
well tanned deer or woodchuck skin, but if these were 
not at hand, from a bunch of tow — of which there 


was an ample supply in every thrifty household — the 
lady of the house would readily twist a cord for this 
or any like purpose. 

''The latch-string always out," is a time-honored 
synonym for hospitality, which originated from the 
habit, as the country developed, of some keeping the 
string on the inside and attending to the callers at 
the door, instead of allowing the visitor to come in 
at his pleasure. 

The next thing to claim attention v/as the fire- 
place, and the character of the man would be as 
much exhibited in this as in any other part. If he 
was from the South, or his associations had been with 
Southern people, his chimney would be fashioned 
after the manner of that section. That is, a large 
opening perhaps eight feet long, would be cut out in 
the end of the building, and the fire-place and chim- 
ney built wholly on the outside. This doubtless 
originated from the fact that in the genial climate in 
which he was raised or educated, the warmth of the 
building was not taken into consideration, but rather 
an avoidance of it, while people from the East who 
were accustomed to the rigors of a Northern climate, 
would take the opposite view, and build the chimney 
on the inside, thus securing all the warmth possible. 
If the chimney was to be built on the outside, after 
cutting away sufficient space in the wall, saplings six 
or eight inches through were taken and split in two, 
and of these a three-sided crib was built up to the 
height of a man's head, the fourth side being the 
inside of the house, and upon the crib rested the 
stick chimney. 


Many different compounds were used in making 
the jambs and hearths, nearly every one having a 
receipt which they considered the very best. The 
great difficulty to overcome being the tendency of 
the jambs to crumble, and the hearths to sweep out 
into basin-like cavities, and finally to entirely disap- 
pear under the vigorous use of the splint broom 
wielded by the good mothers and daughters of that 

It must be borne in mind that there were no brick 
to be had in the country and something must be used 
as a substitute, and this brought the ingenuity and 
experience of the settlers into requisition. One of 
the methods was to mix the clay with sweet milk, 
another to put in a quantity of unleached ashes, cut 
straw, etc., but sooner or later they would all need 

When the compound was determined upon and the 
mortar mixed, an excavation would be made a foot 
or eighteen inches deep and this filled with the pre- 
pared mortar and pounded down solid with a 
heavy wooden maul made for the purpose. The 
jambs were made of the same material. Sometimes 
a form was made by building a crib on the inside of 
the outer one, leaving a space the thickness of the 
jamb to be built, this was filled with mortar and 
pounded in. When it became dry a fire was built 
and the inside frame burned out, but the more usual 
plan was to build the jambs up with stiff mortar, 
forming them by the eye, and extending them up to 
where the chimney commenced. 

The chimney was built of sticks and miid. The 


sticks were split about an inch and a half wide and 
half an inch think, and laid up house fashion. The 
plaster, which consisted of a mortar made of clay and 
fine cut straw, was put on as the work advanced 
upward. It would seem remarkable that the whole 
mass did not burn up the first time a fire was built, 
but fires were of no more frequent occurrence then 
than now. This may be accounted for, in a measure, 
by the constant vigilance in the care of the fire, the 
last duty of the housewife before going to bed was 
to look up the chimney to see that all was safe. 

The cabin up, covered, and chimney built, next in 
order was the floor, which also must be made from 
the material at hand. No lumber-yard to order 
from, nor planing and matching machines to make 
the flooring ready for the joiner, but the nearest free- 
splitting tree was selected and cut into lengths from 
six to eight feet long, then split as wide as the tree 
would make, and from two to four inches thick, and 
the ^ degree of precision with which a good ax-man 
would split a plank to the required thickness would 
surprise a novice. 

To face one side of these planks, or puncheons, it 
was almost absolutely necessary to have the use of 
a broad-ax; a tool not to be found in the kit of 
every pioneer, and the loan of one from a neighbor 
forty miles distant, was of no uncommon occurrence. 

It is related that during the first season of the set- 
tlement of Little Prairie Ronde (1829), while the 
neighbors were together putting up a cabin for one 
of their number, another hovel which had been built 
temporarily of rails and poles, to protect the owner's 


household goods from the elements, took fire from 
the smouldering embers of a burnt brush-heap near 
by, and consumed or spoiled the only saw and auger 
in the settlement, a calamity that was almost irre- 

The puncheons, as the floor slabs were termed, 
were hewed on one side as smoothly as possible, and 
the underside sized at the ends, and laid on the 
sleepers, forming a floor that for strength and dura- 
bility would hardly be excelled. Upon the manner 
in which the floor was kept rested each housewife's 
reputation, and the "floor clean enough to eat a 
dinner off* from " was the height of woman's ambi- 
tion in that line. The floor usually extended onl}' 
about two-thirds the distance from the back end of 
the building, the remainder being mother earth. 

Chinking or filling up the crack between the logs, 
came next. Chinks were usually made from the 
hearts of the bolts left in making the shakes for the 
roof. These were placed in the cracks, thin edge 
out, and held in place by pins, thus making an even 
surface on the inside, while the outside was daubed 
from the nearest clay-bank, and the habitation was 
complete, and for comfort it is not to be looked upon 
with disdain, or an unfavorable comparison made 
with the better class of buildings in use by our citi- 
zens now. 

From this sketch of cabin building it might be 
inferred that it was always carried along in regular 
order until completion, but in point of fact it fre- 
quently took the whole season at different intervals 
to complete the structure, as other important duties 


came along in succession interfering with the contin- 
uous work on the building, and it was more than 
likely that the last job in the fall would be to make 
the cabin comfortable for winter. 


The furniture was made from the same general 
material as the house, and the same hands were em- 
ployed in its manufacture. A broom was one of the 
first requisites. This was made from a small hick- 
ory sapling, by commencing at the butt end of the 
stick and running the splints, which were started 
with a knife, upward, until they were long enough 
for the brush of the broom. This was continued as 
long as the stick would run, when the small heart was 
sawed off, the splints turned back and the upper end 
run in the sarne manner, commencing far enough up 
to make the length of splint required, and when down 
to the proper size for a handle, the balance of the 
stick was finished up to correspond, and with a tow 
string to hold the splints together, the implement 
was complete, and as effective as it was simple in 
construction. Simple as the operation is of making 
a broom of this kind would seem, it was attended 
with some risk, and a man (J. S. Shaw) in the north 
part of the county lost the sight of an eye in the 
manufacture of one, by a younger brother running 
against his elbow just at the time of raising a splint. 

A '^ lug pole " was placed across the chimney on 
which to hang the hooks to hold the pots for cook- 
ing purposes. The hooks were made of small crotches 
cut from saplings, with a pin in one end to hang the 


pot on, the crotch hanging on the lug pole. A num- 
ber of these hooks of clifterent lengths, to suit the 
several sized pots, or the fire used under them, were 
necessary. When not in use they were pushed to 
one side to be out of the way of the fire. 

The wooden hooks were superseded by trammels, 
as soon as the country was supplied with black- 
smiths. These consisted of a bar of iron with a 
hook on one end, which hung on the lug pole, and 
numerous holes in the face in which was fitted an 
adjustable hook running through an eye at the 
bottom of the bar, making a very convenient 
arrangement, and considered at the time one of 
the greatest improvements of the age. This again 
was superseded by the crane, when the country 
became sufficiently populated to warrant the making 
of brick, as before these came into use, there was no 
way of holding the crane in position. This was an 
improvement that was considered to leave nothing 
more to be desired in that line. As yet the cook- 
stove had not entered the fertile brains of Yankee 
inventors, and when they were brought into use, 
they were looked upon by many with prejudice, as 
few housewives could be rnade to believe that any- 
thing could equal the Dutch Qv^q for cooking 

The dresser (cup-board) was rn^de by boring two 
parallel rows of holes in the logs, up and down, and 
inserting woodefi pins, whereon the shelves, made 
from split puncheons and smoothed down to a 
miiiforrn thickness, were laid, and if any newspapers 
hi^d been brought from the old hom^, or ppuld be 



procured, they were held sacred to add the finishing 
touches to the dresser; being cut into notched strips 
and pasted on the edges of the shelves, and finally 
the whole was covered with a calico curtain, making 
a neat and not uncomely affair. 

The one-posted bedstead has long been noted as 
one of the requirements of early housekeeping; but 
how it was constructed is a mystery to the younger 
portion of our present citizens, as cabinet-makers 
followed close in the wake of the early settlers, and 
soon furnished a more light and elegant, if not a 
more commodious article of furniture. 

In the primitive, or one-posted bedstead, the post 
was first made of the required size, shape, etc., and 
two holes bored through it at right angles at the 
proper height for the base, and two more in the walls 
of the house to correspond with these, one in the side 
log and one in the end log ; and in each of these a 
pole was inserted reaching to the hole in the post, 
forming the side and foot rails to the bedstead. A 
row of holes was now made in the side logs of the 
house at the same distance from the floor as the 
others^ in each of which was inserted the end of a 
short pole, the opposite end resting on the side rail 
and serving the purpose of cords or slats. The 
great drawback to this style of furniture was, that 
being made in the comer of the house, it was not 
movable; but when the whole was completed and 
had received the finishing touches of the housewife, 
in curtains of snowy white linen or cotton of home 
manufacture — sometimes reaching from ceiling to 
floor— with white counterpane and pillow-^Iips of 


the same material and manufacture, just peeping 
forth, showing a glimpse of the comforts within, it 
formed a sleeping place by no means to be despised. 

The bed curtains, or drapery, performed quite an 
important part in more w^ays than one. The house 
having no partitions, the one room necessarily serv- 
ing as kitchen, parlor, dining-room, sleeping-room, 
closet, etc., to a person of delicate nerves it might 
seem rather embarrassing to retire in the same room 
in which many others, perhaps of different sexes, 
were to abide for the night, especiall}^ if such person 
chanced to be a ''school ma'am," on her weekly tour of 
''boarding round." This unpleasantness, however, 
was greatly abridged by the aforenamed curtains or 
screens; and the dexterity and neatness with which 
the lady members of the family there performed 
their daily changes of attire, without the aid of 
dressing-case or mirror, would be quite astonishing 
to a modern belle. 

The storage, too, that the mysterious corner 
^' under the bed " furnished, was one of the arts of 
primitive housekeeping, as nearly everything from a 
farming implement to a jar of sweetmeats, or a 
feather bed, could be produced from this commo- 
dious receptacle. 

Seats were also made of puncheons, some in the 
form of stools, with three legs, others in the form of 
benches, from four to eight feet long, having two 
legs at each end. Holes were made in the lower 
side of the slabs in a slanting direction, so that, 
when in an upright position, the legs would project 
out farther than the body, thus giving them a firm 


foundation. The legs were made from poles of the 
right size, cut off and driven into the auger-holes; 
and when drawn around the fire of hickory logs of 
an evening, the grand-mother having the post of 
honor in the warmest corner and the less important 
members of the family arranged according to dis- 
tinction, ending, perhaps, with a baby, in a sap 
trough for a cradle, in the opposite corner, formed a 
picture of domestic happiness pleasant to con- 

Hung from the ceiling in front of the fire was the 
family lamp, formed at the nearest blacksmith shop 
from a piece of iron in the form of a dish, with a 
pitcher nose on one side, in which a cotton wick was 
laid. The material burned was usually hog's lard, 
though a frequent substitute was coon's or wood- 
chuck's fat. In some seasons when shack (acorns 
and beechnuts) was plenty, these animals became 
very fat and furnished an abundance of this useful 
article. For a light to run around with, a candle or 
''slut " ^as used, made from bee's wax, of which an 
ample supply was furnished by the forest as well as 
that sweetest of luxuries, honey. For a mould in 
which to run the candles, an elder was sometimes 
hollowed out, but the more common way was to 
make them into '^sluts.^' This was done by com- 
mencing with the wick, 'vi^hich was made large and 
long, then after heating the bee's wax by the fire 
until it was soft, it was scraped off with a knife andi 
put on in layers until of the required size. This 
made a light, not very stylish in appearance, but, 
like many dther things of those times ^ answering its 



To prepare the staple food, bread, for the family, 
required the talent and ingcnyity of the housewife 
in an eminent degree. One of the necessary accom- 
paniments of pioneer housekeeping was the bake 
kettle, or Dutch ov^en, holding half a bushel and 
standing on legs three inches high, (made of cast 
iron, with a tight fitting cover of the same material.) 
This formed an implement of no mean pretensions, 
and in this was not only the bread, biscuit, and john- 
ny-cake baked, but the roast of venison and beef, or 
the spare-rib of pork made ready for the table, and 
to use it successfully required a skill of no common 

The favorite plan of using it was to have a large 
fire of hard wood logs pretty well burned down, so 
as to furnish an ample supply of live coals. A heap 
of these was formed on the hearth, in which the 
oven was partially embedded with its contents, and 
on the top was piled another quantity of coals to 
furnish heat to the upper side, and when the slow, 
measured tick of the wall sweep clock indicated that 
the precise time during which the contents should 
remain in its repository had expired — the housewife 
in the meantime busying herself about the cares of 
the morning — out would be rolled the golden loaf, 
as tempting and appetizing as the heart could wish. 

This may seem a little primitive, but still more so 
was the ash cake, prepared when the bake kettle 
was not at hand. It was prepared in the same 
manner as the short cake of modern times ; a place 
was 'swept clean on the hearth, the cake laid down 


and covered lightly with cold ashes and then with 
hot ashes and live coals, the whole patted down 
smoothly with a wooden shovel, and when it 
cracked once it was patted down again — ^the rule 
for its being done was when it cracked a second 
time — and for a palatable piece of bread, especially 
if the youthful appetite was whetted up to the 
proper pitch by a long fast, perhaps occasioned by 
being late from mill, nothing made in after years ap- 
proaches it. 

Another favorite kind of bread, more especially 
prepared for hunters and those going on long jour- 
neys, was made by mixing corn meal and water 
with fat pork cut in small squares and distributed 
through the mass, and baked in a large '^pone," as it 
was called, sometimes six or eight inches through; 
when used it was cut in slices and toasted before the 
lire, which brought out the qualities of the pork, 
answering the purpose of shortening and flavoring. 

After the bake kettle came the reflector, made of 
tin, in which a great many kinds of cooking were 
accomplised by placing it before the fire, and cook- 
ing by radiation of heat. This was succeeded by 
the out oven, which has been improved and remains 
in vogue to the present day. In early times it was 
constructed of clay mixed in mortar, in which was 
put a quantity of cut straw. It was built on a plat- 
form of poles laid on crotches driven into the 
ground. A form of sand was them made around it, 
on which the mortar was spread. When it was 
sufficiently dried the sand was taken out and thor- 
oughly burned, forming almost as good and 


permanent a structure as though made of brick. 

The material for bread making had also to be 
manufactured at home in a great measure, as, for a 
number of years after the first settlement of the 
County, no mills were within reach of the settlers, 
except small hand mills and the horse mill at the 
mission. And even after mills were built, the bad 
state of the roads, especially in the winter season, 
made the hand method of manufacturing a necessity. 

For this purpose a hard wood log, three feet long 
and eighteen or twenty inches through, was selected, 
set on end and burned out in the form of a mortar, 
an iron wedge driven into a sapling formed a pestle; 
and in these primitive implenients the breadstuff was 
manufactured. A quantity of shelled corn was 
thrown in at a time and pounded until it became fine 
enough to use, when it was sifted, the finer portions 
being used for making bread, aud the coarser for 
making hominy. This work was usuall}^ performed 
during evenings and stormy days by the male por- 
tion of the family. 


Clothing, bedding, and manj^ other household 
articles were also manufactured at home from 
materials grown on the farm. Of these, flax and 
wool formed the principal bases, while cotton was 
used to some extent. Flax was grown, rotted, 
broken, scutched, hetcheled, spun, and in some 
cases woven at home, as well as manufactured into 
garments, towels, sheets, pillow cases, &c., for the 
family. Wool, also, after being carded, was spun, 


dyed and woven by our foremothers of precious 

In the manufacture of flax, after being grown and 
pulled, it was rotted by covering it with water, or 
spreading on the ground, when it was broken with a 
heavy hand machine made for the purpose, then 
scutched with a broad wooden knife, taking oft' the 
woody portion from the fiber; it was then ready for 
the hetchel. This was an implement made of a 
piece of board in which were driven a quantit}" of 
sharp steel teeth, four inches long, and through these 
the flax was drawn, separating the coarser tow from 
the flax. 

The tow by being carded into bats could be spun 
on the large wheel, and was manufactured into tow 
linen and used chiefly for men's summer wear. The 
flax, from its finer texture, had to be spun on a little 
wheel, and required a good degree of skill to mani- 
pulate it properly. The little wheel, with its 
distaff" and flyers, is among the things of the past. 
The flyers were the especial terror of the little folks, 
looking so fascinating as they swiftly thundered 
around, but woe unto the fingers that came within 
their magic circle. The flax, after being spun, was 
woven into linen and used for towels, table-cloths, 
grain bags, and many other household articles. 

For the winter season woolen goods were made, 
from wool or wool and cotton combined. If of all 
wool, it was spun and colored at home, and in many- 
instances, woven also. The portion designed for 
women's wear was woven into flannel, and if an 
extra finish was desired, it was taken to the woolen 


mill and pressed, and in this case it was also colored 
at the mill. Full cloth was made of all wool, and 
after being woven was taken to the mill, colored, 
fulled, and finished. This was used for the men's 

But by far the greater portion of the goods used 
was manufactured at home, of cotton and wool com- 
bined in different proportions, according to the use 
it was designed for. Linsey was made of cotton 
warp and woolen filling, in equal proportions, and 
used for dresses, skirts, and sometimes aprons. 
Jean was made by using a fine cotton warp, and in 
such manner that the filling nearly covered it, mak- 
ing a thick, firm cloth, strong and durable, which 
was used in common every-day wear by both men 
and boys. 

Shoe making was mostly done by itinerant me- 
chanics, traveling from house to house with a kit of 
tools on their backs, which was termed "whipping 
the cat." Their shop would be in the common 
living room of the family, and their offices com- 
menced usually with the older members of the 
family and continued down until all were shod. If 
a miss fit was made for the one designed, it was 
passed on to the next in order and another trial 
made. Shoes were almost universally worn by both 
sexes, boots being considered too extravagant for 
common people. In some cases the farmer or some 
one of his sons learned enough of the trade to make 
their own ware, thus saving the expense of hiring 
the itinerant. Leather was manufactured at the 
country tan-yards, and the universal custom was to 


have it tanned on shares, the tanner cutting the 
hides in two and tanning one half for the other. 

Wash basins were almost unknown, and the ablu- 
tions were performed by members of the family 
taking turns in pouring on water from a cup or 
basin for each other, or if the family had a guest, 
some one of the number was detailed for this 
purpose. A gentleman living in the northern part 
of the county and carrying a high military title, 
ignored all assistance and waited upon himself, by 
holding the cup between his teeth while he washed 
his hands, and then passing it from one hand to the 
other while he washed his face. 

The lack of cultivated fruit was one of the most 
severe privations that the pioneers had to undergo, 
coming as they did from lands of plenty, and many 
substitutes were made use of Among these were 
the blackberry, strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, 
and wild crabapple, all natives of the country, and 
growing spontaneous in large quantities. The ber- 
ries were dried, or preserved in sugar, while the 
apples were buried in holes through the winter — 
which had the effect of extracting much of the 
extreme tartness that they had when first picked — 
and then made into sauce. 

Pumpkins also entered largely into common use 
in various ways; large quantities were dried for pie- 
making, and about the first thing that would attract 
the stranger's attention on entering a cabin would 
be the poles hung near the ceiling covered with 
rings of pumpkin in the process of drying. Pump- 
kin butter was also a staple article the year round. 


This was made from the juice which was extracted 
from a portion of the crop that had been allowed to 
freeze and thaw, then boiled down and thickened 
with the better portion that had been preserved 
from frost. Another process was to boil that part 
intended for cider instead of freezing it, and use it in . 
the same way as by the previous process. 


The first implement needed in tilling the soil was 
a plow, the irons for which were either brought with 
the pioneer from his old home, or manufactured at 
the country blacksmith's shop, consisting of an iron 
land side and share combined; the balance of the 
plow was made of wood, fashioned by the farmer, 
and called a "bull plow." With this he would break 
the new ground or turn the stubble as the case might 
be, and it was considered an effective and complete 
implement. In fact, for a number of years after the 
introduction of cast iron plows they were looked 
upon with distrust by many, who thought they were 
conducive to the growth of June grass, which at 
that time was considered the bane of the farmer. 

That they were not equal to the best polished 
steel or chilled iron of the present time, no one will 
question, but at the same time they formed a basis 
for something better, and many improvements were 
made even in these, and the Baker pattern — the first 
successful cast plow manufactured in this county — 
was devised from a wooden plow that William Jones 
carried on horseback from Barron Lake, in Howard 
township, to Young's Prairie. 


The shovel plow was the only implement of the 
cultiyator kind, and for many years was -used almost 
exclusively in the cultivation of corn and other simi- 
lar crops. It consisted of an iron shovel and wooden 
stock similar to those in use at the present time. 

The wooden harrow was used to bring the ground 
into proper tilth for seeding, and was composed of a 
wooden frame, wooden teeth, and a wooden hitching 
bar, and might be strictly called a wooden imple- 

For harvesting wheat and other small grains, the 
hand sickle was used and continued in use until 1835 
as a regular implement, and for a number of years 
after in very heavy or lodged grain. It was super- 
seded by the grain cradle. The cutting of grain 
with a hand sickle was a slow, tedious operation, 
requiring a good hand to cut an acre a day. 

In 1845 the grain cradle had a competitor in the 
market, in the form of a Hussey reaper. It was 
brought in by B. Hathaway, of Little Prairie 
Ronde, in that year, and has continued in active ser- 
vice nearly every harvest §ince that time, and will 
do creditable work yet. As it came from the man- 
ufactory it was a heavy, cumbrous affair with 
wooden wheels and a pair of thills similar to those 
used on drays at the present time, in which the 
horses were driven tandem fashion. But it was 
remodeled by the owner and adapted to practical 

After harvesting, the grain was stacked, and 
threshed on the ground. In threshing, either a flail 
was used to pound it out by hand, or it was trodden 


out by horses and cattle. The stacks were placed 
in the form of a circle with sufficient space left in 
the middle for a threshing ground. When threshed 
it was winno\ved with a sheet, two men taking hold 
of either end and giving it a waving motion, while a 
third threw up the grain and chaff from a basket; 
the air put in motion by the sheet blew aw^ay the 
chaff, while the grain fell in a pile. 


Cass County was named in honor of Governor 
Lewis Cass, who served the people of Michigan so 
long and faithfully in her Territorial career. It is 
bounded on the south by the State of Indiana, on 
the west by Berrien County, on the north by 
Van Buren County, and on the east by St. Joseph 

Its soil is composed of three distinct varieties, and 
numerous sub-varieties. The prairie soil is of a 
black, sticky, tenacious character, underlaid with a 
sub-soil of sand and gravel. Its productiveness is 
universally accredited, and the test of fifty years of 
constant cultivation verifies the prediction of the 
early settlers that it was of the best. 

The heavy timber soil is of a gravelly nature, 
intermixed with sand and clay in proportions vary- 
ing with different localities. That it is a good soil, 
is evidenced by the heavy growth of timber it 
formerly produced, which had to be removed before 
it could be cultivated. 

The soil of the openings is of several varieties, 
from heavy clay to light soil. In the earlier days of 


the settlement of the County, much prejudice ex- 
isted in the minds of the settlers against this portion 
of the soil, as it was considered too light for 
agricultural purposes. But time, the great leveler 
of all human errors, has demonstrated that it is 
equal, if not superior, to much land that was con- 
sidered of better quality. 

The prairie portion of the County was settled 
first, requiring less labor to bring it under subjection 
than that covered with heavy timber. All that was 
necessary was to have a good strong team and plow, 
to commence operations with almost the same facil- 
ity that could be had in an older settled country. 
Corn was planted the first season between the 
furrows, and needed no further attention until har- 
vesting, frequently yielding from forty to sixty 
bushels of grain per acre. When preparing for 
wheat, the sod was broken before harvest, and let 
lie until seeding time, when the seed grain was 
harrowed in. 

The original sod on the prairies was of a very 
tough nature, the wild grass roots, although pene- 
trating to the depth of but a few inches, required a 
strong team and plow to break them up. The first 
plowing was not usually over four inches deep, or 
just deep enough to get below the grass roots, and 
the furrows were thrown up into kinks to give the 
elements a chance to hasten the decay of the sod. 

The labor of clearing up the timbered land was 
immense, the primeval forests requiring to be 
chopped off, cut up, logged and burned, a job much 
easier said than done; but after clearing off the cul- 


tivation was very easy, if we except the many roots 
that were in the way. 

Logging was usually done by ''bees," or by 
exchanging work. If by a '' bee," the neighbors for 
several miles around were invited, and it partook 
more of the nature of a frolic than the actual hard 
work that it was. If by exchange, it was made a 
mutter of business, and the day's work punctually 
returned. In the earlier settlement the logs were 
rolled by hand, especially by the immigrants from 
Ohio and the South, the heavier ones turned to- 
gether, and the smaller carried on hand-spikes and 
laid on top; but with the advent of Eastern people 
came the use of cattle in drawing the logs together, 
where they could be rolled up by hand. 

The openings, although presenting the appearance, 
of an immense plain, where a coach and four could 
be driven without interruption, were, nevertheless, 
not without their drawbacks. The practice of the 
Indians was to burn the land over every fall, which 
had the effect of keeping not only the annual vegeta- 
tion burned off', but the grubs also. The grubs 
thus treated were formed into immense '' stools," as 
they were termed, although the tops were hardly 
perceptible, and when the. land was to be broken 
up for cultivation, it required a team of from four to 
nine yoke of cattle, and a plow of corresponding 
strength. The breaking was done by men who 
followed it for a business. After breaking, it was 
comparatively a light matter to bring the land 
under cultivation. 

The County is watered by the St. Joseph River, 


the Christianna Creek, both branches of the Dowag- 
iac, and numerous other smaller creeks, lakes, &c. 
The St. Joseph touches on the south east corner of 
the County, and cuts oft' about two and one-half sec- 
tions of land. • 

The Christianna Creek, which . was named by the 
Rev. Isaac McCoy in honor of his wife, rises in Penn 
Township, and flows south through Calvin, Jeflferson 
and Ontwa, emptying into the St. Joseph near Elk- 
hart, Ind. It is a rapid stream and affords a good 
water power, which has been improved at Vandalia, 
Wright's Mills, Redfield's Mills and Adamsville. 

The north branch of the Dowagiac rises in Van 
Buren County, arid flows to the southwest, entering 
this county in Wayne Township, through which it 
runs into Silv^er Creek, thence into Pokagon, where 
it is joined by the south branch, and empties into the 
St. Joseph River, in Berrien County, near Niles. It 
is a slow runnings sluggish stream, and affords no 
water power. 

The south branch of the Dowagiac rises in Mar- 
cellus Township, and runs through Volinia and 
La Grange, and enters the north branch on the line 
between the Townships of Silver Creek and Poka- 
gon. It is a rapid running stream and affords ample 
power for driving machinery, which has been im- 
proved nearly its entire length. The name Dowa- 
giac is of Indian origin, and signifies fishing-water. 

The first settlement in the county was made on 
Pokagon prairie, in the fall of 1825, by U. Putnam, 
Baldwin Jenkins, Squire Thompson, Abram Town- 
send, and Israel Markam and son, 



In 1826 this settlement was augmented by Ira 
Putnam and family and Lewis Edwards, Sr., who 
came on and raised a crop, but did not move until 
the succeeding year. There was also a settlement 
ma*de by Ezra ^Beardsley, on the prairie that still 
bears his name, and in 1827 this was increased by 

the two Meachams, George Crawford, and ■ — 


By an act of the Territorial Legislature, approved 
April 12th, 1827, all the Territory lying west of 
Lenawee County, to which the Indian titles had 
been extinguished by the treaty of Chicago, was 
organized into one Township, under the name of 
St. Joseph, and attached to Lenawee County for 
judicial purposes. An election was also ordered to 
be held at the house of Timothy Smith. Where 
this Smith lived is not given, but probably on White . 
Pigeon prairie. We have no means of knowing 
what was done under this organization, as the 
records of Lenawee County were burned a number 
of years ago. 

In 1828 settlements were made on McKenney's, 
La Grange, Young's, and Baldwin's prairies. Ford's 
mill, the first in Southwestern Michigan, was started 
in the spring of this year. Although in what is now 
Berrien County, it was of great importance to the 
settlers of this county, as there was not another 
mill for grinding grain by water power within one 
hundred miles. 

In 1829 a settlement was made on Little Prairie 
Ronde, and in November 5th, of the same year, by 
an act of the Territorial Legislature, Cass County 


was organized and divided into four Townhips, 
Pokagon, La Grange, Penn, and Ontwa, composed 
as follows : Pokagon to consist of what is now Silver 
Creek, Pokagon, and the north half of Howard 
Townships, and an election was ordered to be held 
at the house of Baldwin Jenkins. Wayne, LaGrange, 
and the north half of Jefferson Townships were or- 
ganized under the name of La Grange, with an 
election to be held at the house of Isaac Shurte. 
The Townships of Penn, Volinia, Marcellus, New- 
berg, the north half of North Porter, and the north 
halt of Calvin were organized under the name of 
Penn Township, and an election appointed at the 
house of Martin Shields. 

The Townships of Milton, Ontwa, Mason, South 
Porter, and the south half of North Porter, Calvin, 
Jefferson, and Howard were organized under the 
name of Ontwa Township, and an election ordered 
at the house of Ezra Beardsley. 

Also, by the same act, Van Buren County was 
organized into one Township, under the name of 
La Fayette, and attached to Penn Township, of this 
County, and some of the first officers of that Town- 
ship were residents of Van Buren County. 

Berrien County was also organized into one 
Township, that of Niles, and attached to Pokagon 
for judicial purposes. Although it would seem that 
the local government was ready to run, there is no 
record of any election being held in the spring of 

The most important events of this year, — 1829^— 
aside from the organization of the County, were the 


land sal^s, which at that time were held at Monroe. 
The United States law required that every piece of 
land should be put up at public auction^ after which, 
if not bid off, it was subject to private entry at one 
dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. To avoid 
competition and running the risk of losing what 
improvements the settlers had made, each one 
quietly kept his own counsel, and after the land had 
been offered, made application and received his 

In after years, when land speculation became rife, 
it was a great game with " land sharks " to lie in 
wait around the land offices and if by hook or crook 
they could get the description of a desirable location, 
it was nabbed before the settler could get in. This 
game, however, had its drawbacks, and there are a 
number of pieces of land in the county still in the 
name of the original owner, entirely worthless. 
This was brought about by the settlers becoming 
aware of their sharp practices and being prepared 
for them by having the description of some worthless 
tract to which they gave them a clue. 

In this year entries of land were made in Penn, 
Pokagon, La Grange, Howard, Ontwa, Milton, 
North and South Porter, and Calvin Townships. 
The Carpenter mill, on the Christianna Creek, just 
below where Vandalia now stands, was built that 
year, and although a crude structure, it was of great 
importance to the settlers and the first mill in the 
county. A hollow log served the purpose of a 
forebay. Mr. Carpenter sold out in a few years, 
and said, on leaving, that he was "determined to 


build a good mill if it cost him a hundred dollars." 
In 1830 settlements were made at Geneva and 
Whitmanville, and entries of land made in Jefferson, 
Mason, and Volinia Townships. 

On the 4th day of October, 1831, the first Board 
of Supervisors for Cass County met at the house of 
Ezra Beardsley (now Edwardsburg) but, owing to 
the absence of one member, they adjourned to the 
17th of the same month, when the following mem- 
bers were present: John Agard of Penn, Othui 
Beardsley of Ontwa, James Kavanaugh of LaGrange, 
and Squire Thompson of Pokagon. An organiza- 
tion was effected by electing John Agard Chairman 
and A. H. Redfield Clerk. The assessed valuation 
of the different Townships as equalized by the Board 
was as follows: Pokagon, $23,364; amount of tax 
levied, |i 13.52. LaGrange, $23,321; amount of tax 
levied, $1 16.60. Penn, $37,643; amount of tax levied, 
$188.21. Ontwa, $33,634; amount of tax levied, 
$188.21. The Board at this meeting passed a reso- 
lution offering a bounty of two dollars for the scalps 
of large wolves and one dollar |pr prairie wolves 
and pups. In this year Edwardsburg and Cassopo- 
lis were laid out, and entries of land made in Wayne 

On the third Monday in January, 1832, the Board 
met at the same place, but for the want of a quorum 
no business was done, except to adjourn to the 5th of 
March, when Kavanaugh and Thompson met and or- 
dered the clerk to notify the other Supervisors to 
meet at the house of Abram Tietsort, oa the 31st of 
March, to settle; with the^Treasurjer.. 


At this meeting, Squire Thompson was elected 
Chairman, when they adjourned to the house of Ira 
B. Henderson in Cassopolis. A resolution was pass- 
ed to build a jail, the dimensions of which were to be 
15 by 30 feet, one story high, with a partition through 
the middle, to be built of hewn logs one foot square, 
to have two windows and two doors, and costing not 
to exceed three hundred and fifty dollars. But it 
would seem that the building was not put up in ac- 
cordance with this resolution, for again we find in '33 
another entry to the same effect. 

By the numerous resolutions passed, instructing 
their agent to proceed against a number of residents 
of Cassopolis for non-payment of subscriptions, it 
seems that the building was not put up entirely at 
the expense of the county. This building still stands 
on a lot now owned by Charles Kingsbury. 

In the latter part of April, 1832, the startling news 
came that Black Hawk had crossed the Mississippi, 
and had commenced a hostile invasion of the United 
States. His ravages among the frontier settlements 
of Wisconsin, and the defeat of a party of over two 
hundred and fifty Americans, spread the greatest 
alarm throughout the country, and rolled back the 
tide of immigration then moving Westward. 

The report that reached this county was that the 
Sacs and Foxes were marching upon Chicago, and 
that all the western settlements were in imminent dan- 
ger. To this general report were added individual 
accounts of the most exaggerated character, in some 
instances that they were joined by the Pottawatomies 
and had already burned Chicago snd were marching 


eastward with the torch and tomahawk, devastating 
the country, and slaughtering the inhabitants. Many 
settlers, especially in the south part of the county, 
left at the first report, taking whatever availables 
they could, and leaving the balance. 

The presence of several thousand Pottawatomies 
on the reserve near Niles tended to increase the un- 
easiness of the people of the surrounding country. 
Couriers were sent to all the settlements to call out 
the Militia, and excitement reigned supreme. Many 
rumors were circulated of the slaughter and butchery 
going on, volunteers came in rapidly, armed with 
such implements of warfare as they individually pos*- 

General Williams arrived at Niles in a few days 
from Detroit and took command, and seve^"al com^ 
panics were organized in Berrien, Cass, and Kala- 
mazoo Counties, and marched to Niles expecting to 
find the Indians in hostile array. Darius Brown was 
quartermaster, with headquarters at Niles. He seized 
all the flour in the warehouses at St. Joseph, Berrien, 
and Niles, for the use of the army, and a large oven 
was built to bake it into bread. 

The excitement which prevailed seems rather 
amusing at this time, since the hostile Indians did not 
come within one hundred miles of Chicago. But 
when we consider that the country was filled with 
Indians, only kept in subjection by the fear of a su- 
perior force, and that on the slightest provocation 
they might have risen and exterminated the infant 
settlements, the fears of the settlers do not appear to 
have been wholly groundless* 


Not finding the enemies they looked for, the ex- 
citement soon began to subside, and the troops to 
disperse. General Williams however was anxious 
to go on to Chicago, but as the militia refused to go 
out of the State, he called for volunteers. Two com- 
panies were made up, one each from Berrien and 
Cass Counties, and these two companies formed the 
brigade that marched under Gfeneral Williams. Cap- 
tain Benjamin Finch commanded the Berrien Coun- 
ty troops, and Captain Gardner those from Cass 
County. A. Huston was Colonel, David Wilson; 
Major, Dr.E. Winslow; and William B. Beeson were 
Surgeon and assistant Surgeon. 

The chief authority rested with the rank and file, 
who, while encamped on Door prairie, superseded 
Colonel Huston for his haughty, overbearing manner,, 
electing Colonel Edwards to the position. Major 
Wilson, was also sent home for similar reasons, and 
George Hoffman elected in his place. The brigade 
went as far as Chicago, and a few advanced a short 
distance beyorkd, when they returned home thorough- 
ly disgusted with the whole experience. 

The war ended without serious loss of life or prop 
erty, but had the effect of stopping all immigration 
for that season, and comparatively few of our pioneers 
date their settlement from that year. The principal 
settlements of the Cbunty at that time w^ere on 
Beardsley's, Pokagoa, LaGrange, McKenney's, Lit- 
tle Prairie Ronde, and Young's Prairies, all of which 
sent their quotas to the seat of war. 

In this season the first vessel built in Cass County 
was constructed by Captain Barnard aad his, scm. 


Dr. Barnard, now of Berrien Springs. It was of 
about fifteen tons burden, and built on La Grange 
prairie. After being finished, it was drawn on a 
wagon to the St. Joseph river and launched. The 
first trip to Chicago and back was made in three 
days, and cleared to the owners two hundred and 
fifty dollars.' For a number of years it was used in 
the trade between St. Joseph and Chicago. 

The winter of 1832-33 was remarkably mild and 
pleasant. On New Year's day buds were started, 
grass greened, bees and house-flies were busy, and 
wild flowers bloomed in the forest. 

In 1833 the Board was increased by a member 
from each of the towns of Jefterson, Porter, and 
Volinia, which had been organized since the last 
meeting. In this year a room was rented of Eber 
Root, at the rate of one dollar and fifty cents per 
day, for the use of Courts and the Board of Su- 

In 1834 Howard Township was represented for 
the first time. The Prosecuting Attorney's salary 
was fixed at seventy dollars per annum. Samuel 
Marrs informed the Board that, as Justice of the 
Peace, he had collected from three persons two dol- 
lars each, for Sabbath breaking, and was ready to 
pay over the money to their order. 

The year 1835 is one long to be remembered, on 
account of the frost which occurred on the 21st of 
June of that year, which blighted nearly every green 
thing. Corn was up, and in some instances worked 
over once, when the frost came and cut it closely to 
the ground^ but, where let alone, it came on again 


and made a partial crop. Wheat was just coming 
into blossom and was almost wholly killed. Not 
enough was left for seed, and farmers had to go as 
far as Big Prairie and La Porte to procure seed 
wheat, and frequently were obliged to work and pay 
for it after the}' got there. What wheat was left by 
the frost was made '^sick," and could not be eaten, 
and corn and buckwheat were used largely as a sub- 
stitute for bread-making material."^^ 
. In this year Calvin was represented on the Board 
of Supervisors for the first time. At the October 
session it was resolved to build a building, for county 
purposes, twenty-four by thirty-four feet square, and 
ten feet high, to be divided into three rooms, at a 
cost not exceeding four hundred and fifty dollars, 
and the contract was awarded to Joseph Harper. 

In 1836 an addition to the Board of Supervisors 
was made by members from Wayne and Mason 
Townships, which had been organized since the last 
meeting. At the October session a bill was allowed 
in favor of George Fosdick for thirty dollars, for a 
lock to the jail; also an order made to procure a 
nine-plate stove for the Court House. In September 
of this year, James Newton and James O'Dell were 
elected to attend the Constitutional Convention at 
Ann Arbor. 

On November 7th and 8th, of the same year, an 
election for county officers was held, with the fol- 
lowing result : 

. M„ m » . — — ~- ■ ^ . . . . ■ . . : . 

♦There is some variety of recollection as to whether this frost occur- 
red on the 20th or 21st of June. I have fixed the date from a diary kept 
lny Alexander €bpli:y during that year. 


James O'Dell and William Burk, Representatives. 

John T. Adams, Judge of Probate. 

James Kavanaugh and R. V. Cfane, Associate 

M. V. Hunter, Sheriff. 

William Arrison, Register of Deeds. 

Henley C. Lybrook, County Clerk. 

Eber Root, Treasurer. 

John Woolman, Surveyor. 

S. P. Kingsley and John Shaw, Coroners. 

On December 8th, of the same year, Edv^in A. 
Bridges, Jacob Silver, Joseph Smith, and Abiel 
Silver w^ere elected to attend the Constitutional Con- 
vention at Ann Arbor. 

This was the tirst election for county officers, 
previous to which they were appointed by the 
Governor, as also were the Justices of the Peace. 
Of the county officers previous to this election, or 
their doings, we have to depend upon men's mem- 
ories for information, as the records are very meager 
and vague. The result of the best research we 
have been able to make is as follows: 

Joseph L. Jacks was the first County Clerk, 
appointed July 31st, 1830, and was sworn into office 
by Baldwin Jenkins, then an Associate Justice, on 
the 4 th day of September. Mr. Jacks served about 
two years and was succeeded by Martin C. Whit- 
man, and he by Henley C. Lybrook. 

George Meacham was the first Sheriff, appointed 
probably in 1830, who served about two years and 
was succeeded by Henry Fowler, and he by Eber 
Root, who served until the time of the election. 


The first Register of Probate was Thomas Mc- 
Kenney, who was succeeded by Thomas H. Edwards, 
and Edwards was succeeded by E. B.Sherman, who 
served with the title of Judge until after the election. 

The first Register of Deeds was T. H. Edwards, 
who acted in the double capacity of Register of Deeds 
and Probate. He was succeeded by Alex. H. Red- 
field who served until the election. 

E. B. Sherman was the first Prosecuting Attor- 
ney, and Circuit Court Commissioner, also District 
Surveyor, which offices he held all, or nearly all, of the 
time from the organization of the county until the 
election in 1836. 

Andrew Grubb was the first Treasurer, appointed 
in 1 83 1, and was succeeded by Jacob Silver, who 
served until the election — H. C. Lybrook acting as 

In 1837 Silver Creek, having been organized, was 
represented on the Board of Supervisors. The 
County officers elected this year were as follows: 

Joel Brown, Associate Judge. 

H. B. Dunning, Probate Judge. 

Joseph Harper, County Treasurer. 

David Crane, Coronor. 

In 1838 Newberg was represented on the Board 
of Supervisors, but, owing to a change from the Su- 
pervisor system to that of County Commissioners, no 
business was done by the Board this year. At the 
election in November, David Hopkins, Henry Jones, 
and James W. Griffin were elected County Commis- 

Myron Strong, Associate Judge; > 

CASS eOlTN^T Y. I 2 5 

Joseph Harper, Register of Deeds. 

H. C. Lybrook, County Clerk. 

M. V. Hunter, SherifF. 

Isaac Sears, County Treasurer. 

J. C. Saxton, Surveyor. 

J. G. Beeson and L. Chapin, Coroners. 

In 1839, William Burk was elected County Com- 
missioner in place of David Hopkins. James New- 
ton and Henry Coleman were elected representatives, 
and Alexander Copley, Coroner. In August of this 
year, the County Commissioners entered into a con- 
tract with Jacob Silver, A. H. Redfield, Joseph Har- 
per, A. Kingsbury and Darius Shaw, to build the 
present Court House. The terms were six thousand 
dollars, two thousand of which was to be paid in cash 
in one and two 3^ears, the remainder in village lots, 
which had been donated by the proprietors in con- 
sideration of the location of the county seat at Cass- 

In 1840, Myron Strong and V. C. Smith were 
elected Representatives. 

Thomas T. Glenn and John Barney, Associate 

C. Shanahan, Probate Judge. 

James O'Dell, Coimty Commissioner. 

H. B. Dunning, County Clerk. 

Joseph Harper, Register of Deeds. 

Amos Fulton, County Treasurer. 

W. G. Beckwith, Sheriff. 

Henry Walton, Surveyor. 

John Shaw and Marcus Peck, Coroners. 


In 1 84 1 William H. Bacon was elected County 

S. F. Anderson and F. C. Arnold, Representatives 
for Cass and VanBuren Counties. 

In 1842, S. F. Anderson and John Andrews were 
elected Representatives for Cass and VanBuren 

James L. Glenn, Sheriff. 

H. C. Lybrook, Clerk. 

D. M. Howell, Register of Deeds. 

Asa Kingsbury, Treasurer. 

David P. Ward, Surveyor. 

P. Horton and M. Rudd, Coronors. 

In July of this year, the system of County Com- 
missioners was discontinued, and the Supervisor sys- 
tem reinstated. Milton had been organized and was 
represented this year. 

By an act of the Legislature, approved in April, 

1 84 1, it was required ''that the several battalions of 
State Militia should rendezvous for inspection, drill 
service, and martial exercise, in each county, between 
the first days of May and November of each year." 

Pursuant to this, in the latter part of October, 

1842, all the able bodied white male citizens of Cass 
County, between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, 
were notified to rendezvous at Cassopolis for the 
purposes set forth in the act. 

The day proved exceedingly unfavorable, being 
cold and inclement with a mingled fall of rain and 
snow. Still nearly one thousand sturdy yeomen 
assembled on the public square to receive their first 
lessons in the art of national defense. 


They were as motley a crew as ever perplexed a 
drill sergeant, with shoes and without, with coats 
and hats, and without either. Some of them armed 
with rifles and shot-guns, but the majority with 
clubs, broom-sticks, and cornstalks.' There was 
nothing uniform about them — excepting variety. 
They hardly realized Falstaff's description of his 
tarterdemalions, with ''a shirt and a half to the whole 
company"; but their appearance was nearer to that 
than soldierly. 

The only names of officers which have been pre- 
served, are. Colonel, James L. Glenn; Lieutenant 
Colonel, Asa Kingsbur}'^, and Major, Joseph Smith ; 
and to these were added a rabble of Captains, 
Lieutenants, Sergeants, and Corporals, from nearly 
every township in the county. 

As far as we have been able to learn. Major 
Smith was the only officer who had ever been 
exposed to the innoculation of military tactics and 
discipline, he having previously served in the Ohio 
militia; but no one man could avert the confusion 
worse confounded, which w^as created by the accu- 
mulated ignorance of his confreres, and although he 
strove with Napoleonic energy to stem the tide and 
evolve order out of chaos, he was at last compelled 
to retire vanquished from the field. 

The "martial exercise" developed into the broadest 
burlesque on the art of war, and its glaring absurdity 
was evident to officers and men alike. 

The instructors proving totally unqualified to 
teach, and the pupils soon bemg in no mood to 
receive instruction, resort was had to an exercise in 


which honors were easy and responsibilities equal. 

Informal but effective requisitions being made 
upon the officers, whisky in barrels was rolled out 
on the public square and each Captain required to 
provide a pail and tin cups for the use of his com- 

The fun soon grew fast and furious. Friendty 
wrestling gave place to bellicose fisticuffs. Political 
and neighborhood quarrels were put in a way for 
adjustment, ^'bloody noses and cracked crowns" 
became the order of the day, and the first and only 
mihtary training(?) in the history of Cass County 
terminated in a general debauch. 

In 1843 James W. Griffin and Philotus Hayden 
were elected Representatives for Cass and Van Bu- 
ren Counties. R. J. Huyck and James Taylor, 

In 1844 J^i'^^^s Shaw and John Andrews were 
elected Representatives for Cass and Van Buren 

W. G. Beckwith, Sheriff. 

George Sherwood, Clerk. 

D. M. Howell, Register of Deeds. 

Asa Kingsbury, Treasurer. 

Clifford Shanahan, Judge of Probate. 

S. F. Anderson and William H. Bacon, Associate 

David P. Ward, County Surveyor. 

Charles P. Drew and Caleb Calkins, Coroners. 

In 1845 James L. Glenn and Josiah Andrews 
were elected Representatives for Cass and Berrien 


In 1846 James L. Glenn and James Shaw were 
elected Representatives for Cass County. 

James N. Chipman, County Judge. 

Mitchell Robinson, Second County Judge. 

Barak Mead, Sheriff. 

George Sherwood, County Clerk. 

D. M. Howell, Register of Deeds. 

Joshua C. Lofland, Treasurer. 

David P. Ward, County Surveyor. 

Peter Shaffer, and Isaac Hull, Coroners. 

In 1847 G. ^- Turner and Milo Powell were 
elected Representatives. 

During this year occurred, perhaps, the most ex- 
citing episode in the history of the county, viz. : the 
seizure and successful rescue of nine fugitive slaves, 
owned in Bourbon County, Kentucky. 

These slaves belonged to personal friends of 
Henry Clay, and the pressure brought to bear by 
their ovv^ners had great influence in shaping his 
course and action on the Fugitive Slave Bill of 1850, 
which, in turn, was among the chief exciting causes 
of our civil war. The '' Michigan riots " were cited 
b}^ him in detail in Congress, and proved of great 
service in securing the passage of the bill. 

Under these circumstances it has seemed advis- 
able to allow sufficient space in this work for a 
detailed statement of this celebrated raid, and a 
separate chapter has been set apart for the purpose. 

The facts collated have been gathered from all 
available sources, and carefully sifted and arranged, 
and in the main can be relied upon as correct; but 
unavoidable errors in details may have been com- 



mitted, owing to the wide dissimilarity of recollection 
of the few living actors in this drama, which is 
largely due to their antagonistic political views. 

Party politics ran high at that time and partisan 
prejudices were extreme, and it is not strange 
that, after a lapse of twenty-nine years, each should 
remember disputed data as he then wished them to 
be. There are no official records extant of this case. 
The Justice's docket and Commissioner's record for 
that year are not to be found. Whether they were 
accidently lost, or maliciously destroyed by the 
parties whose interests they would have prejudiced, 
is, and will probably always remain, a mystery. 
The files are complete up to and succeeding 1847, 
but for that year they are wanting. 

For the facts embodied in the sketches of the Un- 
derground Railroad, we are largely indebted to 
Erastus Hussey, of Battle Creek, and Dr. Thomas, 
of Schoolcraft, who were both active workers in the 
cause, and for the details of the raid to George B. 
Turner, Jefferaon Osbom, D» M. Howell, Jordon P. 
Osborn, Joseph Harper, E. B. Sherman, and many 
other actors and witnesses. 


During the decade following the election of Har- 
rison, in 1840, there flourished in its greatest vigor 
and usefulness that " organized Christianity " known 
as the Underground Railroad. 

Two division^ of this road, viz., the "Quaker line," 
starting on free soil from the Ohio river, and the 
"Illinois line," from St. Louis, formed a junction in 
Cass County and pursued a common course to 

The first of these was in effective operation as 
early as 1840, but was loosely worked and frequently 
failed in its object by allowing its passengers to be 
seized and returned to slavery. It was simply a 
chain of Quaker settlements extending through In- 
diana, at all of which fugitive slaves were harbored, 
fed and directed on their way; but there was no ar- 
rangement for providing local guides, and usually 
the conductor who started with the convoy from the 
South accompanied them as far as Cass County, 


The Illinois line, established by John Cross in 
1842, was thoroughly organized and equipped, and 
never met with any accidents so far as we can learn. 
Its stations were from ten to twenty miles apart, and 
each station agent was informed only as to the name 
and location of the agent ahead of him, and neither 
knew or sought to know aught of those behind. 

Regular conductors plied between stations and 
were always ready, provided with fleet horses and 
covered wagons, to forward the hunted chattels tow- 
ard the sheltering protection of the British flag. 
The password was in the form of a question by the 
conductor, " Can you furnish entertainment for my- 
self and another person ? " 

There were two stations in Cass County, kept by 
Stephen Bogue and Zachariah Shugert, the latter 
acting also as conductor. They received fugitives 

from E. Mcllvain, agent at Niles, per Elliot, 

conductor, and forwarded them either to William 
Wheeler at Flowerfield, or Dr. Nathan M. Thomas 
at Schoolcraft. 

Wright Modlin and William Jones (who enjoyed 
the soh'iquet of " Nigger Bill '') lived in this county 
and were actively engaged in ^^ nigger running " from 
Kentucky via the Quaker line. 

Some idea of the amount of business transacted by 
these two lines in six or eight years (for after the 
organization of the Free Soil party in '48 they were 
abandoned as unnecessary) may be obtained from 
the statement of Erastus Hussey, the agent at Battle 
Creek, who estimates that at least fifteen hundred 
runaway slaves, representing gi million and a half of 


value, were fed and forwarded by him. Dr. Thomas 
of Schoolcraft, who divided his hospitality with C. 
Bird of Pavillion, assisted at least one thousand to 
escape from " free America." 

''The woolly head in the cellar" was no myth to 
these brave zealots, who risked their property, 
their liberty, and sometimes even their lives in obe- 
dience to their Master's injunction to " Let the 
oppressed go free." 

At first the slave running was done entirely by 
night, and the utmost precautions taken to escape ob- 
servation; but as time went on and public sentiment 
became largely in sympathy with the fugitives, they 
were carried from station to station in broad day- 
light, and finally they became so emboldened by im- 
munity as to settle down to labor and residence in 
the free States, but always clustering around their 
friends, the Quakers, for protection. 

In 1846 it is estimated that there were one hun- 
dred runaway slaves in Cass County, mostly in Penn 
and Calvin Townships in what were known as the 
East and Osborn settlements, and, unlike some of 
their successors and descendants, they were honest, 
industrious and sturdy pioneers who sought to create 
homes of their own for themselves and families. 

A large proportion of the refugees were from 
Bourbon County, Kentucky, which, by the continued 
exertions of Modlin, Jones and others of their ilk, 
was being rapidly depleted of slaves. 

During the early part of the winter of 1846*7 an 
association of Bourbon County planters was formed 
at Covington^ Kentucky, for the purpose of pursuing 


and returning to their lawftil owners the servants 
that had been "stolen by the rascally Abolitionists." 

This organization was similar in its form and 
workings to the societies for the prosecution and 
punishment of horse stealing in vogue at the present 

A few weeks after the formation of this protection 
league a young Kentuckian entered the law office of 
Charles E. Stewart of Kalamazoo, ostensibly as a 
student, but in reality to spy out the land and locate 
the wandering property. 

Under the name of Carpenter he visited the col- 
ored settlements in Calhoun and Cass Counties, and, 
representing himself to be an Abolitionist from 
Worcester County, Massachusetts, he was warmly 
received and afforded every facility for the execution 
of his real mission. 

The first result of this movement was the attempt- 
ed kidnapping of the Crosswhite family at Marshall, 
Calhoun County, by a party of Kentuckians under 
the leadership of one Francis Troutman, who claimed 
to have inherited them as a part of the estate of his 

They were foiled by the resolute defense made by 
Adam Crosswhite and his neighbors, who turned out 
some two hundred strong to resist the slave-hunters. 

Upon their return home they detailed their defeat 
to their friends, and the utmost indignation and ex- 
citement was aroused. Mass meetings were held, 
and, as the tale of their wrongs and the outrages of 
the Abolitionists lost nothing by repetition, "the 
Southern heart was fired," and a memorial prepared 


to the Legislature setting forth their grievances was 
promptly met by an appropriation of money by the 
State which was thought to be sufficient " to secure 
the observance of the laws of the United States ^' in 
fanatical Michigan. 

Suit was commenced in the United States Court 
at Detroit against Charles T. Gerham (late United 
States Minister at the Hague), Dr. O. C. Comstock, 
and Jarvis Hurd^ to recover the value of the slaves 
and exemplary damages. These gentlemen seem to 
have been selected rather on account of their social 
position and pecuniary responsibility than for any 
especial prominence during the so-called riot. 

The trial began in the latter part of 1847, ^^^ 
lasted three weeks. The jury disagreed. The 
second trial was in 1848, during the Presidential 
canvass between Generals Cass and Taylor. Party 
feeling ran high^ and the defendants were convicted 
and required to pay one thousand nine hundred 
dollars and costs* 

This amount was raised by subscription, by a 
Detroit merchant, a stranger to the defendants, who 
headed the list with one hundred dollars. That 
merchant has been heard from since. His name was 
Zachariah Chandler. 

About the first of August, 1847, ^ party of thir- 
teen men arrived at Battle Creek, They were 
provided with good teams and covered wagons, and 
had evidently traveled a long distance. They put 
up at the hotel, and some of their number repre- 
sented themselves to be salesmen for an improved 
washing machine. Under pretext of showing their 


wares, they proceeded to visit the houses of the 
negroes in and around the village; but before night, 
Erastus Hussey, always on the qui vive when any 
danger threatened his proteges, discovered their 
true character and designs. 

He went at once to the hotel, and, assembling the 
company in the bar-room, charged them with being- 
slave hunters, and notified them to leave town at 
once, as the people there had firmly determined that 
no fugiture should ever be returned to bondage 
from that neighborhood, and he could not be an- 
swerable for the consequences if their presence and 
purposes should become generally known. 

The Kentuckians, cowed by the resolute earnest- 
ness of this ''fighting Quaker," took counsel of their 
fears and quietly but speedily left the village, which 
knew them, or their kind, no more forever. 

Immediately upon their departure, Mr. H. wrote 
to Zachariah Shugert and Stephen Bogue, of this 
county, advising them of what had transpired and 
notifying them to warn the colored people and their 
friends to be on the watch for a similar attempt to 
be made here, but, owing to the irregularity of the 
mail service, these letters were not received in time 
to prevent the mischief 

After leaving Battle Creek, the party proceeded 
southward into Indiana, and finally rendezvoused at 
Bristol. On the night of the third da}^ they re- 
crossed the St. Joseph at that point, and, crossing 
Porter Township, came to a halt in the woods, near 
the south line of Calvin. Here they left their 
wagons, as too cumbrous and liable to excite alarm, 


and, dividing into small parties, prepared to make a 
descent upon the different settlements in Penn and 
Calvin, as nearly as might be, at the same time. 

They were provided with complete maps of the 
roads and descriptions of the houses where their 
chattels were to be found, furnished by Carpenter, 
and designed to seize the negroes, hurry them back 
to the wagons and escape over the line into Indiana 
before a general alarm could be given or a rescue 
attempted. They preferred proving their property 
(if they should be compelled to do so at all) before 
an Indiana Justice anql under the practice of that 

The first arrests were made at Josiah Osborn's, 
where an old man and his two sons were seized, 
handcuffed in bed, and taken out on the highway. 

No resistance was offered by the negroes or their 
friends, but the alarm spread like wildfire throughout 
the neighborhood. 

At the East settlement four were taken, one of 

them a wench belonging to Stevens, a Baptist 

preacher, being secured by strategy. She was in a 
cabin apart from the rest, and being alarmed by the 
noise incident to the capture of the others, fled, leav- 
ing her picanninny on the bed. The Rev. S. discov- 
ered the baby, and, coarsely saying, '' If you want a 
cow you can tole her with her calf," shouldered it 
and started for the road, whereupon the mother 
rushed from her place of concealment and was 

Moses Bristow, who lived in a log hut on the farm 
of Stephen Bogue, offered the only resistence of the 


night — being summoned by his master he refused to 
follow him and was struck down with the butt of a 
riding whip, cutting his ear and the side of his head 

The party who made the arrests at Osborn's wait- 
ed some time for their friends who had been sent to 
the other localities, but, as the night wore away, and 
the free Negroes and Abolitionists gathered around 
them with no friendly mien, they moved northward 
to meet their associates, followed by some trusty 
men who only waited an opportunity to strike. 

In the neighborhood of O 'Dell's mill the parties 
came together and were speedily surrounded by an 
excited mob of citizens armed with rifles, shot-guns, 
straw cutters, axes, clubs and whatever other weapons 
chance threw in their way, who resolutely opposed 
their southward progress. 

A parley was had, high words and thfeats ex- 
changed, weapons drawn, and a bloody riot seemed 
imminent; but, fortunately, more moderate counsels 
prevailed and the Kentuckians agreed to go to 
Cassopolis and submit their case and proofs to the 
resident Justice. 

The leading spirit in this rencounter was *' Nigger 
Bill '' Jones, who, after disarming one of the raiders 
who drew a revolver on him, and forcing the Rev. 
Stevens to cafry the picanniny, and another of the 
party to relinquish his horse in favor of a wench, 
was shackledj at his own request, with a slave, and 
so remained until after the party reached Cassopolis. 

The cortege that arrived in Cassopolis, about 
nine o'clock, was cohiposed of the thirteen Kentuck- 


ians, nine slaves, and a promiscuous following of 
about two hundred persons. Prominent in the pro- 
cession were the Rev. Stevens, who bestrode a black 
horse with a negro baby cuddled close to his breast, 
and "Nigger Bill" Jones, manacled to a negro. 

Immediately upon their arrival on the public 
square, they secured the seiH ices of George B. Tur- 
ner, then a rising young lawyer, who advised them 
that the rendition of their slaves from Cass County 
was simply impossible in the then excited condition 
of the public mind ; and that the best they could do 
would be to note the pecuniarily responsible parties, 
who might obstruct or hinder the execution of the 
law, and look to them for damages. 

The slaves were hurriedly taken to the north 
room in the second story of Baldwin's tavern, and a 
guard placed at the door. 

The preliminary steps were immediately instituted 
to prove ownership and recover property, and a writ 
of restitution applied for before D. M. Howell, Jus- 
tice of the Peace, in accordance with the law of 

Messrs. E. S. Smith and James Sullivan appeared 

for the fugitives, and succeeded in obtaining an 

adjournment of three days. 

Only nine names of the raiding party have been 

preserved, and these by oral tradition, viz.: C. B. 

Rust, James Scott, G. W. Brazier, Thornton Tim- 

lenlake, John L. Graves (Sheriff of Bourbon County), 

Bristow, Rev. A. Stevens, Buckner, and Lemon. 

They were all gentlemen of the true Southern type, 

and slave-holders. 


Immediately upon securing the adjournment, Mr. 
Bristow was arrested upon a charge of assault and 
battery. Four of his associates were taken for tres- 
pass upon the premises of Josiah Osborn, and the 
whole party, excepting Graves, who was unknown 
to the Abolitionists, were arrested upon a general 
charge of kidnapping. Their bail was fixed by the 
Justice at two thousand six hundred dollars. Asa 
Kingsbury, Amos Dow, and Daniel Mcintosh were 
offered and accepted as securities. 

At this time there were only fifty-two Abolition 
voters in Cass County, but the difterence in the enu- 
meration of the Whig and Democratic parties was 
so slight that they (the Abolitionists) held the bal- 
lance of power, and were respected accordingly. 

Taking advantage of the absence of A. H. Red- 
field, Circuit Court Commissioner of the county, the 
friends of the fugitives vsent a courier to Niles, post 
haste, and secured the attendance of James Brown, 
an attorney, to assist Messrs. Sullivan and Smith, 
and E. Mcllvain, Circuit Commissioner of Berrien 

Upon the arrival of Mcllvain, a writ of habeas 
cOT'pus was sworn out, requiring the Kentuckians 
to show cause why the fugitives should not be dis- 
charged from custody. This occurred on the third 
day after the arrests. In the meantime the bloody 
warfare had waxed hot, and hotter, but prudent 
counsels having prevailed with the Kentuckians, no 
serious fracas had occurred. 

The hearing upon the habeas corpus came on 
Monday, and Commissioner Mcllvain decided the 


case adversely to the Kentnckians, on the ground 
that there was no certified copy of the statutes of 
Kentucky ottered in evidence showing the legal ex- 
istence of slaver}' in that State. 

Immediately upon the decision of Mcllvain the 
Negroes were taken in charge b}^ their friends and 
hurried to the farm of Ishirfael Lee, Vv^here a party 
of fifty-two runaway slaves was made up, put in 
charge of Zachariah Shugert and started toward 
Canada. This party included probably all the fugi- 
tives from Bourbon Count}'. 

All of the criminal proceeding against the Ken- 
tuckians were then dropped, their object having been 
attained, and, they were permitted to gather up their 
remaining property and depart to their Kentucky 

The year following suits were commenced by the 
owners of the slaves against D. T. Nicholson, 
Stephen Bogue, Josiah Osborn, Ishmael Lee, Zach- 
ariah Shugert, Jefterson Osborn, Ebenezer Mcll- 
vain, and William Jones in the District Court 
of the United States held in Detroit. Abner Pratt, 
of Marshall, was attorney for the plaintifts, and Jacob 
M. Howard, of Detroit, for the defendants. The 
first trial resulted in a disagreement of the jury. 
Several adjournments were had from time to time, 
and finally, in 185 1, D. T. Nicholson, one of the 
most wealthy of the defendants, compromised with 
Pratt by paying him, for the Kentuckians, $2,755. 

It is somewhat satisfactory to know that this money 
was absorbed by Pratt, and that neither the slave- 


owners nor their attorney, Mr. Turner, ever received 
one dollar of it. 

The Quakers refused all offers of compromise from 
principle, terming such payments "blood money," 
but they liberally assisted Mr. Nicholson in his pay- 
n^ent. Their individual expenses in the case were 
about one thousand dollars apiece. 

Innumerable incidents and episodes occurred dur- 
ing this trial, but our space is too limited for their 

In 1849 Cyrus Bacon and George B. Turner were 
elected Representatives. 
Freeman Tuttle, Sheriff. 
George Sherwood, Clerk. 
D. M. Howell, Register of Deeds. 
Joshua Lofland, Treasurer. 

C. Shanahan, Probate Judge. 

Milo Powell and James W. Griffin, Associate 

Charles G. Banks, Surveyor. 

D. Histed and Joseph Smith, Coroners. 

In this year the Michigan Central Railroad was 
completed to Niles, and a grand excursion to that 
place from Detroit and intermediate points took 

This work was undertaken by the Territory in 
1834, when a survey was made from Detroit to St. 
Joseph, which was designed to be the terminus, and 
the preliminary work was begun. It continued 
under the State management until 1846, when it 
was completed as far west as Kalamazoo. In its 
construction under the State management, the old- 
fashioned strap rails were used; and as a financial 
experiment, was decidedly unsuccessful, consequently 


it was sold out to the present company on its com- 
pletion to Kalamazoo. 

With characteristic energy the completion of the 
road was undertaken by this new company, and 
instead of making St. Joseph the western terminus, 
the}' veered farther to the south, making New 
Buffalo their western terminus, and to this change 
of base is Cass County indebted for her first, and up 
to a few years ago, her only railroad. 

At about the same time of the building of the 
Central the Michigan Southern & Northern Indiana 
Railroad was pushing its way westward. Although 
not touching our County it was, nevertheless, of 
great importance, as it furnished a market for a good 
portion of the south half of the County. 

The peculiar manner in which these two roads 
run — the Central cutting off the northwest corner of 
the County, and the Southern running just south of 
our boundery line — while they furnished us a market 
of convenient access, they at the same time aided in 
building up towns and manufactories to which we 
were tributary, and a large amount of the prosperity 
of Niles, South Bend, Mishawaka, Elkhart and 
Three Rivers, from their peculiar location, is due to 
the trade of Cass County. But with the Air Line 
running east and west nearly through the centre of 
the County, and the Chicago & Lake Huron Rail- 
road, running from the southwest to the northeast, 
directly across the centre of the County, nothing is 
left to be desired in the way of railroads, unless it 
should be a line running directly north and south. 


In 1849 Pleasant Norton and Ezekiel C. Smith 
were elected Representatives. 

In 1850 James Sullivan,- George Redfield and 
Mitchell Robinson were elected members of the State 
Constitutional Convention ; George Sherwood and 
Wm. L. Clyborne to the Legislatvire ; Cyrus Bacon 
and John S. Brown, Judge and second Judge. 

James Sullivan, Prosecuting Attorney. 

Andrew Wood, Sheriff. 

Henry R. Close, Treasurer. 

D. M. Howell, Register of Deeds. 

William Sears, County Clerk. 

David P. Ward, County Surveyor. 

H. Linsey and J. Powell, Coroners. 

In 1852 Jesse G. Beeson was chosen Senator; E. 
J. Bonine and Pleasant Norton, Representatives. 

W. G. Beckwith, Sheriff. 

D. M. Howell, Register of Deeds. 
Henry Tiesort, Treasurer. 

E. B. Warner, County Clerk. 
C. Shanahan, Probate Judge. 

H. H. Coolidge, Prosecuting Attorney. 
David P. Ward, Surveyor. 
H. Linsey and Wm. Merritt, Coroners. 
In 1854 James Sullivan was elected Senator; 
Franklin Brownell and Urial Enos, Representatives. 
Joseph Harper, Sheriff. 
E. B. Warner, County Clerk. 
A. J. Smith, Prosecuting Attorney. 
A. E. Peck, Register of Deeds. 
Jefferson Osborn, Treasurer. 
Amos Smith, Surveyor. 
— 10 


A. Lamb and Geo. Newton, Coroners. 

In 1856 Alonzo Garwood was elected Senator; B. 
W. Schermerhorn and Edwin Sutton, Representa- 

Joseph N. Marshall, Sherift'. 

C. Shanahan, Probate Judge. 

A. E. Peck, Register of Deeds. 

Jefferson Osborn, Treasurer. 

Benjamin F. Rutter, County Clerk. 

A. J. Smith, Prosecuting Attorney. 

Amos Smith, Surveyor. 

Ira Wilsey and John Silver, Coroners. 

In 1858 George Meacham was elected Senator; 
George Newton and E. W. Reynolds, Representa- 

Joseph N. Marshall, Sheriff. 

A. E. Peck, Register of Deeds. 

William W. Peck, Treasurer. 

Charles G. Lewis, County Clerk. 

A. J. Smith, Prosecuting Attorney. 
Amos Smith, Surveyor. 

G. C. Jones and Jesse G. Beeson, Coroners. 
In i860 Gilman C.Jones was elected Senator; E. 
li. Jones and E. Shanahan, Representatives. 

B. W. Schermerhorn, Sheriff. 

C. Shanahan, Probate Judge. 
Charles G. Lewis, County Clerk. 
A. E. Peck, Register of Deeds. 
Ira Brownell, Treasurer. 

A. J. Smith, Prosecuting Attorney. 

H. O. Banks, Surveyor. 

R. K. Charles and E. W. Reynolds, Coroners. 


In 1 86 1 came the war cry, sounding from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Gulf of Mexico 
to the Straits of Mackinac, arousing the patriotic of 
the nation to its defense, and the part that Cass 
County acted in this great war for the safety of the 
nation is detailed in a separate chapter devoted to 
that purpose. 

In 1862 Emmons Buell was elected Senator; H. 
B. Denman and Levi Aldrich, Representatives. 

William K. Palmer, Sheriff. 

Ira Brownell, County Clerk. 

J. K. Ritter, County Treasurer. 

C. W. Clisbee, Prosecuting Attorney. 

Amos Smith, Survej^or. 

J. N. Marshall and E. Shanahan, Coroners. 

In 1864 Levi Aldrich was elected Senator; Lucius 
Keeler and A. B. Copley, Representatives. 

William K. Palmer, Sheriff. 

M. T. Garvey, Probate Judge. 

Ira Brownell, County Clerk. 

William L. Jakways, Register of Deeds. 

J. K. Ritter, Treasurer. 

A. J. Smith, Prosecuting Attorney. 

H. O. Banks, Surveyor. 

J. M. Spencer and C. W. Clisbee, Coroners. 

In 1866 C. W. Clisbee was elected Senator; H. 
B. Wells and L. D. Osborn, Representatives. 

Z. Aldrich, Sheriff. 

W. L. Jakways, Register of Deeds. 

Charles L. Morton, County Clerk, 

I. Z. Edwards, County Treasurer. 

A. J. Smith, Prosecuting Attorney, 


H. O. Banks, Surveyor. 

G. C. Jones and J. G. Beeson, Coroners. 

In 1868 Amos Smith was elected Senator; U. 
Putnam, Jr. and James Ashley, Representatives. 

William P. Bennett, Probate Judge. 

Z. Aldrich, Sheriff. 

Charles L. Morton, County Clerk. 

Joel Cowgill, Register of Deeds. 

I. Z. Edwards, Treasurer. 

George Miller, Prosecuting Attorney. 

H. O. Banks, Surveyor. 

G. C. Jones and L. Aldrich, Coroners. 

In 1870 U. Putnam, Jr., was elected Senator; A. 
B. Copley and John F. Coulter, Representatives. 

Levi J. Reynolds, Sheriff. 

Charles L. Morton, County Clerk. 

Joel Cowgill, Register of Deeds. 

Anson L. Dunn, Treasurer. 

William G. Howard, Prosecuting Attorney. 

John C. Bradt, Surveyor. 

G. S. Howard and C. F. Smith, Coroners. 

In 1872* A. C. Prutzman was elected Senator for 
Cass and St. Joseph Counties; A. Robertson and 
Thomas O'Dell, Representatives. 

William P. Bennett, Probate Judge. 

William J. Merwin, Sheriff. 

Charles L. Morton, County Clerk. 

Henry L. Barney, Register of Deeds. 

Spafford Tryon, Prosecuting Attorney. 

Anson L. Dunn, County Treasurer. 

John C. Bradt, Surveyor. 

John Hain, Jr., and H. H. Bidwell, Coroners. 


In 1874 M. T. Garvey was elected Senator for 
Cass and St. Joseph Counties; John Struble and 
John B. Sweetland, Representatives. 

J. Boyd Thomas, Sheriff. 

Charles L. Morton, County Clerk. 

Henry L. Barney, Register of Deeds. 

M. L. Howell, Prosecuting Attorney. 

Hiram S. Hadsell, County Treasurer. 

Austin A. Bramer, County Surveyor. 

H. J. Webb and W. K. Palmer, Coroners. 


Marcellus was named by Judge Littlejohn, who 
at the time of its organization was a member of the 
Les^islature. It was the desi2:n of the citizens to 
call it Cambria, and this name was sent in with the 
petition praying for the organization; but, owing to 
there being another Township of that name in the 
State, Mr. Anderson, our Representative at that 
time, consented to the name as already stated. 

The first entry of land made in this Township, 
was in October, 1832, on section thirty-four, by 
John Bair. The next was by Daniel Driskel, on 
section thirty -six, in October, 1833, who also made 
an entry on section thirty-five, in August, 1834. 
These were the only entries made in the first three 

In 1835 entries were made by D. Duncan, J. 
Clark, Thomas Armstrong, George Poe, A. J. Poe, 
F. Girton, J. Grenell, M. Rudd, S. Hutchings, W. 
D. Jones, and John Orr. In 1836 entries were made 
by Joseph Bair, Greer McElvain, Joel G. Goft, 


Harvey Gregory, T. Mosher, M. P. Blanchard, 
Josephus Gard, Joseph Haight, John GofF, John 
A. Jacobs, E. T. Jacobs, John C. Beebee, John 
Huyck, E. Holly, James Kilgore, and U. Williams. 

The first settler in the Township was Joseph 
Haight, who settled on the west side of the Town- 
ship^ in the summer of 1836, and was probably the 
only settler in that year. 

In 1837 Joseph Bair and the widow Goflf, with 
her sons, commenced to make a farms, and in 
1838 Daniel G. Rouse and others settled in the 

The Township was organized and an election 
held on the i6th of June, 1843, at the house of 
Daniel G. Rouse. At this election there were 
eighteen votes cast. Daniel G. Rouse was elected 
Supervisor, Guerdon R. Beebee Treasurer, and 
Ephraim Huyatt Clerk. 

Owing to its isolated location and great distance 
from markets, this Township for many years was 
considered anything but a desirable location for a 
home, consequently it was far behind in settlement 
and improvement, and was the last Township or- 
ganized in the County, previous to which it had 
been attached to Volinia Township. But with the 
advent of the Peninsular Railroad in the winter of 
1870-71, running as it does from northeast to south- 
west, nearly across the center of the Township, 
affairs assumed a different aspect, and it is safe to 
say that no Township in the County has kept pace 
in improvements with her since that date. 


In 1845 Mr. Rouse started an ashery and sold 
goods, which he continued for two years, and was 
succeeded by the Carroll Brothers. Afterward 
Fred Patrick traded in merchandise. These were 
the first merchants of the Township. 

In 1840 Savage, Rouse, Beebee, and the two 
Huycks built the first school-house, on Rouse's land, 
and Delia Huyck taught the first school in 1840-41. 

In the fall of 1840 Alfred Paine was out hunting 
and shot a turkey which lodged in the top of a tall 
tree. He determined to climb and get it; when 
about forty feet from the ground he became dizzy 
and fell breaking one arm in two places, one leg in 
two places, between the knee and hip, and two ribs. 
When found, the bone of his leg was driven into the 
ground from four to six inches. The neighbors 
made a litter and carried him home. Dr. Chatfield, 
of Little Prairie Ronde, was sent for to set the 
broken limbs, which was done, but, by some care- 
lessness on the part of the patient, the leg was 
broken again. Dr. Thomas, of Schoolcraft, was 
sent for to repair it, and after thirteen months 
in which time several pieces of bone worked out, 
Mr. Paine got well. 

Marcellus village, situated nearly at the geograph- 
ical centre of the Township, was laid out April 9th, 
1870, by George W. Jones, Leander Bridge, Maria 
Snyder and George R. Roach. Its growth has been 
rapid. The buildings are of a substantial character, 
and everything would seem to indicate it as an 
important commercial point in the near future. It 
has a population of about five hundred, of as intelli- 


gent and enterprising citizens as can be found 

It has two churches, the Evangelical and Metho- 
dist, the latter a fine brick building approaching 
completion; a two story brick school house, employ- 
ing two teachers; a Masonic Lodge, an Odd Fellows' 
Lodge, a Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, and 
a Lodge of Good Templars. 

It has three dry goods, three grocery, two drug, 
one hardware, one furniture, and three milliner 
stores; three blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, 
one tailor shop, two harness shops, two meat 
markets, two tin shops, two hotels, one bakery, one 
eating house, four practicing physicians, two lawyers, 
two Justices of the Peace, and one printing press 
which issues a weekly paper called The Messenger] 
there are two stave factories, one planing mill and 
a sash and blind factory combined, one cooper shop 
and one steam saw mill. 

There is about $21,300 invested in merchandise, 
doing an annual business of $62,500, and nearly 
$46,000 invested in manufactories, mills, &c. The 
following are the principal Township officers that 
have been elected since the organization of the 
Township down to the present time : 


1848 Daniel G. Rouse. G. R. Beebe. Ephraim Huyatt. 

1844 Daniel G. Rouse. Joseph Bair. Ephraim Huyatt. 

1845 E. C. Goff. Joseph Bair. O. C. Lumbard. 

1846 E. C. Gotf. J. B. Lutes. O. C. Lumbard. 

1847 Joseph Haight. Joseph Bair. William L. Wolfe. 

1848 Daniel G. Rouse. Joseph Bair. Henry McQuigg. 

1849 Daniel G. Rouse. Joseph Bair. Henry McQuigg. 

1850 Daniel G. Rouse. E. Comstock. Henry McQuigg. 

1851 Henry McQuigg. E. Comstock. O. Blanchard. 

1852 Henry McQuigg. Mathew Gibson. O. Blanchard, 



! Henry McQui gg. 
Henry W. Bly. 
iWilliam P. Bennett. 
jWilliam P. Bennett. 
|H. Dykeman. 
William P. Bennett. 
jM. E. Messenger. 
William P. Bennett. 
William P. Bennett. 
William P. Bennett. 
William P. Bennett. 
William P. Bennett. 
John C. Bradt. 
John C. Bradt. 
William P. Bennett. 
William P. Bennett. 
John C. Bradt. 
John C. Bradt. 
John C. Bradt. 
Thomas McKee. 
John C. Bradt. 
A. F. Caul. 
A. F. Caul. 


*Thadeus Oaks. 
Leander Bridge. 
F. Patrick. 
F. Patrick. 
F. Patrick. 
R. R. Beebe. 
D. T. Baldwin. 
D. T. Baldwin. 
John Manning. 
John Manning. 
W. O. Mathews. 
J. M. Housington. 
W. O. Mathews. 
John Manning 
John Manning. 
John Manning. 
John Manning. 
John Manning. 
Jonn Manning. 
John Manning. 
John Manning. 
John Manning. 
John Manning. 


J. B. Lutes. 

J. B. Lutes. 

William L. Wolfe. 

J. B. Lutes. 

J. B. Lutes. 

W. O. Mathews. 

W. O. Mathews. 

H. Dvkeman. 

J. B. Lutes. 

H. J. Ohls. 

C. O. Vose. 

C. O. Vose. 

C. O. Vose. 

Gideon Beebe. 

C. O. Vose. 

H. J. Ohls. 

H. J. Ohls. 

H. J. Ohls. 

H. J. Ohls. 

G. M. D. Clemment. 

H. J. Ohls. 

H. J. Olhs. 

8. D. Perry. 

*R. R. Beebe, appointed to fill vancancy. 


This Township was originally called Volh3mia, 
after a province in Poland, and for a number of 
years it was spelled with Ay^ but, by common con- 
sent, these letters were dropped and an / substituted. 
To Josephus Gard belongs the honor of naming the 

The first settlement in this Township was made 
on the 27th of March, 1829, by Samuel Morris, who 
settled on section one, (now the farm of Elias 
Morris). He was accompanied by his brother, 
Dolphin Morris, and Henry D. Swift, who settled in 
Van Buren County. Three days later Johnathan 
Gard, Samuel Rich and Elijah Goble came, the 
former settling on what is known as Gard's Prairie, 
and the two latter on the west side of Little Prairie 
Ronde. Both parties came under the guidance of 
Squire Thompson, of Pokagon Prairie. Jacob 
Morelan and Jacob Charles came the same season. 
In 1830 William Tietsort, Josephus Gard, John 
Curray and the two brothers, Samuel and Alexander 


Fulton, arrived. In 1831 Obed Bunker, William 
Griffis and John Shaw came, and in 1832 David 
Crane, James New^ton, Levi Lawrence and Amos 

In 1830 the first entries of land were made in this 
Township by Johnathan Gard, Jacob Morelan, 
Samuel Fulton, Samuel and John Morris, Jacob 
Charles, Josephus Gard and Samuel Rich. In 1831 
entries were made by Samuel Morris, Elijah and 
John B. Goble, Jacob Charles, Christanna Gantt, 
Christanna Charles, John Shaw, John Curray, Alex- 
ander Copley, Levi Lawrence, Johnathan Gard, 
David Crane, Daniel C. Squier and William Griffis. 
In 1832 entries were made by Samuel Morris, John 
S. Barry, William Griffis, Josephus Gard, Alexander 
Fulton, Alexander Copley, William Tietsort and 
James Newton. In 1833 Samuel and John Morris, 
William Squier, Joel C. and Elijah W. Wright, 
John B. Gard, Amos Huff, Henry Myers, Isaac and 
Peter Huff, made entries of land. 

The first school house in the Township was known 
as the Crane school house, built in the spring of 
1833, and the first school was taught that season by 
Michael V. V. Crane. 

The first weddings in the Township were those of 
David Curry and Alexander Fulton to Sarah and 
Elizabeth, daughters of Josephus Gard. Both 
couples were married by the same ceremony, in the 
spring of 1832. 

The first birth was that of John H. Rich, October 
2ist, i829. The midwife on this occasion was Mrs. 
McKenney, of McKenney's Prairie^ who. was brought 


on the back of an almost unbroken three year old 
colt a distance of about fifteen miles. 

The first saw mill in the Township was built in 
the summer of 1835, by Alexander Copley, where 
Nicholsville now stands, and was started on Decem- 
ber 20th of that year. The irons for this mill were 
cast at Mishawaka, Indiana. 

In 1833 the Township was organized and an elec- 
tion held at the house of Josephus Gard, July 8th, 
previous to which it belonged to Penn Township. 
In 1834 ^he road district comprised this Tov/nship and 
Van Buren County, which was attached for judicial 
purposes; and in that season men living on Little 
Prairie Ronde were obliged to work out their tax 
on the big swamp near where Lawton now stands. 
It would seem that the pathmaster was rather exact- 
ing, as he required the men to be on hand in season 
for a day''s work, thus necessitating a start long 
before daylight with a well filled haversack contain- 
ing the day's rations. 

The first store in the Township was kept b}'^ 
James Herron, a little distance north of where 
Charleston now stands. It was commenced in 
1836. In 1837 Morris & Clifflon opened a store in 
Charleston, and Huych & Daniels commenced sell- 
ing goods at Volinia (Huycktown). 

In 1836 Charleston, on Little Prairie Ronde, was 
laid out by Jacob Morelan, Jacob Charles, Alexan- 
der and Samuel Fulton, and David Fenton, com- 
prising thirty-two lots. 

In September of the same year Volinia was laid 
out by Levi Lawrence, David Hopkins, Obed Bun- 


ker, and John Shaw, and comprised fifty-five lots 
and a pubHc square. Charleston, for a number of 
years previous to the completion of the Central 
Railroad, flourished with all the splendor of a West- 
ern metropolis. A line of stages passed through 
daily from Kalamazoo to Niles, and everything 
seemed to indicate that it was the coming town; 
but alas for human foresight, she and her sister, 
Volinia, only remain in the memory of their citizens, 
and a few scattered houses mark the places where 
formerly all was hurry and bustle. 

In 1837 a carpenter in the employ of David 
Hopkins, by the name of Smith, who was in the 
habit of getting intoxicated, was drowned in Bunker 
Lake. At the time of the accident he was partially 
under the influence of liquor, and wished to go to 
Charleston to get another supply, a distance of 
three miles. He tried to get some of the family to 
take him across the lake in a boat, but they, know- 
ing his condition, refused to assist him, whereupon 
he determined to go alone. When near the opposite 
shore from the house, the canoe upset, and that was 
the last that was ever seen of him. Some men, 
fishing on another part of the lake, saw the canoe 
empty and went to look for him, and for several 
days the whole neighborhood searched for the miss- 
ing man; but a hat lying in the bottom of the canoe 
was all the indication that there ever had been a 
man there. He left a wife and family in the State 
of New York. 

In 1849 a wagon road was built across the swamp 
to the railroad, thus giving an outlet for the farm 


products, previous to which they were teamed to 
Niles, St. Joseph, or Paw Paw. 

About the year 1851 Harry George built the first 
grist mill in the Township, which continues to do 
good service yet. Shortly after building the mill he 
sold it to the Nichols Brothers and put up a store, 
which was burned in the winter of 1854, since which 
time C. L. Wilkins, H. T. Wing, A. Goff, and 
others have carried on merchantile traffic at Nich- 
olsville, until the present firms, who commenced 
about twelve years ago. 

It now contains a population of about one hun- 
dred, two general stores, one blacksmith shop, one 
cooper shop, one wagon shop, one shoe shop, one 
veneer and basket factory, one tannery, one grist 
mill, one steam saw mill, one hotel, two physicians, 
one lawyer, and one carpenter and joiner. 

Volinia contains a population of about fift}', has 
one grist mill, one general store, blacksmith shop, 
etc. These, with a small portion of Wakelee, are 
the villages, past and present, of the Township. 

The Volinia Farmers' Club was organized in 
November, 1865, and has maintained its organiza- 
tion ever since, holding meetings for discussion 
during the winter months, and sheep-shearings, im- 
plement trials, and fairs during the summer and fall 
months. Its present officers are: 

President, B. G. Buell. 

Vice Presidents, M. J. Gard, W. R. Kirby, John 

Secretary, H. S. Rogers. 

Treasurer, John Struble, 



The only meeting-house in the Township is that 
of the colored Methodists, built in 1873. 

The Town Hall, built this last summer (1875) is 
an ornament and credit to the Township. 

The following are the principal Township officers 
elected since the organization of the Township down 
to the present time: 






James Newton. 


David Crane. 


James Newton. 


David Crane. 

1885 James Newton. 


Daniel C. Squier. 

188() James Newton. 


Daniel C. Squier. 


David Hopkins. 

James Huff. 

Daniel C. Squier. 


Hubbell Warner. 

James Huff. 

Daniel C. Squier. 



Daniel C. Squier. 



Daniel C. Squier. 



Daniel C. Squier. 

1842 Hubbell Warner. 

Joseph Good speed. 

Daniel C. Squier. 

1848 Hubbell Warner. 

Hubbell Warner. 

Daniel C. Squier. 


Hubbell Warner. 

Joseph Goodspeed. 

R. J. Huyck. 


Joseph Warner. 

Joseph Goodspeed. 

R. J. Huyck. 


David Hopkins. 

Joseph Good speed . 

R. J. Huvck. 


David Hopkins. 

Joseph Goodspeed. 

R. J. Huyck. 


David Hopkins. 

Joseph Goodspeed. 

R. J. Huyck. 


James Fulton. 

Joseph Goodspeed. 

R. J. Huyck. 


James Fulton. 

Joseph Goodspeed. 

R. J. Pluyck. 


George Newton. 

Peter Sturr. 

R. J. Huyck. 


Geor£>-e Newton. 

Peter Sturr. 

R. J. Huyck. 


Hubbell Warner. 

Peter Sturr. 

R. J. Huyck. 


Hubbell Warner. 

Peter Sturr. 

M. J. Gard. 


Emmos Buell. 

Peter Sturr. 

M. J. Gard. 


xVlexander B. Copley. 

W. L. Dixon. 

M. J. Gard. 


Alexander B. Copley. 

W. L. Dixon. 

Joseph Warner. 


Alexander B. Copley. 

W. L. Dixon. 

R. J. Huyck. 


Milton J. Gard. 

W. L. Dixon. 

P. W. South worth. 


Milton J. Gard. 

W. L. Dixon. 

H. T. Wing. 


W. L. Dixon. 

W. L. Goodspeed. 

P. W. Southworth, 


W. L. Dixon. 

W. L. Goodspeed. 

P. W. Southworth. 


W.;L. Dixon. 

W. L. Goodspeed. 

E. S. Parker. 


A. B. Copley. 

John Hutf. 

P. W. Southworth. 


Milton J. Gard. 

John Huff. 

P. W. Southworth. 


Milton J. Gard. 

John Huff. 

R. J. Huyck. 


A. B. Copley. 

John Huff 

J. M. Goodspeed. 


John Huff. 

L. H. Warner. 

J. M. Goodspeed. 


John Hutf. 

L. H. Warner. 

C. E. Good enough. 


John Huff. 

L. H. Warner. 

I. N. Gard. 


John Struble. 

L. H. Warner. 

J. N. Root. 


A. B. Copley. 

L. H. Warner. 

G. W. Gard. 


John Struble. 

L. H. Warner. 

J. N. Root. 


John Kirby. 

E. C. Goodspeed. 

S. L. George. 

1875 IJohnKirby. 

E. C. Goodspeed. 

S. L. George. 

*Na record of who was elected. 


This Township was named by Cornelius Higgins 
in honor of General Anthony Wayne. 

Just when the first settlement of this Township 
was made or who the first settler was I have been 
unable to determine. It probably occurred in the 
fall of 1 83 1 or the spring of '32, and Jacob Zimmer- 
man, Elijah W, and Joel C. Wright, Cornelius Hig- 
gins, and Jesse Green, were among the first settlers. 
In 1835 ^he following in addition to the above 
named were here: Laporte, Johnstone, the two 
Hurtles, Ferrell Weaver, Crane, Eck, Meranville 
and Keys. In 1836 James Kirkwood came, and in 
1837 the Gage settlement was made. 

The first entries of land were made in 1831 by 
Josiah Johnson, Dennis Wright and Horace Butler. 

— II 


In 1832 entries were made by William Griffis, 
Cornelius Higgins and Jacob Zimmerman. In 1833 
Samuel Squires, John Lanman, Jesse Green, David 
Huff, A. Gunckel, J. C. Wright, John Cays and 
William Huff, made entries. In 1834 entries were 
made by R. V. V. Crane, A. Weaver, A. Bond, H. 
Lansing, John Clark, William Huff, Levi Hall^ 
Susannah Griffis, J. D. Meranville, J. C. Wright, C. 
Higgins, E. W. Wright, F. Hurtle, William Ferrell, 
J. Hurtle, Henry Gee, S. Squiers and John Fox, and 
in 1835 by J. Zimmerman, J. Tucker, S. H. Hender- 
son, James Thompson, E. Boughton, G. Goodman, 
S. R. Henderson, J. Green, J. Thompson, William 
Ferrell, J. P. Wiley, Groodman and Cresson, H. 
Barney, J. Hurtle, J, Smith, J. Hall, R. Bly, D. Run- 
kle, H. Barney, Jr., J. Shookman, S. H. Dobler, J. 
A* Barney and S. Ball. 

The Township was organized in the winter of 
1834-5, ^^d ^he first election held on the 5th of April 
following, at the house of Elijah W. Wright. 
Abraham Weaver was chosen Moderator, and R. V. 
V. Crane clerk of the election. At this election 
Cornelius Higgins was chosen Supervisor; R. V. V. 
Crane, Clerk; Ezekiel Wright, Collector; Elijah 
W. Wright, Jacob Zimmerman and Abraham 
Weaver, Commissioners of Highways; Jesse Green 
and Josiah Johnson, Directors of the poor ; Elijah W. 
Wright, Joel C. Wright and Abram Weaver, 
Assessors; Ezekiel Wright, Costable; David Eck 
and Jacob Zimmerman, Overseers of Highways; 
Isaac Thompson and Jacob Hurtle, Fence-viewers; 
Frederick Hurtle, Pound-master; R. V. V. Crane, 


C. Higgins and William Ferrell, Trustees of the 
school section. 

The first school house was built in the fall of 1836, 
in the eastern part of the Township, and known as 
the Higgin's school house. It was built by subscrip- 
tion, or rather joint labor, the patrons living in the 
towns of Wayne and Volinia. George Newton 
taught the first school in this house in the winter 
following its building. 

The Methodists were the first religious denomina- 
tion to hold meetings, and have held their pre- 
eminence ever since. The first minister was Van 
Order, who organized a society about the year 1840. 
At first meetings were held at private houses and 
school houses, but about the year 1844, ^^e ^' Old 
Church'' was built which stood until 1872 when the 
present fine edifice took its place. This denomina- 
tion also have another society and church, known as 
the North Wayne Methodist Church. 

In 1838 the first road across the Dowagiac Swamp 
was partially built, and completed the next year. 
This crossing was* of the utmost importance as it 
was on the direct route from all the northeastern 
part of the County to St. Joseph, then the most im- 
portant shipping market within reach of this section. 

In 1839 John and Stephen Clark built a tannery 
near where Glenwood now stands, which was the 
third tannery in the County, and was in operation 
for about twenty-five years, or until the bark used in 
tanning was exhausted. They also carried on most 
of the time shoe and glove making in connection 
with their tannery. 


The ancient town of Venice, situated in that part 
of the Township, where Dowagiac now stands, was 
a '' paper town " laid out by Orlando Crane, in 
August 1836, and known only by name and record 
at the County Seat. The only requirement at that 
time, to start a town, was to survey a plat and go 
on the market and sell lots, and frequently the 
expense of surveying was dispensed with, and it was 
only platted — hence the name of paper towns by 
which they were generally known. The wonder is 
that purchasers could be found for such mythical 
property, but when we consider that the Country was 
overrun with men on the lookout for speculation, it 
is easily accounted for. The agents for these towns 
were to be met at all the principal distributing points 
where the immigrants congregated, with finely 
engraved plats and a plausible story of the superior 
advantages of the various embryo cities they repre- 

In the winter of 1874-5 Craig Sharp, an enter- 
prising lumberman, purchased a large tract, near 
Tiesort's Station, on the Central Railroad, and put a 
small army of men at work clearing up the land. 
In January 1875 he recorded a plat of the village of 
Glenwood, located upon his purchase, at the Regis- 
ter's office. The venture proved financially disastrous 
to Mr. Sharp, but the village remains and contains 
about one hundred inhabitants, a Disciple Church, 
one general store, a saw and grist mill, blacksmith 
shop, &c. It is the only village wholly within the 
Township; Dowagiac, which is situated in the corners 
of four Townships, will be described hereafter. The 


following are the principal Township officers that 
have served from the organization to the present 
time : 

























Cornelius Higgins. 
Cornelius Higgins. 
Abrani Weaver. 
Abram Weaver. 

Abrani Weaver. 
Cyrus Gage. 
John S. Gage. 
John S. Gage. 
Joel C. Wright. 
Ebenezer Gage. 
Ebenezer Gage. 
William G. Wiley. 
William G. Wiley. 
M. V. Hunter. 
M. V. Hunter. 
M. V. Hunter. 
John W. Trotter. 
Ebenezer Gage. 
Ebenezer Gage. 
Sylvanus Henderson 
Sylvanus Henderson, 
Sylvanus Henderson, 
H. B. Wells. 
H. B. Wells. 
H. B. Wells. 
H. B. Wells. 
H. B. Wells. 
H. B. Wells. 
Israel Ball. 
Israel Ball 
Israel Ball. 
Israel Ball. 
William O. Van Hise. 
F. O. Van Antwerp. 
Samuel Johnson. 
H. H. Taylor. 
H. B. Wells. 
ISamuel Johnson. 


Elijah W. Wright. 

Joseph Crane. 

Joel C. Wriglit. 

Joel C. Wright. 

Abram Weaver. 

Henry Barney, Jr. 

Henry Barnev, Jr. 

Willi'am G. Wiley. 

S. B. Clark. 

W. H. Atwood. 

William Ferrel. 

William Ferrel. 

D. M. Heazlet. 

Micajah Ludlow. 

D. M. Heazlet. 
P. B. White. 
James Kirkwood. 
James Kirkw^ood. 
James Kirkwofxl. 
James Kirkwood. 
James Kirkwood. 
James Kirkwood. 



W. Wells, Jr. 
G. W. Amsden. 
P. B. White. 
P. B. White. 
Robert Carr. 
O. H. Butrick. 
John Crawford. 
A. H. Mason. 
Wesley Ely. 
Wesley Ely. 
Wesley Ely. 


R. V. V. Crane. 
R. V. V. Crane. 
R. V. V. Crane. 
R. V. V. Crane. 
R. V. V. Crane. 
S. B. Clark. 
IS. B. Clark. 
iR. V. V. Crane. 
jR. V. V. Crane. 
iJoseph Crane. 
P. B. Gage. 
J. A. Barney. 
R. V. V. Crane. 
R. V. V. Crane, 
R. V. V. Crane. 
R. V. V. Crane. 
R. V. V. Crane. 
William H. Hall. 
William H. Hall. 
William G. Wiley. 
A. S. Haskin. 
Arthur Graham. 


A. Hi«»lin.gton. 
L. C. Howard. 
Samuel Johnson. 
Samuel Johnson. 
Samuel Johnson. 
Samuel Johnson. 
Samuel Johnson. 
Ctiarles W. Bigelow. 
Charles W. Bigelow. 
Charles W. Bigelow. 
I Charles W. Bigelow. 

*No lecorxl. of wJilp.,wa§ eMcteO., 


This Township derived its name from a stream 
which emanates from Magician Lake, a part of 
which was formerly called Silver Lake, from its 
silvery color, caused by a coating of light colored 
marl on the bottom. 

The first settler in this Township was James 
McDaniel, who settled on the land now owned by 
Mr. Foster, and commenced to build the saw mill, 
since known as the Barney, and now the Foster mill, 
which was the first mill built in the Township. Mr. 
McDaniel came in either in the season of 1834 or 


lu the season of 1836 Jacob A. Suits came in, and 
at this time there were but three other settlers in 
the Township, viz: McDaniel, John Barney and 
Daniel Van Horn. Mr. Suit's cabin being the 


fourth one built. In 1837 and '38 the Township 
settled up very fast; during this time the Deweys 
and Woolman made the first settlement in the west- 
ern part of the Township. 

In 1839 William Gilbert settled on Indian Lake 
(then called Woolman's lake) and in 1840 Daniel 
Blish located in the southwestern part of the Town- 

The first entry of land in the Township was made 
by James McDaniel, on sections one and two, Decern^ 
ber 1 6th, 1834, and the only entry made in that 
year. In 1835 entries were made by James Ray- 
mond and J. VanHorn on section one; A. Middle- 
brook, John Barney, and L. A. Spaulding on two 
and three; William McKay on three; Gardner Scott, 
H. Dresser, L. Guitean, Jr., and W. H. Keeler on 
four; A. Dorr on five and eight; Henry Dewe}^ on 
eight; James Hall on nine and ten; J. B. Reddick 
and I. S. Stone on eleven; J. McDaniel, William St. 
Clair, and H. Harwood on twelve; John Barney and 
James Allen on fifteen ; J. Ridenour, A. Middlebrook^ 
and Reuben Wright on twenty; J. L. Parent on 
twenty-one ; John Woolman on twenty-nine and thir- 
tj^-one; J. Ridenour and John Woolman, Sr. on 
thirty-two, and F. Veeder on section thirty-five. 

In 1836 entries were made in diflferent parts of the 
Township by W. Mendenhall, R. J. Wells, W. B. 
Wade, Samuel Fletcher, D. Gardner, B. R. Wood, 
S. Morton, E. Corning, R. Brant, Z. Jarvis, Charles 
Glover, J. Sallee, P. B. Dunning, J. Harwood, James 
Allen, William Brooks, J. A. Suits, S. Treat, B. 
McConnell, E. H. Keeler,* H. D. Bostwick, B. 


Jenkins, G. Kennel, Joseph Wells, I. W. Duckett, 
Joseph Mills, A. Jenkins, M. B. McKenney, E. Glea- 
son, George Kimmel, H. Dodge, J. Bertrand, J. 
Perkins, Jacob Silver, T. Husted, James Dixon and 
seven hundred and fifty acres by Pokagon. 

Owing to the swamp on the Dowagiac Creek 
the first settlers were put to great inconvenience to 
arrive at their destination from the south side, and 
the only means of reaching the Township were b)' 
the way of Jenkins' bridge, in Pokagon, and thence 
through a trackless wilderness almost impassable for 
teams, or by the way of Paw Paw, necessitating a 
travel of nearly forty miles. 

In February 1838 John G. A. Barney came, and 
bought land in this Township, but, owing to the im- 
passable condition of the swamp, had to remain in 
Wayne until the following winter, when it was 
frozen sufficiently to allow him to pass over with an ox 
team, which was probably the first team that ever 
crossed the big s\Yamp between Paw Paw and Sum- 
ner ville. 

On the arrival of Mr. Barney the mill spoken of 
was pushed on to completion, and in 1843 John 
Barney erected a furniture manufactory on the creek 
at which the various articles of furniture, for house- 
hold use, were made, also spinning wheels, then an 
article of every day use. John G. A. Barney also sold 
goods and was the first merchant in the Township. 
The first school house was built in the season of 
1838 or '39, on the land now owned by E. B. God- 
frey, and the first school was taught by Mr. Copley, 
of Little Prairie Rondfe'. The first grist mill was built 


by Mr. Hoyt, nearly twenty ypars ago. Among the 
tirst ministers that preached to the people of this 
Township were Luther Humphrey and Father Mc- 
Cool. The first postoffice was kept by James 
Allen and afterwards by J. G. A. Barney. 

By the stipulations of the treaty at Carey Mission, 
in 1828, Pokagon and his band were exempted from 
being removed beyond the Mississippi, in common 
with the other Indians of South Western Michigan; 
and in 1836 they made an entry of a large tract of land 
in this Township. Although the title was vested in 
Pokagon, many other Indians had assisted in furnish- 
ing funds for the purchase, and these were allotted 
plots of from live acres upwards, in proportion to the 
amount put in, and settled on them, but upon the 
advent of Pete, Pokagon's oldest son, who succeeded 
the old chief, they were indiscriminately ousted. In 
the earl}^ settlement of the Township the Indians 
numbered about three hundred, but by the treachery 
of Pete, in driving them from their homes and 
other causes beyond the ken of man, they have 
dwindled down to a mere handful, and what was a 
prosperous family forty years ago is now a ragged 
remnant of poor Mr. Lo. 

Pokagon gave largely to the Catholic Church, of 
which he was a devoted member. In 1840 he built 
the first church in the Township. In the building he 
was much troubled, as a good deal of prejudice 
existed among the whites against this denomination, 
and they would not turn out to help him to raise his 
log structure, and the Indians did not possess suffi- 
cient ingenuity to erect the building. In this dilemma 


he went to John G. A. Barney and related his 
troubles, Mr. Barney, on hearing his tale of woe, 
told him to get his logs together and he would come 
and assist him. This pleased the old chief very 
much and he went at the preparation vigorously. 
When all ready Mr. Barney and his three hired men 
went to assist him. The}^ found that Pokagon had 
sent to Niles and procured a jug of whiskey for their 
use, while the Indians were treated to a plentiful 
supply of sweetened water, Mr. Barney asked him, 
on going to get a drink, if he thought they would 
drink what was not fit for an Indian, and at the same 
time turned the whiskey jug bottom side up, spilling 
the contents on the ground. The old log church 
has been superseded by a commodious frame struc- 
ture, which, from its elevated location, is a landmark 
for many miles around. Attached to the church is a 
frame house for the use of the priest. There is, be- 
sides the Indians, a large Irish population devoted to 
this faith. 

The Methodists have a fine house of worship, 
erected in 1868, on section • twenty-one. There is 
also a Christian house of worship on section seven- 

The Patrons of Husbandry have an organization 
in prosperous working condition in this township, 
which was organized in December, 1873. 

There is no village or postoffice in the Township, 
if we except a portion of Dowagiac, in the southeast 

I'he Township was organized in 1837, and at the 
first election but fifteen votes were cast. The fol- 


lowing are the principal officers 
elected since the organization: 



1837 jTimothy Treat. 

1838 P. B. DimniniT. 

1842 John Woolman, Jr. 

1843 John Woolman, Jr. 

1844 'John G. A. Barney. 

1845 John G. A. Barney. 

1846 Daniel Blish. 

1847 Daniel Blish. 

1848 Daniel Blish. 

1849 Daniel Blish. 

1850 Daniel Blish. 

1851 Daniel Blish. 

1852 iDaniel Blish. 

1853 IDaniel Blish. 

1854 IB. W. Schermerhorn. 

1855 iB. W. Schermerhorn. 

1856 |B. W. Schermerhorn. 

1857 I Gil man C. Jones. 

1858 Gilman C. Jones. 

1859 B. W. Schermerhorn. 

1860 B. W. Schermerhorn. 

1861 Justus Gage. 

1862 Daniel Blish. 

1863 Daniel Blish. 

1864 B. W. Schermerhorn. 

1865 G. C. Jones. 

1866 William M. Frost. 

1867 William M. Frost. 

1868 William K. Palmer. 

1869 William M. Frost. 

1870 William K. Palmer. 

1871 AVilliam K. Palmer. 

1872 William K. Palmer. 

1873 G. Conkling. 

1874 jArthur Smith. 

1875 lArthur Smith. 


P. Hamilton. 
D. M. Heazlet. 

D. M. Heazlet. 

E. H. Foster. 
J. S. Becraft. 
B. F. Bell. 
William Fowler. 
Nathan Dewey. 
L. R. Brown. 

L. R. Brown. 
M. Cory. 
M. Cory. 
R. Watson. 
R. Watson. 
R. Watson. 
T. T. Stebbins. 
H. Michael. 
T. T. Stebbins. 
D. Henderson. 
J. D. Taylor. 
H. Micnael. 
Myron Stark. 
Myron Stark. 
D. McOmber. 
Enoch Jessup. 


that have been 


James Allen. 
Jam 08 Allen. 
James Allen. 
James Allen. 
Jolm Woolman, Jr. 

J. C. Harrington. 
E. M. Bird. 
Eli W. Beach. 
William D. McCool. 
William Arbour. 
A. Harwood. 

A. Harwood. 
N. B. Hollister. 
H. Michael. 

H. Michael. 
H. C. Jones. 
H. C. Jones. 
H. C. Jones. 
H. Michael. 
H. Michael. 
J. D. Taylor. 
J. D. Taylor. 
J. D. Taylor, 
J. D. Taylor. 
H. Michael. 

B. L. Dewey. 
H. Michael. 

E. E. Armstrong. 
E. L. Jones. 
Henry Michael. 

fNo record as to who was elected. 


This Township was named by Surveyor John C. 
Saxton, in honor of a town in Ohio of which he cher- 
ished pleasant memories. 

John Bair and famil}^, who settled on section thir- 
ty-four in 1 83 1, were the first white inhabitants. 
Daniel Driskel settled on section thirty-five in 1833. 
In 1835 George Poe settled on section twenty -two. 
In 1837 John Grennell, Samuel Hutchings, William 
Jones, William Allen and Spencer Nicholson made 
purchases and commenced to make improvements. 

Of the earliest settlers only three are now residents 
of the Township, viz.: William D. Edson, Samuel 
Hutchings, and Barker F. Rudd. 

The first school was taught by Anson Nicholson 
in a small log cabin on section thirty-two in 1837. 

The village of Newberg, situated on the south 
bank of Lilly Lake, was laid out in May, 1837, ^Y 
Spepcer Nicliolsoja, and comprised ninety lots. Of 


this embryo city nothing remains to mark its loca- 
tion, excepting the record of its survey and platting 
at the County seat. The Township was organized 
in the winter of 1837 and '38 and the first election 
was held in the spring of 1838. 

The first minister of the Gospel was Elder Martin, 
of Penn Township, of the close communion Baptist 

The first regular Baptist' Church of Newburg was 
organized June 8th, 1841, they have a house of wor- 
ship but when it was built we could not learn. It is 
the only church in the Township. 

The first entry of land was made in 1832 by 
John Bair, on section thirty-four, which was the 
only entry made in that year. In 1833 an entry 
was made on section thirty-six by Daniel Driskel, 
also in 1834 he made an entry on section thirt3'-five. 
In 1835 entries were make by John Orr, William D. 
Jones, Samuel Hutchings, Felix Girton, John Grenell, 
Marverick Rudd, Thomas Armstrong, George Poe 
and A. J. Poe. In 1836 entries were made by M. 
P. Lampson, Chauncey Wood, A. Chapin, Henry 
Ladd, William Meek, Jr., Robert Meek, Marcus 
Sherrill, Alexander Allen, William Hamilton, John 
S. Barry, Thomas Charlton, Ira Warren, George 
Poe, Norman Smith, R. B. Brody, Notsil Bair, 
Joseph Grenell, Roger Wilson, Hugh Brod}^, Abram 
Hutchings, H. Whittier, John Grenell, Silas Grenell, 
Spencer Nicholson, Marverick Rudd, Lewis Powell, 
L. Evenhart, B. F. Rudd, Warren Patchin, Marvin 
Hannah, Jeremiah Rudd, William Wilson, Hazen 
Whittier, John Bair, William Jones, Daniel Driskel, 


Otis Murdock, Abram Mowyer, Alva Pine and 
Alexander H. Weatherwax. 

The first white child born in the Township was 
Harriet A. Bair, now the wife of Leander Bridge of 

In the summer of 1838 Horace Nicholson lost his 
life under the following circumstances: He had shot 
and wounded a deer, which plunged into the lake 
and swam across. Young Nicholson hurried to the 
bank of the lake where an old canoe was moored. 
The canoe was leaky and unsafe, but in the hurry 
and excitement of the moment he allowed his zeal to 
overcome his prudence and ventured out in the rot- 
ten craft, intending to paddle across the lake before 
it would fill and sink, but the water gained on him 
so fast that it went down before half way across. 
He was a good swimmer, but from his reduced con- 
dition, caused by a recent attack of the fever and 
ague, he was unable to make much headway and 
sank to be seen no more. At the time of the 
accident his father and mother were on the bank of 
the lake and saw theiV son go down but were unable 
to render him any aid. Their anguish may be 
imagined, but it is beyond the power of pen to 
describe. Although the lake was searched and 
raked for days, by parties of men from the neighbor- 
hood, his body was never found, with the exception 
of the skeleton of one leg, enclosed in an old boot, 
which was hooked up by some fishermen a year or 
two afterward. 

On the night of the i8th of June, 1858, near the 
the site of the present village of Jones' Crossing, 


occurred the most terrible tragedy in the history of 
the Township, if not of the County. 

Wm. D. Jones, who, it will be remembered, set- 
tled on the north side of Bair Lake in 1835, was one 
of the oldest and best citizens in the neighborhood, 
prominent for individual enterprise and public spirit. 

He had remained upon his original location, grad- 
ually enlarging its boundaries as his means of profit- 
ably improving it increased, had seen the wilderness 
develop into fruitful farms, and its solitude replaced 
by a populous community, and was preparing to re- 
place the rude log cabin of his earlier manhood with 
a substantial brick dwelling in which to pass his 
declining years. 

The building was enclosed, the exterior completed 
and he contemplated with satisfaction his new home 
which he was fated never to occupy. 

On the night above mentioned the family retired 
to rest as usual, Mr. J. and two carpenters, who were 
employed on the building, sleeping in the second 
story, while his wife — then an invalid — ^with her 
daughter and grand-daughter occupied the first floor. 

At about eleven o'clock a fire broke out in a frame 
kitchen which was attached to the old house, and 
the dense smoke aroused the carpenters to a sense of 
their danger. 

Loudly giving the alarm they hastened down 
stairs, but the daughter had arisen before their de- 
scent and rushed through the burning kitchen out to 
the well, leaving the doors wide open. This fur- 
nished a draft, and the flames swept through into the 
main part, cutting off" the escape of the men in that 


direction. They hurried to the front door only to 
find it fastened, beyond their undoing, but fortu- 
nately they chanced upon an ax with which they 
battered it down and secured their escape from the 
most horrible of all forms of death. 

They at once ran around to the window near Mrs. 
J.'s bed and broke it in to attempt her rescue, but 
this only furnished the fire fiend a new weapon and 
they were beaten back by the flames, and, with the 
daughter and grand-child, were obliged to stand 
helplessly by, impotent witnesses of the holocaust. 

The old gentleman had, on the first alarm, fol- 
lowed them to the bottom of the stairs, but was 
there overcome by the smoke and perished. 

The grand-daughter was asleep at the time and 
never knew how she left the house — the first seen of 
her she was in the road running and screaming, but 
entirely frenzied by the terrible spectacle. 

At the time of the disaster their only son, E. H. 
Jones, was absent at Elkhart and was summoned by 
telegraph only to find his home in ruins. 

The completion of the Air Line Railroad, which 
runs through the south tier of sections in the Town- 
ship, gave it new vigor and the growth and improve- 
ment since that time has been rapid and substantial. 
Previous to this their markets were at Decatur, 
Three Rivers and Constantine, and so far distant as 
to make it a detriment to the settlement. Within 
the Township are the villages of Corey, on the 
extreme east side ; Jones' Crossing, on section thirty- 
four, and Dyer, on section thirty-three. 

Corey contains one general store, one blacksmith 


shop, and ten dwelling houses, with a population of 
about fifty inhabitants. The shipment of wheat in 
1874 was about fifteen thousand bushels and other 
produce in proportion. The village was surveyed 
and laid out on the 4th day of April, 1872, by 
Amanda Weatherwax, proprietoress. 

At Jones' Crossing there are two general stores, 
one drug store, one steam saw mill, two blacksmith 
shops, one shoe and harness shop, and two practic- 
ing physicians. It is claimed that there is annually 
shipped from this point seventy-five thousand bushels 
of wheat, besides other produce, lumber, etc. E. H. 
Jones is the proprietor of the village, but neither the 
plat nor the date of survey have yet been recorded. 

Dyer is only a stopping place for the accommada- 
tion of passenger traffic, and has no business enter- 
prises as j^et worthy of note. 

The following are the principal Tow^nship otficers 
that have been elected since the organization of the 
Township down to the present time: 






James Aid rich. 


Isaac Sprague. 



George Poe. 


Ira Warren. 

W. D. Easton. 


Ira Warren. 

W. D. Easton. 


Hiram Harwood. 

AndreAv Stetler. 

W. D. Easton. 


Hiram Harwood. 

Julius E. Nicholson. 

W. D. Easton. 


Hiram Harwood. 

Ira Sprague. 

W. D. Easton. 


Hiram Harwood. 

Ira Warren. 

W. D. Easton. 


Barker F. Rudd. 

George F. Jones. 

Julius Nicholson. 


Barker F. Rudd. 

A. S.^Munger. 

Julius Nicholson. 


Barker F. Rudd. 

A. S. Munger. 

Julius Nicholson. 


Barker F. Rudd. 

A. S. Munger. 

Julius Nicholson. 


Hiram Harwood. 

A. 8. May. 

William D. Easton. 


Barker F. Rudd. 

Ira Warren. 

T. V. Bogert 


J. M. Chapman. 

J. Grenell. 

T. V. Bogert. 


J. M. Chapman. 

J. Grenell. 

William D. Easton. 


J. M. Chapman. 

J. Grenell. 

William D. Easton. 

*No record of who was elc 











S. Harwood. 

James Churchill. 

E. H. Jones. 


8. Harwood. 

James Churchill. 

E. H. Jones. 

1^57 jEdwarcl H. Jones. 

J. Grenell. 

Silas Harwood. 


Edward H. Jones. 

J. Grenell. 

Silas Harwood*. 


James Chapman, 
Barker F. liudd. 

J. Grenell. 

O. C. Gillett. 


Sullivan Cook. 

O. C. Gillett. 


Silas Harwood, 

Hazen W. Brown. 

O. C. Gillett. 


Silas. Harwood. 

Nathan Harwood. 

0. C. Gillett. 


James Chapman. 

Silas Harwood. 

Eli Hathaway. 


James Chapman. 

H, A. Crego. 

A. L. Dunn. 


J. M. Chapman. 

H. A, Crego. 

Eli Hathaway. 


J. M. Chapman. 

M. F. Burney. 

A. L. Dunn. 


J. M. Chapman. 

A. L. Dunn. 

Homce Francis. 


J. M. Chapman. 
Anson L. Dunn. 

A. L. Dunn. 

Sylvester MihilL 


H. A. Crego. 

John B. Warner. 


Anson L. Dunn. 

H. A. Crego. 

John B. Warner, 


J. M. Chapman. 

N. Harwood, 

H. A. Crego. 
F. M. Dodge. 


W. H. Pemberton. 

N. Harwood. 


Silas Harwood. 

J. S. Thompkins. 

F. M. Dodge. 


J. S. Tompkins. 

W. H. Pemberton. 

F. M. Dodge. 


N. Harwood, 

W, H. Pemberton, 

F, M. Dodge. 


This Township was named after William Penn, 
the celebrated founder of Pennsylvania, who was also 
a noted Quaker or Friend, and as there was a large 
number of this denomination among the early set- 
tlers it was named by them. 

The first settlement was made on Young's Prairie 
in the season of 1828. The prairie was named by 
Nathan Youngs after himself, when the surveying 
party, with which he was connected in the capacity 
of "slyper," was running out the land in 1827, 

The first settlers were one Hinkley, who settled 
on the farm now owned by James E. Bonine, another 
named Whitehead, and Thomas England; but as 
none of them made entries of land or any improve- 
ment, with the exception perhaps of a log cabin 
each, the details of- their settlement would be unin- 
teresting. They were what were generally denom- 
inated 'Vsquatters," and sold out their improvements 
at the first opportunity. The Hinkley claim was 
sold for fifty dollars. 


In 1829 the following settlers were among those 
that commenced to make farms: George Jones and 
his four sons, Charles, Henry, Nathan, and George 
Jr., John Price, John Rinehart and his four sons, 
Jacob, Lewis, John, and Abraham, William McClary, 
Martin Shields, Stephen Bogue, Mr. Mcintosh and 
his three sons, Daniel, Duncan and William, and a 
number of others whose names we have mislaid. 

According to the records Martin Shields made an 
entry of land on the nth of March, 1829, and, if 
correct, this was the first entry made in the County. 
But this is probably a mistake, as the general land 
sales for this County were not held until the i6th of 
June in that year. In the same 3^ear entries were 
made by George Jones on sections seventeen, eighteen, 
twenty, twenty-eight and thirty; George Jones Jr. 
on eight and twenty-one; Henry White on nine; 
William McClary on eighteen; William Justice on 
eighteen; John Nicholson, Charles Jones and Jacob 
Miller on nineteen; Martin Shields, Isaac Commons, 
John Nicholson and Charles Jones on twenty; John 
N. Donald and Thomas England on twenty-one; 
John Rinehart on twenty-seven and twenty-eight; 
Samuel Boyles on twenty-eight; Daniel Mcintosh, 
Boyles & Mcintosh, and Stephen' Bogue on section 

In 1830 entries were made in various parts of the 
Township by William McClary, Ezra Hinkley, John 
Price, George Jones, Benjamin Bogue, Joseph Frakes, 
D. Mcintosh, E. S. Sibley, A. I. McClary, Henry H. 
Fowler, Jesse Gardner, and Jonathan DonneL 

In 1 83 1 David Brooks, William McClary, Ezra 


Hinckley, Thomas England, Lewis Boon, Charles 
Jones, Stephen Bogue, Robert Clark, H. L. and A. 
C. Stewart, Alexander Anderson and William 
Mcintosh made entries, and in the years of 1832-33 
entries were made made by Thomas Kirk, Job 
Wright, John Townsendf Martin Harless, Thomas 
O 'Dell, and James Kelsey: 

In 1828 the first gristmill in the County was built 
by Mr. Carpenter on the Christianna Creek, just be- 
low where Vandalia now stands. It was a rude log 
structure, with a hollow log for a forebay, and nearly 
all its parts were of the same rude character, but an- 
swered the purpose for which it was built, .ana was 
a great convenience to the people for ma^n)' miles 
around. The burs and irons for this mill were 
brought from Ohio on wagons drawn by oxen. In 
1832 the property was bought by James O'Dell and 
run by him for a number of- years. 

In 183 1 or 1832 John Donnel built a distillery a 
short distance east of where Vandalia now stands, 
and for a number of years this institution furnished 
stimulant to the inhabitants of the country around, 
which was then considered as necessary as bread and 

The Township was organized by an act of the 
Territorial Legislature, dated November 5th, 182^, 
and an election ordered at the house of Martin 
Shields. The Township at this time comprised 
what is now Marcellus, Volinia, Newberg, Penn, the 
north half of North Porter, and the north half of 
Calvin Townships. Although ordered to hold an 
election by the Legislature, the records do not indi- 


cate that such was the case until the spring of 1831. 

In the spring of 1830 John Agard arrived at what 
has since been known as Geneva, but was then an 
almost unbroken wilderness, with a stock of goods. 
He was accompanied by Ira Nash, who acted in the 
capacity of clerk. This was the second store in the 
County — that of Mr. Edwards, at Edwardsburg, 
having preceded it. The goods for this store were 
brought out from Detroit with ox teams, by Daniel 
Mcintosh and George Meacham, who each owned a 
large breaking team. 

In 1831 Dr. Henry H. Fowler settled at Geneva 
and commenced the practice of medicine, and was 
the first physician in this part of the County. He 
was also interested in the prospective village, being 
one of the proprietors and the principal worker in 
manipulating for the location of the County seat at 
that point. The village was laid out in this year by 
E. S. Silsby, H. L. and A. C. Stewart, H. L. Fowler 
and Abner Kelsey, but was not placed upon record 
until April, 1832. It was named by Mr. Fowler 
after a village of the same name in the State of New 

The question of the location of the County seat 
was agitated to ia considerable extent, and it is said 
that some of the Commissioners appointed by the 
Governor and sent on for the purpose of locating it, 
when the spot was determined upon, withheld infor- 
mation of their decision one day, and in the mean- 
time ^ent an agent to the Land Office and entered 
the latid upon which the future seat of justice should 
be located* This course of procedure naturally 


gave rise to dissatisfaction, and by some manipulation 
another set of Commissioners were appointed, who 
gave the prize to Cassopolis. But, notwithstanding 
its loss of the County seat, Geneva flourished for a 
number of years with true Western grandeur. 

In the fall of 1830 Nathan Baker opened a black- 
smith shop, and in 1833 or '34 commenced the 
manufacture of cast plows, which was the first fur- 
nace in the Count3^ The iron used in the black* 
smith shop and foundry was brought in wagoni? 
from Ohio. 

Soon after Mr. Baker, his son-in-law, John White^ 
came, who was also a blacksmith, and worked at 
the business with his father-in-law. Their businesi^ 
proved a decided success, and its development kept 
pace with the growth and wants of the country. 
For nearly twenty years the " Baker Plow '^ was the 
only one in use in the County, excepting the '^BuU 
Plow,'' which it superseded. They added^ also, in 
time the manufacture of cultivators, shovel-plows^ 
and other argicultural implements* 

Upon the decline of Geneva, the shops weft^ 
moved to Cassopolis, and formed a leading feature 
of her prosperity. Some of these plows are in us(^ 
to-day, and still prove capable of doing gOod service* 

In 1832 Mr. Agard was succeeded by Ira Nash^ 
who carried on business for a numbef of years* 
Daniel and Abner Kelsey also sold goods for a time. 
A tailor by the name of King followed his ovoca»^ 
tion. Nelson Shields worked at cabinet makings 
and William Williams at carpenter work. 

After the location of the County seat at Cassopp^ 


lis, the village gradually declined, until there was 
nothing that the eye could detect as ever pertaining 
to the once prosperous place. It is now known as 
Diamond Lake station, one of the most popular 
summer resorts in Southwestern Michigan, and 
rapidly growing in public favor. 

In the winter of 1832-33, Lewis Rinehart, wife 
and infant son, made a visit to his father-in-law's, 
Mr. Frakes, then living east of Big Prairie. When 
returning home toward night they were overtaken 
by a severe snow storm. Their track lay through a 
wilderness, marked only by the blazed trees. Mr. 
L. urged his horses forward to their utmost strength, 
knowing that if darkness overtook them, they would 
not be able to follow the dim path. When within 
three or four miles of home it became so dark and 
the snow so deep they could not proceed farther 
that night. Hitching his team, he cleared away the 
snow from around a low, branchy tree, where he 
deposited the wife with her infant child, then but 
three weeks old, covering them with all the blankets 
they had with them, while he paced the ground 
during the entire night to keep himself warm. In 
the morning he found that he was but a few rods 
from the track, but the snow was nearly breast deep 
to the horses, and this had to be broken down by 
him before the team could get through. The child 
that was sheltered that cold night under a forest 
tree, is now an enterprising builder at Union, in this 

On the nth of October, 1845, an Anti-Slavery 
Society of Friends was formed on Young's Prairie, 


and Zachariah Shugart, Ishmael Lee, and Samue] 
Thomas were elected Trustees. j - 

On the 3d of January, 185 1, Stephen Bogue and 
Charles P. Ball laid out the village of Vandalia, and 
about the same time built the grist mill that has 
done service ever since. Asa Kingsbury was the 
first merchant to sell goods in the place. A. J. 
Smith and George Wells were his salesmen. T. J. 
Wilcox was the first postmaster. Dr. A. L. Thorp 
was the first practicing physician, in which capacit)^ 
he still remains. A. Sigerfoos was the first black- 

The village was incorporated by the last Legisla- 
ture, and now contains a population of about five 
hundred. It now has two dry goods stores, one 
clothing and boot and shoe house, one hardware 
store, three grocery and provision stores, two drug 
stores, two meat markets, one machine shop and 
foundry, with planing mill attached, four blacksmith 
shops, one wagon shop, two hotels, one milliner 
store, one furniture store and cabinet shop, a handle 
factory, with planing and saw mill combined, a Dis- 
ciple Church, a public hall, one of the finest school 
buildings, for a town of the size, in the State, three 
physicians, a private bank, a Masonic and Odd Fel- 
lows' Lodge, a Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, 
one broom manufactory, one cooper shop that em- 
ploys five men, one tin shop, and one livery barn. 

Jamestown, on the line of the Chicago & Lake 
Huron Railroad, was laid out November 12th, 1869, 
by Isaac James. It now contains two general stores, 
a blacksmith shop, cooper and wagon shop, with a 


population of about one hundred. A large amount 
o( grain, stock, and other products are shipped from 
this point annually. 

That part of Wakelee that contains the store is 
also within the boundaries of this Township. This 
village, which is situated in the corners of Penn, New- 
berg, Marcellus, and Volinia, was laid out in 187 1 
by Levi Garwood, and in 1873 an addition was 
made by George W. Jones and Orson Rudd. It 
now contains a population of about one hundred 
and fifty, one general store, one hotel, one steam 
saw mill, and the usual number of mechanics' shops, 
etc. A large amount of wood and lumber is shipped 
from this point, also wheat and other farm products. 

On the east side of Young's Prairie there is a So- 
ciety of Friends, who have a house of worship with 
regular meetings. The following are the principal 
of&ers elected since the organization of the Town- 






John Agard. 

Hardy Langston. 

Ira Kash. 


James Odell. 

Samuel Hunter. 

Ira Nash. 


James Odell. 

Samuel Hunter. 

Ira Kash. 


James Odell. 

♦Daniel Mcintosh. 

Ira Nash. 


James Odell. 

Thomas E. Odell. 

Ira Nash. 


James Odell. 

Daniel Mcintosh, Jr. 

Ira Nash. 


Alpheus Ireland. 

Daniel Mcintosh, Jr. 

Ira Nasli. 


Daniel Kelsey. 

A. R. Lamb. 

Ira Nash. 


A. R. Lamb. 

Ira Nash. 


Samuel Alexander. 

Ira Nash. 


John W. Odell. 

Ira Nash. 


Ira Kelsey. 

Stephen Rudd. 

Allen W. Davis. 


Ira Kelsey. 

Stephen Rudd. 

Allen W. Davis. 


Iwi Kelsey. 

Stephen Rudd. 

Allen W. Davis. 


Ira Kelsey. 
mim OsHrier. 

Stephen Rudd. 

Elias Carrier. 


Stephen Rudd. 

Ira Kelsey. 


Ellas Carrier. 

Stephen Rudd. 

Allen W. Davis. 


Elias Carrier. 

Stephen Rudd. 

Allen W. Davis. 


liaac Seely. 

R. S. Pemberton. 

Elias Carrier. 


Alpheus Ireland. 

R. S. Pemberton. 

George D. Jones. 

•H. H. Fowler was elected in October. 








Alpheiis Ireland. 

Stephen Rudd. 

George D. Jones. 


R. Pemberton. 

J. E. Nicholson. 

George D. Jones. 


Barker F. Rudd. 

Edward Talbot. 

John Hurd. 


R. Pendwrton. 

Edward Talbot. 

John Hurd. 


R. 8. Pemberton. 

M. Rudd. 

J. B. Mcintosh. 


George D. Jones. 

M. Rudd. 

A. L. Thorp. 

1857 iGeor^e 1). Jones. 

John Alexander. 

A. L. Thorp. 


Georgo I). Jones. 

John Alexander. 

A. L. Thorp. 


E. Alexander. 

John Alexander. 

J. E. Nicholson. 


Amos Smitli. 

J. S. East. 

William H. Sullivan. 


R. S. Pemberton. 

G. W. Jones. 

William H.Sullivan. 


E. C. Collins. 

J. W. Odell. 

N. Monroe. 


C. C. Nelson. 

A. W. Davis. 

A. J. Foster. 


Nathan Jones. 

A. W. Davis. 

A. L. Thorp. 


Nathan Jones. 

A. W. Davis. 

A. L. Thorp. 


Amos Smith. 

R. S. Pemberton. 

fG. Clendennen. 


Amos Smith. 

R. S. Pemberton. 

H. C. Walker. 


R. S. Pemberton. 

W. H. H. Pemberton. 

H. Francis. 


John Alexander. 

W. H. H. Pemberton. 

A. L. Thorp. 


John Alexander. 

John A. Jones. 

A. L. Thorp. 


John Alexander. 

John A. Jones. 

A. L. Thorp. 


John Alexander. 

John A. Jones. 

W. E. Bogue. 


John Alexander. • 

William E. Bogue. 

A. L. Thorp. 


John Alexander. 

William E. Bogue. 

A. L. Thorp. 

1875 IJ. H. Stamp. 

C. P. Smith. 

J. W. Bartlett. 

tAnd A. L. Thorp. 


This Township, and the prairie of the same name, 
were named by Abram Townsend, after the home 
of Lafayette in France. For a number of years 
after the first settlement the prairie, that is now 
known as La Grange, was called Townsend's 

The first settlement of this Township was made 
in the spring of 1828 by Abram Townsend, and his 
son Gamaliel, John Lybrook, James Dickson, 
Abram Loux, Lawrence Kavanaugh and Thomas 
McKenney, for whom McKenney's Prairie was 

In 1829 the Wrights, John Ritter, Isaac Shurte, 
David Brady, John and Thomas Simpson and others 
made entries and commenced settlement. 

The first entries of land were made in 1829 by 
James Dickson, on section eight; Isaac Shurte, on 
fifteen ; Thomas McKenney, on seventeen ; John and 
Thomas Simpson, on eighteen; Abram Loux, on 
twent}^; Abram Townsend and Dennis Wright, on 


twenty-one; John Ritter and John Lybrook, on 
twenty-two; Kr : Wilson, on twenty-eight; Squire 
Thompson, on ten, and David Brady, on twenty- 
one. . :.* ' .■■■-. '"' ^V''/'.-' 

In 1830 /entries were made by Renniston and 
Hart, Frederick Richhart, Y. and Z. J. Griffin, A. 
Colvin, Isaac Dewey, George Jones, Wm. McClar}^ 
Samuel Shurte, James Dickson, M. J. McKenney, 
John Jones, Henry Dewey, William Garwood, 
Lawrence Kavanaugh, E. Simpson, M. C. Whitman, 
John and Thomas Simpson, L. G. Earle, Robert 
Wilson, David Brady, Shurte and Putnam^ H. Ly- 
brook, Sally Ritter, D. McClary, George Jones, 

A. V. Tietsort, Abram Tietsort, Thomas Vander- 
hoof, Abram HulT, James Pettigrew, John Hain, 
John Lybrook, A. Tietsort, Jr., and H. L. Fowler. 

In 1 831 entries were made by G. Nixon, J. D, 
Meranville, M. C. Whitman, E. Simpson, Thomas 
McKenney, David Brady, William McClary, R. C. 
Clark, Jr., O. Johnson, Charles and Henry Hass, E. 

B. Sherman, Abrani' Tietsort, Thomas Vanderhoof, 
J. R. Coats, A. and C. Huff, J. Pettigrew, Thomas 
Were, Margaret Pettigrew, J. M. McPherson, J. W. 
Roberson, G. Townsend, D. T. Nicholson, and 
Thomas Clark. 

The first marriage in the Township was in 1829, 
and the contracting parties were James Kavanaugh 
and Ama Townsend. 

The first school was taught by Miss Jane Brown, 
a sister of Gamaliel Townsend 's first wife, in a log 
cabin on the farm of Abram Townsend. 

M. C. Whitman was the first merchant, his store 


was on the northwest corner of section sixteen, and 
commenced in 1830. He afterwards moved over 
and established himself on the land of Abram 
Townsend, and in 1831 moved his stock of goods to 
what has since been known as Whitmanville. 

The first death that occurred in the Township 
was that of David, son of William Wright, in the 
spring of 1829. 

The Township was organized in 1829, and at that 
time comprised what are now Wayne, La Grange 
and the north half of Jefferson. 

The first election was held at the house of Isaac 
Shurte, on the 5th of April, 1830 and was the only 
election, of which there is any record, held in that 
year. Thomas McKenney was elected Moderator, 
and Martin C. Whitman, Clerk of the election. At 
this election eighteen votes were cast, and Joseph S. 
Barnard was elected Supervisor; Martin C. Whit- 
man, Clerk, and Eli P. Bonnell, Collector. It was 
also voted to hold the next at a school house, on 
Townsend's prairie, if one should be built at that 
time, but for some cause the place was not changed 
until 1836. 

On the loth of April, in the same year, the Town- 
ship was divided into two school districts. 

In 1831 Eli P. Bonnell settled on La Grange 
prairie, and commenced the manufacture of pottery 
ware, of the various patterns in use among pioneers, 
which he continued for a number of years. 

In 1829 Job Davis built a saw mill where Whit- 
manville now stands, and in 1831 sold out to Martin 
C. Whitman, who, in 1832, commenced to build a 


grist mill, which was not completed pntil the next 

In August, 1834, Whitman laid out the village of 
Whitmanville, comprising eighty lots and four blocks. 
In September, 1836, he laid out an addition of five 
hundred and four lots, and in April, 1836, E. H. 
Spaulding laid out another addition of two hundred 
and one lots under the name of La Grange. 

Whitman sold out to Goddard and Wells, who 
carried on business for a short time and were 
succeeded by E. H. Spavilding, who replaced the 
grist mill with a much larger one and greatly ex- 
tended the business. He became embarrassed, after 
running three or four years, when the property 
passed into the hands of some Boston parties who 
held mortgages on it. 

In 1835 there were four dry goods stores, in the 
place, all doing a flourishing business. 

Isaac Cross and Harvey Bigelow commenced the 
manufacture of furniture here in 1 836, which was 
continued by Mr. Bigelow until his removal to 
Dowagiac in 1850. 

Perry, Root & Co. purchased the mill property of 
the Boston parties. Under their administration the 
buildings were burned and the water power remain- 
ed out of use until purchased by the Van Ripers in 
1855, who rebuilt the grist mill, put up a woolen 
factory and a foundry and machine shop. 

About the year 1844 Wilson and Edgcomb built 
a distillery and carried on a large store, their chief 
qualification would seem, from the reports handed 
down, to have been to contract debts with every- 


body, a greater part of which they were never able 
to liquidate. 

Among the early anticipations of the proprietors 
of this place was that of securing the County seat. 
The water-power, combined with the pleasant loca- 
tion-, gave them hopes that they could secure the 
prize, but like many anticipations of man, it came to 
naught ; but for a mmiber of years it was a strong 
mercantile competitor with Cassopolis, and carried 
away a good share of the trade. 

It now has a population of about one hundred and 
fifty, a grist mill, a woolen factory, a foundry and 
machine shop, a saw mill and carding machine, a 
basket factory, one grocery store, cooper shop, and 
blacksmith shop. The grist mill is one of the best 
in the country. The woolen manufactory employs, 
when running, from fifteen to twenty hands, and 
represents a capital of from $20,000 to $25,000. 
There is also a Methodist Society here, who have a 
fine house of worship, built about eighteen years 

In 1830 Henry Jones and Hardy Langston built 
what has ever since been known as the "Jones' Mill." 
Mr. Langston sold his interest a few years after 
building, to Mr. Jones, who, in about 1836, added 
carding machinery, which was run until the Van 
Ripers started at Whitmanville, who bought it. 
There is now at the place a saw mill and furniture 

The village of Mechanicsburg was laid out by 
John Pettigrew, March 17th, 1837, comprising six- 
teen lots. Of this embryo city there is little to be 


said. It never made any great pretensions, conse- 
quently had not far to fall. 

In 1830 William Renniston built a building and 
put in two carding machines, on the Dowagiac 
Creek, and in a year or two afterward, put up a 
grist mill near what has since been known as the 
thriving village of Dowagiac. Soon after complet- 
ing the grist mill, he sold out to Mr. Spaulding, by 
which name it was known until it came into the 
possession of the present proprietor, Mr. Colby. 

The above mentioned are all the villages, past 
and present, within the Township limits, excepting 
Dowagiac and Cassopolis, which will be treated of 
in separate chapters. The following is a table of 
the principal officers that have been elected since 
the organization of the Township : 






James Kavanaugh. 

Eli P. Bonnell. 

Samuel Wilson. 


James Kavanaugh. 

Eli P. Bonnell. 

James H. C. Smith. 


James Kavanaugh. 

Eli P. Bonnell. 

M.J. McKenney. 


Jesse Palmer. 

J. B. Wade. 

William Arrison. 


John Flewelling. 

Thomas W. Sherman. 

William Arrison. 


Jesse Gr. Beeson. 


William Arrison. 


John Flewelling. 


William Arrison. 


John Flewelling. 


William Arrison. 




Benjamin Gould 




T. Barnum. 




Benjamin Gould. 


Elias B. Sherman. 




Eli P. Bonnell. 




Eli P. Bonnell. 




Eli P. Bonneli. 




Eli P. Bonnell. 

Levi Tietsort. 

David Histed. 


George B. Turner. 

Elias Simpson. 

Daniel S. Jones. 


Henry Tietsort, Jr. 

Elias Simpson. 

Daniel S. Jones. 


Henry Tietsort, Jr. 

Elias Simpson. 

Daniel S. Jones. 


Simeon E. Dow. 

Elias Simpson. 

Daniel S. Jones. 


Henry Tietsort, Jr. 

Elias Simpson. 

D. S. Kingsbury. 


Henry Tietsort, Jr. 

Elias Simpson. 

Daniel S. Jones. 


Daniel S. Jones. 

Elias Simpson. 

F. A. Graves. 


Daniel S. Jones. 

Elias Simpson. 

Charles G. Banks. 


C. B. Tietsort. 

Edward Graham, 

Charles G. Banks. 

*No record of who was elected. 







Henry Walton. 
William G. Wiley. 
Daniel S. Jones, 
Daniel S. Jones. 
Daniel S. Jones. 
William R. Fletcher. 
Daniel S. Jones. 
Daniel S. Jones. 
Daniel 8, Jones, 
Daniel S. Jones. 
Daniel 8. Jones. 
William T, Tinney. 
Daniel 8. Jones, 
L. H. Glover. 
Abram Fiero. 
Daniel 8. Jones. 
Daniel 8. Jones. 
Daniel 8. Jones. 
Robert Wiley. 
Robert Wiley. 


Elias 8impson. 
Elias Simpson. 
8. 8. Chapman. 
8. 8. Chapman. 
8. 8. Chapman. 
A. Tietsort. 
Edward Graham. 
A. Tietsort. 
A. Tietsort. 
Byron Bradley. 
Joseph Graham. 
Joseph Graham. 
Joseph Graham. 
Josiah Hathaway, 
Isaac Wells. 
Isaac Wells. 
Isaac Wells. 
Isaac Wells. 
Isaac Wells. 
A. Tietsort. 


Charles G. Banks. 
Charles G. Banks. 
Charles G. Banks. 
Charles G. Banks, 
Charles G. Banks, 
Charles G. Banks. 
Charles G. Banks. 
Charles G. Banl^s, 
Charles G. Banks. 
Lowell H. Glover. 
Lowell H. Glover. 
Lowell H. Glover. 
Lowell H. Glover. 
Eber Reynolds. 
E. C. Deyo. 
Eber Reynolds. 
Eber Reynold s, 
Eber Reynolds. 
Henry J. Webb. 
Charles G. Banks. 


This Township was named after the old Chief 
Pokagon, who, previous to the settlement by the 
whites, made his home on the west side of the 
prairie that still bears his name. 

Here occured the first settlement in the County, 
in the season of 1825, by Uzziel Putnam, Sr., 
Squire Thompson and Baldwin Jenkins. 

From its favored location and fertility of soil, this 
Township has been recognized from the beginning 
as one of the best. In the early settlements of the 
difterent localities, this one, having the start, was 
furnished a ready home market for all of its surplus 
productions, and after the others began to be com- 
petitors in the market, by its nearness to the St. 
Joseph river, it had a great advantage over the 
remaining portions of the County. 

Of the earliest settlers only the first — Mr. Put- 
nam — remains, who resides on the land he first 
located, and, with his wife, is passing his declining 
years in ease and comfort; both have long since 
passed the period usually allotted to man. 


In 1826 Ira Putnam and family, Lewis Edwards 
and some others settled in the Township. 

In 1827 William Garwood, Israel Markam and 
sons came in. Mr. Markam was a blacksmith by 
trade and the first one that carried on a shop in the 
County. It is related that on one occasion a man 
came from Beardsley's prairie with a plowshare to 
be sharpened, and when it was done was charged 
thirty-seven and a half cents, which he objected to 
as being too much, but Mr. Markam told him that 
he was obliged to have money to buy seed wheat 
and had to charge high on that account. 

In 1828 Alexander Rogers and his five sons, 
Samuel, Alexander, John, Thomas and William, 
with William, Thomas and Andrew L. Burk made 

From this time forward the increase of settlers 
was very rapid and in 1830 the prairie contained a 
greater population than it does at the present time. 

The first entries of land were made in 1829 by 
Squire Thompson, on sections twenty, twenty-one and 
twenty -eight; Samuel Markam, on twenty -eight and 
twenty-nine; Israel Markam, Sr., Israel Markam, Jr. 
and Baldwin Jenkins, on twenty-nine; Alexander 
Rogers, on thirty and thirty-one; Lewis Edwards, 
Joseph Gardner and Jesse Toney, on thirty-one; 
Putnam and Clyborne, A. C. Clyborne, I. W. 
Dnckett, Edwards and Gardner and Gardner and 
Duckett, on thirty-two, and N. Haines, on section 

In 1830 entries were made in various parts of the 
Township by John Witter, H. and I. Dewey, James 


A. Wood, B. Jenkins, Willam and Thomas Burk, 
McGwin and Curran, Lane Markam, Alexander 
Rogers, U. Putnam, Elizabeth Lowe and J. McPher- 

In 1 83 1 the following persons made entries : Joseph 
Stretch, Alexander Rogers, William Taylor, H. 
Dewey, Samuel Morton and Joseph Garwood. 

In 1832 entries were made by H. Salladay, A. 
W. McCuUum, Thomas Burk, L. Markam, R. and 
J. C. Fairries, Jesse Sink, J. Ribble, J. G. Beeson, E. 

B. Sherman, J. Garwood, John Clifton, G. Van 
Vlear, Thomas Simpson, Jesse Garwood, T. Cly- 
borne, D. Sink and J. B. Herbert. 

The Hon. U. Putnam, Jr. was the first white child 
born not only in the Township but in the County. 

The first school was taught by Miss Jane Brow^n 
and the next by Dr. Bragdon. 

The first tan yard was built and run by David 
Sink, and was the first in the County, but of the 
exact date of its compiencement I have been unable 
to learn. 

In common with the four original Townships of 
the County, Pokagon was organized by the Terri- 
torial Legislature, on the 5th of November, 1829, 
and an election appointed at the house of Squire 
Thompson, but as all of the early records of the 
Township have been lost or mislaid, I have not been 
able to learn whether the intention of the Legislature 
was carried out or not, and the County records do 
not show that there was any representative from this 
Township in 1830 or in fact from any Township, 

In August, 1836, the village plat of Sumnerville 


was placed upon record, but the date of its being 
laid out is not given. The proprietors were J. H. 
Hatch and Isaac Sumner. About the year 1835 
Sumner built a saw mill at this place, and in 1837 ^^ 
he built a grist mill. About the same time Alexander 
Davis, the first merchant, commenced to sell goods. 
In 1848 Russel Cook and John R. Conine opened a 
store in the building now occupied by Mr. Goldie. 
Peabody Cook kept the first hotel, commencing in 
the year 1835. 

The village now has one general store, one hotel, 
two blacksmith shops, one wagon maker, one photo- 
grapher, one grist mill with three run of stone, one 
woolen factory and one water power saw mill. 
There are also two churches — the Freewill Baptist 
and Methodist. 

The village of Shakespeare was laid out on sec- 
tions eight, nine and seventeen, on the 17th of June, 
1836, by J. Brown and E. B. Sherman, and com- 
prised eighty-seven blocks. This can be truly 
classed as one of the paper towns of Michigan — laid 
out with numerous squares for public purposes; a 
contemplated canal reaching from one point of the 
Dowagiac river (as it is here called) to another, with 
a number of reserved lots on the water front for manu- 
facturing purposes, and it is said that some of th^ 
plats that were sent to distant points for the purpose 
of selling lots represented vessels lying at the wharf 
A large spring, which was named after the cele- 
brated Chief Topennebee, was represented as being 
strong and high enough to furnish an ample supply 
of water for about two-thirds of the town. The 


spring is all that remains to mark the location of 
this once-promising place. It is to be said to Mr. 
Sherman's credit that soon after the laying out he 
became disgusted with the whole affair and disposed 
of his interest in the plat. Numerous lots were sold 
to parties in every direction, and as speculation was 
rife in everything that pertained to real estate, per- 
haps it might as well have been here as anywhere 

The Village of Pokagon, on the line of the Mich- 
igan Central Railroad, was laid out January i5th^ 
1858, by William Baldwin. The first merchant 
here was Joel Andrews, and soon after Hoke & Stan- 
sel, both opening in the year 1858. In 1856 the 
present gristmill was built by the Kelley brothers. 
In the year the village was laid out Garret Stansel 
built the hotel building which is still used for that 

The village now contains two dry goods stores, 
one drug store, two shoe shops, two blacksmith shops, 
one harness shop, one cooper shop, one wagon maker, 
one meat market, two physicians, three grain and 
stock dealers, one steam saw mill, a Masonic Lodge, 
a Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry and an order 
called the Free Laborers' Council, which was 
organized in the fall of 1875, ^^^ the only one we 
have found in the Count}^, its object is to protect 
labor against the oppression of monopolies. 

The Methodist Society of this Township own, in 
addition to their fine church at Sumnerville, and 
parsonage at Pokagon, the camp-meeting site, known 
as the '* Crystal Spring Camp Ground," and at this 



place is located the State Fish Hatchery. The 
spring is situated about twenty-five rods south of the 
Dowagiac Creek, at the head of a ravine covered 
with a natural growth of timber. This ravine has 
been dammed to give sufficient depth of water and 
also to have the better control of the water for the 
purposes for which they may wish to use it. The 
volume discharged by the spring is estimated to be 
six hundred barrels per hour. The State has erected 
a building twenty by sixty feet, supplied with appli- 
ances for hatching a million of fish at a time. The 
hatching house is separated into two divisions — one 
being used for an office, the other a hatching room. 
A large pipe, running the whole length of the build- 
ing, supplies the water for hatching, to which pipes, 
sixteen in number, are attached; the supply of water 
is regulated by faucets and turned on as the needs of 
the fish demand. The eggs are placed upon selves 
fourteen by eighteen inches square for hatching. 
When two months old the fish are ready for 
planting in the waters of the State. The principal 
varieties propagated are the California salmon trout 
and white fish. 

The following are the principal Township offi- 
cers elected since the organization of the Town- 






Squire Thompson. 




John Clark. 


Joseph Gardner. 


Samuel Marrs. 


Joseph Gardner. 


Lewis Edwards. 


Joseph Gardner. 


Lewis Edw^ards. 


Joesph Gardner. 


Lewis Edwards. 

Mitchell Robinson. 

Eli W. Veach. 


Henry Howser. 

Mitchell Robinson. 

Eli W. Veach. 


Henry Howser. 

William L. Clyborne. 

Eli W. Veach. 

*No record ot who was elected. 


20 1 


1839 I 

1840 I 





Squire Thompson. 
Squire Thompson. 
William Burk. 
Henry Howser. 
I Henry Howser. 
j Willi am L. Clyborne. 
M. Robinson. 
[William L. Clyborne. 
William L. Clyborne. 
M. T. Garvey.' 
M. T. Garvey. 
(Frank Brownell. 
:M. Robinson. 
Lewis Clyborne. 
M. T. Garvey. 
William L. Clyborne. 
:M. T. Garvey. 
D. H. Wagner. 
:M. Robinson. 
IM. T. Garvey. 
Alexander Robertson. 
Alexander Robertson. 
Alexander Robertson. 
Alexander Robertson, 
Alexander Robertson, 
I Alexander Robertson, 
j Alexander Robertson. 
Alexander Robertson. 
David W. Clemmer. 
B. W. Schermerhorn. 
B. W. Schermerhorn. 
B. W. Schermerhorn. 
B. W. Schermerhorn. 
B. W. Schermerhorn. 


Zimri Garwood. 
Squire Thompson. 
Squire Thompson. 
William L. Clyborne. 
Moses W. Simpson. 
Moses W. Simpson. 
Moses W. Simpson. 
Moses W. Simpson. 
John Collins. 
John Collins. 
John Collins. 
Franklin Brownell. 
Robinson J. Dickson 
Amos D. McCool. 
Robinson J. Dickson, 
William G. Straw. 
John Collins. 
John Bates. 
John Collins. 
Gideon Gibbs. 
John Bates. 
Archibald Robertson 
Archibald Robertson, 
Mitchell Robinson. 
Gideon Gibbs. 
Augustus Allen. 
Abner G. Townsend. 
Stephen W. Tinkham, 
Albert G. Ramsey. 
Elam Harter. 
El am Harter. 
Daniel M. Heazlett. 
Daniel M. Heazlett. 
Samuel Miller. 
Samuel Miller. 
Moses V. Gray. 
Moses V. Gray. 


,Eli W. Veach. 
Eli W. Veach. 
Eli W. Veach. 
Mitchell Robinson. 
William L. Clyborne 
William L. Clyborne 
William L. Clyborne 
William L. Clylwrne 
David Long. 
Charles G. Moore. 
Lewis Edwards. 
Lewis Edwards. 
Clark F. Johnson. 
Clark F. Johnson. 
Ira Starkweather. 
Samuel R. Wheeler. 
Ira Starkweather. 
Rollin C. Dennison. 
Joseph E. Garwood. 
Strawther Bowling. 
Theodore Stebbins. 
Strawther Bowling. 
Philo D. Beekwith. 
George Miller. 
Elias Pardee. 
Strawther Bowiing. 
Strawther Bowling. 
Strawther Bowling. 
Strawther Bowling. 
Strawther Bowling. 
Rollin C. Osborne. 
R. W. Schermerhorn 
John Rix. 
Rollin C. Osborn. 
Rollin C. Osborn. 
Rollin C. Osborn. 
Edwin W. Beekwith 


This township was named in honor of John B. 
Porter, who was the Governor of the Territory at 
at the time of its organization. 

It contains about fifty-four square miles and is 
usually designated as North and South Porter. On 
account of the original survey and platting, which 
denominated it as towns seven and eight south, mak- 
ing two Townships, the calling of it North and South 
Porter became necessary. 

The first settler in this Township was John Bald- 
win, for whom Baldwin's Prairie was named, who 
commenced on the farm now owned by George 
Meacham, Esq., in the season of 1828. 

In 1829 William Tibbetts and Daniel Shellhammer 
settled in South Porter, and in 1831 John White set- 


tied in North Porter, and, so far as as I have been 
able to learn, he was the fir^t settler in this part of 
the Township. 

In 1829 entries of land were made in South Por- 
ter by A. Davidson, A. Richhart and N. G. O'Dell, 
on section one; E. Beardsley, on seven; N. C. Tib- 
bitts, Chester Sage and John Baldwin, on eight; 
George P. Shultz, O'Dell and Brooks, on section 
thirteen. In 1830 G. P. Shultz, George Jones, C. 
Calkins, Jacob Charles, Jarius Hitchcox, John Barm, 
N. G. O'Dell, Jr., F. Tobey, James O'Dell, Benja- 
min Carr, J. Virgil and Aaron Brooks made entries. 

In North Porter the first entr}' of land was made 
by James Montgomery on the ist of November, 1829, 
on section thirty-one. In 1830 an entry was made 
by A. Ferry, on section thirty-six. In 1831 Jacob 
Charles, D. Barnham, F. Smith, V. Shultz and John 
White made entries. In 1832 and '33 entries were 
made by Jacob, Lewis and Samuel Rinehart, Sarah 
Jones, William Hebron, J. P. Finney, Peter Cook, 
F. Driskel, John Bair,, John East, N. WiUiams, H. 
H. Fowler, S. Davidson, Joseph Moor and S. Weed. 

The Township was organized by an act of the 
Territorial Legislature, approved the 29th day of 
March, 1833, and an election was appointed at the 
house of Othni Beardsley. This election was held 
on the fourth Monda}^ in April — following the act of 
organization — at the place appointed. Caleb Cal- 
kins was chosen Moderator and Jarius Hitchcox, 
Clerk of the election. The following were the 
officers chosen for that year: Othni Beardsley, 
Supervisor; Charles Calkins, Clerk; Thomas Pratt, 


J^cob Pells and Nathan G, O'Dell, Assessors; David 
Shaffer, Jacob Charles and Thomas Burgett, Com- 
missioners of Highways ; Elam Beardsley, Collector ; 
John Lough, O. Beardsley and Thomas J. Pratt, 
Commissioners of Schools; Jacob Charles, Levi 
Lough and Jarius Hitchcox, School Inspectors, and 
Jacob Virgil, Overseer of the Poor. 

In 1 83 1 Lewis, Samuel and Jacob Rinehart com- 
menced to build a saw mill on the outlet of Shave- 
head lake, which was completed in the spring of 
1832, and in the next year they sold in Chicago one 
hundred and ten thousand feet of lumber, for which 
they received seven dollars and fifty cents per thous- 
and delivered at the St. Joseph river. 

Williamsville was laid out by Josiah Williams, in 
March, 1848. He was also interested in the first 
store at this place. 

It now contains a population of about three 
hundred, one general store, one blacksmith shop, 
one cabinet and paint shop, two physicians^ one grist 
mill and one saw mill. 

The First Baptist Church of North Porter was 
organized February 8th, 1857, with twelve members, 
and William Hebron, O. N. Long, G. W. Minor, 
James Motley and Aaron Shellhammer, were elected 
trustees. It has at present fifty-one members and a 
house of worship valued at two thousand dollars. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church of North Porter 
was organized in 1846 with fourteen members, and 
in 1858 the}^ built a church building at a cost of 
eight hundred dollars. At the present time it has 
thirty members. 


There is also another Methodist Chvirch building, 
erected in 1873, at a cost of five thousand dollars, and 
dedicated in December of the same year, but the 
denomination have no regular societ}^ at this place. 

The village of Union is of comparatively modern 
origin, having been commenced about the 3^ear i860, 
and is an enterprising go-ahead place, and doing as 
much business as any place of its size in the County. 
It now contains one general store, one builder, 
undertaker and painter, w^ith the usual number of 
shops, mechanics, etc., and one physician. 

In February, 1857, The Reverend Jacob Price or- 
ganized a Baptist Society at this place with six 
members. It now has a membership of fifty-five, a 
brick house of worship erected in 1872, valued at 
$5,000, and they now employ a regular clergyman. 

The Methodist Episcopal Societ}^ have a house of 
worship that was erected in 1858, and rebuilt and 
enlarged in 1874, but when the Society was organ- 
ized, or the present number of members, I could not 

The Freewill Baptists also have a Society here, 
and occupy the Methodist Church a portion of the 

A military road, constructed by the general Gov- 
ernment from Detroit to Chicago, ran through this 
and all the southern tier of Townships, and the tide 
of emigration, setting westv/ard following this road, 
furnished a home market for all their surplus pro- 
duce; and many of the original pioneers that are 
now well-to-do in their declining years, were indebted 
to this source for the payment on their entries. 



. On the 30th of April, 1824, Congress passed an 
act authorizing the President to cause to be surveyed 
certain canals and roads of importance in a military 
point of view, and it is generally supposed that this 
important avenue came under this head. On the 
2d of March, 1827, an act of Congress w^as approved 
appropriating twenty thousand dollars for the pur- 
pose of opening and constructing a military road 
from Detroit to Chicago, and the work was com- 
menced in the same year. The road was cut out 
one hundred feet wide, and a space in the middle 
eighteen feet wide was grubbed clean- and graded. 
The work was continued until the year 1836, when 
the bridge across the St. Joseph River at Bertrand 
was completed, and as a Government work it ceased. 
The records of this road in an early day were en- 
closed in a tin box and forwarded from Washington 
to Detroit, but were lost on the way and have never 
been found, consequently its exact location or bear- 
ings are not accurately known. 

The following are the principal officers that have 
been elected since the organization of the township: 






Othin Beard sley. 

E. Beard sley. 

C. Calkins. 


Caleb Calkins. 

A. B. Davis. 

A. B. Davis. 


Caleb Calkins. 

Joel Baldwin. 

A. B. Davis. 


George Meacham. 

Elihn Davis. 

A. Dibble. 


Caleb Calkins. 

L. Keeler. 

A. Dibble. 


George Meacham. 

R. K. Charles. 

Seth Weed. 


0. Story. 
Moses Joy, 

Seth Weed. 


0. M. Long. 


R. K. Charles. 

A. Dibble, 


Milo Powell. 

0. Story. 
Lewis Rinehart. 

Seth Weed. 


William R. Merritt. 

H. Shelden. 


Oscar N*. Long. 

J. Hartman. 

A. Kennicott. 


Oscar N. Long. 

L. Rinehart. 

A. Kennicott. 


Rufus K. Charles. 

J. Hartman. 

S. Taylor. 


Rufus K. Charles. 

J. Hartman. 

A. Kennicott. 


John N. Jones. 

George Hebron. 

J H. Hartman. 








Jana Hitchcox. 

J. Hartman. 



O. N. Long. 

J. Hartman. 

S. Tavlor. 


0» N Lon«:. 

A. H. Long. 

Milo towell. 


Riifiis K. Charles. 

A. H. Long. 

Milo Powell. 


Rutus K. Charles. 

J. H. Hartman. 

A. H. Long. 


Rufus K. Charles. 

J. H. Hartman. 

A. H. I^)ng. 


Rufus K. Charles. 

J. Motley. 

F. Teendale. 


Milo Powell. 

J. Motley. 

F. Teesdale. 


A. II, Long, 

H. J. Dauchy. 

G. Hebron. 


A. H. Long. 

J. Hartman. 

W. S. St^mrns. 


A. H. Long. 

G. W. Miner. 

L. Beclw. 


Lucius Keeler. 

J. Hartman, 

L. Beebe. 


Lucius Keeler. 

A. H. Long. 

W. S. Stearns. 


Lucius Keeler. 

0. Brigirs. 

W. S. Stearns. 


Lucius Keeler. 

0. Briggs. 

W. S. Stearns. 


J. H. Hitchcox. 

0. Briggs. 

W. S. Stearns. 


Thomas O'Dell. 

William Rinehart. 

G. Hebron. 


Thomas O'Dell. 

J. Motley. 

C. C. Parker. 


Lucius Keeler. 

M. McHuron. 

H. H. Bowen. 


Thomas O'Dell. 

M. McHuron. 

H. H, Bowen. 


Thomas O'Dell. 

H. Meacham. 

A. R. Thompson 


Hiram Meacham. 

H. Beard sley. 

H. H. Bowen. 


Hiram Meacham. 

H. D. Long. 

H. H. Bowen. 


Hiram Meacham. 

H. D. Long. 

E. Motley. 


Hiram Meacham. 

M. Nutting. 

E. Motley. 


Hiram Meacham. 

H. Beard sley. 

M. McHuron. 


Nathan Skinner. 

H. Beard sley. 

M. McHuron. 


This Township was named for Calvin Britain, 
who, at the time of its organization in 1835, was a 
member of the Territorial Legislature. 

This Township has many natural advantages, 
among which are one of the most fertile soils that 
the country affords, adapted to the culture of all the 
cereals of this latitude and the various fruits. In its 
earlier settlement the land was entered largely by 
speculators who held it for high prices, and thereby 
retarded settlement in a great degree for a number 
of years. 

The first entries of land were made in 1829 by 
Nathan Young, on section five, and John Reid, on 
five and six. 

In 1830 entries were made by John Reid and Levi 
F. Arnold, on six; Giles Norton, on seven; George 
Jones, on eight, and D. Mcintosh, Jr., on section 

In 1831 George Nicholson, D. Bunham, F. Smith, 
Jacob Charles, Andrew Grubb, M. Zane, William 


F. Noel, David Shaffer, John Ireland and Peter 
Shafter made entries. 

In 1832 H. H. Fowler, Joel East, H. Richardson, 
Thomas Bulla, T. Smith and Peter Shafter made 
entries in various parts of the Township. 

The first settlement in this Township was made 
in the year 1832, by Peter Shaffer, the widow 
White and her five sons, Andrew Grubb, John Reid 
and three sons, Nathan Thorp, and in 1833 WilHam 
East and his sons, James, John, and Joel, Nathan 
Williams, and John Zeek made settlements and 
commenced improvements. 

In 1835-6 the Osborne settlement was made, and 
the first nursery in the County started by them, for 
the sale ot fruit trees. 

The earlier settlers were nearly all Quakers or 
Friends, who came from the South, leaving that 
locality on account of slavery. In 1837 they organ- 
ized a Church, and now have an unpretending house 
of worship. Samuel Bonine was the first minister 
and Jo^l East the next. 

The Township was organized by an act of the 
Territorial Legislature, approved March 17th, 1835, 
and an election appointed at the house of John Reid, 
Sr. At this election Pleasant Grubb was chosen 
Supervisor and WilHam T. Reid Clerk. 

About the year 1834 or '35, Pleasant Grubb 
built a grist mill on the outlet of Diamond Lake, 
where Brownsville now stands, but he soon after 
sold out to the Brown brothers, from whom Browns- 
ville takes its name. This village has never been 
platted, or if so, it has not been placed upon the 

— H 


record, consequently the exact data of its origin is 
hard to determine. It now contains a population ot 
about one hundred and fifty, a grist mill, two gen- 
eral stores, and numerous mechanics, shops, etc. 

The first school-house was built near the farm of 
Peter Shafter, but in what year or who taught the 
first school, I have not been able to learn. 

The first birth was that of Elnora Jane, daughter 
of Leonard Keene, in May, 1832. 

The colored population of this Township number 
about one thousand, and the first permanent settle 
ment by them was made in 1845, by John Stewart 
and Lawson Howell. The next one to locate was 
Ezekiel C, Anderson, who settled on the west side 
of Porter Township. Mr. Anderson served in the 
Indian wars under General Jackson, and was at the 
battle of the Horse Shoe, as well as several others. 
He was enrolled under the name of Ezekiel Cole, 
his full name being Ezekiel Cole Anderson. 

The African Methodist Episcopal Church, of Cal- 
vin, known as the Mount Zion Church, was or- 
ganized January 8th, 1853, with Hardy Wade, 
Joseph Allen, Richard Wood, William Scott, Benja- 
min Hawley, Lawson Harvey, and Lemuel Archer, 
as Trustees. 

The Chain Lake Baptist Church (colored) was 
organized December 31st, 1854, and Green Allen, 
Moses Sanders, and Elisha Byrd were elected Trus- 
tees. Both of these Societies have houses of 
worship. - 

In 1865 the Hoosier Woolen Mill was erected by 
Samuel C. Van Mater and Isaac and Vincent Wright, 

CASS cotJK*nr. 


at a cost of about fifteen thousand dollars, and for a 
number of years was run to its full capacity, but 
owing to the depression in woolens for the past year 
or two, it has remained out of use. 

On the 24th of April, 1844, a most destructive 
hail storm passed over the south part of the Town- 
ship, destroying nearly everything in its path, killing 
sheep, hogs, and birds, and injuring timber, build- 
ings, etc. One remarkable feature was, that near 
Mr. Osborn's was a place where the blue cranes 
congregated to rear their young, and hundreds of 
these large birds were killed by the hail, which in 
some instances were as large as apples, and of all 

There are now in the Township three post-offices, 
viz: Brownsville, Calvin, and Day. The following 
are the principal officers that have been elected 
since the organization of the Township: 




Pleasant Griibb. 
Pleasant Grubb. 
William T. IleecL 
William T. lieecL 

John y. Whinney. 
John V. Whinney. 
|Peter Shatter. 
Elijah Osborn. 
Jesse Hutchinson. 
Jesse Hutchinson. 
SylvaclorT. Read. 
Johnson Patrick. 
Leander Osborn. 
Jefierson Osborn. 
Jefierson Osbdrn. 
Jettbrson Osborn. 
Jefierson Osborn. 
Daniel W. Gray. 
Johnson Patrick. 
Elijah Osborn. 


William T. Reed. 
Andrew White. 
Andrew Grubb. 
Thomas O'Dell. 
Alexander White. 
Charles Dennison. 
Charles Dennison. 
L. D. Norton. 
L. D. Norton. 
L. D. Norton. 
L. D. Norton. 
Find ley Chess. 
Find ley Chess. 
Find ley Chess. 
William H. Jones. 
Jefierson Osborn. 
Jesse Hutchinson. 
Jesse Hutchinson. 
Jesse Hutchinson. 
B. F. Harrison. 
B. F. Harrison. 
Levi J. Reynolds. 
Levi J. Reynolds. 


William T. Reed. 
J. V. Whinery. 
J. V. Whinery. 
William Brown, 
William Brown. 
J. Y. Whinery. 
J. V. Whinery. 
William Brown. 
A, Northrup. 
William Brown. 
J. C. Blair. 
8. T. Read. 
Henry Shaffer. 
A. E. Peck. 
A. E. Peck. 
A. E. Peck. 
A. E. Peck. 
A. E. Peck. 
A. E. Peck. 

A. E. Peck. 

B. A. Tharp. 
B. A. Tharp. 
B. A. Tharp. 








B. A. Tharp. 

Levi J. Reynolds. 

James Oren. 


B. A. Tharp. 

Moses Brown. 

James Oren. 


James Oren. 

Moses Brown. 

Lewis Cowgill. 


James Oren. 

William Clark. 

Lewis Cowgill. 

1862 |B. A. Tliarp. 

William Clark. 

John Lee. 


B. A. Tharp. 

J. F. Lemon. 

J. N. Osborn. 


B. A. Tharp. 

Thomas J. OslK)rn. 

J. N. Osborn. 


B. A. Tharp. 

Thomas J. Osborn. 

John Lee. 


B. A. Tharp. 

8. S. Davis. 

James Rivers. 


Levi J. Reynolds. 

8. 8. Davis. 

James Rivers. 


Levi /. Reynolds. 

8. 8. Davis. 

James Rivers. 


Levi J. Reynolds. 

James Rivers. 

* James Rivers. 


Levi J. Reynolds. 

James H. Gregg. 

Leroy Osborn. 


B. A. Tharp. 

James H. Gregg. 

8. K. G. Wiffht. 


B. A. Tharp. 

James H. Gregg. 

f A. K. Wright. 


Leroy Osborn. 

James H. Gregg. 

James Rivers. 


Leroy Osborn. 

James H. Gregg. 

James Rivers. 


Leroy Osborn. 

John Allen. 

James Rivers. 

Appointed to fill vancancy. *P. Gregg, f James Rivers. 


This Township derived its name from a town of 
the same name in Logan County, Ohio, which was 
probably named after the statesman Thomas' Jeffer- 

The first settlement was made in the fall of 1832 
by Moses Reams, Nathan Norton, Abner Tharp, 
William Reams and Levi Norton, all from the above 
named town in Logan County, Ohio. 

In 1833 and '34 the following persons made settle- 
ments: Aaron Reams, Samuel Collier, Pleasant 
Norton. Isaac Williams, William, Maxwell and 
Noah Zane, Peter and Richmond Marmon, Jonathan 
Collier, Silas Reams and John Miller, These were 
nearly all the voters at the first election. 

The first entries of land were made in 1830 by 
Stephen Marmon, Aaron Brown, Peter Marmon and 


D. T. Nicholson, on section one; Nathan Norton 
and Maxwell and William Zane, on twelve. 

In 1 83 1 entries were made by Barnhart and 
Smith, on section one; R. Harmon, on two; John 
Petticrew and John Petticrew, Jr., on section six. 

In 1832 Adam Miller, David Carmichael, John P. 
Miller and the four Painters made entries. 

In 1833 R. Painter, E. Thomas, A. Loux, John 
Stephenson, John P. Miller and John Vaughn made 

Adam Miller, of the Baptist persuasion, was the 
, first minister to preach in this Township. 

Minna V. Hunter, afterwards Sherift'of the County, 
taught the first school. 

The Township was organized by an act of the 
Territorial Legislature, approved March 29th, 1833, 
and an election ordered to be held at the house ot 
Moses Reams. Robert Painter was the first Super-^ 
visor; William Lane, Township Clerk; Levi D. 
Norton, Constable, and Enoch Lundy Assessor. 

In 1833 or '34, Shaflfer and Beardsley built a saw 
mill on the site that has since been known as Red- 
field's mills, which, in 1837, was purchased by 
George Redfield, who rebuilt the mill in 1850. 

In 1862 it was burned by accid^r\t and rebuilt in 
connection with a flouring rnill in the years 1863 and 
1864 . There are now, besides the mills, a post-o6Sce, 
one general store, and the usual complenient of me- 
chanics, shops, etc. . ; 

In 1835 Robert Painter, built a grist mill a short 
distance below where tJae..Red6^d mill now stands, and 


about the same time the Petticrew mill was built in 
the northwestern part of the Township. 

The First Baptist Cl:urch of Jefferson was organ- 
ized December 7th, 1843, when the following men 
were elected trustees: Joseph Smith, Pleasant Nor- 
ton, D. T. Nicholson, William Zane and Isaac Hull. 
When organized, and for a number of years after, it 
was the most prosperous religious society in the 
Township, and built a substantial brick house of 
worship which still remains, but the membership of 
the society has fallen off until but a remnant is left. 

The Christian Church was organized in 1855 or 
1856, under the leadership of a minister by the name 
of Kenneston, who got up a great revival and 
received many converts. Under his influence a 
house of worship was built and is about all that 
remains of this once numerous society. 

The Disciple Society was organized and a church 
built in the fall of 1854. At one time the member- 
ship reached the number of eighty, under the leader^ 
ship of David Miller, who was the minister who 
organized the society. The church building at the 
the present time is valued at one thousand dollars. 
The society is very small and there are no regular 
meetings held at the church. 

About the year 1858 the Town Hall was built on 
the southwest corner of section fifteen, and in 1871 
it was moved on to the line of the Chicago and 
Lake Huron Railroad, thoroughly repaired, painted 
and underpinned, and at present is valued at seven 
hundred dollars. It was the first building expressly 
fer Township purposes built in the County. 


In about the year 1842 this Township was infested 
by a gang of counterfeiters, by the name of Button, 
who Hved on the farm now owned by John P. 
^Miller, The extent of their operations is not posi- 
tively known, but that they followed their nefarious 
avocations over southwestern Michigan and north- 
ern Indiana is generally believed. There were four 
brothers connected in the business and it is said that 
the}^ kept a horse hitched constantly at the front 
door to assist them in a flight when necessary. To 
Colonel Glenn, then Sherift' of this County, belongs 
the credit of breaking up the gang or at least driv- 
ing them from this locality. When he went with a 
posse of men to arrest them one jumped on the horse 
at the door and made good his escape, and while 
the officers were in pursuit of him the others left in 
another direction, since which nothing is positively 
known, but a rumor was afterwards circulated that 
they all brought up in the penitentiary. But a short 
time ago a die for making bogus Mexican dollars 
was found by Mr. Rhinehart, near their former place 
of operations, that was undoubtedly used by them. 

The Chicago and Lake Huron Railroad runs 
through the Township from north to south, but has 
no stopping place within its limits. 

The Air Line Railroad passes through the 
northern portion of th^ Township and has one station 
— that of Dailey — where large quantites of wheat 
and other farm produce are shipped. It also has a 
store, a few mechanics, etc. 

The following are the principal officers that have 


been elected since the organization of the township: 





William Zane. 


Robert Painter. 



Pleasant Norton. 

Levi Norton. 

William Zane. 


Pleasant Norton. 

Levi Norton. 

D. T. Nicholson. 


Pleasant Norton. 

David Reams. 

William Zane. 


Pleasant Norton. 

David Reams. 

William Zane. 


Pleasant Norton. 

David Carmichael. 

William Zane. 


David Carmichael. 

William Zane. 


Lorenzo Painter. 

William Bosley. 


William B. Reams. 

Marcus Sherrell. 


Joseph Smith. 

Pleasant Norton. 

William Bosley. 


Marcus Peck. 

Pleasant Norton. 

Marcus Peck. 


Joseph Smith. 

Pleasant Norton. 

Marcus Sherrell. 


Joseph Smith. 

Pleasant Norton. 

Marcus Sherrel I.- 


Barton B. Duning. 

P. F. Carmichael. 

Robert Crawford. 


Joseph Smith. 

Henry Carmichael. 

JS. L. Higinhothan. 


Pleasant Norton. 

Henry Carmichael. 

Charles TVmy. 


Pleasant Norton. 

Samuel Patrick, 

Charles Amy. 


Pleasant Norton. 

Henry Carmichael. 

Charles Amy. 


N. Aldrich. 

Henry Carmichael. 

A. C. Carmichael. 


Pleasant Norton. 

Henry Carmichiiel. 

A. C. Carmichael. 


Henry W. Smith. 

L. Goodrich. 

A. C. Carmichael. 


Nathaniel Monroe. 

L. Good rick. 

N. C. Beach. 


J. N. Marshall. 

L. Goodrich. 

A. C. Carmichael. 


J. N. Marshall. 

L. Goodrich. 

George Tichnor. 


Marcus Peck. 

G. W. Westfall. 

George Tichnor. 


Marcus Peck. 

8. E. Davis. ^ 

Charles Sherrill. 


Joseph Hess. 

Henry Carmichael. 

H. C. Holden. 


Joseph Hess. 

Henr^V Carmichael. 

J. C. Carmichael 


Hiram R. Schutt. 

Cork in Hays. 

J. C. Carmichael. 
J. C. Carmichael. 


Marcus Marsh. 

A. W. Zane. 


Marcus Marsh. 

N. Hedger. 

J. C. Carmichael. 


C. S. Swan. 

H. C. Shurter. 

J. C. Carmichael. 


G. W. Westfall. 

Samuel Hess. 

Nathan Marr. 


G. W. Westfall. 

H. R. Scutt. 

C. L. Nell". 


Andrew Wood. 

H. R. Scutt. 

C. L. Neff. 


Marcus Marsh. 

A. Tietsort. 

C. L. Neff. 


S. C. Tharp. 

A. Tietsort. 

S. W. Breece. 


John S. Jacks. 

A. Tietsort. 

N. B. Farnsworth. 


John S. Jacks. 

P. F. CarmichaeL 

S, W. Breece. 


John S. Jacks. 

P. F. Carmichael. 

B. W. Breece. 


8. W. Brcece. 

N. B. Farnsworth. 

Nel»(m Hedger 


Andrew Wood. 

N. B. Farnsworth. 

Nelson Hedger. 


Andrew Wood. 

8. Breece. 

Nelson Hedger. 

♦No record of who was elected. 


This Township derives its name from a very ro- 
mantic source. At the time of its organization, 
March 7th, 1834, this County, in common with Ber- 
rien, was represented in the Territorial Legislature, 
then held at Detroit, by one Green of Niles, and while 
attending this term of the Legislature he became 
very much interested in a young lady, then a resident 
of the City of the Straits, by the name of Howard, 
and when it came to naming the township he named 
it in honor of his sweetheart. But, like many of the 
daughters of Eve, she proved fickle to the honorable 
gentleman and ]the match was broken up, but the 
Township still bears her name. 

The first entries of land were made in 1829 by 
William Garwood, on sections five and six; Jou Ray, 
on six; John Ritter on seven, and Thomas Philips 
and Samuel Witter, on section seventeen. 

In 1830 entries were made by I. W. Duckett, on 
section five; John Kinsey, B.Jenkins and William 
Garwood, on six; Solomon Landis, John Hersey, 


William Morris, Jacob Kinsey and Joseph Harter, 
on eight; R. C. Meek, Joseph Harter, William Kirk 
and John Pool, Jr., on seventeen; Eli Ford, on nine- 
teen; Chester Loomis on twenty, and Orrin Green, 
on section twenty-nine. 

In 1 83 1 George McCoy, John Pattengill,,A. Chap- 
man, Daniel Fisher, Sarah Stoner, Peter Barnhart, 
John Clark and William Garwood made entries. 

In 1832 entries were made by I. W. Duckett, C. 
Albright, Solomon Blymer, John Coulter, John Mc- 
Daniel, George Fosdick, Jonas Ribble, Catherine 
Stewart, William Young, Jonathan Hussey, and Ezra 

What is usually termed "opening soil" largely pre- 
dominates in this Township, with a small portion of 
Pokagon Prairie on the north and a section of heavy 
timber in the northwest corner. 

The first settlement was made on the prairie por- 
tion of the township probably previous to 1830. In 
1832 ''Yankee street '' was *settled, and in the same 
year George Fosdick started a blacksmith shop on 
the north bank of Barron Lake — then called Lake 
Alone — -where on the 27th of August, 1835, he laid 
out a village under the name of Howardsville, which 
was composed of sixty-four lots. Mr. Fosdick, in 
addition to general blacksmithing, carried on the 
manufactory of plows, and made a specialty of jail 
locks, and of the latter he furnished nearly all the 
the prisons in Southwestern Michigan and Northern 
Indiana. Of this pioneer village there is now noth- 
ing to mark the spot where it arice existed. 

The only religious society in the township is that 



of the Methodist Episcopal, organized about the 
year 1838, and in i860 they erected a house of wor- 
ship which is known as the Coulter Methodist 
Church, and now has about forty members, and a 
Sabbath School. 

The Air Line Railroad runs through this Town- 
ship east and west and has a way station at Barron 
Lake for the accommodation of passengers. 

There is a hotel on the east side of Barron Lake 
for the accommodation of pleasure parties, of which 
there are many during the summer season from the 
neighboring towns and villages. 

The following are the principal Township offi- 
cers elected since the organization of the Town- 
ship : 












Samuel Marrs. 
George Fosdick. 
Henry Heath. 
Henry Heath. 
Thomas Glenn. 

Ezekiel C. Smith. 
Ezekiel C. Smith. 
James Shaw. 
Oscar Jones. 
James Shaw. 
J. N. Chipman. 
J. N. Chii3man. 
Oscar Jones. 
El am Harter. 
Oscar Jones. 
E. C. Smith. 
E. C. Smith. 
Elam Harter. 
E. C. Smith. 
E. C. Smith. 
Benjamin Cooper, 
Benjamin Cooper, 
William Curtis. 
E. C. Smith. 


Joseph H. Abbott. 
S. Dumbolton. 
Joseph H. Abbott. 
James Coulter. 
James Coulter. 
James Coulter. 
James Coulter. 
William H. Doane. 
H. D.Gallup. 
H. D. Gallup. 
H. D. Gallup. 
H. D. Gallup. 
H. D. Gallup. 
H. D. Gallup. 
H. D. Gullur. 
H. I). Gallup. 
H. D. Gallup. 
H. D. Gallup. 
H. 1). Gallup. 
H. D. Gallup. 
Perry P. Perkins. 
Perry P. Perkins. 
Perry P. Perkins. 
James G. Willard. 
James G. Willard. 


Peter Eraser. 
Peter Eraser. 
Peter Eraser. 
Z. Smith. 
J. W. Abbott. 
Zenas Smith. 
A. S. Cook. 
A. S. Cook. 
David M. Howell. 
Richard T. Heath. 
Richard T. Heath. 
Richard T. Heath. 
Richard T. Heath. 
Richard T. Heath. 
Robert N. Peebles. 
John M. Peebles. 
Thomas H. Huston. 
John L. Schell. 
John L. Schell. 
John L. Schell. 
John L. Schell. 
Thomas H. Huston. 
Thomas H. Huston. 
Tliomas H. Huston. 
Th<mias H. Huston. 
Thomas H. Huston. 
James A. Collins. 

♦No record of who was elected. 



1861 William H. Doane. 

1863 Willium H. Doanc. 

18C3 William H. Doanc. 

1804 William H. Doanc. 

1805 William H. Doanc. 
1860 William H. Doanc. 

1807 AVilliam H. Doanc. 

1808 William H. Doanc. 

1809 William H. Doanc. 

1870 William H. Doanc. 

1871 H. S. Hadscll. 

1872 H. S. Hadscll. 

1873 H. S. Hadscll. 

1874 H. S. Hadscll. 
1875^ Benjamin Vary. 


Alexander Cooper. 
Alexander Cooper. 
T. C. liaridon. 
T. |C. Karidan. 
San i lie 1 Ullrey. 
Samuel Ullrey. 
John Dwan. 
John Dwan. 
E. Blanchard. 
E- Blanchard. 
Walter W. Harder. 
Walter W. Harder. 
D. p. Garberich. 
Walter H. Harder. 
ElbridgeT. Heed. 


James A. Collins. 
James A. Collins.. 
James A. Collins. 
James A. Collins. 
James xV. Collins. 
Perry P. Perkins. 
iPerry P. Perkins. 
iPerry P. Perkins. 
I Jacob Keller. 
J. G. Van Evera. 
iJ. G. Van Evera. 
iJ. G.Van Evera. 
iJohn Bedford, Jr. 
ijohn Bedford, Jr. 
iJohn Bedford, Jr. 


This Township was named in honor of Stephens 
T. Mason, who, at the time of its organization, was 
acting Governor of the Territory. 

The first entry of land was made by Elam Beards- 
ley, on section twelve, January 4th, 1830. 

In 1 831 C. Fanning, William Jordon and Othni 
Beardsle}^ made entries, on sections 4, 11 and 21. 

In 1832 Samuel Laferty, Samuel Simonton, Ezra 
Beardsley, O. F. Kingsley, James Griffith, R. Cath- 
cart and Betsey Curtis made entries. 

A. Dibble, S. C. Garder, S. Adams, N. D. Snow, 
O. Grant, Simeon O'Dell, T. J. Curtis, John 
Richards, A. R. Kingsley, B. Eddy, J. Allen, M. 
Holmes and J. Curtis made entries in different parts 
of the Township — in 1833. 

The exact time of the first settlement I have not 


been able to learn, but it probably occiirred in the 
season of 1833 or 1834. In 1835 the following per- 
sons were here: Moses Bird, Willis Jordon, John 
O'Dell, Simeon O'Dell, John Richards, Thomas J. 
Curtis, Jacob Ross, John Miller, F. Walker Miller, 
J. Curtis, Sr., Saxton P. Kingsley, John Worst, Levi 
Grant, John Garmon, Abram Miller, Jacob B. Pells, 
Henry Arnold, George Arnold, E. Roberts, Ben- 
jamin Hull, Benjamin *0'Dell, Orris O'Dell, James 
McNeil and a Mr. Halse. These, with the excep- 
tion of two, were all located on the Chicago road. 

The first election was held on the 5th of April, 
1836. At this meeting Jonathan Curtis was chosen 
Moderator, and Saxton P. Kingsle}^ Clerk, when 
the following officers were elected: Moses Staftbrd, 
Supervisor; Saxton P. Kingsley, Clerk; Reuben 
Allen, John Worst and Jacob Haight, Assessors; 
John Worst, Collector; Levi Grant and Jacob Ross, 
Directors of the Poor; James McNeil, John Garmon 
and John Richards, Commissioners of Highways; 
John Worst and John Miller, Constables; Orlean 
Grant, Frederick W. Miller and Edward Howe, 
School Commissioners. 

The first church society, so far as I could learn, 
was that of the Free Will Baptist, who have a house 
of worship and a numerous congregation in the 
northern part of the Township. 

The United Brethren have a prosperous society 
in the eastern portion, of the Township, and in 1875 
erected a house of worship at a cost of about two 
thousand five hundred dollars. 

The Evangelical Soeiety have a membership of 


about twenty and a house of worship located on the 
Chicago road, erected in 1874. 

The village of Kessington was laid out April 12th, 
1872, by Moses McKissick, but of the extent or 
population I can not speak from personal observa- 

The soil of this Tovsjnship is divided into two 
varieties, that of the south is what is usually termed 
openings, is very level and pleasant to cnltivate, and 
produces remunerative crops; while a good portion 
of the north part is a heavy timbered soil and some- 
what broken but very productive. 

The Chicago road passes through nearly on the 
dividing line between the two varieties of soil. 

Fruit growing has received considerable atten- 
tion from the farmers of this Township and it 
probably ranks first in this production. 

The following table will show who have been 
elected to the principal offices since its organization : 








Moses Stafford. 
Moses Stafford. 

8. P. Kingsley. 
John 8. &ment. 
John 8. Bement. 
John 8. Bement. 
George Arnold. 
Ezra C. Hatch. 
Ezra C. Hatch. 
Ezra C. Hatch. 
John 8. Bement. 
John 8. Bement. 
John 8. Bement. 
George Arnold. 
Ezra C. Hatch. 
Ezra C. Hatch. 
George Arnold. 
George Arndld. 

John Worst. 
Orlin Grant. 
C. C. Land on. 
C. C. Landon. 
Henry Follett. 
Henry Follett. 
John Miller. 
John Miller. 
John Miller. 
John Miller. 
John Miller. 
John Miller. • 
John Miller. 
John Miller. 
William B. McNeil. 
William B. McNeil. 
William B. McNeil. 
John Miller. 
John Miller. 
John Miller. 
John Miller. 


8. P.'Kingsley. 
J. McNeil. 
J. McNeil. 
Henry Follett. 
A. A. Goddard. 
Henry Follett. 
Henry Follett. 
W. W. Bird. 
W. W. Bird. 
W. W. Bird. 
P Sutton. 
P. Sutton. 
William Allen. 
P. Sutton. 
P. Sutton. 
P. Sutton. 
John S. Bement. 
John 8. Bement. 
John 8. Bemfent. 
John S. Bementi 
John 8. 8t*mcnt. 




1857 E. W. Reynolds. 

1858 E. W. Reynolds. 

1859 E. W. Reynolds. 
18()0 E. W. Reynolds. 

1801 Henry Thompson. 

1802 Henry Thompson. 
1868 Henry Thompson. 

1864 Georjg^e xlrnold. 

1865 W. H. Stevens. 

1866 J. H. Graham. 

1867 J. H. Graham. 

1868 William Allen. 

1869 J. H. Graham. 

1870 Lewis H. Miller. 

1871 Henry Thompson. 

1872 Henry Thompson. 

1873 J. H. Graham. 

1874 J. H. Graham. 

1875 iJ. H. Graham. 

— 15 


James C. Meacham. 
Joseph H. Burns. 
O. W. Hatch. 
8. B. Glines. 
Henry Okls. 
J. A. 3IcNeil. 
J. A. McNeil. 
J. A. McNeil. 
J. A. McNeil. 
J. A. McNeil. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. F. Gannon. 
H. F. Garmon. 
H. F. Garmon. 
H. F. Garmon. 
H. F. Garmon. 
H. F. Garmon. 
A. Dickerhoof. 
A. Dickerhoof. 


William D. Coe. 
William D. Coe. 
H. C. McNeil. 
Anson L. Dunn* 
Stephen Colby. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. C. McNeil. 
William D. Coe. 
George B. Harkcr. 
George B. Harker. 
George B. Harker. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. C. McNeil. 
H. C, McNeil. 


This Township was called after an Indian girl of 
that name, who, for a number of years, was in the 
employ of Thomas H. Edwards. 

The first settlement was made by Ezra Beards- 
ley and family in the season of 1829, and in the 
following year George and Sylvester Meacham, 
George Crawford and Chester Sage came in. 

The first entries of land were made in 1829 by 
Ezra Beardsley, on sections five, six and seven; 
John Hunt, on six and eight; John Silsbe, on six; 
Wilson Blackmer and Catherine Schartz, on eight; 
Sterling Adams, on twelve; George and Sylvester 
Meacham, on seventeen and eighteen; George Boon, 
on seventeen ; Jacob Smith, F. Garser and G. O'Dell, 
on section eighteen. 

In 1830 entries were made by H. Beardsley, on 
section one; H. H. Fowler, on two; L.Johnson, on 


four ; John Garwood, on four, five and seven ; Rogers 
and Chapin, on four; Henry Whiting, on five; John 
Silsbe, on six; Edwards, Enos and Kimball, on 
seven; James Gelispie, on six; Wilson Blackmer, on 
eight; H. Beardsley, on twelve; Joseph Pool and 
Dempster Beatty, on seventeen; Adam Miller, 
George Crawford and Philip Shintaifer, on eighteen, 
and N. C. Tibbitts, Jacob Smith and Jacob Grim- 
lich, on section twent3\ 

Entries were made in 1831 by J. E. Scwartz, 
Wilson Blackmer, J. E. Hunt, R. W. Acres, J. V. 
Natfian, Benjamin Gates, S. Adams, C. Kennedy 
and J. Crimlich. 

In 1832 entries were made by Andrew Spear, P, 
B. Dunning, Andrew Jackson, E. Beardsle3% J, A. 
Adams and GeorgQ Stevens. 

In 1833 entries v/ere made by Calvin Bishop, B. 
Mead, John Mcintosh, N. D. Snow, George Red- 
field, H. Judson and A, H, Redfield. 

The Township was organized in the spring of 
1829, and comprised at that time nearly the half of 
Cass County. 

The first election was held at the house of Ezra 
Beardsley in the spring of 1830. At this meeting 
John Silsbe was chosen Moderator, and the following 
persons were elected to the different offices: Ezra 
Beardsley, Supervisor; Thomas H. Edwards, Clerk; 
Sylvester Meacham, Othni Beardsley and John 
Bogart, Commissioners of Highways; John Baldwin, 
Othni Beardsley and George Meacham, Assessors; 
Jacob Smith and George Boon, Overseers of the 
Poor; George Meacham, Constable and Collector; 


Willam Bogart, Overseer of Highways; Ezra 
Beardsley and John Baldwin, Pound-masters ; John 
Silsbe, John Bogart and John Baldwin, School 

The first road was laid out on the 24th of June, 
1830, and run from the Chicago road to Niles. 

In the winter of 1828 and 1829 Thomas H. 
Edwards and Sylvester Meacham were married to a 
daughter and step-daughter of Ezra Beardsley and 
were the first to be married in the Township. 

The first birth was that of Charles, son of Sylves- 
ter Meacham, and the next was that of John S. 
Jacks, which occurred in August, 183 1. 

In 1828 Thomas H. Edwards, for whom Edwards- 
burg was named, commenced to sell goods and was 
the first merchant in the County. He continued in 
business until he sold out to Jacob and Abiel Silver 
in the fall of 183 1 . He also had a peddling wagon 
that was run over the County selling dry goods and 
groceries, which was driven by Joseph L. Jacks. 

Edwardsburg was laid out by Alexander H. 
Edwards, August 12th, 183 1, comprising thirty-one 
blocks. In 1834 Abiel Silver made an addition and 
in 1836 Silver and Sherwood still another. At this 
village occurred many of the most important events 
in connection with the early settlement of the 
County. Here the observ^ation was taken which 
established a base for the survey of Southwestern 
Michigan. Here it was that the first court was held, 
when it required a travel of over two hundred miles 
to secure men enough to act as jurymen ; and the 
first Board of Supervisors was convened at this 


place. The first store was kept in a small log 
shanty on Lake Street. Ezra Beardsley kept the 
first hotel on the bank of the lake, near where the 
residence of Dr. Sweetland now stands. 

With the advent of the Silvers, who bought 
Edwards' stock of goods and interest in town lots 
and the Beardsle}' homestead, everything was 
pushed forward that would tend toward making 
this an important commercial center, and from this 
time until 1848 the growth was steady and sub- 
stantial. At that date it had three churches, a brick 
school house and a population of about three hun- 

But with the iron, rail which reached Niles in this 
3^ear, and about the same time Elkhart, a change for 
the worse came over the place, merchants began to 
pack up and leave, trade diminished in all its branches 
and dullness brooded over everything. This state 
of affairs continued until 1871, when the scream of 
the steam whistle announced the approach of the 
iron horse, giving a new impetus to business which is 
increasing from year to year. 

It now contains a population of four hundred and 
fifteen, three dry goods stores, two drug and grocery 
stores and one hardware store, three wagon, three 
blacksmith and three shoe shops, two millinery and 
four dress-making establishments, two hotels, two 
preachers, six physicians, one lawyer, three school 
teachers, ten carpenters and joiners, two cabinet 
shops, one meat market, one harness shop, four 
masons, one planing mill and three lumber yards. 
There are also three churches — the Baptist, Metho- 


dist and Congregational, and each have a parsonage. 
The Patrons of Husbandry have a Grange, the 
Odd Fellows and Masons, a lodge each. The Baptist 
Society at this place was organized May 14th, 1835, 
and Myron Strong, Luther Chapin and Barak Mead 
were elected Trustees. At the organization there 
were but four members. In 1838, under the leader- 
ship of elder Price, the society became very prosper- 
ous and for a number of years it was the most 
flourishing society of this denomination in South- 
western Michigan. It has at the present time but 
eighteen active members, a brick house of worship, 
valued at two thousand dollars, and a parsonage 
worth twelve hundred dollars. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized 
February 13th, 1837, ^^^ Hiram Rogers, CHftbrd 
Shanahan, Leonard Hain, Henry A. Chapin and 
Asa M. Smith were elected Trustees. It now has a 
membership of between thitry and forty, a - brick 
church, valued at fifteen hundred dollars, and a 
parsonage, worth two thousand dollars: there is also 
a Sabbath school having about seventy scholars with 
twelve officers and teachers in connection with the 

The Congregational Church has a brick house 
of worship, valued at two thousand five hundred 
dollars, a parsonage, worth one thousand dollars, 
and a membership of between sixty and seventy: 
they also have a Sabbath school of about fifty 
scholars in regular attendance throughout the year. 
The date of the organization of this church I could 
not learn. 


December 3, 1874, M. Milton Edminston com- 
menced the publication of a newspaper called the 
Index, The first issue was printed at Mishawaka, 
Indiana, before the arrival of the press and office 
material. It acquired a circulation of about four 
hundred copies, but was suspended September 25, 
1875; the proprietor absconding with the portable 

William A. Shaw started the Argus October 3, 
1875. It is neutral in politics and has a circulation 
of three hundred arid fifty copies. 

Adamsport was laid out by Sterling Adams in 
September, 1832, and the village of Christianna, on 
the opposite side of the creek, was laid out by 
Moses Sage in 1834. Both now are known by the 
name of Adamsville. The first grist mill was built 
here by Sage and Snow in 1834, ^^^ ^^^ remained 
in the hands of the Sages ever since. Sage and 
Snow were also the first merchants. One Halsted 
built the first hotel about the year 1835 ^"^ ^he 
same building still furnishes a home for the weary 

Sterling Adams was the first Postmaster at this 

There is now a population of one hundred and 
twenty-six, one general store, one flouring mill with 
four run of stone, one saw mill and heading factory, 
one wagon, one blacksmith and one cooper shop. 

Both these villages were largely indebted to the 
Chicago road, which passed through them, for their 
early prosperity. 

The following officers have been elected since 



the organization of the Township to the present 






Ezra Beard si ey. 

George Meacham. 

T. A. H. Edwards. 


Dempster Beatty. 

JEber Root. 

T. A. H. Edwards. 


Dempster Beatty. 

[Eber Root. 

T. A. H. Edwards. 


Dem{)ster Beatty. 

Ariel Robertson. 

Luther Chapin. 


George Meacham. 
Joel Brown. 

J. L. Jacks. 

B. F. Silver. 


Silas Baldwin. 

B. F. Silver. 


Joel Brown. 

iW. Ih Vandeventer. 

H. H. Cool id ire. 

1838 iJoel Brown. 

J. L. Jacks. 

H. H. Coolidge. 


J. L. Jacks. 

H. H. CV)olidge. 


J. L. Jacks. 

H. Eastman. 


H. A. Chapin. 

George Sherwood. 


William Bacim. 

Edwin Clark. 

Mynm Strong. 


Myron Strong. 

E. Taylor. 

T.*T. Glenn.' 

1844 ! James W. Griffin. 

Abiel Silver. 

Harvev Olds. 

184.") iGeorj^re lied field. 

Abiel Silver. 

ilarvey Olds. 

1840 Myron Strong. 

N. Aldrich. 

B. D. Sherwood. 

1847 Cyrus Bacon. 

J. S. Brady. 

B. 1). Sherwood. 

1848 Cyrus Bacon. 

S. Van Antwerp. 

E. M. Curtis. 

1849 J. L. Jacks. 

I). S. Kenson. 

B. 1). Sherwood. 


James W. Griffin. 

William R. Sheldon. 

B. D. Sherwood. 


N. Aldrich. 

Kellogg Allen. 

H. Van Atter. 


Cyrus Bacon. 
Charles Haney. 

John S. Brown. 

E. Shaw. 


J. Silver. 



Charles Haney. 

J. Silver. 

Isaac Brown. 


A. Longstreet. 

Kellogg Allen. 
David Bement. 

0. M. Dunninic. 


Charles Haney. 

J. Silver. 


Aaron Lisk. 

F. Wilkinson. 

J. Silver. 


Charles Haney. 

A. B. Palmer. 

M. H. Lee. 


Charles Haney. 

S. Van Antwerp. 

M. H. Lee. 


Charles Haney. 

M. B. Bobbins. 

L. H. Glover. 


Moses H. Lee. 

M. B. Bobbins. 

C. Kennedy. 


Charles Haney. 

John S. Jacks. 

S. H. Lee. 


Charles Haney. 

John S. Jacks. 

S. H. Lee. 


Charles Haney. 

A. 8. Cook. 

S. H. Lee. 


George F. Silver. 

A. S. Cook. 

George F. Silver. 


Charles Haney. 

N. S. Brady. 

Georire F. Silver. 


Charles Haney. 

N. S. Brady, 

J. C. Schoch. 


J. B. Thomas. 

0. H. Sanford. 

J. C. Schoch. 

1869 jj. B. Thomas. 

George Rogers. 

J. C. Schoch. 

1870 J. B. Thomas. 

George Rogers. 

T. C. Schoch. 

1871 J. B. Thomas. 

George Rogers. 

William K. Hopkins 

1872 IJ. B. Thcmias. 

George Rogers. 

William K. Hopkins 

1873 'Moses H. Lee. 

J. W^ Argo. 

Stephen Bacon. 

1874 1 Moses H. Lee. 

J. A. Howard. 

J. A. Luckenbach. 

1875 1 

Moses H. Lee. j 

H. H. Bidwell. 

G. F. Bugbee. 


This Township was named by Peter Truitt for a 
township of the same name in the State of Dela- 
ware, which was the previous home of a large 
number of the first settlers. 

The first entries of land were made in 1829 bj^ 
Oliver Drew, on section one and two; John Hudson, 
on eleven; Annon Smith, on thirteen and fourteen; 
D. Harkenrider, on fourteen ; J. Hathway and John 
Medville, on section twenty-four. 

In 1830 Hiram Rogers, Luther Chapin and Calvin 
Taylor made entries on section orie; B. F. Larned, 
on six and seven; J. F. Lord, on eleven; John 
Hudson, on twelve and thirteen; G. O'Dell, P. Shin- 
tafter and Adam Miller, on thirteen, and Thomas 
Sullivan, on section twenty-four. 

In 1831 D. Brown, O. Drew, Isaac Butler, Frederick 
Smith, H. Drew, Smith and Burnham and Peter 
Truitt made entries in different parts of the Town- 
ship, and in 1832 and '33 entries were made by 
J. II. Smith, S.^ Toney, P. Truitt, C. Smith, H. O. 


Heath, C. K. Green, N. Bacon, B. B. Kercheral, E. 
Shanahan, H. Truesdail, Otis James, Adam Ringle, 
Silas Baldwin and A. M. Smith. 

The Township was organized in 1838, previous to 
which it formed a part of Ontwa. The first Treas- 
urer was William Manning and the first Clerk, H. 
H. Hulin. 

The Milton Methodist Episcopal Church was 
organized July ist, 1839, when James Lowry, 
Thomas Powell and Nathaniel O. Bowman were 
elected Trustees, and in August, 1841, it was re- 
organized under the name of Smith's Chapel and 
the following persons were elected Trustees : Spencer 
Williams, Jesse Smith, John H. Smith, Thomas 
Powell, George Smith, M. Beauchamp and Matthew 
Griffith. There is now a membership of between 
thirty and fort}', and they have a house of worship, 
valued at about seven hundred and fifty dollars. 

The Township is devoted strictly to agriculture 
and has neither village or postoffice within its limits.- 

The following are the officers that have been 
elected since the organization of the Township: 



G. Howland. 
Job O'Dell. 
James Taylor. 
Charles P. Drew. 
James Taylor. 
Henry Aid rich. 
Henry Aid rich. 
Henry Aid rich. 
James Taylor. 
Henry Aldrich. 


William Manning. 
William Manning. 
James Aldrich. 
Peter Truitt. 
Thomas Powell. 
Thomas Powell. 
Thomas Powell. 
George Smith. 
Wesley Smith. 
John Uller}^ 
John XJllery. 
James B. Smith. 
James B. Smith. 
James B. Smith. 


H. H. Hulin. 
H. H. Hulin. 
James Taylor. 
H. Aldrich. 
H. Aldrich. 
H. Aldrich. 
Job O'Dell. 
H. Aldrich. 
Job O'Dell. 
Asa M. Smith. 
Asa M. Smith. 
Wm.H. Olmstead. 
M. C. Beauchamp. 
M. C. Beauchamp. 

*No record of who was elected. 





N. O. Bowman. 
Urial Enos. 
Urial Enos. 
Henry Aid rich. 
N. O. Bowman. 
Henry Aid rich. 
R. V. Hicks. 
Henry Aldrich. 
Isaac Babcock. 
Henry Aldrich. 
Urial Enos. 
Urial Enos. 
Urial Enos. 
William H, Olmstead 
William H.Olmstead. 
William H.Olmstead 
William H.Olmstead. 
William H.Olmstead. 
William H. Olmstead. 
William H. Olmstead. 
William H. Olmstead. 
R. V. Hicks. 
R. V. Hicks. 
R. V. Hicks. 


John Ullery . 

Samuel Ulfery. 

George Smith. 

George Smith. 

George Smith. 

George Smith. 

George Smith. 

George Smith. 

George Smith. 

George Smith. 

N. B. Dennis. 

N. B. Dennis. 

N. B. Dennis. 
.James B. Smith. 
.James B. Smith. 
.James B. Smith. 

Awi Jones. 

Jolm Barber. 

jjohn Barber. 
.John Barber. 
. I John Barber. 

jJohn Barber. 

Charles F. Rosewarn. 

Charles F. Rosewarn. 


M. C. Beauchamp. 
M. C. Beaucliamp. 
M. C. Beauchamp. 
M. C. Beauchamp. 
M. C. Beauchamp. 
W. H. Olmstead. 
William H. Powell. 
William H.Powell. 
William H. Powell. 
William H. Powell. 
William H. Powell. 
William H. Powell. 
W. H. Olmstead. 
J. C. Genung. 
J. C. Genung. 
VVnr.iam H. Powell. 
M. V. B. Dunning. 
M. V. B. Dunning. 
M. V. B. Dunning. 
M- V. B. Dunning. 
M. Y. B. Dunning. 
C. M. Dennis. 
C. M. Dennis. 
C. M. Dennis. 


Sometime in 1830 the County seat of Cass County 
was located at Geneva, on the bank of Diamond 
Lake, by Martin C. Whitman, Hart L. Stewart 
and Col. Sibley, Commissioners appointed by 
Governor Porter. 

This location gave much dissatisfaction to all 
speculatively inclined settlers who had secured 
claims which they deemed adapted for the site of 
the seat of Justice — and there do not appear to 
have been any other kind of locations taken up. 
The Commissioners were openly accused of corrup- 
tion and the Proprietors of niggardliness. A 
similar state of feeling existed in Branch and St. 
Joseph, concerning the location of their County 

During this excitement and before any public 
buildings, save a log shanty to serve as court room 
and jail, had been provided, E. B. Sherman, a young 
lawyer and surveyor, believing that a change could 


and would be effected^ east about over the eligil^Ie 
sites stil! unoccupied (and they were not few) for a 
speculative investment. 

In his peregrinations hei one day came to the 
southeast quarter of section twenty-six in La 
Grange. This impressed him favorably and he 
repaired to the cabin of Abram Tietsort, Jr., on the 
bank of Stone Lake, to rest and think the matter 

While deliberating and waiting for supper (every 
house was a hotel in those days and every stranger 
welcome) three men, brothers, b}^ the name of 
Jewell, came down and engaged in conversation 
with Mr. Tietsort. From their talk he learned that 
they had been looking land and had decided to enter 
the eighty he had in view. Mr. Sherman kept his 
own counsel, and, as soon as he could do so without 
awakening suspicion, took his leave and started on 
foot for Edwardsburg. 

A few days previous to this he had met at the 
Land Office, at Pigeon Prairie, a young legal immi- 
grant by the name of Alexander H. Redfield, who 
was in search of a place to set his stakes and " grow 
up with the country." On the representations of 
Mr. Sherman he had gone on to Edwardsburg, and 
as this enterprise seemed large enough for a partner- 
ship he (Sherman) naturally sought to offer his new 
friend the first chance. 

He arrived at Edwardsburg just at nightfall, 
readily found Mr. Redfield and unfolded his scheme. 
His friend eagerly fell in with the proposition, but 
untortunately he was possessed of only fort}' 


dollars, Mr. Sherman could show but fifty and the 
land would cost one hundred; he, however, 
had a friend at Pigeon, who, if flush, he thought, 
would loan him the remaining ten dollars, and 
armed with a requisition upon this party, McGaffey 
by name, Mr. Sherman set out through the cold rain 
and dismal darkness in this race for a County seat. 

At " Meachams " his bedraggled limbs refused 
further duty, but he fortunately procured the loan of 
a horse and pushed on into Porter. Here he stopped 
in a deserted cabin and, stretching his weary frame 
on the puncheon floor, waited for daylight. 

At the first streak of dawn he was up and on his 
way and in the early morning rode into Pigeon, 
found McGaffey, negotiated the loan, made his pur- 
chase and had ridden several miles on the back track 
before he met tl:e three Jewells who had gone 
straight across the country. 

The new proprietors lost no time in pushing their 
enterprise. A remonstrance against the action of 
the Commission was prepared and the signatures of 
all, not interested in the success of Geneva, readily 
obtained; and on March 4, 1831, we find an act of 
the Legislative Council authorizing the appointment 
of a new Commission to relocate the '' seats of 
Justice " of Cass, St. Joseph and Branch Counties, 
approved by the Governor. 

Now came the tug of war. Eligible sites were 
found, by their owners, upon nearly every settler's 
land and all sorts of inducements prepaj^^d to bait 
the new Commission. 

Sherman and Redfield, who had associated with 


them the three land owners whose boundaries 
cornered with theirs, Abram Tietsort, Jr., Ephraim 
McLeary and Colonel Johnson, seem to have gone 
at the matter with so much more system and 
liberality than their neighbors that, upon the final 
arrival of the Arbitrators, their claims and those of 
Geneva were the only ones considered. 

They prepared a plat of a village to be called 
Cassapolis, containing one hundred and sixty acres of 
land, and each of the four proprietors signed an 
agreement to donate to the County one-half of his 
portion of the same, providing the County seat 
should be located thereon. 

Learning in advance the names of the new Com- 
missioners they cunningly named three of the 
principal streets in their honor, viz: O'Keefe, Row- 
land and Disbrow. 

These, and perhaps other inducements, then and 
now unknown, prevailed; the Commission reported 
favorably upon the change and, as soon as their fees 
and expenses were paid by the proprietors, a procla- 
mation was issued by the Governor fixing the seat 
of Justice for Cass County at Cassapolis. 

The exact date of the proclamation is not known, 
but it was probably in November, 1831, as the 
village plat was recorded on the 19th of that month, 
which would not be likely to have been done until 
the receipt of the news that a final order had been 

Repeated attempts were afterward made by Whit- 
manville, Geneva and other ambitious villages to 
re-open the question, but they who had secm-ed the 


prize proved themselves capable of retaining it until 
the amount invested in public buildings precluded 
all further discussion of removal. 

At the time the plat was recorded there w^as not 
a building of any description within its limits and, 
with the exception of Mr. Tietsort* and Hiram 
Jewell, it had no neighbors within a mile and a half 
or two miles of its public square. 

Ira B. Henderson, who built a double log cabin 
and opened therein a hotel, was the first to take 
advantage of the opportunity afforded by the new 
village to indulge in the excitements and turmoil of 
metropolitan life. John Parker came next and 
erected an aristocratic hewn log house on lot 
number three, block one south, range one east. 

In the spring of 1832 Jacob Silver, of the firm of 
H. & B. F. Silver & Co., of Edwardsburg, and 
Robert "Painter, came in and commenced selling goods ; 
the former in part ot Henderson's tavern and the 
latter in a small building at the southeast corner of 
the public square. 

During this year Sherman and Redfield erected a 
large frame dwelling on the northeast side of the 
square; the Silvers put up what has since been 
known as ''old red store" and Eber Root built a 
frame building on the site of the present Cassopolis 
House. These were the first permanent structures 
in the village. 

On August 7th occurred the first death — that of 
J. R. Coats who was dashed against a tree by a run- 
away horse and instantly killed. He was buried 
from Henderson's tavern. 


The first birth took place before the village was 
laid out, viz : that of Julia Ann Tietsort, on July 3, 

The first court was held in the fall of 1832 by 
Judges Sible}^ and Woodbridge, under an oak tree, 
just south of the public square. Messrs. Redfield 
and Sherman were the only lawyers in attendance 
and no records of the business can now be found. 
The second term was held in Painter's store and 
those succeeding in the tavern building, until 1835. 

The first wedding occurred on January ist, 1833, in 
the loft over the new store. The high contracting 
parties were E. B. Sherman, Esq., and Sarah, only 
daughter of Jacob Silver. Bishop Chase performed 
the ceremony and afterward conducted the first 
religious services ever held in the village. 

April 19th, 1833, by an act of the Territorial 
Council, the Cass County Academy was duly incor 
porated with a limited capital of twenty thousand 
dollars. B. Jenkins, William Burk, I. Shurte, Jacob 
Silver, M. B. Shields, Abiel Silver, A. H. Redfield, 
Dempster Beatty and E. B. Sherman were named 
as Trustees. This school was to have been located 
at Cassapolis, but there is no record that a definite 
site was ever secured or any portion of the capital 
paid in. 

In the same month, a division of the lots of the 
plat was made by the proprietors, and the portion set 
out to the County formally accepted by the Board 
of Supervisors, who appointed A. H. Redfield their 
agent to sell a sufficient number, at prices varying 
from ten to forty dollars each, to build a jail 



— the terms of payment being one-fourth down and 
the remaining three-fourths in six, twelve and eight- 
een months from the day of sale. The lots were 
first offered at public auction on the 4th of July and 
afterward at private sale. 

The contract for erecting and furnishing the jail 
was awarded to Eber Root (the details of the 
building and terms of contract have been already 
stated on page 118 of this work). Owing to the 
sickness of the contractor, the building was not 
finished until nearly mid-winter and rogues were 
obliged to put up with the private hospitality of the 
Sheriff* and his Deputies. It was located on lot 
number five, in block one south, range two west, 
where it still remains a relic of pioneer justice. 

In the fall of this year (1833) the Silvers put up a 
large distillery in the hollow, on State Street, west 
of the public square. The frame was so heavy that 
it required the united efforts of nearly the whole 
male population for a circuit of ten miles to raise it. 
Eber Root was the contractor but, he being sick at 
the time, Amos Huff*, of Volinia, took charge of the 
raising, which lasted three days. The distillery was 
a first-class one for those days and, by furnishing a 
home market for grain, materially aided the growth 
and prosperity of the new village. It was run by 
the Silvers about three years, then .sold to John M. 
Barber who in turn transferred it to Asa Kingsbur}^ 
in 1837. 

A postoffice was located here in this year and was 
kept by A. H. Redfield in the Silvers' store. 

The first school teacher was a widow Beach who 


taught in a log house situated on the lot now owned 
and occupied by Joel Cowgill. The next was a 
man named Harrison. Abram Tietsort^ Jr., was the 
first mechanic who worked in a shop. He manu- 
factured furniture, coffins and ^uch other cabinet- 
ware as the times demanded, in a log building north- 
east of his residence. 

The village was now fairly launched on its career 
and soon attracted a sufficient population of traders, 
artisans, etc. to enable it to take a fair rank among 
similar frontier centres. It drew trade from La 
Porte Prairie on the southwest; Mottville on the 
southeast ; Little Prairie Ronde on the northeast, and 
to the limit of settlements on the northwest. Goods 
were sold at large profits and the spring stock was 
usually entirely gone before the fall goods were 
received. Every one who attempted so to do made 
money, and the prospective promise of Cassapolis 
was as bright and hopeful as that of any town in the 
new Northwest. 

January 24th, 1832, Eber Root and Allen Munroe 
received licenses as tavern-keepers from the Town- 
ship Board, as, in the language of the license, '^ The 
Board considered taverns a necessity and the appli- 
cants of good moral character and of sufficient 
ability to keep a tavern." 

The second death in the village — that of Mrs. 
Eber Root — occurred in this year. 

In October a contract was let to Joseph Hafper 
for building and furnishing a Court House, on lot 
number four, block two north, range one west, as 
described on page 122. 


The County increased so rapidly in population 
and consequent litigation, that within five years its 
legal needs had quite outgrown the limited space 
afforded by this building, and in February, 1839, 
the Board of Commissioners decided upon the erec- 
tion of a new edifice of sufficient capacity to ac- 
commodate the blind Goddess, her ministers and 

David Hopkins, Henry Jones, and James W. 
Griffin, County Commissioners, entered into a con- 
tract on the 7th of February, of the same year, with 
Jacob Silver, Alexander H. Redfield, Joseph Harper, 
Asa Kingsbury, and Darius Shaw, for the construc- 
tion of the present Court House. 

The contract called for a frame building forty- 
six feet wide, fifty-four feet long, and twentj^-four 
feet between the sill and plate, with a fire-proof 
vault in the basement story for the use of the County 
Officers, on which building the contractors were to 
expend six thousand dollars in material and labor. 
In consideration thereof the Commissioners deeded 
to the Company " all the interest the County had in 
all lots, etc., (reserving therefrom the lots the pres- 
ent Court House and jail now stand on) in said 
village," and agreed to pay them, in addition to this, 
two thousand dollars, in two annual payments of 
one thousand each. 

The building was enclosed and used in 1841, but 
was not formally accepted by the Board until March 
9th, 1842. 

In the Presidential campaign of 1840 the whole 
country run mad over ''log cabins," "gold spoons," 


''coon skins," ''British gold," and other equally 
meaningless party catch words. Real issues and 
political principles were entirely lost sight of, and 
partisan frenzy was rampant. Cassapolis shared the 
prevailing mania with her neighbors, and the most 
intense political excitement, and the most enthusias- 
tic mass meetings in her history, occurred during 
that canvass. One advantage to the village accrued 
from this agitation. Joseph Harper won from Jacob 
Silver lot number eight, in block one north, range 
two east, on the result of the election in Pennsyl- 
vania, and, two years afterward, donated it to the 
District for school purposes. 

A school house was erected upon this lot in the 
spring of 1843, which was the first frame building 
used exclusively for school purposes, and a very 
creditable structure for that day — previous to this 
time the children had been taught in log cabins, and, 
for a year or two, in the old Court House. This 
answered the purpose for which it was designed un- 
til 1857, when the Union School House, now in use, 
was built by Daniel S. Jones, at a cost of one thou- 
sand four hundred and ninety dollars. 

In 1874 a building on the corner of Rov/land and 
York streets was rented for a primary department. 
The school now occupies five rooms and employs 
the same number of teachers. The whole number 
of scholars enrolled in the District is two hundred 
and fifty-one. 

In 1842-7 occurred the "general training" and 
"Kentucky Raid," previously described in these 


In 1848 black bears were strangely and suddenly 
numerous in this vicinity. Some twenty were killed 
in the neighborhood of the village, and one was 
shot within the grave-yard inclosure. 

About this time the completion of the Michigan 
Central Railroad through the north part of the 
County, and that of the Lake Shore & Michigan 
Southern just beyond the southern boundary, put a 
stop to the further development of the village. 
Many of the more enterprising business and profes- 
sional men moved to the railroad and aided largely 
in establishing the village of Dowagiac. 

For about twenty years Cassapolis remained al- 
most at a stand still, drawing its support from an 
agricultural trade of limited area, and the interest 
on its capital previously acquired. 

In 1 85 1 the present jail was built by Joseph Grif 
tith, and in i860, the Board of Supervisors, alarmed 
by the evidence of the insecurity of the public 
records, shown at the time of the burning of the old 
Cassapolis House, authorized the construction of a 
lire proof building for County offices, which was put 
up the same year by Major Smith. 

In 1863 the village was incorporated by the Board 
of Supervisors, under the general State Law. 

The first election was held November 9th, of that 
year, and the following list of officers chosen : 

Joseph Smith — President. 

Trustees — H. Walton, Peter Sturr, Barak Mead, 
C. W. CHsbee, A. Garwood, and C. G. Banks. 

C. H. Kingsbury — Treasurer. 

Joseph Harper — Clerk. 


J. H. Powers and J. Tietsort — Assessors, 

D. Histed, S. T. Read, and I. Brown — Street 

W. K. Palmer — Marshal. 

J. Graham, L. R. Read, Murray Baldwin, PI. 
Shaffer, and Arthur Smith — Fire Wardens. 

During the winter of 1874-5 a special charter was 
procured from the Legislature, under which the 
Corporation is now governed. 

In 1868 the slumbering village was aroused by ail 
early prospect of railway facilities, and has main- 
tained a healthy growth in population and business 
expansion ever since. 

The first iron was laid to the corporate limits by 
the Michigan Air Line Railway Company, Novem- 
ber 28th, 1870, and through to Niles, January, 2d, 

The first regular passenger trains commenced 
running on this road January i6th, 1871. 

The Peninsular was not far behind. Iron was 
laid to the village February 9th, 187 1, and regular 
trains, east, were started June 26th, of the same year. 

Both roads have changed hands since their con- 
struction, the Air Line having been leased to the 
Michigan Central for ninety-nine years, and the 
Peninsular consolidated into the Chicago & Lake 
Huron Railroad. 

The first religious services ever held here were 
conducted by Bishop Chase, of the Northwestern 
Episcopalian Diocese, in the winter of 1832-33, in 
the loft over the Silvers' new store. He was soon 
followed by Methodist " Circuit Riders," who, with 


the energy and devotion which at that time charac- 
terized their sect, were zealously pushing their way 
along the frontier and into the wilderness, sowing 
the seeds of eternal life. 

A noble race of God-fearing and God-serving men 
were these Pioneer Itinerants. Believing themselves 
called to the work, they abandoned home, friends, 
and the ease and comforts of civilization, and, with- 
out hope of earthly reward or honor, taking their 
lives in their hands, they went forth in obedience to 
their Master's injunction, " Go ye into all the world 
and preach the Gospel to every creature.'' Did 
space permit, hundreds of instances of their courage 
and self-sacrifice might be given, but tradition has, 
perhaps, familiarized most of our readers with their 
unrecorded heroism. 

They have passed away with the state of Society 
which called for their labors and abnegation, and 
their places are occupied by those who preach, 
according to the statement of one of their leading 
divines, '' The Christianity required by the times." 

The first definite result of their toil in this vicinity 
was the establishment of the Edwardsburg Circuit, 
in 1838, and the organization of the first Church 
Society in Cassapolis. No records can be found 
anterior to 1859, and it is impossible to give the 
names of the officers and membership of the Society 
at its inception. 

Their meetings were held in the School and Court 
House, which they shared with the Congregation- 
alists. Baptists and others until the completion ot 
their various houses of worship. 


In 1846 Jacob Silver and Joshua Lofland, the 
former an Episcopalian, the latter a Methodist, 
erected a Church edifice on Rowland Street for the 
joint use of their own denominations and, when not 
occupied by either of them, it was open to all for 
religious worship. 

Mr, Silver, a short time after its completion, be- 
came a convert to the doctrines of Swedenborg, and 
a strong but unsuccessful effort was made to 
organize a Society of that sect. 

In 1854 a sale was made of the building to the 
'^United Brethren;" William Shanafelt becoming 
responsible to Mr. Silver for his share, and a mort- 
gage being taken for the remainder by Mr. Lofland. 
No payments having been made on the mortgage 
and the Society exhibiting no prospect of financial 
success, in January, 1855, upon a proposition by 
Lofland to Shanafelt, the building was turned over 
to the Methodists as a free gift by them. The last 
named denomination held and occupied it until 1874 
when it was moved away to make room for a better 
and more commodious edifice. 

The new Church was built that year at a cost of 
about six thousand dollars, and dedicated November 

In 186 1 the Society purchased a house and lot on 
the corner of O^Keefe and York Streets which they 
still hold as a parsonage. 

The present Church numbers forty-eight mem- 
bers and the total value of its property is about 
eight thousarid dollars. A Sunday School, com- 


posed of a superintendent, eleven teachers and about 
ninety scholars, is connected with it. 

The following is a list of clergymen who have 
ministered to them since 1838 — those joined in couples 
having served together under the circuit system: 
Knox and Williams, Knox and Harrison, Jones and 
Van Order, Meek and Tooker, Colins and Worth- 
ington, Kellogg and Eldred, Cook and Granger, 
Shaw and Erkenbrack, John Erkenbrack, Horace 
Hall, J. W, Robinson, T. H. Signal, V. G. Boynton, 
Isaac Abbott, P. H. Johnson, E. L. Kellogg, G. W. 
Hoag, Isaac Bennett, Edgar Beard, A. G. Graham, 
J. Fowler, James Webster, J. P. Force, William 
Coplin, and J. W. H. CarHsle.^ 

March 19th, 1842, agreeable to previous notice, a 
meeting of those friendly to the organization of a 
Presbyterian Church was held in the Court House. 

The Rev. Noah M. Wells presided and delivered 
an address, at the conclusion of which it was '' Re- 
solved, That we proceed to organize in Cassapolis 
a Church, on what is termed the ' accommodation 
plan,' to be known as the First Presbyterian 

The following persons, presenting regular letters 
of dismissal from other Churches in good standing, 
were duly organized into a Church, viz: Samuel F. 
Anderson, Mahala Anderson, Carlos W. Baldwin, 
AmeHa Fuller, Margaret Sears, Eliza Ann Beck- 
with, Hervey Bigelow, Wells Crumb, Luc}^ Ann 
Crumb and Susannah Hopkins. 

After the organization the following persons were 
admitted upon profession of their faith, viz: Joseph 


Harper, Caroline Harper, William F. Huyck and 
Lewis C. Curtis. Hervey Bigelow and Samuel F. 
Anderson were then duly elected deacons and the 
meeting adjourned. 

On the following day Phebe Wheeler, Harriet 
Smith, Miss L. A. Hurlbut, Amos Fuller, Mathias 
Weaver and Catharine Weaver were received by 
letter, and William Sears, William Mansfield and 
Margaret A. Mansfield, on profession of faith. 

November 6th, of the same year, the Church 
employed the Rev. A. S. Kedzie (nowof Dowagiac) 
to labor with them for six months. 

July 9th, 1843, the Rev. Alfred Bryant was 
engaged to minister to their spiritual wants a por- 
tion of his time. 

February 3rd, 1844, Joseph Harper was chosen 
clerk of the Church and Society and served until 
June 7th, 185 1 (in person or by proxy) when the 
present clerk, E. B. Warner, was elected. 

In 1845 they commenced the erection of a house 
of worship, but got no farther than its enclosure that 
year, from lack of funds. In 1846 a Fourth of July 
dinner was had in the building, for the benefit of the 
building fund, and with this, increased subscription 
and the sales of pews from a schedule, they were 
enabled to complete .and dedicate the edifice in 
November of that year. 

June 13th, 185s, they purchased the house and lot 
on the corner of O'Keefe and State Street which 
still serves as a parsonage. The present value of 
their Church property is about three thousand five 
hundred dollars. 


In 1872 the Church adopted the plan of rotary 
Elderships. The present Elders are S. F. Ander- 
son, S. B. Hadden, Dr. Alonzo Garwood, George 
Mansfield and E. B. Warner. 

The total membership since the commencement of 
the Church organization is two hundred and eight- 
lour, the present list containing sixty-five names of 
resident members. There are one hundred and one 
scholars and eight teachers, exclusive of the super- 
intendent, in the Sunday School at the present time. 

There have been employed since 1842 the follow- 
ing clergymen, viz: A. S. Kedzie, Alfred Bryant, 
M. Harrison, James McLauren, M. Bacon, Thomas 
Jones, George C. Overhiser, Eli W. Taylor, George 
H. Miles, E. B. Sherwood, A. H. Gaston, Theodore 
B. Hascall and O. H. Barnard. 

A Baptist Society was organized March 8th, 1862, 
by the Rev. Jacob Price, with an original member- 
ship of thirteen. 

In 1868 they commenced the erection of a Church 
building on the east side of the public square which 
was dedicated March i6th, 1869. Its cost, exclu- 
sive of the lot on which it stands, was about four 
thousand five hundred dollars. They have as yet no 
parsonage. The present number of members is 

Jacob Price, B. P. Russell and T. S. Wooden 
have served as pastors in charge of this Church. 
Mr. Wooden's engagement terminated in the spring 
of 1875, since which time the Rev. O. N. Fletcher 
has acted as supply, a portion of the time. E. H. 
Brooks, of the Newton Theological Seminary, has 


recently accepted a call and will commence his 
labors next June, Providence permitting. 

The first Secret Society, of which there is any 
record, was a Lodge of the " Ancient and Honor- 
able Order of the Eclampsus Vitus,'' which was 
instituted in the spring of 1846, with Dr. E. J. 
Bonine, Laban Harter, J. P. Osborn and Dr. L. 
Osborn as charter members. 

The Order was in broadest burlesque of legiti- 
mate secret organizations and was afterward merged 
in the " Sons of Malta," which died from exposure 
(by Frank Leslie) in the next decade. 

The candidates for admission were bound fast, 
blindfolded and dragged into the hall by halters. 
They were placed in the most ludicrous positions 
and required to pledge themselves to performances 
and courses of conduct which, b}" a cunningly 
devised double entendre in the wording of the 
pledges, were either impossible or eminently 

A peculiarity of human nature, which renders the 
victim of a ''sell " restless and unhappy until he has 
inveigled others into the same meshes, insured the 
rapid growth and financial prosperity of this mons- 
trous hoax. Numerous neophites were found to 
assuage the grief and soothe the wounded pride of 
the earher victims. 

A grand ball was given by the Lodge in the win- 
ter of 1 846-7, at the Union Hotel, at which over 
two hundred badges of the " Ancient and Honorable 
Order" were displayed, , and that, too, by men who 


stood among the highest in popular esteem and re- 

The (dis) Order collapsed in 1847, partly from 
lack of raw material and partly from a growing 
satiety amounting to disgust on the part ot the bet- 
ter portion of the members, but it was successfully 
resurrected in i860, under the alias of ^'The Broth- 
ers of Charity." 

The second edition, although ealarged and im- 
proved, was of ''few days and full of trouble" to all 
except the charter ( ?) members. 

On the 1 6th day of January, 1847, a Dispensation 
was granted by Andrew J. Clark, Grand Master, to 
A. H. Redfield, George Sherwood, George B. Tur- 
ner, Henry R. Close, and W. G. Beckwith, author- 
izing the institution of Cass County Lodge, No. 21, 
I. O. ofO. F. 

Pursuant to this the first Lodge was instituted in 
the ball-room of the Cassapolis Hotel, on February 
1 8th following. The first officers were: 

A. H. Redfield, N. G. 

George B. Turner, V. G. 

George Sherwood, Secretary. 

Henry R. Close, Permanent Secretary. 

W. G. Beckwith, Treasurer. 

Two .years afterward the Lodge purchased the 
south sixty feet of lot number one, block one north, 
range one east, ot David Histed, and remodeled the 
second story of the building thereon for their use. 
In 1854 they allowed it to be sold to Henry Tietsort 
at Sheriff's sale, but in 1865 Mr. T. gave them a 
perpetual lease of the Lodge room and approaches. 


At this time the .Lodge numbers thirty-nine mem- 
bers, and is in a sound financial condition. The 
present officers are: 

E. G. Black, N. G. 

H. L. Barney, V. G. 

Isaac Brown, Secretary. 

C. E. Voorhis, Permanent Secretary. 

John Hess, Treasurer. 

The regular meetings are held on Saturday even- 
ing of each week. 

May nth, 1874, Cass Encampment, No. 74, I. O. 
of O. F., was organized by Fayette S. Day, G. P., 
with seven members. The first officers were: 

R. H. Wiley, C. P. 

H. H. Bidwell, H. P. 

J. W. Argo, S. W. 

H. Dasher, J. W. 

A. P. Gaston, Scribe. 

H. Tietsort, Treasurer. 

The present officers are: 

H. H. Bidwell, C. P. 

J. W. Argo, H. P. 

H. Dasher, S. W. 

Charles Morgan, Scribe. 

H. Teitsort, Treasurer. 

Its membership is twenty-one, and regular meet- 
ings are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of 
each month. 

In 1848 a Division of the Sons of Temperance was 
organized which flourished for two or three years, 
but, as all records and papers were returned at its 


disbandment, I have been unable to obtain statistics 
of the extent or permanency of its work. 

A Union of the Daughters' of Temperance was 
run in connection with the Division. 

The first meeting of resident Free and Accepted 
Masons was held in the Union Hotel, June 12th, 1852. 
A petition for a dispensation to form a Lodge at 
this place was prepared and a preliminary organiza- 
tion effected. 

The first officers were James M. Spencer, W. M. ; 
Asa Kingsbury, S. W., and E. B. Sherman, J. W. 
The Lodge was named Backus, in honor of Grand 
Master Backus. 

The first meeting under a dispensation was held 
in the Odd Fellows' Hall, July 9th, 1852, which 
Hall they occupied until, in April, i860, they moved 
into Kingsbury's Hall, where they remained until 
January ist, 1876. Their present Lodge room is in 
Chapman's building, in the center of the brick block 
on the public square. 

They own no real estate. The value of their 
regalia and appurtenances is about two hundred and 
fifty dollars. 

Regular meetings are held on the Friday evening 
on or before the full of the moon of each month. 

The number of members now in good standing 
is seventy-five. The present officers are: 

Joel Cowgill, W. M. 

James H. Farnum, S. W. 

S. S. Chapman, J. W. 

I. V. Sherman, Treasurer. 

William Jones, Secretary. 


W. II. Mansfield, S. D. 
H. Messenger, J. D. 
Robert George, Tiler. 

Kingsbury Chapter, No. 78, Royal Arch Masons, 
was organized March loth, 1871, and named in 
honor of Asa Kingsbury. The first officers were : 

Isaac A. Shingledecker, H. P. 

Asa Kingsbury, K. 

Charles W. Clisbee, S. 

James H. Farnum, C. of H. 

Henry Tietsort, P. S. 

George T. Shafter, R. A. C. 

Samuel Stephenson, M. 3d V. 

Jonas Mechling, M. of 2d V. 

Amos Smith, M. 1st V. and Secretary. 

AVilliam Condon, Treasurer. 

L. D. Thompkins, Guard. 

The present officers are: 
James H. Farnum, H. P. 
Asa Kingsbury, K. 
Levi J. Reynolds, S. 
William J. Kelsey, C. of H. 
George T. Shaffer, P. S. 
Samuel Stephenson, R. A. C. 
William E, Bogue, M. 3d V. 
A.J. Tallerday, M. 2d V. 
Henry C. Westfall, M. ist V. 
William Condon, Treasurer. 
Joel Cowgill, Secretary. 
L. D. Thompkins, Guard. 

The present membership is twenty-four. Regular 


convocations are held on the Tuesday on or after 
the full of the moon, in each month, at one o'clock p. 
M., in Masonic HalL 

A Lodge of the Independent Order of Good 
Templars was instituted about the year 1852 and 
existed several years, but no records of its transac- 
tions or history are now available. It was ter- 
minated by the absconding of its Treasurer with the 
Society funds. 

August 15th, 1865, a second Lodge of the same 
Order was organized which lasted until 1869. 

September 20th, 1870, a meeting was held in the 
dental office of James M. Shepard to take the pre- 
liminary steps in organizing a public Reading Room. 
Subsequent meetings were held in C. W. Clisbee's 
office and the Presbyterian Church, and October 14th 
a permanent organization was effected at the latter 
place, under the name of the Cassopolis Reading 
Room and Library Association. 

Rooms were procured over Peck & Maginnis' 
store, periodicals and newspapers subscribed for, and 
the nucleus of a Library formed by private contri 
butions and purchase. 

The Societ)' was incorporated February nth, 
1 87 1, under an act of the Legislature, by W. AV. 
Peck, William P. Bennett, Charles S. Wheaton. 
John F. Stevens, A. Garwood, A. B. Morley, A. 
Maginnis, H. Norton, O. Rudd, M. L. Howell, J. 
Tietsort, James M. Shepard, L. H. Glover and J. B. 

An Open Reading Room was maintained through 
the summer and fall of 187 1. 


March ist, 1871, the Society secured a large hall 
over Mcllvain's store, fitted it up with stage, 
scenery and seats, and have occupied it ever since. 

The principal revenues of the Association have 
been derived from public entertainments, which are 
deservedly well patronized, and the regular dues of its 
members — no donations of money have ever been 
solicited or loans negotiated. 

At present the Library contains over five hundred 
volumes carefully selected and well preserved. 

The first newspaper in Cassapolis was the Cass 
County Advocate^ which was started March nth, 
1845, by E. A. Graves. It was Democratic in 
politics. In October, 1846, it was sold to Abram 
Townsend, but did not prove a financial success and, 
in 1850, it fell into the hands of Ezekiel Smith who 
removed it to Dowagiac in 1851. 

In 1846 one O. V. H. McKinney published a 
small paper called the Literary News, It was a 
scurrilous sheet devoted to petty gossip and slander- 
ous personalities and proved to be short lived and 

The National Democrat was established March 
17th, 1850, by a Stock Company, with George B. 
Turner, editor, and H. C. Shurter, publisher. It 
was sold to G. S. Bouton in 1854, who transferred it 
to W. W. Van Antwerp, September 5th, 1854. 
Daniel Blackman edited it several years for Mr. Van 
Antwerp. In 1858 it was resold to the original 
Stock Company, who employed Blackman to edit 
and H. B. Shurter to publish it. 

It was next sold by the Sheriff in 1861 to Messrs. 


Norton, Howell and Smith, who transferred it to L, 
D. Smith, under whose management it was issued 
during the first two years of the war, but in March, 
1863, it again fell into the hands of the stockholders, 
and was edited by Major Smith and published by C. 
C. Allison, until May 5th, when it was purchased 
by the latter gentleman, who has retained it ever 

In politics it has always been all that its name im- 
ples. Its present circulation is seven hundred and 
twenty copies. 

The Vigilant was started on the 
i6th da}^ of May, 1872, by D. B. Harrington and 
M. H. Barber, On the 28th of February, 1873, it 
was sold to C. L. Morton and W. H. Mansfield, 
and in July, of the same year, Mr. Mansfield bought 
Morton's interest and has continued the publication 
ever since. The paper was enlarged from twenty- 
eight to thirty-two columns by Morton & Mansfield. 
It has alwa3's been Republican in politics, and has 
a circulation of seven hundred and sixty-eight copies. 

The mechanical work of this book was executed 
at this office, and of its character I leave the 
reader to judge. 

Asa Kingsbury opened a banking office in June, 
1855, and in May, 1871, organized the First Na- 
tional Bank, with a capital stock of fifty thousand 

The connecting vowel used in compounding the 
name of the village has been changed, by general 
consent, from a to and the uniform spelling at pi^es- 
ent is Cassopolis. This change is of comparatively 


recent date — the National Democrat making the 
substitution in 1865 — and is without appreciable rea- 
son, excepting, perhaps, a fancied improvement in 

There are, within the present corporate Hmits, 
about one thousand inhabitants, twenty-two business 
houses, handHng the variety of goods, implements, 
etc., usually to be found in country villages, two 
printing offices, one planing mill, one foundry and 
machine shop, one wooden bowl factory, two hotels, 
three meat markets, and one livery stable. 

The professions are represented by two clergy- 
men, eight practicing lawyers, six physicians, and 
three dentists. 

The amount invested in merchandise is eighty- 
three thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars, and 
the annual sales aggregate two hundred and ten 
thousand dollars. 

Cassopolis is noted as a radical temperance town, 
and, during the life of the Prohibitory Law, it was 
one of the very few places in the State where the 
open sale of intoxicating liquors was persistently 

Since the foregoing was in print, I have learned that a Universalist 
minister, hy the name of George R. Brown, came to Cassapolis in the 
winter of 1835-6, and remained about a year, when lie abandoned the 
charge for want of support. He would, therefore, rank as the first set- 
tled clergyman. 


Dowagiac, located in the corners of Pokagon, 
Silver Creek, Wayne, and La Grange Townships^ 
upon a small but industrious stream, from which it 
derives its name, is essentially a village o{ to-day. 

Born of the Michigan Central Railroad, and nour- 
ished by an enterprising agricultural district, rarely 
surpassed for fertility or improvement, its growth 
and prosperity have been rapid and substantial. 

It has had no pioneering experience to record, 
and no serious reverses or stand-stills. Its history 
is seen in its buildings and manufactories, its 
thronged streets, bustling traders, and busy artisans; 
its ample school and Church facilities, and the en- 
terprise, pubHc spirit, and that general young 
Americanism of its people, which has set the wise 
heads of its drowsy neighbors to nodding in prophesy 
of financial disasters not yet realized. 

In short it is a wide-awake, go-ahead, make or 
break. Western burg; an honor to the County and 
an example deserving imitation by its elder sisters. 


In 1847 Nicholas Cheeseborough, of the cele- 
brated Morgan abduction case notoriety, was em- 
plo3'ed by the Michigan Central Railroad Company 
to procure the right of way from Kalamazoo to 

As soon as the location of the depot sites was 
determined at headquarters, he associated with him- 
self Jacob Beeson, of Niles, and together they 
purchased (in Mr. Beeson's name) the northeastern 
eighty acres in Pokagon Township and soon after 
had it platted in village lots. 

They dealt liberally with the Railroad Company, 
donating a right of way through their purchase, 
with spacious depot grounds, a portion of which was 
set aside as a public park. 

Soon after this Patrick Hamilton and D, McOm- 
ber, who owned the adjacent land in Silver Creek 
and Wayne, made additions to the plat from their 

The first goods kept for sale were supplies for the 
railroad employees, furnished by the contractors, E. 
H. Fettiplace and A. Kendall. A. C. Balch next 
brought in a small stock of groceries, for the same 
market, but the first assortment of general merchan- 
dise was that of E. S. & Joel H. Smith, of CassapoHs. 

This firm erected a small frame building on Front 
street, in February, 1847, "^hich, with the goods 
and business interest, was put in charge of M. T* 
Garvey, who may justly claim to be the pioneer 
trader of Dov/agiac. 

Joel H. Smith took up his residence here in the fol- 
lowing November, and his brother, Ezekiel, came a 


year or two later. Their first building soon proving 
too small for the business, they put up a larger one 
on the adjoining lot. Isaac S. Bull bought the 
abandoned shell and converted it into a tavern, un- 
der the name of the Railroad House. 

The first postmaster was A. C. Balch, who served 
but a short time, and was succeeded by M. T. 
Garvey. The latter was also the first resident 
Justice of the Peace. 

The first birth in the new village was that of a 
son to the Civil Engineer of the Railroad Division, a 
Polish exile, Huliniski by name. 

The proprietors of the town gave to this baby 
boy a village lot, the first they deeded to any person. 

The first daughter born was the present Mrs. 
Greenleaf, nee Ware, who still resides here. 

The first funeral was the burial of Bogue 
Williams, who was buried near the present site of 
the Union School building. 

As was stated at the commencement of this 
chapter, Dowagiac had little or no pioneer history. 
From its very inception it was apparent to all that 
it was destined to become an important commercial 
point at no distant day, and business men and ar- 
tisans hastened to secure suitable locations to take 
advantage of its assured prosperity. 

Perhaps as concise a detailed description of the 
village in 1850 as can be given, is found in the fol- 
lowing extracts from an historical discourse delivered 
by the Rev. A. S. Kedzie, at the quarter centennial 
anniversary of the organization of the Congrega- 
tional Church, July 9th, 1875: 


" How much of a village was visible to the naked 
eye twenty -live years ago? Beginning with the 
central germ of the village, there was the depot, the 
old passenger house, recently removed, half of it 
was used as a residence. Near it was the freight 
house, since improved. Where is the " Mineral 
Spring House '' was a two story hotel, kept by A. 
J. Wares and called the " Dowagiac House." In 
the rear of it was a blacksmith shop kept by Parker 
Holmes and standing near where Mrs. Stebbins re- 
sides. On the corner where is J. T. Foster's shoe 
store, was the ^' Railroad House '' kept b}' Isaac S. 
Bull; first built for a store b}^ Joel H. Smith, who soon 
after built bigger on the next lot. Oilman C. Jones 
in company with Lybrook & Lofland who came here 
from Cassopolis, built and occupied a brick store on 
Front street near Cooper & Mosher's. This first 
brick building has since been burned down. The 
second brick building is where Marshal Henderson 
lives. G. W. Clark kept store on Front street. 
Mr. N. Bock kept hotel at his present stand. West 
of him on the same side of the street were seven 
houses, reaching up to where Horace Jones lives. 
Horace Mott, \^ell-digger, had a shanty where T. 
T. Stebbins lives. Strawther Bowling had a shoe 
shop on Front street. There were two houses north 
of Mr. Bock's hotel. One of the earliest built 
houses was what was called the '^ Cataract House," 
It stood on the. lots where Mr. Stoft' lives — is yet 
standing, though divided into house and barn» It 
was built as a boarding house for railroad hands. 
In it the Postoffice was first kept and in it was the 


first (regular) preaching. The School house built 
in 1850, stood where now is the Methodist Church. 
It was since removed, and now stands on the lot this 
side of Mr. Harwood's, occupied by Mr. Parker. 

•» "Sf * -Sfr ^ ■??• -Jfr 

The business done here in those early days may be 
summed up in this: — After the depot was located at 
this point, Ezekiel S. and Joel H. Smith, who traded at 
Cassopolis, established a branch store here, under 
the charge of Joel H. Smith. This was the first store 
opened here for general trade; though Fettiplace & 
Kendal, builders of the Freight House, had goods in 
the house now occupied by Mrs. Brazier, kept 
chiefly for the accommodation of their hands. G. C. 
Jones, Lybrook & Lofland, merchants; G. W. Clark, 
merchant; Wells H. Atwood, merchant, being suc- 
cessor of Joel H. Smith; Balch & Fettiplace, grocers; 
Nicholas Bock, A. J. Wares and I. S. Bull kept 
taverns; John Rogers, Parker Holmes and Daniel 
Poor did the blacksmithing; Milton Hull sawed 
lumber; Erastus H. Spaulding run the upper one of 
Mr. Colby's mills, and, with Frank Spaulding, kept 
store near where now is the manufactory of H. 
Bigelow & Sons; S. Bowling had a shoe shop near 
where the National Bank now stands; Israel Becraft, 
Marvin Pond, John Parker and H. C. Hurlbeck 
were carpenters; Samuel Sheriden and Nicholas 
Johnson made shoes; Arad Balch, and after him M. 
T. Garvey, kept the Postofifice; Drs. Barnum, Ray- 
mond and Bray ton looked after the sick in those sick- 
ly times; David Gibbs was teamster; Gideon Arnold, 
laborer; Mr. Kendal kept a boarding house; Charles 


Wood, and after him William Bannard, were rail- 
road agents." 

In 1852 a virulent form of typhoid fever raged as 
an epidemic, carrying oft^ one-thirteenth of the total 
population. At one time there were not well ones 
enough to care for the sick, or even to prepare their 
food, and it was necessary to send to adjacent towns 
for aid. Many patients were removed from the 
village for nursing and care, while others were too 
sick to be removed, or had no place within reach to 
which they could go. Of the thirteen fir-st attacked, 
all died save two — Henry Michael and Julia Bull. 
Out of nearly every house some died and one entire 
family, (Mr. Cone's) consisting of four persons, was 
swept away. 

This gave the locality an undesirable reputation 
for unhealthiness, but did not seriously check its 

In 1855-6, thanks to an active agitation of the 
subject by Mrs. Lippincott, (Grace Greenwood), 
many shade trees were set out on the Park and 
along the principal streets, which, to-day, form the 
chief attractive feature in the village landscape. 

In .1856 a large frame school house was built, but 
it was destroyed by fire in 1858 and replaced by the 
present brick Union School building in 186 1. In 
1864 a fine Ward School was added and, at present, 
the estimated value of school buildings, apparatus 
and fixtures is thirty thousand dollars. The number 
of scholars enrolled is five hundred and twenty, 
with an average attendance of four hundred and 


The village was incorporated by an act of the 
Board of Supervisors, February 3rd, 1858. 

At the first election, held at the house of Nicholas 
Bock, Justus Gage was chosen President; H. Bige- 
low, Azro Jones, J. H. Smith, D. Larzelere, A. 
Townsend and I. Brownell, Trustees; R. C. Denni- 
son and E. Jewell, Assessors; H. C. Lybrook, 
Treasurer, D. H. Wagner; Clerk, John Letts; 
Street Commissioners, F. G. Larzelere, J. A. Lee, 
and C. B. Foster; Poundmaster, M. Amidon. 

During this winter there was an epidemic of scar- 
let fever which proved very fatal. The same 
disease exhibited itself with similar results in 1870. 
At each of these times some thirty children died 
from the malady. 

In January, 1863, and again in January, 1864, 
destructive fires swept through the business blocks 
on Front and Commercial streets, leaving vacancies 
which were speedily filled with substantial brick 

Riverside Cemetery, beautifully located on a rise 
of ground south of the corporation, was laid out in 
1872, and contains twenty-two acres. It is being 
rapidly improved and embellished, and compares 
favorably with the burial places of other correspond- 
ing villages. Its present value is about two thou- 
sand six hundred dollars. 

In July, 1848, the Rev. Jacob Price preached the 
first sermon ever delivered in Dowagiac, in the 
Michigan Central Railroad freight house, which was 
then inclosed but unfinished. The services were 
held in the forenoon, and a goodly congregation, in 


point of numbers, assembled from the village and 
surrounding country. 

The next religious services were conducted by 
the Rev. Richard C. Meek, a Methodist Circuit 
Rider, who preached at stated intervals in the ball- 
room of the Railroad House. 

In the summer of 1848 a Methodist Society was 
organized at this place. They afterward held their 
meetings in common with other denominations, in 
the School House. The records of their early 
struggles are not to be found. 

In 1859 the}^ erected and dedicated their present 
Church building, and soon after purchased a par- 

The value of their property is about six thousand 
dollars. The present membership is one hundred 
and three. A Sabbath School is connected with 
the charge, but I have been unable to obtain its 

July 9th, 1850, a Congregational Society was or- 
ganized, at the residence of Patrick Hamilton, by 
Rev. S. S. Brown, an agent of the Connecticut Do- 
mestic Missionary Society, with twelve members. 

Milton Hull and Edward Cowles were the first 
Deacons ordained in the Church. They worshiped 
in the School House and Baptist Church, until, in 
1855, they commenced the erection of a Church 
edifice, which was dedicated in the spring of 1856. 
Since its organization there have been admitted to 
membership some two hundred and fifty persons. 
The piresent roll numbers sixty resident members, 
A flourishing Sabbath School, having a membership 


of over two hundred, is connected with the Church. 

The following is a list of clergymen who have 
ministered to this congregation since their organiza- 
tion: S. S. Brown, Thomas Jones, L. F. Waldo, N. 
H. Barnes, T. C. Hill, T. W. Jones, H. Cherry, E. 
H. Rice, D. W. Comstock, E. F. Strickland, H. H. 
Morgan, and. A. S. Kedzie. 

Deacon Hull is the sole resident survivor of the 
original membership. 

A Baptist Society was organized by the Rev. S. 
H. D. Vaughn in the summer of 185 1. They imme- 
diately set about building a house of worship, which 
was completed and dedicated in the following year. 
At present they have no settled pastor, and I have 
been unable to find any records of their past trans- 
actions. They have a resident membership of about 

The Universalist Church Society was organized 
by Rev. D. P. Livermore, December i8th, 1858. 

On January 5th, 1859, an election of Trustees was 
held, at which the following members were chosen: 

D. M. Heazlitt, G. S. Wilbur, Justus Gage, J. H. 
Smith, John Gage, and G. C. Jones. These in turn 
selected as officers, D. M. Heazlitt, Chairman; Jus- 
tus Gage, Clerk, and G. C. Jones, Treasurer. 

Five days afterward it was resolved "to raise 
three thousand dollars by subscription for the pur- 
pose of building a house of worship," which was 
done, and the building completed the same year. 
The present value of the Church property is five 
thousand dollars. 

In connection with the Church is a prosperous 


Sabbath School, having sevent3^-five scholars in at- 
tendance. P. D. Beckwith has occupied the Super- 
intendent's chair for ten successive years. 

The following is a list of ministers employed since 
the organization: A. G. Hibbard, J. Straub, A. W. 
Bruce, Asa Countryman, H. Hersey, G. W. Har- 
mon, J. S. Fall, and H. Slade. 

Revs. Hargrave, Chaplin, Gage, and others have 
served as supplies during temporary vacancies. 
Justus Gage acted as Clerk until his death, in 1875. 

The first secret society of which there is any 
record, was the Dowagiac Lodge, No. 57, I. O. of 
O. F., which w^as instituted September 12th, 185 1, 
by Gr. B. Turner, Deputy Grand Master, assisted by 
H. Tietsort, A Wood, D. A. Clews, and S. V. 
Tietsort, of Cass County Lodge, No. 21. The 
charter members were J. W. Maitland, W. G. 
Wiley, E. Ballengee, D. H. Wagner, E. A. Allen, 
C. A. Mills, K. B. Miller, and M. L. Pond. The 
first officers were: 

J. W. Maitland, N. G. 

W. G. Wiley, V. G. 

K. B. Miller, Secretary. 

E. Ballengee, Treasurer. 

D. H. Wagner, Warden. 

M. L. Pond, Conductor. 

The present officers are: 

Thomas Henwood, N. G. 

G. W. Denyes, V. G. 

G. B. Crawford, Secretary. 

R. Watson, Treasurer. 

T. J. Rice, Permanent Secretary. 


The present number of members is sixty. The 
Lodge owns the hall which it occupies, which, with 
the regalia, etc., is valued at one thousand five hun- 
dred dollars. 

Olive Wreath Encampment, No. 50, was insti- 
tuted April 13th, 1871, by D. G. Palmer, G. P., and 
F. S. Day, G. S., assisted by J. H. Hollenbeck, J, 
McKinney, and others, of Monitor Encampment, of 
Lawton. The charter members were H. Michael, 
B. E. Coon, R. H. Wiley, J. H. CuUom, N. B. 
Crawford, W. O. Van Hise, and W. H. Debolt. 
The first officers were: 

H. Michael, C. P. 

R. H. Wiley, H. P. 

N. B. Crawford, S. W. 

J. H. Cullom, Scribe. 

W. O. Van Hise, Treasurer. 

B. E. Coon, J. W. 
W. H. Debolt, J. S. 
The present officers are: 

C. H. Brownell, C. P. 
T. J. Rice, H. P. 

A. E. Bacon, S. W. 

H. Michael, Scribe. 

R. Watson, Treasurer. 

H. W. Snider, J. W. 

W. W. Bates, J. S. 

The present membership is twenty-two. The 
meetings are held in the Subordinate Lodge room. 

Dowagiac Lodge, No. 10, F. and A. M., was 
organized January nth, 1855, with the following 
officers : 


A. M. Worden, M. 

George Shrackenhast, S. W. 

E. H. Foster, J. W. 

D. H. Wagner, Secretary. 

S. M. Spencer, Treasurer. 

Dickson, S. D. 

P. B. Holmes, J. D, 

No Tiler elected. 

The number of members at the time of organiza- 
tion cannot be ascertained. The officers for 1875 
were : 

A. H. Mason, M. 

D. McOmbcr, S. W. 

Thomas Keatley, J. W. 

S. C. Doolittle, S, D, 

M. S. Snyder, J. D. 

Enos Chappell, Secretary. 

C. B. Northrup, Tiler. 

The present membership is between eighty and 
ninety. The)^ rent a lodge room. 

Key Stone Chapter, No. 36, R. A. M., was 
organized, under a Dispensation, November 12 th, 
1864, with 

I, A. Shingledecker, H. P. 

James M. Spencer, K. 

Hubbell Warner, Scribe. 

A. N. Alward, C. H. 

Henry Tietsort, P. S. 

William Houser, R. A C. 

Joel Andrews, M. 3rd V. 

D, C. Marsh, M. 2nd V. 
H. C. Parker, M. ist V. 
A. N. Alward, Sentinel, 


The first regular meeting, under a charter, was in 
February, 1865. The present officers are: 

D. W. Clemmer, H, P. 
Arthur Smith, K. 
Thomas Rix, Scribe. 

A. H. Mason, Treasurer. 
Charles Starrett, C. H. 
O. M. Sherwood, P. S. 
T. J. Edwards, R. A. C. 

C. L, Sherwood, M. 3rd V. 

E. O, Adams, M. 2nd V. 

D. Henderson, M. ist V. 
L. S. Henderson, Sentinel. 

The present membership is fifty-six and, in com- 
mon with the Peninsular Lodge, they own propert}' 
to the amount of four thousand dollars. 

Peninsular Lodge, No. 214, F. and A. M., was 
organized November 19th, 1866, with ten charter 
members. The first officers were : 

Arthur Smith, M. 

E. O. Adams, S. W. 
Thomas Shidler, J. W. 
Ambrose Thomas, Treasurer. 
Charles Fletcher, Secretary. 
D. W. Clemmer, S. D. 

C. R. Miller, J. D. 
A. H. Reed, Tiler. 
The present officers are: 
O. M. Sherwood, M. 

T. J. Edwards, S. W. 
S. H. Lee, J. W. 

D. W. Clemmer, Treasurer. 


B. L. Dewey, Secretary. 
John Crawford, S. D. 
E. Gale, J. D. 

L. S. Henderson, Tiler. 
With a membership of sixty-eight. 
Dowagiac Council, No. 28, was organized Janu- 
ary 17th, 1870, with 

Rev. J. Boyinton, T. I. G. M. 
E. T. Avery, Deputy T. I. G. M. 
D. W. Clemmer, P. C. O. W. 
R. C. Osborn, Treasurer. 

C. L. Sherwood, Recorder. 
George Miller, C. O. G. 
Charles Starrett, C. O. W. 
A. H. Reed, Sentinel. 

They now have twenty-nine members. 

The Ladies' Library Association was organized 
in April, 1872. It is a chartered corporation of 
about two hundred members, has a well furnished 
room, which is open one day in each week. The 
library contains about six hundred volumes, valued 
at two thousand dollars. The books are freely used 
by the members, but a rental of ten cents per week 
is charged to outsiders. The membership fee is one 
dollar, and annual tax the same. 

The officers are appointed by a Board of Di- 
rectors, who, in turn, are elected by the Association 
for three years.' The present officers are: 

Mrs. Willis Farr, President. 

Mrs. F. J. Atwell, Vice President. 

Mrs. C. J. Greenleaf, Secretary. 

Mrs. C. L. Sherwood, Treasurer. 


Some of the leading business enterprises of Dowa- 
giac are deserving of more than a passing mention. 
Conspicuous among these is the Stove and Seed 
Drill Manufactory of P. D. Beckv^ith. 

In 1854 Mr. Beckwith bought out a small machine 
shop and furnace of one Davis, which he enlarged 
into a general jobbing shop and operated it so suc- 
cessfully that, four years afterward, he was able to 
build a new one, on the bank of the creek. Here 
he commenced the manufacture of the '' Roller 

To John S. Gage, of Wayne, belongs the credit of 
the invention of this very popular agricultural 
implement. It was suggested to him by hearing an 
Englishman explain the process, in use in some parts 
of England, of dibbling in wheat by hand, which 
method largely increased the yield. 

Mr. Gage, readily comprehending the advantage 
of this manner of planting, set his wits to work to 
devise a machine that should accomplish the same 
thing. The result is the Roller Drill '' consisting of 
a series oi V shaped rollers, that make a furrow in 
which the wheat is planted, followed by a series of 
fpllowers that cover the grain." 

Mr. Beckwith has materially improved it in many 
parts until it is as nearly perfect as any machinery 
now used on the farm. One hundred have been 
manufactured annually for a number of years and 
may be found in every wheat growing State in the 

It is the only drill of like character manufactured 
in the United States and, strange to say, the patent 


upon which it is based has never been infringed. 

In 1867 the present commodious estabhsh* 
ment was completed, and Mr. Beckwith added 
to his business the manufacture of heavy iron 
heating stoves of his own invention which are 
growing in popularity and rapidly coming into 
general use. 

The Basket Factory of Jones, Gibbs & Co. is a 
mammoth institution of its kind, employing from 
thirty to forty hands. They make use of forty- 
seven separate patents in the manufacture of stave 

Colby's Mills ship over twenty thousand barrels of 
flour annually to non-wheat growing regions, and, 
with several other business features of the village, 
might be profitably described at length did space 

The Shoe Drill Works occupy the shop on the 
creek formerly owned by Mr. Beckwith. The 
works are superintended by Mr. Tuttle, the patentee 
of this popular drill. The firm of Warner & Tuttle 
also manufacture Cullom's plaster sower and do a 
general jobbing business. 

In 1856 H. B. Denman opened the first banking 
office in the village, and in 1865 organized the pre- 
sent First National Bank, with a capital stock of 
fifty thousand dollars. He remained until 1869, 
when a controlling interest in the last named institu- 
tion was purchased by the Lyle Brothers and others^ 
who are its present managers. 

C. T. Lee commenced to do a brokerage business 
in 1867, and in November, 1875, opened an exchange 


bank, in one of the most elegant banking rooms to 
be found in the State. 

Below will be found a partial statement of the 
mercantile business for last year. Some lines are 
omitted at the request of parties interested, and some 
from the lack of trustworthy statistics: 


Dry Goods and Clothing, $75,000 






1 1 ,000 





Boots and Shoes, 






Photograph Gallery, 



Colby's Mills, 



Basket Factory, 


Planing Mills, 



Saw Mill and Handle Factory, 



Marble Yard, 



Livery Stables, 

Stove and Drill Works, 

Drill and Plaster Sower Works, 



This Society was organized in 1850 or 1851, the 
exact date of which I have been unable to deter- 
mine as the records of its early doings are not to be 
found* The second annual meeting, according to 
the NaUoftal Democrat^ was held in Cassopolis, 
March 1st, 1852. At this meeting Justus Gage was 
elected President; Joseph Smith, Treasurer; G. B. 
Turner, Secretary, and D. M/ Howell, Correspond- 
ing Secretary* 

For a number of years they held fairs on Samuel 
Graham's land, and in 1857 bought of Andrew 
Woods ten acres of land for a fair ground where the 
Air Line depot now stands. With the advent of 
the Peninsular Railroad, which ran through the 
grounds, a sale became necessary, the purchaser 
being S. T. Read. A new ground was bought of 
C. H. Kingsbury, since known as the Chicago pro- 
perty, but they had hardly got settled in their new 
quarters when the Air Line Railroad came through 
necessitating another change, and in May, 187 1, 


they bought the present tract of twenty acres of 
land for three thousand dollars, of Samuel Graham. 
The changes have been a sad detriment to the 
financial condition of the Society, as they were each 
time made at a loss, and a consequent depression 
that almost invariably follows anything that gets on 
the downward grade, however meritorious it may 
be of itself or important to the general welfare of 
the public. The grounds and buildings are valued 
at four thousand dollars. The present oifficers are: 
J. Boyd Thomas, President; Hiram Hadsell, Treas- 
urer, and Charles L. Morton, Secretary, with a 
director from each Township in the County. 


The first company raised for the suppression of 
the rebelHon was organized on the i8th day of May, 
1 86 1, at Dowagiac, and was the twenty-seventh 
company organized in the State. It was composed 
of one hundred men, with the following officers: D. 
McOmber, Captain; WiUiam R. S. Townsend, First 
Lieutenant; N. H. DeFoe, Second Lieutenant: and 
Luman Roberts, Orderly Sergeant. They remained 
in Barracks at Dowagiac six weeks, and were as- 
signed to the Fourth Regiment of Infantry, then 
organizing at Adrain, but soon after were changed 
to the Sixth Regiment, and ordered to report at 
Kalamazoo ; and immediately afterward the privates 
were ordered to disband and the officers be sent to a 
military school at Detroit. 

Both these orders the company protested against, 
and sent R. C. Dennison and Lieutenant Townsend 
to Governor Blair to get him to recind them, which 
was of no avail. 


At the start the company was enHsted for three 
months, but when informed that no more men were 
wanted for that length of time, every man put his 
name down for three years. 

When the Governor refused to grant their peti- 
tion, they in turn refused to comply with his require- 
ments, and were disbanded, with the understanding 
that they should come together at the call of their 

About the middle of June, the officers made an 
arrangement for the acceptance of the company into 
the Douglas Brigade, then forming at Chicago, 
when they were called together, and by a unanimous 
vote resolved to go. Upon an application to the 
Governor they were refused transportation, but the 
citizens clubbed together and furnished teams and 
wagons by which the boys were carried to Berrien 
Springs, from whence they were transported in 

On their arrival at Chicago, they found neither 
regiment or brigade, but a full line of officers that 
were working to get a regiment accepted, who in- 
formed them that they could stay at the public 
expense or go home, subject to call, and it being 
near haying and harvesting, after remaining three 
days, they returned home. 

Immediately after the first Bull Run defeat, the 
Douglas Brigade was accepted, and the company 
called together and mustered into the United States 
service at Dowagiac on the 26th of July, by Captain 
Webb, United States mustering officer, as Company 
E of the Forty-second Regiment of Illinois Volun- 


teers, and went to Chicago the same evening, where 
they remained ten weeks, during which time McOm- 
ber, through the intrigue of Townsend, was super- 
seded by D. W. Norton, of Chicago, as Captain. 

From Chicago the Company went to St. Louis 
and joined Fremont's army, and took part in his 
Springfield campaign. 

In the spring of 1862, they took part in the cap- 
ture of Island Number Ten. From thence they 
went to Corinth and Covington, under Grant, and 
participated in the battle of Chickamauga, where 
they lost a number of their men. They also partici- 
pated in the siege of Chattanooga, Lookout Moun- 
tain, Mission Ridge, and from thence to Knoxville, 
under Sherman, where they re-enlisted as veterans. 

In 1864 they went through to Atlanta with Sher- 
man, and returned to Nashville under Thomas, and 
participated in the battle of that place. 

In 1865 they went to Texas and remained until 

Among those that arose from the ranks to that of 
commissioned officers were: E. Hurson, to First 
Lieutentant; William Clark, to the same rank; 
Leonard Norton, to that of Captain; William H. 
Colburn, to the same; and Charles Munger, to that 
of First Lieutenant. 

I have followed this Company somewhat in detail 
through its various campaigns, to give some general 
idea of the part they took in the war, and as the ex- 
periences of the others were much the same, and 
the limited space I have to devote to the subject, is 
the only apology for not treating them all in full. 


The next Company was that of D, in the 
Michigan Sixth, organized at Dowagiac, with 
Charles E. Clark as Captain; Frederick Clark and 
James Ellis, First and Second Lieutenants, and 
William H, Gage, Orderly Sergeant. Of these 
Captain Clark arose to the position of Colonel; Ellis 
to Captain, and Gage to Lieutenant. Frederick 
Clark was killed on the Mississippi River at Port 
Hudson, and W. W. Mcllvain was promoted from 
the position of Corporal to the rank of First Lieut- 
enant. At the time of organization the officers of 
the regiment were sent to Detroit to a military 
school where they remained under instruction six 

In August, 1 861, the regiment was sent to Balti- 
more and remained six months guarding the city; 
from thence they went to Virginia where they 
remained but a short time, and then were sent to 
Ship Island, in the Gulf of Mexico, where they were 
drilled thirty days. Their first active service was in 
taking the forts at the mouth of the Mississippi 
River, and to this regiment belongs the credit of es- 
corting the National colors into New Orleans. From 
this point they went to Baton Rouge, from thence 
to Vicksburg and re-enlisted as veterans at Port 
Hudson. They remained in the South during the 
entire war and were sent back to Kalamazoo to 

The third was Company A, of the Michigan 
Twelfth, organized at Niles, with Joseph Harper as 
Captain; William Van Riper and M. M. McClellen, 
First and Second Lieutenants, in the spring of 1 862. 


Their first move was to Pittsburg Landing, from 
thence to Boliver, Tenn., where they were employed 
in guarding the railroad for some time, then they 
were sent to Vicksburg, after its surrender, and 
from thence to Arkansas, where they stayed through 
the remainder of the war. Among those that arose 
from the ranks to that of commissioned officers from 
this County, were William Stevens and Robert Fox. 

Company M, of Michigan First Cavalry, organized 
at Detroit, by Colonel Broadhead, went from this 
County with R. C. Dennison, Captain; Charles 
Sprague and William M. Heazlitt, First and Second 
Lieutenants, and D. W. Clemmer, Orderl}^ Sergeant. 
William M. Heazlitt was promoted to the position 
of Major, as was also D. W. Clemmer; S. G. Morse 
to that of Second Lieutenant, and was killed at the 
second Bull Run; R. N. Van Atter to Second Lieut- 
enant ; Albert Vincent to the same rank, and died in 
prison at Andersonville ; P. T. Bently to the same 
rank, and was killed at Thoroughfare Gap; James 
McElheney to the same rank, and was killed at 
Gettysburg; John H. Simmons to the rank of First 
Lieutenant, and the following to that of Second 
Lieutenants: L. C. Roberts, L. D. T. Poor, H. B. 
Babcock and C. B. Bateman. The regiment served 
nearly through the entire war in Virginia, and at 
the close was sent to Texas. 

Company A, of the Ninth Michigan, which was 
organized at Dowagiac in Septemper, 1862, with 
Joel H. Smith as Captain; George Shaffer, First 
and Reuben Larzelere^ Second Lieutenants, and I. Z. 


Edwards, Orderly Sergeant. Their first war ex- 
perience was at Gravel Pit, on the Ohio River, 
where the regiment was stationed to protect the 
country from Morgan's raids, which, at that time, 
were becoming too numerous for the comfort of the 

From here they went to Covington Ky., where 
they were brigaded with Indiana and Wisconsin 
troops, and immediately marched into the interior, 
arriving at Lexington in the latter part of the year. 
In January, 1863, they were ordered to Nashville, 
Tennessee, where they were re-armed with Enfield 
rifles. The regiment remained in Tennessee until 
Sherman's celebrated ''march to the sea," in which 
they participated. George Shaffer was promoted 
from a Lieutenant to that of Colonel, and I. Z. 
Edwards, H. J. Ohls, William Kirkwood and 
William Slipper, to that of Second Lieutenant. 

About one-half of Company M, of the Fourth 
Michigan Cavalry, was raised in this County, under 
Captain Plimpton, of Niles, and Lieutenant Beals, of 
Dowagiac. The laurels this regiment won, in the 
capture of Jeff'. Davis, will be remembered as long as 
the memory of the rebellion lasts, and to the credit of 
Cass County, it is to be said, that some of her men 
participated in the actual capture. 

Company L of the Ninth Michigan Cavalry, or- 
ganized at Coldwater, was made up largely of Cass 
County men, under Captain George Miller, Lieuten- 
ants E. M. Watson and I. B. Riford, and William 
Butler, Orderly Sergeant. Watson arose to the 
rank of Captain, and was killed at Resacka, Henry 


L. Barney from First Duty Sergeant to that of 
Lieutenant of Company C of the One Hundred and 
Seventeenth Regiment U. S. C. T., and commanded 
Company K from its organization, in September, 
1864, until the ist of January, 1865, when he was 
placed on the staff of General Weitzel, of the Twen- 
ty-fifth Army Corps, where he remained until the 
8th of July, when he resigned and came home. 

Besides the companies mentioned, which were 
raised wholly or in part in this County, many men 
enlisted in companies out of the County and State. 
Among them were many in the Third Michigan 
Cavalry, in which Moral Wills arose to the rank of 

Company I, of U. S. Sharpshooters, had about 
twenty-five men from this County, from which W. 
H. George was promoted to the rank of Major and 
C. W. Thorp to a Lieutenancy. 

Samuel Ingling received a silver medal as the best 
marksman in the Regiment, and a gold medal for 
the best string shooting in the Bridage. The silver 
medal was struck by a buckshot, while in his fob 
pocket, and saved his life. 

These comprise all the regular companies organ- 
ized in the County, but, as before stated, many men 
enlisted outside the limits, of which there is no 
available record, and, consequently, no credit can be 
given to the County. In order to get the informa- 
tion as correct as possible I made application to the 
Adjutant General's office, at Detroit, for the required 
data, but was informed that their books did not 


show the part each county performed in this im- 
portant contest, and the sole reHance was on such 
information as could be gained from the participants. 
If any have been overlooked, or not given proper 
credit, it is from a want ot proper information and 
not intentional. 

It is estimated upon good authority, that this 
County furnished at least five hundred men, and had 
they all been enlisted at home, and a proper credit 
given, no draft to fill vacancies would have been 



Uzziel Putnam, Sr., the first white settler of Cass 
County, was born in Wardsborough, Vermont, 
March 17th, 1793, when three years old his parents 
moved to Oneida Cdunty, New York, and again in 
rive 3^ears afterward moved to New Salem, Massa- 
chusetts, where they remained until 1806, when they 
removed back to Jefferson County, New York. 

In the fall of 181 1 they came to Detroit, where 
they remained during the winter of 181 1 and 
18 1 2, in the spring going to what is now 
Sandusky City, Ohio. On the 19th of October, 
1812, young Putnam entered the United States ser- 
vice as teamster, enlisting for three months, but 
continued in the service until after the defeat of 
General Winchester, when he was discharged and 
paid. He afterward received a land warrant in 
addition for his services. 

In 1822 he was married to Anna Chapman, of 
Sandusky County, Ohio, and on the 7th day of May, 
1825, started for Michigan in company with Abram 

Townsend and Israel Markam, 


Putnam obtained his first information of the St. 
Joseph Country from an Indian trader, named Parker, 
who had been here previous, but having some 
trouble with the Indians, had to leave. They fol- 
lowed up the Sandusky River to the mouth of 
Nigger Creek, from thence they crossed over the 
country to the St. Mary's River, which, at this 
time, was very high from long continued rains mak- 
ing it impossible to proceed farther with the loaded 
team. A council was held and they determined to 
build a boat, which was done by the party with the 
assistance of an Indian, the material used was elm 
bark, when completed and launched on the river, it 
was loaded with all the luggage of the wagon, 
except what was absolutely necessary for the use of 
the family, and floated down the river to Fort 
Wayne, by Townsend and Markam, while Putnam 
and family came on with the team, arriving some 
time after the boatmen. 

Owing to bad roads the oxen had become foot-sore 
and a rest was made necessary. While the other 
two took the boat and went down the Maumee to 
Toledo, and from thence home, Putnam went to 
work to earn another yoke of cattle, which he had 
accomplished on the 9th of August. Not hearing 
anything from his companions since their leaving he 
determined to push out alone, but had proceeded 
only about one mile when he was overtaken by 
Townsend. The two came on together to Covert's 
Creek, in the south part of this County, where they 
cut and put up thirty tons of hay. While Putnam 
returned to Fort Wayne for his famil}^ Townsend 


came on to Pokagon and cut twenty tons more hay. 

On the 25th of October Putnam and family had 
got back as far as Covert's Creek, where he camped 
all night, on getting up from breakfast next morning 
not an ox could be seen, and for five da3'S he 
searched the woods but no trace ' of the straying* 
cattle could be found. On the 2nd of November he 
Started back having previously sent word to Kirk to 
come and get his family. When within twenty-five 
miles of Fort Wayne he found his cattle, and not 
liking to lose his time he bought another wagon and 
loaded it with sixteen bushels of corn, a barrel of 
flour, a large iron kettle, and when ready to start 
Judge Hanna induced him to take in addition about 
three hundred pounds of Indian goods to Coquillard, 
at South Bend. On getting back to Covert's Creek 
he found their hay all burned except one stack of 
about four tons. The next day he arrived at Kirk's, 
where his family were staying, and on the 22nd of 
November he moved on to his land in Pokagon, 
where he has resided ever since. 

His first cabin was built of small poles and covered 
with bark, in which he lived until the following 
January, by which time he had completed a cabin of 
more comfortable dimensions. The first work on 
arriving was to fence in the hay to protect it from 
the stock, and the next to build the cabin referred too. 
Markam remained and assisted in the work about 
two weeks, when he left for Ypsilanti on a trapping 
tour. At this time there was no trail, nor anything 
to mark the way in that direction, but on consulting 
with an Indian as to the route he received a correct 


chart on a piece of elm bark, which he was enabled 
to follow through the trackless wilderness. 

When Mr. Putnam left Kirk's for his new home 
he bought of John Lybrook a hog weighing one 
hundred and eleven pounds, which was the principal 
meat for the winter Hominy was the leading 
article of diet, a part of which was pounded in an 
iron mortar. During the first winter one oi the 
oxen bought at Fort Wayne died, furnishing an 
ample supply of wolf bait, and thirteen of these 
animals were captured, by Putnam and Baldwin 

In the spring work commenced in good earnest; 
about the middle of March a young man named 
Duckett arrived from Ohio and was employed to 
assist in opening up the nevv^ farm. On the 2nd day 
of April they commenced making rails, and in one 
month had forty acres of land fenced and the break- 
ing plow started. On the 14th of Maj' they com- 
menced putting in the crop of corn by dropping in 
every third furrow. The plow share was sharpened 
on a small grind stone which had been brought along, 
as there was no blacksmith nearer than Fort Wayne, 
except at the Mission, and this institution turned 
rather a cold shoulder on all settlers coming in, the 
accommodations they received were not the most 
cordial, although Mr. Putnam bought of them, the 
first spring after coming in, two sides of bacon, at 
eight cents per pound, and four bushels of potatoes, 
one half of which were small for seed, from which he 
raised a good crop, and, as he jovially remarks, 
''We have had potatoes ever since." Their corn 


crop also proved a good one, yielding about forty 
bushels per acre. 

Mr. Putnam and wife still reside on the old home- 
stead, in the enjoyment of all their faculties, having 
long since passed the age allotted to man. Many 
incidents of an interesting character could be related, 
in connection with their early life, did space permit. 
Uzziel Putnam, Jr., the first white child born in the 
County, is their son, he has represented the County 
in the State Legislature, and filled many other 
responsible positions. 


William Baldwin Jenkins was born in Greene 
County, Pennsylvania, October 4th, 1783. In the 
year 1799 his father moved from Pennsylvania to 
the Cumberland Valley, Tennessee, settling on Stone 
River, near the present site of Murfreesboro. His 
mother died on the route and was buried at Crab- 
apple Orchard, Kentucky. 

Leaving his famil}^ consisting of four sons, of 
whom Baldwin (the subject of this sketch) was the 
oldest, and one daughter, he returned to Pennsyl- 
vania on business, and remained all winter. During 
his absence his sons killed, and assisted in killing, 
fifty-two bears, in which the country greatly 

From here the family again emigrated, in 1804, 
to Greene County, Ohio, settling where New Bur- 
lington now stands, the father dying there in 1808. 

In 181 2 Baldwin visited his birth place, in Penn- 


sylvania, where he married Mary Hackne}', and, re- 
turning to Ohio, cleared up a large farm in the 
heavy timber, and built a saw mill and flouring mill. 
Having heard from the Indian traders glowing 
accounts of the St. Joseph Valley, he determined to 
explore this region. 

In the fall of 1823, in company with live others, 
he started on the trip. On their arrival at the trad- 
ing post at Fort Wayne, his companions declined to 
go any farther into the unbroken wilderness. Tak- 
ing a pack of provisions on his back, a blanket and 
shot-gun, (the latter for the purpose of kindling fires 
more than anything else) he started alone, taking 
the direction of the Wabash River, and, following it 
down to a trading post, where the present city of 
La Fayette stands. 

' Retracing his steps to a French trading post, on 
the present site of Logansport, he struck north to- 
ward the St. Joseph River, coming to it where South 
Bend now stands, and following down the south bank 
to Carey Mission, one mile west of the present city 
of Niles. After exploring the southeastern portion 
of Berrien and the western portion of Cass Counties, 
he returned up the St. Joseph River to the mouth of 
the Elkhart, then following the course of that 
stream some distance, he took a southeasterly direc- 
tion to Fort Wayne, and from thence back home. 

In the spring of 1825, in company with Benjamin 
Potter and wife, (the latter a niece of Mrs. Jenkins) 
he set out for the new country. After many draw- 
backs and hindrences, without track or bridge, they 
arrived near the site of the present city of Niles, 


Mr. Potter settling one mile north on the road to 

Mr. Jenkins succeeded in putting in a small patch 
of corn, on what was then known as the old Indian 
fields, his only implement being a hoe. After get- 
ting in his corn, he, in company with a man named 
Coon, started down the St. Joseph River in a canoe 
to ascertain the navigability of the stream. Arriv- 
ing at the mouth on the 3d of July, the}^ celebrated 
the 4th b}'^ catching an abundance of fish. During 
the season he cultivated his patch of corn and cut a 
quantity of marsh hay, on the present site of Niles, 
near where the Central Railroad depot stands. 

In the fall he returned to Ohio, rented his prop- 
erty, and on the first day of November, with his 
family, (wife and nine children) he started for the St. 
Joseph Valley. His equipment consisted of thirty- 
six head of cattle, including three yoke of working 
oxen, five fat hogs^ a wagon, household goods, etc. 
On the loth they arrived at Fort Wayne, where he 
laid in an extra supply of provisions, and pushed 
on, arriving at Wolf Lake on the t6th. 

On the night of their arrival at this place, the 
snow fell to the depth of ten inches, in conse^ 
quence of which, in the morning, Mrs. Jenkins got 
into the wagon to ride, for the first time since start- 
ing — she insisting upon walking that more of the 
necessary articles for their wilderness home might 
be transported. 

Crossing the St. Joseph, where Elkhart now 
stands, they arrived at Squire Thompson's on the 
18th, and on the next day reached Mr. Potter's; 


and on the 2 2d day of November, arrived at their 
future home, in Pokagon, a short distance north of 
Sumnerville, going into an Indian wigv^am, where 
they Hved the first winter. This was the second 
white family within the present Hmits of Cass 
County, and had it not been for the Indian ponies 
destroying his corn, which obHged him to stop and 
harvest it, would have been the first — Mr. Putnam 
coming only two days before. At this time there 
were but nine white families (except the Mission) 
within the Hmits of Cass and Berrien Counties, two 
in the former and seven in the latter, comprising a 
population of about sixty persons. The nearest set- 
tlement was Fort Wayne, Indiana, distant one hun- 
dred miles. 

The hay which Mr. Jenkins had made in the sum- 
mer, was burned by the Indians while he was gone 
for his family, leaving nothing on which to winter 
his cattle, but meeting one of the Markam's, who 
wished to move out in the spring, he made an ar- 
rangement with him to take his work cattle back to 
Ohio and winter them, using them to come back 
with in the spring. For the remainder of his stock 
he succeeded in getting some hay of Mr. Putnam, 
and, by felling timber for them to browse on, the 
most of them lived through the winter, but were so 
thin in the spring that they could hardly stand 

The effect of poor keeping seriousl}' retarded the 
spring's work, the cattle being in such weak condi- 
tion that nothing could be done until grass came in 
sufficient quantity for them to live upon, and even 


then it was necessary for the settlers to double 
teams to do the work, consequently but half the 
amount of land could be brought under cultivation 
in the season that they would have been enabled to 
if their teams had been well fed. 

During the first winter, Mr. Jenkins carried all 
the grain for their breadstuft^ on his back to the 
Mission, a distance of nine miles, and ground it on a 
hand mill, with the exception of what was pounded 
at home in a wooden mortar. Part of the time the 
snow was two feet deep, without a broken path, 
and required two days to make the trip. 

After the first year they succeeded finely, the in- 
coming immigration furnishing a ready home 
market for their surplus productions. Mr. Jenkins' 
house was a synonym for hospitality of almost 
worldwide reputation, nearly every settler coming 
in making it a temporary stopping place while look- 
ing at the country; and after the country became 
somewhat settled, their market being at the mouth 
of the river, and his house at the only bridge on the 
Dowagiac Creek, it became a general stopping 
place. Many times the barn-yard would be filled 
with wagons and the barn with teams, for which he 
would not receive any compensation except the 
gratitude of his guests, which, to a generous heart 
like his, was ample. 

Mr. Jenkins was a man of uncommon intellectual 
power, though his abilities had never been cultivated 
b}' any systematic training. He had a most re- 
markable memory, and was perfectly at home on 
almost any local historical subject that could be 


mentioned. He kept a complete diary of events in 
his mind, and could at any time recall the state of 
the weather and the work which had occupied his 
time on the day of the month, live, ten, or twenty 
years previous. He could tell the name and age of 
every man, woman and child in the neighborhood. 
He was the first Justice of the Peace in Cass Count}^ 
and one of the first County Judges, appointed under 
the Territorial law. He was a member of the Con- 
vention that Iramed the first State Constitution. 
He owned large tracts of land in Cass and Berrien 
Counties, and, for a man of his generous disposition, 
accumulated and left to his children a goodly com- 
petence. He died at the house of his daughter 
(Mrs. Isaac Murphy) in Berrien Center, in 1847, 
respected and mourned by every one that knew him. 
Of his family one son lives in Oregon; one son and 
two daughters in Berrien County, and his oldest son 
John lives in Jasper County, Indiana, to whom I am 
indebted for the foregoing sketch of his father and 
many other incidents in connection with the early 
history of the western part of Cass County. 


Squire Thompson was the pioneer farmer of the 
St. Joseph Valley, a Virginian by birth, but for a 
number of years previous to coming to Michigan a 
resident of Ohio. He came to Michigan in 1823 
and chose a location on the St. Joseph River, a short 
distance above Niles, and put out a crop of corn in 
the spring of that year. 


While preparing to plant his crop he was visited 
by a number of Indians who were undoubtedly 
instigated by the people of the Mission, who were 
unfriendly toward any farther settlement by white 
people. The Indians tried to intimidate him by 
telling him that they did not wish him to plant corn, 
as their ponies would break over and destroy it, 
which would make trouble. Mr. Thompson, after 
some parley, in which the various treaties by which 
the Indians had ceded the lands was discussed, coolly 
told them that he '^ would raise corn or die.'" At 
this they gave a grunt and saying "much brave, '^ 
paddled across the river in their canoes. 

In the fall he returned to Ohio for his family and 
on his return found that his crop had been destroyed 
by some evil disposed Indians. Such a man, how- 
ever, was not easily discouraged. He soon built a 
cabin for his family, consisting of a wife and two 
children, and brought food for the winter from 
Indiana. In the spring of 1826 he moved to this 
County, settling north of Sumnerville, where he 
lived until he moved to California, where he died in 
1850, in the sixty-sixth year of his age. 


John L3^brook was born in Giles County, Virginia, 
in October, 1798. In 18 11 his parents moved to 
Preble County, Ohio, where John remained until 
1823, when he came to Michigan, arriving in Decem- 
ber. He came to assist Squire Thompson in mov- 
ing, and, when first starting, only intended to go 


fifty or sixty mileSj or until he was fairly on the way, 
but as circumstances seemed to demand his assistance 
the entire distance, he came along, and then assisted 
in putting up a house and getting things in shape for 
the winter, then fairly upon them. 

At the time of starting he had but a single suit of 
clothes, and that of rather light material, as the sea- 
son was not yet far enough advanced to require 
heavy clothing. Before his return to civilization his 
clothes had been torn, and patched, in every con- 
ceivable manner. 

On the last day of December he started back to 
Ohio on foot, accompanied by a young man named 
Eaton. The first night they encamped near where 
Mishawaka now stands, the snow was falling very 
fast and continued until it was knee deep. On the 
next night they encamped on the Elkhart and on the 
next they fell in with some Indians with whom they 
traveled until reaching Blue River. In the mean- 
time Eaton had frozen his feet so badly that he had 
to be left with the Indians, while Lybrook pushed on 
to Fort Wayne and procured assistance to go back 
after him. After enduring many hardships from 
hunger and exposere he reached home. 

At this time wages were from five to seven 
dollars per month, but Mr. Lybrook being an expert 
hewer could by hard work earn fifty cents a day. 
Previous to his leaving with Thompson he had 
taken quite a heavy contract for getting out timber 
with the expectation of being gone but a few days 
and much to his surprise, after so long an absence, 
found that the job was still open. 


In the fall of 1824 he came out with quite a stock of 
cattle, having made an arrangement with Thomp- 
son, the previous summer, to prepare feed for 

In the spring of 1825 he planted eleven acres in 
corn on what was known as the Indian fields, 
below Niles. This land had to be grubbed and 
fenced, as the Indian system of improvement was 
ver}^ imperfect, they preferring to cultivate around 
grubs to digging them out and guarding the grow- 
ing crops from stock, to making rails and fencing. 

After the corn was planted he returned to Ohio 
with a 3^oke of oxen hitched to the back wheels of a 
lumber wagon, and among other things brought back 
w^as a barrel of wheat, which he sowed that fall and 
which was probably the first sown in Southwestern 
Michigan. The grain was harvested the next 4th of 
July and yielded between thirty-five and forty 
bushels per acre. 

In passing through Fort Wa}^ne Mr. Lybrook 
had noticed a pair of hand burr stones thrown one 
side, and after raising a crop it was found necessary 
to procure some way of grinding it. In December 
he went back and bought them for seven dollars. 
They were afterward owned by Squire Thompson 
and quite generally known and used throughout the 
country for many miles around. 

In the spring of 1825 he bought a grindstone in 
Detroit for one dollar, which was shipped around 
the lakes, and the scarcity of this important article 
may be imagined when we are informed that men 
came a distance of forty miles to grind on this stone 


His broad ax was also lent frequently to men twenty 
miles away and in one instance to a man on Pigeon 
Prairie where, it not being returned, he had to go 
after it himself. 

In the spring of 1828 Mr. Lybrook moved on to 
his present farm, on La Grange Prairie, where he 
has resided ever since. He had the previous year, 
in looking over the country, selected this land and 
set some stakes to mark the location, but when com- 
ing on in the spring found it occupied by a man 
named Kavanaugh, who had already made some 
improvements, and it took one hundred dollars to 
liquidate his claim. 

Mr. Lybrook has for many years been a hopeless 
cripple but otherwise is in the enjoyment of all 
his faculties. 


Hon. George Meacham, the subject of this sketch, 
was born in Oneida County, New York, in 1799. 
While quite young his parents moved to Jefferson 
County, where George remained until coming to 

In September, 1826, he embarked on a small 
schooner at Sackett's Harbor, bound for Rochester, 
where he arrived the next day, from thence taking 
a canal boat to Buffalo, where he took passage on 
the steamboat Superior, bound for Detroit, arriving 
on the 2 2d of that month. 

On the 23d he left Detroit for Pontiac, on the 
stage, where he arrived next day in time for dinner, 


distance twenty-four miles. From Pontiac he went 
to Ann Arbor, where he remained until the ist of 
April, 1828, when, in company with his brother, 
Sylvester Meacham, George Crawford, and Chester 
Sage, he started for the West. 

Their outfit consisted of three yoke of cattle, a 
heavy lumber wagon, a supply of provisions, ammu- 
nition, a plow, and camp equipage. They arrived 
at Beardsley's Prairie on the i ith of the same month. 
The only inhabitant living in the south part of the 
County at that time was Ezra Beardsley, whose 
cabin was located on the south bank of Pleasant 
Lake, near where Dr. Sweetland now lives. 

The location of a cabin was the first thing to be 
determined upon by the party, and as there was 
some difference of opinion, it was decided by throw- 
ing a chip in the air, with the well known exclama- 
tion of ''wet or dry." Mr. M. remarks that this 
was his first as well as his last gambling. 

Their cabin was known far and v/ide as '^ Bach- 
elor's Hall," and was a general stopping place for 
explorers looking at the country. At such times a 
"• field bed," or " shake-down," was made that would 
extend across the entire room in front of the tire. 

On one of these occasions, when a considerable 
company were sleeping as described, a pig that had 
been given to Sylvester by Mr. Beardsley when only 
one day old, and had been brought up in the chim- 
ney corner — his pigship assuming a place in the 
hearth that had become hollowed out by sweeping — 
finding it rather cool toward morning, began to look 
around for more comfortable quarters, nosing his 


way under the blankets, he located himself between 
Mr. Sage's arm and body, expressing his satisfaction 
at the same time by a contented grunt, but he had 
hardly got settled when Mr. S. awoke, and, taking 
him by the leg, threw him against the wall accom- 
panying the action with epithets that were more 
expressive than elegant, saying that it was '' bad 
enough to lay on logs without sleeping with hogs.'' 

After getting their cabin erected they commenced 
breaking up the prairie, which required an occasional 
visit to the blacksmith shop to get the share sharp- 
ened. The nearest shop at that time was Israel 
Markam's on Pokagon Prairie, a distance of ten 
miles, and the conveyance a man's shoulder. 

It was the original design of the company to trade 
with the Indians — not supposing that the country 
would be settled in their day — and only to raise 
grain enough for their own use, and to keep a team, 
which they would need in the transportion of their 
goods, but, soon finding the country settling up 
rapidly, the Indian project was abandoned, the 
Meachams settling down to agriculture, and Craw- 
ford and Sage removing to Elkhart where they built 
a mill. 

On the 6th of October George was married to 
Catherine Rhinehart and the following is an inven- 
tory of his outfit which Mr. Meacham takes great 
pride in detailing: " One cow that gave rather poor 
milk, (but not much of it), an iron bake kettle, one 
skillet, one coffee pot, six cups and saucers, two 
stools and a long bench, and bedsteads manufactured 
by myself. Our fire-place was quite an elaborate 


atfair built of stone laid up in clay mortar with two 
blocks of wood for andirons, and a clap-board fire 
shovel. For light we had one six hght window 
with seven b}^ nine glass, the sash made by myself 
with an ax and jack knife. The floor of our house 
was made of split puncheon and the roof of clap- 
boards. In summer I went bare-foot and in winter 
wore moccasins and sometimes shoes or boots. My 
pants were faced behind and before with dressed 
deerskin to make them durable." 

In 1836 Mr. Meacham moved from his first loca- 
tion to Baldwin's Prairie, where he has lived ever 
since. He was the first Sherifi' of the County, 
which office he held about t(vo years, and while 
acting in that capacit}^ summoned the first grand 
and petit juries, a part of which were drawn from 
the village of St. Joseph, then within the bounds of 
the Count}^ At that time, to be a qualified juror, a 
man must have paid a tax of at least fifty cents, and 
it took about all the qualified men in the County to 
fill the quota. 

Mr. Meacham has served the people of the County 
twice in the Legislature and in numerous other 
responsible positions, he is universally esteemed for 
his many good qualities and Christian virtues 
wherever known. 


Isaac Shurte was born near Pearson's Mills, New 
York, July nth, 1798. When one year old his 
parents moved to^ Sussex County, New Jersey, 

— 20 


where he lived until twenty-one years old, when he 
started for Ohio — going on foot to Pittsburg, a dis- 
tance of between five and six hundred .miles. At 
Pittsburg he bought a small skiff in which he rowed 
down the Ohio River to Cincinnatti — then a smart 
little town — from thence he went across the countr}' 
to Butler County, where he remained until Septem- 
ber, 1827, when he came to Michigan. He first 
settled at Niles, where he built a cabin, and remained 
two years, when he sold out for twenty dollars, and 
removed to La Grange, where he has resided ever 

On the way out from Ohio his children were ver\' 
sick, which, with broken wagons and mudd}' roads, 
made him feel at times almost homesick and dis- 
couraged, but with the courage that was character- 
istic of all pioneers he would push ahead. He 
brought with him, from Ohio, three yoke o( cattle, 
one pair of horses, milch cows, hogs, &c. Of the 
stock brought along he lost heavil}' the first winter 
from a lack of feed. 

The first winter he threshed wheat at the Mission, 
getting every ninth bushel as wages — at this rate he 
could earn one bushel a day. After earning the 
wheat he took it to Ford's mill to get it ground and 
then boated it over to the Mission and bolted it on a 
hand bolt belonging to that establishment. 

Mr. Shurte bought the claim for his present home- 
stead of a man named Loux, giving in exchange a 
horse, saddle and bridle. For two bushels of seed 
wheat, he traded to Israel Markam a cut of leather, 
(a strip wide enough tor two soles across a side of 


leather,) and then went seven miles to borrow a 
harrow to put it in with. The grain was sown 
among weeds and grass, and, much to his surprise, 
made an excellent crop. 

In 1830 he bought the first fanning mill use'd in 
the Township, which was manufactured by a man 
named Parker, then living near the present site of 
CassopoHs. Mr. Shurte says, ''we lived the first 
two years after coming to La Grange on corn and 
buckwheat bread, excepting wheat bread for com- 
pany and on rare occasions. The 3^arn for all our 
wear, both woolen and linen, was spun in the house, 
and for a number of years after coming to Michigan 
we did not have a cotton sheet in the house." 

In 1832 he planted an orchard, the trees for which 
were procured from a New York man named Jones, 
he had but little faith and called them ''Yankee 
trees,'' but after they came into bearing was so well 
pleased that he filled up all vacancies. 

Mr. Shurte was a captain In the Black Hawk 
(Soc) war and several times was ordered out for 
service and expected to provide himself with three 
days' rations, when it was more provisions than they 
had in the house. He has always been noted for 
keeping good stock, especially horses, of which there 
are but few better in the country. 


Orlean Putnam was born in the Town of Adams, 
Jefferson County, New York, on the 7th of May, 
1809. While an infant his parents moved to Huron 


County, Ohio, stopping at Detroit a month on the 

On the 2oth of June, 1813, he, his mother and 
eleven others were taken prisoners by the Tawas 
Indians, at the head of Colt Creek, in Huron County. 
Five of the prisoners w^ere killed at the time of cap- 
ture, and soon after two more, by knocking on the 
head with a pipe tomahawk, after which they were 
scalped and their brains knocked out against a tree. 
The Indians, sixteen in number, were under the 
leadership of a chief, named Pontiac, and at one time 
a tomahawk was raised over the boj-'s head, but 
before the blow fell the chief jumped in and pre- 
vented it, at the same time telling Putnam's mother 
to put the boy on his back and follow close in his 
footsteps, and he would protect them. 

At the time of the capture they were about three 
miles from Maumee Bay, to which point the captives 
were rapidly marched, and the whole party em- 
barked in canoes bound for a peninsula two or three 
miles distant. The peninsula was about three-fourths 
of a mile wide, across which the canoes were 
dragged — the captives being compelled to assist in 
the laborious task. 

On the opposite side of the Peninsula the Indians 
had a large dug-out (canoe) filled with sand and 
sunk in the water. This was emptied and raised, 
and with the bark canoes, furnished a conveyance to 
Maiden, whither the party proceeded. On the way 
they stopped one night at a place where the Indians 
held a "pow-wow." The captives were placed 
around a stake, and while the chief chanted and 


shook a rattle-box, the others danced around the 

On the arrival of the party at Maiden, the pris- 
oners were treated to a pan of bread and milk, and, 
after remaining a few hours, they were taken over 
to Brownstown, where Mrs. Putnam was given by 
Pontiac to a half-breed French trader, named Iron- 

Young Putnam was taken to Detroit by the chief, 
and while there, was met by Judge May, who asked 
Pontiac what he was going to do with the little boy. 
''Raise him; make chief," was the reply. The 
Judge told him that it was a friend's boy, and that 
he must send him back to his mother, and, after 
reasoning with him for some time, and working on 
his feelings, he agreed to do it, which promise he 
fulfilled; but every time Pontiac got drunk, he 
would go and want the boy back. Finally Mrs. 
Ironsides bought and paid for him thirty bottles of 
whisky, which settled the matter. 

The prisoners were kept about ten days, when they 
were treated for by a Government agent, named 
Captain Randall, and sent home in a schooner. Mr. 
Putnam was nicknamed Pontiac, by which he was 
known until grown up to manhood. For some time 
after his return from captivity he was the lion of the 
day, and received many pennies for singing and 
dancing in imitation of the Indians. 

In 1825 Mr. Putnam came to Michigan, stopping 
the first winter with his brother, Uzziel, and work- 
ing the next summer for William Kirk, near Niles. 
In the spring of 1827 he went to work for William 


Brookfield, as back chainman of a surveying party, 
which was then running the land into Townships 
between the Indiana and base line. The next sum- 
mer he assisted in sub-dividing the Townships into 
sections. While out the first 3^ear he was with the 
party when Young's Prairie was discovered, and 
was snowed in nearl)'^ two weeks while encamped on 
the bank of Diamond Lake, and thinks their party 
cut the first stick ever cvit by white men in that 

In 1832 he was again employed in surveying in 
the Grand River region. While at the mouth of 
the river, a boat came in and brought the news of 
the Black Hawk war, and about the same time their 
pack ponies strayed away, but owing to the excite- 
ment caused by the report, no one was willing to go 
into the Indian country to look for them. Finally, 
as an inducement, the Surveyor offered one dollar 
per day extra for the service, when Putnam volun- " 
teered to go. He, in company with a man named 
Stocking, followed up the Kalamazoo River to the 
mouth of the Thornapple, where they found the 
ponies. They v/ere assisted in catching them by 
some Pottawatomie Indians, who had a large village 
at this point, and at the time were much excited by 
the Black Hawk scare. 

Mr. Putnam, after coming back from the surveying 
party, stood a draft for the Soc war, but got clear; 
but a man named Godfrc}^, wiio was drafted, wish- 
ing to procure a substitute, Putnam offered to go 
for the wages if he would furnish him a horse to 
ride. This G. readil}' agreed to do; but after the 


service was concluded, he kept the horse and col- 
lected the pay also. 

On the 15th of April, 1834, he was married to 
Amelia Vanderhoof, with whom he still lives. 
They have reared quite a large family, who have 
mostly gone from home and are doing well by them- 


The subject of this sketch was born in Danbury, 
Connecticut, August 12th, 1806. When three years 
old his parents moved to Chenango County, New 
York, where he lived until coming to Michigan in 
1829 — arriving at Detroit on the 6th of December. 
He came in the employ of John Agard, who was 
seeking a suitable location for a store in the then far 
West. From Detroit they pushed out on foot, 
following an Indian trail via Ypsilanti, White 
Pigeon, (where he spent Christmas day,) Beardsle3^'s 
Prairie to Niles, which at this time contained but 
two or three log cabins. 

On the 8th day of March, 1830, they settled at 
Geneva — then the prospective County seat. Mr. 
Nash continued in the service of Agard until the 
loth of January, 1833, when he went in business for 
himself He bought his goods in Detroit, where he 
went on foot twice a year, preferring this mode of 
travel to that of going on horse-back. From Detroit 
the goods were shipped around the lake to the mouth 
of the St. Joseph River, and thence poled up on flat 
boats to Niles and then carted to Geneva. 


In the winter of 1832 and '33 the river froze up 
very early and consequently the goods had to be 
teamed all the way from St. Joseph. At this time 
there was no road from Berrien to Royalton and 
when Nash came up with his teams the men were 
at work opening a road ther,e and he was detained in 
assisting them several days. x\mong the commodi- 
ties, was an anvil for John White, which had been 
bought in Detroit, this, when they were nearly at the 
top of a high hill, rolled off the sled and stopped only 
when it reached the bottom, causing a deal of trouble 
and dela}^ in getting it back. 

In the spring of 1830 Mr. Nash set out a small 
orchard at Geneva and made additions to it nearly 
every year while he stayed here, his first trees were 
procured from a small nursery near Baldwin's 

In the spring of 183 1 he was elected clerk of Penn 
Township, which office he held eleven consecutive 
years, and in August, 1836, he was chosen Justice of 
the Peace, in which capacity he served eight years. 

In 1844 he removed from Geneva to Charleston, 
on Little Prairie Ronde, where he sold goods until 
1850, when he removed to Dowagiac, where he 
remained but one summer and then moved to 
Decatur, where he was in trade twenty years. 
While at Decatur he dealt largely in produce. 

He was in the Black Hawk war and went as far 
west as the Kankakee River. When starting, they 
expected to meet the Indians before reaching Niles, 
but the farther west they got the farther off were the 


Mr. Nash has always been known as an honest 
upright man, he now resides with his son-in-law, G. 
L. Linder, at Vandalia. 


Lewis Edwards was born in Burlington County, 
New Jersey, in May, 1799, where he lived until 
1820, when he went to Warren County, Ohio. 
From Warren County he came to Michigan, in 
1826. At the time of his coming there were no in- 
habitants between Fort Wayne and Bertrand. He 
brought with him a peacock (cast) plow, a set of 
iron harrow teeth, a one-horse plow, scythes, sickles, 
etc. The first harvest after coming he reaped 
wheat for the Mission, by which he earned three 
bushels. This he let to Mr. Putnam to sow on 
shares, and the yield was sixty bushels. 

Mr. Edwards settled on the west side of Pokagon 
Prairie, the location being the one previously occu- 
pied by the old chief, whose name the Prairie and 
Township bears, for gardening purposes. 

In the spring of 1830 Mr. Edwards brought from 
Ohio three hundred apple and one hundred pear 
trees, a quantity of currants, raspberries, etc. The 
apple orchard is still in a thrifty condition, but the 
pear trees were mostly killed by the hard winter of 


When he came to Michigan he brought with him 
some improved Durham cattle, purchased of the 
Ohio Shakers, and has added to his herd from time 
to time since; and probably no man in the County 


has done more for the improvement of neat stock 
than Mr. Edwards. 

He was one of the first jurors in the County, and 
as such attended the first court at Edwardsburg. 

Mr. Edwards visited La Grange Prairie in the 
fall of 1827, then one vast flower bed, with not a 
person living on it. He, in common with all the 
earlier settlers, had his wheat killed by the June 
frost of 1835, ^^^d what was not killed was made 
'"sick" b}^ freezing. 

He was one of the first Justices of the Peace in the 
County when they were appointed by the Governor, 
but as he remarks^ '-the best times we ever had 
were before we had any law." Mr. Edwards, now 
in the seventy-sixth year of his age, resides on the 
land he first occupied fifty years ago; he is an active, 
intelligent man, for his years, and respected by all 
who know him. 


Colonel James Newton was born in England in 
1777, and came to this country when a mere boy. 
He first resided near Morristown, New Jersey, and 
from thence moved to Pennsylvania, and from there 
to Ohio, in 1804. He came down the Ohio River 
on a flat boat, and was offered an acre of land where 
Cincinnatti now stands for a day's work, but did not 
think it worth while to accept. 

*What is meant by no law, was that, previous to the organization of 
the County in 1829, there were no resident officials in force, consequentlr 
the people were without practical law. 


He settled on the head waters of the Miami, at a 
place called Seven Mile Creek, about forty miles 
north of Cincinnatti. He acquired the title of 
Colonel from commanding a regiment of militia in 
Ohio. He was also an Orderly Sergeant in active 
service during the war of 181 2, serving under 
General Harrison. He had command of Fort Black, 
north of Greenville, for a time, and afterward of Fort 
Meigs, his term of service expiring a few days before 
the battle of Mackinac. 

He was a member of the convention that framed the 
State Constitution, and also a member of the House 
of Representatives for this and Van Buren Counties 
in the winters of 1837-38 and 1838-39. He was 
commissioned as Judge by Governor Mason but 
never accepted the position. 

His son, Hon. George Newton, was born in Preble 
County, Ohio, on the loth day of August, 1810, and 
in company with his father came to Michigan in 
1 83 1. They started on the 6th day of April with 
three 3'oke of cattle and a wagon. The streams at 
the time of moving were all very high from the 
spring rains and nearly all of them had to be swam by 
the teams. A sucking colt would be taken into a 
boat and carried across while dam swam beside. 
On the third night out they encamped on the battle 
ground of Fort Recovery. They crossed the St. 
Joseph River by ferry at Sage's Mill, where Elkhart 
now stands, and followed up the course of the Chris- 
tiana Creek to Young's Prairie, from thence to their 
future home it was an unbroken wilderness without 
track or blaze, but, taking the direction and with 


an ax to clear the way, they set out, and, after no 
little trouble, made the point which ever since has 
been called home. Their first habitation was a wig- 
wam formerly occupied by the Chief Weesaw as 
winter quarters. 

In the spring of 1832 corn, from some cause, would 
not grow, when George made a trip east of White 
Pigeon and bought one bushel for which he paid two 
dollars and fifty cents. 

Mr. Newton has served in the Legislature one 
term, and was for a number of years Supervisor ot 
the Township, all of which positions he has filled 
creditably to himself and constituents. For a num- 
ber of years he has been nearly blind, but, by an 
operation performed last fall, he has partially recov- 
ered his sight. 


Joseph L. Jacks was born in Erie County, Pennsyl- 
vania, on the 3 8th of May, 1804. When twenty-two 
years of age, he moved to Chautauqua County, New 
York, where he was married to Susannah Silsby, 
and immediately set out for Michigan, arriving at 
Edwardsburg on the 4th of July, 1829. When he 
came in, the people were celebrating the National 
birthday, which was probably the first time that a 
luxury ol this kind was indulged in in the County. 

Mr. Jacks was the first Clerk of the County, ap- 
pointed by Governor Cass, on the 31 st of July, 1830, 
and sworn into office by Baldwin Jenkins, then one of 
the Associate Judges, on the 4th day of September, 


in the same year. He was Clerk about two years, 
and was succeeded by M. C. Whitman. 

He also held under Governor Cass a commission 
as Lieutenant of Militia, but never was attached to 
any organized company. In 1831, he was elected 
assessor of Ontwa Township, when it comprised 
nearly the South half of the County, and made the 
assessment in five days. 

Mr. Jacks served five days in the Black Hawk war 
in 1832; he held the office of Corporal in his Com- 
pany, and by reason of the office, received an extra 
half dollar as pay. He has followed the avocation 
of farmer, nearly through life, but recently he has 
retired from active labor, and now lives in Edwards- 



Jacob Morelan was born in Virginia September 
nth, 1797, his wife, Sarah Poe, was born in Greene 
County, Ohio, August 15th, 1805 ; they were married 
May 4th, 1826; came to Michigan in the fall of 1829, 
sta3dng the first winter on the farm of Joseph Gard- 
ner, in Pokagon; removing to Volinia in the spring 
of 1830, settling on the south side of Little Prairie 
Ronde, where he lived until the time of his death, 
which occurred February i6th, 1854, at the age of 
fifty-seven. His vocation through life was that of a 
farmer. Mrs. Morelan is still living among her 
children in the immediate vicinity of the place of 
their first settlement, and relates many incidents of 
their early experiences. At one time a hawk came 
and alighted on a tree near by, when none of the men 


were at the house, Mrs. Morelan took down the rifle 
and shot it ; at another time a woh' came and tried to • 
get some pigs that were in a pen near the house, 
when she again tried her hand at shooting, but not 
with as good success as before, but succeeding in 
driving the wolf away. At one time when the mill 
was out of order she had to grind buckwheat on the 
cotiee-mill for bread. 


Edward Shanahan, the subject of this sketch, was 
born in Sussex County, Delaware, in the year 1806, 
where he lived until 1828, when he moved to 
Dover in the same State. In 1S29 he was married 
to Rebecca Kimmey, with whom he still lives, and 
who has borne him fifteen children. 

In 1832, to better his condition, he came to 
Michigan, moving the entire distance of eight hun- 
dred miles with a horse team. On the road as he 
neared Michigan, he met many people leaving the 
country who were frightened away by the Black 
Hawk war — not one of whom would stop long 
enough to tell what was the matter, but recited their 
tale of woe as they passed by. 

Mr. Shanahan located on .the northwest corner of 
Beardsley's Prairie, where he lived until 1855, when 
he removed to his present residence in Jefferson 
Township. He has always taken an active part in 
politics and represented the Southern District in the 
House of Representatives in the winter of i860 and 
'61. His occupation through life has been that of a 


farmer, in which avocation he has been successful far 
above the average — accumulating between seven and 
eight hundred acres of valuable land. His brother. 
Judge Cliftbrd Shanahan, came to Edwardsburg in 
1834, and in 1844 was elected Judge of Probate, 
which office he filled until 1864. 


Daniel Shellhammer was born in Germany, in the 
year 1785. He was a soldier in the war of 181 2, 
for which he drew a pension at the time of his death, 
which occurred in June, 1873, at the advanced age 
of eighty-eight years. He came to Michigan in 
1827, in company with John and Joseph Bair, and 
put up a cabin on the east side of Porter Township, 
near Mottville. In the fall he returned to Ohio, and 
in the spring of 1828 removed his famity, consisting 
of his wife and eleven children, to Michigan. His 
team consisted of a yoke of cattle, hired for the trip, 
and a 3'oke of light three-3xar old steers, owned by 

John Shellhammer, his oldest son, was born in 
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, September nth, 
181 1. In 1826 his parents moved to Crawford 
Count)% Ohio, where he remained until coming to 
Michigan, at the age of seventeen. 

Mr. Shellhammer's recollections of early life and 
incidents are remarkably clear and correct. He re- 
lates that the first season they came in (1828), 
previous to harvest time, all their bread-stuff con- 
sisted of corn, that had been brought overland from 


Detroit, and cost four dollars per bushel, and, after 
purchasing it, was carried on their backs to the east 
side of Pigeon Prairie, where a man named Hill had 
a cast iron mill, something after the pattern of a 
huge coffee mill, in which they ground their grist by 
hand and returned the same day, the distance being 
eight miles and back. 

On one of these occasions, as they were returning, 
they were hailed at the bank of the river by a small 
French tailor, who wished them to stop and witness 
the marriage ceremony between himselt and a lady 
weighing about two hundred and fifty pounds. The 
absurdity of the whole affair can be seen by imagin- 
ing a bandy-legged Frenchman, weighing one 
hundred and twenty-five pounds being tied to a 
Yankee girl weighing double that of himself, and 
the ceremony witnessed by a man and boy that 
could scarcely understand a word of English. But 
after receiving a glass of good cheer for their 
trouble, they wended their way homeward. 

The only persons living at that time on Pigeon 
Prairie were the above named Hill and a man 
named Savory, who was building a hewed log house 
on the south side of the Prairie. At the time that 
John Baldwin was so badly treated by the Indians, 
Mr. Shellhammer had a brother and sister in the 
house, and he was one of the first on the ground 
after the tragedy took place, of which he has a vivid 



EHas B. Sherman was born in Oneida County, 
New York, in 1803. When he was four years of 
age he removed with his father to Cayuga County, 
whei'e his boyhood and youth were spent in labor 
and the acquirement of a good common school edu- 

In 1825 he migrated to Michigan, stopping first 
at Detroit, but soon after moved to Ann Arbor, 
where he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 

In September of that year he came, via White 
Pigeon, to Beardsley's Prairie, and spent considerable 
time looking over Berrien, St. Joseph and Cass 
Counties, with a view to speculative investments and 
a permanent settlement. He first made a claim on 
the north side of Little Prairie Ronde^ which he sold 
to Elijah Goble, in 1830, for sixty-five dollars. He 
next engaged in putting the City of Shakespeare on 
the market, but, becoming disgusted with the course 
of his associates, sold out his interest, taking in 
exchange some property in Lockport, St. Joseph 

His next and most permanent venture was the 
estabHshment of the village of Cassopohs and secur- 
ing the location of the seat of Justice therein. He 
was one of the original proprietors and has always 
since preserved a large proprietary interest in its 
welfare. January ist, 1833, he was married to Sarah, 
only daughter of the late Jacob Silver, by Bishop 
Chase, a brother of Chief Justice Chase. This was 
the first wedding in Cassopolis. 

— 21 


Mr. Sherman was appointed Prosecuting Attorney 
by Governor Cass, November 7th, 1829, and served 
under this commission until 1836, when he was 
elected to the same position by the people. He was 
appointed District Surveyor July 31st, 1830, which 
office he held six years. March 4th, 1831, he was 
appointed Judge of Probate, and continued to act in 
that capacity until the Whig revolution of 1840. 

Although now passed the allotted " three score 
years and ten/' his memory of the pioneer days is 
remarkably clear and to it these pages are indebted 
for many incidents otherwise unpreserved. 


Hon. Gfeorge Redfield was bom in the State of 
Connecticut on the 6th of October, I796, While 
quite young his parents moved to Ontario Count}', 
New York, where he remained until 1822, when he 
went South for the purpose of teaching school. He 
remained in the South four years^ teaching in the 
vicinity of Millegeville, Georgia, and while there he 
became acquainted with, and had for his pupils, those 
who were afterward some of the leading spirits of 
Georgia, among whom was State Treasurer Jones, 

In 1868 Mr. Redfield visited the former scenes of 
his labors, in the South, to find desolation spread 
abroad on every hand — where luxury and ease had 
once been the rule, now was poverty in the extreme 
— but he was met with a cordial welcome wherever 
he went. 

In June, 1831, Mr. Redfield, in company with 


eleven other young men, came to Michigan. Pro- 
minent among the party were Sans McCamley, since 
one of the leading men of Battle Creek; Nathan 
Pierce, of Calhoui) County, a thousand acre farmer; 
John Downer and Amassa Gillett, the former set- 
tling in Washtenaw County and the latter near the 
present site of Manchester. They were all adven- 
turers seeking homes in what was then considered 
the wilderness of the far West, The trip out from 
Detroit was made on foot, the travelers carrying 
their provisions, camp utensils, clothes and a small 
tent on their backs, and camping out wherever night 
overtook them. 

While the party, were encamped one night, on the 
bank of the Kalamazoo River, at a point where a 
small stream. put in, leaving just room enough for 
their tent, they were awakened by some very unpleas- 
ant sensations which proved to be caused by craw 
fish crawling between their blankets as they were 
moving from one stream to the other. 

Mr. Redfield returned to New York, after coming 
as far west as White Pigeon, much pleased with the 
country, intending to return the next spring, but 
with the next spring came the memorable cholera 
season of 1832 and the trip was abandoned for a 

In 1833, in company with his brother, Lewis H. 
Redfield, who still resides at Syracuse, New York, 
he made a trip through the West, and in the sum- 
mer of 1834 George again came to Michigan and 
made a purchase of eight hundred acres of land 
where he now resides. During this summer he spent 


three months with his brother, Alexander H. Red- 
field, at Cassopolist 

On the 9th of Jnne, 1835, he was married to Julia 
A. Mason, of Palmyria, New Yprk, and immedi- 
ately moved to Michigan, living the first summer on 
the farm now owned by J. Boyd Thomas, moving on 
to his present home iarm in the fall of the same year, 
where he has resided ever since. 

In 1836 Mr. Redfield purchased of the General 
Government, three thousand acres of land in Calvin 
Township, one thousand acres in Jefferson, one thous- 
and acres in Mason, beside numerous other tracts in 
various parts of the County, making in all between 
eight and ten thousand acres, of which he still retains 
two thousand, the remainder he has disposed of from 
time to time, selling nearly the entire amount to*men 
of limited means, giving them a chance to improve 
and make their payments from the land. In a num- 
ber of instances the payments have been deferred 
over twenty years, the land in the meantime increas- 
ing many times in value* Mr. Redfield's generosity 
has become almost proverbial, and for years it was a 
common quotation of the neighbors, *' going down to 
Egypt for corn," when the colored people of Calvin 
would come to him for assistance, and I am credita- 
bly informed that they never went away empty 

He was elected to the House of Representatives, 
and served in the memorable one hundred day session 
of 184 1. He was also elected Senator, and served in 
1842 and '43, and Presidential Elector in 1844. In 
1845 h^ was appointed State Treasurer by Governor 


Barry, but positively declined a nomination for that 
office in 1846. In January, 1850, he was appointed 
Secretary of State, which office he filled during the 
session of the Legislature, resigning at its adjourn- 
ment, and in the same 3^ear was elected to the 
convention that framed our present State Constitu- 
tion, which ended his political career. His strong 
domestic attachments, combined with his many home 
duties, made it impossible to his mind to participate 
farther in political matters, although frequently 
solicited, and had he been ambitious in this particular, 
he might have accepted the highest office in the gift 
of the people of the State. 

In 1837 ^^' Redfield bought the only water saw 
mill in Jefterson Township, and rebuilt it in 1850, 
and again after being burned in 1862 in connection 
with a flouring mill, which is still running. 

His v/ife died in August, 1848, leaving him three 
children — two daughters and one son. He married 
again in September, 1854, Jane E. Hammond, 
daughter of Judge Hammond, of Essex County, New 
York, who died in November, 1865, leaving him 
three. daughters and one son, all of whom are living 
with or near him. 

In 1870 Mr. Redfield became partially blind from 
cataract of the eye, from which he has suffered ever 
since, not being able to read or write and only at the 
most favorable times is he able to see the dim outlines 
of large objects. Notwithstanding his misfortune he 
has had,, in a great measure, the superintendence 
and care of his honie farm and an oversight of his 
general business* 



William Renniston was born in Mifflin, Pennsyl- 
vania, in the year 1796. When twenty-two years 
of age he moved to Indiana and settled near Rich* 
mond, where he lived until coming to Michigan in 
1830. He first settled at what has since been known 
as the Spaulding mill property, near Dowagiac, 
where he erected a woolen mill, bringing the card- 
ing machines on wagons from Southern Indiana. In 
1833 he built a grist mill at the same place, the irons 
for which were made at Cincinnati and wao:oned 
across the country, a distance of over two hundred 
miles. The burrs were quarried and dressed near 
Elkhart, Indiana. 

After running the grist mill for one year he sold 
the whole property to Holmes Spaulding, and bought 
the farm that he has resided on ever since. While 
a young man he learned the trade of clothier, which 
busines he followed while in Indiana and four years 
after coming to Michigan. Since selling his mill 
property his occupation has been that of a farmer, 
which he has followed for nearly forty years. Mr. 
Renniston is a close, economical man, having*a pen- 
chant for saving and preserving every thing and 
allowing nothing to be destroyed or go to waste. 
His collection of old-time implements, harness, etc., 
to be seen in his barn, is well worth the attention of 
those interested in pioneer relics. 


John Alexander was born iq North Carolinia 


about the year 1779, and died in Cass County, Mich- 
igan, in 1849, at the age of seventy years In 181 1 
he emigrated to Wayne County, Indiana, where he 
remained until coming to Michigan in 1831, settHng 
on the farm now owned by Robert DooL His first 
house, or shanty, was a three-sided affair, covered 
with basswood bark, in which he Hv^ed several 
months, and its exact location was where the Chicago 
& Lake Huron Railroad now crosses the highway 
running north and south. In an early day he was a 
member of the New Light or Christian denomina- 
tion, but after coming to Michigan joined the Christ- 
ian Church, of which he was a consistent and devo- 
ted member. He was a very quiet, peaceable man, 
never sued but one man in his life and never was 
sued. He was very punctual in all his dealings and 
required the same of others, but more by the force 
of will than fear of law, his general character may, 
perhaps, be better illustrated b}^ the following inci- 
dent than anything that could be said at the present 

One year grain of all kinds was very scarce and 
high, corn and oats bringing from seventy-five cents 
to one dollar per bushel readily. Mr. A. having a 
good supply of these products, put the price to set- 
tlers at fifty cents per bushel, and would sell to no 

His son, Ephraim, resides in Redwing, Minnesota., 
John and Peter on Young's Prairie, the oldest daugh- 
ter in Silver Creek, another in Douglas County, 
Oregon, another in Wexford Count}', this State, and 
still another in Penn Township. 



Asa Kingsbury was born at Newton Heights, 
near Boston, Massachusetts, on the 28th of May, 
1806. When a young man he learned the trade of 
carpenter, which he followed three or four years. 
In 1830 he came West and settled at Cleveland, 
Ohio, where he engaged in the manufacture of glue, 
which art he learned after leaving off the carpenter 

In 1833 ^ business man in Cleveland made a 
proposition to Mr. Kingsbury to go farther West 
and take a son of his who was a wild, reckless fel- 
low, oftering him whatever capital he would need in 
business. Mr. K., after considering the matter, con- 
cluded that as he had everything to gain and nothing 
to lose, he would accept. Loading about three 
thousand dollar's worth of general merchandise on 
the schooner New York, with his portege, he started 
up the lakes without any definite point in view. 

While on the St. Clair River, their vessel was 
becalmed several da3^s, during which time the young 
man under Mr. Kingsburj^'s charge, in company 
with 3everal sailors, went over into Canada and stole 
a lot of chickens, for which they were arrested. Mr. 
K. went over and got him out of this scrape, but in 
a day or two he ran away and got on board of 
another vessel, after which he never heard of him. 

Mr. Kingsbury continued on his way alone, stop- 
ping off at Green Bay, but, not finding it to suit him, 
kept on to St. Joseph. The rough weather prevented 
a landing for three weeks, during which time they 


were beating around the upper end of the lake. One 
day while the crew were below at dinner Mr. K. 
assisted the captain in managing the vessel ; in mak- 
ing a change in the course the boom came around 
vei^^ suddenly, taking with it a fifteen dollar fur cap, 
and had he been three inches taller this sketch would 
not have been written. 

Soon after his arrival at St. Joseph he struck out 
on foot to look up a location for trade, arriving at 
Berrien after night. The hotel where he stopped 
was all dark, and on going into the bar-room in the 
basement the first thing which attracted his attention 
was a dead man who had been killed on the river — 
he ran against the cadaver in the darkness. 

The next day he went on to Bertrand, then in the 
heighth of its prosperity, where he secured a loca- 
tion, had his goods brought up the river, and went 
into business, dealing in real estate, burning brick 
&c. The burning of brick came near being a fail- 
ure, the clay containing small particles of lime, 
which, on coming to the air, would slack and break 
the brick. To avoid a loss he put them into build- 
ings, some of which are standing yet. 

In 1835, finding that Bertrand was on the. down 
grade, Mr. Kingsbury moved to Cassopolis, where 
he bought of John M. Barbour a store and distillery. 
This proved to be his final stake setting, and he has 
ever since been prominently identified with the 
business of the village. 

In company with his brother Charles, who joined 
him in 1838, he dealt extensively in general merchan- 
dise and real estate for about twenty years, and up^ 


on their separation opened a private banking office 
which he managed successfully until it was merged 
into the First National Bank of which he is Presi- 


Major Joseph Smith was born in Bottetourt Coun- 
ty, Virginia, on the nth of April, 1809. When 
three years old his. parents mov^ed to Clark County, 
Ohio, where he remained until coming to Michigan 
in 1831, making a location at the ancient City of 
Glasgow (in Calvin), where he bought a mill proper- 
ty, and moved out in 1832, accompanied by his 
father and brother John. He ran the mill until 
1835, when he sold out and bought one thousand 
acres of land in Jefferson Township, which he imme- 
diately commenced to improve. 

His father and brother became disgusted with the 
country and went back to Ohio, after staying one 

In 1847 Mr. Smith went into partnership with 
Joshua Lofland and Henley C. Lybrook in the sale 
of merchandise, which was continued about three 
years, since which time he has carried on business on 
his own account nearly all the time, removing to 
Cassopolis in 1855, where he has ever since resided, 
Mr. Smith has been known through all his life as a 
hard money Democrat and has always taken an 
active part in politics. He served in the Legislature 
in 1835 and again in 1836, and was a member of the 
convention that accepted the proposition of Congress 


by which Michigan was admitted into the Union. 
He was a Captain of Militia in Ohio, and appointed 
Major in Michigan, by which title he has been known 
ever since. 


Henley C. Lybrook was born in Giles County, 
Virginia, November 20th, 1802, where he resided 
until coming to Michigan in 1830, arriving at Poka- 
gon Prairie on the 15th day of May. He taught 
school six months of the first year, working on a 
farm between school terms. 

In the spring of 1831 he taught school at Geneva 
a short time and then went to work on a farm on 
La Grange Prairie, and the next winter taught school 
in Howard Township, near Joseph Harter's. In the 
spring of 1832 he again engaged in farming, but the 
Black Hawk war coming on he enlisted in Captain 
Shurte's company and was gone until June. Soon 
after returning from war Mr. Lybrook engaged as 
clerk with Robert Painter, in Cassopolis, and con- 
tinued with him until closing up his business in the 
fall of the same year. Mr. Painter started to New 
York for a fall and winter stock of goods with one 
thomand dollars in money, which he carried in a 
pocket-book in his coat pocket. At Detroit he took 
deck passage on a steamboat in the evening and 
toward morning he tell asleep, awakening to find his 
pocket-book gone, when he returned home and Mr. 
Lybrook closed up his business and soon after went 
to work for Jacob Silver, in whose employ he con- 


tinued several years. In 1834 he was appointed 
County Clerk, in which capacity he served until about 

In 1842 he went into mercantile business on his 
own account, six months after taking in W. G. 
Beckwith as partner. He was afterward connected 
with B. F. Silver and Dow and then with Joshua Lof- 
land. In 1850 they moved to Dowagiac and G. C. 
Jones was made a member of the firm. 


Rev. Luther Humphrey came to Beardsley's 
Prairie about the year 1830. He was sent out as a 
missionary by the Presbyterian Church of New 
England and labored over Cass and Berrien Coun-. 
ties. After remaining a number ot years he went to 
Ohio, where he died but a short time since. 

He was a man of many peculiarities, among which 
was the belief that every family should raise as 
nearly as possible all they consumed, and this princi- 
ple he put in practice to the extent of seeming 
penuriousness. His prejudice against slavery was of 
the most ultra character, and he would neither eat 
nor wear anything made by slave labor, and to 
obviate the necessity of eating sugar from this source, 
he annually raised a quantity of corn from which he 
expressed the juice and boiled down to a molasses, 
which answered the purpose of sweetening. He was 
also a very strict temperance man and had no 
patience with those that tippled, although such was 
a very common practice at that time. 



James Aldrich was born twelve miles from Pro- 
vidence, Rhode Island, in the 3'ear 1786, where he 
resided until a man grown, when he moved to 
Palmyria, New York, and then to Erie County, 
where he remained until 1829, when he removed to 
Chautauqua County.' In 1834 he came west and 
settled at Niles, and in 1837 came into this County, 
buying the farm now owned by James Beauchamp, 
on Beardsley's Prairie, where he lived until the time 
of his death. In 1808 he was married to Hannah 
Comstock, by whom he had nine children, Doctor 
and Henry are the only sons remaining in the 


Philip Shintaffer and family, consisting of three 
sons and two sons-in-law, came to Beardsley's Prai- 
rie in 1 83 1 and settled on the farms owned by Bar- 
ber and Runkle. 

They came from the Wabash country here, but 
probably they were natives of Virginia, and as 
rough specimens of humanity as could be found any- 

They kept a large number of horses and a huge 
wagon and sled, either of which they would take to 
the woods, and backing to a tree, no matter how 
large, and fall it across the axle, and then hitch 
team enough to it to draw it home. At one time 
the old man professed to get religion, and the nu- 
merous anecdotes of his religious experience, as 


related by the old settlers, are amusing but hardly 
appropriate to be recorded. The family remained 
here but a few years, when it became too thickly 
settled and they moved west. 


Alexander Rogers was born in Rockbridge 
County, Virginia, in the year 1788. When twenty- 
two years old he moved to Preble County, Ohio, 
where he lived eighteen years, or until he came to 
Michigan in 1828. He stopped one year after com- 
ing where Sumnerville now stands and then moved 
on to the farm now owned and occupied by his sons, 
where he resided until the time of his death in 1867. 
His sons Samuel, Alexander, John, Thomas and 
William, all, with the exception of one, live in Poka- 
gon Township, the other, Samuel, lives in Illinois. 


Samuel C. Olmsted was born in Huntington, 
Hartford County, Connecticut, July loth, 1801. In 
1 81 3 he removed to Cayuga County, New York, 
where he was married to Eunice M. Jackson, No- 
vember nth, 1823. In the latter part of the year 
1829 he removed to Chautauqua County, where he 
made a purchase of land from the Holland Land 
Company, making a payment down and running in 
debt for the balance. His land was a tough, tena- 
cious clay soil, covered with a heavy growth of beech, 
maple, ash, and hemlock timber, requiring a vast 


amount of labor to bring it under cultivation. Clear- 
ing land, making payments on the same, and sup- 
porting a family, he soon found to be up-hill business, 
and in 1836 determined to try his forture in the 
West. Selling out in New York, he removed to 
Michigan, arriving at Edwardsburg on May 20th of 
that year. 

The first season he rented land on shares, but in 
1837 he made a purchase of twenty-eight acres of 
land on section four, of Ontwa Township, and built 
a house on it, which he moved into in the fall when 
there were neither doors or windows to keep out the 
cold. He continued to add to his possessions until 
he owned two hundred acres of land, on which he 
still resides. 

Of those that came with him to Michigan, but 
two are now living, viz., himself and his oldest son, 
J. C. Olmsted. His mother died in 1837, ^^^ ^^^ 
among the first to be buried in the Edwardsburg 
cemetery. His father, Deacon Sylvester Olmsted, 
died February 3d, 1861. His wife, Eunice, died 
September 2 2d, 1854. 

Mr. O. is by profession a Congregationalist, and 
during, the entire time of his residence in Michigan 
he has been a member of the First Congregational 
Church of Edwardsburg, of which he is also a 


Spencer Williams was born in Sussex County, 
Delaware, May 2nd, 1807, where he lived until man 


grown. In 1828 he made a trip to Ohio, but not 
liking the country returned home again. In June, 

183 1, he emigrated to Michigan, settHng in Ontwa 
Township, where he rented a farm for two years, 
when he bought the place on section twelve, ot 
Milton Township, where he has since resided. In 
1833 he was married to Sarah Smith, with whom he 
has lived ever since. At the age of eighteen he 
joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and has con- 
tinued in active membership to the present time. 
Soon after coming to Michigan, at the organization 
of the Society, at Smith's Chapel, he was elected one 
of the trustees, and has acted in that capacity ever 
since, with the exception of one year. When he was 
not worth over five hundred dollars he gave one 
liundred toward the erection of the Church, and fifty 
dollars more before it was completed. 

In the fall of 183 1 Mr. Williams made a trip to 
Chicago. At that time there were but sixteen one 
story houses in the place. Just previous to his going 
there there had been quite a freshet which had 
washed a number of graves open on the bank of the 
river and numerous corpses were distributed around 
creating a nauseating stench. 

At the breaking out of the Black Hawk war in 

1832, Mr. Williams started with the first express for 
Detroit but, overtaking the stage at White Pigeon, 
was relieved. The nest day on i*eturning he volun- 
teered for the war. On the way to Chicago he was 
put in baggage-master, in which capacity he acted 
until mustered out. While encamped he pastured 
his horses where the city of Chicago now stands, and 


many times, on going after them in the morning, 
would have to wade in water ankle deep. Mr. 
Williams is a man of no education whatever, but at 
the same time has managed a considerable business 
Ibr himself as well as others, and is much respected 
by all that know him. 


Joseph Goodspeed was born in the town of Sand- 
wich, Massachusetts, on the ist day of April, 1797. 
In 1825 he was married to Miss Sarah B. Fish, who 
was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts. For three 
years after marrying they lived on the Island of 
Nantucket, and then moved to Cayuga County, 
New York, where thej^^ remained until coming to 
Michigan in 1836. On the road out one of their little 
boys fell out of the wagon and broke his arm. In 
the season of 1838, which was known as the ''sickly 
season," their whole family was down, with the ex- 
ception of William, then a small boy, and on him 
devolved the duties of cook, nurse and general chore 

Mr. Goodspeed served eleven consecutive years as 
Township Treasurer, of .Volinia. His 'vocation 
through life was that of a farmer. He died on the 
30th of April, 1850, at the age of fifty-three. Mrs. 
Goodspeed is still living at the old place, in the 
enjoyment of all her faculties, has a large circle of 
friends and is respected wherever known. 
, — -22 



John Nixon was born in Randolph County, North 
Carolinia, in 1806, where he H\ ed until coming to 
Michigan in August, 183d. In 1832 he was married 
to Esther, daughter of Henry Jones. When a 
\'oung man he learned the trade of tanner and 
courier, which he followed two or three years pre- 
vious to coming to Michigan. Ever since he has 
been a farmer. 

At the time of his wedding lumber was so scarce 
that a door had to be taken down to splice out the 
table to make it long enough to seat all the company. 
The cranberries for sauce on the occasion were 
gathered by Mrs. Nixon, in a neighboring marsh. A 
quantity of dried blackberries were donated by some 
Indian squaws, who frequently came around and got 
an idea of what was going on. They have had a 
lamily of eleven children, nine of whom are still 


Stephen Bogue was born in Perquimans County, 
North Carolinia, October 17th, 1790. In 181 1 he 
moved to Preble County, Ohio, where he cleared up 
and brought into cultivation a farm in the heavy 
timber, where he lived until coming to Michigan in 
1831. Here he bought a farm on Young's Prairie, 
on which he lived until the time of his death, Octo- 
ber nth, 1868, a period of thirty-seven years. Mr. 
Bogue was a thorough Abolitionist, from nature and 
education. Born and brought up amidst slavery and 


its surrounding evil influences, he early imbibed the 
anti-slavery sentiment of the Friends' Society, of 
which he was a life-long, consistent and devoted 
member. He voted the Free Soil ticket when there 
was but three or four more men in Penn Township 
of the same political faith. 

His house was a station on the Under Ground 
Railroad from the opening of that route through this 
County, and continued so as long as it was used. 
Many colored men are indebted to him for the food 
and assistance they received on the road from bond- 
age to freedom. In the memorable Kentucky Raid 
of 1847, Mr. Bogue was among the men prosecuted 
and put to great expense, the trial being held at De- 
troit in order to take it as far as possible from the 


Ephraim Huntley was born in Saratoga County, 
New York, September loth, 1798. At the age of 
eighteen he removed to Erie County, where he re- 
mained until the fall of 1833, when he came to Mich- 
igan, settling in Howard Township, where he has 
since remained. In the same fall he went back on 
business and was shipwrecked on the steamer 
George Washington, then on her fourth trip across 
the Lake (Erie), at Long Point, Canada, the steamer 
going ashore and breaking in two. One passenger 
was drowned in attempting to swim ashore from the 

Mr. Huntley has been almost a life-long Free Ma- 


son, very enthusiastic in his devotion to the Order, 
was one of the charter members of Niles Lodge, No. 
4, in the State, and was only about fifty miles from 
where the Morgan excitement existed in New York* 


The subject of this sketch was born in Ireland, in 
the year 1816. When six years old his parents 
emigrated to this country and settled in Syracuse, 
New York, where he remained until coming to 
Michigan in 1837, settling in Pokagon Township, 
where he has remained ever since. In 1840 he was 
converted and joined the M. E. Church, and shortl}' 
after was licensed to exhort, and in 1841 was licensed 
to preach, in which capacity he has remained ever 
since. He has never been a member of the annual 
conference, but has filled numerous circuits by ap- 
pointment from the Presiding Elder. There is 
probably no man in Southwestern Michigan who has 
devoted himself more unselfishly to the work of the 
Church than has Mr. Byrns. When placed upon a 
a circuit it was usually one so poor that the}^ could 
not afford to employ a regular minister, and as a 
matter of necessity, he would have to work on his 
farm during the week and preach on Sunday, fre- 
quently traveling from fifty to seventy-five miles on 
horseback each week, besides his regular work. 
When not employed on a circuit, he had numerous 
charges within ten or fifteen miles of home, which he 
attended regularly. 

Mr. Byrns is a man of untarnished reputation, is 


a supporter and leader in everything that tends to 
the moral as well as spiritual elevation of mankind. 
While many others around him, of less energy and 
perseverence, have grown rich, he has been content 
to live on a small piece of land, and devote his talents 
to the cause of religion, believing that in so doing he 
will finally reap the reward that comes from an un- 
selfish devotion to the cause of his Creator. 


Jesse G. Beeson was born in Wa} ne County, Indi- 
ana, in the year 1807, where he lived until coming 
to Michigan in 1833, having been here in 1830 and 
made a location on the land now owned by Abram 
Fiero, where he first settled. In 1837 ^^ made a 
change, selling out and buying the iarm where he 
still resides. Mr. Beeson is of English descent, his 
great-grandfather and two brothers coming froqi 
England in an early day, one of them settling in 
Pennsylvania, Mr. B.''s ancestor settling in North 
Carolinia, and, so far as known, all of the name can 
be traced to these three brothers. They arie a 
strong, robust, hardy family, combining a healthy 
body with strong intellect. The subject of this 
sketch is probably as well known as any man in Cass 
County, was a Clay Whig v/e might almost say by 
birth and education, a member of that party when 
not another man on McKenney's Prairie agreed with 
him in political faith. He has always been a leadef in 
whatever measures have been before the public, has 
been Supervisor of the Township, and was State 


Senator in 1853, besides holding numerous other re- 
sponsible positions. 


Joshua Leach was born in Vermont, in the year 
181 2. When six years old his parents moved to 
Erie County, Pennsylvania, where he remained until 
1833, when he came to Michigan, settling on Young's 
Prairie, where he has remained ever since. He has 
always followed the occupation of farmer, and he 
paid for the first piece of land he ever owned b}' 
chopping and clearing. In 1850 he went to Califor- 
nia, and when two hundred miles west of St. Joseph, 
Missouri, his team was stolen by the Indians, when 
he took a pack on his back and walked the remain- 
der of the way. He went by way of Salt Lake (one 
hundred and fifty miles out of his wa)) where he 
traded a blanket for fourteen pounds of flour, and on 
this and some bacon which he purchased, he lived 
the rest o( the wa)\ 


Elijah Goble was born eight miles north of Cin- 
cinnati, in the year 1805. His parents were Hol- 
land Dutch, and moved from Morristown, New 
Jersey, to Ohio in 1801. In 1818 his parents again 
moved to Preble County, in the same State, and in 
1820 they moved to Franklin County, Indiana, 
where Elijah remained until he came to Michigan 
in: .1828, He first came on a tour of inspection, in 


company with Jonathan Gard and a man named 
Tony, and in the spring of 1829 returned and made 
a location on the northwest corner of Little Prairie 
Ronde. In September, 1834, ^^ ^^^ married to 
Eliza Tittle, with whom he still lives. Mr. Goble 
kept hotel at Charleston for over twenty j'ears, ten 
years of which it was a stage station, and his fund 
of pioneer information is almost sufficient for a book 
of itself 


O. D. S., John S., and D. Harmon Gallup came 
to Michigan and settled in Howard Township in the 
season of 1834, O. D. S., the older brother, coming 
in the spring and making a location and putting out 
a crop, the family moving in the fall. 

They were born in Franklin Count}^, Vermont, in 
the years of 1806, 18 16, and 1819, respective!}'. 
Their parents were from England, and settled in 
Cincinnati in 1831, where the father and one sister 
died of cholera in 1832. The older brother was 
well educated, and went into trade in Vermont and 
then "to Cincinnati, where he carried on merchan- 
dising until coming to Michigan. About the year 
1839 he went to Naperville, Illinois, and in 1852 he 
went to California, where he remained some time, 
then came back and settled in Howard Township, 
where he died in 1855. 

In 1836 John S. went with a party of surveyors to 
AVisconsin and was employed in running out the 
land between the Fox and Rock Rivers, where he 


remained eight months without seeing the face of a 
white man, with the exception of their own party. 
In 1838 he went back again and made a claim, seven 
miles west of Milwaukee, and remained on it about 
eighteen months. While out the first time, he as- 
sisted in raising the Belview Hotel, which was the 
second frame house in Milwaukee, and during the 
first winter he and another man killed one hundred 
deer. Since his return from Wisconsin he has made 
Cass County his home, with the exception of four 
years, when he lived in Berrien County. 

The younger brother has always remained in 
Michigan, and until 1863 in Cass County. In that 
year he went to Niles and engaged in the grocer}^ 
trade, where he still resides. 



Ebenezer Copley was born in Hartford, Connecti- 
cut, in December, 1786, and came to Michigan in 
May, 1835, settling near Little Prairie Ronde, where 
he remained until the time of his death, in March, 
1841. His wife, Annis, or aunt Annis, as she was 
universally called, was born in Granby, Connecticut, 
and lived until 1848. Their sons, A. G., T. N., D. 
B., and Ebenezer, all remain in Michigan, and with 
the exception of T. N., in Cass County. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Virginia, 
on the 2oth of July, 1779- When twent3^-one years 


of age he moved to Highland County, Ohio, where 
he remained until coming to Michigan, in 1831. 
He first settled in St. Joseph County, where he lived 
but one year, moving into this County in 1832, set- 
tling just south of the present site of Vandalia, and 
at what was known as the Carpenter Mill, and 
afterward as the O'Dell Mill. 

He was a miller and farmer by occupation. He 
was a member of the first Constitutional Convention, 
and also represented this County in the State Legis- 
lature. He died on the 23d of August, 1845. His 
two sons, John and Nathan, still live on the old 
homestead, and another son in Ohio. 


The subject of this sketch was born of Irish pa- 
rentage, in Hamilton County, Ohio, on the 17th of 
May, 1808. 

Soon after the birth of James, his parents moved 
to Clinton County, in the same State, where he re- 
mained until coming to Michigan, in 1834. ^^ ^^^t 
came in company with his father, and brought a 
drove of cattle, which were disposed of and five 
hundred and sixt}^ acres of land purchased in How- 
ard Township. He remained during the winter and 
worked at making sash, by which he realized the 
^um of two hundred dollars, and in the spring went 
back to Ohio on foot. 

In June, 1836, he was married to Ann Wilson, 
and immediately set out for their future home, in 
the then wilds of Michigan, where they arrived 


after a tedious journey of seventeen days, with an 
ox team. 

He was a man of strong convictions and decided 
character, although not demonstrative, yet his will 
was law. In religious and moral matters he knew 
no half wa}' ground, but pushed everything with a 
zeal worth}^ the causQ. 

In politics he was a partisan, which for a man of 
his organization, he could hardly have been other- 
wise. His religious belief was in accordance with 
the M. E. Church, which faith he espoused about 
fifty years before his death, and soon after coming 
to Michigan his house was thrown open for public 
worship, and remained so until school houses and 
houses of worship were built, making it unnecessary. 

Coulter's Chapel was built on his land. The site 
for the Church as well as the Cemetery, was do- 
nated by him, beside paying liberally toward the 
erection of the Church building. 

He filled numerous Township offices during his 
lifetime, and retained the esteem and confidence of 
all that knew him, until thfe time of his death, which 
occurred on the i6th of February, 1874. 


Thomas McKenney was born in Washington 
County, New York, in the year 1781. When six- 
teen years old he moved to Cayuga County, where 
he remained until 181 3. 

During the war of 1812 he acted as a home guard, 


and was at Sodus Bay when the British surrendered 
that place. 

In 1 817 he came to Huron County, Ohio, where 
he lived two years, then moving to Wayne County, 
Indiana, where he remained until coming to Mich- 
igan, in the fall of 1827. 

He and his oldest son came out on horse-back, in 
the fjill of the year, on a prospecting tour, and stop- 
ped a while with the settlers on Pokagon Prairie. 
He was so well pleased with the countr}' that on his 
return he immediately set about preparing to move 
to the country he had determined to make his home. 
He came again in March, 1828, built a cabin and 
put in crops, and moved out his family in October 
of the same )'ear. 

Mr. McKenney's description of the country in- 
duced a number of his neighbors to join him in the 
expedition, among whom were some of the most 
intelligent and enterprising of Cass County^s citizens. 
His reputation for generosity and hospitality will 
last scarce longer than the prairie that still bears 
his name. He was the first Judge of Probate 
in the County, and filled numerous other positions. 
He died near Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1852, at the 
age of seventy-one. Micajah, his son, now living in 
California, John A., living in Iowa, and one daugh- 
ter, Mrs. Dickson, the mother of the well known 
family of that name, are all that are left. 

James Dickson was born in Westmoreland Count}', 


Pennsylvania, in the year 1794. In 18 ii he moved 
to Huron County, Ohio, and in 1819 he removed to 
Wayne County, Indiana, where he was married to 
Lillis, eldest daughter of Judge McKenney. In 
1828 he moved to Michigan, arriving on the 23rd of 
October, and settling on the farm now owned by 
William Renniston, in La Grange, buying the first 
quarter section of land that was bought by one 
man on McKenney^s Prairie, and building the third 
cabin on the prairie. 

* Mr. Dickson was a great reader and had a large 
store of practical information. He was appointed 
and elected to numerous positions, but never ac- 
cepted anything, preferring to attend to his own 
business and leave politics to the more aspiring. He 
died September i6th, 1866, at the age of seventy- 
two. His family, of nine children, are all living, 
except one daughter, Mrs. G. C. Jones. 


George Fosdick was born on the Island of Nan- 
tucket, Massachusetts. When nine years old hi^s 
parents moved to Campbell County, Virginia, and 
from thence to Union County, Indiana, about the 
year 1822, where he remained until coming to 
Michigan in 1830. He first settled at Niles, where 
he worked at blacksmithing two years, when he 
moved into this County, settling on the north side of 
Barron Lake, in Howard Township, where he estab- 
lished a shop and laid out a village named Howard. 
He cleared up and improved the farm now ownpd 


by Henry Pryn, and at the same time carried on the 
manufactory of agricultural implements. A special- 
ity of his was the making of jail locks, which he did 
for Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana, and 
one on the old jail in this Count}^ was made by him. 
In 1838 he moved to Laporte, Indiana, where he 
died in 1865. 

G. W. Fosdick, his son, now living in Dowagiac, 
was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, and has been 
identified with Michigan interests nearly all his life. 
He married Sarah, eldest daughter of Levi Hall, one 
of the pioneers of Volinia Township. He studied 
medicine in an early day and has made the practice 
of it his profession through life. 


A. C. Marsh was born in Litchfield County, Con- 
necticut, in July, 1793, where he lived until sixteen 
years of age, when he removed to Duchess County, 
New York, where he remained until coming to 
Michigan in 1836, settling in Edwardsburg, where 
he has resided ever since. 

While living in New York he learned the trade 
of scythe making. But, soon after commencing busi- 
ness on his own account, owing to the great influx 
of scythes from New England, the business had to be 
abandoned in all country shops, and Mr. Marsh 
turned his attention to country blacksmithing, and 
followed that calling for two years after coming to 

In 1838 a stock company was formed for the pur- 


pose of carrying on the foundry business, in which 
Mr. Marsh took an activ e part, and in 1839, before it 
was got in operation, he bought out the other stock- 
holders, which business he carried on until the death 
of his son, in 1874, when it was discontinued. In an 
early day their chief business was making plows and 
sleigh shoes, with an occasional country job, among 
which may be mentioned was mill castings for 
some of the early manufactories at South Bend. In 
1842 he also manufactured steel plows and continued 
it for some years. 


Ezekiel C. Smith was born in Erie County, New 
York, in 18 12, and came to Michigan in 1835, set- 
tling in Howard Township, where he has resided 
ever since. He held the office of Justice of the 
Peace from the adoption of the State Constitution, 
in 1836, until 1872 withoM intermission, except 
about six months, a period of thirty-six years. He 
has held the office of Supervisor twelve years nearly 
in succession. 

Mr. Smith is a good representative of the hardy 
Western pioneer, a large, powerful built man, whose 
presence bespeaks the force so necessary in contend- 
ing with dame nature in opening up a new country, 
withal a genial, kind-hearted, generous man. He has 
been very successful as a farmer, now owning one 
of the finest farms in Howard Township. 

When Mr. Smith first commenced to build his 
cabin, getting thirsty he determined to go across 


some half mile away to his nearest neighbor's to get 
a drink of water and to get acquainted. He was 
met at the yard fence by some ten or twelve dogs^ 
who seemed by their demostrations ready to make a 
meal of him. In front of the house sat a woman 
astride of a shaving-horse, at work on a hoe handle, 
who, hearing the dogs making a fuss, turned around, 
at the same time yelling to the lead dog, ^^Lord 
x\lmighty. Dragon, be down with you, or I will 
throw a rock at you," which had the effect of quell- 
ing the disturbance, and Mr. Smith was enabled to 
ofet his drink of water. 



The subject of this sketch was born in Sussex 
County, Delaware, February 7th, 1801, where he 
remained until 1831, when he removed to Michigan, 
settling in Milton Township. For a time he sold 
goods in Bertrand, and afterward brought the re- 
mainder of his stock to where he now resides, and 
sold it out. He also kept hotel and postoffice for a 
number of years, and was known far and near. 

He came West for the purpose of bettering his 
condition, and has never had cause to regret the 
change. His chief occupation through life has been 
that of a farmer, in which he has been very success- 
ful, accumulating over one thousand four hundred 
acres of land. 

When he came the M. E. Church contained but 
ten members. He and his wife joined, raising the 
number to twelve, to which Church he has belonged 


ever since, with the exception of a period of seven- 
teen years, when from some ditferences of opinion 
in the Church, he withdrew. 

To Mr. Truitt belongs the credit of naming Mil- 
ton Township. At the time the petition was circu- 
latingTor the organization of that Township, it was 
left with him for the purpose of getting signatures, 
but not liking the name (Southland) as named in 
the petition, took the liberty of changing it to that 
of Milton, the same name that his natiVe town in 
Delaware bore. 


Joseph Webster Lee was born in Sandwich, Staf- 
ford County, New Hampshire, on the loth day of 
January, 1807, about six months after his father's 
death, being left to butfefe the waves of life without 
the aid or counsel of a father, and only a poor wid- 
owed mother to rear and educate him. He inherited 
a more ungovernable set of passions than are the 
usual lot of man. 

In 1828 he married Maria Hastings, and started 
boldly on the ^'sea of life." He soon became tired 
of a New England farmer's life and determined to 
try his fortune in the far West Territory of Michi- 
ofan, where he arrived at the house of his brother-in- 
law, Abiel Silver, in the village of Edwardsburg, on 
the 19th day of June, 1836, after a wearisome jour- 
ney of six week's duration, with a two-horse team 
and a canvas covered wagon, over roads known only 
to the trader and pioneer. 


With him to will was to do, and he at once 
invested his limited means in land, buying the north- 
east quarter of section eight, in Ontwa Township, 
on which he moved the block house formerly built 
by Ezra Beardsley, and which had answered the 
purpose of dwelling, Court House and hotel. This 
was made to answer the purpose of a habitation 
until his means permitted him to supplant it with a 
commodious brick residence. 

He was a strong partisan, being politically, a 
Whig and Republican, and religiously, a Methodist, 
a stern moralist, a worker in the cause of education, 
a tirm and unflinching supporter of law and order, 
never fearing the mob nor flattering the powerful; 
popularUy was not a tactor in any of his calcula- 
tions. He always had an opinion ol his own and 
was ever ready to express it, and he was loved by 
his friends and respected by his enemies. He was 
an intense worker and succeeded in obtaining a com- 
petence which was enjoyed through the latter part 
of his life by himself and family, as well as numer- 
ous friends. He died August 24th, 1874, followed 
by his wife on the 3rd of February, 1875. 


John Rhinehart was born in the State of Virginia, 
in the year 177 1. In 1823 he moved to Ohio, where 
he lived until February, 1829, when he came to 
Michigan, settling where James E. Bonine now 
lives, on Young's Prairie, buying the claim of a man 
named Hinkley. He remained here four or five 



years, ^hen he sold out to a man named Collins, and 
mQV^ed to Porter Township, where he resided until 
the time of his death in 1858. 

His family consisted of Jacob, Catherine, (Mrs. 
George Meacham,) Lewis, Samuel, Susan, (Mrs. 
Kirk,) John, Abraham, Christiana, (Mrs. Stevens,) 
and Ann, (Mrs. Hall and afterward Mrs. Sullivan,) 
all of whom are still living, with the exception of 
Mrs. Kirk. 

Mr. Rhinehart was of German descent, his grand 
parents on both sides emigrating from that country. 
In coming to Michigan he was accompanied by John 
Price and John Donnel, who also settled on Young^s 


The subject of this sketch was born in the State 
of New York, in the year 177 J. A portion of hii> 
yoimger days were spent in Upper Canada, and in 
181 5 he jn^Qved to Huron County, Ohio, where he 
ren^^iir^ed but a short time. Moving to Sandusky 
Count}' , where the toyvfi p( Townsend was naijipd 
for him, he remained until 1825, when he came to 
Michigan, where he moved his family in 1827. He 
first located in Pokagon and moved on to La Grange 
Pfairj^, (then called Townsend 's Prgirie) In the 
s^pring ojf i3?8, a^xj to him belongs the cwdlt Ql 
w.^mimg tlie prairie an4 Tow^§hip» 

His SiQ^., Gamiliel, wgs bor^ in the town of Yorl^:, 
i^B-mM WmU Jwii^ry ^oth, f§o2, and came Jo 
Miehjgaii with his Either in J826, He has ev^r 


since been identified with Cass Coirnt)^ inte^regts. 
For a number of years he has been afflicted with 
nearly total blindness, which has deprived hiiti of 
man}' of the enjoyments of life. 


John, David, and Jacob Hain were born in Lin- 
coln County, North Carolinia, and with their parents 
moved to Clark County, Ohio, about the year 1820, 
where they remained until 183 1, when they came to 
Michigan, settling in La Grange Township, where 
the two older brothers have lived ever since, Jacob 
removing West but a few years ago. 

John and David participated in the Black Haw^k 
war, making numerous trips to Niles for the purpose 
of fighting the Indians. 

On one of these occasions John relates that he 
went in company wnth a man named Boon, who 
lived about two miles on the way. Their convey- 
ance consisted of a two-wheeled gig, drawn by a 
blind horse, and returning in the night to Mr. Boon's, 
where they expected to find their women and child- 
ren, were surprised to find the house deserted; but 
continuing on to Mr. Hain's house, they found the 
two women, one in either corner of the fire place, 
with their respective children surrounding them, and 
the big dog lying in the middle. 

John at one time, cT)nsidering that taking caiie of 
his family was of more importance than fighting im- 
aginary Indians, did not heed the order to appear at 
Niles, and the authorities in power gave him the 


benefit of a court martial, but the penalty was re- 
mitted after the war was over. 

David commenced blacksmithing in 1832, and has 
carried on the business ever since. In early times 
he manufactured the ''Bull Plow," in which he was 
quite successful, customers coming a distance of 
twenty miles to get his plows and repairs. He as- 
sures me that he could make three a day, which he 
readily sold for seven dollars each. In 1837 or '38 
he made for Daniel Wilson a plow out of steely 
which worked well on prairie soil, and was probably 
the first steel plow in the County. 

The first winter after coming to Michigan, David 
lived in a small log cabin with two other families, 
(seventeen members in all) in which there was nei- 
ther door, window, chimney, or floor. At one time 
their breadstuff* ran very low, and he and a man 
named McPherson started for Ford's Mill, distant 
eight miles in a direct line, but much farther the 
way they had to travel. The snow was three feet 
deep, without a beaten path. Their stock of provis- 
ions for the trip consisted of a biscuit each and a 
quantity of boiled venison. After a hard day's 
travel they arrived at the mill to find a full day's 
grinding ahead of them; but by taking turns with 
the miller through the night in attending the mill, 
they were enabled to start home at three o'clock in 
the afternoon following. Night coming on soon 
after leaving the mill, the only way to proceed was 
for one to go ahead and feel the sled track made the 
previous day, the other following and driving the 
team. At one place, where there was a short turn 


in the road, they missed the track, going some dis- 
tance out of the Way, which had to be retraced, no 
small task in the night and in thick timber. About 
daylight they arrived at a widow lady's house, two 
miles from home, so nearly famished that they coukl 
go no farther. Here they stopped and had a cake 
baked to last them home, where they arrived about 
uoon, to find their families in great distress, fearing 
that they had become lost in the woods and conse- 
quent starvation would be their portion. 


David Brady was born in Sussex County, New 
York, in May, 1795. When twenty-three years of 
age he moved to Franklin County, Ohio, where he 
lived five years, then moving to Sandusky County, 
where he remained until coming to Michigan in 
1828, settling on La Grange Prairie, where he has 
remained ever since. 

Mr. Brady is a good representative of the hardy 
class of pioneers who made the early settlements of 
the West, possessed of an iron constitution and a 
will that knew no obstacle, elements absolutely 
necessary in subduino- natural obstacles and bringfincf 
the wilderness under subjection for the use of civiliza- 
tion. He is of rather rough exterior, but kind 
hearted and generous to a fault. 

Jarius Hitchcox was born in Oneida County, New 


YoFk, in the year 1795, and came to Michigan in 
1830. tie settled in Porter Township on the land 
now owned by his son, J. H. Hitchcox^ and moved 
hia family out in the following year. 

He was a brick and stone mason by trade, which 
occupation he followed most of the time through 
lif^. Hi§ death occurred on the 14th of April, 1850, 
at the age of fifty-five years. 


Jesse Green was born in Welsh County, Georgia, 
in the year 1790. When fifteen years old his 
parents moved to Preble Count}^, Ohio, where he 
lived until coming to Michigan in 183 1. He was a 
Quaker by birth-right, but, from some difterences 
arising in regard to the liquor question, he never 
iicted in concert with them alter coming to Michigan. 

His first location was on the north side of Young's 
Prairie, where he remained a year or two, when he 
moved into Wayne Township on the farm since 
owned hy his son, Eli Green, Esq. While in Ohio 
he followed merchandising and brought a small stock 
of goods to Michigan, which, after selling out, was 
not renewed. 


Amos Green was born on the loth of December, 
1794, in the State of Georgia. While quite young, 
with his mother, he moved to Randolph Count}, 
Korthr CajTolinia, and afterward to Preble County, 


Ohio, where he remained until coming to Michigan 
in 183 1. He settled on the east side of Young's 
Prairie, where he lived until the time of his death, 
which occurred on the 6th of August, 1854, at the 
age of fifty-nine years, his wile, Sarah, following him 
on the 13th of December, 1863, at the age of sixty- 
seven years. They reared a family of fifteen child- 
I'en, all of whom grew to man and womanhood 
except three. 


John Townsend was born in Wayne County, 
Indiana, in the year 1804. He came to Michigan in 
1829, settling north of Young's Prairie, on the farm 
now owned by Jay Rudd, where he lived until the time 
of his death, which occurred on the 20th of Novem- 
ber, 1835. While a young man he carried on the 
manufacture of edge tools in Butler and Preble 
Counties, Ohio, and also dealt in merchandise, but 
alter coming to Michigan followed the occupation of 
farmer, with the exception of the time occupied b}* 
the Black Hawk war, in which he was a captain. 
His three sons, William, George' and James, all re- 
main citizens of this County. 


David Hopkins was born in Washington Count}', 
New York, in the year 1794, where he lived until 
18 1 6, when he moved to Cayuga County, remaimng 
there until 1834, when he came to Michigan. He 


lirst settled on the river below Niles, where he lived 
two years, then moving to Volinia, where he died on 
the 7th of April, 1850, at the age of fifty-six, his wife 
surviving him but two days. 

He was a man of many peculiarities, especially in 
dress, frequently going bare-headed and bare-footed, 
when others required heav}^ winter clothing; a great 
hunter and trapper, at home in the woods wherever 
night overtook him. His special forte w^as bee hunt- 
ing, and it is said that not unfrequently every avail- 
able vessel about the house would he filled with 
honey irom the woods. He was a man of consider- 
able native ability and shrewdness, and served a 
number of terms as Supervisor and one term as 
County Commissioner. 


Richard V. Hicks was born in the County of 
Cornwall, England, in the year 1818. When seven- 
teen years of age, in company with his father, he 
came to Cass County. His three brothers had pre- 
ceded them two years. One of them was killed at a 
raising in Ohio. The second fell overboard from a 
boat on the Ohio River, and being struck b}^ one of 
the paddle wheels was never seen afterward. The 
third was a lake captain for thirt}^ years and died at 
the house of R. V. about two years ago, and still 
another brother died about the same time at the 
house of his son-in-law, Emmet Dunning, in Howard 

The first season after coming to Michigan he 


settled in Ontwa Township, on the farm now owned 
by Mr. Hadden, but in the fall of 1838 he went to 
Niles and hired ^out to feed hogs at a distillery at 
that place. Being of an ingenious turn of mind he 
soon rose to the position of forman of the distillery, 
which business he followed six or seven years at 
different places in the County. In 1843 he aban- 
doned distilling and settled in the Truitt neighbor- 
hood, where he remained six or seven years until 
he removed to the place where he now resides. 
In 1843 he was married to Catherine Ullrey, with 
whom he still lives. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Scotland in 
the 1765. When about thirty-two years of age he 
imigrated to this country, settling at Baltimore, 
Mar3'land, where he remained a year or two, then 
moving to Alleghany Count}', in the same State. 
He afterward moved to Wayne County, Ohio, and 
from thence to Michigan in 1829. His occupation 
was that of wagon and carriage maker, but while in 
Baltimore he followed the business of sawing ve- 

It was late in November when they started for 
Michigan and extreme cold weather overtook them 
when near Tecumseh, where they wcyg encamped 
for the night. In the morning they found that their 
horses had all ran away in the night except one kept 
hitched to the w^heel. Instructing his son Daniel to 
push on with the family in the ox wagon, he set out 


to look for the horses, employing a man named 
Dorrel to pilot him through the woods. This man 
proved to be a treacherous wretoh, and, as soon as 
out of sight, he abandoned Mr. Mcintosh, who soon 
became bewildered and, overcome by the extreme 
cold weather, he wandered around for five days and 
nights, finally crawling to a house on his hands and 
knees with his feet so badly frozen that he could not 
use them. In this condition he remained fifteen days 
after coming in, or until word could be got to his 
family and he could be removed liome. One of his 
feet paining him very badly, his son was sent to 
White Pigeon for a surgeon to amputate it, but find- 
ing the Doctor had gone to Detroit on business that 
would detain him some time he came home without 
. him. 

On his arriv^al at home his father, who was in great 
pain all the time, importuned him to cut off his foot 
with a knife, the only instrument of a surgical char- 
acter in their possession, which he did after putting 
his father off as long as possible in the hope that 
some one more skilled could be procured, but morti- 
fication setting in made it a matter of necessity. 
The foot was unjointed at- the ankle and done up in 
the best manner with such materials as were at hand, 
and some time afterward the other foot was ampu- 
tated by a surgeon. He was a man of great energy — 
after loosing both his feet he would work at chop- 
ping wood, sawing with a cross-cut saw or hoeing 
corn, using his knees to walk on instead of feet. He 
seemed to enjoy himself best when busy, and long 
after his family wished him to quit work he would 


beg to be carried to the field where others were at 
work, that he might take part in whatever was going 
on. His sons, WiUiam, Daniel and Duncan, all 
came with their father, and are, at the present time, 
citizens of the County. 


Ezra Miller was born in Onondaga County and 
town. New York, July 6th, 1808. In 18 18, with 
his parents, he moved to Erie County, settling on 
land belonging to the Holland Land Company. By 
the rascalit}^ of some outside parties, Ezra was swin- 
dled out of all the money he had paid on the land 
and the improvements he had made, which was the 
cause of his coming to Michigan, in the hope of re- 
trieving his fortune. 

Fie came to Detroit in 1833, where he followed 
the occupation of driving team for two years, when 
he came to this County, in May, 1835, settling in 
Edwardsburg, where he has ever since remained. 
When he arrived here, he had but forty-eight dollars 
in money; but with the assistance of friends, he was 
enabled to raise enough to enter forty acres of land, 
and in the fall of the same year he added another 
forty to his possessions, all of which he still retains. 

Previous to his coming West, he was married to 
Maria A. Best, by whom he has had six children, of 
whom two only are now living. Mr. and Mrs. 
Miller have been members of the Congregational 
Church over twenty years. 



The subject of this sketch was born in Brecon- 
shire, South Wales, on the 28th of March, 1799. 
His father was a Deacon in the Baptist Church, and 
a man highly respected for his integrity and good 
judgment, but died when Jacob was but live yeai^s 
old, leaving him and a sister, but four years older, to 
be supported and educated by the mother. Thi« 
proved a hard task in that country, but she worked 
with energy and faithfulness, and lived to see her 
son a steady youth of seventeen, with good mind 
and morals. 

Young Jacob had early formed the intention of 
making his future home in America, and his moth- 
er's death loosened the last tie that bound him to 
the Old World. He determined to gain an educa- 
tion, if possible, before leaving, and for this purpose 
entered the Baptist Academy, at iVbergavenny, 
where he completed a regular course of study. 
Here, of necessity, he learned the English language, 
in which all the text books wxre printed. When 
twenty -two years old he united with the Church, 
and soon after commenced to preach, and while in 
the Academy he filled various appointments in the 
southern Counties of Wales. 

After completing his studies, he resided with his 
sister a year or two in Hay, in which time they set- 
tled their affairs, preparator}' to embarking for 

In 1830 he married a Miss Ann Price, an Eng- 
lish lady, and, in the following autumn, with his wife 


and sister, bade their old friends a last good-bye and 
sailed for the new country, the voyage occupj'ing 
nearly the entire month of September, 1831. While 
yet on shipboard, he was waited upon by a number 
of prominent Baptists, who had heard of the young 
minister and welcomed by them to his new home. 
They made their home in New York the remainder 
of the year, and on the 6th of January, 1832, he was 
ordained pastor of the Second Baptist Church, of 
Brooklyn, where he remained a little over eighteen 

Mr. Price had intended from the start to settle in 
the West and preach the Gospel to that far off peo- 
ple, and while in Brooklyn made additions to his 
library for this purpose. 

In the summer of 1833, M. C. Whitman, a mer- 
chant from Cass County, was in New York on 
business, and inquired of Dr. Going if he knew of 
any minister who would be willing to come as a 
pioneer and preach in the scattered settlements of 
Western Michigan. Dr. Going introduced him to 
Mr. P., who soon after made his arrangements to 
come to this County. 

On the 1st of September, 1833, he was in Detroit, 
and two Sabbaths later, he preach ed in La Grange, 
where he had taken up his residence. His next 
place of preaching was at Geneva. On the 27th of 
the same month he preached at South Bend, and on 
their return from this place, his wife was taken with 
a fever, from which she died on the 19th of the fol- 
lowing month, and his own health was so poor at this 
time that he was hardly able to sit up at the funeral. 


While at La Grange he had regular appmntments 
for preaching at Bertrand and Edwardsburg, and 
besides these three appointments, he preached occa- 
sionally in nearly all parts of the County, as well as 
attending funerals far and wide. In 1836 he re* 
m43ved, with his sister and only child, to Edwards- 
burg, where he bought eighty acres of land, on 
which he lived seven years, at the same tim^ 
preaching in Southwestern Michigan and Northern 

In 1836 he was married to Miss Sarah Bennett^ 
who still survives him, as does his sister, who came 
to the County with him. 

In 1842 he removed to Cassopolis, where he made 
his home until the time of his death, a period of 
twenty-nine years. He was pastor of the Church at 
Union from about the 3^ear 1850 until the time of 
his death, in 1871. Were there a record of all the 
funerals preached and the marriages solemnized by 
Elder Price in this County, it would include a large 
part of its domestic histor}'. 


Alexander Copley was bom in the Town of 
Grranby, Hartford County, Connecticut, on the 22nd 
of November, 1790. His grandfather, in company 
with his brother, emigrated from England to this 
country when young men, settling in Connecticut, 
where he was married, and, within two years, was 
drown^ in the Connecticut River while returning 
trom his weekly labor one Saturday evening in a 


canoe, a belt around his body, containing his accu- 
mulated earnings in silver, is supposed to have been 
partially the cause of his misfortune. He left cme 
son, the father of the subject of this sketch. 

Mr. Copley was the youngest of six children. 
His father dying when he was but six years old, his 
education and support devolved largely upon his own 
efforts. He first learned the trade of carpenter, and 
then that of machinist, in which capacity he arose to 
the position of superintendent of the Mattawan 
Manufacturing Company's works, which he held 
three years. 

On the 12th of September, 1829, he left Mattawan 
for Dayton, Ohio, where he arrived on the i8th of 
November, and in October of the next year, as 
superintendent, he started in operation the first Cot- 
ton mill at Dayton, the machiner}' for which he had 
superintended while at Mattawan. 

On the 9th of June, 1833, he left Dayton for 
Michigan, arriving at Little Prairie Ronde on the 
1st day of July — averaging eleven miles a day with 
ox teams and camping out every night while on the 
route. He bought the land where Nicholsville now 
stands, and built a saw mill in 1835, which was the 
first in the Township, and, in connection, run a 
cabinet shop until the financial depression of 1837 
and '38, which, with ill health, made it necessary to 
abandon this department. 

He brought with him, from Ohio, three sizes of 
Wood's patent cast iron plows, two head of Durham 
cattle, bred by John C. Brooks, of Ridgeville, Ohio; 
and in 1836 manufactured a revolving rake from a 


description furnished by a man from New York. 
The first school in the Township was taught by his 
oldest daughter, in his house. He afterward built a 
school house, which was used by the first district 
organized in the Township until it was burned 

He was a man of very superior native and 
acquired ability, and far in advance of the necessities 
of pioneer life. Upon first arriving in this vicinity 
he examined the water privileges of the Christianna 
and St. Joseph and prepared a detailed map of the 
peculiarities and advantages, which is still preserved 
by his family. He alwa3's kept a full and accurate 
journal of current events which has been of service 
in the construction of this work. He died January 
(>th, 1842, aged fifty-one. 

His oldest son, A. B. Copley, at present President 
ot' the First National Bank of Decatur, was a 
pioneer and resident of this County until 1874, and 
has exerted a marked influence upon its progress, 
both socially and politically. He has satisfactorily 
served his Township as Supervisor for six years, and 
has been three times sent to the Legislature — twice 
by this County and once by Van Buren. 

He is a man of strong will and honest impulses, 
and, although largely self educated, has acquired a 
fund of general information and culture which secures 
to him a leading position among his fellows. 



The subject of this sketch, and father of the nu- 
merous family bearing the name, who were among 
the early pioneers ot Cass County, was born in 
Morris County, New Jersey, August 24th, 1774. In 
1 80 1 he moved to Ohio, settling near Cincinnati, 
where he remained six years, then removing to 
Union County, Indiana, where he remained until 
coming to Michigan, in the fall of 1830. His bus- 
iness through life was farming, but while in Indiana 
carried on a tan-yard. His wife, Sarah Goble, was 
born in New Jersey, December 15th, 1773. He 
settled on the farm now owned by Loomis II. War- 
ner, where he lived until the time of his death, 
August 4th, 1840. 


Jonathan Gard, the second son of Josephus, and 
one of the first settlers of Volinia Township, was 
born April 6th, 1799, in New Jersey, and came to 
Michigan the season of 1828, on a prospecting tour. 
So much pleased was he with the country, that im- 
mediate preparation was made for coming hither, 
which he did in the spring of 1829, arriving the 30th 
day of March, settling on the farm now occupied by 
his sons, at that time consisting of a small prairie of 
about two hundred acres, entirely surrounded by 
heavy timber, where he lived until the time of his 
death, in 1854. He was a man of great force, both 
mentally and physically, of very generous disposi- 



tion, his hospitality hardly knowing any bounds, 
always ready to help the needy. He left a record 
in the hearts ot the people that will not be obliter- 
ated while the present generation lasts. His wife 
still survives him, living among her children in the 
immediate vicinity, a quiet, sgrene old lady, of whom 
no one would judge from her' looks that she had 
been through the vicisitudes of the settlement of a 
new country. 


John B. Gard, or Brookfield, as he was commonly 
called, was born October 4th, 1808, in Indiana. He 
came to Michigan in the fall of 1829, settling on the 
farm now owned by J. Vancuren. He was the first 
Collector of Volinia Township, when it comprised 
what is now Marcellus, and all of Van Buren 
County. He was of a restless disposition, and must 
be on the move, and not satisfied with the tameness 
of civilization. On the breaking out of the Califor- 
nia fever, he was among the first to take up the 
Westward march, and is now a resident of one of 
the Western Territories. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Rowana 
County, North Carolina, in August, 1802. While 
quite young, his parents moved to Adams County, 
Ohio, where he remained until coming to Michigan, 
in the spring of 1829. He was married to Charity 


Gard, November 23d, 1827. He died February 
20th, 1873. John H. Rich, his son, born October 
2 1st, 1829, was the first white child born in the 

Mr. Rich was a quiet, unassuming man, much 
respected by all that knew him, a farmer through 
life. His wife still lives at the old homestead. 


Hiram Rogers was born in Morris County, New 
Jersey, in the year 1802. When quite young his 
parents moved to the State of New York, first set- 
tling in Steuben County, near Crooked Lake, but 
afterward moved to Ontario County, and again to 
Niagara County, where he remained until coming 
to Michigan in 183 1, settling on section one of Mil- 
ton Township, where he has remained ever since. 
He came to Michigan in company with Luther Cha- 
pin, who remained in this County for many years, but 
is now a resident of Naperville, Illinois. Mr. R. be- 
came a member of the M. E. Church early in life, 
and has remained an earnest, consistent worker with 
that body ever since. His occupation throughout 
his life has been that of a farmer. 


Allen Dunning was born near Albany, New York, 
July 27th, 1796. When he arrived at manhood he 
removed to Erie County, Pennsylvania, where he 
lived until coming to Michigan in 1836. He was 


married to Minerva Reynolds January 12th, 1824. 
Mr. Dunning settled in Milton Township, where he 
resided until the time of his death, December loth, 
1869. Mrs. Dunning still lives on the old home- 
stead with her son. In an early day Mr. Dunning 
learned the trade of cloth dressing, v/hich he followed 
for some years, or until about the time he was mar- 
ried, after which he followed farming. Mr. and 
Mrs. Dunning both held to the faith of universal sal- 
vation, and belonged to the church of that denomin- 
ation at Niles. Their house was frequently used for 
public worship by that denomination. At the time 
of Mr. Dunning's death there had not been a death 
in his father's family in forty years. 


George Brunt was born in Franklin County, New 
York, in 1822. He was of Irish extraction, but, be- 
ing left an orphan at an early age, was adopted by 
Sterling A. Turner, a Virginian, whose patronymic 
he has since borne. 

He received a common school education until he 
was thirteen years of age, when he removed with 
Mr. Turner to Detroit. Here he found employment 
in a commission house for about a year, until in 1836, 
when he came to Cassopolis. After he arrived at 
his new and, as it proved, permanent home, he en- 
gaged in teaching school at from twelve to fifteen 
dollars per month, and at the same time pursued a 
settled and rigorous course of study with a view to 
fitting himself for acquiring the profession of the law. 


Upon the advice of Nathaniel (afterwards Judge) 
Bacon he made a specialty of history, both ancient 
and modern, as a preparatory and disciplinar}^ study. 

After teaching for several terms he served as 
clerk for the Kingsbury Brothers about two j^ears 
and then entered the law oflice of A. H. Redfield, 
where he remained four years, being admitted to the 
bar in 1844. 

While a student in Mr. Redfield 's office he found 
remunerative and instructive employment in prac- 
ticing in the Justice Courts. 

Soon after being admitted to practice he w^as mar- 
ried to Harriet Munroe who died in 1858. 

His present wife was an EngHsh lady, the widow 
of John Tytherleigh, who immigrated to this country 
in 1850. 

He quitted the practice of law in 1850, on account 
of ill health, and moved on to a farm. Was succeed- 
ed in business by D. Blackman, afterwards elected 
Judge of this Circuit. In 1848 he was elected to 
to represent Cass County in the State Legislature, 
and was re-elected in 1849. In 1850 he was nomi- 
nated by the Democratic party for State Senator. 
The RepubHcan party, organized this year, swept 
the State, and Mr. Turner shared the fate of other 
nominees of his part}^ i, e, was beaten. In 1866 he 
was nominated as Secretary of State, and in 1868 as 
Presidential Elector on the Seymour ticket, with like 
results. He has been twice nominated for Probate 
Judge, and once for Prosecuting Attorney by the 
same part}^ 

Mr. Turner is a man of unbounded energy and 


noted for his great earnestness and strict integrity of 
character. He was the first editor of the Cassopolis 
Democrat^ and has always been a liberal contributor 
to the press. 

He has from^early manhood been a staunch Jeffer- 
sonian Democrat, has delended stoutly, with pen 
and tongue, what he believed to be true democratic 
principles, and has made warm friends and bitter 
enemies thereby. 


William Shanafelt came from Sandusky, Ohio, in 
1835, and settled where Cassopolis now stands. 
The first school house was built on his land. A 
hole was dug under the floor for the purpose of 
getting mud to daub the cracks with. It was after- 
ward used by the teachers for a dungeon, in which 
to punish unruly scholars, by putting them in. An- 
other mode of punishment was by taking the unruly 
urchin over the knees, and applying the ruler with a 
brisk motion. 

At one time Henry Shanafelt was up for some 
boyish misdemeanor, and when brought into the re- 
quired position for torture, Mr. Harper, the first 
teacher in the school house, made the remark that 
he was well prepared for such occasions. His 
grandmother, one of those economical, good old 
ladies, an honor of their time, had placed numerous 
patches on various parts of his pants, and particu- 
larly heavy on that part where the punishment was 
likely to fall. 



The subject of this sketch was born in the State 
of Delaware, where he Hved until the spring of 1828, 
when he started for the West, intending to make 
the Wabash country his stopping place. In Dela- 
ware County, Ohio, he stopped to visit a brother, 
and while there met a man from the St. Joseph 
Valle}^, who gave such a favorable report of the 
fertility of the soil and the general advantages, that 
Mr. Smith determined to abandon his first destina- 
tion and come to Michigan. He was accompanied 
by a man named Case, who came as an assistant^ 
and also to look at the country. 

Through the Auglaize country, for the distance 
of eighty miles, but one team had preceded him. 
He arrived at Edwardsburg October 12th, 1828. 
In the season of 1830 he rented Ezra Beardsley's 
farm, and in the spring of 1831 built a frame house, 
the first one in Milton Township. The lumber for 
this house was all split and shaved out — not a sawed 
board in it. 

Mr. Smith and family were members of the M. E. 
Church, and were among the first to help organize 
a Society in the south part of the County. His 
house was used for public worship until the school 
house was built, and that until the Chapel, which 
bears the name of the subject of this sketch. His 
sons, John H., George, Wesley, and Cannon, are 
still living in the immediate neighborhood of the old 
homestead, in Milton Township. 



The subject of this sketch was born in Cheshire 
County, New Hampshire, in the year 181 2. When 
five years old his parents moved to Essex County, 
New York, where he remained until coming to 
Michigan, in July, 1839. He is a millwright by 
trade, and the first season worked on Pain's Mill, 
above Niles, until February, 1840, when he settled 
in Silver Creek Township, on section thirty -two, 
where, in the heavy timber, he cleared up a large 
farm wholly by his own eftbrt and industry, and on 
which he resided until coming to Dowagiac, in the 
fall of 1874. 

He has served as Supervisor of his Township ten 
years, eight of which were in succession. He was 
elected Justice of the Peace in 1843, and served in 
that capacity thirteen 3^ears in succession. 


Isaac Williams was born near Lynchburg, Vir- 
ginia, in the year 1800. About 18 15 he came to 
Ohio, v/here he lived twent}^ years, until coming to 
Michigan, in 1835, settling in Pokagon Township, 
on section five. He was the first settler in this part 
of the Township. His nearest neighbor for a num- 
ber of 37ears was four miles distant. He lived on 
the same farm where he first settled until the time 
of his death, November 22d, 1874, at the advanced 
age of seventy-four years. 



David M. Howell was born in Champaign County, 
Ohio, in the year 181 7, and came to Michigan with 
his father in 1834, at first settling in Bertrand; his 
father having a contract on the Chicago road. 

In 1 841 he moved into Howard Township, in this 
Count}^, where he served as Township Clerk and 
Justice of the Peace until elected to the office of 
Register of Deeds, in 1844, when he removed to 
Cassopolis. He held the office of Register twelve 
years in succession, and was Justice of the Peace 
until he moved on his farm in 1858. 

Mr. HowelPs success in life is a good illustration 
of what may be done by an honest course, persever- 
ance and energy — from infancy a cripple, dependent 
wholly upon his hands and head, he has accumulated 
a fine property. Pie is accredited as being one of 
the best farmers in the County, although never able 
to plow a furrow in his life. 


Alexander and Samuel Fulton came from Frank- 
lin County, Ohio, in 1829, settling on the south side 
of Little Prairie Ronde, David and James coming 
in July, 1833. 

The three oldest brothers, Alexander, Samuel and 
David, after staying five or six years, removed to 
Berrien County, selling a part of their interest in the 
land to Dolphin Morris, now the farm of Samuel 
Morris, and the remainder to the brother James, 
who remained where he first settled until the time 


of his death, last year. David died in Berrien 
County about the year 1844, and Alexander in 1865. 
In 1852 Samuel went to California, where he re- 
mained until the time of his death, some two years 


The subject of this sketch was born in Sussex 
County, New Jersey, about the year 1779, and 
while a young man moved to Butler County, Ohio, 
where he lived until coming to Michigan, in the 
season of 1828. 

The experience of Mr. Wright and family the 
first winter after coming in, was of the most severe 
character. Breadstuffs became very scarce and 
4ear. Potatoes and Johnny-cake were staples, while 
pork and flour were rarities. 

The family have always been noted for keeping 
fine horses, and these had to be kept mainly on 
hackberry bark for several weeks at a time. The 
manner of preparing it was to cut the timber into 
suitable lengths for rails, draw the cuts up before 
the cabin door, when they would be split into rails, 
carried in before the fire and warmed sufficiently to 
start the bark, which would be peeled off, broken 
up, and carried to the animals by the bushel basket 

His son, Stephen D. Wright, still Hves on the old 
homestead, his father having passed away many 
years ago. 



Wilson Blackmar was born in Connecticut, in 
1792, removed with his parents, when fourteen years 
old, to Buffalo County, New York, where he re- 
mained until three years previous to coming to 
Michigan, when he moved to Huron County, Ohio. 
Came to Michigan in 1829, arriving at Edwardsburg 
on the second day of July. On their arrival prepara- 
tion was in progress for a celebration of the coming 
4th of July, and Mrs. Blackmar made a flag from 
two red silk handkerchiefs for the occasion, sewing 
on the stars and stripes. 

His family consisted of four girls and two boys. 
Nathaniel B. Blackmar, the oldest son, was born in 
Erie County, New York. When ten years old he 
came with his father to Michigan, and, with the ex- 
ception of two years, has resided here ever since. 


Isaac Sears was born near Hartford, Connecticut, 
in the 3^ear 1795. While quite young, he, with his 
parents, moved to Cayuga County, New York, and 
from thence to Erie County, Pennsylvania, in 1809. 
He was in the war of 181 2, serving under Commo- 
dore Perry. 

In 1836, with his wife and eleven children, he 
moved to this County, settling in La Grange Town- 
ship, where he remained until the time of his death, 
in 1839. 

He was a member of the Baptist Church, and 
held the office of County Treasurer at the time of 


his death. His two sons, William and John, are 
citizens of this County. 


Justus Gage was born in De Ruyter, Madison 
County, New York, on the 13th of March, 1805. In 
early life he received a common school education, 
with a short term at an academy, which w^as suffi- 
cient to stimulate his active mind, from which time 
forward, through life, he was a diligent student. 

In 1822 he became a member of the Universalist 
denomination, and soon after was licensed to preach, 
in which profession he continued through life, so far 
as his health would permit. 

In the spring of 1837 he emigrated w^ith his 
family to Michigan, settling in Wayne Township. 
He always took an active part in everything tending 
toward the advancement of agriculture, was one of 
the first Presidents of our County Agricultural 
Society; in the fall of 1852 delivered the annual 
address before the State Agricultural Society, at 
Detroit, and with the organization of the State 
Agricultural College he was made a member of the 
Board of Agriculture, in which capacity he acted 
eight years. 

His interest in educational matters was second to 
none, engaging in whatever tended to the advance- 
ment of our common and high schools. In the fall 
of 1850 he was chosen Director of the village school 
of Dowagiac, and at once proceeded to the inaugura- 
tion of the union or graded school s3'Stem, under the 


free school law. He also took an active part in 
the organization of the Universalist Society of that 
place,, and contributed his full share toward the 
erection of the house of worship, and served as 
Clerk of the Church from its organization until the 
time of his death, which occured on the 21st of Jan- 
uary, 1875, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. 

His many virtues and good qualities will long be 
remembered by the people of this County, and his 
pioneer sketches will be treasured with the things of 
the past. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Roan 
County, North Carolinia, in the year 1785, where 
he lived until about the year 1825, when he moved 
to Wayne County, Indiana. In 1834 ^^ moved to 
this County, settling in La Grange Township, where 
he lived until the time of his death, in 1851. 

In his younger days he learned the trade of dis- 
tiller, but after coming to Michigan followed the 
vocation of farmer. His widow, now nearly ninety 
years old, is a sprightly old lady in the enjoyment 
of all her faculties. His four sons, Barton, Norman, 
Benjamin, and Zadok, all remain in this and Berrien 


Abijah Huyck was born in Delaware County, 
Ohio, in the year 1818. When eight years old his 


parents moved to Lenawee Count}^, this State, and 
in 1836 removed to this County. 

Mr. H. was one of the earhest settlers in Mar- 
cellus Township, moving in when there were but 
three other famihes. In 1850 he erected a saw mill,, 
on the ''Little Rocky," and for a number of years 
manufactured lumber and wagoned it to Decatur, 
his nearest market. He is known as a thorough 
business man, and one of the best farmers in the 

His brother, Richard J., came to Volinia Town- 
ship in 1838, and for a number of years sold goods 
there, but for several years past has followed the 
life of a farmer. 


David S. Baldwin and his two sons, Josephus and 
Silas, left Warren County, Ohio, in March, 1828,. 
for what was then known as the St. Joseph Country, 
and arrived in this County early in April, and camped 
on the southwest corner of Beardsley's Prairie. 

They found food for both man and beast very 
scarce, and had to resort to felling trees for brouse 
for the cattle, and to the streams and woods for food 
for themselves. They brought with them three 
yoke of cattle, a cart loaded with camp equipage, 
provisions, breaking plow, log chains, axes, iron 
wedges, &c. The weather, while on the journey, 
was wet and cold and the roads bad. Through the 
St. Mary's Swamp they made but three miles a day. 
There was but one house between Fort Wayne and 


Benton, at which place they found the Elkhart River 
so badly swollen from long continued rains that a 
canoe had to be dug out from a white wood tree be- 
fore they could cross. 

The two lads, then fifteen and sixteen years old, 
after remaining until June, returned to Ohio. Their 
outfit consisted of one horse, which they rode alter- 
nately, a small supply of provisions, and a five 
dollar bill. 

In the fall of 1830 the boys came back, with the 
rest of the family, the older brother still residing on 
the prairie. Silas removed to Elkhart, in April, 
1842, where he has ever since remained, and is 
known as one of the most enterprising of that city's 
citizens. He was a Lieutenant in the Black Hawk 
war, and his reminiscences of that struggle are well 
worth publication. 

The third son, William, of auctioneering fame, is 
probably as well known as any man in Cass County. 
Although of limited education, having never at- 
tended school but eighteen days in his life, yet he 
carries on quite an extensive business, beside fur- 
nishing the windwork for many others. 

The father was of a migratory character, and 
was one of the first to start to California, in 1849,. 
since which time he has never been heard from. 


Marvrick, Jeremiah, Barker F., and Stephen were 
born near the Green Mountains, of Vermont, where 


they all lived until men grown and married, except 
the youngest. The three, Marvrick, Barker F., 
and Stephen, came to this County in 1834, and 
Jeremiah came in 1836. 

Stephen and Marvrick settled on Young's Prairie, 
the other two locating in Nev/berg Township, where 
Barker still lives. Marvrick removed to Oregon 
about the year 1858, and only lived two years after 
getting there. His two sons, Harry and James L., 
are residents of Oregan. Jeremiah died in the year 
1855. His two sons. Jay and Orson, are residents 
of this County at the present time. Stephen died 
on Young's Prairie in 1864. His only son now lives 
in Vandalia. 


William Gilbert was born on Long Island, in the 
year 1790. When three years old his parents moved 
to Otsego County, New York, where he lived until 
coming to Michigan, in 1839, settling on the bank 
ot Indiana Lake, in Silver Creek Township. 

In New York he followed teaming twenty years, 
between Albany and Buffalo, and while at this bus- 
iness received the nick name of ''Tommy," by 
which he was ever afterward known. He was a 
man of rather singular organization; was very fond 
of having a good time, especially on holiday occa- 
sions. His three sons, William, Anderson, and 
Eugene, all live near the old home, their father dy- 
ing on the 1 8th of February, 1864. 



No name is more frequently met or more promi- 
nently identified with the development of the south- 
ern portion of Cass County, during the first twenty 
years of its history, than that of the Silvers, and, 
did space allow, a chapter, detailing their virtues 
and experiences, could be written, which of itself 
would be a tolerable history of that locality, but the 
limit which was placed for this volume, in its incep- 
tion, having been already exceeded, I must confine 
these sketches to the barest mention. 

John Silver was born in New Hampshire in 1763. 
He was a mason and taught that trade to all of his 
boys. In 1785 he was married to Mary Buell, of 
Somers, Connecticut, by whom he had eight child- 
ren, six boys and two girls. He served with credit 
during the war of 181 2, and at its close retired to a 
farm in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, where he re- 
mained until in 1837 when he followed his children 
to the then far West. 

He came first to Edwardsburg and Cassopolis, 
but finally purchased a farm in Cleveland Township, 
Elkhart County, Indiana, one mile from the Michi- 
gan line, where he resided until his death, in 1843. 
His wife survived him five years. 

Jacob, the oldest son, was born in Newport, New 
Hampshire, in 1786. In 1806 he married Abigail 
Piper, by whom he had five children, only one of 
whom — Mrs. E. B. Sherman — is now living. In 
1837 he married Mrs. Maria Goodrich, who still 
survives him. 

In 1830 he formed a partnership with his two 



younger brothers, Abiel and Benjamin F., for trad- 
ing in the West, either at Chicago or Ottowa. They 
shipped their goods to Chicago, Jacob accompany- 
ing them, Benjamin remaining to close up his affairs 
East, and Abiel traveling overland. The latter, 
while journeying through Michigan, fell in love with 
Beardsley's Prairie, and was so strongly impressed 
with a belief in the future greatness of Edwardsburg 
that he wrote to Jacob to reship the goods from 
Chicago to that point via the St. Joseph. It was 
late in the fall before the change could be effected, 
and part ol the cargo was in a boat which was frozen 
in for the winter, necessitating a long and expensive 
portage; but they were finally got through and 
opened out in a log store room. 

In the spring of 1832 they opened a branch at 
Cassopolis, then just laid out and designated as the 
County Seat, and Jacob removed there with his 
family some months later. He was the pioneer 
trader of the village, and was identified with its 
prosperity for many years. 

In 1833 they put up a large distiller}^, the first in 
the county. It was a very heavy frame building, 
and required the aid of nearly the whole able bodied 
population of the County to raise it. The work 
lasted three days, and each night Mr. S. took two 
pans, one filled with gold and the other with silver 
coins, and passed them around through the crowd, 
requesting each man to help himself to whatever he 
considered an equivalent for his day's work. In 
1834 the partnership terminated, and the Cassopolis 
branch and distillery fell to his share. 


In 1833 he was elected County Treasurer, and in 
1836 was a member of the first Constitutional Con- 
vention, at Ann Arbor. He died in 1872, leaving 
the bulk of his property to the Swedenborgian 
Church, of which he had been a zealous supporter. 

John, the second son, was born in Hopkinton, 
New Hampshire, in 1788. He was an inn keeper 
and proprietor of a stage route in Newport for many 
years, but in 1845 followed his brothers and son to 
Cass County, Michigan, settling in Ontwa Town- 
ship. He remained here about ten years, but after 
the death of his second wife, returned to New 
Hampshire, where he died in 1864. 

His son, Orrin, was one of the first hotel keepers 
in Edwardsburg, where he still resides, and has al- 
ways been a prominent representative of the business 
interests of that place. 

Jeremiah, the third son, was born in Hopkinton, 
New Hampshire, in 1790. He served three years 
in the war of 181 2, but never applied for a pension 
until 1866, when he received twelve dollars per 
month until his death. 

Upon the conclusion of hostilities, he exchanged 
the sword for the trowel and plowshare, and soon 
after married Sarah Hastings, by whom he had six 
children, four of whom survived him. He removed 
to Cass County in 1836, and in company with Ben- 
jamin F. purchased a farm of two hundred acres in 
Ontwa. During the pioneer days he was noted as a 
hunter and trapper, and is said to have destroyed 
more wolves than any man in Southwestern Michi- 
gan. He took the contract and built the first Cass 


County Poor House. He died April 19th, 1876. 

Josiah was born in New Hampshire, in 1794, and 
came to this County in 1837. In 18 18 he was mar- 
ried to Polly Straw, by whom he had three children, 
two of whom are still living. He died in 1870. 

Abiel, better known as Judge Silver, was born in 
Hopkinton, New Hampshire, in 1797. In 1825 he 
migrated to St. Lawrence County, New York, 
where he engaged in teaching, and afterward mar- 
ried Edna Hastings — by whom he had one child — 
and engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1830 he re- 
moved to Chautauqua County, and in company with 
Benjamin F. opened a stock of goods. In 1831 he 
came to Cass County, as before described. He is a 
man of more than ordinary ability and culture, and 
played an important part in the history of those 
days. He was a member of the first Constitutional 
Convention of Ann Arbor, an Associate Judge of 
Cass County, and in 1846 was appointed Commis- 
sioner of the State Land Office, which position he 
held two years. Soon after this he entered the 
Swedenborgian ministry. He has served in this ca- 
pacity in Wilmington, Delaware, Newport, New 
Hampshire, Salem, Massachusetts, and now has 
charge of a Church in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Margaret, the sixth child, was born in New 
Hampshire, in 1799, married Seth Straw in 1817, 
and came to this County in 1837. She now resides 
in Elkhart, Indiana. 

Joan was born in 1802, was married to Timothy 
Straw in 1821, came West in 1837, ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ 
farm originally purchased, south of Edwardsburg. 


The history of Benjamin F., the youngest of the 
family, has been outlined in that of the others. He 
was born in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, in 1808, 
and came to Edwardsburg in 1832, in company with 
Jacob and Abiel. Upon the dissolution of their 
partnership, in 1834, he remained in company with 
Abiel. He next followed farming a few years, and 
in 1838 married Martha Morrison, by whom he had 
one child, a daughter, who died in 1874. In 1843 
he commenced selling goods in Cassopolis, with H 
C. Lybrook and S. E. Dow, but in 1847 he gave up 
mercantile pursuits and settled down on the farm in 
Pokagon, where he now resides. 

An annual reunion of the family is held on Thanks- 
giving day, at which feasting and merrymaking is 
diversified by an exchange of mutual confidences and 
a rehearsal of the traditions of the elders. No dis- 
play of differences in wealth or social position is 
allowed. The women wear calico dresses and the 
men plain business suits, and all meet upon a footing 
of perfect equality. At the last gathering, at *' Un- 
cle Ben's," one hundred and thirty-seven sat down 
to dinner. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Johnstown, 
Montgomery County, New York, in the year 1798, 
where he lived until 1836, when he capie to Michi- 
gan and settled in Silver Creek Township. At that 
time there was but three cabins in the Township, 
Mr. Suit's being the fourth. 


Mr. Suits died in 1844, but his widow is still liv- 
ing among her friends, and his two sons, Adam and 
Jacob, are still citizens of the County, the former on 
the old homestead and the latter in Dowagiac. 

The family came from Buffalo to Chicago and 
then to St. Joseph, on a lake schooner. The voy- 
age, owing to rough weather, was very tedious, 
occupying seven weeks, during which time, while on 
the west side of Lake Michigan, their mast was 
blown away and they had to lie still until another 
could be brought from shore and put in place. 

On their arrival at their new home, Mr. Suits 
made inquiry where he could purchase some butter, 
and was informed that their nearest neighbors to the 
south had, if for sale, which he found to his surprise 
to be ten miles away. 


The subject of this sketch, and father of the nu- 
merous family in this County, was born in Grayson 
County, Virginia, in the year 1806. When two 
years old his parents moved to Champaign County, 
Ohio, and afterward to Logan County, in the same 
State, where he lived until coming to Michigan, in 
the iall of 1832, settHng in Jefferson Township, where 
he still resides. 

In 1826 he was married to Rachel Fukey, who 
also is still living. Mr. Norton cast his first vote 
for General Jackson, and has adhered to the Demo- 
cratic party ever since. He has served two terms 
in the State Legislature from this County, was Su- 


pervisor of his Township eight years, and was 
Township Treasurer a number of terms, besides 
holding numerous other offices by election and ap- 


William, Thomas, and Andrew L. were born in 
Giles County, Virginia, in the years 1788, 1796, and 
1 810, respectively. In 1824 they, in company with 
their father's family, moved to Preble County, Ohio, 
where they remained four years, or until 1828, 
when the three brothers came to Michigan and set- 
tled in Pokagon Township. 

William, better known as Judge Burk, who acted 
as Associate Judge for a number of years, remained 
a bachelor and a resident of the Township until the 
time of his death, in 1868. 

Andrew lived in the Township but a few years, 
or until he was married, when he removed into 
what is known as the bend of the river, in Berrien 
County, where he still remains. 

Thomas is still living in the vicinity of where he 
first settled. He was married in 1829 to Catherine 
Lybrook, who was also from Virginia, and by whom 
he had quite a large family. She died in May, 


The Burk family are of Irish descent. The grand- 
father on one side and the great grandfather on the 
other came from Ireland. They have always been 
known as honest, upright men, and good types of 
Virginia gentlemen. 


The family removed from Virginia to Ohio and 
then from Ohio to Michigan, with wagfons. While 
on the way from Ohio, Thomas met with a misfor- 
tune, by cutting his ankle while falling a small 
sapling a few miles out of Fort Wayne, where he 
was carried to have his wound dressed, and was 
then put on board of one of the wagons and hauled 
the remainder of the way. He was not able to 
place his weight on the crippled foot for eight 


Moses Reams was born in North Carolina, in 
1798. While still a lad he removed, with his fa- 
ther's family, to Ohio, where he spent his youth and 
early manhood. 

In 1 8 19 he married Mahala Norton, a sister of 
Pleasant Norton, who is mentioned elsewhere in 
these pages, and whom he had six children. He 
was passionately fond of hunting and fishing, and 
when the increasing settlement of Ohio rendered 
game scarce, he moved to Cass County, Michigan, 
in 1828, squating on Government land in the ex- 
treme northern part of Jefferson Township. He 
changed his location several times within two years 
before settling upon the farm which he now occupies. 

William Dixon, his oldest child, was born in 
Ohio, in 1820. In 1843 he married Rhoda Colly er, 
by whom he had seven children, only two of whom 
are now living. 

Mary Jane was born in Ohio, in 1822, and mar- 


ried Christopher Richardson, in 1841, by whom she 
had five children, three of whom are still living. 

Levi was born in 1824, married Irene Collins, in 
1847, by whom he had four children, all of whom. 
are still living. 

Margaret Ann was born in Ohio, in 1826, mar- 
ried Ichabod Pearson, in 1844, by whom she had! 
four children, three of whom are living. 

Lovinia was born in 1834, and in 1851 married 
Joseph N. Marshall, by whom she had three child- 
ren, two of whom are living. 

Nathan was born in 1842, and in 1872 married 
Sarah Rumer. All of the children live in Jefferson, 
or Cassopolis. 


This family, so well and prominently known in 
the central portion of the County, are of English 
descent, the grandfather of the present generation's 
father emigrating from England about the middle of 
the last centur}^ and settled in North Carolina, and 
afterward removed to Georgia, where George, the 
subject of this sketch, was born, on the 28th day of 
August, 1770. 

They were of the Quaker persuasion and in com- 
mon with their sect early imbibed a distate to 
human slavery, and finding life irksome and unre- 
munerative to nonparticipants in the National crime, , 
removed to Ohio, where he remained until 1829^ 
when he removed to Michigan and settled on Young's- 
'Prairie, where he died on the 4th of April, 1834. 


While in Georgia he married Lydia Hobson, by 
whom he had ten children, five sons and five daugh- 
ters. Henry, the oldest son, was born in Georgia, 
in the year 1790, and came to Michigan, with his 
father, and entered a large tract of land on the prai- 
rie, where he died in 1850. His surviving sons are 
Amos, George W., Henry, Phineas, and Jesse, who 
all remain in the County with the exception of 
Henry, who has migrated to Oregon, where he still 

* Charles, the second son, was born on the 20th of 
January, 1792, and came to this County in 1829, 
where he remained until the time of his death. Of 
his sons, William and Charles remain near the old 
homestead, and Joseph lives in Iowa. 

WilHam, the third son, remained in Ohio. 

George, the fourth son, was born on the 30th of 
April, 1801, accompanied the family to Michigan, 
but the change of climate proved unfavorable to 
him, and he died three years afterward. All his 
sons, Stephen, Nathan, and George D., are residents 
of Cass Count)^ His widow, familiarly known as 
''Aunt Polly," is deserving of more than a passing 
notice, and I regret that my limited space will not 
allow a detailed account of her ability and virtues. 
Left alone with a large family, her superior man- 
. agement, thrift, and practicability stood in full stead 
for their lost father. She built the first frame house 
on the prairie, superintended the farm and its mar- 
ketings, and always made time for kind and helpful 
offices to sick and unfortunate neighbors. She was 
widely known and universally respected, and though 


long gone to her reward, her memory is still green 
in the hearts of her beneficaries. 

Nathan, the youngest son, was born on the i6th 
of October, 1810. He came to Cass County with 
the family, where he remained until 1850, when he 
took the gold fever and migrated to California, 
where still resides. 

Of the daughters, but two came to Michigan, and 
were mothers of the well known Green and Town- 
send families, which are detailed in another part of 
this work. 

The family hold an annual reunion each year, 
which is attended by about one hundred and fifty 


Judge John Barney was born in Connecticut, and 
while yet a young man moved to Wilksbarre, Pennsyl- 
vania, from thence he moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio, 
and again to Huron County, in the same State. He 
was a Captain of volunteers during the war of 1812, 
and was taken prisoner on the Detroit River a day 
or two previous to Hull's surrender, and kept a pris- 
oner on board an old vessel under a strict guard. 
After a time their captors relaxed their vigilance in 
a measure, and while a part of them were below 
playing cards. Captain Barney and his comrades 
overpowered them and took possession of the vessel, 
which they run to the mouth of the Maumee River, 
from whence they proceeded home. 

In 1836 Mr. Barney came to Michigan, settling at 


first in Wayne Township, where he Hved one year, 
when he moved to Silver Creek Township, where 
he died in 1852. He served a number of years as 
Associate Judge in this County. After he was 
sixty-five years of age he went to .California, making 
the entire journey on foot. 

Henry Barney, Sr., was born in Connecticut, in 
1763, and early emigrated to Pennsylvania, where 
he was married, and then moved to Western New 
York. He afterward removed to Huron County, 
Ohio, where he remained twenty years, clearing up 
a large farm in the time. He came to Michigan in 
1838, settling in Silver Creek Township, where he 
lived until a few years before his death, which oc- 
curred in 1850. He had been a pioneer in four 
States. He was married three times and had ten. 
children, six girls and four boys, three of whom are 
now living. 

His oldest son, Henry, Jr., was born in 1804, and 
came to this County in 1835, with his brothers, and 
entered six hundred acres of land, in Wayne Town- 
ship, upon which they moved in 1837 ^^^ remained 
until the time of his death, in 185 1. 

He left a wife and four sons, the youngest of 
whom, and mother, died within three years of the 
husband and father. Of the others, Henry L., our 
present Register of Deeds, is still a resident of this 
County. The other two lie in graves in Southern 
soil, devotees to their country. 

Julius A. Barney was born near Wilksbarre, Penn- 
sylvania, where he lived until coming to Michigan, , 
in 1837, settling in Wayne Township, having been. 


here two years previous to see the country and make 
a location. He brought with him hogs, cows, and 
sheep to make a commencement with, and came 
with a determination to succeed by hard work. He 
never experienced the privations that many com- 
plained of, but suffered considerably from the sick- 
ness of 1837-8. He was Supervisor of his Township 
one year. Township Clerk two years, and was 
elected Justice of the Peace twice, but never quali- 
fied for that office. Mr. Barney remained on the 
farm where he first settled until the spring of 1874, 
when he moved to Dowagiac. 

John G. A. Barney was born in Cayuga County, 
New York. While quite young his father moved 
to Huron County, Ohio, where he remained until 
coming to Michigan in February, 1838, stopping 
nearly a year in Wayne township. At this time 
there was no road across the swamp between Paw 
Paw and Sumnerville, a distance of over thirty miles. 
He, having purchased land in the township of Silver 
Creek, had to wait until it would freeze up to make 
it passable. Mr. Barney believes himself to be the 
first man to drive a team across the swamp, which 
he did the winter of 1838-9. He built the first saw 
mill in the Township the season of 1840, since known 
as the Foster mill. For a number of years he car- 
ried on quite a trade with the Indians, buying their 
furs and skins, and lurnishing them provisions &c. 
In the earlier days of Dowagiac he engaged in the 
drug business with Asa Huntington, where they 
were burned out in the first fire, after which he re- 
moved to Porter Station, Indiana, where he re- 


mained six years, since which he has Hved in Dowa- 
giac. He was Supervisor of Silver Creek a number 
of years ; he has also held the office of Justice of the 
Peace. Mr. B. relates many anecdotes of his early 
career in Michigan, some of which will be found 
under their appropriate head. 


Abram Tietsort, Sr., was of Holland Dutch de- 
scent. The family early settled in New Jersey, 
where Abram was born in 1777. He served in 
the war of 1812, soon after which he settled in But- 
ler County, Ohio, where he followed the occupation 
of farmer. 

In the year 1828 he and his family came to Michi- 
gan, settling on the present site ot Niles, where he 
raised grain, and in company with his oldest son 
ran a flat boat on the St. Joseph River. 

In 1830 he removed to this County, and settled 
on the farm now owned by Hiram Jewell, which he 
afterward exchanged with Mr. Jewell for land on 
which the Air Line depot now stands, where he 
lived until the time of his death, in 1847, his widow 
surviving him seven years. 

Abram, Jr., his oldest son, was born in Butler 
County, Ohio, in the year 1805, and came to Michi- 
gan at the same time of his father. In 1830 he 
settled on the east side of Stone Lake, and was one 
of the original owners of the village plat of Cassopo- 
lis, where he lived until the time of his death, in 


1842. In pioneer times he carried on the business of 
cabinet making, undertaking, etc. 

His oldest son, John Tietsort, is a resident of the 
village. Two others are in Detroit, and one in 
Illinois. His widow and only living daughter reside 
in Orleans County, New York. 

Levi, the second son, settled in La Grange Town- 
ship, where he lived until the time of his death, about : 
twelve years ago. 

Henry, the third son, is a mason by trade, which 
he has followed many years, in connection with 
farming. He lives just north of the village of Cass- 

The fourth son, Cornelius B., settled just east of 
the village, on the farm now occupied by his widow 
and sons, where he died about six years ago. 

Squire V., the youngest son, remained on the old 
homestead until the time of his death, in 1852. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Tompkins 
County, New York, on the 12th day of January, 
1822. When six years old his parents moved to 
Erie County, Pennsylvania, where they remained 
four years, when they came to Michigan, in 1832. 
He first settled in Monroe County, where he re- 
mained nine years, then removing to this County, at 
first settling in Calvin Township, where he served 
for a time as Supervisor. 

Mr. Read's life has been diversified with many 
callings, and contrary to the general rule, of ''too 


many irons in the fire," has succeeded in accumula- 
ting property far be3'0nd the average of mankind. 
He served as a soldier in the memorable '' Toledo 
War," under Governor Mason, has followed the oc- 
cupations of itinerant thresher, following the break- 
ing plow, steam saw milling, merchandising, and 

In 1854 he went overland to California with a 
drove of cattle, the trip out occupying six months. 
In 1855 he removed to Cassopolis, and has been 
identified with her interests ever since. He is a 
thorough, enterprising, business man, taking hold 
with a will in whatever is for his own benefit or the 
public good, a genial, social man. 


The subject of this sketch was born in Washing- 
ton County, Pennsylvania, in the year 1805, where 
he Hved until 1834, when he came west and settled 
in Cassopolis, which has been his home ever since. 
In 1836 he was married to Caroline Guilford, with 
"whom he still lives. 

Early in life Mr. H. followed the business of car- 
penter and joiner, and was one of the contractors for 
the building of the present County Court House. 
He has been elected and served in the several offices 
of Register of Deeds, County Treasurer, Sheriff', and 
is at present Postmaster of Cassopolis. In early 
'Cahfornia times he made a trip to that golden clime 
and remained four years, and afterwards went to 
Pike's Peak and Montana in search of the precious 


metal. He served as Captain of Company A in the 
Twelfth Michigan Infantry. 

He is known as a stern, unflinching moralist, a 
man with an opinion and ready to maintain it, a 
zealous supporter of law and order, and an upright, 
honest man. 


The subject of this sketch was bom on the James 
River, Virginia, about the year 1784, where he 
lived until a man grown, and learned the trade of 
blacksmith, serving an apprenticeship of seven years. 
Soon after learning his trade he was married to 
Rebecca Spears, after which he moved to Wooster, 
Wayne County, Ohio, where he remained until com- 
ing to Michigan, in 1829. 

He settled in North Porter Township, where he 
lived until the time ot his death, over twenty years 
ago. His oldest son, Samuel, lives at the, present 
time in Cassopolis. Henry and Noah are residents 
of Oregon, and William lives in California. Cath- 
erine (Mrs. Hebron) died last fall (1875), Mary 
(Mrs. John Hartman) and Elizabeth (the widow 
Robins) are both residents of Porter Township. 


The subject of this sketch is of Scotch-Irish de- 
scent. His antecedents left Scotland and went over 
to Ireland during one of the many turmoils that ex- 
isted there in early times. The grandfather of the 



subject of the present sketch settled in Pennsylvania, 
and in an early day went to Kentucky on a pros- 
pecting tour, and while there was taken prisoner by 
the Indians and kept in bondage two and one-half 
years. He afterward made a permanent settlement 
near Lexington, where Moses was born, in 1802. 

When three years old his parents moved to Cham- 
paign County, Ohio, where he remained thirty-one 
years, or until coming to Michigan, in 1836^ He set- 
tled in Jefferson Township, where , he lived until a 
few years ago, when he moved to CassQpolis to live 
with his son, William W., of the firrp, pf Mellvain 
& Phelps'. 

Mr. Mcllyain is a quiet, unassuming nian, and has 
never put himself forward, yet has served in numer- 
ous Township offices and other positions, . 


The subjeclof this sketch was of Gern|an d.^ppent 
and was born in Virginm, on the 31st of March, 
1793. About the 3^ear 1810 his parents moved to 
Preble County, Ohio, where he w;as married to 
Sarah Lybrook^, in, September, 18 16, after which he 
removed tp Union County, Indiana, where he lived 
until coming to Michigan, in October, 1828. 

He first settled near Niles, where he remained 
until the following August, when he removed to 
La Grange Prairie, in this County, where he was 
killed by lightning on the 31st of the same month, 
his wife surviving him until the 24th of January, 

1834. : • 


Hannah, his oldest daughter, resides with her 
brother, J. K., in CassopoHs. Henry L., his oldest 
son, died about four years ago, on La Grange Prai- 
rie, where his family still reside. 

David M. died about ten years ago. His two 
sons reside on McKinney's Prairie. 

Eve died while on the road to Michisfan. 

Joseph K., the youngest of the family, is a resi- 
dent of CassopoHs, and is well known throughout 
the County, having served in numerous public po- 
■:sitions. . !, -'^^■- ^ ■ ''■•■• ^w -: -'■ ■ 




Ancient Earth Works, 49 

Coulter J., 


Agricultural Society 

» 279 

Copley A., 


Alexander J., 




Ai4pch James, 


Dickson fames, 


Bogue Stephen, 


Dunning A., 


Byrns John, 


Davidson A., 


Bee^gn J. G-, ^ 


Edwards Lewis, 


Brady David, 


Fosdick GJeorge, 


Blish Daniel, 


Fulton Family, 


Backmar Wilson, 


Goodspeed J., 


Baldwin D. &, 


Goble Elijah, 


Burk Family, 


Gallup Family, 


Barney Family, 


Green Jesse, 


Carey Misaion, 


Green Amos, 


Gabin Buildingf * 


Gard Josephus, 


Cooking Utensils, 


Gard Jonathan, 


Cass County, 






Gage Justus, - 




Gilbert William, 


Cass Co. in the War 

, 281 



Copley E., 


Humphrey L., 





Huntley E., 


McIIvain Moses, 


Hain Family, 






l^ash Ir^, 


Hopkins David 


Newton James, 


Hicks R. v., 


Nixon John, 


Howell D. M., 


Norton Pleasant, 


Huyck A. 




Harper Joseph, 


Olmstead S. C„ 




O'Dell James, 


Jenkins B., 


Pioneer Furniture, 


Jacks J. L., 




Jarvis Z., 




Jones Family, 






Putnam U., Sr., 


Kingsbury A., 


Putnam O., 


La Grange, 


Price Jacob, 


Lybrook John, 


Rcdfield George, 


Lybcook H. C, 


Renhistbiri Williarn 


Leach J., 


Rogers Alexander, 




Rinehart J., 




Rich Samuel, 


Michigan Indians, 


Rogers Hiram, 




Rudd Brotiiers, 




Reams Family, 




Read S. T., 




Ritter John, 


McKenney T., 


Silver Creek, 


M^tsh.A. C.j^ 


Sburte Isaac, 


Mcintosh D*, 


Shanahan E., 


Miller E., 


Shellhammer D., 


Meacham George, 


Sherman £. B., 




Shintaffer P., 


Truitt P., ' 

, ,351. 

Smith E. C, 


Townsend A., 

■ 354 

Shanafelt William, 


Townsend ]., 


Smith C, ' ' 


Turner G.B.', "'■''•'' 


Sears Isaac, 


Tietsort Family, ' 

■ .398 

Silver Family,' ' ' 


Volinia, ' 


Suits J. A., 


Wayne, ' ' 


Smith Joseph, 


Williams S., 


Toledo War, '' " 


Williams I., ' 

'" 376 




Wright W.R./;"- 

• :378 

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i85(5. 1876. 




levotel to Hoie, Coity, General Hews anJ Politics. 



G. O.^LLiaOJ^, - - (PiAhUsTceT. 




Has the Only Power Press in the County. 

The Cassopolis Vigilant is a weekly paper devoted to Local and 
(ireneral News, Politics, etc. Terms, $2.00 per year. 

W. H. MANSFIELD, Publisher. 

<,K;. /,..;<. 

>:^^"> €;.>V*^ .V.t'* #■?;.-..- #'-^" ^.^\'<'-^^ '.;:"- i:^^--* ' • 


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